Government asked to fund new £10million Condor Ferries berth

Team to ask Government for money to fund new Condor Ferries berth

Team to ask Government for money to fund new Condor Ferries berth

First published in News
Last updated

A DELEGATION will travel to London in a bid to persuade the government to fund a new £10 million berth for Condor Ferries.

South Dorset MP Richard Drax and a team from Weymouth and Portland Borough Council will meet Transport Minister Stephen Hammond in a bid to secure the future of the vital ferry service.

They will ask Mr Hammond for financial assistance to help the borough council fund the estimated £10m upgrade works needed on the harbour's berth one.

The council would to spend that sum to accommodate the larger ship Condor is considering using on the Channel Islands route.

Due to the size of the new craft, Condor favours using berth one over the newly refurbished berth three.

The borough council recently spent £4m repairing the crumbling berth three and Condor switched their sailings to Poole for 17 months while work was done.

Businesses suffered while Condor temporarily moved to Poole and many fear that if the company was to pull out permanently it would have a devastating effect on the town.

It is estimated that Condor generates around £7 million a year for the local economy.

The Echo has started a petition which has gained more than a thousand signatures calling on the company to stay in Weymouth.

Negotiations are on-going between all parties, but if refurbishment work goes ahead on berth one Condor would switch sailings to Poole.

This could be for up to two years, as the Echo revealed earlier this week.

Mr Drax said the ferry service was important for the town's economy and that without the improvements there was a danger of losing Condor Ferries in Weymouth.

He said: “The ferry service to the Channel Islands is an integral part of the resort and it's important for the town's economy and for the tourism industry in general.”

He added that £10 million was a lot for a local council to find and so they were looking to the Department for Transport for help.

Mr Drax said: “Obviously, £10 million is a tall order but Condor brings a considerable amount of rent to Weymouth and it is certainly a viable proposition, so long as we can get the berth enlarged in time for the new ferry.”

Mr Vaughan said: “The council is working hard to explore all options to secure the long-term future of Condor Ferries operations from Weymouth in order to protect local jobs and continue the historic links to the Channel Islands from the town.”

Speaking to the Echo earlier this week, James Fulford, chief executive of Condor Ferries, said the firm valued its relationship with Weymouth but refused to make any guarantees for the future.

He said: “Condor Ferries is committed to investing in a safe and efficient fleet which will enable us to provide a full service of sailings, keeping the Channel Islands connected and supplied.

“We are a long-standing customer of Weymouth Harbour, having operated from there for many years, and value our close relationship with the town.”

 

PETITION

SIGN the Echo petition calling on Condor Ferries to show their support for Weymouth.

Simply click here to add your name.

The campaign, which has already seen hundreds of people add their name to the online and paper petition, is calling on the company to confirm their commitment to the town.

The petition says that Weymouth enjoys a good relationship with the Channel Islands and the cross-Channel ferry link is a vital asset.

It adds that the ferry operation is worth millions to the local economy.

There has been a ferry link between Weymouth and the Channel Islands for more than 200 years.

Condor, which has been providing the service for 20 years, favours Weymouth because of its easy access to the Channel and because it is the closest English mainland port to the Channel Islands.

To sign the petition click here, or visit your local newsagent which has a copy of the petition.

Comments (51)

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2:17pm Wed 14 May 14

IDONTKNOWIFITISTRRUE says...

Mr. Drax said 'IF we can persuade the government to give us £10m to refurbish berth one that would HOPEFULLY ensure that the new vessel, if and when it’s bought, would be based with us.'
No guarantees from Condor, then?
The article says that Condor is only 'thinking' of buying a larger vessel - but presumably they will have done their homework to find out where this larger vessel can be berthed before placing an order for the vessel?
Websites elsewhere suggest that the new vessel 'is being built'.
Mr. Drax said 'IF we can persuade the government to give us £10m to refurbish berth one that would HOPEFULLY ensure that the new vessel, if and when it’s bought, would be based with us.' No guarantees from Condor, then? The article says that Condor is only 'thinking' of buying a larger vessel - but presumably they will have done their homework to find out where this larger vessel can be berthed before placing an order for the vessel? Websites elsewhere suggest that the new vessel 'is being built'. IDONTKNOWIFITISTRRUE
  • Score: 10

2:35pm Wed 14 May 14

arlbergbahn says...

God, they'll stop at nothing in their desperation to kow-tow, if that's how you spell it, to this private company that has such a hold over them, won't they. How about asking the Govt. for something that might be more beneficial to the citizens of Weymouth & Portland, like a relief road to Portland or improvements to the A31 or A35, say?
God, they'll stop at nothing in their desperation to kow-tow, if that's how you spell it, to this private company that has such a hold over them, won't they. How about asking the Govt. for something that might be more beneficial to the citizens of Weymouth & Portland, like a relief road to Portland or improvements to the A31 or A35, say? arlbergbahn
  • Score: 21

3:08pm Wed 14 May 14

k8ty1971 says...

Could we not use the deep water berth at portland?..........
Could we not use the deep water berth at portland?.......... k8ty1971
  • Score: 18

3:14pm Wed 14 May 14

Rocksalt says...

k8ty1971 wrote:
Could we not use the deep water berth at portland?..........
Quite. No one has really explained why that isn't a goer over and above some concerns about traffic which are hardly insurmountable.
[quote][p][bold]k8ty1971[/bold] wrote: Could we not use the deep water berth at portland?..........[/p][/quote]Quite. No one has really explained why that isn't a goer over and above some concerns about traffic which are hardly insurmountable. Rocksalt
  • Score: 5

3:37pm Wed 14 May 14

MrTomSmith says...

I really don't believe this. 10 Million! Hope they get told just how daft this is.
I really don't believe this. 10 Million! Hope they get told just how daft this is. MrTomSmith
  • Score: 9

3:44pm Wed 14 May 14

Preston North End says...

Suspect they've reason to believe central money is available or they wouldn't talk about it publicly.
Suspect they've reason to believe central money is available or they wouldn't talk about it publicly. Preston North End
  • Score: 1

4:05pm Wed 14 May 14

February1948 says...

Government money is not "theirs", it is ours, the taxpayers, and I think our money should be spent on something a little more useful for the people of West Dorset generally. Yes, why not the Portland deep water harbour which is sufficiently good for the cruise liners currently there. Would be good for Portland as well.
Government money is not "theirs", it is ours, the taxpayers, and I think our money should be spent on something a little more useful for the people of West Dorset generally. Yes, why not the Portland deep water harbour which is sufficiently good for the cruise liners currently there. Would be good for Portland as well. February1948
  • Score: 14

5:19pm Wed 14 May 14

Schrodinger's Cat says...

I think, from now on, he should be known as "Desperate Drax." Yet another plan which is headed for almost certain failure. Why on earth should the government use taxpayers' money to help a private company in this way? If Condor want to use Berth 1, they should pay for the necessary work. I would love it if the government would invest £10 million in the Borough but, in the highly unlikely case of this happening, there are surely better things the money could be used for.
I think, from now on, he should be known as "Desperate Drax." Yet another plan which is headed for almost certain failure. Why on earth should the government use taxpayers' money to help a private company in this way? If Condor want to use Berth 1, they should pay for the necessary work. I would love it if the government would invest £10 million in the Borough but, in the highly unlikely case of this happening, there are surely better things the money could be used for. Schrodinger's Cat
  • Score: 5

7:05pm Wed 14 May 14

MrTomSmith says...

Another ad for the petition to spend 10 Million ...........disgracef
ul.
Another ad for the petition to spend 10 Million ...........disgracef ul. MrTomSmith
  • Score: 2

7:12pm Wed 14 May 14

Woodgate says...

Seeking Government funding is just one option that WPBC has to pursue but the treasury will want to know why WPBC got into this mess, what real economic benefit is served (compared to many other competing causes) and when would they get the money back and at what rate of return?
If WPBC had any commercial ability it would have prepared for this scenario, put itself in a better negotiating position with Condor and had some dialogue with Portland Port to ensure whatever benefit Condor actually brings stays in the Borough. Not sure about this fixation with Condor - their presence holds back redevelopment of the whole pier head for more valuable uses.
Seeking Government funding is just one option that WPBC has to pursue but the treasury will want to know why WPBC got into this mess, what real economic benefit is served (compared to many other competing causes) and when would they get the money back and at what rate of return? If WPBC had any commercial ability it would have prepared for this scenario, put itself in a better negotiating position with Condor and had some dialogue with Portland Port to ensure whatever benefit Condor actually brings stays in the Borough. Not sure about this fixation with Condor - their presence holds back redevelopment of the whole pier head for more valuable uses. Woodgate
  • Score: 3

9:21pm Wed 14 May 14

sjc100 says...

condor actually pay a yearly amount to be in weymouth, the only reason for the last big spend out for the council is they did not do maintenance, so it ended up costing them
condor actually pay a yearly amount to be in weymouth, the only reason for the last big spend out for the council is they did not do maintenance, so it ended up costing them sjc100
  • Score: 2

9:49pm Wed 14 May 14

luffy22 says...

The people in dorchester have plenty of money to throw around, whenever any developer asks them for a coupe of million to boost their coffers the chaps there hand it out no questions asked. Could they not lend Weymouth the money?
The people in dorchester have plenty of money to throw around, whenever any developer asks them for a coupe of million to boost their coffers the chaps there hand it out no questions asked. Could they not lend Weymouth the money? luffy22
  • Score: -5

9:53pm Wed 14 May 14

navelgazer says...

