Minutes of a meeting held on 5th March, 2015 at the offices of Penarth Town Council, Penarth.




Councillor L. Burnett (Chairman)

Vale of Glamorgan Council

Mrs. C. Dimond (Vice-Chairman)

Cardiff Flood Action Committee

Councillor G. Roberts

Penarth Town Council

Mr. J. Harrison

Natural Resources Wales

Mr. A. Parker



Also present:


Mr. A. Vye-Parminter

Cardiff Harbour Authority

Mr. A. Pepper

Cardiff Council

Mr. S. Ellery

Cardiff Harbour Authority

Mr. C. Hope

Vale of Glamorgan Council


Mr. Ivor Davis

Civil Aid Voluntary Rescue Association (For Agenda Item No. 4)

Mr. Karl Saltmarsh

Civil Aid Voluntary Rescue Association (For Agenda Item No. 4)



(a)      Apologies for Absence – 


These were received from Councillor B. Derbyshire (Cardiff Council), Mr. C. Michael (RSPB), Mr. J. Maidment (Cardiff Harbour Authority) and Mr. S. Jones (Quay Marinas Ltd.).


(b)      Minutes – 


AGREED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 14th January, 2015 be approved as a correct record.


(c)      Matters Arising – 


(i)       Penarth Tourism and Visitor Association


In referring to Mr. Peter Andrews being no longer part of the Penarth Tourism and Visitor Association, the Chairman advised that she had been informed that Mr. Andrews was now the Vice-Chairman of the Association.  The current Chairman of the Association, Mr. Gary Soltys had requested that he be invited to future meetings of the Advisory Committee as an observer.


The request was AGREED.


(ii)      Penarth Docks – 150th Anniversary


The Chairman advised the Advisory Committee that the organisers of the ceremony to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the founding of Penarth Docks had advised that they would be unable to attend the meeting. 


(d)      Presentation – Civil Aid Voluntary Rescue Association (CAVRA)


Mr. Ivor Davies and Mr. Karl Saltmarsh were present for this item.


Mr. Davies and Mr. Saltmarsh attended the meeting to advise of the work and potential uses of CAVRA.


By way of background, Mr. Davies stated that he came from a coastguard background and had worked in Milford Haven and Swansea.


In 1998, he had decided to establish a local voluntary search and rescue service organisation. 


Following registration with the Voluntary Services, the organisation had become eligible for grant assistance and had received funding from the Welsh Government which had resulted in CAVRA obtaining a boat (based in Cardiff Bay), landrover, all-terrain amphibious vehicle and equipment.


The organisation worked with unemployed youth and minority groups and some 20 of the volunteers had gone on to full time education.


Mr. Davies stated that his concern was that CAVRA was not called out to many incidents.


The organisation had changed its name from Cardiff and Vale Rescue Association to Civil Aid Voluntary Rescue Association to emphasise the fact that it was not “Cardiff centredâ€. 


Mr. Davies added:


-             All volunteers were checked by the Disclosure and Barring Service

-             All volunteers were trained in communications through CAVRA’s radio-system which covered an area from the Severn Bridge to Swansea.


Mr. Davies spoke of an incident near to where their boat was based (which turned out to be a false alarm) but they had not been called out. 


Mr. Davies handed the Chairman a file containing details of CAVRA.


Mr. Saltmarsh, in referring to the incident referred to above, advised that whilst CAVRA was operated by amateurs who gave much of their time, they would have welcomed an opportunity to have been involved.  It would have cost nothing to have used them. 


Mr. Saltmarsh acknowledged that if the Police, Fire and Ambulance Services had attended the incident, it may be like using a sledge hammer to crack a nut but there was always the possibility that CAVRA would be the first to arrive on the scene.  


The Chairman advised that the minutes of today’s meeting would be considered by both Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan Councils which would bring the existence of CAVRA to the attention of many Council Members and Officers. 


In terms of emergency planning, the Chairman had been present at a presentation by the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Emergency Planning Team which had spoken about resilience and of the need for cover to be provided for incidents.  It seemed that CAVRA had the required skills. 


Mr. Davies said he had spoken to both Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan Councils’ Civil Protection Officers in an attempt to raise the awareness of CAVRA. 


Mr. Davies had also spoken to the Chief Constable. 


The Chairman enquired as to where Mr. Davies thought CAVRA could best fit in and was told that the service was available 24/7, 365 days per year.  The organisation did not exist to make money and just wanted to be of assistance.  Mr. Davies referred to an incident in which CAVRA had been asked to respond to an incident of flooding in Llantwit Major. 


