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'Bullying' claimstrongly denied

By West Briton  |  Posted: April 10, 2014

By Mark Sansom

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IN RESPONSE to your article entitled 'Group tries to reform way port is operated' in the Falmouth and Penryn edition dated April 3, I wanted to write to clarify a few of the points raised to offer both corrections and to reassure readers.

We take the management of Falmouth Harbour extremely seriously and our relationships with users and the community is important to us.

We are always keen to hear from and engage with our stakeholders. We formally report back by publishing our annual reports and holding an annual public meeting and our offices are open throughout the week. Falmouth Harbour Commissioners continues to invest considerable resource and funds to support the town, from sponsoring the Red Arrows to supporting large-scale events such as the Tall Ships Regatta.

The article stated that "Port trusts in Fowey, Looe, Padstow and the Isles of Scilly all have harbour commissioners which are elected from within the community" which is not accurate. Out of the list featured only Padstow and Looe have directly elected commissioners. To reiterate my comment in the article, our operations and the recruitment of commissioners are fully compliant with the standards set out by the Department for Transport in their guidance. We make appointments on merit so that the board has the necessary skills to manage the trust port effectively taking into account our wide range of port operations and users.

Falmouth Haven, the newly launched leisure service arm of Falmouth Harbour Commissioners which manages the moorings in Falmouth Harbour, has advised customers of the plan to phase out the option of private moorings placed on hired seabed and is not "forcing" customers to rent serviced moorings as was reported. The allegation of "bullying" customers is strenuously denied and we have received no complaints from customers relating to their experience with Falmouth Haven or any of their staff. Barry Buist, the general manager, has held several successful meetings with individual customers and many former private holders have elected to change to the serviced mooring option for the coming season.

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