Decision details

River Patrols and Enforcement

Decision Maker: Council

Decision status: For Determination

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


The Council considered the report of the Director of Service Delivery seeking approval to finalise and enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the purpose of improved enforcement presence and action on the River Blackwater, subject to the provision and insurance of a single Personal Water Craft (PWC) by Maldon District Council (MDC).  The report also sought approval of a revision to the Capital budget request approved by the Council in February 2020 from £40,000 to £17,000.


It was noted that the Council was responsible for ensuring that the bylaws relating to the tidal River Blackwater were enforced.  The report provided further detail regarding this, the arrangements the Council currently has for discharging these and the equipment used.


The Leader of the Council advised that there had been some questions regarding whether the proposed partnership should be a Service Level Agreement (SLA) or MoU and explained that because it was non-financial (i.e. the Council was not paying the Police to provide a service) that a MoU was a better term of agreement.  The MoU allowed for both parties to work together for mutual benefit.


The River Bailiff provided the Council with further details of the proposal and explained that as part of the partnership working there would be a dedicated Police Officer for the River Blackwater who could provide a targeted response and he highlighted the resources that had been offered as part of this.  In response to a question the Officer advised that the PWC would be based either at Burnham-on-Crouch or Boreham and in respect of training, all Officers would need to meet the police and any national criteria to use the boat.  Members were advised that all monies relating to bylaws went to the Crown, the main holders of the legislation, however the Council could include that costs were awarded to the Council.  Information regarding response times was provided and how use of other resources such as land assets could reduce response times.


The Leader of the Council proposed that the recommendations as set out in the report be agreed and the Council moved forward quickly to deal with anti-social behaviour and speeding vessels on the River.  This was duly seconded and agreed.




(i)              That principle of a River enforcement partnership through means of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Essex Police; for an initial three year period, followed by a gateway review and scope to renew for a further two year period be agreed;


(ii)            That the Capital Budget be revised and approved for £17,000 to procure a single Personal Water Craft which Maldon District Council will provide as part of the future MoU with Essex Police for Patrols and Enforcement upon the River Blackwater.

Publication date: 08/07/2020

Date of decision: 02/07/2020

Decided at meeting: 02/07/2020 - Council

Accompanying Documents: