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Old 11 December 2005, 14:01   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Stamper
Clearly things may be signed sealed and actioned behind closed doors, so its a matter of enlightening those with alternative interests that we are out there, and "yes we do care".
This may appear to be the difficult bit but actually you're right; peeps can still be held accountable to the general public.

Will have a look at the thread on Pontoontalk.

Us
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Old 11 December 2005, 14:11   #12
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Commercial activity

There are alot of diving and fishing boats that gain there livelyhood from the river and harbour. A lot of diving clubs keep their RIBS in Littlehampton Marina.

How a councillor from Chichester-west, can be so ignorant of the peoples lives and livelyhoods and traditions in Littlehampton is beyond me.

On the way back from brighton when the wind gets up and you realise you wont be able to make it back round the bill, Littlehampton is the only place to run to.

This is a key lifeboat location and a vital refuge.

Support it or loose it.
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Old 13 December 2005, 15:25   #13
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Chairman of WSCC responds

I have just had a reply from the chairman of WSCC who has confirmed that Louise is representing the WSCC policy for the harbour correctly in her actions at the meeting.

I qoute from her email which is appended at he bottom, but the bit that counts is this :-

" whose policy is as expressed by Ms Goldsmith at the meeting"

So its official from the County council, its not a cock up they would like to get rid of the harbour.

I. M. H. O. This is their opportunity ,they must make the most of this opportunity in circumstance and time to try to get the financial noose from around their necks off.

Its a liability in accounting terms

IMHO I dont think this is about the sums of money today.. I think its about having to pay at all, ever. In the actions / conclusions of that meeting they were going off to check the legal authority and powers of the harbour board. They want to out by whatever means.

Chairmans email

Steve
==================================

Thank you for your email.

You will have noted that Ms Goldsmith is a member of the Littlehampton Harbour Board and also a Cabinet Member with responsibility for Environmental and Economic matters, so she is very well informed on matters concerning the harbour. The issues you point to are matters for the Executive of the County Council, whose policy is as expressed by Ms Goldsmith at the meeting. In the circumstances I do not think there is anything further which I can add.

The decision as to who should represent the County Council on outside bodies such as the harbour board is not one which it would be appropriate for me to take.

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Johnson
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Old 13 December 2005, 15:49   #14
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Steve,

I don't think that you are in isolation in your problems - there are lots of small harbours getting crappy deals from their Local Councils and Government. For all the b*llsh*t in the response you got, they generally can't see beyond the end of their noses, and don't see how sorting out or maintaining a harbour can be beneficial to the local community - just a financial drain.

There was an article in the Sunday Times a couple of weeks ago about re-vitalised beach resorts (Margate or Ramsgate in this case) and among the things that implied it was all getting better was a marina, full of lovely boats to watch going in and out of the harbour....

Trying to get a town council to fund ANYTHING to do with the harbour when there are just SO many other priorities to sort out (CCTV etc) is a nightmare - and one that I'm just beginning to try to get to the bottom of.

I suspect that the only way to do it is to make Harbours self sustaining - enough companies manage to do this running marinas, why can't our (mega unefficient) councils do the same?

Small Harbours all round the country are at risk, because LCCs see them as a quick way to save some cash. Is there any other way to try to save our harbours?

D...

P.S. It would be interesting to know when Ms Goldsmith last went out on a boat, used Littlehampton Harbour, or used Chi Harbour - which she allegedly gets for free.............
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Old 13 December 2005, 17:31   #15
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The way forwards.

You are absolutley bang on the mark that a new managament philosophy and financial restructuring is the future.

They are desperately trying to escape the reconstruction bill and they have seen the writing on the wall for the future years too.

They left that last meeting really focussed didn they

A/ considering ways to shut the harbour down.

B/ Trying to find a legal Loophole so that they can ingore the HArbour boards authority and precep demands.

Right now, it still comes down to the same thing, public opinion.

Unless enough people show opposition to the plans now it will become another PAGHAM 'natural' Harbour. NO harbour board at all, NO future.

Steve
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Old 13 December 2005, 17:59   #16
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When the hell will these idiots realise that people LIKE boats - people actually gather to watch them - these people are sometimes even called TOURISTS - I thought most councils loved the T word!!!

Small harbours in Wales are tourist magnets - the harbours that have been just left to go to seed are just visited by a few twitchers now and again!!!

Pembrey and Burry Port harbours are classic examples - only about 1 mile apart. Pembrey is just a muddy hole overgrown with weeds - Burry Port is thriving!!!
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Old 14 December 2005, 06:49   #17
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Historically has Littlehampton always been navigable and is the depth only necessary for the larger ships Des
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Old 14 December 2005, 08:01   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scary Des
Historically has Littlehampton always been navigable and is the depth only necessary for the larger ships Des
At low water we cannot even take our ribs out.
these photos were taken on Sunday 4th december at about 8AM. HW was at 00:27 and 12:41 so it had just reached its lower point. From the photo of the East beach you can tell how far the sea goes out at LW.

