The Secretary of State for Transport has decided not to confirm the transfer scheme
A proposal to privatise the Port of Dover has been rejected
by the government.
Transport minister Simon Burns has decided not to confirm the transfer scheme from Dover Harbour Board.
He concluded that:
- the proposed transfer scheme would not ensure a sufficient level of enduring community participation in the port
- there were other options available to secure the redevelopment of the Western Docks
The Dover Harbour Board, which is behind the bid, said members were
‘surprised and extremely disappointed’ by the decision.
The Port of Dover is one of Europe’s largest passenger ports and the nearest English port to France.
Bob Goldfield, chief executive of the Port of Dover, said: ‘The
decision is frustrating for the Port and for the community, for whom this was a
unique opportunity to benefit from the success of this major international
‘Developing the Port, providing an important contribution to the regeneration
of Dover, growing and adding value to the business, were key objectives for the
DHB scheme and will continue to be our focus as we remain as a trust port.
‘It is, however, a great pity and a disappointment to the Members of
the Dover Harbour Board that the people of Dover will not now benefit from the
injection of many millions of pounds into local community projects, via our
proposed Port of Dover Community Trust that would have been possible had the
decision been in our favour.’
He added: ‘We will now take some time to consider the analysis behind
the Ministerial decision in detail and assess its impact on our future
strategic and financial plans.’
In a statement Mr Burns said: ‘I concluded that
the transfer scheme proposed would not ensure a sufficient level of enduring
community participation in the port.
‘I also concluded that so far as the
board made the application in order to be able to obtain the additional finance
necessary to undertake the proposed redevelopment of the Western Docks, there were
other options available to secure that redevelopment.’
The Government’s rejection paves the way for the People’s
Port Trust bid to step in.
Dover Harbour Board
submitted the bid for the voluntary transfer scheme in January 2010.
Read the full decision