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BroadsAuthority

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    Yare House, Norwich

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  1. Hi Peter, The original engine on Spirit of Breydon (SOB) was replaced under warranty shortly after it was first commissioned after developing a fault (this wasn't an issue that could have been foreseen I have been told), resulting in some down time. We had listed SOB up for sale earlier this year as part of our launch replacement strategy. However, no suitable offers were made and so rather than selling her at a price we weren't happy with, we have recently decided to replace the engine on her. The new engine is a more suitable and efficient one which will reduce running costs and reduce carbon emissions as a step towards our commitment to be carbon neutral by 2040. As with all of our launches we do have occasional mechanical issues which is part of running vessels on a daily basis and SOB was no exception to this. The launches, including SOB, are also all taken out of service each year for their annual maintenance checks. Tom
  2. Hi all, It's great to see lots of discussion here on water safety and advocacy of lifejackets/buoyancy aids. It seems most of you are experienced boaters but if anyone is new to the boating scene a glance over our safety and boating tips pages could be helpful (enjoy the old videos too!) https://www.broads-authority.gov.uk/boating/navigating-the-broads/safety https://www.broads-authority.gov.uk/boating/navigating-the-broads/boating-beginners Tom
  3. It's on our website here and has been for some time: https://www.broads-authority.gov.uk/looking-after/managing-land-and-water/staithes-of-the-broads
  4. Hello all, To make the situation absolutely clear this is a decision that has been made by the Whitlingham Charitable Trust. The service level agreement (SLA) was coming to an end and of course it is within the interest of the Trust members to explore options that best suit their future strategy for the park. It would really be up to the Trust to decide if they wish to communicate further detail regarding the reasons for their decision. Furthermore, the process could not accurately be described as a negotiation or a 'disagreement' (to use Jenny Morgan's words) however, Broads Authority officers provided the Trust with a considerable body of detail to support a case for retaining the Authority as a partner up to this decision being made. There isn't a governance issue regarding this matter as this is not a Broads Authority decision. We communicated this decision as soon as we had enough detail to do so. If there are any ‘public interest’ matters concerning the ongoing provision of a country park, these should really be addressed to the Trust.
  5. Hi all, It's worth noting that a number of the aforementioned visitor centres were closed when the government cuts took place a few years ago, rather than them not being successful/financially viable/well visited. Please be assured that a suitable location will be a key consideration for any longer term visitor centre plans. It wouldn't really be fair to say that Visitor Centres have had their day. We still receive visits from tens of thousands of people each year in our centres who are looking for information about the local area, things to do etc. We currently see websites and other digital media working in tandem with physical visitor centres, rather than replacing them. This is largely the model across the rest of the UK National Parks family too.
  6. Hi everyone, Tom here to clarify a few points: 1. The nearby 24 hour moorings are leased to us and we are working towards retaining them as part of our network. 2. Ra was enjoyed by around 3,500 visitors during the 2018 season, including many disabled visitors and groups. We are currently exploring alternative locations to redeploy Ra and continue offering the trip. 3. Given the Trusts decision, we are now considering alternative locations for a visitor centre and education activities. However, we would like to stress that the outcome of negotiations at Whitlingham is totally independent from the project at Acle. Whilst we have expressed a desire to build a visitor and education centre there, it would be impossible to have such a building constructed and ready to use by April 2020 (even if funding for such a building could be found). Our current priority is the immediate need to have replacement Tourist Information facilities in place for next season. 4. You are correct JennyMorgan, the statement was mutually agreed by us and the Trust. Any enquiries on their future plans should be directed to them. Thanks
  7. Hi JanetAnne, Without going into masses of detail the 3m margin applies as a general rule on the upper stretches of the main rivers. However in stretches where the river is thinner the margin is liable to be reduced (for example at Geldeston Dyke) so that there's a larger navigable area. Thanks, Tom
  8. Hi Boycee, I've heard back from a colleague and we are aware of the areas you refer to in your message. The growths were left there in accordance with the Environment Agency's guidance of there being a 3 metre margin, however it sounds like this may have been exceeded now. The growths in question (along with all margins we leave) are there for environmental reasons including providing a site for fish spawning and helping with water oxygenation. I've asked if the section could be checked next time someone is in the area to assess whether cutting needs to take place. Thanks, Tom
  9. Good morning Paladin, I can only assume there's reasoning for this area being left to grow out, however without speaking to some of my colleagues I can't be sure. I've followed up internally and will come back to you on here when I hear back. Thanks, Tom
