The Corporate Director – Communities submitted a report, the purpose of which, was to seek Cabinet approval to undertake a process to revise the byelaws that are currently effective at Porthcawl Harbour, to reflect the current operations and activities that take place within this particular location and to consult on and advertise any proposed new byelaws, under the provisions of the Local Government Byelaws (Wales) Act 2012.
She was supported in the presentation of the report, by the Group Manager – Economy, Natural Resources and Sustainability.
The report outlined certain background information, following which it advised that specific areas within the footprint of Porthcawl Harbour (as defined by the 1987 Act) are currently subject to local byelaws that identify Public Bathing Places across Porthcawl. These byelaws were established in 1953 by the Urban District Council of Porthcawl.
Based on a recent review of Health and Safety and recent incidents reported in the area, it was considered that revisions are required to the current byelaws. In undertaking a process to revise the byelaws the intention is not to prohibit any particular activity, but more put in place a clear set of rules that are aligned to other coastal and quayside environments that has user’s safety as a priority.
The intention is that the byelaws that are currently in place will therefore be revoked, insofar as those byelaws are relevant to Porthcawl Harbour and replaced by more up to date byelaws.
The next sections of the report, outlined the process that takes place when byelaws are put in place, including the legislative requirements that have to be met to this end.
A copy of the proposed draft byelaws intended for consultation, was attached at Appendix A to the report.
The Cabinet Member – Education and Regeneration welcomed the report. He felt that some clarification in terms of what the byelaws would actually cover and making the public aware of this, would assist in them knowing what activities could and could not take place in and around the areas of the Porthcawl Marina and Harbour. He was aware for example, that there had been reported previously an issue with jet skiing in the waterways at Porthcawl coastal area. It was important he felt for certain activities of a dangerous nature, to hopefully cease in the future, or be regulated (by for example byelaws being in place).
The Leader advised that it was important to note that at this stage, the Council were only looking to consult on the making of revised byelaws, as opposed to putting them in place. He hoped that the consultation would include key partners such as the RNLI, as the byelaws if adopted, would help to ensure that the public are kept safe in what is a potentially dangerous coastline area. He also hoped that the consultation would be extended to both Porthcawl Town Council and the Porthcawl local members, to ensure that if the byelaws were pursued, they would be fit for purpose for the area.
The Cabinet Member – Communities advised that the Bristol channel waters were some of the most dangerous in the whole of the UK and that it should be noted that byelaws currently existed in the area of Porthcawl. What was being proposed was merely a revision of these, to possibly make them more fit for purpose, given the development of Porthcawl both in terms of certain areas of land there and within the coastal area.
RESOLVED: That Cabinet:
· Authorised the Corporate Director, Communities, to undertake a consultation process, under the provisions of the Local Government Byelaws (Wales) Act 2012, and to take all necessary steps described in Paragraph 4 of the report to make new byelaws under the Mid Glamorgan Act 1987 in relation to Porthcawl Harbour to reflect the current operations and activities that took place.
· Noted that a further report would be submitted to Cabinet once the process described in paragraph 4.7 of the report had been completed.