The Board of Commissioners

Situated within the 10,000 acres of Poole Harbour, the Port of Poole is managed by the Poole Harbour Commissioners. The Trust Port was established by an Act of Parliament in 1895 to conserve, regulate and improve the Port and Harbour of Poole and for the construction of works and other purposes.

Poole Harbour Commissioners currently comprise a board of 12 Trustees (Commissioners) with a staff of some 110. All board members are required to sign a declaration that they will act impartially and make decisions in the best interests of the harbour.

Poole Harbour Commissioners’ main responsibilities are:

  • ensuring that statutory duties are fulfilled, such as maintaining an open Port
  • maintaining the shipping channels by surveying, dredging and marking with navigational aids such as buoys and lights
  • providing a pilotage service for ships visiting the Harbour
  • allocating areas of the Harbour for yacht moorings
  • licensing works around the Harbour (e.g. construction of jetties, etc.)
  • providing and co-ordinating resources in the event of oil or chemical pollution in the Harbour
  • contributing to the management of any maritime emergency in the harbour
  • providing a 24 hour manned Harbour Control Office, for harbour traffic management and emergency response
  • maintaining and developing Port facilities to retain existing customers and encourage new ones
  • offering a full range of cargo handling services
  • enforcement of harbour byelaws and keeping them under review
  • taking account of the environmental requirements of the Transport and Works Act 1992 and other relevant legislation
  • ensuring the safety of harbour users and employees alike
  • addressing the obligations placed upon the Trust by legislation including the Waste Disposal Regulations and the Habitats Directive.

Captain David Norman

David Norman is a Shipmaster with extensive command experience covering a wide range of vessel types including square rigged sailing vessels. A longtime customer of Poole Port both as a recreational sailor and as Operations Director for Condor Ferries. He has world wide experience of Ferry Ports and their management and operation. He is also a trustee and director of a conservation charity.


Lee Hardy OBE

Lee Hardy was born in Poole and has been based in the area all his life.

He brings a broad perspective and wide-ranging experience gained during a long, operationally focused, career in the Royal Navy.  Latterly he led a UK Overseas Territory, served as a marine and maritime adviser within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and is now closely engaged in the Blue Economy leading projects designed to counter illegality at sea, particularly in relation to fishing or that which is harmful to the oceans.

He is an advocate for technological innovation in the maritime domain, alongside a focus on all aspects of safety.  He is a strong supporter of a responsible approach to environmental matters, balanced against commercial realities and the strategic picture.

Chief Executive

Jim Stewart – BA (Hons), MBA, FICS

CEO – Poole Harbour Commissioners
Chair – Western Gateway Transport and Business Forum
Chair – Connected Dorset
Chair – Poole Harbour Steering Group
Board Member – Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership
Council Member – British Ports Association

Commenced shipping career as a shipbroker on The Baltic Exchange in the City of London in 1980, and in 1990 founded international shipbroking company (offices in London and New York). After gaining an MBA at Cass Business School London was appointed Managing Director of Crescent Shipping (UK ship owning and operating company). In 2002 was appointed Chief Executive of Poole Harbour Commissioners.

  • Former Chair – Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership
  • Former Chair of British Ports Association
  • Former Chair of Maritime UK
  • Former Chair of UK Port Skills and Safety
  • Former President of Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Awarded fellowship of Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers

Awarded Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) at Bournemouth University


Alicia Andrews

Alicia Andrews has extensive experience operating in leadership roles in a commercial, marketing or customer experience context.  She has worked in the media, digital, passenger ferries and rail sectors.

At Southeastern, she is a member of the executive and leads the Commercial team, which is accountable for retail, revenue, digital services, marketing, customer experience and insight.

At ARL, as a member of the executive team, she transformed the infrastructure and facilities functions delivering significant improvements in SQR performance and led the team that successfully introduced the new class 710 trains to the Overground.

She was Commercial Director at Condor Ferries and she led launch of new ships, the digitalisation of ticket sales and marketing activities.

Earlier in her career, Alicia spent eight years working at Yell Group as part of the senior management team for During this time, she was accountable for the site.

In 1995 she was a founder member of the team which created

She is graduate in History from the University of London and holds the IoD Diploma in Company Direction.


