A councilor has been advised that they will need to make a business case to justify the installation of a manager to oversee the foreshore area at Saltburn.
Councilor Philip Thomson claimed that without proper management of the area many decisions had not been made and the “insufficient level of service in a key tourist destination”. Hundreds of thousands of visitors are drawn to Saltburn’s waterfront each year, with the town often described as a “crown jewel” of Redcar and Cleveland.
In a question to a full meeting of Redcar and Cleveland council, he said: “In recent years it has been recognized that the management of the whole foreshore area, including that of Marine Parade, could be well served by the appointment of a foreshore manager.
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“From the Hazel Grove Coastal Path to Cleveland Way to the Ship Inn, the foreshore area, reaching Valley Gardens, has a wide variety of facilities, most of which are council owned or leased and require coordinated management . .”
Cllr Thomson, who represents Saltburn for the Cleveland Independents Group, said he and others in the ward were made to understand the council had a nomination “under review” and asked when it would be made.
Councilor Cliff Foggo, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, said: “It is recognized that the management of the foreshore in Saltburn is an important function in supporting the effective functioning of the coastal zone. City manager posts were scrapped about six years ago as they were deemed unnecessary as their work was carried out by other officers from other departments.
Cllr Foggo said the council was looking at its safer communities and street scene service and would consider providing foreshore management duties to Saltburn as part of the review. He said: “In terms of timing, it is expected that the review will be completed by the end of the summer.
“If you believe there is a strong business case for the appointment of a foreshore manager, can you provide a business case detailing the areas in which the work of a manager will benefit the borough and that will be covered as part of the review. This does not mean that we will definitely appoint a foreshore manager, it means that we will look at the tasks required and if there are enough tasks required we will look into the possibility of having a foreshore manager, although he there is no definite position available at the present time. .”
Cllr Thomson said he was “disappointed” with the council’s position and felt that all that remained was the date of an appointment and the principle of the position had already been agreed.
He said: “Now that a doubt arises as to whether the position is deserved or not, I would like to request that there be further discussions with the members of the room so that the position and the argument for a appointment can be justified and that they will be engaged as part of the review group.
Cllr Foggo said the board needed to consider whether there was a “special case” for Saltburn. He said: ‘We have lots of other residents living in places like Guisborough, Redcar and Eston who used to have town managers, just like Saltburn.
“If we are going to look for a foreshore manager for Saltburn we need to look at the requirements for other areas which is why we need the detail of the tasks you think a foreshore manager would do.
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