Members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee last night called for further scrutiny of the operation costs of Ventnor Haven.
Cllrs Wayne Whittle and Ivan Warlow had been tasked by the chair of the committee, Cllr Geoff Lumley, to scrutinise the papers heading for next week’s Cabinet. At last night’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting, both said they were unhappy with the cost of maintaining the harbour in Ventnor.
Whittle: “Should really look deeply into this”
Cllr Whittle questioned why the council were paying over £70,000 each year to a private business (Cheetah Marine) when some of the tasks they are responsible for could be carried out by the business using the Haven.
“In the spirit of community we should really look deeply into this, because it is losing a great deal of money at a time when we need every penny we’ve got.”
Chair of the meeting asked for the agenda item due to go to next week’s Cabinet to be postponed until the November meeting in order to give Scrutiny members more time to investigate.
Cabinet member delighted with deferral
The responsible Cabinet member, Cllr Shirley Smart, said she’d be delighted with the deferral, adding,
“There are items of concern, the history of it etc is something that I would like to know more about.”
In 2012/13 the operating costs to the council was £102,000 of this £29,000 relates to depreciation, making the running costs £73,000.
The papers state that Cheetah Marine is employed to supervise activities in the Haven on behalf of the council under the terms of a contract which expires in August 2014. In so doing it acts as an agent of the council and is required:
- To provide a day to day supervision service at Ventnor haven in a safe and efficient manner.
- To collect dues from craft using the haven and the adjacent moorings in accordance with the schedule of charges.
- To work with the Isle of Wight Council to develop the haven and expand the range of facilities and services offered to both visitors and local users.
- To inspect all mooring chains on a weekly basis and renew when necessary.
- To clean the slipway, walkway and the pontoons weekly or more frequently.
- To remove all debris from the Haven and the surrounding areas daily.
- To remove sea weed at Ventnor Haven as and when necessary and possible to ensure the Council’s compliance with environmental legislation.
Image: © Used with permission of Richard Heaven