James Corrigan has reviewed with experts the legislation of 1843, which states that money raised by a port should be paid for its maintenance.
A possible bomb shell for the council’s finances surfaced Tuesday at a Scarborough Council cabinet meeting, which also heard fishermen’s concerns about West Pierre’s reconstruction plans.
Bob Roberts of The Well Dressed Crab Company said he feared it would be “like Maggie Thatcher’s plans for the coal industry – it will end.”
Mr Corrigan’s challenge comes as a group of residents fight 4 Whitby after a long battle, with millions of pounds of revenue from Whitby Harbor finally reaching the court.
Scarborough Council’s accounts have not been signed for the past six years due to objections to how it classifies revenue and expenditure from port lands, including its car parks.
Last year, the council’s external auditors had ruled that only the court could determine the extent of the port’s land.
Mr Corrigan, who owns a property on Sandside and owns a commercial fishing boat on West Pier, asked if the legislation governing Scarborough Harbor had been changed or repealed in 1843, 1876 or 1964. ۔
Council leader Steve Siddons, however, said he did not agree with Mr. Corrigan’s interpretation of the legislation, and the council believes it has fulfilled its legal obligations regarding the operation and maintenance of Scarborough Harbor.
Mr Corrigan told the Yorkshire Post he now intends to include expert legal advice. He said that going back to 1974 when the borough was formed, the amount owed could be “millions, as in the case of Whitby”.
Mr Corrigan said the situation in Scarborough was more straightforward because the land had not been restored, as in Whitby.
He said: “We have not found any basic evidence that the laws of 1843, 1876 and 1964 have been repealed or amended. Releases money for reinvestment in the port.
The meeting also heard objections to Westpier’s redevelopment, one of ten projects bidding for £ 35m in funding from the Government Towns Fund.
The council says its aim is to “improve the area’s appeal to visitors, help the fishing fleet and enhance the built environment”. Plans include open space for events and new restaurants, as well as bait sheds, net lofts, processing, storage and commercial units.
Fisherman Fred Normandel, however, said he did not want to “deviate from the right at the end of the pier”, and asked why “open space, retail and restaurants” were preferred to fishing.
Mr Roberts said the council should send its reconstruction plans to East Pier. “Leave West Pier for the fishermen for whom it was intended,” he said.
The Labor leader said Thatcher Barb had “hit her in the heart” but insisted the plans would “change and maximize the existing port offer”.
Coun Siddons said some commercialization was needed to pay for other work on the wharf. He said: “Fishermen will get more facilities, which has been requested.”
However, Mr Roberts later said: “I want to see what they’re going to do with the warehouses and the washbasin facilities. They’re moving us forward with what they’re doing.”
He said the council’s advice so far has been “divisive” – holding individual meetings with some businesses, but avoiding general fishermen’s meetings.
It was heard at the meeting that further consultations on business matters would be held for the public in March along with the session.
Car parking will be maintained at West Pier, with occasional use for events.
The councilors unanimously voted to submit ten projects to the Department of Leveling Up, Housing and Communities for consideration.