Mr. Davies was asked about CAVRA’s response times and advised that CAVRA would aim to respond to an incident within 30 minutes.  It was acknowledged that the Fire Service could achieve better response times. 


The Maritime and Coastguard Association (MCA) was satisfied with CAVRA’s service and had used the organisation in the past.  However, there were significant changes occurring in the Lifeguard world at present.  When the dust settled, CAVRA would probably be used. 


Mr. Harrison advised that he chaired the Bristol Channel Environment Group which carried out exercises with the MCA. 


There was a need for CAVRA to increase other organisations’ awareness of the Association.


Mr. Pepper suggested that Mr. Davies liaise with the Emergency Services with regard to Search and Rescue incidents.  He believed that this was CAVRA’s market. 


Mr. Davies said that he had met with them but that there did not seem to be much headway. 


Mr. Davies added that a number of CAVRA’s staff were about to be trained as first responders and would then be able to assist the ambulance service.


The Chairman, having heard the presentation, advised Mr. Davies:


-             That he had demonstrated that CAVRA had proven expertise

-             CAVRA had already worked closely with the Vale of Glamorgan Council and other Authorities

-             The reporting of today’s minutes to both Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan Council may assist in raising the awareness of CAVRA

-             It was the Chairman’s view that CAVRA must consider which niche to concentrate on

-             The expertise of CAVRA would be very useful in the development of local community  resilience, particularly when its members had been trained as first responders.


On expertise of the Advisory Committee, the Chairman thanked Mr. Davies and Mr. Saltmarsh for attending the meeting.



(e)      Timetable of Meetings


The report suggested dates for future meetings of the Committee as detailed below:




Wednesday, 23rd September, 2015 at 5.15 p.m.

Cardiff International White Water

Wednesday, 18th November, 2015 at 5.15 p.m.


Wednesday, 13th January, 2016 at 5.15 p.m.


Wednesday, 2nd March, 2016 at 5.15 p.m.


Wednesday, 1st June, 2016 at 5.15 p.m. (Annual Meeting)



AGREED – T H A T the timetable of meetings as detailed above be approved.


(f)       Navigational Safety


It was reported that the winter dredging had been completed successfully.


(g)      Progress Report – Cardiff Harbour Authority


It was reported that the CCTV Unit at the Pont y Werin Bridge had suffered from vandalism recently.  The Unit had been repaired and was operational again.  This had not impacted on the operation of the Bridge. 


The work to replace the salt-water valve on the Cardiff Barrage was ongoing, and the valve was about to be replaced.


The Fish Pass maintenance operation was nearing completion and Zebra mussels had been removed from the Pass by a specialist contractor. 


Natural Resources Wales had installed fish counters into the Pass. 


The Environment Section of the Cardiff Harbour Authority’s website had been amended.  The website was now a “one stop shop†containing information such as water quality, river flows, etc. 


Arising from the discussions of the previous meeting of the Advisory Committee, Harbour Authority representatives attended a meeting hosted by ARUP consultants who have been commissioned by Cardiff Council to look at the feasibility of a bus route across the Barrage.  A number of issues were raised at the meeting which highlighted the difficulties involved.  ARUP are compiling a report for further discussion.  Some of the issues in brief relate to access to the North end of the Barrage and land ownership issues, interaction with the public using the Barrage and scheduling around bridge operation at the locks.


(h)      Update Report – Mr. J. Harrison, National Resources Wales


Mr. Harrison advised that:


-             Natural Resources Wales was building up to the new season in terms of Environmental Quality

-             This being Mr. Harrison’s last meeting of the Committee, Mr. Harrison advised that his replacement for future meetings would be Nadia Delhongi

-             Discussions had been taking place in recent months concerning the construction of tidal lagoons in the Severn Estuary.  Mr. Harrison felt that it may be worthwhile if the Advisory Committee received a report on this subject to include detail of the impact such construction would have on the Bay. 


It was suggested that the Advisory Committee receive a presentation once the strategic details of the construction works had been finalised. 


The Chairman thanked Mr. Harrison for his work over the years and wished him well in his retirement.


Mr. Harrison was presented with a gift by the Chairman.



(i)       Date of Next Meeting


AGREED – T H A T the next meeting be held on Wednesday, 3rd June 2015 at 5.15 p.m. and that the meeting be held in Cardiff International White Water.