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Have your say on iconic harbour’s future

PUBLISHED: 15:23 10 January 2019 | UPDATED: 15:24 10 January 2019

Southwold harbour at dusk. Picture: Nick Butcher

Southwold harbour at dusk. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

People are being asked to express their views on proposals for the future management of Southwold Harbour.

The Harbour Inn is now back to normal after the flooding L-R Jonathan Barnes, George Taylor, Tom Heal, Alap Dave, Andy Dyas   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe Harbour Inn is now back to normal after the flooding L-R Jonathan Barnes, George Taylor, Tom Heal, Alap Dave, Andy Dyas Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

It comes as a consultation is launched next week, with two drop-in events and a public meeting to be held in the coastal town.

Southwold Town Council and Waveney District Council has proposed the creation of a new strategic body, which would oversee harbour operation, bringing expertise and experience to the management of the port.

Waveney District Council leader Mark Bee said: “This consultation is a critical part of an open and transparent decision making process about Southwold Harbour.

“We want local people to be central to the harbour’s future and their voice matters.

The waves made their way down the prom in Southwold  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe waves made their way down the prom in Southwold Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“The model being considered during this consultation will provide additional openness and accountability about port decisions, address concerns which have already been voiced by various stakeholders but also allow Waveney District Council a level of control when committing to the considerable investment that the harbour needs.

“Local influence is absolutely vital but we must also ensure the future viability and sustainability of the harbour and we believe these proposals get the balance just right.”

The consultation begins on Saturday, January 19 with an initial drop-in event in Southwold and will also include an online survey for stakeholders and members of the public to complete.

Information gathered from the consultation will then be considered before a final recommendation is made for councillors to consider in March.

Huge waves engulkfed the prom at high tide  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNHuge waves engulkfed the prom at high tide Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The structure being considered would establish a Harbour Management Committee as a means of governing the Southwold Harbour Lands and would consist of a group of councillors and experts committed to securing long-term investment, while also reinforcing transparency and local involvement.

Last month, campaigners vowed to continue to fight for their rights after a meeting was held to try and resolve who controls the harbour in the future.

The drop-in events will be held at the Sailing Club at Southwold Harbour on Saturday, January 19 from 10am to 1pm and at the Methodist Church Hall in Southwold on Saturday, January 26 from 10am to 1pm.

A public meeting will be held at St Edmunds Hall in Southwold on Wednesday, February 6 at 6.30pm.

Huge waves crashed against the prom in Southwold  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNHuge waves crashed against the prom in Southwold Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The online survey, which will be available next Friday, January 18 at www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/southwold-harbour also features full details of the proposals.

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