Harbour charges set despite objections

Whitby Harbour view. pic Richard Ponter 155116b
Whitby Harbour view. pic Richard Ponter 155116b

Increases in harbour fees and charges at Whitby are going to be implemented despite objections from fishermen and other users.

The borough council said the arguments and alternative suggestions put forward were not in the best interests of the long term future of the harbour.

Instead, Cllr Mike Cockerill, the borough council’s portfolio holder for Harbours, Assets, Coast and Flood Protection said “the recommended increases are necessary and will assist in allowing further investment opportunities to come to fruition”.

While some of the charge increases are a matter of pence, others equate to a 10% price hike for using Whitby harbour and its facilities.

For example wharfage rates on goods shipped such as timber will increase from 73p per year to 77p and vessels with cargo coming into Whitby Harbour from outside the UK are increasing from £1.34 to £1.41.

However, passenger dues in addition to harbour dues for vessels carrying up to 12 passengers will be charged at £562.60 for 2016/17 as opposed to £553.81.

Cllr Cockerill said he considered the state of the local economy and level of income but even with the increase there will still be a shortfall for earmarked projects and funding applications will have to be submitted.

These include the future format of the dredger used in Whitby and Scarborough and other major investments, again for both harbours, with existing reserves likely to be insufficient.

He added: “I received a number of written and verbal communications strongly against the increase recommended in the report and have taken these into consideration. Some requested increases in line with inflation whilst others suggested a lower percentage increase. However, although most strongly put, I remain to be convinced the arguments are in the best long term interests of the harbours.

“I believe the recommended increases are necessary and will assist in allowing further investment opportunities to come to fruition.”