Whitby Harbour Board – “Commercial Future Of Harbour Lies In Windfarms Not Fishing”

Originally published, August 10th 2011

Related Reading

Tuesday evening saw the monthly gathering of Whitby Town Council for a meeting based solely on issues relating to Whitby Harbour. There was good turn out from the local community and from members of the newly formed Whitby Harbour Board.

Councillor Ken Graham who specializes in Harbour matters led the meeting and explained to all present that his goal for the evening was to form a working relationship between the working harbour users, Whitby Town Council and the newly formed Whitby Harbour Group.

Councillor Graham explaied to those present that he felt there were several areas that needed to be explored, the most salient of which were :

    1. The unfinished marina development and transfer of £300,000 from that development into the hands of the harbour board.
    2. Address the inbalance of resources spent by the harbour board which currently favour private harbour users over commercial users.
    3. To form a working relationship between the working harbour users

The Unfinished Marina Development – Where Has Our £300,000 Gone ?

The first hour of the meeting was dedicated to a discussion on the transfer of £300,000 from the marina development (initially designated for marina landscaping) into the hands of the newly formed harbour board. Councillor Graham explained that this £300,00 “seems to have been transferred into the general coffers of the harbour board” , a situation that Councillor Graham referred to as “unsatisfactory as the money should have been spent on the work it was initially designated for”

Members of the Whitby Harbour Group spoke at length about the consultation process for this money and said they felt everything had been handled according to policy and within a professional manner. In reply councillor Graham told the meeting he had found it difficult to take part within the consultation and at one point the harbour master had treied to have him removed from the meeting. Mr Graham added that he felt the consultation process had been “seriously flawed” and the voices of the people of Whitby had been ignored.

Speaking about the transfer of the £300,000 Councillor Ian Havelock told the meeting that he felt the money had been moved from one pot to another , and relabelled as harbour board money, and although he was sure that everything was above board he had “Concerns over what the money would now be spent on” Councillor Havelock added that the money was given to Whitby people for development of the harbour environment and this is what it should be spent on.

Imbalance Of Resources Commercial Versus Private Harbour Users

In the second debate of the night Councillor Graham explained that the current situation of the harbour gave more weight to private use of the harbour over commercial users such as charter boat owners. Councillor Graham explained that the current plans of the harbour board was to give more weight to devlopment of the harbour for private use such as new yacht pontoons.

In response members of the harbour board told the meeting that the fishing situation was currently static and that the commercial future of the harbour now lays in the field of windfarm development for the new windfarm proposed for dogger bank, and not in fishing. The Harbour Board members explained that they are eager to bring windfarm work into Whitby and were currently working hard to develop this area.

A Working Relationship – Harbour Board And Whitby Town Council.

The final part of the evening was for the discussion of building a working relationship between Whitby Town Council and the newly formed harbour board. Members of the meeting agreed to form a sub committee of the council to deal with harbour matters and work closely with the harbour board.


52 Responses to "Whitby Harbour Board – “Commercial Future Of Harbour Lies In Windfarms Not Fishing”"

  1. Nigel Ward  July 27, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    Further to my remarks at last night’s Ext. Ord. Meeting, here are the links that I sent to Councillor Ken Graham and Harbour Board Vice Chair Laurie Farmer in my email of 2nd July 2011:



    The salient quotes are, respectively:

    Top economist and advisor to the British government Professor Dieter Helm said: “There is a real doubt whether energy customers can afford the £100 billion UK offshore wind would add to their bills. “Switching from coal generation to gas generation would only cost £10 billion and still help Britain meet its 2020 carbon emission targets”


    “Centrica and other energy companies last week told DECC that, if Britain is to spend £100 billion on building thousands of wind turbines, it will require the building of 17 new gas-fired power stations simply to provide back-up for all those times when the wind drops and the windmills produce even less power than usual.”

    Those remarks are, of course, only opinion – albeit expert opinion. It would be senseful to ensure that the newly established Harbour Committee is conversant with those opinions.

    Judging by the silence from the Harbour Board contingent last night, it is news to them.

  2. jgh  July 27, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    I hope that persuing windfarm development work doesn’t mean that all fishing work will be killed off completely. Any location needs a diversity of industry, and it would be terrible if a town with centuries of fishing history ended up having to import all its fish.

  3. jgh  July 28, 2011 at 9:54 am

    When I was at school ((mumble)) years ago we had 300 years of coal reserves in this country. Almost the only thing coal is useful for is for generating electricity. All other fuel sources have other uses, gas should be used for domestic heating and cooking, oil should be used to make plastics. Clean Coal power generation is a rapildly maturing technology and the waste heat and other products are useful resalable items. Coal fired electricity should be a major component of the generating capacity.

  4. Tom  July 28, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    Energy secretary could be in prison soon!
    IMPORTANT INTERESTING Cut & Paste from Telegraph!
    Centrica and other energy companies last week told DECC that, if Britain is to spend £100 billion on building thousands of wind turbines, it will require the building of 17 new gas-fired power stations simply to provide back-up for all those times when the wind drops and the windmills produce even less power than usual.

    We will thus be landed in the ludicrous position of having to spend an additional £10 billion on those 17 dedicated power stations, which will be kept running on “spinning reserve”, 24 hours a day, just to make up for the fundamental problem of wind turbines. This is that their power continually fluctuates anywhere between full capacity to zero (where it often stood last winter, when national electricity demand was at a peak). So unless back-up power is instantly available to match any shortfall, the lights will go out.

    Two things make this even more absurd. One, as the energy companies pointed out to DECC, is that it will be amazingly costly and wildly uneconomical, since the dedicated power plants will often have to run at a low rate of efficiency, burning gas but not producing electricity. This will add billions more to our fuel bills for no practical purpose. The other absurdity, as recent detailed studies have confirmed, is that gas-fired power stations running on “spinning reserve” chuck out much more CO2 than when they are running at full efficiency – thus negating any savings in CO2 emissions supposedly achieved by the windmills themselves.

