More fees for Girvan harbour

Additional charges are set to be introduced from April next year at Girvan Harbour after proposals were agreed by South Ayrshire Council.

At a meeting of the Leadership Panel on Tuesday 3 December, councillors agreed to impose the various miscellaneous charges at the town’s harbour from April 1 2014.

The Leadership Panel agreed to the following charges:

- 20p in every £1 of fuel oil delivered by quayside tanker.

- Quayside Craneage £50.00 per day.

-Quayside welding facilities £10.00 per day.

- Quayside Cargo Landing £1.00 per tonne.

- Quayside storage £0.50 per square metre.

- Harbour master vessel attendance £30.00 per fee.

- Usage of harbour slipway £1.00 per metre.

The proposals were quickly agreed upon by the Leadership Panel and chiefs insist the move will bring welcome revenues into Girvan Harbour.

The proposal document says that the charges are in line with council’s strategy area of their improvement programme and link with their priorities of maximising the local economy and strengthening communities.

The council’s road service is responsible for the management and operation of Girvan Harbour and have reviewed the dues and charges for the use of the harbour in line with the Harbours Act 1964.

And they also say it is necessary to introduce the charges as they will meet the benchmark for other charges already set on pontoons within the upper and lower Clyde.

The Girvan Harbour Users Group which was set up last March were consulted with the proposals.

And according to the report from the Executive Director of Economy, Neighbourhood and Environment to the Leadership Panel, the Girvan Harbour Users Group were content with the recommendation for increased charges.

However, Andrew Sinclair, the chair of South Carrick Community Leisure, the group who are leading the fight for a new Girvan swimming pool and leisure facility believes there are some differences still to be ironed out.

He said: “The fees were agreed upon between the users and the council but some were asking why they would have to pay charges for the harbour when they weren’t able to use it.

“This was because of the dredging and the work that was being done with the pontoons.

“The fact that they didn’t have facilities such as water and electricity was raised as well.”

But Mr Sinclair is hopeful an agreement can be reached when a meeting is held of the Users Group tomorrow night.

He said: “With the investment that has been made in the harbour this should be something to look forward to and the harbour was well used in the second half of the summer this year.

“Hopefully the users and the councils can sit down and talk and agree upon this.”

As can be seen on our letters page, there is opposition to the council’s charges which the council were well aware of in their proposals.

However, they pointed out the risk of losing the income.