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Objections to changes to Saundersfoot Harbour Commission’s revised orders withdrawn by council

OBJECTIONS to changes to Saundersfoot Harbour Commission’s revised orders have been withdrawn by the council after receiving further information.

There had been concerns raised by Pembrokeshire County Council officers about a loss of local accountability, clarity to the extent of additional powers and oversite of remuneration a report to cabinet of Monday, September 14 outlined.

At the virtual meeting Dr Steven Jones, director of community services, said that additional information had recently been received from the vice chairman of the Saundersfoot Harbour Commission which allayed those concerns.

Saundersfoot harbour is a Trust Port, managed by harbour commissioners, with Welsh Government asking for a council response on a revision order in June, resulting in the need to send a response before bringing it to cabinet due to timescale, Dr Jones added.

The consultation response was related to the proposed changes to the Saundersfoot Empowerment Order 2011 which details the port’s obligations, how it operates, what it can and cannot do and how it governs itself.

It included no longer allowing a council appointed commissioner, but this was in line with guidelines from the Department of Transport’s ‘modernising trust ports’ the cabinet were told and local accountability would be maintained through the chance to be involved with the appointment of two commissioners.

Commissioners will be appointed “on the basis of merit linked to a particular skills set,” said Dr Jones.

Dr Jones said that the council has actively supported the recent developments made by the Saundersfoot Harbour Commissioners, including the granting of a substantial loan.

Remuneration and oversight changes, with levels to be set by a remuneration community, are also in line with good practice guidelines set out by Government, cabinet heard.

Cabinet were asked to approve, amend or withdraw the response and following details from Dr Jones about the new information agreed with his recommendation that it be withdrawn.

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