DOVER PEOPLES PORT
Friday March 25th, 2011
FIRST VICTORY IN FIGHT TO MAKE DOVER A ‘PEOPLE’S PORT’
Residents in Dover have voted overwhelmingly in favour of buying the famous port. The referendum organised by the People’s Port Trust resulted in 5,244 votes in favour of the plan with only 113 voting against. Although the result is non-binding on the government campaigners hope it will sway Dover Harbour Board’s (DBH) privatisation plans.
Local Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke said of the landslide, 'I hope this will give strength to the campaign to ensure the port of Dover is owned by the people of Dover.' And added he would now be making 'a strong case' to the Secretary of State for Transport that residents' 'voices should be listened to and we should have the port owned by the Dover community as a landmark project'.
However DBH, which has run the port since 1606 and asked the government for permission to privatise last January, has stated that ‘the idea of a 'People's Port' is unrealistic and undeliverable.’
Neil Wiggins, chairman of the Dover People's Port Trust believes the result is 'possibly more binding' on the government than previous referenda due to the 'flagship policy of Big Society and communities taking charge of their own futures'.
Mr Wiggins said, 'This has been a clear example of the community of Dover showing a desire to take charge of its own future.'
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