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A port workshop at Dover's Cruise Terminal asked residents about Western Docks regeneration and community director

16 July 2014
by Victoria Chessum

Residents were asked at a Port of Dover workshop what they would like to see in a community director.

That question, and others about the Western Docks regeneration, were posed to more than 100 people at the Cruise Terminal.

Everyone sat in groups around tables and each one had a port representative jotting down notes of the feedback given.

Last night's port workshop

Last night's port workshop

It is believed that resident’s points last night are set to be raised at the port’s next board meeting.

Some discussions said that the community director should be elected by the people and give the town a fair representation.

Not only this, residents should be able to trust this person to carry out the role.

There was no clear view as to whether the director should come from Dover or whether the port should look into the wider district.

The position is to be advertised via local papers, such as the Mercury.

Chairman of the port, George Jenkins said: “These workshops that we are running are incredibly important to us as a board.

Chairman of the port, George Jenkins.

Chairman of the port, George Jenkins.

“We very genuinely want your feedback on what our suggestions and proposals are. This is not a sham, this is not just talking about stuff - its actually really wanting you to tell us what your views are.”

Mr Jenkins assured guests their time wasn’t being wasted and that everyone’s opinions will be heard.

The port’s chief executive, Tim Waggott, said: “We have a great port, we want to improve it - and alongside that there is a great town.”

The topic of the community fund was also raised and people were asked how they thought the money should be used.

The views fed back from one table stated that the port should be working harder to capture cruise customers and to keep them in Dover as opposed to them venturing to Canterbury and other nearby towns.

A new cargo terminal is set to provide hundreds of jobs

A new cargo terminal is set to provide hundreds of jobs

People were also concerned about the impact of traffic when the development was going ahead - but they were assured that a car park, that could potentially house 400 lorries is being created at the Eastern Docks.

The general message fed back from all tables was that sustainable jobs within the port are important - and alongside that - training opportunities for those who want a port based career.

People will be able to hear about how their feedback has been used at a meeting on September 22.

Mr Jenkins added: “It will be fed back into the process when we look at amending the changing plans.”

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