Council to examine ‘alternatives’ to 24/7 security at Marina

editorial image

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is to examine alternatives to 24/7 security at Carrickfergus Marina.

The issue was raised at last month’s meeting of the Maritime Board, during which members were told that the Marina currently holds the 5 Gold Anchor Award, administered by the Yacht Harbour Association Ltd.

To achieve the accreditation, a venue requires a “24/7 office or alternative solution”.

In Carrick, the 24/7 service is currently provided by a security firm which gives cover from 6pm through to 9am every morning.

“This was procured until 31 March 2016 at a cost of approximately £50,000 per year,” a members’ report read.

“There is now an opportune time to review the provision of this service to ensure best value for money and to seek alternative solutions which may maintain the 5 Gold Anchor Award but at a reduced cost.”

At the meeting, Councillor John Stewart called for clarity on the requirements for 5 Gold Anchor status.

“What I would like to see is how other places have interpreted the ‘alternative solution’; does it mean 24/7 security or just a 24/7 reception?” he said.

“If we can maintain 5 Gold Anchors so much the better but we should be looking at doing this in the least costly way.”

Cllr Jim Brown, chair of the Maritime Board added: “I’m not sure what 5 Gold Anchor status actually adds to the Marina.”

Meanwhile, MEA Director of Operations Philip Thompson indicated that Glenarm Marina, a 3 Gold Anchor facility was still very popular. “There is a waiting list to get into it,” he added.