Surely the petition does nothing more than strengthen Condor's bargaining petition?
Why no earth should Condor show any support for Weymouth or any other port? Their aim is to make money, and the more and the easier they can make it, the better.
Mr Drax, the Conservative Party's representative for Dorset, should at least understand how businesses operate.
Surely the petition does nothing more than strengthen Condor's bargaining petition? Why no earth should Condor show any support for Weymouth or any other port? Their aim is to make money, and the more and the easier they can make it, the better. Mr Drax, the Conservative Party's representative for Dorset, should at least understand how businesses operate. navelgazer
  • Score: 3

9:56pm Wed 14 May 14

voiceof says...

Yet another attempt by Condor to hold Weymouth to ransom. The fact is, Weymouth is a much better ferry port than Poole, as Weymouth harbour can be accessed at any time of day, and every time Condor have left us they have returned because of the tidal problems with Poole harbour which cause severe difficulties in timetabling. The council need to stand up to Condor's bullying tactics and come to a compromise regarding funding rather than running to the transport minister blubbing like a baby!
Yet another attempt by Condor to hold Weymouth to ransom. The fact is, Weymouth is a much better ferry port than Poole, as Weymouth harbour can be accessed at any time of day, and every time Condor have left us they have returned because of the tidal problems with Poole harbour which cause severe difficulties in timetabling. The council need to stand up to Condor's bullying tactics and come to a compromise regarding funding rather than running to the transport minister blubbing like a baby! voiceof
  • Score: 2

10:15pm Wed 14 May 14

terra firma says...

Would someone with an understanding of the situation explain to me why Portland, which can accommodate cruise ships is not the most suitable place for this ferry, leaving Weymouth to it's charm as a harbour for smaller vessels. Other than vested interest, why does it need to be in the town?
Would someone with an understanding of the situation explain to me why Portland, which can accommodate cruise ships is not the most suitable place for this ferry, leaving Weymouth to it's charm as a harbour for smaller vessels. Other than vested interest, why does it need to be in the town? terra firma
  • Score: 7

10:22pm Wed 14 May 14

IDONTKNOWIFITISTRRUE says...

No Ro-Ro facilities at Portland BUT would it be less expensive to provide them there rather than £10m to upgrade the Weymouth berth?
No Ro-Ro facilities at Portland BUT would it be less expensive to provide them there rather than £10m to upgrade the Weymouth berth? IDONTKNOWIFITISTRRUE
  • Score: 3

7:54am Thu 15 May 14

arlbergbahn says...

IDONTKNOWIFITISTRRUE wrote:
No Ro-Ro facilities at Portland BUT would it be less expensive to provide them there rather than £10m to upgrade the Weymouth berth?
Well, it would mean constructing both from scratch, but at Portland they'd also need road access to the berth and parking areas, etc, so I expect it would be a good bit more expensive.
[quote][p][bold]IDONTKNOWIFITISTRRUE[/bold] wrote: No Ro-Ro facilities at Portland BUT would it be less expensive to provide them there rather than £10m to upgrade the Weymouth berth?[/p][/quote]Well, it would mean constructing both from scratch, but at Portland they'd also need road access to the berth and parking areas, etc, so I expect it would be a good bit more expensive. arlbergbahn
  • Score: 3

7:58am Thu 15 May 14

Get a grip says...

Perhaps Portland port do not what to deal with condor
Perhaps Portland port do not what to deal with condor Get a grip
  • Score: 1

8:00am Thu 15 May 14

bt1986 says...

Is anyone wondering were all the harbour dues have gone over the 25 years Condor has been there?? There has been no maintainance or improvements carried out on the harbour unless it has been an emergency i.e the harbour wall!! You can go even further back to the days of sealink/ bcif and ask the same question!
Is anyone wondering were all the harbour dues have gone over the 25 years Condor has been there?? There has been no maintainance or improvements carried out on the harbour unless it has been an emergency i.e the harbour wall!! You can go even further back to the days of sealink/ bcif and ask the same question! bt1986
  • Score: 4

8:32am Thu 15 May 14

ThomasFairfax says...

With the ConDem cuts to public expenditure in every walk of life, is this really a serious proposition?
With the ConDem cuts to public expenditure in every walk of life, is this really a serious proposition? ThomasFairfax
  • Score: -1

9:05am Thu 15 May 14

JamesYoung says...

Get a grip wrote:
Perhaps Portland port do not what to deal with condor
More to the point, perhaps Condor know that if they add 20 minutes to the journey times of their customers, they'll go elsewhere.....
[quote][p][bold]Get a grip[/bold] wrote: Perhaps Portland port do not what to deal with condor[/p][/quote]More to the point, perhaps Condor know that if they add 20 minutes to the journey times of their customers, they'll go elsewhere..... JamesYoung
  • Score: 3

11:48am Thu 15 May 14

MrTomSmith says...

JamesYoung wrote:
Get a grip wrote:
Perhaps Portland port do not what to deal with condor
More to the point, perhaps Condor know that if they add 20 minutes to the journey times of their customers, they'll go elsewhere.....
Not helpful I agree, but dealbreaker it's not. I suspect its the Cruise Contracts that is the deal breaker, or should say deal non starter. Having said that there are too many things we don't know to make assumptions. One thing I am sure of, if it were possible and viable for Portland Port to take Condorr they would be jumping up and down trying to get the contract.. They are like gold dust. And that ladies and gentlemen is why the Ferry companies think they can click their fingers and get what they want. They are good contracts, but is it worth 10 Million? Thats the question.

Just one thing to add, it could be worth 10 Million long term, BUT what are the guarantees? They have already proved they will do this, what's next? That's called Trust.

And its my view that I would never trust them with 10 Million to repair Berth one. Sorry but that's it for me, will never travel on one, will never endorse one, nothing ever to do with them again.

if others thing differently that's fine, I have no problem with that at all.
But I hope people think before they sign a petition saying how wonderful they are, without any real facts on it.
[quote][p][bold]JamesYoung[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Get a grip[/bold] wrote: Perhaps Portland port do not what to deal with condor[/p][/quote]More to the point, perhaps Condor know that if they add 20 minutes to the journey times of their customers, they'll go elsewhere.....[/p][/quote]Not helpful I agree, but dealbreaker it's not. I suspect its the Cruise Contracts that is the deal breaker, or should say deal non starter. Having said that there are too many things we don't know to make assumptions. One thing I am sure of, if it were possible and viable for Portland Port to take Condorr they would be jumping up and down trying to get the contract.. They are like gold dust. And that ladies and gentlemen is why the Ferry companies think they can click their fingers and get what they want. They are good contracts, but is it worth 10 Million? Thats the question. Just one thing to add, it could be worth 10 Million long term, BUT what are the guarantees? They have already proved they will do this, what's next? That's called Trust. And its my view that I would never trust them with 10 Million to repair Berth one. Sorry but that's it for me, will never travel on one, will never endorse one, nothing ever to do with them again. if others thing differently that's fine, I have no problem with that at all. But I hope people think before they sign a petition saying how wonderful they are, without any real facts on it. MrTomSmith
  • Score: 3

12:19pm Thu 15 May 14

Caption Sensible says...

Let Condor go and develop the whole damned site, instead of this stop-go piecemeal fashion. Then put the new and improved facilities out to tender when all complete.
Let Condor go and develop the whole damned site, instead of this stop-go piecemeal fashion. Then put the new and improved facilities out to tender when all complete. Caption Sensible
  • Score: 2

12:49pm Thu 15 May 14

JamesYoung says...

MrTomSmith wrote:
JamesYoung wrote:
Get a grip wrote:
Perhaps Portland port do not what to deal with condor
More to the point, perhaps Condor know that if they add 20 minutes to the journey times of their customers, they'll go elsewhere.....
Not helpful I agree, but dealbreaker it's not. I suspect its the Cruise Contracts that is the deal breaker, or should say deal non starter. Having said that there are too many things we don't know to make assumptions. One thing I am sure of, if it were possible and viable for Portland Port to take Condorr they would be jumping up and down trying to get the contract.. They are like gold dust. And that ladies and gentlemen is why the Ferry companies think they can click their fingers and get what they want. They are good contracts, but is it worth 10 Million? Thats the question.

Just one thing to add, it could be worth 10 Million long term, BUT what are the guarantees? They have already proved they will do this, what's next? That's called Trust.