  5. Nigel Ward  July 28, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    So how are we to explain the Harbour Board’s unswerving commitment to the Dogger Bank wind-farm fantasy, Tom?

    Is it because they are:

    a) too lazy to do the research?

    b) too gullible/docile to challenge SBC Officers’ reports?

    c) angling after grant funding for developing ‘proposals’?

    d) conforming to another Agenda (to which we mere proles are not privy)?

    e) fulfilling some as yet unsuspected self-interest?

    Perhaps there is some other explanation . . .


    You know it. I know it. And I am very sure that they must know it, too . . .

  6. Just 66 votes  July 29, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Whitby’s economy depends upon tourism – not at all sure the visitors will want to to come to see the windfarm activity, whereas the fishing boats and Whitby fish (and chips) have been bringing them here for a century. I wonder how the local restaurants, guest-houses and holiday home owners will feel when the Whitby fishing boats and the tourists have gone for good?
    I would be interested to know what contribution Whitby Town Council has made to the current European Parliament discussions on discards and the future of the fishing industry. Linda McAvan, one of our Yorkshire MEPs, is closely involved in this work. Since this is the first time MEPs have been involved in fishery discussions, she recently visited Whitby to find out how she could help and what the local fishing industry wants . I may be wrong but I don’t believe anyone from WTC attended.

  7. Nigel Ward  July 29, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    @ Just 66 votes:

    “Whitby’s economy depends upon tourism” – some of us see that as part of the problem, not part of the solution. All the eggs in one basket.

    The whole point of my ‘ARTOPIA’ proposal (2009 – http://vimeo.com/4864905 ) was to attract the film/media/hi-tech industry to provide local youngsters with web/media/film-industry apprenticeships as well as a local crafts/produce indoor market. It was not a complete solution, by any means, but I have yet to hear any other (never mind better) ideas coming out of SBC or WTC to provide an attraction that has local youth and young people value.

    BTW, I believe you are right about WTC non-attendance at the McAvan event.

    And only one WTC Councillor turned up for the SBC Local Development expo at the Coliseum last week. They didn’t miss much. The highlight was a map showing the main tourism area – according to SBC, a stretch of the West Cliff between the Pavilion and the Met. Their representatives Peter Harrop and Steve Wilson were apparently unaware that the Swing-Bridge, Grape Lane, Sandgate, Church Street, the 199 Steps, St Mary’s and the Abbey constitute the very dynamo of the Whitby tourism trade. Their map did not recognise that very obvious fact. Perhaps it was drawn by someone who has never visited Whitby?

    I believe that Richard Ineson will be reporting on this in some detail, presently.

    Of course, Brian Bennett, Hilary Jones, Janet Deacon, Jeremy Hartill et al were all conspicuous by their absence. Not worth turning out for Whitby.

  8. Glenn Kilpatrick  July 29, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    I wouldnt be too concerned as Whitby will allways have a fishing industry, perhaps not as you know it now (trawlers filled with migrant workers from across europe and asia), or not as you have known it in the past but it will always be here. Whats more it will likely be a more localised sustainable industry to boot. So perhaps not all is as bad as constantly painted by the local trawlermen and their allies at the Gazette office.

    Maybe whitby will never see 20 trawlers tied to the quoy side ever again. Infact that would be good because the fishery could not sustain the pressure it was put under through the 80′s and then in the 90′s and early millenium when fish stocks were plundered on a massive scale – ILLEGALLY by local trawler men. Lets not forget the day when almost every trawler skipper in the town stood in the dock of Hull Crown Court and found guilty of illegal fishing to the tune of a quarter of a million pounds worth of fish in only a 3 month period. Had they been investigated for the previuos 10 years misdermeaners who knows what the value would have been. Crimes against nature that no fine in a court could ever undo.

    The future fishing fleet in Whitby will hopefully see small cobbles fishing shellfish and whitefish for local sale, not huge trawlers landing tons of mush for export far and wide. Also you must not forget the value of recreational fishing to the local economy. Who knows the value of sea angling to Whitby ? Eighteen charter boats, 3 tackle shops, piers and jetties full of people coming to fish. Must be worth well into the millions of pounds every year in terms of tackle sales, car parking, cafe visits, bacon sandwiches, pints of beer, bed and breakfasts etc etc.

    The fishing industry is here and always will be, you just have to look further than the end of your nose to find it.

    • Al Roberts  July 31, 2011 at 8:46 am

      As an ex-cobleman I agree with much of what you say Glenn, however until the small boat men have access to a fair share of the UK white fish quota then the future remains unsure for the Coblemen, especially in the light of new proposals to regulate the shellfishery

      Even before the introduction of quota allocation and management and despite begging fishery managers to record catches from the under 10mtr sector of the fleet (as they do for catches by vessels over ten metres), they resolutely refused to do so, assuring fishermen that there was no need to worry.
      Around 2005, Defra then introduced the Registration of Buyers and Sellers legislation, requiring all sales of fish to be notified to the authorities – and lo and behold, this illustrated that under tens actually catch significant amounts of fish BUT as the allocation of quota had already been decided, based on the track record of only over tens, in the mid 90′s, there was almost nothing left in the pot for the under ten fleet.
      In addition, the over ten sector is actually allowed to hold their own quota (some would say “own”) which they can lease/rent to others. Indeed many of these quota “owners” do not even own a fishing boat.
      In comparison, the measly 4%, UK quota that was left over for the under ten fleet is now managed, not by small scale fishermen themselves, but by the Marine Management Organisation, based in Newcastle, on their behalf, making this sector of the fleet (that makes up 75% of the active fleet in England), nothing more than spectators of their own destiny.
      So between the CFP slashing Total Allowable Catches year on year, i.e. the whole cake getting smaller, and the two slices that make up that whole cake of UK quota, 96% for the over tens and 4% for the under tens, any under ten vessel seeking to make a living by depending entirely on quota stocks is likely to be disappointed as the available fish is simply not sufficient to maintain a living.

