PEMBROKESHIRE County Council cabinet members are to be asked to consider an objection to planned changes to the order setting out the governance of Saundersfoot Harbour.

Cabinet members meet on Monday, September 14, and will discuss the proposed Harbour Revision Order (HRO) put forward by the Saundersfoot Harbour Commissioners, who manage the Trust Port of Saundersfoot.

The HRO seeks to amend the Saundersfoot Empowerment Order 2011, which details the Port’s obligations, how it operates, what it can and cannot do and how it governs itself.

The council appoints a harbour commissioner and has a representative on the Advisory Committee which includes representation from community, industry and regional stakeholders.

The council has supported the recent developments made by the Saundersfoot Harbour Commissioners, including the granting of a substantial loan.

However, the council is concerned the proposed HRO changes would reduce local accountability and independent oversight.

The planned amendments include changes to the appointment of commissioners and their terms of office, borrowing powers and remuneration of commissioners and chair.

The deadline for statutory consultation on the proposed HRO was due to fall between the regular cycle of Cabinet meetings so officers liaised with the relevant cabinet members and the council’s representative on the advisory committee.

Dr Steven Jones, the council’s director of community services, responded to the Welsh Government on July 31, on the basis that the council’s cabinet could, if it wished, withdraw the objection later.

The council objected to the HRO on the grounds that it would amend the appointments made to the commission by the council and Saundersfoot Community Council.

Dr Jones wrote: “The effect of this provision is to undermine local accountability for the harbour and provides for only a limited involvement of the said councils in the appointment process.”

The council felt the amendment relating to general powers required clarification and raised objection to the proposed amendment which would provide remuneration for commissioners.

Currently only the chairman may be remunerated.

Dr Jones continued: “It does not appear appropriate for the commissioners to have the power to determine their own remuneration without any external control of audit. The make-up of the remuneration committee in Article 18 is vague.”

Cabinet members are asked to consider the response sent and determine whether they wish to withdraw or amend the objections.

Cabinet meets at 10am on Monday, September 14.

The meeting will be broadcast at