The Harbour Commissioners
The Newport Harbour Commissioners were originally constituted in 1836 under the Newport (Monmouthshire) Harbour Act and initially comprised some 36 Commissioners.
The current constitution comprises 8 Commissioners appointed in accordance with the provisions of the HRO.
The Commissioners are an independent statutory body and are classed by Her Majesty's Government as a Trust Port and the doctine of 'Ultra Vires' applies to them. They derive their powers from general legislation and local acts and orders. The Commissioners aim to break-even, taking one year with another and any profits must be re-invested for the benefit of the Harbour and stakeholders. They are however able to maintain reserves as they see fit.
The Commissioners are the Statutory Harbour Authority (SHA) for the Newport Harbour, the main duties and responsibilities of the Commissioners, are the provision and maintenance of navigation aids and generally to ensure the safety of navigation within the Newport Harbour. The maintenance of the buoys and the East Usk Lighthouse are entrusted to Trinity House, under contract. The Commission have a series of agreements and wayleaves relating to shore lights and lighthouses. The Commissioners are also the Competent Harbour Authority (CHA) for the Newport Harbour pursuant to the Pilotage Act 1987. and are responsible for the provision of Pilotage, currently under a joint arrangement with Associated British Ports (APB).
The Commissioners normally meet the second Wednesday of every month and are reponsible for the overall strategy and performance of the Authority.
Traffic within the Newport Harbour includes vessels arriving and departing from the enclosed dock and river berths operated by private sector companies. The Commissioners do not own or operate any docks, quays or loading or unloading facilities. The remainder of the traffic comprises leisure craft.
Since 1 February 2005, ABP carry out the functions of Harbour Master. The Commissioners are not delegating their powers under the 1890 Act (as amended) and will remain, at all times, the Statutory and Competent Harbour Authority for their area of juristiction. Accordingly, references to the Harbour Master means ABP acting in accordance with the terms of the contract as existing between ABP and the Newport Harbour Commissioners.