04 DEC 2010

Global Institute of Logistics Visit Dover

Saturday 04th December 2010, Dover

Communitisation – A new paradigm for port governance and ownership

At a meeting on Saturday 4th December attended by the CEO of the Global Institute of Logistics, Mr. Kieran Ring, the Chief Operations Officer of the Global Institute of Logistics, Mr. Tim Mawhood, Michael Deegan, CEO and Coordinator of Infrastructure Australia, CEO of Dover Chamber of Commerce, Mr. David Foley, MP for Dover and Deal, Mr. Charlie Elphicke, Deputy Mayor of Dover, Mr. David Hannent, members of the Dover People's Port Trust board, Mr. Neil Wiggins and Mr. Bob Markham, local businessman Mr. Alan Shirley and Dover Town Clerk Mr. Mike Webb, the ideas and concepts that have been put together to form the thinking behind the People's Port bid were discussed and analysed and comparisons drawn with and to international best practice and how the People's Port has engaged and implemented these within its bid for the Port of Dover.

The organisational structure, ethos, aims and objectives of the People's Port bid are at the cutting edge of international thinking with regards to port governance and ownership, demonstrating clear joined up thinking and incorporating global best practice with regard to the port – city relationship. It is clear that the current relationship between Dover Harbour Board and its town is not in this league and equally clear from the aims and objectives of DPPT that under their ownership the relationship between the port and the Town will be propelled into this league. It is just plain good business sense to develop and cultivate an honest, open and cooperative relationship between port and town.

After the meeting Michael Deegan the CEO and Coordinator of Infrastructure Australia said "having arrived in Dover through the Port last night it is clear that it is a tired asset that has lacked investment and there is an urgent need for a change in management. The Peoples Port initiative is a very exciting one that embraces the Community and creates a collective responsibility that will ensure that the Port gets the attention it so badly needs. Dover by taking this path can through the Port create an engine for the regeneration and development of the whole Town which of course will benefit everyone in the Community. I will follow the Peoples Port bid closely and wish them every success."

With support from the port's users, local community groups, local business leaders, the MP for Dover and Deal, port workers and other interested persons, the People's Port Bid represents the views and interests of the majority of the port's stakeholders as defined by the 1991 Act. The People's Port Trust has built a robust financial model based on figures published by the Harbour Board that has generated support from major financial institutions, subject to due diligence, which will be able to deliver the investment that the port needs, predictable and transparent tariff setting for the port's users and the regeneration and renewal that Dover has been starved of for far too long within a framework of international best practice, innovative thinking and the practical application of the principles of the Big Society.

Kieran Ring, CEO of the Global Institute of Logistics, said "The Global Institute of Logistics continues to watch developments at Dover with great interest. The more we learn about the Peoples Port of Dover's bid the more convinced we are of its merits.

Global thought leadership on modern port management emphasises the need to embrace the complete stakeholder group in the development and operation of the port, the Dover concept is the most comprehensive in this regard in that through its unique public/private approach to ownership and management it embraces all the stakeholders in a meaningful and committed way.

The concept democratises port generated prosperity and puts everybody to work behind a common goal which in turn provides enormous opportunity in the areas of labour flexibility and logistics orchestration.

The Institute will continue to provide feedback from the International community on the People's Port and has offered to assemble a panel of experts in the town to formally debate the idea and contribute to the development of the master plan."

As part of this thinking and as a statement of intent indicating the future direction and nature of the Port-Town relationship in the event that the People's Port Bid is successful, the Global Institute of Logistics, in cooperation with the People's Port Trust, has offered the Town access to a number of independent international thought leaders in the areas of maritime logistics, ports and harbours development and planning, urban regeneration and master planning. This access will take the form of a moderated seminar to involve the Town Council and members of the public in interactive master planning sessions with a working title "If I owned the Port of Dover I would....."

Neil Wiggins, chairman of the Dover People's Port Trust said, "A seminar along these lines would be an incredibly powerful tool to inform and energize the town and its community leaders. Active participation by communities in the ownership and management of major enterprises based in their locality is what the Big Society is all about and it is important that such active participation takes place on the basis of the best information available. Whilst information and best practice are international by nature, ownership of the ideas and concepts can be taken at a local level. Just as the Port of Dover is of International significance and it is incredibly important for it to think globally, it is vitally important to the town and communities of Dover that it is retained in ownership by its stakeholders to ensure that it becomes an engine for growth and regeneration and acts locally"

Dover People's Port Trust "Acting local, Thinking Global".

View comments

This is a marvelous idea. It's a shame that the leaflet 'Make Dover your port' only popped into my letterbox yesterday - 16th March. It would seem I've missed a couple of important meetings! (I don't buy the local newspapers. Too much doom and gloom about my Town.) I'll certainly be having my say on the 23rd though as this is a once only chance to lift Dover out of the doldrums and mustn't be missed. Oh, and bye bye SEEDA as a waste of space!
- Rod B

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