Search for community members to join new harbour committee launched

The Southwold Harbour repairs aim to make it safer for boats using it. Picture: NICK BUTCHER

A committee is being formed to oversee the management of Southwold Harbour - Credit: Nick Butcher

Four independent community members are being sought to be part of a new committee that will oversee the management of Southwold Harbour.

The harbour, a popular tourist attraction on the Suffolk coast, is under threat due to rising sea levels.

Last month, East Suffolk Council and Southwold Town Council agreed to form a Harbour Management Committee (HMC), which will be in charge of its operations.

The HMC will consist of five members of East Suffolk's cabinet and four independent members of the community, with law firm Ashfords recommending a near-equal split was required to meet the requirements of the Harbour Order of 1933.

East Suffolk said it was designed to ensure that there is more local involvement and engagement in the management and delivery of harbour operations and to safeguard its future.

The council said applicants for the four independent roles "must have an interest, or experience, in public service and be committed to developing the sound management and interests of the harbour, including its financial viability, the management of its assets and all other aspects of good port governance".

East Suffolk also said successful applicants will understand the importance of the harbour to Southwold and the wider area.

Urgent repairs at a cost of up to £1.1million are set to begin at the the harbour this spring after East Suffolk councillors approved emergency work last November.

The harbour’s north pier fender is damaged and in need of repair to protect boats navigating to and from the Blyth Estuary.

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The cost of the refurbishment will be funded from existing council capital budgets and reserves.

Kerry Blair, head of operations for East Suffolk, said the formation of the HMC represented a "bright future" for the harbour.

Kerry Blair, is ECL'�s new commercial director.

Kerry Blair, head of operations for East Suffolk Council - Credit: Archant

He said: "This is an exciting time for Southwold Harbour and is the latest proactive step in the development of the facility.

"We have been working closely with Southwold Town Council and other stakeholders to secure a bright future for the Harbour and the appointment of skilled and committed people to the HMC will reinforces our ambitions for the site.

"We look forward to hearing from a range of suitable applicants."

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