It’s been a busy year. Here are the standout events and issues that have arisen, month by month.
AGM March 2014
1 – Rufus Burdett, Ali Shire, Bruce Heagerty, Hugh Swann, Steve Watts, Mark Davies, Edward Surridge, Nicola Hilton elected as Directors
2 – Ownership and management of the boatyard
• At this point it was understood that Jericho Wharf Trust will own the entire site, including the yard, and that JCBY’s responsibility will be to appoint a manager for the yard, and oversee that element of the site. Largely due to..
• JWT will be raising the funds for the building of the community centre and boatyard (etc). Steve Watts pointed out that JCBY may still have to raise enough funds to buy tools and machinery to kit out the yard initially.
3 – Charity v Co-op v CiC status
• Matt Morton concluded that JCBY members can continue to ask JCBY directors about this matter, and maybe a decision will have been made by the time of the 2015 AGM.
• No Decisions have been made on this yet. Last week Jamie Hartzell, who has founded a number of different ethical and environmental orgs agreed to come and chat to JCBY about the various options. David Feeny has also agreed to advise us.
Adrian Arbib was given free lifetime membership of JCBY thanks to all his unselfish hard work on the boaters’ behalf.
Jeff Whyatt, who presided over the selling of the boatyard and our eviction after the protest was moved sideways within CRT. He had not only been very difficult about even communicating about us getting moorings on the boatyard site, he had actually refused them.
Ed resigns from JWT.
Nicola drew up an Operations and Principles document for the Boatyard Business Plan.
Steve Watts voted in as replacement for Ed on JWT.
Ed asked not to associate JCBY name with any further anti-SIAHAF campaigning.
July 17th JCBY Open Meeting to discuss the SIAHAF planning application.
1) To oppose the SIAHAF planning app for lack of mooring provision in the yard.
Result: 13 for 2 abstain
2) Bridge preferred to be at southern end to site: 13 for 2 abstain
3) Fixed Bridge (rather than lift bridge): 12 for 1 against 2 abstain
Mark replied to latest plan in accordance with these votes.
Ali sent round a list of concerns over tenancy of the yard which we have worked on and shared with JWT:
• JWT guarantees to JCBY that an operational community boatyard will always be present at the site offering genuine DIY facilities – with no future change
• If possible an elected board of JCBY trustees will be given the covenant for the community boatyard.
• If possible then the JCBY should be given the freehold of the ground site of the boatyard as long as they agree to the upkeep of the yard. If this is not possible then rent will be kept low (peppercorn style) or representative of fair costs relating to the upkeep of the community boatyard only.
• The boatyard must be enabled to remain a not for profit organisation.
• Financial independence from the Community Centre must be guaranteed so that if the community centre fails, the boatyard will not be required to support it etc.
• If the umbrella group fail financially the boatyard facilities will remain open for use
• Where qualifications and suitability for posts and jobs in the running of the boatyard are equal, preference will be shown to candidates who live and/or work on the canal in the Oxfordshire area.
• In the awarding of locker space in the DIY workshop and in use of the worktables, preference will be given to narrowboaters who lack such space elsewhere.
• That the community boatyard will be able to operate as a fully functioning boatyard during normal working hours (8am-6pm from Monday to Friday). Work that does not require noisy power tools will be allowed to continue at other times. Times, noise levels and implications must be understood by all involved parties. This agreement will not be subject to change or additional limitations in the future.
• That a legally binding document be drawn up to represent the above
• That a legally binding covenant be drawn up for the perpetuity of the community boatyard
We are still awaiting a letter confirming agreement to some or all of this from JWT.
Hugh put up a notice on JCBY website saying that if you should like to see any of the JCBY minutes then all you need to do is email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also now renew your JCBY membership online.
Secretary’s Report for the Year AGM, March 2014-April 2015
EGM September 2014
Communications Protocol accepted. Most important part of which states:
‘Any director who makes public utterances about any issue relating to the canal (other than that which we have voted on) must make it absolutely clear that the opinions expressed are personal, and not those of the company directors as a whole’. If not they shall be invited to step down from JCBY as a director and an AGM may be held in which they may be voted off.
Clause 20 on Gender Equality.
After many runs at it Mark Davies came up with the following para to put to bed Ed’s concerns over JCBY striving for gender equality that stretch back to the previous AGM.
‘JCBY will always strive to have a broadly equal number of male and female directors, and where a vacancy exists, all things being equal, preference will be shown to candidates whose election would address any gender imbalance. However, where the practical skills or experience of a candidate are considered by a quorum of existing Directors to be of paramount usefulness to JCBY in the achievement of its objectives, this aspiration may be waived.’
The inclusion of both new clauses above was voted on: 5 for; 2 abstentions
Communications Protocol signed by all directors.
Much discussion of what community workshops should contain:
10-12 lockers principally to support small businesses. £100 month.
At least 3 large work tables to share.
Priority for boaters.
Post Boxes to be made available for boaters for receiving post.
Workshops could be used for community group workshops in the evenings.
Discovered that due to complaints from people in Combe Road, JCBY was to lose 3m2 from communal workshops. Community Centre to lose far more.
