Meeting over harbour concerns

CONCERNS over Great Yarmouth's new �50m outer harbour will be discussed by port user representatives, the town's MP and the council's top chief at a meeting on Monday.

CONCERNS over Great Yarmouth's new �50m outer harbour will be discussed by port user representatives, the town's MP and the council's top chief at a meeting on Monday.

It follows fears raised by the Yarmouth Port User's Association that a container terminal at the outer harbour will create few jobs and increase traffic.

Port users, who say they have been frustrated in their efforts to create a “constructive dialogue” with outer harbour owners EastPort UK, are to discuss their concerns at a meeting with MP Tony Wright and borough council managing director Richard Packham.

They say they also want to explain the impact the project is having on existing businesses.

David Beckett, vice-chairman of the association, which represents about 30 of the main business in and around the harbour, said: “This container terminal was never part of our town's original vision for an outer harbour and there remain many questions about what benefits it will bring to Yarmouth. Who will be the container line and when can we expect the first vessel? When will the port infrastructure be able to handle containers and what role, if any, will local businesses be able to play in operations? How many jobs will be created as a result and what will be the benefit to the local economy?”

Mr Beckett added his concerns were “in no way negative” and should be taken into account as real topics for debate in assisting the shaping of a successful port. “This is all we want,” he added.

Most Read

The meeting follows recent redundancies of dock workers from EastPort Cargo Handling and, as revealed in last week's Mercury, the threat to dismiss the remaining workers if they refuse to accept new highly flexible contracts.

Association chairman Mike Gouldby said: “We remain passionate about the outer harbour and its potential, which is why we and the local media are right to raise robust questions about the way it will be operated and its effect on the town and existing port. If the commitment of �18m of public funding was to benefit the local community, we can see little evidence so far - and that should greatly concern the various funding partners.”

Mr Gouldby said he would also like to know why more emphasis had not been placed on business related to renewable energy at the outer harbour.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter