The Authority’s annual audited accounts can be viewed using the link above.
For the past three years (2012-2014 inc.) the Authority’s financial position has been strengthened by substantial cargo dues income from the Crossrail/Wallasea Wild Coast Project. This has allowed the Authority to maintain its other principal charges without increase for that period. Without the Crossrail income, which will cease in early 2015, the Authority will be forced to rely on its former traditional income sources: approximately one third from harbour dues on yachts/recreational craft, around 20% from dues and pilotage charges on commercial ships and the balance mainly from rents on river bed owned by the Authority.
CHA Finances Explained
Crouch Harbour Authority is an independent statutory authority. It is not formally or financially connected with Essex County Council or any of the local District Councils. It receives no subsidy or grant in aid from government.
Being a statutory harbour authority CHA is empowered to make charges on vessels using the harbour by S.26 of Harbours Act 1964, as amended by Crouch Harbour Act 1974.
CHA makes no distributions of profit or other payments/dividends etc. Being a ‘Trust Port’ the Authority holds its assets in trust for the benefit of its stakeholders.
Members of the Authority receive no remuneration. They are entitled to claim reasonable travel expenses but rarely do so. All surplus of income over expenditure is retained and applied to the Authority’s purposes. CHA maintains moderate cash assets accumulated over years of operation to meet its operating costs and to provide reasonable funding to meet any unforeseen or uninsured contingencies.
The only on-shore land owned or occupied by the Authority is the wooden Harbour Office building on The Quay at Burnham. The authority also holds a shipping container on annual licence, used for general storage at Fambridge Yacht Haven Marina. CHA also leases from the Crown Estate an area of riverbed at Hullbridge, used for yacht moorings.
The Authority owns Freehold substantial areas of the bed of R. Crouch (but by no means all of it) and some small areas of the bed of R. Roach. This land is partially let to tenants for various purposes including yacht moorings, mussel and oyster cultivation, Firing Range Safety (Foulness Range), nature conservation (Dengie foreshore) etc. Income from the Authority’s owned land is applied to the Authority’s general funding and therefore effectively goes to reduce harbour charges.
The Authority employs five permanent staff, the Harbour Master who is full-time, two administration staff and two launch/pilot boat staff, one of whom is full-time. A Property Adviser (an independent Chartered Surveyor) is retained to advise on property matters. Legal Services are purchased from Essex County Council on a commercial basis.
The Authority owns/operates no vehicles. It owns a 29’ Seaward fast patrol launch ‘Watchful’ and a 42′ Pilot boat ‘Crouch Trident’, a 5.2m Patrol RIB and another smaller RIB for upriver patrolling.