Last night I attended the monthly Porthleven Town Council (TC) meeting. During the public participation part we had 3 people who wanted to speak. Two were requests and the other speaker was there to introduce them self in the new role of Harbour Manager created by the Harbour owners, The Harbour and Dock Company. I shall cover the two requests first
The first request was from the Gig Club wanted for the Town Council to apply for planning permission for a storage container for the Gig. The reason for this is that if the Town Council applies it gets 50% cheaper planning fees. We don’t normally do this, but as we own the land this will be situated on, and we support community clubs like this. So we were more than happy to do this.
The second was from the Bowling Club wanted permission from the TC to have a small bar in the club house. We as Landlords of the building were again more than happy to support this.
Now to the point of the introduction. I was glad the Harbour Manager came. I wanted to ask some questions over changes to using various parts of harbour. These points had been raised by people and community groups who use the surrounding areas of the Harbour. They felt upset and annoyed over these changes and had asked me to take up their concerns.
For anyone who knows Porthleven there is a area called the harbour head. This is a good sized green area that traditionally groups have used to raised a little money to help their causes/groups. I am not going to say this is only used by community groups because events and commercial stalls also use this area. The point is these groups have been sent a letter saying they will only be able to use this area on the 4 Bank Holidays. Before that, they were allowed to (subject to booking) use this all year. I challenged this. The response I got was a slight change to what was said in the letter. They said outside these 4 days they could apply to use it. No guarantee was given of these groups being allowed to use this area more than 4 times. But at least its a step in the right direction.
The second point I raised was to do with another piece of land. The size of this is small, and is more suited to a couple of tables selling a few cakes and other bric-a-brac. Its only really used by local groups who want to raise a little bit of money to help their groups.
They might only make 20 odd pounds for the day, but that’s a lot to these groups. Last year a fee was introduced of £5 per day. This year its now £10. That’s a 100% increase on something that you should really not charge for. It smacks more of penny pinching. These groups rely on this money and if they have to “rent” this space for such a high charge then they maybe force to stop.
Now I have to give credit. The person in question did listen and said they would take it up with the boss and owner of the harbour. They said they would raise these important points when they phoned the owner in Bath.
I do understand the Harbour is a business. It does charge for the new purpose built market stalls over at the far end of the harbour. These are commercial stalls and I see no argument in not charging. The community stalls don’t compete with the commercial stalls. In fact they are completely different. It seems more about money, than by helping groups that struggle to get funding who are only trying to raise a little money.