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Colchester Borough Council Act 2001

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Colchester Borough Council Act 2001

2001 CHAPTER ii

An Act to make provision for the closure of certain commercial harbour facilities and to enable the Colchester Borough Council to cease to be a harbour authority for the harbour of Colchester; and for connected purposes.

[22nd March 2001]

Whereas—

(1)By the Colchester Corporation Act 1892 (c. cvii) the undertaking of the Commissioners for the Improvement of the River Colne was transferred to the mayor, aldermen and burgesses of the borough of Colchester (“the Corporation”):

(2)The Colchester Borough Council (“the Council”) as successors to the Corporation are the harbour authority of the harbour of Colchester (“the harbour”):

(3)Following the closure of the port facilities at Wivenhoe in 1991, when the existing commercial operator of these facilities withdrew, the remaining port facilities of the harbour are located at the Hythe and Rowhedge:

(4)These facilities are located between 8 and 10 miles upriver from the mouth of the estuary of the River Colne and access is possible only at certain states of the tide, making the harbour unattractive to commercial users who are increasingly employing larger vessels than can be suitably accommodated at the harbour, and who favour ports where greater access is possible:

(5)Trade at the harbour declined rapidly between 1988 and 1991 and, despite the efforts of the Council to effect economies in its harbour operations, those operations have been making substantial deficits:

(6)In November 1993 the Council approved recommendations from its Harbour Working Party in liaison with harbour users to effect economies in the operation of the harbour, but the implementation of those recommendations has not enabled the deficits to be eliminated and, despite further action taken by the Council in 1994 and 1995, the harbour operations have since recorded the following deficits:—

  • 1994/5 – £176,500

  • 1995/6 – £123,200

  • 1996/7 – £147,600

  • 1997/8 – £213,600

  • 1998/9 – £258,600:

(7)The Council is advised that there is no reasonable prospect of maintaining and managing the harbour otherwise than at a continuing loss which would have to continue to be subsidised from the general revenues of the Council:

(8)It is undesirable that the losses sustained by the Council in respect of the harbour undertaking should continue and it is therefore necessary for action to be taken by the Council as soon as possible with a view to preventing any further losses:

(9)The long-term decline of the trade of the harbour and its businesses has had a deleterious effect upon the character and appearance of East Colchester, which the Council is seeking to address both by providing for the orderly closure of the residual commercial facilities of the harbour and by implementing initiatives for the regeneration of vacant and derelict land, in conjunction with the Colchester Economic Forum, the Essex County Council, the private sector and the local communities of East Colchester:

(10)These initiatives include the establishment of the East Colchester Partnership which receives funding under the Government’s Single Regeneration Budget from the East of England Development Agency in recognition of the area’s acute social needs and the necessity of reviving economic activity:

(11)It is expedient that the residual commercial facilities between the Upper Hythe and Fingringhoe should be closed and that the Council should cease to be a harbour authority for the harbour:

(12)It is expedient that, following closure, certain provision should be made in respect of pilotage and navigational aids on parts of the River:

(13)It is expedient that the other provisions of this Act should be enacted:

(14)The purposes of this Act cannot be effected without the authority of Parliament:

(15)A plan showing the lands in respect of which certain user rights may be affected by the closure of the residual commercial facilities under the powers of this Act and also a book of reference to such plan containing the names of the owners and lessees or reputed owners and lessees and of the occupiers of those lands were duly deposited in the Office of the Clerk of the Parliaments and the Private Bill Office, House of Commons, and with the proper officer of the Essex County Council:

(16)In relation to the promotion of the Bill for this Act the requirements of section 239 of the Local Government Act 1972 (c. 70) have been observed:

May it therefore please Your Majesty that it may be enacted, and be it enacted, by the Queen’s Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same as follows:—

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