Sunny Day In Ventnor at Ventnor (Stephanie Carvell)

SEAWEED REMOVAL COSTS IN VENTNOR INCREASE BY £12,000

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The cost to remove seaweed from Ventnor Harbour has gone up by £12,000.

Since the harbour was built it has suffered from seaweed brought in from the English Channel, which has had to be removed to retain a constant depth and get rid of smells.

Now the cost of the contract is increasing due to additional work required to the plant and equipment used, said a council spokesperson.

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Between March 2019 and March 2020, the Isle of Wight Council paid Cheetah Marine £75,120 to have the seaweed removed, which was said to be unsustainable in the long-term. The contract ran out at the end of March 2020 with the council budgeting £73,189 for its renewal — an almost £2,000 cut.

Through a procurement process, it was won back by Cheetah Marine, who will carry on the service until March 2022 but at a higher cost.

Ventnor Harbour is forecast to face a £15,231 overspend in its contracted services budget. Of the £15,231, £14,231 is for the renewal of the seaweed contract, with the price increasing to £87,420 a year — more than the council had budgeted.

Speaking at a meeting of the harbour committee, Ventnor East’s Councillor Graham Perks, said the contract had gone up by a significant amount and that he would like some clarification and a full set of accounts. He said:

“The people in Ventnor can read between the lines, that it is not making any money – it is costing money – and we do not want to see it offloaded for a stupid amount.”

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Cllr Perks said that the issue could be fixed for £300,000, using money given to the council by the government for its coastal protection schemes, to turn the westward arm back out to sea, cutting 80 per cent of the seaweed coming in.

He also suggested getting a fresh pair of eyes on the problem, with the council only accepting ideas that had not already been put forward in previous reports.

Alex Minns, the council’s assistant director of neighbourhoods, said the council had spent a number of years trying to find a possible solution but “if it was straightforward, it would have been sorted by now.

“I have yet to see a report or any suggestion of how the problem could be resolved that is cost effective.”

The council is reviewing the future for Ventnor Harbour, following the ongoing talks with Ryde Town Council to take on Ryde Harbour.

A spokesperson for the Isle of Wight Council said the seaweed removal contract would form part of the discussions into Ventnor Harbour’s future.

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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Bob mine's a little one please
Bob mine's a little one please
1 month ago

Why don’t they sink Floaty McFarceFace just outside the harbour and block the thing up. Two drains on the public purse sorted on a oner!

Helen Highwater
Helen Highwater
1 month ago

“if it was straightforward, it would have been sorted by now.” – like, er,
Coppins Bridge? Like FB6?
And the result of the “procurement process”? – a price rise!

If you want something done properly, who you gonna ask?

Gorob
Gorob
1 month ago

Do people come up with a figure and then add a naught on it just for good measure.

Andy
Andy
1 month ago

I don’t really understand Ventnor Harbour. It seems to be used exclusively by Blake’s fishing fleets. Surely, they should be coughing up some monies for clearing the seaweed. I believe they use to clear a lot of seaweed at Steephill Cove – another area that seemed to be dominated by the Blake family.

Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong – just an observation.

Steven
Steven
Reply to  Andy
1 month ago

Some one or lots on the take

David Ford
David Ford
Reply to  Andy
1 month ago

Yes you are right there

Davimel
Davimel
Reply to  Andy
1 month ago

Not wrong at all, and with a peppercorn ‘rent’ for both companies with exclusive rights to the harbour we seem to be spending more and more with absolutely zero return, and no hope of one! Just get ready for another ‘£25 giveaway’ of both plots, followed by selling off for massive profit and 2 empty units rotting over the coming years… Ya couldn’t make it up!

Ventnor resident
Ventnor resident
1 month ago

I’m finding this hard to understand there are only two companies that use this harbour the cost should be split between the two, May be when the harbour was built they should have listened to the Ventnor long shoremen at the time of building he said the opening should have been on the westward side

Joe Bloggs
Joe Bloggs
Reply to  Ventnor resident
1 month ago

They will only listen to their “experts” not those who really know what they are talking about.

isla wight
isla wight
Reply to  Joe Bloggs
1 month ago

Had they listened to local fishermen and longshoremen, you know, the people who actually know the area and how the foreshore works, before it was built then there wouldn’t be a problem with seaweed or water depth now, but no, they know best.

Jane Ford
Jane Ford
1 month ago

How about using the seaweed (vraic) as fertilizer as they do in the Channel Islands. They could sell it to the farmers and recoup some money.

Old Mike
Old Mike
Reply to  Jane Ford
1 month ago

I believe that the EU stopped farmers on the Channel Islands using seaweed on their crops, which is why Jersey Royal potatoes don’t taste the way they used to.

Level Phil
Level Phil
1 month ago

Can’t they reduce costs by selling the seaweed? It seems to have a number of uses.

Right all the time
Right all the time
1 month ago

Stupid project should have never of been created in the first place, it’s like a bunch of kids that have built a dam in a Brook,

That one man band peir thats basically a shed on stilts has done nothing for the regeneration of the area, no place for boats to park up…..so what was the point??

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