New harbour director has commercial experience

GUERNSEY Harbours’ newly-appointed director has been investigating how to generate more money.

New harbour director Sarah McGreevy has experience in the commercial sector, having previously worked for a telecoms business and a financial services company. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 1329231)
New harbour director Sarah McGreevy has experience in the commercial sector, having previously worked for a telecoms business and a financial services company. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 1329231)

GUERNSEY Harbours’ newly-appointed director has been investigating how to generate more money.

Sarah McGreevy, 37, was appointed to the role in May and has been meeting with staff and collecting information about the harbour over the past few weeks.

She has 15 years’ experience in the commercial sector and has previously worked for a telecoms business and a financial services company. But this is the first time she has taken a job in the Civil Service.

Mrs McGreevy said she saw the role as a great opportunity to drive the port forward, maximise its current resources and find new business opportunities.

Under a reorganisation of harbour staff, the traditional harbourmaster role will be changed, with Captain Peter Gill’s successor – when chosen – focusing on the day-to-day maritime operations. The new director has an over-arching view of the harbour, control of the commercial aspects of the business and will set the port’s long-term strategy.

Comments for: "New harbour director has commercial experience"


Is that revenue in excess of the 80k she will be paid?

Island Wide Voting


The revenue will need to be many multiples of that figure

If the lady's title is Director of Harbours you can bet that before the end of the year there will be an Assistant Director,an Accounts Director,a Planning & Policy Director,a Marketing Director,a Director of Operations,a Communications Director,A Human Resources Director and a couple of on-short-licence office bods to do the actual work

All housed in 80K a year rented offices

Herbert Roth

Who is she exactly? 15 years of 'commercial experience' seems to consist of a stint in telecoms & a stint in 'financial services'. How does this qualify her to oversee a muli-faceted environment like the harbour & improve its efficiency & effectiveness?

Dave Jones

I wish I knew the answer to that to?

I suspect she was appointed by others who know nothing about Harbours either.


You are right there D.J.


Pathetic Dave, pathetic! You should know better, after all you are the Father of The Policy Council, with all the respect that goes with that. Your 'Know Nothing Colleague', Paul

Island Wide Voting

Is that Paul Arditti?


Dave Jones and Paul,

What I find truly pathetic is the fact that two senior politicians should get into a spat on a public forum. Paul, you know his e'mail address and his phone number - try using one of them.

Dave Jones


With all due respect I knew nothing of this appointment until after it had been made, in my view it is totally unnecessary and the travelling public and those who buy goods in the shops through higher harbour charges will end up paying for it and for the inevitable assistants.

I thought we were supposed to be keeping costs down, trying to find 30 million to fill the deficit in our finances, not employing yet more civil servants that we have managed perfectly well without for several decades.

You are trying to commercilise the Harbours by stealth and I can see right through it.


Nail on head Dave.

100% correct.

It does seem that the states cannot spend it fast enough.

Deputy Luxton, do you have any breakdown of figures to show how this new appointment will benefit the Island financially?


Dave, I would have thought someone of your ability would have read the article?!

Two civil servants retire, two more get appointed. Where is the "yet more" you refer to?

It's a "new" job only becuase the Harbours are reorganising to try to generate a bit more cash to make up the £30 million by squeezing more out of the family silver you are so desperate to hang onto.

I agree that we shouldn't privatise, but if the bally old mess the goverment have created with the new payments systems is indicative of how efficient it is, then I hope they do commercialise!!

Dave Jones

I have been told that I owe the lady an apology as she applied for the post in good faith. I wasn’t aware that I had said anything other than question her qualifications for the role.

However if I have offended her in any way, then for that I duly apologise, she has no right of reply and I accept that.

My real problem with this appointment is that it will cost us all more in the end and at a time when we are supposed to be curtailing government spending. We are constantly hitting the public with new charges and higher taxes while at the same time creating more posts when we should be cutting back.

Stephen John

Thank goodness for someone in the States who asks the same questions as most readers concerning this appointment.

Keep up the good work Deputy Jones.


Most "readers" who haven't actually "read" the article in full!!


