LANGSTONE HARBOUR BOARD
The Langstone Harbour Board is the statutory Harbour authority, local lighthouse authority, and pilotage authority for Langstone Harbour. The Board employs 18 members of staff in the management of Langstone Harbour. Primarily responsible for safety and navigation it also has responsibilities for the conservation of the natural environment. The Harbour Board endeavours to ensure that Langstone Harbour remains a safe, vibrant, ecologically sound space both today and into the future.
Membership of the Board comprises 6 councillors from each of the two local authorities, Portsmouth City Council and Havant Borough Council, 1 councillor from Hampshire County Council and 2 members of the Advisory Committee representing a wide range of Harbour stakeholders. The Board meets 5 times every year. The programme of meetings, minutes and papers are published on our website. Anyone interested in attending Board meetings should contact the Harbour office at least 7 days in advance.
The Board is compliant with the Port Marine Safety Code which requires all Harbour authorities to implement a safety management system based on risk assessment. For more information please visit the Safety Management page on our website.
WHAT WE DO
SAFETY OF NAVIGATION
Navigational & safety functions, including the provision of navigation marks, removal of wrecks and other conservancy functions
The provision of a Pilotage service
Regulation of activities, including the movement of vessels and the laying of moorings, by means of byelaws, licences and Harbour directions
The prevention of pollution through regulation and maintenance of a response capability
CONSTITUTION OF THE BOARD
1. The Board is a body corporate with a common seal, with power to sue and be sued and to purchase and dispose of lands and other property. There are 15 members who hold office for three years and apart from any occasional vacancies due to resignation etc are elected at the Annual Council Meetings of the constituent authorities every third year.
The constitution provides that the Chairman and Vice-Chairman are not to be chosen from members representing the same constituent Council. Questions coming before the Board are decided by a majority of the votes cast and the Chairman does not have a second or casting vote. Moreover, if three or more members from either Portsmouth or Havant vote against a proposition, the decision is not binding but has to be adjourned for further consideration at a subsequent meeting and if the Board cannot then reach a binding decision, the question may be referred for determination by the two Councils. The Act requires the Board to appoint a Clerk and a Treasurer and gives the board power to appoint such other officers as they think fit.
2. An important feature of the constitution is the requirement for an Advisory Committee. This comprises the following representatives from a range of Harbour stakeholders.
The Board have a duty to consult the Advisory Committee on all matters substantially affecting the preservation, regulation, management and improvement of the Harbour. The Board must also consider any matters referred to them on these topics by the Advisory Committee, and must pay the Advisory Committee’s reasonable secretarial expenses.
Powers of the Board
3. (i) The Board has power to provide moorings, buoys and other apparatus and facilities for vessels and houseboats, both on land owned or leased by the Board and on other land with the consent of the owner. There is power to levy reasonable charges for vessels and houseboats using moorings and other apparatus. Before the Board was established, the Harbour was within the Dockyard Port of Portsmouth and the Queen’s Harbour Master controlled the moorings. As explained in paragraph 1 this is not now the case and the King’s Harbour Master has no authority within the harbour.
(ii) The Board has powers relating to wrecks, derived from the Merchant Shipping Act 1984. The Board may prosecute people who remove moorings or buoys, etc., or moor vessels except at a mooring or buoy that has been provided or licensed by the Board
(iii) The Board has power to make byelaws regulating moorings, and for the prevention of nuisance and for securing good conduct in the Harbour. Byelaws have been made and these deal with a variety of matters including speed limits, obstruction of navigation, disposal or rubbish, disorderly conduct, water skiing, bait digging and many other matters. A new byelaw came into force in 1991 controlling and partially prohibiting the use of jet skis. The byelaws were completely revised in 1994.
(iv) The Board is the Competent Harbour Authority for Langstone Harbour, pursuant to the Pilotage Act 1987.
Financial Provisions of the Act
4. There are various financial provisions that are beyond the scope of this description. The Board has the power to precept the two constituent Councils annually to meet the shortfall of income over expenditure. There has been no precept made since 2014. The constituent Councils also have power to lend the Board money.
5. There is a power to produce handbooks and other advertisements in relation to the tides, mooring charges and other services and facilities provided by the board. The Board publishes a Facilities & Local Services Guide annually. Additionally, there are periodic publications promoting safety and environmental awareness