      Meanwhile on the shellfish front, the MMO ( aka Mickey Mouse Organization) are currently preparing plans to regulate the shellfish industry, by Capping or Quotas, Let us hope that the big boys don’t dominate the shellfish sector too.

  9. jgh  July 29, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    Hopefully, getting rid of the ridiculousness of chucking dead fish overboard will help stablise the fishing industry and – importantly – allow a greater variety of fish to be brought in, and not just those you happen to have a quota for.

  10. J.S.Fawcett  July 29, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    Speaking of trawling, have a look at what the Whitby Gazette told us exactly two years ago on Friday 31 July 2009. “£500,000 Whitby harbour development could create up to 40 jobs”.


    Talks are underway with Scarborough Council to lease the port of Whitby to a private company.

    The company proposes to use Whitby as a major hub to support the development and servicing of offshore wind farms and other offshore platforms and supply bases in the North Sea.

    The spokeswoman said the scheme would create 30-40 jobs in the direct locality and would involve an investment of around £500,000 over the next two years.

    …and my name is Santa Claus…

  11. Paul Kilpatrick  July 30, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    You wonder some time just who the hell are these people who sit on these boards asbsolute clueless do they know there are 18 charterboats in whitby charter skippers association and whitby is one of top angling ports in uk maybe a bit more investment in infrastructure might help .

  12. Glenn Kilpatrick  July 30, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    From general conversations this week there appears to be a few problems with the whitby Harbour Board Committee. I am led to believe that there is a huge conflict of interests going on with members owning private business set to benefit from any windfarm business brought to the town. Do members of the board have to decalre such conflicts of interest and stand down on any related voting ?

  13. J.S.Fawcett  July 30, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Correction, Glenn. Set to benefit from the MYTH of any windfarm business brought to the town.

    • admin  July 30, 2011 at 1:26 pm

      From what Im told one member could benefit quite significantly. European grants running into many thousands of pounds. Is this of benefit to the local community or just to certain individuals.

  14. admin  July 30, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    How do the general members of our local community find out information from the harbour board ? A lot of local people are effected by the harbour board yet very few people even know of their existance ? Are agendas and minutes sent to all interested parties such as the Whitby Charter Skippers Association ? Are such documents posted on notice boards at the entrance to every pontoon ? Are members of the public allowed to attend ? Is the information readily available and easily accessible on the internet ?

    The more I think about this harbour board the more it reminds me of the situation in sea angling where lots of little committees are set up yet the average man on the street knows nothing about them or how and when they operate. When you start asking questions they get all defensive and tell you that they hold public consultations, yet these consulatations are performed in such a way that your average member of the local community just couldnt possibly get involved.

    Just who are the harbour board and who appointed them ? Who do they represent ? Lets have some answers.

  15. Nigel Ward  July 30, 2011 at 5:24 pm


    “How do the general members of our local community find out information from the harbour board?”, you ask.

    That’s a very good question.

    In fact, I asked the same question of the Harbour Board’s Tony Hornigold – at the last Town Assembly, in mid-March 2011, when a vote of ‘NO CONFIDENCE’ in SBC was passed (Assembly did, however, offer full support to the Harbour Board).



    Tony Hornigold told the assembly (verbatim) that “all of the business that we do is going onto Yorkshire Ports” (web-site).

    Here it is:


    Correct me if I am mistaken, but I cannot locate any Agendas, Minutes, Consultation Exercises or anything of that sort on that site. However, I did find this:


    The dates of meetings during 2011:
    Whitby Harbour – 21 February, 16 May, 5 September, 5 December

    I cannot locate any Register or Declaration of Interests, either.

    • Richard Ineson  July 31, 2011 at 2:49 pm

      Nigel, your persistence in tracking down the proceedings of the various secret societies who control this area,is to be commended. I wote to John Riby, on the 9th June 2010, asking who had been appointed to the Harbour Board, I received the usual brush off – ” the minutes of the Council’s appointments committee, will be published shortly, the information you have requested, will be included”. The meeting referred to, took place on the 3rd June, public excluded, of course. The names of the successful appointees were included in the minutes, published on the 10th June, just the names,not the full names of course, just the surnames, Mr.Black, Mr. Farmer, Mr.Hornigold and Mr.Atkinson. On the 23rd June 2010, I wrote again to Mr.Riby asking for information about the ‘mysterious four’.On the 28th June, i received an email from Ian Anderson, “As you will be aware the candidates have only recently been identified, blah,blah, undergoing training, blah blah,shadow committee of the Council, blah,blah,meetings and minutes will be published on the Council website,blah,blah. A further message from Ian Anderson on the 13th August 2010, “Information in relation to Board co-opted members will be published at the time that the Board formally begins to operate. This is not about secrecy.” The first meeting of the Harbour Board took place on the 11th October, when Mr.Atkinson resigned, so all we ever got to know about him was his surname and that his official title is Mr. I could go on, but you will have got the gist by now.

      • Nigel Ward  July 31, 2011 at 3:12 pm

        @ Richard,

        A little bird (one that does much of its flying in the Pannett Art Gallery) tells me that the Harbour Board has a new problem on its hands. Apparently the small boat skippers are due for their annual re-test for their operating licences and (Acting) Harbour Master Ian Vasey is not qualified to administer the tests. Ho hum. Might have been a smart move to have former Harbour Master Martin Willis run the tests before he made a bolt for the door.

        I did hear (rightly or wrongly) that there had been a round of recruitment interviews for the Harbour Master’s post, but no-one cut the mustard.

        For anyone interested, here’s the job description:


        Of course, the dredging responsibilities alone have given rise to no end of difficulties:


        All in all, the Harbour Master slot is a job best avoided – as (Acting) Harbour Master Ian Vasey has wisely concluded.

        Head of Tourism & Culture Brian Bennett has now had Harbours added to his remit. His qualification (DipISRM) will not cover small boat skippers re-tests (even after massaging the small print) so the skippers best have a careful look at their insurance policies.