Captain Brian Murphy

Captain Brian Murphy has been in the marine industry for the past 40 years, attaining command of a large container vessel on a worldwide trade. His career path diverted closer to home serving 2 years at Condor Ferries before joining Poole Pilots Partnership. He remained there as a Class 1 Pilot for 4 years before joining Poole Harbour Commissioners in 2004, taking on the roles of Pilot, Pilotage Manager, Harbour Control Manager and Assistant Harbour Master. Brian was promoted to Harbour Master in 2008 and in 2018, he took on the additional role of Marine & Port Director.

Brian is currently the Vice President of the UK Harbour Masters Association and their chief exeminer, a Younger Brother of Trinity House and a Fellow of the Nautical Institute.


Dr Alice Hall

Dr Alice Hall is a marine biologist who currently works for Plymouth University. She is involved in various international research projects associated with Poole Harbour. Her main areas of expertise are ecological engineering and biological monitoring. She has been involved in some of the largest intertidal ecological engineering projects in the UK to date and won the CIRIA Big Biodiversity Innovation award in 2019. Alice has been conducting research and consultancy work in the harbour for the last six years and is a qualified European Scientific Diver. She was previously the secretary for the Poole Harbour Study Group, which involved the organisation of several international conferences.


Davina Houlton

Davina, a qualified Business & Personal Coach and chartered member of the CIPD, has spent nearly 25 years working in a range of different businesses and industries and today runs her own Coaching & Training Consultancy business.

She has a HR leadership background and has partnered with leaders in all different scenarios, including during the exciting and fast paced times of growth and the equally as fast paced but often more uncertain times of business challenge.

Much of her corporate career has been within FMCG, working for both Associated British Foods and Unilever, but she has also worked for Financial Services, Technology and Consulting businesses of various sizes.

She lives in the area with her husband and dog and loves being outdoors.

portrait of Martin Pate

Martin Pate

Martin Pate is a Solicitor and Managing Director of MJP Law, a solicitors’ practice based in Dorset. Martin started his career with the London Metropolitan Police and then the Department of Transport and Environment in London, working for a number of departments and agencies. Martin is a keen sailor qualified to RYA Offshore Yacht Master and former Commodore of East Dorset Sailing Club in Poole.

portrait of Tom Russell

Tom Russell

Tom Russell is from a family of Poole fishermen and has been on the harbour all of his life. He operates two commercial fishing boats from Poole and is the Chairman of the Poole and District Fisherman’s Association he is also the local representative of the Fisherman’s Mission.


Richard Selby

Richard is the Commercial Director and Head of Training for a global maritime aviation company, prior to which he was the Head of International Development at British Marine & Superyacht UK supporting the national marine and maritime industry in conjunction with UK and overseas governments.

Richard’s working life commenced with the Royal Navy before moving into local authority fire and rescue and was a member of the marine incident response group dealing with incidents on large commercial vessels before moving on to run a busy full service boatyard and then into the superyacht industry.

He has enjoyed voluntary roles with the RNLI at Poole and Salcombe Lifeboat Stations and is also a First Responder with South West Ambulance Service NHS Trust.


Rob Bridewell

As the son of a Poole Docker, Rob started his 33 year Dock career in 1986. For the past 14 year’s he has been a foreman at the Port of Poole and has vast experience in the day to day running of the port operations.

As a training instructor of 22 years, Rob also spends his time training new Stevedores to become Competent Plant Drivers whilst understanding and adhering to strict health and safety requirements.

As a commissioner he looks forward to representing our workforce, facilitating growth to the working Port and securing jobs for future generations whilst maintaining the preservation of the harbour.


Andrew Tate – BSc(Hons), MIAM, CEng, FIMarEST

Andrew is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the IMarEST, he joined the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) in November 1999 and has held a number of significant engineering design and technical positions during this time.  He is currently the Head of In-Service Support, responsible for the maintenance and support of the RNLI’s fleet of All Weather and Inshore lifeboats, the launch & recovery equipment and lifeguard equipment across the UK and Ireland.

Andrew has worked abroad on major airport construction projects and undertaken maintenance management research projects resulting in an industry leading publication.  He is passionate about supporting the next generation of engineer and has for the last 6 years sponsored and driven the RNLI’s Women in Engineering programme.  Andrew moved to Poole over 20 years ago and in his spare time is a regular harbour user, racing his dinghy at The Poole Yacht Club.  For 10 years he was the RYA Principal for Youth Section, teaching sailing and managing club events.

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