Why dont you jack in Dave , save us 30k + a year , and wont have to read any more drivel

Dave Jones

We could always leave it to you Alan

a voter

Dave Jones.

How pompous you are.

They probably said the same thing about you when you first applied for your posts on The States.

What did you know about the housing situation apart from that you drove a digger on building sites?

Could it be your building background that gave you that "oh my god it`s a woman in charge" attitude?

I hope you`re not going to start shouting obscenities from your minister`s seat(scaffolding) on high.

Dave Jones

A Voter

All I needed to know was that there was not enough social rental housing and I knew that from the large number of ordinary working people, some of who i worked with struggling to find affordable accommodation and from those who lived in some of the run down accommodation that was thrown up in haste 30 years earlier.

I resolved to try and do something about it , I think together with lots of other people I have.

a voter

I`m not disputing that you have made a difference to the housing situation, it`s your "holier than thou" attitude to this lady who has FAR BETTER qualifications than you and MAY make an equally as good as, if not better, job than you have with your digger driver`s licence as your MAIN qualification.

With your position that you have gained on The States you have become very pompous bore and you certainly do owe this lady a public apology.

My dad once told me, "Don`t get above your station" and I`m offering the same advice, it only takes a bad election for you to be voted OUT, or do you consider yourself too important to be voted out?

It isn`t her fault that the position became available to apply for.

If you have an axe to grind about this posting then I suggest you grind it with your States colleagues who have created this post.

Shame on you sir.

St Marcouf

Actually, the shame is on you for writing such a ghastly post.

May be you should heed your father's somewhat platitudinous advice.

There was nothing wrong with what Deputy Jones said. I expect straight talking from a minister and any politician.

Edward Pailstone

A Voter - You have the cheek to call Dave pompous whilst you run him down because of his career choice.

There are several words that could be used to describe the sort of person you are. However I fear that the moderators would remove the post.

Jerry Jihad

She can raise revenue by increasing fees, at the same negating the need of GST to make goods landed at the Harbours appear over priced and in the process save money in not having to set up a new GST department, which would require staff on housing licenses


Deputy Jones. I would be a little more careful - most people would believe your comments to be actionable.



I think you will find most people agree with DJ and wonder how you can get this key harbour post with no previous harbour experience on your CV?


The mind boggles !!! Yet another newly created civil service post at no doubt at a rather large salary level.?? Save £100,000 on closing the school pools ???? What about saving some real money and slimming down some of these civil service people. Every day our glorious leaders seem to be doing their utmost to pee the public off.

alba gu brath

It's not just the salary. There'll be the pay-off when she leaves plus the pension.

in reply

must confess to just reading what I see here, but are these two newly created roles? If so, what are their combined salaries? We, the electorate and tax payers need to be aware of this information and why persons already in the employ of both these departments could not attend to their roles themselves???


Sorry - why do you need to know? What don't you need to know - perhaps you should watch the episode of Yes Prime Minister where Sir Humph advised the PM of paper clip deliveries as the PM decided he needed to know "everything"!

I know you admitted to not reading the whole article - the full one talked about the Harbour Master and Deputy Harbour Master both retiring shortly and so the roles of the replacements have been rejigged.

My boat is in good hands at the Harbour and I just hope my fees don't go up too much!!

guern abroad

On the good news front this appears to be a local Guernsey person so not a license holder, so hopefully they will have an appreaciation of the strength of the Island's harbour identify and wont go trashing it. That's good for me.


Look out boaters.

Mooring charges will rise significantly, duty on fuel, and careening hard space will be charged for on an hourly basis.

Of course visiting boaters will be exempt for fear of chasing them to Jersey where you have already seen that the "mud" mooring rates are shooting up for the poorer end of the market.

You don`t think that commercial shipping companies or importers will be asked to pay more do you?

Island Wide Voting

Further details at ...

Lets get the facts straight

Thanks for this Ray, it's good to get some facts! A small amount of misinformation can cause a lot of trouble eh?

Maybe she got the job because she has nice hair (like Yvonne Burford) ;-)

So it seems the criticism is unjustified because this is the result of restructuring not job creation.

