People's Port Referendum

A plan to try to buy Dover port for the community has been given the backing of local residents.

A referendum on the issue, organised by the People's Port Trust, saw 5,244 people vote in favour of the the proposal. 113 people were against it.

In January last year, Dover Harbour Board, which has run the port as a trust since 1606, asked the Government for permission to sell off the port to a private investor. Ministers have yet to announce their decision, but have carried out two public consultations on the issue - the second finished in August.

The Dover People's Port Trust says Dover is the "gateway to the nation" and should not be sold off overseas. It wants to create a partnership between the town, port and ferry companies to buy and run the port, but also to regenerate the local area and sea front.

Anyone living in the Dover District will be able to pay £10 to become a member of the Trust and own shares which will allow them to elect part of the board running the port.

The bulk of the cost of buying the port would come from City of London institutions and other investors.

The Dover Harbour Board has called the people's port idea "totally unrealistic and undeliverable".