Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Minutes of Evidence


Examination of Witnesses (Questions 720 - 731)

WEDNESDAY 28 MARCH 2001

MR PETER JONES, MR ALEC DON, MR CHRIS GRAY, MR PAUL DAVEY AND MR TERENCE MORDAUNT

  720. At all?
  (Mr Jones) Clearly there is an issue in joining an organisation in terms of management resources and in terms of costs and you have to make a judgment as to whether there will be an appropriate benefit arising from that. We judge that there will not be.

  721. Mr Jones, I am a bit bewildered by this, where is this gap? Mr Mordaunt tells us you are much more efficient since you became privatised and you, presumably, think the same thing but with a different organisation?
  (Mr Jones) We also have an improvement in the safety record.

  722. Where are all of the these accidents happening then?
  (Mr Jones) I think the preponderance of accidents happening in smaller ports—

  723. I see, they do not happen in big ports at all.
  (Mr Jones) No, all ports have accidents, but I think the more significant levels of accident rates are in smaller ports.

  724. Both of you can give me not only a table of what happened immediately before privatisation but what is happening now.
  (Mr Jones) We can certainly demonstrate there has been an improvement consistently over recent years in Liverpool and in Medway, yes. You will recall from Modern Ports that Mersey Docks and Harbour Company was a pioneer of the Passport Scheme, insisting on induction training being given to our own employees and any employees of contractor companies employed on activities within the Mersey docks.

Mr Donohoe

  725. Every incident that happens within the overall area that you as a port occupy is reported centrally, is it? Do you get to know of every accident?
  (Mr Jones) Indeed. We recently had a HSE inspection carried out at the end of last year and the early part of this year and we have received a very positive report from HSE.

Chairman

  726. A very positive report.
  (Mr Jones) A very complimentary report in regard to the systems that apply in the port of Liverpool. The inspection was in relation to the port of Liverpool. I am happy to share that report with you.

  727. If the accident rate is one in 3,000 what is it in your particular report?
  (Mr Jones) I do not have the figure off the top of my head.

  Mr Donohoe: You will be able to supply us with it.

Chairman

  728. Mr Gray, do you have the figure? Could you let us have it? Can I ask you why there are so few reliable statistics about the economic impact of activities undertaken by ports? Do you gather this information yourselves?
  (Mr Davey) I am not sure we are in position to gather the information on the economic impact. I am aware, although I cannot quote any, there have been a number of economic studies done into the impact of ports and various people I know have attempted to calculate it and multiply it when it comes to employment, and so forth, to gauge the economic impact.

  729. There is no obvious way of using performance indicators in relation to the industry, there is no such thing?
  (Mr Davey) I would not say there is to measure the economic impact.

  730. This is one of the other things we would also like to know. It is odd that the industry itself is not capable of giving us that kind of information, is it not?
  (Mr Mordaunt) Every port is actually very different in its the make-up, we are not comparable with Felixstowe.

  731. Presumably you must have some idea of the economics and the impact you are making?
  (Mr Mordaunt) We know that we are very important in the local economy, but to quantify that I cannot do.

  Chairman: Thank you very much, indeed, gentlemen you will give us some supplementary notes. Thank you very much for coming.





 
previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2001
Prepared 26 July 2001