That very morning ie at 10AM Phil C & I took the Parker 750RS to Cowes. If the tides had been different that day we could have left earlier
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Old 17 December 2005, 15:36   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codprawn
When the hell will these idiots realise that people LIKE boats - people actually gather to watch them - these people are sometimes even called TOURISTS - I thought most councils loved the T word!!!

Small harbours in Wales are tourist magnets - the harbours that have been just left to go to seed are just visited by a few twitchers now and again!!!

Pembrey and Burry Port harbours are classic examples - only about 1 mile apart. Pembrey is just a muddy hole overgrown with weeds - Burry Port is thriving!!!

House of commons has a solent based Sailing club.

Their has been a response from the harbour Board and it would seem the best thing to do would be to support him. contact your MP here or use the details they give you.

The report..
Introduction
1. Littlehampton Harbour faces a funding crisis where income from operational activities is
insufficient to cover operational costs and maintain harbour infrastructure.
2. This brief paper is intended to provide a background to the situation and to facilitate the
identification of a way in which the long term future of the port can be secured.
3. Problems in funding the Harbour are not new. The Harbour Act of 1733 was introduced
because the harbour “is choked up and rendered almost useless” and “the people of
Littlehampton are unable to raise sufficient funds for the works.” Commissioners were
appointed and empowered to establish a schedule of charges to fund the necessary works.
The Harbour Act of 1793 gave the Commissioners authority to borrow money for
improvements.
4. By 1825, the works implemented under the previous Acts were greatly dilapidated and new
works were required to prevent the Harbour once again being choked up. The borrowing
rules were revised and the Commissioners were allowed to borrow up to £20,000 to restore
the harbour; a tenfold increase over the limit allowed in the 1793 Act.
5. The current, 1927, Act transferred the harbour undertaking to a new Harbour Board and
authorised West Sussex County Council to provide £71,522 to rebuild the harbour. The
West Sussex County Council Act of 1972 amended the 1927 Act and made The County and
District councils liable for any deficit incurred by the Board.
6. Repairs to Arun Parade and the Dickerworks were undertaken some years ago. These were
funded by the Board obtaining loans that the County and District Councils are repaying.
The East Pier and Railway Wharf were recently refurbished and funded by the same means.
New Harbour Offices and Workshops were funded through the sale of an operational wharf
for development.
Current Position
7. The Harbour Board recently commissioned a study by Cluttons and Halcrow which
concluded that the best financial and operational option for the future is to cease commercial
operations and operate as a leisure harbour. This view is supported by the Board and both
local authorities. The report identified the need to spend over £11m on harbour
infrastructure in the next 20 years if the harbour is to continue in operation.
8. The Harbour’s two commercial wharfs are leased to Tarmac until 2026, one of which has
been sublet to United Marine Dredging (UMD). UMD ceased aggregate landings in 2004
and has mothballed its plant. Tarmac’s current levels of imports are well below estimates.
As a result, the Harbour is generating an annual and anticipated growing deficit in the
region of £75,000 which must be met by the Council Tax payers of West Sussex County
Council and Arun District Council.
9. The Board has held discussions with Tarmac regarding their level of operations compared
with the income generated and the cost to the Board of the maintenance of an organisation
(pilots, infrastructure etc) to support their operations. One option is for the Board to
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increase charges to cover the full cost of the pilotage service and maintaining safety for
commercial shipping. The charge per vessel would need to increase by 300% to 400%.
There is no doubt that Tarmac would challenge such an increase.
10. There is little room for the Board to make economies in personnel or overheads and still
meet its statutory obligations, ensure safety within the harbour and complete the necessary
administration. If commercial operations ceased, savings of up to £67,000 per annum may
be achievable.
11. Under a leisure option, Railway Wharf could be sold for development. However, such use
would be contrary to both the current adopted Local Minerals Plan and the Local Plan. The
capital receipt could be invested and would generate interest to support the operational
costs. This, however, provides only a temporary solution. After around 13 years the capital
receipt would be required to fund replacement of infrastructure and the Harbour would
again be operating at a deficit and be unable to meet the cost of maintaining and replacing
infrastructure.
12. Currently, the Littlehampton Action Group working with local businesses, the County,
District and Town Councils, Harbour board and others has developed a wider “Vision” for
the town of Littlehampton that is currently out for public consultation. The intention is that
the final document should encompass not just the regeneration of the town centre but also
the enhancement of the West Bank of the River Arun and therefore the harbour.
SEEDA has been actively involved in these discussions and studies and are supportive of
the approach being taken to make the finally agreed plan all encompassing. The inclusion of
the West Bank within the “Vision” is as a result of the steady decline, closure and loss of the
traditional river/harbour related marine businesses and industries. An active harbour is
critical not just to the Harbour Board but for the vitality and continuing regeneration efforts
of the Town. However, many of the more traditional marine related businesses are not high
profit and therefore unable to generate the significant investment needed to replace the
harbour infrastructure.
13. The current Coastal Defence Strategy for the coastline immediately to the West of the river
mouth recommends some “managed re-alignment”. The consultation draft of the “First
Review of the Shoreline Management Plan for Beachy Head to Selsey Bill” recommends
