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Portsmouth City Transport

Volume 130: debated on Tuesday 29 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many different tenders have been made available to him in his consideration of applications for the sale of Portsmouth City Transport.

Details of tenders from nine bidders in two rounds of bidding were made available.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the highest tender for Portsmouth City Transport accepted on 8 March was higher than, lower than, or the same as the highest bid made in the first round of tendering; and if he will make a statement.

The tender accepted by Portsmouth city council was lower than the highest bid made in the first round of tendering. It was, however, the highest hid made in the second round.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what basis he gave dispensation under section 74 of the Transport Act 1985, for Councillors F. Warner, F. Worley, A. Dann and S. Rapson, of Portsmouth city council, to speak and vote in the council on matters concerned with the sale of Portsmouth City Transport; on what date he received requests for such dispensation; and for what meetings and when he agreed to the requests.

A request to give a dispensation under section 74 of the Transport Act 1985 to four Portsmouth city councillors who are also directors of Portsmouth City Transport was received on 11 March 1988 to enable the councillors directors to discuss and vote on company matters at the extraordinary meeting of the council convened for 16 March 1988. The Secretary of State granted the dispensation on 15 March 1988. The basis of his decision was that the dispensation would retain the existing political balance of the council; the extraordinary meeting had been called at very short notice; full attendance of all councillors was considered problematical; and it was therefore reasonable to provide a dispensation.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information he has as to how many different tenders were made available to Portsmouth city councillors in their consideration of applications for Portsmouth City Transport.

What information was made available to Portsmouth city councillors is a question for the council itself. I understand, however, that information about tenders from nine bidders was made available to councillors.