And its my view that I would never trust them with 10 Million to repair Berth one. Sorry but that's it for me, will never travel on one, will never endorse one, nothing ever to do with them again.

if others thing differently that's fine, I have no problem with that at all.
But I hope people think before they sign a petition saying how wonderful they are, without any real facts on it.
"They have already proved they will do this"
Tom, what is it that they are supposed to have done?
I did a bit of digging, and found this comment from Ian Roebuck in March 2012:
"“The council prepared a formal contract but this was put on hold when the proposed redevelopment of the peninsula, including the ferry berth and terminal buildings, was stalled. Following this, the relationship between the council and Condor Ferries continued on the same basis as in previous years."
From this i think we can infer a number of things:
1. There was no contract in place between WPBC and Condor.
2. It sounds like it was WPBC that did not want to put a contract in place, because they saw an opportunity to make money from the whole site development
3. If you were the Commercial Director of Condor, you would be faced with the following:
- a supplier who does not want to sign a contract with you - which works in your favour, but also makes you nervous
- a supplier who, by placing another development above the relationship with you, has made you question where you will sit in the pecking order should a peninsular development impinge on the facilities you currently rely on
- a supplier who, because of the lack of a contract, could mess you around and has
- a supplier who, due to failure to maintain the facilities you are using, has cost you money that you have not been able to recoup
To take an example, if you buy a car and rent a parking space from WPBC, who have told you that you can only use the parking space until they need it for something else, and then you find out that, due to subsidence, you cannot use the parking space for nearly a year, would you feel any obligation to WPBC when, in a year's time, somebody offers you a bigger car, and you also find a nicer parking space to rent? If the answer to that question is "no" then i respectfully submit that Condor's slate is clean.
[quote][p][bold]MrTomSmith[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]JamesYoung[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Get a grip[/bold] wrote: Perhaps Portland port do not what to deal with condor[/p][/quote]More to the point, perhaps Condor know that if they add 20 minutes to the journey times of their customers, they'll go elsewhere.....[/p][/quote]Not helpful I agree, but dealbreaker it's not. I suspect its the Cruise Contracts that is the deal breaker, or should say deal non starter. Having said that there are too many things we don't know to make assumptions. One thing I am sure of, if it were possible and viable for Portland Port to take Condorr they would be jumping up and down trying to get the contract.. They are like gold dust. And that ladies and gentlemen is why the Ferry companies think they can click their fingers and get what they want. They are good contracts, but is it worth 10 Million? Thats the question. Just one thing to add, it could be worth 10 Million long term, BUT what are the guarantees? They have already proved they will do this, what's next? That's called Trust. And its my view that I would never trust them with 10 Million to repair Berth one. Sorry but that's it for me, will never travel on one, will never endorse one, nothing ever to do with them again. if others thing differently that's fine, I have no problem with that at all. But I hope people think before they sign a petition saying how wonderful they are, without any real facts on it.[/p][/quote]"They have already proved they will do this" Tom, what is it that they are supposed to have done? I did a bit of digging, and found this comment from Ian Roebuck in March 2012: "“The council prepared a formal contract but this was put on hold when the proposed redevelopment of the peninsula, including the ferry berth and terminal buildings, was stalled. Following this, the relationship between the council and Condor Ferries continued on the same basis as in previous years." From this i think we can infer a number of things: 1. There was no contract in place between WPBC and Condor. 2. It sounds like it was WPBC that did not want to put a contract in place, because they saw an opportunity to make money from the whole site development 3. If you were the Commercial Director of Condor, you would be faced with the following: - a supplier who does not want to sign a contract with you - which works in your favour, but also makes you nervous - a supplier who, by placing another development above the relationship with you, has made you question where you will sit in the pecking order should a peninsular development impinge on the facilities you currently rely on - a supplier who, because of the lack of a contract, could mess you around and has - a supplier who, due to failure to maintain the facilities you are using, has cost you money that you have not been able to recoup To take an example, if you buy a car and rent a parking space from WPBC, who have told you that you can only use the parking space until they need it for something else, and then you find out that, due to subsidence, you cannot use the parking space for nearly a year, would you feel any obligation to WPBC when, in a year's time, somebody offers you a bigger car, and you also find a nicer parking space to rent? If the answer to that question is "no" then i respectfully submit that Condor's slate is clean. JamesYoung
  • Score: 4

1:25pm Thu 15 May 14

MrTomSmith says...

Thats all well and good, and I do take your points, but it keeps coming back to is this worth 10 Million? Even if I did trust them, and took all your possible points as gospel, I still don't think it is worth it. The fact that I don't believe all your points (but agree they are possible, but there is a lot of perhaps/maybe and if's in there) only makes matters worse.

Why didn't condor answer the questions from the Echo who are raising a petition to save them? Obviously some skeletons in the cupboard well it looks that way.

There are clearly two sides to this, and one thing we can probably both agree on we are not getting the full story.
Thats all well and good, and I do take your points, but it keeps coming back to is this worth 10 Million? Even if I did trust them, and took all your possible points as gospel, I still don't think it is worth it. The fact that I don't believe all your points (but agree they are possible, but there is a lot of perhaps/maybe and if's in there) only makes matters worse. Why didn't condor answer the questions from the Echo who are raising a petition to save them? Obviously some skeletons in the cupboard well it looks that way. There are clearly two sides to this, and one thing we can probably both agree on we are not getting the full story. MrTomSmith
  • Score: 1

2:30pm Thu 15 May 14

JamesYoung says...

MrTomSmith wrote:
Thats all well and good, and I do take your points, but it keeps coming back to is this worth 10 Million? Even if I did trust them, and took all your possible points as gospel, I still don't think it is worth it. The fact that I don't believe all your points (but agree they are possible, but there is a lot of perhaps/maybe and if's in there) only makes matters worse.

Why didn't condor answer the questions from the Echo who are raising a petition to save them? Obviously some skeletons in the cupboard well it looks that way.

There are clearly two sides to this, and one thing we can probably both agree on we are not getting the full story.
OK, so here's the facts. There is no contract in place between Condor and WPBC and hasn't been for at least two years and probably much longer.
Without a contract, there is no legal obligation on Condor (or indeed the council) to do anything.
The right thing to do here is for WPBC to finalise a contract with Condor of sufficient duration to recoup the costs of the £10m upgrade work and a bit more on top. Only then should the work be done. I think we agree on this piece.
As for Condor, i think their position is clear: they have told the council that they are not sure about their future in Weymouth and are still considering it. They are not obliged to say anything at all.
As for the petition, that's just a complete waste of time. Condor are a business. They listen to their customers. Weymouth people are not their customers.
[quote][p][bold]MrTomSmith[/bold] wrote: Thats all well and good, and I do take your points, but it keeps coming back to is this worth 10 Million? Even if I did trust them, and took all your possible points as gospel, I still don't think it is worth it. The fact that I don't believe all your points (but agree they are possible, but there is a lot of perhaps/maybe and if's in there) only makes matters worse. Why didn't condor answer the questions from the Echo who are raising a petition to save them? Obviously some skeletons in the cupboard well it looks that way. There are clearly two sides to this, and one thing we can probably both agree on we are not getting the full story.[/p][/quote]OK, so here's the facts. There is no contract in place between Condor and WPBC and hasn't been for at least two years and probably much longer. Without a contract, there is no legal obligation on Condor (or indeed the council) to do anything. The right thing to do here is for WPBC to finalise a contract with Condor of sufficient duration to recoup the costs of the £10m upgrade work and a bit more on top. Only then should the work be done. I think we agree on this piece. As for Condor, i think their position is clear: they have told the council that they are not sure about their future in Weymouth and are still considering it. They are not obliged to say anything at all. As for the petition, that's just a complete waste of time. Condor are a business. They listen to their customers. Weymouth people are not their customers. JamesYoung
  • Score: 4

3:19pm Thu 15 May 14

MrTomSmith says...

He say's he wants to be open and honest, but as soon as a difficult question comes up, he avoids it ....... http://www.bbc.co.uk
/programmes/p014fg4w
He say's he wants to be open and honest, but as soon as a difficult question comes up, he avoids it ....... http://www.bbc.co.uk /programmes/p014fg4w MrTomSmith
  • Score: 0

4:04pm Thu 15 May 14

arlbergbahn says...

JamesYoung wrote:
MrTomSmith wrote:
Thats all well and good, and I do take your points, but it keeps coming back to is this worth 10 Million? Even if I did trust them, and took all your possible points as gospel, I still don't think it is worth it. The fact that I don't believe all your points (but agree they are possible, but there is a lot of perhaps/maybe and if's in there) only makes matters worse.

Why didn't condor answer the questions from the Echo who are raising a petition to save them? Obviously some skeletons in the cupboard well it looks that way.

There are clearly two sides to this, and one thing we can probably both agree on we are not getting the full story.
OK, so here's the facts. There is no contract in place between Condor and WPBC and hasn't been for at least two years and probably much longer.
Without a contract, there is no legal obligation on Condor (or indeed the council) to do anything.
The right thing to do here is for WPBC to finalise a contract with Condor of sufficient duration to recoup the costs of the £10m upgrade work and a bit more on top. Only then should the work be done. I think we agree on this piece.
As for Condor, i think their position is clear: they have told the council that they are not sure about their future in Weymouth and are still considering it. They are not obliged to say anything at all.
As for the petition, that's just a complete waste of time. Condor are a business. They listen to their customers. Weymouth people are not their customers.
. Condor are a business. They listen to their customers.
No they don't, not when they have a monopoly like they do, the customers have to whatever the company wants. That's always the way with any monopoly.
[quote][p][bold]JamesYoung[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]MrTomSmith[/bold] wrote: Thats all well and good, and I do take your points, but it keeps coming back to is this worth 10 Million? Even if I did trust them, and took all your possible points as gospel, I still don't think it is worth it. The fact that I don't believe all your points (but agree they are possible, but there is a lot of perhaps/maybe and if's in there) only makes matters worse. Why didn't condor answer the questions from the Echo who are raising a petition to save them? Obviously some skeletons in the cupboard well it looks that way. There are clearly two sides to this, and one thing we can probably both agree on we are not getting the full story.[/p][/quote]OK, so here's the facts. There is no contract in place between Condor and WPBC and hasn't been for at least two years and probably much longer. Without a contract, there is no legal obligation on Condor (or indeed the council) to do anything. The right thing to do here is for WPBC to finalise a contract with Condor of sufficient duration to recoup the costs of the £10m upgrade work and a bit more on top. Only then should the work be done. I think we agree on this piece. As for Condor, i think their position is clear: they have told the council that they are not sure about their future in Weymouth and are still considering it. They are not obliged to say anything at all. As for the petition, that's just a complete waste of time. Condor are a business. They listen to their customers. Weymouth people are not their customers.[/p][/quote]. Condor are a business. They listen to their customers. No they don't, not when they have a monopoly like they do, the customers have to whatever the company wants. That's always the way with any monopoly. arlbergbahn
  • Score: -4

5:29pm Thu 15 May 14

Tinker2 says...

bt1986 wrote:
Is anyone wondering were all the harbour dues have gone over the 25 years Condor has been there?? There has been no maintainance or improvements carried out on the harbour unless it has been an emergency i.e the harbour wall!! You can go even further back to the days of sealink/ bcif and ask the same question!
The harbour dues, both inner and outer, went into the one pot and were subject to the central administration charges of the whole council. It has long been argued that the harbour revenue, or at least some of it, should have been set aside for capital maintenance costs. This would have been basic 'good housekeeping', but the WPBC have never managed their affairs in such a way.
[quote][p][bold]bt1986[/bold] wrote: Is anyone wondering were all the harbour dues have gone over the 25 years Condor has been there?? There has been no maintainance or improvements carried out on the harbour unless it has been an emergency i.e the harbour wall!! You can go even further back to the days of sealink/ bcif and ask the same question![/p][/quote]The harbour dues, both inner and outer, went into the one pot and were subject to the central administration charges of the whole council. It has long been argued that the harbour revenue, or at least some of it, should have been set aside for capital maintenance costs. This would have been basic 'good housekeeping', but the WPBC have never managed their affairs in such a way. Tinker2
  • Score: 3

6:33pm Thu 15 May 14

Simon Nicholas says...

Yes, for what its worth I agree that we have not been told the full story from either side of the argument. Condor are not helping their case by refusing to comment or answer questions either, as all their silence is doing is fueling the type of speculation we can see above. Its obvious however that Condor had hoped that these talks would remain private until such time as they knew what they were doing and then were able to release a press statement accordingly. As such they have been "wrong footed" by the per Easter leak. I do still think that Weymouth remains their preferrred port of choice though - it is the most cost effective one for them, and they have already paid out for the survey of berth 1 which led to the conversion estimate of 10 million. If they really wanted to transfer permanently to Poole from April 2015, they would have announced it by now. It has been quoted above that Condor have a monopoly, which is true, but not legally so now - as far as I am aware, their last contract expired recently, and the Channel Islands have allowed them to carry on for the short term, until they decide what is best for the future - this new 50 million super ferry is therefore a gamble for Condor! Certainly, if Condor do decide to leave, or Weymouth can`t raise the cash for the berth conversion, there really is nothing stopping a rival company stepping in to fill the void, and if I was the LA, I would always be informerly canvassing interest .

Simon N.
Yes, for what its worth I agree that we have not been told the full story from either side of the argument. Condor are not helping their case by refusing to comment or answer questions either, as all their silence is doing is fueling the type of speculation we can see above. Its obvious however that Condor had hoped that these talks would remain private until such time as they knew what they were doing and then were able to release a press statement accordingly. As such they have been "wrong footed" by the per Easter leak. I do still think that Weymouth remains their preferrred port of choice though - it is the most cost effective one for them, and they have already paid out for the survey of berth 1 which led to the conversion estimate of 10 million. If they really wanted to transfer permanently to Poole from April 2015, they would have announced it by now. It has been quoted above that Condor have a monopoly, which is true, but not legally so now - as far as I am aware, their last contract expired recently, and the Channel Islands have allowed them to carry on for the short term, until they decide what is best for the future - this new 50 million super ferry is therefore a gamble for Condor! Certainly, if Condor do decide to leave, or Weymouth can`t raise the cash for the berth conversion, there really is nothing stopping a rival company stepping in to fill the void, and if I was the LA, I would always be informerly canvassing interest . Simon N. Simon Nicholas
  • Score: 1

7:07pm Thu 15 May 14

trymybest says...

k8ty1971 wrote:
Could we not use the deep water berth at portland?..........
That's why we won't be given any money, because we could.
[quote][p][bold]k8ty1971[/bold] wrote: Could we not use the deep water berth at portland?..........[/p][/quote]That's why we won't be given any money, because we could. trymybest
  • Score: 0

7:17pm Thu 15 May 14

Simon Nicholas says...

trymybest wrote:
k8ty1971 wrote:
Could we not use the deep water berth at portland?..........
That's why we won't be given any money, because we could.
The comments above suggest the possible reasons why Portland would not be suitable for Condor. These being the rates the Port would need to charge Condor to recoup the investment of building a link span and all associated infrastructure, lack of space to hold the the 250 cars before loading, and a limited road link that would add to the journey time, and also (as we all know) is prone to gridlock after even the slightest incident.

Simon N.
[quote][p][bold]trymybest[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]k8ty1971[/bold] wrote: Could we not use the deep water berth at portland?..........[/p][/quote]That's why we won't be given any money, because we could.[/p][/quote]The comments above suggest the possible reasons why Portland would not be suitable for Condor. These being the rates the Port would need to charge Condor to recoup the investment of building a link span and all associated infrastructure, lack of space to hold the the 250 cars before loading, and a limited road link that would add to the journey time, and also (as we all know) is prone to gridlock after even the slightest incident. Simon N. Simon Nicholas
  • Score: 1

7:23pm Thu 15 May 14

Parkstreetshufle says...

It's seems blatantly obvious that with the council being in debt that borrowing more money is ridiculous unless you have a copper bottomed return on it.
If the service was easy to make cash from we wouldn't be having this discussion. I think a ferry service to the Channel Islands is a complete and utter waste of everybody's money. The existing service is slow, fraught with mechanical issues and massively expensive.
Pointless.
It's seems blatantly obvious that with the council being in debt that borrowing more money is ridiculous unless you have a copper bottomed return on it. If the service was easy to make cash from we wouldn't be having this discussion. I think a ferry service to the Channel Islands is a complete and utter waste of everybody's money. The existing service is slow, fraught with mechanical issues and massively expensive. Pointless. Parkstreetshufle
  • Score: -2

7:24pm Thu 15 May 14

Simon Nicholas says...

Just to clarify my comments above regarding Condor`s contract with the Channel Islands, the last long term agreement ended on 31 December 2013. Although an extension has been allowed until 31 December 2018, it does not preclude allowing another operator to enter to market, as long as it matches Condor`s service levels. Condor have stated that it will be difficult to invest in the new 50 million pound super ferry unless the Channel Islands authorities offer them a new long agreement, of around 15 years.

Simon N.
Just to clarify my comments above regarding Condor`s contract with the Channel Islands, the last long term agreement ended on 31 December 2013. Although an extension has been allowed until 31 December 2018, it does not preclude allowing another operator to enter to market, as long as it matches Condor`s service levels. Condor have stated that it will be difficult to invest in the new 50 million pound super ferry unless the Channel Islands authorities offer them a new long agreement, of around 15 years. Simon N. Simon Nicholas
  • Score: 1

7:31pm Thu 15 May 14

trymybest says...

When CONDOR first left Weymouth, the council put up our council rates to make up for lost revenue, but never reduced the council rates when Condor came back, the money collected by the council over the last 20 or so years has got to be more than the 10 million pounds asked for, on that basis whats the problem as the money has already been collected and should be available for use.
When CONDOR first left Weymouth, the council put up our council rates to make up for lost revenue, but never reduced the council rates when Condor came back, the money collected by the council over the last 20 or so years has got to be more than the 10 million pounds asked for, on that basis whats the problem as the money has already been collected and should be available for use. trymybest
  • Score: 3

7:42pm Thu 15 May 14

ksmain says...

Anyone think that this is what Condor want?

Threaten to move away - facilities get built for them - they get what they want.
Anyone think that this is what Condor want? Threaten to move away - facilities get built for them - they get what they want. ksmain
  • Score: 1

7:57pm Thu 15 May 14

Simon Nicholas says...

In my view Condor will get their new long term contract with the Channel Islands because the operator seems to be reasonably respected by the authorities there, and they accept that if two operators competed for the same passengers, neither would make sufficient profit to pay for the loss making winter operation. As far as I am ware though, at this moment in tine, no long term contract has been signed, and the current deal runs out at the end of 2018.

Simon N.
In my view Condor will get their new long term contract with the Channel Islands because the operator seems to be reasonably respected by the authorities there, and they accept that if two operators competed for the same passengers, neither would make sufficient profit to pay for the loss making winter operation. As far as I am ware though, at this moment in tine, no long term contract has been signed, and the current deal runs out at the end of 2018. Simon N. Simon Nicholas
  • Score: 2

8:38pm Thu 15 May 14

arlbergbahn says...

Parkstreetshufle wrote:
It's seems blatantly obvious that with the council being in debt that borrowing more money is ridiculous unless you have a copper bottomed return on it.
If the service was easy to make cash from we wouldn't be having this discussion. I think a ferry service to the Channel Islands is a complete and utter waste of everybody's money. The existing service is slow, fraught with mechanical issues and massively expensive.
Pointless.
It would be pointless if no one wanted to go the the Channel islands, but they do seem to want to.
So everyone should be forced to fly if they want to go there, whether they want to or not? And if they do insist on taking their car, they should have to use the overnight ferry from Portsmouth? Now if you want slow ...
[quote][p][bold]Parkstreetshufle[/bold] wrote: It's seems blatantly obvious that with the council being in debt that borrowing more money is ridiculous unless you have a copper bottomed return on it. If the service was easy to make cash from we wouldn't be having this discussion. I think a ferry service to the Channel Islands is a complete and utter waste of everybody's money. The existing service is slow, fraught with mechanical issues and massively expensive. Pointless.[/p][/quote]It would be pointless if no one wanted to go the the Channel islands, but they do seem to want to. So everyone should be forced to fly if they want to go there, whether they want to or not? And if they do insist on taking their car, they should have to use the overnight ferry from Portsmouth? Now if you want slow ... arlbergbahn
  • Score: 0

9:30pm Thu 15 May 14

every user name was taken says...

k8ty1971 wrote:
Could we not use the deep water berth at portland?..........
As previously posted-

"Every body keeps suggesting that Condor should have moved to Portland Port, that probably would never happen as the port is a commercial business that is wildly expensive. The RFA ships are paying £20,000+ for deep water berthing a week. After the prison ship closed the Dutch company that bought it, had to pay £2,000 a day berthing for a jetty that would not be suitable for most vessels.

That begs the question of how much would the port charge for the mooring of 2 vessels, parking facility's for over 200 cars and terminal buildings?"
[quote][p][bold]k8ty1971[/bold] wrote: Could we not use the deep water berth at portland?..........[/p][/quote]As previously posted- "Every body keeps suggesting that Condor should have moved to Portland Port, that probably would never happen as the port is a commercial business that is wildly expensive. The RFA ships are paying £20,000+ for deep water berthing a week. After the prison ship closed the Dutch company that bought it, had to pay £2,000 a day berthing for a jetty that would not be suitable for most vessels. That begs the question of how much would the port charge for the mooring of 2 vessels, parking facility's for over 200 cars and terminal buildings?" every user name was taken
  • Score: 1

11:38pm Thu 15 May 14

Rocksalt says...

Simon Nicholas wrote:
trymybest wrote:
k8ty1971 wrote:
Could we not use the deep water berth at portland?..........
That's why we won't be given any money, because we could.
The comments above suggest the possible reasons why Portland would not be suitable for Condor. These being the rates the Port would need to charge Condor to recoup the investment of building a link span and all associated infrastructure, lack of space to hold the the 250 cars before loading, and a limited road link that would add to the journey time, and also (as we all know) is prone to gridlock after even the slightest incident.

Simon N.
To be honest, I can't see that the road to Portland is any more prone to gridlock than the road(s) in and out of Weymouth harbour. Yes, it closed during the storms, but I can't imagine the ferry would sail in those conditions.

The Portland Beach Road can also be reached if necessary without driving through the middle of Weymouth. The same can't be said of Weymouth Harbour
[quote][p][bold]Simon Nicholas[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]trymybest[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]k8ty1971[/bold] wrote: Could we not use the deep water berth at portland?..........[/p][/quote]That's why we won't be given any money, because we could.[/p][/quote]The comments above suggest the possible reasons why Portland would not be suitable for Condor. These being the rates the Port would need to charge Condor to recoup the investment of building a link span and all associated infrastructure, lack of space to hold the the 250 cars before loading, and a limited road link that would add to the journey time, and also (as we all know) is prone to gridlock after even the slightest incident. Simon N.[/p][/quote]To be honest, I can't see that the road to Portland is any more prone to gridlock than the road(s) in and out of Weymouth harbour. Yes, it closed during the storms, but I can't imagine the ferry would sail in those conditions. The Portland Beach Road can also be reached if necessary without driving through the middle of Weymouth. The same can't be said of Weymouth Harbour Rocksalt
  • Score: 0

6:40am Fri 16 May 14

Frank F says...

People keep saying Condor has paid for the berthing each year yes that is correct just like any other harbour user but the fact is they paid for existing berthing useage NOT a completely new berth to be built to accommodate them at the expense of other boat users and shipping.
There has been NO commitment from Condor and I suspect there never will be any so why does the government have to fork out public funds to accommodate a company that may or may not stay in Weymouth.
Putting all your eggs in one basket seems to be a bad decision with regards to this ports future and I think Weymouth could be developed better if there weren't such uncertainty around one business and it's perception of Weymouth which if it anything like its perception of its own crews is pretty poor.
I'm sure there can be growth forward for the harbour area and investment worth far more than £7M per year if it were looked at with more favourable eyes towards development instead of the easier option of Condor Ferries
People keep saying Condor has paid for the berthing each year yes that is correct just like any other harbour user but the fact is they paid for existing berthing useage NOT a completely new berth to be built to accommodate them at the expense of other boat users and shipping. There has been NO commitment from Condor and I suspect there never will be any so why does the government have to fork out public funds to accommodate a company that may or may not stay in Weymouth. Putting all your eggs in one basket seems to be a bad decision with regards to this ports future and I think Weymouth could be developed better if there weren't such uncertainty around one business and it's perception of Weymouth which if it anything like its perception of its own crews is pretty poor. I'm sure there can be growth forward for the harbour area and investment worth far more than £7M per year if it were looked at with more favourable eyes towards development instead of the easier option of Condor Ferries Frank F
  • Score: 0

8:39am Fri 16 May 14

JamesYoung says...

Frank F wrote:
People keep saying Condor has paid for the berthing each year yes that is correct just like any other harbour user but the fact is they paid for existing berthing useage NOT a completely new berth to be built to accommodate them at the expense of other boat users and shipping.
There has been NO commitment from Condor and I suspect there never will be any so why does the government have to fork out public funds to accommodate a company that may or may not stay in Weymouth.
Putting all your eggs in one basket seems to be a bad decision with regards to this ports future and I think Weymouth could be developed better if there weren't such uncertainty around one business and it's perception of Weymouth which if it anything like its perception of its own crews is pretty poor.
I'm sure there can be growth forward for the harbour area and investment worth far more than £7M per year if it were looked at with more favourable eyes towards development instead of the easier option of Condor Ferries
I agree completely. The whole peninsular could be redeveloped with an all weather attraction that would genuinely bring in more revenue for the town - an all weather water park, or something akin to Torquay's "Living Coasts" or Plymouth's Aquarium. Trawler "parking" could be moved down to where the ferries presently berth, and the whole area from the town bridge up to the lifeboat station could, for example, be made into a marina (council run, one hopes, so that local people get some benefit rather than the rip off marina operators). There are lots of options if Condor does leave.
[quote][p][bold]Frank F[/bold] wrote: People keep saying Condor has paid for the berthing each year yes that is correct just like any other harbour user but the fact is they paid for existing berthing useage NOT a completely new berth to be built to accommodate them at the expense of other boat users and shipping. There has been NO commitment from Condor and I suspect there never will be any so why does the government have to fork out public funds to accommodate a company that may or may not stay in Weymouth. Putting all your eggs in one basket seems to be a bad decision with regards to this ports future and I think Weymouth could be developed better if there weren't such uncertainty around one business and it's perception of Weymouth which if it anything like its perception of its own crews is pretty poor. I'm sure there can be growth forward for the harbour area and investment worth far more than £7M per year if it were looked at with more favourable eyes towards development instead of the easier option of Condor Ferries[/p][/quote]I agree completely. The whole peninsular could be redeveloped with an all weather attraction that would genuinely bring in more revenue for the town - an all weather water park, or something akin to Torquay's "Living Coasts" or Plymouth's Aquarium. Trawler "parking" could be moved down to where the ferries presently berth, and the whole area from the town bridge up to the lifeboat station could, for example, be made into a marina (council run, one hopes, so that local people get some benefit rather than the rip off marina operators). There are lots of options if Condor does leave. JamesYoung
  • Score: 0

9:49am Fri 16 May 14

arlbergbahn says...

JamesYoung wrote:
Frank F wrote:
People keep saying Condor has paid for the berthing each year yes that is correct just like any other harbour user but the fact is they paid for existing berthing useage NOT a completely new berth to be built to accommodate them at the expense of other boat users and shipping.
There has been NO commitment from Condor and I suspect there never will be any so why does the government have to fork out public funds to accommodate a company that may or may not stay in Weymouth.
Putting all your eggs in one basket seems to be a bad decision with regards to this ports future and I think Weymouth could be developed better if there weren't such uncertainty around one business and it's perception of Weymouth which if it anything like its perception of its own crews is pretty poor.
I'm sure there can be growth forward for the harbour area and investment worth far more than £7M per year if it were looked at with more favourable eyes towards development instead of the easier option of Condor Ferries
I agree completely. The whole peninsular could be redeveloped with an all weather attraction that would genuinely bring in more revenue for the town - an all weather water park, or something akin to Torquay's "Living Coasts" or Plymouth's Aquarium. Trawler "parking" could be moved down to where the ferries presently berth, and the whole area from the town bridge up to the lifeboat station could, for example, be made into a marina (council run, one hopes, so that local people get some benefit rather than the rip off marina operators). There are lots of options if Condor does leave.
I'm not sure how many would agree that the council would be very likely to run a marina successfully, since many consider they'd find it difficult enough running a bath.
[quote][p][bold]JamesYoung[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Frank F[/bold] wrote: People keep saying Condor has paid for the berthing each year yes that is correct just like any other harbour user but the fact is they paid for existing berthing useage NOT a completely new berth to be built to accommodate them at the expense of other boat users and shipping. There has been NO commitment from Condor and I suspect there never will be any so why does the government have to fork out public funds to accommodate a company that may or may not stay in Weymouth. Putting all your eggs in one basket seems to be a bad decision with regards to this ports future and I think Weymouth could be developed better if there weren't such uncertainty around one business and it's perception of Weymouth which if it anything like its perception of its own crews is pretty poor. I'm sure there can be growth forward for the harbour area and investment worth far more than £7M per year if it were looked at with more favourable eyes towards development instead of the easier option of Condor Ferries[/p][/quote]I agree completely. The whole peninsular could be redeveloped with an all weather attraction that would genuinely bring in more revenue for the town - an all weather water park, or something akin to Torquay's "Living Coasts" or Plymouth's Aquarium. Trawler "parking" could be moved down to where the ferries presently berth, and the whole area from the town bridge up to the lifeboat station could, for example, be made into a marina (council run, one hopes, so that local people get some benefit rather than the rip off marina operators). There are lots of options if Condor does leave.[/p][/quote]I'm not sure how many would agree that the council would be very likely to run a marina successfully, since many consider they'd find it difficult enough running a bath. arlbergbahn
  • Score: -1

9:55am Fri 16 May 14

arlbergbahn says...

really, in fact, I think, going further, the way forward would be to take the harbour out of the council's hands altogether, yes, the dreaded privatisation! I mean really, the Council don't know what to do with it apart from kow-towing (I like that word) to ferry company Condor, and really don't seem to have a clue how to make money out of it (apart from Car parking Revenue, of course). So the likelihood of their being able to make a worthwhile profit out of it for the benefit of the People is fairly slim really, isn't it?
really, in fact, I think, going further, the way forward would be to take the harbour out of the council's hands altogether, yes, the dreaded privatisation! I mean really, the Council don't know what to do with it apart from kow-towing (I like that word) to ferry company Condor, and really don't seem to have a clue how to make money out of it (apart from Car parking Revenue, of course). So the likelihood of their being able to make a worthwhile profit out of it for the benefit of the People is fairly slim really, isn't it? arlbergbahn
  • Score: -1

10:48am Fri 16 May 14

JamesYoung says...

arlbergbahn wrote:
really, in fact, I think, going further, the way forward would be to take the harbour out of the council's hands altogether, yes, the dreaded privatisation! I mean really, the Council don't know what to do with it apart from kow-towing (I like that word) to ferry company Condor, and really don't seem to have a clue how to make money out of it (apart from Car parking Revenue, of course). So the likelihood of their being able to make a worthwhile profit out of it for the benefit of the People is fairly slim really, isn't it?
I disagree. Community owned, fine, privatisation, no. The harbour should primarily be for the use of local residents at a price that they can afford. To put this into stark perspective, if you are lucky enough to get a berth on a council owned pontoon, you'll pay £291 per metre this year. That same berth on the Dean and Reddyhoff marina would cost £443. Say you are a local with an 18 foot sailing boat (like mine, in fact). Rounded up to the nearest metre that's £1746 for the council mooring and £2658 for the private one - a difference of £912 a year! Who can afford that?
(I can't. I keep my little sailing boat on a trailer at WPNSA which is still expensive at £700.)
[quote][p][bold]arlbergbahn[/bold] wrote: really, in fact, I think, going further, the way forward would be to take the harbour out of the council's hands altogether, yes, the dreaded privatisation! I mean really, the Council don't know what to do with it apart from kow-towing (I like that word) to ferry company Condor, and really don't seem to have a clue how to make money out of it (apart from Car parking Revenue, of course). So the likelihood of their being able to make a worthwhile profit out of it for the benefit of the People is fairly slim really, isn't it?[/p][/quote]I disagree. Community owned, fine, privatisation, no. The harbour should primarily be for the use of local residents at a price that they can afford. To put this into stark perspective, if you are lucky enough to get a berth on a council owned pontoon, you'll pay £291 per metre this year. That same berth on the Dean and Reddyhoff marina would cost £443. Say you are a local with an 18 foot sailing boat (like mine, in fact). Rounded up to the nearest metre that's £1746 for the council mooring and £2658 for the private one - a difference of £912 a year! Who can afford that? (I can't. I keep my little sailing boat on a trailer at WPNSA which is still expensive at £700.) JamesYoung
  • Score: 0

10:54am Fri 16 May 14

arlbergbahn says...

JamesYoung wrote:
arlbergbahn wrote:
really, in fact, I think, going further, the way forward would be to take the harbour out of the council's hands altogether, yes, the dreaded privatisation! I mean really, the Council don't know what to do with it apart from kow-towing (I like that word) to ferry company Condor, and really don't seem to have a clue how to make money out of it (apart from Car parking Revenue, of course). So the likelihood of their being able to make a worthwhile profit out of it for the benefit of the People is fairly slim really, isn't it?
I disagree. Community owned, fine, privatisation, no. The harbour should primarily be for the use of local residents at a price that they can afford. To put this into stark perspective, if you are lucky enough to get a berth on a council owned pontoon, you'll pay £291 per metre this year. That same berth on the Dean and Reddyhoff marina would cost £443. Say you are a local with an 18 foot sailing boat (like mine, in fact). Rounded up to the nearest metre that's £1746 for the council mooring and £2658 for the private one - a difference of £912 a year! Who can afford that?
(I can't. I keep my little sailing boat on a trailer at WPNSA which is still expensive at £700.)
But if the Council can't make a profit out of it, and they clearly can't make a profit out of anything, it'd just be even more of a drain on the taxpayer and those they milk in other ways like out of Car Parking revenue than they are already. Wishful thinking about how the authorities should run everything for the public good is all very fine, if the authorities were capable of doing so, but they very rarely are, are they, at anything from local to national level.
[quote][p][bold]JamesYoung[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]arlbergbahn[/bold] wrote: really, in fact, I think, going further, the way forward would be to take the harbour out of the council's hands altogether, yes, the dreaded privatisation! I mean really, the Council don't know what to do with it apart from kow-towing (I like that word) to ferry company Condor, and really don't seem to have a clue how to make money out of it (apart from Car parking Revenue, of course). So the likelihood of their being able to make a worthwhile profit out of it for the benefit of the People is fairly slim really, isn't it?[/p][/quote]I disagree. Community owned, fine, privatisation, no. The harbour should primarily be for the use of local residents at a price that they can afford. To put this into stark perspective, if you are lucky enough to get a berth on a council owned pontoon, you'll pay £291 per metre this year. That same berth on the Dean and Reddyhoff marina would cost £443. Say you are a local with an 18 foot sailing boat (like mine, in fact). Rounded up to the nearest metre that's £1746 for the council mooring and £2658 for the private one - a difference of £912 a year! Who can afford that? (I can't. I keep my little sailing boat on a trailer at WPNSA which is still expensive at £700.)[/p][/quote]But if the Council can't make a profit out of it, and they clearly can't make a profit out of anything, it'd just be even more of a drain on the taxpayer and those they milk in other ways like out of Car Parking revenue than they are already. Wishful thinking about how the authorities should run everything for the public good is all very fine, if the authorities were capable of doing so, but they very rarely are, are they, at anything from local to national level. arlbergbahn
  • Score: 0

4:34pm Fri 16 May 14

JamesYoung says...

arlbergbahn wrote:
JamesYoung wrote:
arlbergbahn wrote:
really, in fact, I think, going further, the way forward would be to take the harbour out of the council's hands altogether, yes, the dreaded privatisation! I mean really, the Council don't know what to do with it apart from kow-towing (I like that word) to ferry company Condor, and really don't seem to have a clue how to make money out of it (apart from Car parking Revenue, of course). So the likelihood of their being able to make a worthwhile profit out of it for the benefit of the People is fairly slim really, isn't it?
I disagree. Community owned, fine, privatisation, no. The harbour should primarily be for the use of local residents at a price that they can afford. To put this into stark perspective, if you are lucky enough to get a berth on a council owned pontoon, you'll pay £291 per metre this year. That same berth on the Dean and Reddyhoff marina would cost £443. Say you are a local with an 18 foot sailing boat (like mine, in fact). Rounded up to the nearest metre that's £1746 for the council mooring and £2658 for the private one - a difference of £912 a year! Who can afford that?
(I can't. I keep my little sailing boat on a trailer at WPNSA which is still expensive at £700.)
But if the Council can't make a profit out of it, and they clearly can't make a profit out of anything, it'd just be even more of a drain on the taxpayer and those they milk in other ways like out of Car Parking revenue than they are already. Wishful thinking about how the authorities should run everything for the public good is all very fine, if the authorities were capable of doing so, but they very rarely are, are they, at anything from local to national level.
Fair comment and i agree. I think this is recognised in the public sector too, which is why there is a definite move towards local authorities forming trading entities that are run autonomously and effectively for profit.
To my mind, if the council cannot run something for profit (which can of course be different to running something efficiently!) then the right approach is for them to restructure so that they can, rather than give money away to somebody else.
[quote][p][bold]arlbergbahn[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]JamesYoung[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]arlbergbahn[/bold] wrote: really, in fact, I think, going further, the way forward would be to take the harbour out of the council's hands altogether, yes, the dreaded privatisation! I mean really, the Council don't know what to do with it apart from kow-towing (I like that word) to ferry company Condor, and really don't seem to have a clue how to make money out of it (apart from Car parking Revenue, of course). So the likelihood of their being able to make a worthwhile profit out of it for the benefit of the People is fairly slim really, isn't it?[/p][/quote]I disagree. Community owned, fine, privatisation, no. The harbour should primarily be for the use of local residents at a price that they can afford. To put this into stark perspective, if you are lucky enough to get a berth on a council owned pontoon, you'll pay £291 per metre this year. That same berth on the Dean and Reddyhoff marina would cost £443. Say you are a local with an 18 foot sailing boat (like mine, in fact). Rounded up to the nearest metre that's £1746 for the council mooring and £2658 for the private one - a difference of £912 a year! Who can afford that? (I can't. I keep my little sailing boat on a trailer at WPNSA which is still expensive at £700.)[/p][/quote]But if the Council can't make a profit out of it, and they clearly can't make a profit out of anything, it'd just be even more of a drain on the taxpayer and those they milk in other ways like out of Car Parking revenue than they are already. Wishful thinking about how the authorities should run everything for the public good is all very fine, if the authorities were capable of doing so, but they very rarely are, are they, at anything from local to national level.[/p][/quote]Fair comment and i agree. I think this is recognised in the public sector too, which is why there is a definite move towards local authorities forming trading entities that are run autonomously and effectively for profit. To my mind, if the council cannot run something for profit (which can of course be different to running something efficiently!) then the right approach is for them to restructure so that they can, rather than give money away to somebody else. JamesYoung
  • Score: 0

