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140110 | Hayle Harbour Trust’s Concept for Harbour Ownership and Transfera

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Hayle Harbour Trust’s Concept for Harbour Ownership and Transfer

January 10, 2014 at 1:25pm

Hayle Harbour Trust Update

Just before Christmas, the Trust received a letter from Peter Marsh, Cornwall Council’s Corporate Director of Environment. We had asked the council to clarify whether it was considering adopting Hayle Harbour as a Municipal Port and the response was: “Given the current economic climate and uncertainty around local government finances it would not be prudent for the Council to take on the management of the Harbour.” He went on to say: “I am therefore writing to offer the support of Cornwall Council to the Hayle Harbour Trust’s Community Interest Company approach.”

Hayle Harbour Trust’s Concept for Harbour Ownership and Transfer

Currently, the Harbour is managed by the Hayle Harbour Authority Ltd, a limited liability company owned entirely by ING. The land is owned by ING Real Estate (UK) Ltd. In order to minimise costs, and to avoid the need for a Harbour Revision order or other complexities, we propose a combination of charity and Community Interest Company (CIC) as shown below.

Since there is no mechanism for converting a limited liability company into a charity, Hayle Harbour Authority Ltd would become a CIC.The Hayle Harbour Trust, as a registered charity, would be nominated as the specified asset-locked beneficiary of the CIC. In addition, the land held by ING Real Estate (UK) Ltd would be transferred directly to the Hayle Harbour Trust.

There are many benefits to the Harbour being owned by a charity, including reductions in council tax and easier access to grant funding.

A company limited by guarantee, such as the Hayle Harbour Trust, is governed by trustees appointed by the membership body. The membership body is similar to shareholders in a limited company. The Department for Transport used to promote the Trust Port model, although this has fallen out of favour because of lack of democracy and the cost and time required for an Act of Parliament. However, we have tried to adopt the best features of the TrustPort concept: 1) the DfT document “Modernising Trust Ports” recommends a board of eight to 12 commissioners selected for their skills rather than being ex officio appointees; 2) they require a‘stakeholder body’ representing all harbour users and beneficiaries.

 

The Hayle Harbour Trust currently has six trustees and we will add to the board by recruiting people with the appropriate skills. We have proposed that an existing stakeholder body, the Hayle Harbour Advisory Committee, set up under the 1989 Hayle Harbour Act and comprising 22 members and 12 other invitees, could become the membership body. This body (see http://hhac.org.uk/members.html) would beresponsible for monitoring the proper management and operation of the Harbourand would have the power to elect trustees at the Annual General Meeting of theTrust. Since the HHAC already numbers two Cornwall Councillors, two Hayle Town Councillors and a St Ives Town Councillor, there is a strong elected presence as well as representatives from commercial and leisure harbour users and statutory agencies. In short, it is an ideal stakeholder body.

As we move towards community ownership of the harbour, we will need to strengthen our board of trustees and our team. If you have the time and skills to help, please contact us. What are we looking for? Almost everything: maritime, construction, engineering, finance, accounting, marketing,computer, architectural, environmental, scientific, archaeological, publicity,design and management skills are all needed. Contact us, whatever your talents, I am sure we can find a place for them. But remember, this is for the community - charity trustees do not receive any payment.

  • Telfer Johns I would be interested in offering my skills as an ex restoration mason. I have had vast experence in restoring grade 1 & grade two listed buildings for english herritage & the national trust using traditional materials & skills, if you're intrested let me know. Ps keep up the good work you are doing

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