We're Being Sunk by Crown's Cut; COUNCIL WANTS ROYAL ESTATE TO REDUCE ITS SHARE OF MARINA CASH
Byline: HYWEL TREWYN
A CASH strapped council is to ask the Crown Estate to reduce its bill for using a harbour.
The Crown Estate has been collecting a whopping 10% of the income from the Gwynedd council-owned Hafan Pwllheli marina ever since it was opened in the early 1990s. The agreement was set up as a covenant.
In 2010, Hafan's income amounted to pounds 1,485,007 which meant it had to shell-out pounds 145,000 to the Crown Estate.
In 2011, there was a reduction in Hafan's income to pounds 1,372,008, so pounds 137,200 must be handed over.
For 2012, the council is asking the Crown if it can pay less because of the economic downturn.
It comes as the council has had to shut toilets, dim street lights, and make other cutbacks to help find savings of pounds 37m over five years.
A report by council maritime officer Barry Davies for the Pwllheli Harbour Consultative Committee, which meets next Tuesday, says: "The fee paid to the Crown Estate Commissioners in 2011/12 remains at pounds 145,000 which is a significant sum and does not include the fee payable for the foreshore lease relating to the outer harbour and other beach foreshore leases in Gwynedd.
"Given that pounds 145,000 is a significant sum, it is hoped that dialogue with the Crown Estate Commissioners agent could be commenced in the very near future with a view to discussing the current agreement and to hopefully reduce the significant amount paid."
Mr Davies added: "The council's contribution is re-assessed every five years. The payment has to come out of the harbour's yearly budget. On top of that there are other fees we have to pay the Crown, including pounds 2,600 a year for mooring claws and blocks and foreshore lease for the Dwyfor coast of pounds 8,500. There are also additional smaller sums to pay on top.
"We are tied to the rules of the covenant but hope to have talks with the Crown's agents about reducing the payment. …