A lucky escape

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I am writing in response to your report “Troubled water for board” and the apparent lack of interest for two vacancies on the Whitby Harbour Board.

I have not seen any advertisement or notice stating that these vacancies are available other than on the SBC website after I read the article. Why then is the Whitby Harbour Board chairman “surprised by the subdued interest”?

When the Whitby Harbour Board was set up in 2010 I applied to become a member.

I felt, as a professional mariner, it would be a worth while cause and that I could put my experience and knowledge to good use in the local area.

I went through the application process and wrote down why I thought I would be suitable - I spent 12 years in the Merchant Navy, am a Master Mariner, I currently serve as a pilot for busy nearby port, I am a RNLI lifeboat crew member and I have a small fishing boat in Staithes.

I thought that that pretty much covered every aspect of knowledge and understanding that may be required by a harbour board member. Also, being only 35 years of age at the time I thought it would be good to have a relatively young member on the board.

After applying I was told that I would almost certainly be chosen as there had been few other applications and that in fact the closing date had been extended.

So, a few weeks later I was surprised and disappointed to receive a letter from SBC informing me that my application was not successful.

Apparently I “scored low on commercial finance and leisure industry experience” and that other applicants were more suitable.

Looking at the original chosen board members (and not many are left) I will let your readers come to their own conclusions about who was most suited.

Maybe if I had a degree in renewable energy or was the director of an offshore wind farm company then I would have been more likely to be selected as a board member.

Given the chaos that has surrounded the harbour board since its inception I am extremely pleased that I was not chosen and I feel like I have had a lucky escape.

I imagine that when the pilot scheme ends in March 2013 the board will be dissolved anyway - I have since heard that it was set up to fail.

Needless to say I will not be applying to fill one of the vacancies and I doubt anyone else will!

Lee Jackson, Staithes Lane, Staithes by email