Little progress made to appoint new harbour board members

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LITTLE progress has been made to appoint new independent members to Whitby’s Harbour Board.

The revelation was made at a meeting of the town’s harbour board on Thursday 31 January.

Skipper Jon Whitton, who is also vice chairman of Whitby Harbour Users Group asked members how many applicants there had been, when interviews will be undertaken and what was the timescale for their appointment to become active board members.

But Coun Mike Cockerill said: “There were seven applications and four were shortlisted for interview.

“Due to ill health and restructuring of the council’s democratic services team, there has been an unfortunate delay in progressing the appointments.
“This is now being pursued and further details as to timescale and process will be reported to the next harbour board meeting.”

Members then deliberated whether the process should be put on hold until a decision has been made as to the future of the harbour board which is currently only a pilot scheme.

A task group will soon be put together from councillors who are members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee who will look into the future of the harbour board at the end of March.

They will then report back to Scarborough Borough Council’s cabinet who will take the final decision on whether or not it should continue.

Edwin Black told the meeting: “I think we would be very stupid to appoint people to a harbour board that will fail on 31 March,” he said.

“We’ve been operating with two independent members for two months now.”

Coun Herbert Tindall added: “I am quietly confident the harbour board will pass muster. I don’t think the appointments should jeopardise their findings.”

And Coun John Flinton said: “It isn’t the task group that have the final say, it’s the cabinet.”

Members of the board agreed for interviews to take place, despite the board’s future being uncertain.

Whitby’s Harbour Board currently has members Councillor Herbert Tindall, Coun John Flinton, Coun Mike Cockerill. Since the resignation of Coun Sandra Turner, no decision has yet been made about her replacement although Coun Dorothy Clegg is currently acting as a substitute member.

It also has two independent members Edwin Black and Tony Hornigold.

Speaking after the meeting Coun Mike Cockerill said he hoped Whitby Harbour Board would be up to full strength - with eight members - at its next meeting on 15 April.