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North Corner Quay and Landing Stage, Devonport

Volume 580: debated on Tuesday 13 May 2014

The Petition of residents of Devonport and Plymouth, and others,

Declares that the Petitioners are concerned about the condition of the North Corner Quay and Landing Stage, Devonport.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government under his powers contained in Part IV, Clause 48 of the Plymouth City Council Act (1987) to encourage Plymouth City Council to restore and repair North Corner Quay and Landing Stage as contained in Part IV, Clause 26 of the said Act.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Oliver Colvile, Official Report, 10 March 2014; Vol. 577, c. 146.]

[P001324]

Observations from the Secretary of State for Transport:

The Secretary of State for Transport, having policy responsibility for harbours, notes the concerns of the petitioners with regard to the condition of North Corner Quay and Landing Stage in Devonport, situated as it is in an area of rich maritime heritage.

Plymouth City Council, as statutory harbour authority for certain areas within Plymouth, is responsible for the improvement, maintenance and management of North Corner Quay and Landing Stage and they are in the best position to decide how this should be achieved. It would not be appropriate for the Secretary of State to exercise powers under Part IV, Clause 48 of the Plymouth City Council Act 1987 and intervene in decisions about the management of local assets.

The Secretary of State for Transport is conscious of the financial and fiscal pressures currently faced by local authorities. However, it must be for local determination by the Councillors of Plymouth City Council to decide how it prioritises its expenditure. Local authorities and their stakeholders have full knowledge of local circumstances and are therefore best placed to establish solutions to local problems.

The Government remain committed to improving the efficiency, openness and accountability with which municipal ports, and indeed ports in general, conduct their business and undertook a review of municipal ports in May 2006. (Opportunities for Ports in Local Authority Ownership: a review of municipal ports in England and Wales). The aim is to encourage the continued development of an open and accountable relationship between all ports, their users and local communities to their mutual benefit. The Secretary of State for Transport wishes the petitioners well in pursuing a solution to this issue at local level.