7:58pm Fri 16 May 14

arlbergbahn says...

Have you noticed, incidentally, that this story has been bumped from the front page and you have to search to find it now? It couldn't have anything to do with the fact that not everyone is in fact rushing to sign the Echo's petition, could it?
Have you noticed, incidentally, that this story has been bumped from the front page and you have to search to find it now? It couldn't have anything to do with the fact that not everyone is in fact rushing to sign the Echo's petition, could it? arlbergbahn
  • Score: -1

9:57pm Sun 18 May 14

Micke12 says...

Are condor pulling strings here - yes, I think they are.

Is there any contract signed by both parties either before the repairs to berth 3 were done, or afterwards committing Condor to fifteen years minimum service from Weymouth - I don't know because no one is saying yes or no, and the OHEC is failing in it's duty to chase the matter up and get answers - don't they have any investigative reporters on this paper.

Did Condor know they would need a new link-span on berth 1 at the time the repairs were happening on berth 3 - without a doubt as they had already been in discussions with the builders of the new vessel in respect of the purchase of this new, bigger, vessel. This being the case, then the management of Condor need to explain why this was not discussed with the council when they knew the work was to be done on berth 3.

What has happened to all the revenues paid to the council from both Condor and private users of the harbour and berthing facilities - money that should have been spent on repairs to the harbour and ancillary services - a question that the chief executive of the council has to answer.

Do we need Condor in this town - yes, I think we do, as £7M of something is better the £7M of nothing for local businesses, whether those businesses are guest houses, cafes or any other business. There is no sense in saying that the users of these ferries bring little value to the normal residents, as the passengers are not interested in the local residents, just what services are provided in the way of services and accommodation whilst they stay overnight, ready to travel on the ferry the next morning or afternoon. People moan because something only profits a few businesses, but that is the way of some business types.

What is the answer then - I don't know as so many things have been left unanswered, either by the local council or Condor due to so called 'business sensitive' information not being provided. Until we get full disclosure of the facts, either by their own admission or through investigative journalism by this local newspaper, we will all be like mushrooms, kept in the dark and fed with bull-!"£".

But if Condor are playing brinksmanship with the council in order that they can get the berth done for nothing, in the knowledge that they already knew about needing the other berth and failed to disclose it when berth 3 was repaired, then our council should call their bluff and see what happens - risky I know, but no gain without risk.

Either that, or give Condor a 125 year lease on the whole peninsular so that they can do what they want to it, within planning laws, and spend their money on what they want from that berthing area. If they want to have berth 1, then they should be prepared to fork out the £10M, which we all know is a very very conservative estimation as no one knows what the walls beneath berth 1 are like. Why should the council tax payer have to pay for something that will not benefit the average person in the street financially.

All this talk of asking The Transport Department for the funding will be laughed out of the DfT. I am sure that Philip Hammond will say that the government can not be seen to be bailing out one local authority as it would open the floodgates to other local authorities applying for funding from other government departments.

No, if Condor wants the berth for their new vessel, then like the rest of us, they will have to pay for it out of their own profits and **** the shareholders losing some of their dividend - they need to speculate to accumulate, just like any other person or business.

When Condor say they will move permanently to Poole if they don't get their way, they are not going to be popular with their staff in Weymouth, who will have their working days extended from some 10 hours to more like 13 hours taking into account the travelling time to get to Poole and the extra 30 minutes journey time each way, and I cannot see them making their salaried staff here in Weymouth redundant as that would result in massive redundancy payments, there again effecting the shareholder dividends.

Would we miss Condor if they were to leave Weymouth. For most of us, the answer is no, but Condor would miss out financially by having to spend more money on fuel, which doubtless they will make back by surcharging for fuel on their day trip services, which in return would reduce their passenger numbers as people would not want to pay the extra cash.

I am sure that many people will have comments on what I have said and i look forward to reading them and responding accordingly. But to be honest, in the long run, Condor leaving is something we as a borough will get over, but if it comes to evidence that there was no contract signed by the council with Condor, then the council are going to be left with egg on their faces and be the laughing stock of this town.
Are condor pulling strings here - yes, I think they are. Is there any contract signed by both parties either before the repairs to berth 3 were done, or afterwards committing Condor to fifteen years minimum service from Weymouth - I don't know because no one is saying yes or no, and the OHEC is failing in it's duty to chase the matter up and get answers - don't they have any investigative reporters on this paper. Did Condor know they would need a new link-span on berth 1 at the time the repairs were happening on berth 3 - without a doubt as they had already been in discussions with the builders of the new vessel in respect of the purchase of this new, bigger, vessel. This being the case, then the management of Condor need to explain why this was not discussed with the council when they knew the work was to be done on berth 3. What has happened to all the revenues paid to the council from both Condor and private users of the harbour and berthing facilities - money that should have been spent on repairs to the harbour and ancillary services - a question that the chief executive of the council has to answer. Do we need Condor in this town - yes, I think we do, as £7M of something is better the £7M of nothing for local businesses, whether those businesses are guest houses, cafes or any other business. There is no sense in saying that the users of these ferries bring little value to the normal residents, as the passengers are not interested in the local residents, just what services are provided in the way of services and accommodation whilst they stay overnight, ready to travel on the ferry the next morning or afternoon. People moan because something only profits a few businesses, but that is the way of some business types. What is the answer then - I don't know as so many things have been left unanswered, either by the local council or Condor due to so called 'business sensitive' information not being provided. Until we get full disclosure of the facts, either by their own admission or through investigative journalism by this local newspaper, we will all be like mushrooms, kept in the dark and fed with bull-!"£". But if Condor are playing brinksmanship with the council in order that they can get the berth done for nothing, in the knowledge that they already knew about needing the other berth and failed to disclose it when berth 3 was repaired, then our council should call their bluff and see what happens - risky I know, but no gain without risk. Either that, or give Condor a 125 year lease on the whole peninsular so that they can do what they want to it, within planning laws, and spend their money on what they want from that berthing area. If they want to have berth 1, then they should be prepared to fork out the £10M, which we all know is a very very conservative estimation as no one knows what the walls beneath berth 1 are like. Why should the council tax payer have to pay for something that will not benefit the average person in the street financially. All this talk of asking The Transport Department for the funding will be laughed out of the DfT. I am sure that Philip Hammond will say that the government can not be seen to be bailing out one local authority as it would open the floodgates to other local authorities applying for funding from other government departments. No, if Condor wants the berth for their new vessel, then like the rest of us, they will have to pay for it out of their own profits and **** the shareholders losing some of their dividend - they need to speculate to accumulate, just like any other person or business. When Condor say they will move permanently to Poole if they don't get their way, they are not going to be popular with their staff in Weymouth, who will have their working days extended from some 10 hours to more like 13 hours taking into account the travelling time to get to Poole and the extra 30 minutes journey time each way, and I cannot see them making their salaried staff here in Weymouth redundant as that would result in massive redundancy payments, there again effecting the shareholder dividends. Would we miss Condor if they were to leave Weymouth. For most of us, the answer is no, but Condor would miss out financially by having to spend more money on fuel, which doubtless they will make back by surcharging for fuel on their day trip services, which in return would reduce their passenger numbers as people would not want to pay the extra cash. I am sure that many people will have comments on what I have said and i look forward to reading them and responding accordingly. But to be honest, in the long run, Condor leaving is something we as a borough will get over, but if it comes to evidence that there was no contract signed by the council with Condor, then the council are going to be left with egg on their faces and be the laughing stock of this town. Micke12
  • Score: 1

7:27am Mon 19 May 14

Simon Nicholas says...

HI Micke,

I can`t disagree with most of what you say. Condor are not happy to be seen as the villains of this piece, but still refuse to comment or state their side of the argument - I know, as I have tried to get them to do so, without success.

