The below extract by Simon Finlay is from Dover Express 28/11/13
A COMMUNITY port proposal should be put to the residents of Dover in a referendum, MP Charlie Elphicke has claimed.
Mr Elphicke spoke after the visit of Ports Minister Stephen Hammond on Monday.
Mr Hammond had a series of one-to-one meetings at the Dover Marina Hotel with town leaders in a bid to gauge local feeling as he considers the future of the port.
Mr Elphicke, who is a vocal supporter of the People’s Port community sale idea, said: “The minister will be looking actively at all options now. But I do feel that if a proposal, whatever it might be, is proposed that it should be is put to the people in a referendum for them to decide.
“I welcomed the minister’s visit and it’s really important that he listens to all interested parties in charting the way forward. There is a real opportunity here to secure the future of the port and transform the docks, harbour areas and regenaerate other parts of the town.”
Dover Harbour Board, the People’s Port, ferry companies, Dover District Council and the town council all had audiences with the minister.
A DHB spokesman said chief executive Tim Waggott spent aboutround 40 minutes with Mr Hammond.
He added: “It was a good, positive discussion. They talked about the thriving performance of the port and our regeneration vision.”
People’s Port spokesman Neil Wiggins said: “It was a very positive set of meetings. I believe the minister heard all that he needed to hear.”
In his weekly Dover Express, Mr Elphicke writes: “I feel it is essential that Dover becomes a form of community port.”