Ventnor Haven made unacceptable losses according to Isle of Wight councillor Dave Stewart.
LOSSES of £101,000 incurred by Ventnor Haven last year, which had to be met by taxpayers, have been branded unacceptable.
The harbour, owned by the Isle of Wight Council, is let to the members of the Blake family, of Ventnor, on a 125 year lease at £9,000 per year.
The family runs a wet fish and fish and chip shop, while Cheetah Marine is employed by the council to supervise the harbour and remove seaweed.
Council leader Cllr David Pugh said at last night’'s (Tuesday) cabinet meeting there was no real scope for reducing costs. He said the Blake's business was good for the economy, but some cabinet members said the harbour should not be subsidised by taxpayers.
"I'm sure it adds to Ventnor's charm, but over a decade it costs us £1m. We need to look very hard at this," said Cllr Stuart Hutchinson.
Cllr Dave Stewart added: "It's important we sustain our tourism economy but this situation is just not acceptable."
The management of Newport Harbour, also owned by the council, was criticised by deputy leader Cllr George Brown.
He said: "It's a difficult business managing harbours but I think we have to accept we are not doing a particularly good job. Newport Harbour has the potential to be a great asset, and this will not disappear from the council's agenda."
The council leases land and buildings to several parties at the harbour for sums of between £25 and £10,000 however, according to the accounts, a yard at Blackhouse Quay is occupied by an aggregates company without a formal agreement, and the company pays no rent.
Legal advice on whether the lease should be offered to the company — which sublet the land from the previous, now deceased, leaseholder without the council's consent — or offered on the open market is being sought by the authority.