‘Bureaucratic’ harbour board could be axed

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One of Yorkshire’s most historic ports could be brought back under the wing of the local authority after council bosses admitted it is “overly bureaucratic and resource hungry”.

Last month a council-led task force laid bare the confusion and lack of leadership which had blighted Whitby Harbour Board.

Now following a series of failings identified in a pilot project set up three years ago to oversee the running of the port, a way forward is to be debated.

Scarborough Borough Council’s politicians have acknowledged that the board has been plagued by problems including a lack of clarity about the role and responsibilities of the pilot project.

A report to be considered by members of the council’s cabinet next Tuesday is now proposing that the harbour board should be axed and replaced by an expert advisory group, with the decision-making powers handed back to the council.

The report which will go before councillors warns that the board is “overly bureaucratic and resource hungry”.

The board was established as a means of governing Whitby harbour away from the council’s own decision-making process.

While the town’s traditional fishing industry has been in steady decline in recent years, Whitby has been identified as one of the key locations to support the offshore wind farm industry with the world’s largest offshore wind farm due to be built nearly 80 miles off the Yorkshire coast at Dogger Bank.