LOCAL ports are expected to be financially self-sufficient over the next decade – according to proposals presented in a strategic document.
An eight-week public consultation on the proposals is expected to start later this year and the strategy is expected to be approved next spring.
Online discussions and consultations have already taken place with port groups that generated around 500 comments and 100 people participated in online workshops.
A questionnaire on the proposals is expected to be approved at a meeting of the working group.
Weymouth adviser Louie O’Leary on Wednesday called for the document to be tightened to make the results more measurable.
He told the Dorset Council ports committee that many of the proposals lacked detail and it would be difficult to determine whether or not they had been completed.
“There’s a lack of substance in some of these things… the problem is, it’s been developed from the top down, not from the bottom up,” he said.
Councilor O’Leary said many of the port’s problems lie in not consulting and communicating properly. He claimed that some representatives of the port advisory groups were not elected by the members they were supposed to represent, but had self-nominated. He also claimed that there was little evidence, in some cases, of these representatives speaking to their members and soliciting their views.
The strategic document, which will guide development over ten years, will be monitored by each of the ports preparing a detailed business plan to achieve their strategic objectives.
The emerging strategy, which will only be approved after consultation with the public and port users, sets out six goals, including “to be a destination of choice by supporting existing and developing leisure, tourism and commerce sectors, making a significant contribution to local life and the blue economy ”and“ Strengthening relationships with port users and stakeholders and working in partnership to achieve common objectives.
The consultation exercise is expected to take place primarily online, although hard copies of the documents should be available in county public libraries.
The draft document can be read in full via the Dorset Coast Forum website – https://www.dorsetcoast.com/projects/dorset-harbours-strategy/