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People to give their views on port's future

Port of Dover
Port of Dover

by Graham Tutthill gtutthill@thekmgroup.co.uk

The Unite union has thrown its weight behind the proposal for the running of the port of Dover to be handed over to local people.

A decision by the government on whether Dover Harbour Board will be given the go-ahead to sell the port is understood to be “imminent”.

On Wednesday, March 23, a parish poll will be held giving townsfolk the chance to say what they feel about the port’s future.

Unite national officer Julia Long told the Mercury: “We believe, given the option between the proposed sale by the Dover Harbour Board of the Port of Dover, and the creation of a People’s Port, there is no option. The People’s Port is the answer. Unite is pleased to support these proposals."

Unite’s backing came after it was given assurances on Monday by MP Charlie Elphicke and People’s Port chairman Neil Wiggins.

They said the People’s Port would be managed by a board made up of representatives from the community of Dover, the workers at the port and representatives of the ferry operators.

Voting will take place at 11 polling stations from 4 to 9pm.
The question on the polling paper will be: “Do you oppose the private sale of the Port of Dover as proposed by the Dover Harbour Board and support its transfer to the Community of Dover instead?”

The result, expected to be announced later that night, will only show how many people voted in favour, how many against, and the total number of votes as a percentage of the electorate.

A spokesman for the district council said it wasn’t clear how much the poll would cost, but the full bill would have to be met by the town council.

Dover Harbour Board said it did not wish the comment.

Full story, and details of the polling stations, in this week's Dover Mercury.

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