A delegated decision was made last week by deputy leader of the council, Stuart Hutchinson to offer the management of Ventnor Harbour to a third party, through the open market.
As well as the Ventnor Town Council, a number of other parties have shown interest in the management of the Harbour, which the Isle of Wight council announced their intention to shed responsibility for last year. That followed leader of the council, Dave Stewart saying the high cost of running the Harbour was “just not right”.
Ventnor Harbour currently has an operating loss of £69,000 before depreciation each year. The annual income from moorings and leases is £16,000.
Duty to remove seaweed
The removal and disposal of sea weed (macroalgae) costs the Isle of Wight council £75,000 per annum. The current contract for this until end of March 2020.
The council has a duty to remove and dispose of the macroalgae to prevent a statutory nuisance being created through its accumulation and decay, so if negotiations for someone to take over management of the Harbour have not been concluded by 1 April 2020, the contract to get rid of the seaweed will need to be renewed.
Seaweed removal contract could be higher
Council papers say:
It is currently proposed to let a further two-year contract, albeit this might be at a higher cost to the council than at present.
According to the papers, market testing for Ventnor Harbour won’t take place until negotiations with Ryde Town council have been concluded.
Click on the full screen icon to see larger version.
Image: © Richard and Gill