I was intrigued by the decision to erect railings along the Weymouth harbourside.

I was an independent member of the Harbour Management Board for six years from 2009 and I cannot remember any discussion during that time regarding the need for railings, usually ‘stanchions’, along the edge of the harbour.

Weymouth is, or was, supposed to be a working harbour.

Additionally, in very many years as a seaman officer, and then as a yacht sailor, I visited over 400 harbours, ports and marinas all over the world, yet I cannot recall any of these being fitted with stanchions or guardrails.

They did of course have bollards or rings for securing ships’ mooring lines.

I also have some experience of how the health and safety industry operates.

For several years I ran a Westminster-based business which occupied an eight-storey high building.

I discovered that most of the local health and safety operatives were employed as consultants to the council, and as each new one arrived, usually fresh from university, they would immediately seek to establish the need for their existence.

Local businesses would be besieged by inspections and demands to eliminate risks that didn’t really need correcting, often at great expense.

For example, I faced a demand to replace a series of small polycarbonate ventilation skylights set in the roof of the building, for which there was no external access.

The argument presented was that someone might climb out through a restricted-access window on the side of the building, somehow manage to climb up the vertical outside of the building and then jump onto one of the skylights, thus breaking the very strong polycarbonate and falling through into the room below, this despite the fact that the skylights were too small to allow a person to pass or fall through them.

The cost of this work at the time was £19,000!

Perhaps Dorset Council should look more carefully at such ‘safety’ demands, and maybe even consult the local authority, the harbour users or the Harbour Committee.