Clarke Looking For Improvements To Harbours

He said, “In 2010, DARD carried out an economic appraisal on the options for improving navigational safety at the entrance to Kilkeel harbour. “A range of options were considered that if implemented would reduce the risk to boats using the harbour. These included breakwater construction options which earlier technical studies had identified, including the relocation of the fleet, and the introduction of an ‘Enhanced Safety Management System. The report concluded that an ESM system would cost an estimated £192,000 and represented the best value for money compared to the cost of a breakwater at £15million. [caption id="attachment_21119" align="alignleft" width="400" caption="Down District Councillor Willie Clarke MLA, a member of the Fisheries Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, right, at a meeting with Maria Damanaki, EU Maritime Affairs"][/caption] “In her response to my question regarding this matter, Minister Michelle Gildernew explained she has asked the Harbour Authority to draw up proposals for an ESM System that should be developed and implemented as soon as possible. Proposals are being drawn up for these essential safety measures that will be funded under the EFF. “I also understand that when installed and operational, they system will be reviewed after three years to ensure that risks connected to the entrance of Kilkeel Harbour are being minimised. “This is vitally important as the safety of trawler crews entering Kilkeel Harbour must be the main consideration when implementing safety measures.” Councillor Willie Clarke MLA who in his capacity as a member of the Fisheries Agriculture and Rural Development Committee met with Maria Damanaki from the EU’s Maritime Affairs. During the meeting, he raised a number of issues relating to the state of the fNorthern Ireland fishing industry  and the plight of local trawler men and boat owners who are struggling to make ends meet.

Newcastle Harbour Impovements Required Says Clarke

Speaking on the eve of a meeting with consultants to discuss plans for the regeneration of Newcastle Harbour, Sinn Féin Assembly Member Willie Clarke has repeated his determination to secure funding for the area. [caption id="attachment_21120" align="alignright" width="400" caption="Councillor Willie Clarke looks over Newcastle Harbour"][/caption] He said, “We are entering what I hope is the final phase of the consultation process that should provide a blueprint for the regeneration of the Harbour. I would like to commend Kirterion Conservation Architects for the work they have done in drafting the Consultation Plan which when agreed must be implemented and form the basis for a significant investment in what is the oldest part of Newcastle. “For too long the Harbour area has suffered from neglect and poor planning decisions and we now have the opportunity to put right some of the mistakes of the past. “I will continue to do all within my power to secure the necessary funding that will allow the Harbour to fulfil its undoubted potential. The preservation of the Watch House, improvements to both piers and the harbour car park along with the installation of basic amenities such as public toilets and street lighting are just some of the priorities. “The Harbour has a rich heritage and its history is worth preserving. A properly implemented plan will ensure its unique streetscape and setting is preserved and is also an ideal way of attracting visitors to the area,” he added.]]>