Councillor hits back at dredger criticism

The dredger working in the harbour on Monday. Picture: Sam Jones.
The dredger working in the harbour on Monday. Picture: Sam Jones.

The borough council cabinet member for harbours and flood protection has hit back against claims that the Whitby dredger is not doing enough work.

In a stern response Cllr Mike Cockerill said that the dredger removed the most amount of silt in January for four years, with February’s figures matching 2016 and bettering 2015.

He said that conditions at sea play a significant part in the work the dredger can undertake: “I hope it is now clear that although it may be calm within the harbour, the sea conditions outside the harbour control the ability to safely go to sea to split the vessel to allow the dumping of the dredged material at the licensed location. Holidays and sickness also play their part. Although the dredger might not be going to sea it does afford the opportunity to undertake essential routine maintenance which is essential considering the harsh environment in which the system has to work.”

He added: “The significant investment, out of harbour funds, built up over the years has provided a dredging system that is more efficient and safer than the one it replaced. I hope that the facts I have provided will reduce or even stop the unfounded adverse comments that emanate from some sources.”

Cllr Cockerill’s response came after questions were posed in recent weeks asking if the dredger is doing enough work.