“Hold the Line” for the defences of the River Arun and Arun Valley and a long term policy
of “Managed Re-alignment” for the coast to the West of the river mouth. Any managed realignment
will be gradual and will need the agreement of the various landowners which is
unlikely in the short term and may be affected by legal agreements covering the sea
defences of part of this frontage. It is hoped that the Environment Agency will commence
drafting a Beach Management Plan for the West Beach in the summer of 2005 and it is
anticipated that this plan may help address the issues of beach stabilisation, recycling of
material building up on the beach and ensuring a navigable channel for the ongoing
operation of the harbour.
14. The County and District Councils are unable to fund the Harbour to the extent that will be
required over the next few years - i.e. significant capital investment and continuing and
potentially growing revenue deficits. This may also coincide with both Local Authorities
budgets being further constrained by continued downward pressure being placed upon them
by Central Government as a result of the Council Tax capping regime. Furthermore, the
estimated costs are beyond the scale which could be sought from developers via planning
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section 106 agreements as attempts so to do would stop or seriously undermine new
development taking place.
15. Although the River Arun is a major drainage outfall, the Environment Agency (EA) will not
contribute to the Board expenses. Not only does the EA not contribute to the Board’s
expenses, but its failure to maintain shingle levels on the West Beach, for which it is the
Operational Authority, has caused the Board, and consequentially the two local authorities,
to incur extra expenditure.
Future Options
16. There are three main options available for the future of Littlehampton Harbour:
• Option 1. Cease maintaining the Harbour.
• Option 2. Continue as at present.
• Option 3. Cease commercial activities and become a leisure only port.
Option 1
17. Under this option, staff would be reduced to the minimum needed to supervise the harbour.
No maintenance would be carried out and as infrastructure failed it would be made safe but
not replaced. Eventually the river would revert to a drainage channel and a bar would form
across the harbour mouth which would progressively reduce the possibility of any craft from
using the harbour and hamper or reverse recent attempts to regenerate the town.
Option 2
18. Under this option, the Trust Port Review would not be implemented with regard to Board
composition. The Board would make an annual operational loss of circa £75,000. There
would be little maintenance to infrastructure unless the Local Authorities were to fund such
works, which in the present financial climate is very unlikely to be affordable. Until forced
to cease using the harbour due to access limitations the Board would continue, in effect, to
subsidise Tarmac by £70,000 per annum. There would be no management of the West
Beach, bar or shoal and the harbour would eventually become unusable.
Option 3
19. Under this option, the Trust Port Review could be implemented. The Board would be re
reconstituted and the power to precept removed. Should this option be adopted, the two
Local Authorities have already agreed to meet the cost of existing drainage loans and
provide a lump sum of £150,000. There would be no financial safety net for the Board if the
power to precept were relinquished as the local authorities would not contribute to future
costs.
20. Commercial shipping would cease and Railway Wharf sold for development or developed in
partnership with a third party (however, currently such use of it would be contrary to both
the adopted Local Minerals Plan and the Local Plan). Leisure berths would be increased by
at least 150 and additional ‘leisure orientated’ income generating activities investigated. The
Board would need not only to operate in surplus but also to generate a reserve for
replacement of infrastructure and assets as required.
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21. As stated above, this is the preferred option. However, although the best option financially,
it is still not sustainable beyond about 13 years without significant cash injections. In order
to continue as an operational harbour several possibilities have been identified that would
individually or collectively assist the longer term sustainability of the harbour without
increasing funding pressures being placed upon the two Local Authorities that would, if
agreed, increase the prospect of either or both being capped The options identified to date
include:
a. Responsibility for the flood defences, training walls and non operational
infrastructure being removed from the Board and placed with another authority.
b. The EA being directed to contribute significantly to the finances of the Board.
c. A new Harbour Act being drafted with funding from Central Government to rebuild
the ports essential infrastructure.
d. A new Harbour Act being drafted with funding from all West Sussex Council Tax
payers to rebuild the Port’s essential infrastructure.
e. SEEDA being requested to investigate the feasibility of facilitating the completion of
the Wey and Arun Canal project.
Conclusion
As a result of the issues and constraints set out above it is clear that without unequivocal
support from the Department for Transport, the three authorities have no obvious means to
progress The Trust Port Review. Without external assistance the long term sustainability of
the Harbour Board cannot be demonstrated and hence a Harbour Revision Order will not
succeed. Further, without such assistance, the medium term prospects for Littlehampton
Harbour are uncertain and therefore damaging to the continued regeneration of the town and
its economy.
JOHN SHARWOOD
Chief Executive
Littlehampton Harbour Board
KIERAN STIGANT NIGEL CROAD
Director for Environment & Development Resources Director
West Sussex County Council Arun District Council
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Old 17 December 2005, 18:04   #20
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It seems a fairly radical political issue really.

Option 3 does sound hopeful from a leisure (boating) point of view. Quite a dramatic play for funding.

Not having read it all in great detail, is there a possibility of revenue from development of some harbourside areas as residential and good £££ prospects ?

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