Lymington Harbour is a Trust Port constituted by Act of Parliament in 1951(as amended) by subsequent legislation.
It is an independent statutory body, run by a Board of Commissioners for the benefit of stakeholders. Lymington Harbour Commission (LHC) is committed to operating in accordance with government guidelines set by the Department for Environment, Transport and the Regions and published in Ports Good Governance Guidance (March 2018).
The LHC Board consists of nine independent non-executive Commissioners and the Harbour Master/Chief Executive to whom day to day responsibility for running the harbour is delegated. Commissioners are appointed on merit following an open recruitment process to provide the professional skills and expertise to determine the policy and business decisions of the organisation. Apart from the Harbour Master/Chief Executive, the Board of Commissioners receive no remuneration.
Commissioners are appointed for a term of three years and in line with Modernising Trust Ports Guidance can normally serve for two terms. Under LHC's constitution up to two additional Commissioners can be co-opted at any one time for specific purposes and serve for a period of 12 months.
The Board of Commissioners carry out a periodic reviews of the professional skills and experience requirements necessary to meet the changing demands of the Commission to inform recruitment requirements.
Commissioner appointments are made after a competitive selection process taking account of experience and skills required. The Commissioner selection panel comprises the Chairman of LHC, a further Commissioner; the Chairman of the Harbour Advisory Group and an independent member.
LHC’s primary statutory duties are as follows:
• To levy and collect harbour dues.
• To maintain an ‘open port’ policy to all users including the provision of public landings.
• To facilitate the safe management of navigation through the implementation of a safety management system in compliance with the ‘Port Marine Safety Code’.
• To conserve the harbour so it remains fir for purpose as a port. This includes dredging works, maintaining aids to navigation, undertaking and publishing hydrographic surveys, and ensuring the harbour remains sheltered through the construction of breakwaters.
• To exercise navigational control, provide policing and enforcement. To have effective measures in place for the reporting and investigating incidents.
• To conducting activities and operations in an environmentally sustainable and responsible way in liaison with environmental regulators.
• To maintain pollution control and waste management capabilities.
• To maintain effective emergency and oil spill response contingency plans.
• To keep harbour legislation and powers under review.
Harbour business is conducted in the interests of its stakeholder in an open and accountable manner, and with commercial prudence. The Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions requires LHC to operate as a commercial business within the terms of its statutory powers, seeking to generate a surplus to be ploughed back into the harbour. Under its enabling legislation, LHC can only generate the level of surplus that it needs to pay for ongoing operations, capital projects, and to provide sufficient reserves for planned future expenditure and to maintain a prudent level of ‘contingency’.
The Lymington Harbour Commission Board meets generally six times a year. The press are invited to attend and report on the public session of the meeting. The Commissioners publish the minutes of the public session of each meeting two months in arrears after they are approved at the subsequent meeting.
In addition, Commissioners are committed to consulting the Harbour Advisory Group that has been appointed by the Commissioners to represent the stakeholders of Lymington Harbour. The Harbour Advisory Group is consulted on all matters substantially affecting the management, improvement, navigation, maintenance, protection, conservation, or regulation of Lymington Harbour.