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Port Governance Review, Carrick District Council

Port Governance Review, Carrick District Council

Fisher Associates was engaged by Carrick District Council to undertake a review of the Council’s harbours against best practice set out in the Municipal Ports Review (MPR) (2006), and by association the Trust Ports Review (1999). This covered three statutory ports: Truro, Penryn and Prince of Wales Pier in Falmouth. (2006)

Drawing on best practice we then prepared:

  • An MOU to specify the relations between the Council and a new Harbour Board.
  • Guidance for the Board and job descriptions for the Chairman and independent Board members.
  • A skills audit against which we assisted with interviewing applicants for Board membership.
  • A draft constitution for a new stakeholders forum.

The benchmarking methodology was in three stages:

  • Stage 1: Benchmarking the harbours against the MPR, and identification of issues to be considered by the Steering Group.
  • Stage 2: Development of proposals or recommendations for review and adoption by the Steering Group.
  • Stage 3: Consultation on the recommendations, incorporation of feedback, and adoption by the Council.

The approach used to benchmark the ports was:

  • Mine the MPR for all the key questions and advice that it offers.
  • Identify current practice within Carrick District Council in respect of the issue raised.
  • Identify whether there is an issue that should be considered.

Following consultation with the Steering Group, recommendations were presented on behalf of the Steering Group for approval by the Harbours Forum, Cabinet, and full Council. These included:

  • A summary of the key findings from the benchmarking exercise.
  • Draft recommendations that set out the proposals in principle.

The key recommendations included:

  • Setting up a bespoke fit for purpose Board to increase expertise and improve responsiveness in the decision making process.
  • Separation of owning authority and managing body via use of a memorandum of understanding (MOU).
  • Changing harbours from an executive to a non-executive function.
  • Implementing Trust Port Guidelines regarding Board composition, appointments, performance and accountability.
  • Improving stakeholder involvement.
  • Reducing risks to the General Fund with preparation of a physical masterplan and long term financial plan for self-sufficiency.
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