The issues around this new boat are farcical as well - whilst officially, they are still saying they are "considering their options" there does seem to be something in the speculation that they have already signed a "pre purchase agreement" with the supplier. In any case, you can`t just build a super ferry in a few weeks - assuming its not already "in stock" at the manufacturer (unlikely), it would take a considerable time to build (maybe a year?) and then have to undertake exhaustive sea trials and staff training proceudures.

It does remain my view however that Condor wish to stay in Weymouth - otherwise, they would have already announced that they were moving to Poole due to the size of the new ship, as what previously happened in 1997, when they said that Condor Express was too big for Berth 3!

I am not happy with this gap of up to two years (with no sailings) however to allow for legal considerations and construction - Express or Vitesse should be retained in the short term to allow sailings from Weymouth to continue.

The one thing I do have some sympathy with Condor is the long term commitment that Weymouth is seeking, as they only currently have a short term licence to operate to the Channel Islands, which expires at the end of 2017.

Simon N.
HI Micke, I can`t disagree with most of what you say. Condor are not happy to be seen as the villains of this piece, but still refuse to comment or state their side of the argument - I know, as I have tried to get them to do so, without success. The issues around this new boat are farcical as well - whilst officially, they are still saying they are "considering their options" there does seem to be something in the speculation that they have already signed a "pre purchase agreement" with the supplier. In any case, you can`t just build a super ferry in a few weeks - assuming its not already "in stock" at the manufacturer (unlikely), it would take a considerable time to build (maybe a year?) and then have to undertake exhaustive sea trials and staff training proceudures. It does remain my view however that Condor wish to stay in Weymouth - otherwise, they would have already announced that they were moving to Poole due to the size of the new ship, as what previously happened in 1997, when they said that Condor Express was too big for Berth 3! I am not happy with this gap of up to two years (with no sailings) however to allow for legal considerations and construction - Express or Vitesse should be retained in the short term to allow sailings from Weymouth to continue. The one thing I do have some sympathy with Condor is the long term commitment that Weymouth is seeking, as they only currently have a short term licence to operate to the Channel Islands, which expires at the end of 2017. Simon N. Simon Nicholas
  • Score: 1

9:28am Mon 19 May 14

JamesYoung says...

Micke12 wrote:
Are condor pulling strings here - yes, I think they are.

Is there any contract signed by both parties either before the repairs to berth 3 were done, or afterwards committing Condor to fifteen years minimum service from Weymouth - I don't know because no one is saying yes or no, and the OHEC is failing in it's duty to chase the matter up and get answers - don't they have any investigative reporters on this paper.

Did Condor know they would need a new link-span on berth 1 at the time the repairs were happening on berth 3 - without a doubt as they had already been in discussions with the builders of the new vessel in respect of the purchase of this new, bigger, vessel. This being the case, then the management of Condor need to explain why this was not discussed with the council when they knew the work was to be done on berth 3.

What has happened to all the revenues paid to the council from both Condor and private users of the harbour and berthing facilities - money that should have been spent on repairs to the harbour and ancillary services - a question that the chief executive of the council has to answer.

Do we need Condor in this town - yes, I think we do, as £7M of something is better the £7M of nothing for local businesses, whether those businesses are guest houses, cafes or any other business. There is no sense in saying that the users of these ferries bring little value to the normal residents, as the passengers are not interested in the local residents, just what services are provided in the way of services and accommodation whilst they stay overnight, ready to travel on the ferry the next morning or afternoon. People moan because something only profits a few businesses, but that is the way of some business types.

What is the answer then - I don't know as so many things have been left unanswered, either by the local council or Condor due to so called 'business sensitive' information not being provided. Until we get full disclosure of the facts, either by their own admission or through investigative journalism by this local newspaper, we will all be like mushrooms, kept in the dark and fed with bull-!"£".

But if Condor are playing brinksmanship with the council in order that they can get the berth done for nothing, in the knowledge that they already knew about needing the other berth and failed to disclose it when berth 3 was repaired, then our council should call their bluff and see what happens - risky I know, but no gain without risk.

Either that, or give Condor a 125 year lease on the whole peninsular so that they can do what they want to it, within planning laws, and spend their money on what they want from that berthing area. If they want to have berth 1, then they should be prepared to fork out the £10M, which we all know is a very very conservative estimation as no one knows what the walls beneath berth 1 are like. Why should the council tax payer have to pay for something that will not benefit the average person in the street financially.

All this talk of asking The Transport Department for the funding will be laughed out of the DfT. I am sure that Philip Hammond will say that the government can not be seen to be bailing out one local authority as it would open the floodgates to other local authorities applying for funding from other government departments.

No, if Condor wants the berth for their new vessel, then like the rest of us, they will have to pay for it out of their own profits and **** the shareholders losing some of their dividend - they need to speculate to accumulate, just like any other person or business.

When Condor say they will move permanently to Poole if they don't get their way, they are not going to be popular with their staff in Weymouth, who will have their working days extended from some 10 hours to more like 13 hours taking into account the travelling time to get to Poole and the extra 30 minutes journey time each way, and I cannot see them making their salaried staff here in Weymouth redundant as that would result in massive redundancy payments, there again effecting the shareholder dividends.

Would we miss Condor if they were to leave Weymouth. For most of us, the answer is no, but Condor would miss out financially by having to spend more money on fuel, which doubtless they will make back by surcharging for fuel on their day trip services, which in return would reduce their passenger numbers as people would not want to pay the extra cash.

I am sure that many people will have comments on what I have said and i look forward to reading them and responding accordingly. But to be honest, in the long run, Condor leaving is something we as a borough will get over, but if it comes to evidence that there was no contract signed by the council with Condor, then the council are going to be left with egg on their faces and be the laughing stock of this town.
See my earlier posts. There is no contract in place and hasn't been for a while.
[quote][p][bold]Micke12[/bold] wrote: Are condor pulling strings here - yes, I think they are. Is there any contract signed by both parties either before the repairs to berth 3 were done, or afterwards committing Condor to fifteen years minimum service from Weymouth - I don't know because no one is saying yes or no, and the OHEC is failing in it's duty to chase the matter up and get answers - don't they have any investigative reporters on this paper. Did Condor know they would need a new link-span on berth 1 at the time the repairs were happening on berth 3 - without a doubt as they had already been in discussions with the builders of the new vessel in respect of the purchase of this new, bigger, vessel. This being the case, then the management of Condor need to explain why this was not discussed with the council when they knew the work was to be done on berth 3. What has happened to all the revenues paid to the council from both Condor and private users of the harbour and berthing facilities - money that should have been spent on repairs to the harbour and ancillary services - a question that the chief executive of the council has to answer. Do we need Condor in this town - yes, I think we do, as £7M of something is better the £7M of nothing for local businesses, whether those businesses are guest houses, cafes or any other business. There is no sense in saying that the users of these ferries bring little value to the normal residents, as the passengers are not interested in the local residents, just what services are provided in the way of services and accommodation whilst they stay overnight, ready to travel on the ferry the next morning or afternoon. People moan because something only profits a few businesses, but that is the way of some business types. What is the answer then - I don't know as so many things have been left unanswered, either by the local council or Condor due to so called 'business sensitive' information not being provided. Until we get full disclosure of the facts, either by their own admission or through investigative journalism by this local newspaper, we will all be like mushrooms, kept in the dark and fed with bull-!"£". But if Condor are playing brinksmanship with the council in order that they can get the berth done for nothing, in the knowledge that they already knew about needing the other berth and failed to disclose it when berth 3 was repaired, then our council should call their bluff and see what happens - risky I know, but no gain without risk. Either that, or give Condor a 125 year lease on the whole peninsular so that they can do what they want to it, within planning laws, and spend their money on what they want from that berthing area. If they want to have berth 1, then they should be prepared to fork out the £10M, which we all know is a very very conservative estimation as no one knows what the walls beneath berth 1 are like. Why should the council tax payer have to pay for something that will not benefit the average person in the street financially. All this talk of asking The Transport Department for the funding will be laughed out of the DfT. I am sure that Philip Hammond will say that the government can not be seen to be bailing out one local authority as it would open the floodgates to other local authorities applying for funding from other government departments. No, if Condor wants the berth for their new vessel, then like the rest of us, they will have to pay for it out of their own profits and **** the shareholders losing some of their dividend - they need to speculate to accumulate, just like any other person or business. When Condor say they will move permanently to Poole if they don't get their way, they are not going to be popular with their staff in Weymouth, who will have their working days extended from some 10 hours to more like 13 hours taking into account the travelling time to get to Poole and the extra 30 minutes journey time each way, and I cannot see them making their salaried staff here in Weymouth redundant as that would result in massive redundancy payments, there again effecting the shareholder dividends. Would we miss Condor if they were to leave Weymouth. For most of us, the answer is no, but Condor would miss out financially by having to spend more money on fuel, which doubtless they will make back by surcharging for fuel on their day trip services, which in return would reduce their passenger numbers as people would not want to pay the extra cash. I am sure that many people will have comments on what I have said and i look forward to reading them and responding accordingly. But to be honest, in the long run, Condor leaving is something we as a borough will get over, but if it comes to evidence that there was no contract signed by the council with Condor, then the council are going to be left with egg on their faces and be the laughing stock of this town.[/p][/quote]See my earlier posts. There is no contract in place and hasn't been for a while. JamesYoung
  • Score: 0

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