Fund Already Exists to Pay for Whitby Pier Repairs

‘We read that Whitby Town Council (WTC) has stepped up to the plate to fund the return of the footbridge to the East Pier Extension. Admirable and it shows that WTC cares and wants to put right a wrong done by Scarborough Borough Council (SBC), their big brother. SBC has failed to maintain our piers over many decades.

‘Scarborough Borough Council is responsible for maintenance and management of Whitby Harbour, under the 1905 Whitby Urban District Council Harbour Act. This Act allows SBC to raise money from Whitby Harbour via licences, fees and car parking, to pay for the maintenance of Whitby Harbour. This money (currently about £1 million per year) has been collected by SBC every year since Whitby was absorbed into SBC [about 40 years ago].

‘So why are we still waiting for the piers to be fixed? Why is SBC relying so heavily on North Yorkshire County Council, DRFRA and the EU to fund the repairs, when SBC receives the money from Whitby Harbour, year in and year out?

‘The bridge to the West Pier Extension was replaced a number of years ago – do you remember it nearly collapsed and was closed until urgent repairs took place? Why is the bridge to the East Pier Extension now being costed at £300,000?

‘Whitby Town Council have saved SBC £40,000 per year by self-funding our public toilets, after SBC threatened to close them. Why couldn’t this model be rolled out in Scarborough, to self-fund their toilets and so leave more money in the pot to fund other projects?

‘We are now told that that the new toilets are not only fiscally neutral, but are making a profit – a profit which WTC will now use to fund SBC’s bridge to the East Pier Extension.

‘Again, can I point out that Scarborough town’s public toilets are not self-funding, but are paid for by the SBC’s council tax. So if you live in Whitby, Runswick Bay, Fylingdales, Robin Hood’s Bay – all of which have had to fund their own toilets by Parish Councils – then you are, in fact, also paying for the public toilets in Scarborough town.

P. Croft, Whitby.’

With thanks and acknowledgements to the Editor of the Whitby Gazette, where this letter was published on 7 Sept 2018.

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