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Exe Estuary Management Partnership

For people, for wildlife, for the future

EEMP Partnership Committee Meeting Minutes 29/09/2020


Published

Attendees

Alan Wood (AW) 

Andrew Cadbury (AC) 

Andrew McKenzie (AM) 

Bruce de Saram (BS) 

Chris Scanes (CS) 

Jeff Trail (JT) 

Charles Courtenay (CC)  

Graeme Smith (GS) 

James Chubb (JC) 

Jay Boyle (JB) 

Justyne Zawadzka (JZ)  

Michael Hesketh (MH) 

Natalie Holt (NH1) 

Nick Hookway (NH2) 

Nick Stone (NS) 

Peter Chamberlain (PC) 

Rex Frost (RF) 

Sam Bridgewater (SB)  

Sarah Clark (SC) 

Ted Draper (TD) 

Shaw Edwards (SE) 

Apologies:  

Charles Nuttall
Martin Rigley
Graham Forshaw
David Bartram
Alec Carter
Ruth Crundwell
Hugh Davey

Welcome to the meeting & apologies for absence - Cllr Jeff Trail

Welcome – difficult year for everyone, a good turn out especially under these circumstances  

Apologies: As above  

JB: A Natural England representative will be joining in future meeting  

 

Voting: 

Proposer: JT 

JT: New vice chair appointment, Mike Howell (no longer represented).  

Elected by nomination supported by at least one member – normally a district council funding partner  

JT nominate Cllr Charles Nuttall Teignbridge 

Seconder: GS 

Votes: 16 in favour. Motion carried  

ACTION: PC forward congratulations and information about the appointment. A briefing to be arranged between JT, JB, PC, GS, CN 

Minutes & Action Log of previous meeting – Jay Boyle

  1. TD to arrange meeting regarding possible permitting of the Exe – permitting of the Exe.  Taken forward by Grahame Foreshaw (update from Exeter Port Authority on the Agenda) 
  1. Amend wording on delivery plan regarding permitting on the Exe to portray that we will ‘proactively explore options’ such as recreational permits rather than a defined measure of success – completed by SHC 
  1. PC to pursue possibility of an independent review of Dawlish Warren Scheme – EA is commissioning a post-scheme strategic review this autumn which will including a review of management options based on recent evidence and lessons learned, for example with modelled predictions, which will include a peer review and further engagement with stakeholders
  1. Clyst Valley Regional Park consultation link to be circulated and put on EEMP website – completed – Link was circulated and posted on the EEMP website for the 6-week duration of the consultation.

 

Minutes accurate representation – Yes

Budget update – Peter Chamberlain

Budget position for this financial year (half way through) 

Column C – year end projected spend £41,500 

£32,000 income, surplus some £26,888 Total income £65,681?  

 

Additional expenditure   

  • further costs regarding maternity cover for the full period  
  • the WAMM project income will be reimbursed due to the cancellation of events due to Covid-19. Some money will not be reimbursed (i.e. Staff time)  
  • surplus of £20,000 roughly rather than £24,000 

 

This year questions?: 

  • JT – anyway to claim through loss of income due to income?  
  • PC – no, not that we have identified  
  • Planning for next yar budget 21/22 process will start when the exe estuary executive meets in a few weeks  
  • Will bring for approval in the next meeting  
  • 3 key messages: 1. plan to carry forward surplus to next year, 2. Maintain regular partner contributions 3. Secure project relating funding to balance the budget 
  • Challenge in the future to raising income, no crisis at the moment  

 

Delivery Plan Highlight Report JB 

  • Meeting of Executive and Partnership Committee is still happening  
  • Virtual forum 21st October – first virtual event on this scale, agenda to be sent out hopefully by the end of the week. Key themes: environment, recreation and commercial presentations  
  • Highlight local issues and concerns through EEMP –  illegal hand gathering of shell fish new Cockwood (covered in AOB) 
  • Review EEMP Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) to ensure the agreement is fit for purpose. – received almost all back.  
  • Annual Review 2019-20 to be approved for publication by the Partnership Committee (Sep 2020). Item on agenda. 
  • Need to identify new funding streams. The core budget is secure but the ongoing budget is in difficult times. Partners need to provide support to JB and Steph  
  • Produce online State of the Exe report – report every 5 years to review the state of the Exe. Online resource so it can be easily updated and meet accessibility standards – link to partner pages.  
  • Promoting/Representing the Partnership (attending events).- EEO has attended increased virtual events e.g. Dorset Coast Forum, EDCP, WAMM, MPA working group etc to continue to promote/represent the Partnership 
  • Continue to use and disseminate the LiCCo education resources.- There has been an  increase of teachers getting in touch through lockdown  
  • Meeting with Ruth (Natural England) – how Natural England and partnership work together to assist with Creation of Exe Biosecurity Plan 
  • There has been a strong relationship with the Harbour Authority. They have been great at getting the message out as to what activities are permitted as a result of the Covid-19 government restrictions. 
  • Accessibility project – work delayed, over next couple of months find out who they engage with. Map access, case studies of activities on offer. Case studies for spring 2021 – no certainty but hope to be back to normal  
  • Clean up events – covered in next item 
  • Signage: identified what is out there and have started to create new and updated signs. The east side is completed and is in place, working on the west side  
  • Education session on the Exe were cancelled as a result of Covid-19 
  • Promotion of Exe Estuary – Short film project has now been reduced to a single stand-alone film due to availability of filmmaker. This film will include background to the Partnership, the Stakeholder Forum at Powderham, education sessions and the Lympstone Mural project.  
  • Exmouth TDS phase 1 has been completed. Work to resume at Alexandra Terrace soon. 