        • Richard Ineson  July 31, 2011 at 3:53 pm

          This job, I believe, is what is known as ‘a poisoned chalice’, Jerry Lee Lewis used to sing a song called, ‘Who Will the Next Fool Be’ not Ian Vasey, by the sound of things.

          • Al Roberts  August 16, 2011 at 3:53 pm

            The minutes of the, Scarborough, Sandside and Harbour Action Group show that as from 29th July 2011, the new harbour master will be Ian Vasey.

            • DKP  August 16, 2011 at 4:25 pm

              Seemingly so. And the inside word is that the Audit Committee will be taking a very careful look at the interests that have been declared (or not declared, as the case may be) by one or more of the unelected members of the Harbour Board, whose meeting tomorrow with the new Town Council Harbour Committee, by the way, has been cancelled, on the very sound advice of Mr Ward. Funny that. They don’t want to know him, but they are stumped without him! I can see a pear-shaped coming on.

              • peter anderson  August 16, 2011 at 5:08 pm

                nigel has more intelligence, integrity,intellect and honesty than all of the harbour board, wtc and sbc put together.

                • Richard Ineson  August 16, 2011 at 5:25 pm

                  Not to mention NYCC and the NYPA.

                  • peter anderson  August 16, 2011 at 5:37 pm

                    sorry richard,those dysfunctional quangos should be top of the list (i just forgot to put them first)

      • Al Roberts  August 18, 2011 at 8:03 pm

        This what The Harbour Users Groupos Scarborough (Thugs) were told regarding the composition of the WHB in April 2009.
        “that the members would face strict criteria for selection to the
        board. In summary there could be no conflict of interest, must have sound
        business skills to bring to the board etc.”

        And in January 2010
        “JR explained to users the issue over advertising for Board members, the
        potential positive business acumen they can bring and any conflicts that may arise with percunary interests that may hold within the harbour.”

        And in July 2010
        “The other 4 Independent Members of the Board have now been interviewed and appointed and JR added that they all bring good credentials to the Board.
        JR stated he felt this new pilot model would focus people’s minds. They will see the harbour as a business, it is there to generate money.”

        I hope that sets your mind at rest Richard, LOL

        As the pilot WHB model will be applied shortly ro Scarborough, its workings are watched with much interest, and we are told that so far it is progressing successfully.
        My impression is that,compared to the previous set up, it is tha same flavour of jam in a different jar!

    • Al Roberts  August 22, 2011 at 2:29 pm

      One of the points you make is the claims of CONSULTATION by SBC, when in fact there is none.
      CONSULTATION on either of the harbours in the charge of SBC is a sham.

      At Scarborough harbour there is a long waiting list for pontoon berths,
      So much so that just to get your name on that waiting list requires a fee of £25.
      In 2009 the speedboat operator, Mr Tankyard, was allowed to jump the queue (if indeed he was ever on that queue) and was allocated two berths for his 2 speedboats.
      The speedboats are 12 mtr vessels, it is possible that owners of say 6-7mtr boats would have been happy to take them, if they had been given the option, but they were not given that option.
      When asked why those at the head of the waiting list had not been offered the berths, the excuse given by Martin Willis was that the berths, because of their location, would not be suitable for leisure use.
      That argument that the berths are not suitable for leisure use, is lost by the fact that, out of season when the speedboats are ashore, the berths in question are sub-let to the leisure users!
      Mr Tankard had been allowed by Martin Willis to jump the waiting list unfairly and without CONSULTATION with those at the top of the waiting list
      This is why in 2011 when Mr Tankards additional 3rd speedboat was imminent the issue was raised at what is described by SBC as a “CONSULTATIVE” meeting with The Harbour Users Group of Scarborough (THUGS) in Jan 2011, I quote from the minutes of that meeting.

      “Geoff Hill asked where the new speedboat will berth when it arrives as there is no space on the pontoons.
      Ron Walker said that Mr Tankard had jumped the waiting list.
      Martin Willis asked for it to be noted that Mr Tankard is treated in exactly the same manor(sic) as any other harbour user.”

      Clearly THUGS were trying to prevent a re-occurrence of the early decision of Martin Willis.
      Despite the assurance from Martin Willis, what happened was that a completely new berth was created on the existing pontoons for non other than Mr Tankard for his new 12 mtr speedboat.
      Hence the issue being raised at the “CONSULTATIVE” meeting of THUGS in June 2011, I quote from the minutes of that meeting.

      ” Ron Walker asked how Mr Tankard had been able to obtain an additional pontoon berth for his new speedboat? There are other boatowners on the waiting list with shallow drafted vessels that could have utilised that berth and they are very upset with the situation.
      Ian Vasey stated that due to constrictions the area had not thought to have be suitable to contract as a private berth and that both the previous portfolio holder along with the previous harbour master had made the decision to utilise a previously unused area of the harbour.”

      You will note that Ian Vasey is at pains to distance himself from the decision, and to lay the blame with the previous harbour master MW and the previous portfolio holder Peter Popple.
      Once again Martin Willis, with the collusion of Peter Popple, had bypassed those on the waiting list, who were not, yet again, given the choice of refusing or accepting, the new pontoon berth.
      Once again, and despite the fears raised by THUGS ,there was no CONSULTATION with anyone from SBC.

      So there you go fellers that is yet another example of how SBC interpret CONSULTATION.

  16. J.S.Fawcett  July 30, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    As I said, some may benefit from the MYTH of any windfarm business.

    Mr Hornigold, quoted in Friday’s Whitby Gazette (29/7/11), said:

    “The fishing situation is declining all the time. We might get an improvement when we get rid of the discards but the local development is to do with windfarms, so much so we are looking at the opportunities all the time. Fishing is not going to get better in five or ten years; time and even investing in a fairly big way we will not go back to the days of the 80s when we had 20 or 30 trawlers”.

    The article goes on to state that, in preparation for jobs that might arise from the development, the fishing school was taking windfarm courses and apprenticeships suitable for such a development.

