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The Board of Commissioners
The Board of Commissioners

Situated within the 10,000 acres of Poole Harbour, the Port of Poole is managed by the Poole Harbour Commissioners. The Trust Port was established by an Act of Parliament in 1895 to conserve, regulate and improve the Port and Harbour of Poole and for the construction of works and other purposes.

Poole Harbour Commissioners currently comprise a board of 12 Trustees (Commissioners) with a staff of some 110. All board members are required to sign a declaration that they will act impartially and make decisions in the best interests of the harbour.

Commissioners' responsibilities'

Poole Harbour Commissioners’ main responsibilities are:

  • ensuring that statutory duties are fulfilled, such as maintaining an open Port
  • maintaining the shipping channels by surveying, dredging and marking with navigational aids such as buoys and lights
  • providing a pilotage service for ships visiting the Harbour
  • allocating areas of the Harbour for yacht moorings
  • licensing works around the Harbour (e.g. construction of jetties, etc.)
  • providing and co-ordinating resources in the event of oil or chemical pollution in the Harbour
  • contributing to the management of any maritime emergency in the harbour
  • providing a 24 hour manned Harbour Control Office, for harbour traffic management and emergency response
  • maintaining and developing Port facilities to retain existing customers and encourage new ones
  • offering a full range of cargo handling services
  • enforcement of harbour byelaws and keeping them under review
  • taking account of the environmental requirements of the Transport and Works Act 1992 and other relevant legislation
  • ensuring the safety of harbour users and employees alike
  • addressing the obligations placed upon the Trust by legislation including the Waste Disposal Regulations and the Habitats Directive.


Professor Bob Cripps BSc.(Hons),

Commissioner, Prof Bob Cripps

Professor Bob Cripps is a Naval Architect and he is currently Director of Longitude Consulting Engineers. Previously he was Director Engineering College at BAE Systems Surface Ships, Technical Director at VT Halmatic, Engineering Manager at the RNLI and a Senior Ship Surveyor at Lloyds Register. Bob is a Visiting Professor at the University of Southampton, Bournemouth University and University Campus Suffolk.

Bob has lived in Poole for over 20 years and he is married with two grown up daughters.


Commissioner, Commissioner David Norman

David Norman is a Shipmaster with extensive command experience covering a wide range of vessel types including square rigged sailing vessels. A longtime customer of Poole Port both as a recreational sailor and as Operations Director for Condor Ferries. He has world wide experience of Ferry Ports and their management and operation. He is also a trustee and director of a conservation charity.

Chief Executive
Chief Executive, Jim Stewart

Jim Stewart - BA (Hons), MBA, FICS

Commenced shipping career as a shipbroker with Elders IXL on The Baltic Exchange in the City of London in 1980, qualifying as a member of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers in 1982.


  • 1990 - founded ship broking company opening offices in London and New York.
  • 1999 - awarded an MBA at Cass Business School London
  • 1999 - appointed Managing Director of Crescent Shipping, a UK ship owning and operating company .
  • 2002 - appointed Chief Executive of Poole Harbour Commissioners, managing Europe's largest natural harbour and the busy commercial port of Poole. The organisation also operates a logistics division and two commercial marinas.
  • Chairman of British Ports Association 201 0/12
  • Council member of British Ports Association since 2002
  • Chairman of the UK Access to Ports Group
  • Board member of the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership
  • Chairman of Poole Harbour Steering Group
  • Chairman of Dorset Freight Quality Partnership

Commissioner, Captain Brian Murphy

Captain Brian Murphy has been in the marine industry for the past 27 years attaining command of a large container vessel on a worldwide trade. His career path diverted closer to home with 2 years at Condor Ferries before joining Poole Pilots Partnership. He remained there as a Class 1 Pilot for 4 years before joining Poole Harbour Commissioners in 2004. Since then he has managed the pilotage service and harbour control while carrying out acts of pilotage and harbour master duties. Brian is qualified in port operations and took over as Harbour Master in April 2008. Brian is a Younger Brother of Trinity House and a Fellow of the Nautical Institute.


Commissioner, Angela Fletcher

Angela Fletcher established Rock Recruitment in 2007. Angela was named Entrepreneur and Businesswoman of the Year in the South West Venus Awards in 2010 and 2011 respectively and has been a finalist in both the IOD Director Awards and Dorset Business Awards. In 2013 Rock was a finalist in the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) Best Company to Work For with under 20 employees and is currently waiting to see if they have won Best Corporate and Social Responsibility Practitioners. Angela has recently been appointed the new Chair of the Dorset branch of the Institute of Directors (IoD). She is the youngest and the first female Chair of the region.


Commissioner, Philippa Goodwin

Philippa Goodwin, a chartered management accountant (ACMA), holds the position of Finance Director on the Board of Bournemouth Water Ltd.

Previously Divisional Finance Director at Ageas Insurance managing the Rias and Castle Cover brands, she has also held senior commercial finance roles at Centrica, the AA and Motorola.

Philippa also holds an MBA from Imperial College London and a BA (Hons) from University of the West of England (UWE).


Commissioner, Bill Gibbons

Bill (William) Gibbons has had a long career in the Passenger Shipping sector (Cruise and Ferry). His roles included Route Director for the Harwich to Hook of Holland Ferry Route, General Manager of the Sealink Isle of Wight ferries and was Director of the Passenger Shipping Association (PSA) for nineteen years from 1994 to 2013. Bill is currently the Director of Discover Ferries.

Commissioner, Simon Cripps

Dr Simon Cripps is Chief Executive of Dorset Wildlife Trust, Chair of the Dorset Local Nature Partnership and an MMO appointee on the Board of the Southern IFCA. He is an oceanographer having worked 20 years abroad for consultancies, NGOs and government. Simon grew up by Poole Harbour and prior to DWT was WWF’s Global Marine Director.


Commissioner, Gary Wordsworth

Martin Pate is a Solicitor and Managing Director of MJP Law, a solicitors’ practice based in Dorset. Martin started his career with the London Metropolitan Police and then the Department of Transport and Environment in London, working for a number of departments and agencies. Martin is a keen sailor qualified to RYA Offshore Yacht Master and former Commodore of East Dorset Sailing Club in Poole.

Commissioner, Doug Cramond

Doug Cramond is in the Royal Town Planning Institute. Living in Poole for 30 years he has worked in local authorities and private practice. Within his company, Doug deals with commercial projects and environmental issues and is a consultant Planning Inspector. He enjoys small craft, walking and running, ideally within sight of Poole Harbour. Doug was appointed as a Commissioner in November 2012.

Commissioner, Tom James

Tom James is the Unite the Union representative on the board of Commissioners.  Tom has been a Stevedore for 34 years. Before this he worked as a plumber in the Middle East. Tom also represents the Port of Poole locally, regionally and nationally on the Docks and Waterways Committee.  Tom was appointed as a Commissioner on the 1st November 2010.

Commissioner, Thomas Russell

Tom Russell is from a family of Poole fishermen and has been on the harbour all of his life. He operates two commercial fishing boats from Poole and is the Chairman of the Poole and District Fisherman’s Association he is also the local representative of the Fisherman’s Mission.