 

Discussion: 

  • NH1 – Is there an update on signage around the duck pond? 
  • JB – not sure, JB not involved, spoke to Tim in East Devon. JB could get in touch with Habitat Regulation Partnership  
  • JC – JB no need to chase through the partnership. Flood prevention work – physical barrier. Wait until the end of the flood prevention work, work in conjunction with the mitigation officers. On the agenda of the mitigation officers, use the new infrastructure. Information point and wardens. JC spending a day with them to see how they are getting on  
  • JT – JB keep updated 
  • JB – location has limited access points now  

COVID Impacts on the Partnership update - Jay Boyle

The COVID-19 review of the Annual Delivery Plan revealed that the vast majority of the objectives set out will not be affected by lockdown restrictions in place and can be achieved by working/meeting remotely and by following social distancing guidelines where applicable. 

Amber (requires minor adjustments) – these include:   

  • Conducting/attending meetings (Executive, Committee, Forum, external) remotely  
  • Delayed progression of projects/discussions  
  • Event/activity/projects currently going ahead as scheduled, but could be further affected with everchanging government guidance 

Red (requires significant adjustments) – these include:  

  • Beach clean events – both the Spring and Autumn Beach Cleans have been cancelled this year due to social distance guidelines. However, the EEMP webpage has been updated to promote self/small group initiatives such as 2-minute beach clean and #minibeachclean. Promoting individual involvement has also been achieved via the Exe Press and various Press Releases including the Exmouth Journal.  
  • Education sessions – the traditional estuary educations session did not go ahead due to the closure of schools. However, EEO is currently looking into the possibility of online virtual sessions with local schools once they are more settled. Promoting resources about outdoor education. Financial loss from this but we can continue to promote estuary education. 

Delivery plan constantly under review  

JT – thanks East Devon and volunteer groups for their work with the beach cleans 

Approval of Annual Review 2019-20 – Peter Chamberlain

Setting out work and achievements of the partnership 

Split into main 4 elements  

  1. Into to the partnership and why we do the review  
  1. Overall highlights – this is what the partnership achievements  
  1. Specific case studies (3 projects) 
  1. Simple financial information about the partnership  
  • Acknowledge various partners  

Questions 

Happy to approve – Yes  

No concerns were raised. 

  • PC: How can you help us in promoting document: could you raise the profile of the PDF / link to the website? 
  • It will be produced in PDF and as a webpage on the website for accessibility reasons  
  • Social media – JB can arrange the positing, so you can share this 
  • RF – circulate to members, and water users as electronic version.  
  • PC – Will send to all members of the partnership  
  • JT / PC – It will be sent to the partners mailing list  

TDC bathometric survey - Graeme Smith

  • Commissioned a bathometric survey  
  • It is now completed, it was started this time last year – completed January 2020 
  • There has been a delay getting it onto the website due to an issue with converting the data. Currently working on fixing it  
  • Can give individuals the raw data but it would be easier to wait a couple of weeks more and it will be on the website for you to download  
  • Last time we did it was 2008, smaller area in 2010. It has been 10 years since we did the area properly  
  • Channel migration and gives substance to modelling.  
  • No comments 