    In the past, the Gazette reported that Tony Hornigold was a director of the Whitby & District Fishing Training School. He is not listed here:


    Mrs Anne Hornigold is listed as a Director. Ms Jane Kenyon , too. A tightly-knit community, Whitby.

  17. Glenn Kilpatrick  July 31, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    Well surely theres a conflict of interests of you or your partner/wife will benefit from decisions you make on the board ?

  18. Richard Ineson  July 31, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    I am sure that Miss Kenyon will have much to offer the W&D Fishing Training School, Whitby lasses such as herself, were a vital part of the industry at its height, what with the mending of the nets, and the gutting and packing of the herrings. I wouldn’t be surprised to find her featured in one of the old Sutcliffe photographs, dressed in oilskins and wielding a sharp knife; a tightly knit community indeed, always popping in and out of each other’s houses, and singing sea shanties round a barrel of rum.

  19. Frank L. Chalmers  July 31, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    Wind farms…

    When are you morons going to realise that wind farms are not worth the money you’ll get ripped off for?

    When there isn’t any wind, where do you think the electricty will come from?

    That’s right, coal/nuclear power stations.

    So, for every windfarm that they build, they’ll have to build a regular powerstation.

    It doesn’t take a genius to work this lot out.

    Think of wind farms as a cash cow for the manufactures, and a huge rip off for you.

    When there’s no wind, they generate no power.

    Whitby might be windy in the winter, but in the summer I have known quite a number of days where a windturbine would be still, and not generating power.

    Wake up and smell the bullsh*t!!!

    The other thing is that these things are high maintenance. That costs money. Who do you think will be paying for that? Perhaps it’ll be you the consumer, and it’ll be subsidised do you the ‘tax payer’ get to pay twice. What a great little arrangement.


  20. Al Roberts  August 1, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    Mr Hornigold, quoted in Friday’s Whitby Gazette (29/7/11), said:
    “The fishing situation is declining all the time. We might get an improvement when we get rid of the discards but the local development is to do with windfarms, so much so we are looking at the opportunities all the time. Fishing is not going to get better in five or ten years; time and even investing in a fairly big way we will not go back to the days of the 80s when we had 20 or 30 trawlers”.

    Perhaps instead of the Quixotic “tilting at windmills” approach favoured by Mr Hornigold, the Whitby Harbour Board could look at supporting what is left of the fishing fleet at Whitby.
    Instead of the windfarm idea why not instead use what is already on the doorstep and what Whitby already has a reputation for, FISH!
    As explained in an earlier post it is the lack of affordable quota that is the biggest problem for the under 10mtr fleet, while the over 10mtr fleet have more quota than some of them have the means, or intent, to catch.

    How about the WHB using part of the £300,000 they currently have in their account, and use it for renting/leasing/buying quota from the quota traders, and make it available to the coblemen on the condition that it is used for responsible and sustainable fishing methods of fishing ie Lining, not trawling.

    Whitby still has a Fish market and an inshore fleet, raring to go all it needs is the quota to catch, and they would be in action.
    The coblemen wouldn’t teams of “experts” costing the taxpayer a fortune, and fancy websites like http://WWW.whitbywind.org.uk is doing, the expert knowledge and infrastructure is already in place.
    Instead of abandoning the fishing WHB should be seizing the opportunity to promote Whitby as the number one sustainable fishing port in the UK. I know which would give a quicker and more effective return on the outlay to the taxpayer.
    And dont forget,its our money they are using!

  21. Frank L. Chalmers  August 1, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    I am not implying anything here, merely making a suggestion.

    The Harbour Board are a public body. They are subject to the suggestion of the illustrious Prime Minister that the secrecy should see a ‘wrecking ball’ driven through it – his words, not mine.

    The Harbour Board reportedly have £300,000 in their account at the bank. So, lets see the bank statement.

    Would they dare show us the bank statement if we marched up to their offices and demanded a copy? I doubt it, but then I doubt that there’s £300,000 in their account either.

    But, I am not implying anything here. Just voicing opinion and suggestion.

  22. bobby esk  August 1, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    to be honest i think that whitby has bigger problems than just fishing and mythical wind creatures of the deep ocean.

    rental rates are through the roof, taxes are going up, petrol is going up (forever) and so less and less people are going to put the effort in to come here.

    the windfarm thing is a red herring until i physically see it with my own eyes. I don’t believe one dot of what any Councillor or MP says with regards to the town of Whitby. Until i see it in action i just don’t believe it.

    The town was promised a permanent floating exhibit, never got it, never raised the cash for the Turk or the Resolution project (another con). the bridge keeps breaking down, the sewage system is knackered and the beach front looks disgraceful.

    the town needs major investment, new job creation, multi-platform business that operate online and offline, wholesale distribution warehouses, more holiday accommodation (hotels with more rooms), more investment in events and public advertisements and promotions. It needs a damn great KICK up the back side before it slips off the table completely.

    lets not bury our heads in the sand. fishing is one industry..what does the other 90% of Whitby’ites’ do when the shops are boarded up and the swing bridge is jammed open?

    • Al Roberts  August 12, 2011 at 1:42 pm

      I agree with much of what you say Bobby, however I was dealing with the 3 points raised by Councillor Graham specific to the harbour, and the budget specific to the Whitby Harbour.
      Rental rates, taxes and petrol prices are nothing to do with the harbour budget.
      Nor (I think) does the Swing Bridge which I understand is now the responsibility of NYCC?
      Similarly the sewage problem is the responsibility of YWA, or was until the SBC dredger damaged it?
      I agree wholeheartedly with your views on the windfarms, which leaves fishing as the main remaining commercial industry at Whitby harbour.
      Hence my suggestion for use of at least a part of the £300,000 held by WHB to support and expand the present fishing industry.
      It would appear that WHB seem hellbent to spend around £200,000 on REPLACING leisure boat pontoons which already exist, without expanding the capacity, or income, and without adequate consultation of the harbour users.
      While this plan could be regarded as the major investment you mention, Im not sure that it meets your aspirations of “new job creation, multi-platform business that operate online and offline, wholesale distribution warehouses, more holiday accommodation (hotels with more rooms)”.

