Scotland benefits from a diverse and successful ports sector that contributes significantly to the national, regional and local economies in which they operate. Trust ports form a vital part of the sector as a whole and it's important that they continue to undertake their duties in an open and transparent manner.
Following the publication of the original guidance in 2000 there have been many improvements in the governance of trust ports across the country. I am very pleased that we have now prepared a Scottish update to the guidance, focusing specifically on the needs of the sector in Scotland.
Trust ports from across the sector have made positive contributions to the development of this revision which now reflects our aspirations for a transparent, vibrant and diverse industry across Scotland.
Since the issue of the original UK wide guidance in 2000 all of the large and medium sized trust ports in Scotland have promoted harbour orders to update their constitutions to comply with the requirements for openness and impartiality in their appointments to the board. Some of the smaller ports have also done so and others are reviewing their situation with a view to promoting an order which can best meet their needs.
Twelve years on from the original guidance, feedback from those who have modernised their constitutions has been extremely positive and this guidance seeks to build upon that strong foundation. It is sufficiently flexible to provide for the differences which make the Scottish trust ports a good fit to the needs of their users and wider communities.
The core principles of openness, accountability and fitness for purpose continue to form a common thread running through this guide and should feature in the direction and management of all ports in the trust sector.
We would look to ports in all sectors to use the relevant elements of this guidance as a benchmark - all ports on which Parliament has devolved statutory powers and duties in the public interest should be accountable for their use.
This document is designed to provide a code of best practice for all trust ports in Scotland. It can apply in proportion to a trust port whatever its size, turnover or type of operation. It is fully recognised that in a diverse sector, a significant degree of flexibility is required in the extent of compliance across the sector.
We welcome the positive contributions from across the sector to the development of this guidance and hope that trusts will benefit from compliance and continue to grow and flourish.
Keith Brown MSP
Minister for Transport and Veterans