To All Members and Members of Staff, Volunteers, Parish Councils and Stakeholders
We have had a really busy time over the last few weeks – September/October is often like that. This week we have not only had a peer review of our governance arrangements but also the kick off meeting for our European Project – CANAPE. One of the other big jobs has been drafting the report on navigation charges for next year which has just been published. A particular highlight for me has been welcoming our new apprentices.
On the last Monday in September we presented certificates to this year’s three apprentices: Al, Nick and Sam. They all did really well and we hope that in due course they will find their way into our permanent workforce. We also welcomed our new intake: Alice, Ben and Helena.
This is the third year we have recruited three apprentices to work with our operational teams. This year we attracted a very high calibre of candidate, a number of graduates as well as some very practically minded young people. We were particularly pleased to see the Broads Apprenticeship had attracted a higher than normal percentage of female applicants. Following a very competitive interview and site taster, Rob (Rogers), ably assisted by Lucy (Pointer), whittled the 25 applicants down to the chosen 3.
I think you will be aware from previous briefings that we have been successful in our bid for European funding under the umbrella title of CANAPE. This week we had the ‘kick-off’ meeting with our European partners. The focus for the work is peat and it will bring in over £600,000 to help us to continue to deliver the Hickling Vision.
For the first time we are the lead partner and we welcomed delegates for four different countries: Belgium, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands. The good news is that the rules around these European programmes have been relaxed a little which will make the delivery a great deal easier.
The Broads Authority has asked a group of our peers to give us some advice on three specific areas:
(i) Whether the Authority’s governance structure including its Membership, committees, and other decision-making processes, could be revised to better fit the changing environment within which it operates;
(ii) Whether the Authority has the policies and procedures in place to make the most of the skills and knowledge of its Members; and
(iii) How the Authority could improve its relationship with the political leadership and Membership of its constituent local authorities.
They gave some initial feedback at lunchtime today which has been encouraging and helpful and will be providing a written report in due course. Following this we will hold a workshop with all Members and the Management Team to work up an action plan.
Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival
Following a suggestion from Peter Dixon we attended the Maritime Festival on the historic South Quay at Great Yarmouth for the first time. Will (Burchnall) coordinated our stand which incorporated a selfie boat – the front of a wooden boat with a Broads’ background – where people could pose in front of a Broadland landscape wearing various hats and other props. It was a huge success and throughout the weekend Simon (Hooton), Mike (Rimmer), Martin (Bayliss), Rob (Leigh), David (Harris) and Nathan (Betts) were rushed off their feet.
New Secretary of State Member
I am delighted to report that Bruce Keith has been appointed as a Member of the Authority by the Secretary of State. He is the Head of Property for Scottish and Southern Energy and the retiring President of CIWEM (Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management). He will be attending his first meeting of the Authority in November.
2017 has been a good year for boat numbers on the Broads. You may recall that one of the trends identified in the report of the Tolls Working Group was a significant decline (-20%) in the number of small private motor boats while bigger motor boats were on the rise. The members on the working group hoped that a reduction in the charges for smaller boats from 1st April would help stabilise the numbers of smaller boats. And so it has proved.
A comparison between 2016 and 2017 as of the end of September shows that the number of small private motor boats has risen from 1,646 to 1,820, an increase of 174 (+10.6%). This puts us in a good financial position going forward.
A copy of the report for the Navigation Committee can be found here (pdf).
On 20 September we invited Parish Council Chairs and Clerks to a couple of presentations on the Broads Plan and the Local Plan. Attendance was higher than we expected and we really enjoyed the engagement with the councillors and clerks.
We have since circulated a contact list and dates for future meetings:
Wednesday March 21 2018 and Wednesday September 19 2018.
Broads National Park Burgee
Finally, at the suggestion of one of our members we have designed and purchased burgees with the Broads National Park logo – see picture attached.
They are available for purchase at a cost of £9.99. They will be available from Reception at our office in Norwich and at Visitor Centres from next year.
Have a good weekend when you get there.
Broads Authority – looking after the Broads National Park
Broads Authority, Yare House, 62-64 Thorpe Road. Norwich NR1 1RY, 01603 610734