The Director role is not a new position or additional expense.

The Harbour Master and his Deputy are both leaving and will be replaced by this lady and A.N. Other but with slightly different roles.

1) Old Harbour master = New Harbour Director (same role)

2) Old Deputy Harbour master = New Harbour Master (lower role)

Good luck in your new job madam!



Personally I would have preferred the senior person ( Head Harbourmaster, Director of Harbours or whatever the title ), to have some relevant managerial experience of harbours. Subordinate to that position could be the Commercial Director - not the other way round.

Then there is the time frame involved which will greatly increase overall salary costs.... the new position will replace the existing role filled by the harbour master - yet the harbour master, and his assistant, are expected to retire within the coming 12 months. Then, no doubt the lady will need to bring in her own assistant, ( or harbour master ), and so one could land up with four high salaries instead of two over the next twelve months !


Another step down the road towards privatisation.


The States of Guernsey purchase a couple of computerized cranes costing a million or two and now need an excecutive to overlook and to put them to use at a very high cost to the spending budget.

With tourism declining,finance in question,contracts issued to non local firms then why are we employing more civil servants to put the States of Guernsey into a higher taxation mode?

Time the captain and chief officers took leave of their responsibities and passed them onto our elected deputies who will report back to the passengers of better voyages ahead.


Guern abroad - where does it say she is local. If my memory serves me right from meeting her husband a few years ago he is a pilot and they were living in an open market property.

I tend to agree with DJ when we are talking about austerity and cutbacks why are we creating new posts? Lets start at the top with these Civil Serpents - Mike Brown how much does he earn and what does he contribute?

guern abroad

Ok I made a bad assumption based on this person already being listed in the Sure phone book. So I assumed no additional license granted to bring in a new headcount to the Island. But I see from your reply that this is a post that will have gone to license.

I can not believe for one minute we did not have a local who does not need a license who could not have taken this role.

Well the deed is done so have to hope that Sarah can see the right things to do and NOT privatise the Harbour.


Just who are these people,who seem to have the power,that enables them to appoint new staff and create these unnecessary jobs ad infinitum ?


a fresh face there will stop a lot of wastage that goes on, and the jobs for the boys syndrome. the new harbour master, most no of him. why has that not been anounced?


I think its time that our Elected deputies took the reins and sorted out the civil service board.Enough is enough of creating new post where no one is controlling their spending power.

Home department[weak]

Education department[weak]



Chief minister[weak]

Sort out your civil servants or get out.

Matt Fallaize


There is no longer such a thing as the Civil Service Board. Some of its functions were inherited by the Public Sector Remuneration Committee until ministers decided that nobody other than them was capable of fulfilling the States' employment functions, whereupon responsibility was handed to the Policy Council.

In the main deputies are not involved in civil service appointments these days, unlike not too many years ago when they were often heavily involved in appointments, sometimes even at relatively junior levels.

However, although the actual appointment (i.e. the successful applicant) might have been determined within the civil service, I should be very surprised if the political members of the Public Services Department, which is responsible for the ports, did not have the final decision about whether the new post of Director should be created.

There is a lot wrong in the relationship between States Departents and the 'corporate centre' and between elected members and civil servants, but it is not true to claim that civil servants' spending power is uncontrolled. The budgets available to their departments and committees are set annually by deputies upon the recommendation of the political members of the Treasury and Resources Department.

Herbert Roth

Thanks IWV for the link, but it doesn't tell us much more than the Press article did. For instance, what are the names of the companies she's worked for & how about a few more details than 'she has led key projects'. There's a great deal of space between rearranging the office layout & producing a new product, but both could be considered key projects.

Dinky Doo

I used to work with the lady in question. I always found her to be very driven, professional and an asset to the business. I wish her the best of luck in her new role.


I wish her the best of luck, being a woman and knowing some of those she'll have to work with (against) she'll need it, and a great deel of patience.

Fiona Hargreaves

Why on Earth does everybody think it's worth mentioning Sarah's gender? Is the island still that backward that it's a big step to get a female in charge? Two of my three bosses are female.

