Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Dozens of people flock to annual public meeting

Visitors talk to Broads Authority staff and members at the new workshop
By Lorna Marsh, Head of Communications

We held a very successful annual public meeting at our new workshop in Thorpe on Saturday combined with an open morning showcasing our work.
The event gave around 50 attendees the opportunity to talk to staff and members about the work of the Broads Authority with various stands in the workshop displaying recent projects and priorities.
Chief Executive Dr John Packman gave a presentation repeated over two very productive and positive sessions in the upstairs meeting room followed by questions and answers.
Each session ended with a round of applause and a comment at the end of the first, and busiest, was that it had been a “lovely” public meeting as it gave visitors the chance to find out about the sometimes little known work the Authority was undertaking.
Stands in the workshop itself focused on planning, invasive species management, the work of our ecologists, visitor centres and tourism and dredging and maintenance projects.
John’s presentations went into further detail about achievements over the past year including: 
  • The European funded Prisma project which re-used dredged material to restore an eroded spit on Salhouse Broad
  • Work to improve access and interpretation at St Benet’s Abbey
  • Taking over the responsibility of Breydon water with the help of the new patrol launch Spirit of Breydon
  • The revamp of Great Yarmouth Yacht Station
  • Management of invasive species
  • The Love the Broads visitor giving scheme
  • The How Hill scrape which has enhanced the habitat and resulted in a breeding pair of avocets
  • Mud pumping at Heigham Sound
  • The money-saving move to Yare House
  • Various large scale planning decisions including the Pegasus development at Oulton Broad
  • A new mud wherry and of course the opening of the workshop to undertake 25% more dredging and save £75,000 a year for reinvestment in other front line services. 
He also listed the priorities for the future as improving facilities at Whitlingham, a new corporate website design, the catchment approach project to care for the wider Broads area and managing climate change.
A separate presentation was given on the significant work carried out so far on managing the river Chet.
Comments from the public included those relating to the Chet work, the tolls structure for unpowered boats, ongoing planning issues at Thorpe Island, canoe trails, moorings and the management of Breydon.
Many attendees also took up the opportunity to have a trip on the Spirit of Breydon.
The event followed the official opening of the workshop and the naming of the new mud wherry Iona the previous day, as reported in the Eastern Daily Press.


  1. So about fifty good folk bothered to turn up. Hardly surprising, many of us were out sailing or fishing. Perhaps this was the hope, that so many of us would have something better to do rather than attend the annual self congratulatory a.g.m.

  2. I was very sorry to have had to miss the Annual Meeting for the first time (and, yes, I was away cruising in the Netherlands, but at short notice to help a friend!) but i wish i was there and will be very keen to learn in detail of the questions asked and answers given once I have been fully briefed. David Broad

  3. Well spun chaps, but lots of questions remain. Boats alledgedly trespass moored (repeated ad nauseum by BA personnel) does not mean they actually are.

    Check your facts and tell the truth. Freedom of information requests can work wonders.

    Again I will repeat....why are the BA dragging the City Council into posting legally dubious unenforceable notices on boats on Thorpe Island. Chloe Smith as well as the City Council appear to be having the wool pulled over their eyes by Cally Smith and whoever is 'operating' her. It's all gone quiet on the 'Chloe' front now, so I imagine the communication between her, the Council and the BA has been red hot.

    Unfortunately the truth will always out, and I personally think heads should roll over the constant harassment of my landlord.

  4. Nick,

    I am not on the Planning Committee but the activities of the Authority with regard to enforcement are fully detailed in the committee papers and in the public domain. The latest is at


    There is always the opportunity to ask written questions at each meeting of the Authority or its committees by prior notice if you want to query the reports.

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  6. Incidentally, Archant have been down here and taken photographs and interviewed several people relating to this. The story was definitely extremely newsworthy and was due to be published weeks ago.

    Clearly it has now been shelved, and the cosy relationship revealed between Archant and the BA would appear to be the reason. Mustn't have anything printed which shows the BA in a bad light must we? It confirms to me how toothless and manipulated the local press is here in Norfolk, and unless I am shown otherwise I really believe that is the case.

    This is no surprise knowing how obsessed the BA are with their media portrayal.

    I wonder how long my comments will remain here?

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  9. Dear Nick,

    We have no issue with engaging with the involved parties over this, did so directly at the meeting and no doubt will continue to do so. You are also free to comment on this blog but we have had to remove inappropriate posts and any subsequent comments which referred to them in criticising them.

    The situation now is that this issue is back with the planning inspectorate because of a technicality in his report so outside the hands of the Broads Authority and we will await the independent decision.

    The papers are in the public domain on our site, as referred to above.

  10. I stand by my previous comments regarding the fake Enforcement Notices issued by BA Rangers on behalf of Norwich City Council after instruction by Cally Smith.

    I got very little in response at the Public Meeting regarding this although that little untruth of Tresspass Moorings was trotted out again.....however many times you repeat this it doesn't make it true.

    Like I said before, the truth will out.

  11. It's lucky that the news of the latest Toll Raid wasn't made public until after the Public Meeting or the BA would have had to change venue to fit all the protestors in. This comment area would be in meltdown.

  12. The current tolls issue which you refer to has been in the public domain since last September. Here is cut and paste for the pubic report:

    and posts on the Norfolk Broads Forum and East Coast Boating news:

    Members will be discussing this today so a statement will follow.

    While we welcome open, reasoned debate about the issues and decisions faced by the Broads Authority, aggressive referrals to staff, management or members will not be published.

  13. Your link refers to Toll Raid number 1. Toll raids number 2 only made it onto the Agenda of the Broads Authority in the last week, so to correct you, no it hasn't been in the public domain.

    I'm just back from the Broads Authority Meeting to discuss Toll Raids 2, and a U-Turn has taken place. The new post will now be funded entirely from the National Park Grant, and rightly so.

  14. Yes, this was the same proposal with full authority meeting papers up on our website a week before the meeting.