  10. Hi SPEEDTRIPLE, Just wanted to assure you that there's no secret agenda for us being on here. I'm on here representing the Broads Authority to hopefully answer your questions, share some useful information and to help wherever I can. I work within the Communications Team at the BA, so I certainly don't know the answer to everything, but I'm always able to go and have a chat to the relevant officers when required. Just for a bit of context, we did have an account on the other Broads Forum and had been aware of Norfolk Broads Network for awhile, it took some time to get an account set up and get the resources in place to start using it as a direct way to engage with you all. Thanks, Tom
  11. Good morning Boycee, I've let David our lead weedcutter know about this and hopefully we'll be able to address the problem areas next time we're near Beccles - I'll keep you updated when I hear anything back. Cheers, Tom
  12. Hi dnks34, These days many electric vehicles aren't considerably more expensive to buy than ones powered by traditional petrol/diesel, unless you're talking about Teslas or BMW i8s (which unfortunately I don't think are entirely appropriate for our use!). We are also able to take advantage of discounted prices through our procurement process, reducing the cost further. We currently have one electric vehicle, a Renault Zoe, which was modestly priced and is popular in the office. It has a range of 180 + miles which is very usable for getting around the Broads area. Many modern electric vehicles thankfully aren't constrained by the poor infrastructure and usability of earlier models. As Peter has alluded to in his comment, we're committed to trying to reduce emissions where possible and replacing some of our older pool vehicles with electric ones is an obvious/easy win and is a chance for us to lead the way. It's worth mentioning that other bodies such as the Environment Agency already have a large fleet of electric vehicles. With regards to what's next... office heating/lighting, assessing the suppliers we use for services, evaluating the impact of goods we procure and increasing green initiatives in the office are all things which are being looked at (to name just a few). Reducing carbon impact is one of those things that can be achieved in a myriad of far-reaching ways and making some easy wins is a good place to start. I'll also testify that our office temperature is chilly at the best of times! Tom
  13. Hi all (Tom here, directly involved with the production of our newsletters), 1. Tree-cutting is not just taking place on the Ant, this is just what's programmed in for the coming weeks. Cutting takes place in pockets all-year round, it's just that the Ant is the current focus and was what our CME team wanted to highlight in this month's newsletter. As Marshman has stated we are just one partner in a complex system involving private landowners, Environment Agency, Natural England etc. 'Red tape' is there for a reason and ensures that works are undertaken properly and are in accordance with the correct regulations that we at the Authority have to abide to. It isn't just a case of anyone turning up and starting to chop down trees (and disposal is of course another part of the process to consider). Overall, bankside management is one of those tasks where there's often more than meets the eye, and there's also lot of area to manage. Thankfully we have a pool of amazing volunteers to draw upon to help us out with the task. If anyone has noticed any particular problem areas (and this goes for dredging and water plant growth too) simply let me know and I can personally make sure that the relevant people are made aware of it within the Authority. Most of the time we can act upon it quickly, and if not, it can be programmed in for a future time when we have the resources to deal with it. 2. Addressing comments about 'trumpet blowing' and there 'not being much to update on' - we (John and the Communications Team) produce these newsletters monthly to communicate what we're currently up to (and what we have been up to) with you, our stakeholders. We were criticised on this forum (and others) in the past for not including enough navigation/maintenance related information, so we've started to make sure that more updates on these topics are in the briefings. We try to ensure there's a balance of topics covered, and none of it is written in a way that is purposely self-aggrandising. 3. FWIW unless in specific exceptions (I can't think of any currently) the Boat and Bat trips at Whitlingham and any other tourism initiatives aren't funded by the navigation account - they're separate budgets. If anyone has any more questions please feel free to come back to me and I'll try my best to help. Have a good evening, Tom
  14. Hi all, Just wanted to let you know that after the furore on Facebook the other week, works to replace the missing channel markers on Breydon Water have commenced on Monday this week and will be running for approx. two weeks. We're replacing the missing ones with more durable steel posts and will be swapping out the temporary buoys that mark out the channel for new posts too. All vessels are asked to exercise caution when navigating in the area. Thanks, Tom
  15. Thanks for the link @oldgregg, certainly an interesting read and you raise a good point about the need to not fly in built-up areas, even in the relatively quiet (at times) Broads! We support the guidance given in the article. Drone flying has become popular here and it's important that the legislation is enforced and education is given to people. There's a lot of nature reserves, ancient monuments and wildlife here that can be quite easily disturbed or damaged by drones, so we fully support responsible piloting. Off the top of my head we haven't had any notable reports or incidents of 'drone misuse' here in the Broads. That isn't to say we haven't heard about people flying in less than favourable areas from time-to-time. There's guidance on our website if anyone is interested: https://www.broads-authority.gov.uk/visiting/drone-use Best, Tom
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