On Wednesday 31 May, Poole Harbour Commissioners (PHC) held its Annual Stakeholders Open Evening in its North Lounge venue here at Poole Harbour Commissioners.

PHC has been holding these events for 23 years and finds this to be a highly valuable way for the organisation to engage with local communities and stakeholders.

We welcomed around 150 attendees from a wide variety of stakeholders.

PHC’s Chairman, Lee Hardy OBE, opened the evening and welcomed all.

Our guest speaker, Ruth Barden from Wessex Water, gave a very informative presentation on the Assets and Water Quality in Poole Harbour, including water quality forecasting in Poole Harbour and some of the collaborative projects they are running, including year-round bathing water sampling at Boscombe Pier, Bournemouth Pier and Avon Beach; development of Poole Harbour real time water quality notification system; ongoing work with Litter Free Dorset; and an update on their investment plans, including increasing storm storage capacity at Holdenhurst.

Our Harbour Master and Marine & Port Director, Captain Brian Murphy, gave an update on the Perenco Oil Pollution Incident Response from 26 March to 31 May, summarising and detailing the operation including the statutory duty, initial response, pipeline release site,  recovery operations, regulatory collaboration, progress, and remediation and response statistics. He showed pictures of the progress from the start of the operation.

Our Chief Executive, Jim Stewart, updated the room on the Masterplan update, ie a refresh of the 2013 Masterplan outlining the Port’s ambitious vision for the next 20 years. He outlined the Harbour Authorities 5 strategic objectives for the future:

  1. Be the UK’s number one marine leisure location
  2. Maximise the Port Estate potential
  3. Become a leading Green Port
  4. Promote opportunities from our new deepwater facility ‘South Quay’
  5. Optimise RoRo Ferry potential

As it was Jim Stewart’s last Stakeholders Annual Open Evening before he leaves the organisation at the end of June, he gave the audience an overview of what the Port has achieved in the 20 years that he has been PHC’s CEO.

The evening then gave way to networking and refreshments and the PHC Chair’s Award, which was given to Oliver Hale, for his many fantastic achievements sailing with Poole Yacht Club.