Harbour Management Plan

2 BACKGROUND

2.1 The Trustees are the competent harbour authority for the Gloucester Harbour pursuant to the Pilotage Act 1987. The main duties and responsibilities of the Trustees are the provision of pilotage and the provision and maintenance of navigation aids and generally to ensure the safety of navigation within the Gloucester Harbour.

2.2 The Gloucester Harbour Trustees were originally constituted in 1890 by the Pier and Harbour Confirmation (No. 3) Act 1889 and initially comprised some 22 Trustees.

2.3 The current constitution of GHT comprises 13 Trustees appointed in accordance with the provisions of the HRO 1994, which also sets out the procedures applying to the Trustees' meetings. The present Trustees continue in office until 31 July 2002.

2.4 The Trustees meet quarterly and are responsible for the overall strategy and performance of the Authority.

2.5 The Trustees aim to run an efficient, effective and economic operation for the benefit of all stakeholders.

2.6 The Trustees' offices at Gloucester and Sharpness, together with the workshop and garage at Sharpness, are all occupied under leases. The Trustees also have a series of leases, agreements and licences relating to the siting of the navigational aids both on-shore and off-shore. The Trustees do not have the benefit of any freeholds.

2.7 The boundaries of the Gloucester Harbour are defined by the HRO 1988. It covers a large area of the Severn Estuary and includes the tidal reaches of the Rivers Severn and Wye. Its outer limits commence seawards of the Second Severn Crossing and its inner limits end at the weirs at Llanthony and Maisemore near Gloucester and Bigsweir Bridge on the River Wye. (See map at page 2.)

2.8 Traffic within the Gloucester Harbour includes commercial vessels arriving at and departing from Sharpness Dock. Both the dock and the dry dock at Sharpness are operated by private sector companies and the Trustees do not own or operate any docks, quays or loading/unloading facilities. Pilotage is compulsory for larger vessels. The remainder of the traffic comprises leisure craft, although there are at least two sand dredgers operating within the Gloucester Harbour on a regular basis.

2.9 The Trustees are a statutory body and as such are classed by HM Government as a Trust Port and the doctrine of 'ultra vires' applies to them. They derive their powers from general legislation and local Acts and Orders. The Trustees aim to break-even taking one year with another and any profits must be reinvested for the benefit of the Harbour.

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