Southwold Town Mayor’s report
including Town Council meeting on Feb 26th 2019
The Council meeting on Feb 29th was attended by 17 members of the public.
Southwold Town Council had a lengthy discussion on the future of the Harbour, touching on the issues of who owns the Harbour, who should manage the Harbour in the future, whether the Harbour Lands could be sold to a third party, how the income from the Harbour and Caravan Park should be used, what the future status of the Harbour should be (whether a Municipal Port or Trust Port), and the composition of the Management Committee.
While several Councillors wanted to lay to rest the issue of ownership, feeling that the Borough Council’s minutes of 1973-4 clearly demonstrated that ownership had been passed to Waveney District Council, others wished to keep the issue open or even to seek legal opinion on this.
While some wanted to argue for a change to Trust Port status, others argued that the 1991 Ports Act meant that there was a danger that the minister could order a Trust Port to be privatised.
On other issues there was a degree of consensus and the Council resolved, by majority vote to respond to the consultation as follows:
Southwold Town Council recognises that Waveney District Council (WDC) has managed the Southwold Harbour Lands since 1974 and that WDC and its successor Council, East Suffolk District Council, will manage the Harbour in the future.
Southwold Town Council supports the concept of a Management Committee for the Harbour and Harbour Lands, in accordance with the Ports Good Governance Guidance March 2018, provided:
- There are written guarantees that no part of the Harbour Lands can be sold to a third party.
- The income from the Harbour and Harbour Lands is used solely for the protection and benefit of the Harbour and Harbour Lands.
- There is strong local representation on the Committee, including places designated by Southwold Town Council.
- The principles listed in “Key Principles under a Harbour Management Committee’ should be incorporated in the Memorandum of Understanding.
- The Harbour Joint Committee and its successor should consider which is the best Port Model (Municipal or Trust) to achieve (1)-(4) above.
Town Hall refurbishment
The Council agreed to proceed to extend and refurbish the foyer and office area of the Town Hall, together with other adjustments to the kitchen and toilets. This would be Phase 1 of the works, with Phase 2, extension at the back and installation of a lift, postponed to a future date.
County Cllr Ladd reported that the County Council have negotiated with the First Norfolk and Suffolk company to extend the 99 service from Southwold to Halesworth and Bungay, though it will run only every two hours.
Cllr Michael Rowan-Robinson
(Southwold Town Mayor)