Over £1.5million, that is £150,000 a year of harbour income that could and should be spent on the likes of groyne repair and meaningful dredging, is wrongly being directed away from the harbour. You only need to take a walk around the harbour entrance to see the consequences. Anyone who cares about the harbour cannot afford to stand by and watch.
There are good grounds to say this is unlawful – if you wish to see just some of the evidence please refer to this document, in which experts clearly set out how the directors of the Statutory Harbour Authority are prioritising the financial interests of their own separate companies at the direct cost of the Harbour.
We are aware that people are growing tired of discussing this long-running matter, but that is no reason to turn a blind eye. To be made aware of this exploitation and still fail to act would only be encouraging and enabling continued abuse.
Sadly, the directors of harbour authority have consistently refused meaningful engagement on issues vital to the future of this community asset. Whilst they are charged by government to manage in the public interest with reasonable transparency as they spend your, the users, money.
Accordingly, BHT actively engage with various authorities as part of efforts to limit further costly abuse and seek reparations to ensure the harbour can be properly invested, however as the demands of Brexit and Covid claim resources and staff hours, progress remains woefully slow.
Some harbour stakeholders appear to consign these issues to the “too difficult pile” or fear loss of favour if they put the heads above the parapet. We sympathise, but, as a Charitable Trust, BHT have no choice but to act in pursuit of our charitable objectives. We do not seek to tell others what to do about the information we provide, but suggest that there are only two real choices:
1) Ignore it, and watch the harbour deteriorate further until it becomes unusable.
2) Lobby for lawful conduct of the Statutory Harbour for the good of all in the community, including the Statutory Harbour Authority itself.
The Trustees believe there is only one right choice.
The Trustees of Bembridge Harbour Trust
We can’t do this alone. We need the help and support of the community. Simple things you can do:
Take an active interest, ask questions.
Talk to people – lots still don’t know the basic problem: misappropriation of funds = lack of maintenance.
Ask your clubs and associations what they are doing about it.
Forward this email to friends with your own comments.
Like and follow us on Facebook and comment .
Above all please encourage others to engage as those who make the effort to be informed realise action is vital if the harbour is to survive in any meaningful way.