Update from Exeter Port Authority – Nick Stone

  • Apologies from Graham Foreshaw 
  • The team has been together for just over a year now and trying to keep water users updated with what they can / can’t do according to the government regulations 
  • Required patrol boats, invitation from Graham for the members of the committee to come on board and see what we do  
  • Survey from Trinity House last week – went well, a few things were pointed out. Very little on relative scale  
  • TDC bathymetric survey conducted at the entrance to the Exe – got the raw data, plans to move the channel coming into the Exe – move to the East (waiting for a weather window) 
  • Replaced gas mark point – made clearer and easier to spot  
  • Winter go through nav aids, service / replace  
  • Patrol – Unable to patrol 24/7 so we try to target busy times on the Estuary. This has had a positive effect when we are on the water  
  • Starting the process of recruiting volunteers – looking to increase visibility  
  • Next year apply to become an RYA training centre  
  • Service moorings – we have taken over this and have now serviced 80+ moorings  
  • Removed a number of wrecks  
  • The HRO – powers are restricted 
  • JB mentioned action in regard to permits – asked legal department if there is a process of introducing a permit scheme without having the HRO in place – waiting for an answer from the legal team 
  • Released funds for the refurbishment of building  
  • MH – complaint about mooring in Exton A lot of random boats. Is there regulation around that? 
  • NS – there are ad hoc mooring. We don’t control the mooring, the mooring association will have control of the mooring. May fall to us, will speak to Graham about this  
  • RF – positive comments about the traffic on the river when patrol boat on patrol – much improved  
  • JT – Thank Nick, Graham and rest of the crew for the hospitality when JT visited. They work extremely hard. Exmouth town council and East Devon – funding for buoys to be placed along Exmouth sea front. Regarding derelict vessels, hard work and time consuming.  
  • JT – TD we have the disabled vessel going out in March (work delayed but keeping fingers crossed for next March) 

Lower Otter Restoration Project update – compensatory habitat - Sam Bridgewater

Introduction 

  • Estate – 8/9 years working to find sustainable solution  
  • Infrastructure requires costly maintenance  
  • Teamed up with EA as to how we might do things differently – managed realignment project. Breach embankment at the bottom estuary to let the tide in. This will create 55 ha of salt marsh and mud flat 
  • 21st September 2020 – put in full planning application  
  • Compensatory habitat on the Exe – Lower otter valley 4th on the list 
  • European funding – Intereg 
  • Awarded 28 million euros. Objective – climate change is happening, early adaption is better. Create socio-economic benefits  

 

SB ran through the schematic which is available upon request 

  •  Work with natural processes  
  • Assuming planning permission works planning to start next summer – 2023 

 

Discussion  

  • JT – can SB arrange a meeting with JB and PC – need Natural England and EA representative in the meeting?  
  • NH1 – large scale managed realignment – anything NH1 can help with give a shout  
  • SC – MCZ: have you been working with Natural England about this 
  • SB – Yes, large environmental statement covers this  
  • GS  – what is the direct relevance to management of the Exe  
  • PC – We don’t know what the relationship will be yet until we have discussion with Natural England, estate and EA. Will come back to the partnership once we have an update  
  • CC – importance of non-judgemental debrief. Concern to get as much learning out the DWBMS process as possible. Reemphasise EA plan on Dawlish process. Learning can roll over to the Otter and future  

Any other business & future meetings

JT – JB to report on potential illegal hand gathering of shellfish on the Exe 

  • JB received emails about large groups of people gathering at Cockwood harbour – taking excessive shellfish. Partnership put info on the website including the phone number to report illegal activity  
  • SC – Received so many phone calls / emails about removal shellfish, oyster etc. on the Teign / Exe. In the process of developing hand working bylaw. Delayed through Covid – still working on development of hand working bylaw. Small organisation – engage with other organisation, police, and public health officers. Can temporarily close for the removal of mussels only. Trying to educate people on the foreshore. Slow process, no other way of bring in enforcement at the moment. Environment health officers as Teignbridge – produced flyers that only a small amount should be taken  
  • GS – flyers being updated. Spoken to the people on the foreshore. Stop producing the alternative language versions as individuals on the foreshore were English speaking. ACTION: GS will circulate to JB.  
  • SC –Concerns over photo as had a photo of mussels (which it shouldn’t) – would like to see updated version. Undertaking cockle and mussel surveys – completed annually to see the impact of the hand gathering. 

JT – Myles is looking for a partner / silent partner – gained another vessel. Having problems with the EA  

CC – Been in touch with Myles – encourage EA to engage with the issue 

JT: Would like to thank Ian for the support regarding the clean ups. He is seriously ill – send our thoughts and prayers to him  

Alan Wood – stepping down as rep at the end of the year – Dave Curno taking over 

NH2 – Question about the forum – will it be recorded? 

JB as long as everyone is happy with it being recorded and we have the permission on zoom we will record it. PC – JB need to check we have the permissions to do this via zoom 

JT: thanks for your time and patience. Stay safe and please continue to all follow social distancing rules

Other information:

Next proposed meeting 23rd March 2021 – Virtual  

Forum: 21st October 2020, 18:30-20:30 – JB stated that virtual registration will be available via the website