Solva Harbour Society News Letters

SHS News Letter Autumn 2021.

Another summer season has passed, and the boats have now been lifted out for the Winter. 2020 and 2021 presented many challenges due to the ongoing Covid 19 Pandemic. The Quay was heavily used by staycation visitors, and this has presented many challenges for next season, as Solva has been written up in national newspapers as ‘a great destination for holidaying, Paddle boarding and Kayaking!’

The Society successfully held its first General Meeting on 31st July 2021, a new Committee was elected and put in place. Formally monthly Committee meetings are now taking place each month on the first Tuesday of each month, . Every Wednesday morning, a small management team meeting takes place in the Café on the Quay and urgent operational matters are addressed and the previous week’s correspondence dealt with. Please note that SHS Ltd does not provide instant replies to emails, they are responded to each week after the management team meeting. The Clerk to SHS, Nicola Evans is in the office in the morning from 10-1300hrs for payment of bills and receipt of remittances etc.

The new kayak rack is nearing completion and members will be allocated labelled spaces in due course. The Committee is considering the use and storage of kayaks and paddle boards and how they are to be managed in future.

Discussions are ongoing about the use of the Trinity Quay Slipway, and it is likely that the Trinity Slip will only be used by fully paid up members with labelled boats in 2022. Visitors will have to launch after paying a fee from Sand Quay. Discussions are taking place with the Community Council about how to manage visitors next year and how to keep the harbour safe in view of the significant increase in visitors on ‘staycations’. The Committee are mindful of the needs of the membership and visitors to the community. We are considering a duty member scheme to assist the Harbour Master during busy holiday periods

The Committee has set up four small subgroups to advise the Committee on the management of : Finance, Moorings, Membership and Policies. The Committee are aware of increasing cost pressures for insurance, harbour bed lease, equipment, for example replacing the CCTV, and so on, and the cost of activities where payment is required and not carried out by members volunteering their time. 2021 was a significant year for damage to and thefts from boats and the moorings Committee are reviewing the position at present and will make recommendations in due course. Insurance costs are rising.

Income for SHS Ltd has been less than expenditure for the past two years and costs have increased, so it is inevitable that some charges and fees may increase for 2022 and this is an ongoing discussion. Annual standing charges, for example Insurance, Honorariums, currently  stand at £165 per member to meet the essential costs of operating SHS Ltd. The Committee is looking at income generation to help balance the books and maintain reserves. A five year business plan is being developed.

The Committee is keen to engage with shareholders on a regular basis and to seek their views on workload sharing by increasing membership volunteering and planned increases. Future works will include repairing the running moorings and the Quay walls and managing moorings for visiting boats.

The first ‘Shareholders Forum / Get Together’ will take place on 14th October 2021, venue to be confirmed. A ‘First Free Drink’ will be provided for each attending member and guest. We intend to hold two meetings each year in the Autumn and Spring.

There is no formal agenda for the Forum; and discussion, and feedback, can be wider ranging on key issues for the Society and members in the coming years.

The Committee would like to thank the Harbour Master, the Café on the Quay Team and those who kept the Society running during the Pandemic. Hundreds of hours are taken up each year keeping the Society running successfully.

The Covid 19 Pandemic is far from over and the way we manage our lives is likely to be changed for some time to come. We will have to meet many challenges in the future.

Enjoy your Winter maintenance and look forward to an enjoyable season in 2022 when hopefully the Solva Regatta and Raft race will return after a two year break.

Stay Safe and we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

David Phillips, Chairman, SHS Ltd           13th October 2021.