I think some of these posts are so dated and patronising that it's shocking. I'm hoping the people who have posted them are from the older generations who are inherently sexist.


Well - speaking as one of those fabulously rich gin palace owners I know exactly what the new harbour director will do and that is to target the easiest

sector and that's the good old boat owner.

Mooring fees will rise for sure and I dare say that duty will be put on marine diesel together with less money being put into the woeful facilities that we have a the moment - no marina security,pontoons that are falling to pieces, no car parking, etc etc. After all new cranes have to be paid for.

We do not need yet another highly paid civil servant to do a job that just isn't there to be done whether that person be male, female or a meerkat.

No doubt she will need an assistant who will need an assistant and so on.

I thought we were trying to save money?


Dave Jones


I agree with you on mooring charges and I have sent e-mails to the Minister of PSD several months ago making the points you have made.

My prediction is that you will see the ordinary Guernsey person gradually squeezed out of the marinas by unaffordable mooring charges, the Marinas will become the preserve of the rich and corporate boat owners as the berths go to the highest bidder.

You will end up, if you are lucky on swinging moorings in one of the bays around the island or forced to give up your boat altogether, just as many older boat owners did when St Sampson marina was built.

This is what makes me so angry, we used to care about our people and made sure the islands facilities were for everybody at affordable rates,I promise you that you will see the same at Beau Sejour if they privatise that facility, poorer families squeezed out.

This from another thread

One other additional point and that is the idea that there will be a reduction in personnel.

We have just employed Mr Ian Milner formerly Condor’s local director of operations. We will have a new Harbour Master and now a commercial director and I will lay money that we will eventually end up with a Deputy Harbour Master and a deputy commercial director. It won’t happen straight away but give it time and you will end up with five replacing two.

This is all about getting the Harbours ready for commercialisation and the extra appointments we will be told were a “commercial” decision made by the new management board we will have of more salaried directors and yet more cost passed on to the public. The newly appointed Harbour director has already said in a BBC interview that she sees her role as driving forward the new Harbour master plan, except of course the States last month only agreed to note the plan while we wait for PSD to furnish us with the details of what they would like to do.

So at present there is no funding allocated to this new plan nor has it got final States approval.


Sorry Dave but since when has the "ordinary Guernsey person" been able to afford a boat and mooring fees?

The marina is an asset and facility belonging to the people, those who cannot afford to benefit from it personally by directly owning a boat should be able to reap the financial rewards indirectly as a community due to a fair price being charged to those who can afford such luxuries.

Beau Sejour is a different matter altogether as it was created as an affordable facility accessible to all and with one aim being to improve the health and health equity of islanders.

Dave Jones


So was the QE 2 marina built for local people with their taxes.

I want to make sure they can still access it and are not squeezed out by unaffordable mooring fees.


Yes, we know that budgets are 'set' annually for each department,but,do they stick to it?and if not, what can be done about it?

Matt Fallaize


The answer is almost always yes: committees usually underspend rather than overspend their budgets. Hence a separate policy had to be developed to deal with what are known as 'unspent balances'. With the exception of HSSD on two or three occasions, I think you will find that it is many, many years since a committee overspent its revenue budget.

Committees who do not satisfy the States of Deliberation that they are safeguarding their budgets appropriately usually run into deep trouble politically. For example, HSSD's overspend at the end of 2012 ended with their members resigning before facing a motion of no confidence.


...'Mrs McGreevy will oversee day-to-day running of the commercial port facilities at St Peter Port and St Sampson’s Harbours....'

Following on from DJ's posts, are we to gather, then, that the lady in question, who has NO relevant experience in this area whatsoever, been, to paraphrase her own words, employed to 'drive forward the new initiative for the harbours' that hasn't even been bloney well APPROVED yet...?

Can anyone please explain WTF is going on, other than States departments continuing to act like they have a limitless pot of money to squander, create expensive new CS roles we don't need, and persist with the theory that a departing gentleman from another States dept so aptly explained, 'we can't apply any common sense...'