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Whitby Harbour users call on Scarborough Borough Council for 'urgent renovations'

Whitby Harbour Photo: PA
Whitby harbour. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

By Kris Jepson

Whitby Harbour users, campaigners and businesses have called on Scarborough Borough Council to re-invest revenue made in the fishing town to start "urgent renovation" works on the harbour and piers. Watch @krisjepson's report here:

Speaking to ITV News Tyne Tees, Fight 4 Whitby campaigner, John Freeman said it is vital for the the future of Whitby that planned £8.5m renovation works start.

"I think it's time they (Scarborough Borough Council) really got their act together. It's time they actually looked at Whitby properly, cared for it properly and actually invested money that's earned in Whitby, back into Whitby, without pouring it back into Scarborough."

– John Freeman, Fight 4 Whitby

The Whitby Coastal Strategy, produced for Scarborough Borough Council in 2002 concluded that both main piers had a residual life of less than 10 years and another report in 2009 confirmed this by stating "if the structures receive no capital investment, they will continue to erode, collapse and disintegrate until only the ruins remain. This will expose the town and estuary to increased wave and tide conditions.”

The Environment Agency pledged £4.8m in 2014 for the works, but the council has so far been unable to raise the extra £3.7m to begin the project.

Scarborough Borough Councillor Mike Cockerill said earlier this year "Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering Limited was appointed to prepare a detailed specification for the project, which involved designing and costing a scheme and preparing a work schedule.”

"We have a number of bids for funding from external agencies yet to be determined for both the piers and other areas around the harbour."

– Cllr Mike Cockerill, Scarborough Borough Council
Whitby Harbour Credit: PA

Trawler-man, Richard Brewer, claims his boat was damaged by silt in the harbour because the council dredger broke in May. He is now without an income and has had to lay off three crewmen. He said "the water ingress into the boat, filled the cabin, filled the engine room, causing an immense amount of damage. I think if the harbour had been dredged as it normally has been, we maybe wouldn’t have had this problem."

"The dredging system is currently in a dry dock to allow the conversion work to be completed. It is expected that the work will be complete in time to allow the modified and improved dredging system to return to Whitby in December."

– Cllr Mike Cockerill, Scarborough Borough Council

Former lifeboat skipper, Barry Sneddon said "Everyone comes to Whitby, it's a holiday resort, that's what it's all about now, but you’ve got to give them the facilities and safety is paramount, it's everything. The council just aren’t spending anything in Whitby."