Osney Dry Dock came up for rent and this was considered by JCBY as a possible temporary option.
Nic and Ed went to investigate. Nic considered Osney unsuitable for various reasons:
It is on the river and will be unavailable to narrowboaters during flooding.
Boaters will be required to pay an extra river licence fee to reach it.
The boatyard would be closed after 5pm and therefore boaters would be unable to live on their boats.
General restrictions put on site by Environment Agency would make it very difficult to run a business there.
The EA would require it for their sole use for some months of the year.
6th Jan 2015
Bruce and members of JWT had a very successful meeting with CART (Neil Owen, Stuart Mills, CRT Property Director; Jane Hennell, Area Planner). A major breakthrough as they have agreed to 2-3 moorings, depending on the position of the bridge etc. It was felt that direct lines of positive communication had been established.
C&RT are happy to facilitate a discussion between College Cruisers and JCBY for possible mooring swap.
1. The Bridge was also discussed at the C&RT meeting; they are in favour of a fixed bridge with horseshoe ramps situated at the plaza. They are not as keen on two bridges but reluctantly agreed to consider that option. They estimate that the long term cost of a fixed bridge or moving bridge would be the same, thus they think the two-bridge option too expensive to consider. (Meeting coming up between CRT, council and JWT at end of month to discuss further).
2. C&RT also said that they were keen to reinstate the Oxford Basin. This would also favour a fixed bridge as canal traffic would increase further once it is up and running.
West Area Planning Committee is Tuesday 10th February:
Johnny Sandleson says he will build whole of boatyard:
“To your first point about the wall trellising, absolutely. We are going to be busy trellising. To your second point on the boatyard. Absolute clarity. We build the boatyard and the chandlery building as Felicity said up to and including the slab above the boatyard and within that section the foundations clearly will be for …the community hall above the boatyard. But not the foundations for the rest of the community hall. We are doing the entirety of the boatyard, the chandlery and the slab, the dry docks and the development of the bridge, the piazza.”
To celebrate we had a Party on Feb 21st
The Gees and a guest band played. Many raffle tickets were bought. Over 2 barrels of beer were drunk and many sausage and onion sandwiches eaten. Despite the raffle tickets you needed to win these things being only £2.50, over £200 was made for JCBY – win win win!
Boatyard Manager: Mark concerned that we need to start thinking about how to appoint, and whether we need someone lined up before the building work begins, so they can help us avoid costly errors.
Nicola came to the JWT meeting on 19th March to present the Boatyard Business Plan complete with principles of operation to JWT along with Steve and myself.
Now working on additions suggested by JWT.
1) We have started putting together a boatyard needs List for both the architects Howarth Tompkins and the Section 106 agreement overseen by the planning department.
1) Shuttering all round to prevent noise pollution of rest of site.
2) Some kind of fireproof curtains/shuttering to prevent sanding dust from one dock reaching another where painting might be taking place.
3) Extractor fan(s) and possibly apparatus for moving it around on the ceiling
4) Dock gates for the two dry docks (don’t think we’ll need one for the wet dock)
6) Drainage hole at bottom of two dry docks with syphon/pumping mechanism for pumping water back out into canal.
7) Gates to lock boatyard at night
Other things we are adding to the wish list are:
A sprinkler system,
sunken diesel tank,
charge points and water taps for moorings.
Ali investigated the idea of sunken skips, which are possible.
2) Some Directors keen to investigate possibility of using the vacant site for boat repairs in windows before work begins on site and in any potential ‘windows.
a) Bruce to include enquiry about when work is likely to start in next communication to Matt Watts
b) Ed to find out about liability insurance for using the yard on a DIY basis and with self-employed contractors.
c) Ed to draft request letter to SIAHAF and send round for comment from other directors. This not to be sent until we know about insurance and are happy with letter, ie agreed by directors.
3) Self-draining docks. [The syphoning idea involved a pipe fixed to the underside of the bridge or under the canal]
Ed has measured the difference in height between the canal and the mill stream to be (at present) 3 feet. This would not be deep enough to drain the whole of the dry docks into the Mill Stream.
Other problems with the idea include:
a) Getting permission from CRT to dig hole under canal
b) CRT may well charge for each extraction
c) SIAHAF (or Cheer Team) would have to be persuaded to pay for the excavation beneath the canal and put in a pipe that stretched down to a lower point on the Mill Stream
Resolution: A vote was taken on whether to ask Haworth Tompkins to investigate this possibility further at this time. 1 for, 4 against, 2 abstained.
Therefore no action to be taken on this issue at present.
At present in the JCBY business plan JCBY is to pay JWT £30,000 year, the money from which will go towards the upkeep of the yard and against any unforeseen eventualities.
There has been much murmuring about where this figure has come from but in fact it was from Steve Watt’s own estimates. This is still up for discussion with JWT. The business plan describes it as a ‘social rent’. Money to be used for the upkeep of the yard.
At the end of the month (April 2015) JWT will be discussing the bridge into the square with CRT, JWT and SIAHAF. Bruce has been asked to go along as the JCBY rep for JWT.