      “lets not bury our heads in the sand. fishing is one industry..what does the other 90% of Whitby’ites’ do when the shops are boarded up and the swing bridge is jammed open?”
      I cant answer that one Bobby, but I understand the available funding is “ringfenced” for harbour use only, and needs carefull consideration of ALL harbour users.

  23. Cliff Street  August 6, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    It seems that all of the contributers to this discussion are overlooking one fact. They are assuming logic and common sense will prevail. You should all know that it will, in fact, be politics that wins the day.

    If the national politicians perceive that green issues are what concern the public then it will be wind farms. However, if it seems to them that we are more tuned into economic arguments, as is the more likely case in the current climate, we’ll get gas.

    Its the familiar outcome of democracy plus an uninformed and fickle electorate.

    • Francis L. Chalmers  September 13, 2011 at 9:12 pm

      Cliff, sir, you are bereft of common sense. Wind Farms REQUIRE the building of a STANDARD COAL FIRED or NUCLEAR POWER STATION to “pick up the slack” when there is no wind.

      Not only are they a blot on the landscape, but when there’s no wind, where does the power come from?

      You can’t use solar power, because some of the least windy days can also be overcast… so where do you get the power from???

      It’s not politics that will win the day it will be greedy scumbags like you – I suspect you’re one of those on the ‘inside’.

      Greedy fat politicians, bankers and Council Officers – who always seem to know just when the juicy opportunities are coming up. Perhaps that’s because they’re set up and then the proceeds are divided.

      We’re not stupid any more, Cliff.

  24. Nigel Ward  August 9, 2011 at 11:57 am

    Readers will be pleased to learn that the Harbour Board will be meeting to resolve some of the issues raised by Councillor Ken Graham in one of their (famously) open-to-the-public meetings very soon.

    Where? And when?

    In that most accessible of venues, SNEATON CASTLE – handily close to the town centre. NOT.

    And (wait for it) at that most convenient possible time for the people of Whitby – in particular, those with a special interest in the Harbour -


    And do I have this information because, as Tony Hornigold assured me, it was available on the Yorkshire Ports web-site?


    I have this information because it was ‘leaked’ to me by an insider who thinks (quite rightly) that the secrecy mentality of SBC sucks to high heaven.

  25. Tom Brown  August 10, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    I view the Whitby Harbour Board as nothing more than milk monitors.
    They are only in existence to allow SBC to dodge their long standing responsibilities with regard to Whitby harbour

  26. Nigel Ward  August 11, 2011 at 10:04 am

    WTC Cllr Tom Brown has shared with me a letter from SBC’s Strategic Director David Archer. I find it disingenuous in the extreme. Mr Archer maintains that WTC has been “represented at each and every stage of the consultation process”.

    It has not.

    I have responded to Tom, delineating what, in my view, is a deliberate attempt to mislead the Council.

    You decide.

    —– Original Message —–
    From: Nigel
    To: Tom Brown
    Cc: IAN HAVELOCK ; W JONES ; steve.artefacts@btinternet.com ; SEAN RIXHAM- SMITH ; Callmurphy@aol.com ; Ken Graham ; John Freeman ; j.dickinson1234@btinternet.com ; h_coughlan@hotmail.co.uk ; wynnejones11@yahoo.com ; PHIL TRUMPER ; joyce.stangoe@googlemail.com ; AMANDA SMITH ; d.collins147@btinternet.com
    Sent: Wednesday, August 10, 2011 7:44 PM
    Subject: Fw: Fw: Investment Plan for Whitby Harbour

    Cllr Tom BROWN – Abbey Ward – Whitby Town (Parish) Council


    Thank you for sharing with me, in the public interest, Mr David Archer’s letter of 10th August 2011 to WTC.

    I have a number of observations that may be of interest to you and your fellow Councillors.

    1) I note that Mr Archer has chosen to provide his letter in the form of an image-PDF – that is to say, in a format widely condemned as being emphatically NOT ‘best practice’, since it precludes the possibility of the recipient readily adopting cut-and-paste techniques for the purposes of quoting the sender verbatim as and when necessary, for purposes of rebuttal. I note, too, that Mr Archer’s spelling is poor for one on such a high salary.

    2) Mr Archer’s letter makes reference to a Report (Ref.11/254) presented to the Board regarding “the proposed investment of £300,000 of remaining monies from the Whitby Marina Development”.

    3) Mr Archer’s letter proceeds to itemize a number of documents, being notes and minutes of certain meetings, in support of his contention that WTC was “represented at each and every stage of the consultation process”.

    4) Mr Archer begins by citing the minutes of the WTC Meeting of 1st February 2011 – (701/11), stating that:

    “Initial considerations regarding the issues being considered by the WHB, including ideas for utilisation of the £300,000 were discussed, etc”.

    I quote:


    Apologies were received from Peter Popple who was unable to attend due to ill health. Mr Farmer Acting Chairman of the Harbour Board with Mr Black and Mr Hornigold as well as John Riby and David Archer, Scarborough Borough Council spoke and answered questions regarding Whitby Harbour Board. Members were made aware that the Memorandum of Understanding which would be independent of Scarborough Borough Council was still to be finalised. Mr Farmer assured councillors that there was a good infrastructure for the long term and there would be good consultation. The Harbour Board would have full executive powers to spend the budget set by Scarborough Borough Council.

    Mr Hornigold explained the situation regarding the proposed cuts to the coastguard stations up and down the country. A response had been submitted by the Harbour Board against the cuts and a copy is available on line on the Port Services website. Members were made aware that the Coastguard stations are going to be cut from 18 to 6 with five of the six operating daylight hours only. There will be two maritime operational centres one based in Aberdeen and the other on the South Coast.

