Letter: Call for public meeting over Whitby piers

Whitby harbour
Whitby harbour

Is it not time we had a public meeting in Whitby to discuss the future of Whitby Piers and the Harbour?

I wonder what Whitby Town Council and our representatives on Scarborough Borough Council are doing to progress this issue, as I have seen no responses to the numerous letters in the Whitby Gazette.

I would also urge all Whitby and District residents and businesses to view Monday’s Borough Council meeting at http://scarborough.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/239903 where Cllr Cockerill expresses his concern and annoyance after viewing the edited version of his interview about the Whitby Piers Coast Protection Works recently broadcast by the BBC Look North programme.

In item 9 Cllr Cockerill suggests that Whitby Town Council and North Yorkshire County Council should contribute to the funding needed for the piers – can I ask when has Filey or Scarborough or any other parish been asked to contribute to funding for their towns/parishes for something as fundamental as sea defences.

Also I understand Scarborough does not have a town or parish council, and therefore their residents do not have to pay an additional precept as we do in Whitby and local parishes for various works carried out in these locations.

Don’t forget this will now include the running of public toilets where parish councils can afford it, except in Scarborough where the borough council will continue to support such facilities.

Cllr Cockerill maintains work is progressing for the repairs to be carried out, but the last in-depth expensive report into repair work required was carried out in 2009, this now needs to be repeated to some extent, before the council knows how much the work will cost, and whether the council can afford to progress the work, which also appears to be dependent on EU funding, so as far as I can ascertain we still do not have a date for work to be carried out.

When has any maintenance work to our listed piers ever been carried out by Scarborough Borough Council, and what is the maintenance schedule agreed by the borough council?

Also can I ask the borough council why when North Yorkshire County Council has managed to complete one of the two high priority requirements of ‘Whitby Coastal Strategy 2’ which identified the following as key priorities over the next five financial years (2012/13 – 2017/18), the borough council appears likely to fail to deliver the other:

• A capital scheme is needed with high priority across Management Units 4(CD) to 7(A) (Sandsend Road) to address issues of coastal erosion and slope instability.

• A capital scheme is needed with high priority at Management Units 17 and 18 (Whitby Harbour piers and extensions) to address issues of poor structural condition and, for the pier extensions, poor overtopping performance.

I will be sending this letter to Whitby Town Council asking them to instigate a public meeting to find out exactly what the borough council’s intentions are, so watch this space.

Joyce Stangoe

St Andrew’s Road, Whitb