Introduction and Purpose

Introduction and Purpose

This guidance seeks to cover issues of importance to Scotland and its trust ports which vary considerably in size and operation both within Scotland and from counterparts in England and Wales.

The Department for Transport issued its revised guidance on Modernising Trust Ports in the summer of 2009. That document was substantially based on a report commissioned by the UK department covering a range of specific issues relating to larger trust ports in England and Wales and their ongoing needs. Scottish Ministers felt that the situation in the Scottish trust port sector did not mirror that in England and Wales and unlike the first issue of this guidance, they did not feel it could be applied in its entirety in Scotland.

Scottish Ministers continue to support a market driven approach to ports policy and recognise the contributions of port operators to the economy of Scotland. This is highlighted in five port related projects put forward by the ports themselves, which met the criteria for inclusion in the Second National Planning Framework (NPF2) published in June 2009.

We welcome the ongoing interaction with the whole port sector both through a standing invitation to attend meetings of the British Port Association Scottish Committee and regular meetings with the UK Major Ports Group. We recognise the contribution of these industry bodies to the development of port policy in Scotland. We are also grateful for the welcome extended by individual ports during visits to their facilities which give us a better understanding of port operations and the needs of the industry.

Scottish Ministers would encourage private and municipal ports to seek to act in accordance with the guidance, while recognising of course the differences in structures and that certain aspects of the guidance will not be directly applicable.

Nothing in this guide should be taken as overriding the current fiduciary, statutory or legal obligations laid upon board members, officers and employees of trust ports. It does not have the force of law. The aim is to encourage the continued development of an open and accountable relationship between all ports, their users and local communities.

We would encourage trusts however small to review their constitutions and to talk to us informally for advice on how best to adapt to their current and future needs in the modern ports sector.