Macduff Harbour night watch service to remain

Aberdeenshire Council has announced that the night watch service at Macduff Harbour will remain operating.

The service had been earmarked for closure as part of a review to look at the structure and responsibilities within the harbours service, with the aim of making improvements and to ensure harbours, including Macduff, are on a sound sustainable footing for the long term. The review included giving consideration to the role of night watch staff at Macduff Harbour.

Director of Infrastructure Services Stephen Archer explained that he had listened carefully to the concerns of harbour users and in particular, the fishing community who argued that investment was needed to support continued and future growth of the industry and raised health and safety concerns. The continuing service could also support the Macduff Harbour Masterplan and the Macduff Regeneration Plan.

Mr Archer said: “I recognise the importance of maintaining a positive dialogue with the harbour users in the interests of a successful harbour and town centre. The council will always look to achieve the best outcomes within the context of significant financial challenges.

“We always listen to the opinions and views of our stakeholders, and in this instance, their opposition to our plans was loud and clear. We have responded to their concerns and will not proceed with the changes to the night watch service at Macduff Harbour.

“We want to continue our positive dialogue with harbour users as we develop facilities to ensure that we provide a modern commercial harbour which supports the regeneration of the surrounding area.”

Under the council’s new Scheme of Governance, local members were able to raise the issue for further consideration using the Member Promoted Issue mechanism.