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GMB delegates at the annual congress in Brighton have called on Bembridge Harbour owner Malcolm Thorpe to open the harbour’s finances to public scrutiny.

Last December, GMB Southern spoke at a public meeting at Bembridge Village Hall where local residents discussed their concerns about the future of the village’s harbour. However, many questions were left unanswered following Mr Thorpe’s failure to attend the meeting.

At last years conference, GMB also passed a motion calling on Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, to enact the Bembridge Harbour Act 1963 which allows for the Secretary of State to call in the books of the Harbour Company and conduct and audit.

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Paul Maloney, GMB Regional Secretary has said:

“Bembridge Harbour owner Malcolm Thorpe has refused to publish the Harbour’s full accounts. He has also refused to meet GMB to discuss the situation which has been brought to our attention by our members who work and live in Bembridge.

“The whole way that Mr Thorpe’s company structures are built around the statutory Harbour Company need to become more transparent to gain public confidence. It is clear that considerable questions surround the management and sustainability of Bembridge Harbour.

“Despite community attempts to bring a greater degree of public transparency to the financial management of the Harbour, the time has come for Mr Thorpe to show us the books.

“The impact on direct employment and the maintenance and growth of leisure activities mean urgent public scrutiny of the Harbour’s long term viability is vital.

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“It is time for Mr Thorpe to meet with concerned residents and answer their questions.”

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