Over 300 guests gathered in London this week for the British Ports Association’s Annual Lunch, at which a new agenda for ports was launched.
In his address to industry, BPA Chairman and Chief Executive of Harwich Haven Authority, Neil Glendinning OBE, praised the resilience of the sector during the pandemic. Mr Glendinning warned that crises and the accompanying volatility are now a feature of life that ports must adapt to permanently – from climate change to global conflicts.
The BPA Chairman criticised the creeping trend of Government using ports as an instrument of government without careful consideration, calling on Ministers to work more closely with industry. Current Government proposals to improve the pay and conditions for seafarers include co-opting ports as enforcement bodies despite having no competency in this area. Enforcement of this type is usually carried out by the MCA.
This year’s annual lunch saw the publication of a new agenda for ports, setting out the BPA’s vision of an expanded freeports policy that offers many of the benefits to more harbours. This would include business rates relief and enhanced capital allowances to all ports around the UK as well as prioritised funding for port connectivity.
The new paper covers the industry’s views on how Government can support the industry across a number of areas, including:
- Access to Finance & Investment
- Transport, Connectivity & Infrastructure
- Planning & Development
- A Supportive Regulatory System
- Health & Safety
- Coastal Shipping
- Offshore Renewables