    Lengthy discussion took place on the wind farms and the opportunities they could bring to Whitby in the terms of jobs, loss of infrastructure such as a rail head was a concern. Concern was expressed regarding the proposed cuts to the coastguard stations and the effect on shipping from the growing number of wind farms which do not appear to have been taken into consideration.

    A question was asked about the recruitment process for the Harbour Board and members were made aware that Borough Council members although they did not have to go through the interview process did have to submit a completed application form. Further discussion took place on the harbour users consultative group and how this was set up as there seemed to be little difference in composition.

    Once the report is made available from Yorkshire Water regarding the damage to the East side of the harbour, the Harbour Board should have sight of it, and a copy will be forwarded to the Town Council if available in the public domain.

    I see no reference to this disposition of the £300,000. Mr Archer is in error.

    5) Mr Archer then proceeds to the WHCG meeting of 8th February, which, according to Mr Archer’s attached draft minutes, was attended as follows:


    Mr J Whitton, Whitby Chartered Skippers Association (Chairman)
    Mr G Lodge, Whitby Boating Association (Vice-Chairman)
    Mr J Butler, Whitby Cruising Association
    Mr J Eglon, Friendship Rowing Club
    Mr K Graham, Fishermens Rowing Club
    Mr S Hammond, Coates Marine
    Mr P Hobson, Passenger Vessel Operators
    Mr R Marsden, Whitby Coblemen’s Association
    Mr K Stewart, RNLI
    Mr N Williamson, Whitby Yacht Club
    Cllr P Popple, Chair of Whitby Harbour Board
    Cllr J Flinton, Whitby Harbour Board
    Cllr H Tindall, Whitby Harbour Board
    Mr J Riby, Head of Technical Services
    Capt I Vasey, Deputy Harbour Master
    Mrs L Dale, Ports Administration

    Manifestly, no then elected member of Whitby Town (Parish) Council was present. It follows, therefore, that Mr Archer is once again in error in citing this document as evidence of the fact that WTC was “represented at each and every stage, etc”.

    The draft states (under Item 9):

    “The £300,000 from Yorkshire Forward was discussed. A consultation meeting looking at possible options for spending this funding had taken place on 8 February 2011 at Sneaton Castle. Cllr Popple confirmed that this funding was secure and there was no time limit for spending it. Mr Riby confirmed that the funds have been ring-fenced for harbour expenditure and that the Investment Consultation Plan proposed several options.”

    So although Mr Archer is correct in stating that the £300,000 was discussed, he is incorrect in his claim that WTC had any part therein.

    6) Mr Archer goes on to assert that the matter was discussed at the WTC Meeting of 1st march 2011, referring specifically to Items 766/11 and 768/11- the first of which confirms the Council’s receipt of letters from Robert Goodwill MP, DEFRA (x2) and NYCC. No letter from the Harbour Board is recorded. Mr Archer would appear to be in error on this point, too.

    768/11 refers to members’ reports. The sole reference to the £300,000 is contained in Part (c), from which I quote, verbatim:

    (c) Councillor Dickinson reported on a meeting of the Harbour Advisory Board. How to spend the £300,000 was discussed Councillor Dickinson did not attend the harbour Board Trustees meeting as he was not notified of it.

    (The semantics and punctuation are Ms Dobson’s).

    Clearly, Mr Archer is once again in error if he is seeking to demonstrate that WTC was “represented at each and every stage, etc”.

    7) Mr Archer next asserts that the draft investment plan was taken to the WHUG meeting on 16th May 2011 and the WHCG meeting on 25th May 2011.

    Firstly, Mr Archer has apparently not provided the minutes of the WHUG meeting of 16th May 2011 – perhaps because they are not available, perhaps because they do not support his contention.

    Secondly, whilst Mr Archer’s assertion that WTC Councillor Steve Smith was present at the WHCG meeting on 25th May 2011, he neglects to mention that Cllr Smith did query the disposition of the £300,000 and did not receive a coherent explanation. I quote from the minutes:

    3.3 StS asked if the items in the investment plan were a legitimate use of this funding. AR replied that the £300,000 of funding is actually the remainder of the Council’s originally allocated £1.3m contribution towards the development of Whitby Marina. This surplus was created when Yorkshire Forward granted an additional £300,000 towards the building of the marina facilities (this has now been completed and their contribution spent) and was granted on the understanding that the surplus created within the Council’s budget be earmarked for investment in the Whitby Harbour area. The Council have agreed to transfer the responsibility for this budget to the Board.

    In any case, it is interesting to note that this information conflicts with the information provided by Mr Ian Anderson, SBC’s Head of Legal & Support Services and Monitoring Officer, at the Harbour Board meeting of 6th June 2011:
    ( http://democracy.scarborough.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=516&MId=3422&Ver=4), which I personally attended, along with Councillor Ian Havelock and Councillor Ken Graham (both present as members of the public), and Richard Ineson.

    It is noteworthy that the minutes report the attendance details thus:

    Councillor Mike Cockerill Chairman Present
    Mr L Farmer Co-Optee Present
    Mr E Black Co-Optee Present
    Councillor John Geoffrey Flinton Committee Member Present
    Mr J Hardisty Committee Member Present
    Mr A S Hornigold Co-Optee Present
    Councillor W H Tindall Committee Member Present
    Councillor Mrs Sandra Turner Committee Member Present
    Councillor Mrs Dorothy Clegg Substitute Present as substitute
    Mrs Christine Armitage Secretary Present

    In short, no representative of WTC was invited or attended the meeting in an official capacity.

    Once again, Mr Archer is in error when he states that WTC was “represented at each and every stage, etc”.

    In summation, Mr Archer’s contention that “The Town Council were represented at each and evry stage of the consultation process leading to approval of the investment plan” is palpable nonsense.

    This will come as no surprise.

    I hope that this investigation of Mr Archer’s contention will be of assistance in helping the Town (Parish) Council formulate an appropriate response.

    Kind regards,


    To date, only Cllrs Tom Brown and Ken Graham have troubled to thank me for
    my work.

  27. admin  August 11, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    I am a little concerned that the next meeting of the harbour board has been scheduled for early regatta day morning. Am I alone in thinking this is planned to stop the people of Whitby from attending ? This is the busiest day of the year for the majority of people with an interest in the harbour. Both rowing clubs will be otherwise occupied, Charter skippers will either be working or enjoying the festival with their families, Yachters will be doing whatever it is they do (Trying to make boats go fast using the wind). Townsfolk will be at the fair or early morning procession of floats and fancy dress etc. WHY WHY WHY Have you done this Whitby Harbour Board ? We would love to hear from you through our comments section !!

  28. Nigel Ward  August 12, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Interesting to see that this story has made the national paper FISHING NEWS.

    Their story (on Page 5) is a a précis of this Real Whitby coverage.

    Tony Hornigold is quoted at length, but the most significant passage reads:

    “In preparation for the local jobs that might arise from the development [the wind-farm], the fishing school was taking wind farm courses and apprenticeships suited to such a development”.

    The careful reader will take good note of “might arise” and “such developments”.

    Aren’t we alright?

  29. Nigel Ward  August 12, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    The newly-formed Harbour Committee of the Whitby Town (Parish) Council – consisting of Cllrs Steve SMITH, Phil TRUMPER, Ken GRAHAM, John DICKINSON, Dennis COLLINS and Ian HAVELOCK – will meet on the evening of Tuesday 16th August 2011, to elect their Chair and Vice Chair, and (presumably) to delegate representatives to external bodies.

    They (that is to say, the delegated representatives) have been invited by the Harbour Board Chair, SBC Cllr Mike COCKERILL, to meet with the Harbour Board on Wednesday 17th August 2011, at the Harbour Office – to discuss, inter alia, Terms of Reference for future meetings.

    There is no indication that this meeting will be open to members of the public.

    At least, that is my interpretation of the letter of invitation.

    Here it is, verbatim:

    Whitby Town Council
    Deputy Clerk & Civic Officer
    Mrs A Cowey

    Dear Mrs Cowey,

    Although a formal reply to the invitation from the Harbour Board has not yet been received from the Town Council, the members of the Whitby Harbour Board are aware that the Town Council have[sic] designated a number of Town Councillors to meet the Harbour Board to discuss relevant matters.

    Consequently I would like to invite your designated representatives to an inaugural meeting with the Whitby Harbour Board at 4:00pm on Wednesday 17th August at the Harbour Office.

    The main purpose of the meeting being to discuss Terms of Reference for future meetings.

    Yours sincerely

    Cllr Mike Cockerill

    In short, delegates whose identity is unlikely to be known to the public until after the event will meet the Harbour Board – behind closed doors and less than 24 hours after their delegation.

    Ladies and gentlemen, I give you TRANSPARENCY – SBC-style!

  30. Nigel Ward  August 16, 2011 at 7:56 am

    This BBC article will demonstrate the point about wind-farms not being the austerity option:


    Watch the slide-show and ask yourself whether or not this is going to happen in any sense at all that could have a positive influence on Whitby – other than delivering the milk and the morning paper.

  31. Nigel Ward  September 4, 2011 at 8:11 am

    Members of the public may be interested in Agenda Item #11 for the forthcoming meeting of Whitby Town (Parish) Council on Tuesday 6th September:

    11. HARBOUR – To consider the following correspondence received from Scarborough Borough Council.

    A) Whitby Harbour – Investment of £300,000;
    B) Investment Plan for Whitby Harbour;
    C) A letter from Cllr Mike Cockerill regarding the Town Council’s request for

    Alternatively, the Chuckle Brothers are appearing (somewhere).

  32. Dave Heselton  May 20, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    When I was about 14 years old I remember my grandad saying that one day the government will have to stop the trawlers from trawling because if not, there will be no fish left. My grandad spent most of his life fishing out of Whitby, his words came true.

    The fishing industry in Whitby is a fraction of what it was only 20 years ago, the industry has been in decline for many years and sadly there is no future prospect of a recovery or a resurgence in fishing.

    The best way forward is for a mixed economy, what fishing remains should be supported, the leisure craft business now brings in substantial revenue and should be developed and encouraged; As far as the Dogger Bank proposals are concerned, this project will go ahead at some point fairly soon, and as Whitby is closer to Dogger Bank than both Teesport and Hull, then it is reasonable for SBC to put Whitby and Scarborough forward as potential ports for servicing the development.

  33. Nigel Ward  May 21, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    I fear the horse has bolted:


  34. Al Roberts  January 19, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    And still the spin goes on.

    A report presented to The Harbour Users Group at Scarborough (THUGS) and written by the Harbourmaster Capt Ian Vasey says,

    “Fish dues and vessel dues have been boosted by seasonal visiting fishing vessels, and also the regular visits by survey vessels, equally ad hoc visits by wind farm craft have all contributed to the invoiced budgeted figures being up
    on target by approximately £19k.”

    A falsehood.
    The truth is, and was pointed out to Capt Vasey by THUGS, that there were NO visits by vessels working on windfarm work at Scarborough.

    Meanwhile just two days later Cllr Cockerill in statement to THUGS says,

    “The suggestion about a new strategy for all the ports had been discussed in late 2011 but had been placed on hold due to the potential from the offshore windfarm sector. Unfortunately, as we heard at the meeting, the work of the industry has not progressed as quickly as we were originally led to believe, I have therefore requested that work on the strategy now continues”.

    Does anyone at SBC have any strategy other than the present one of, “do nowt til were forced to?”

  35. Daryl Smiler  February 12, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    I would be interested to know, if this windfarm project ever went ahead, just what kind of onshore facilities would be required? The next question would be, could the harbour, which for all practical purposes is not 24 hour, meet these needs?

    Added to these comments which may be positively answered is the final puzzle. The Tees just to the north already has a massive windfarm project under construction. Would not the logical action be to seek to use the facilities that will be there?

  36. Al Roberts  February 12, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    Interesting questions Daryl.
    There are some more on this link.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

whitby photography by glenn kilpatrick