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A Southampton MP says progress has been made after debate on unlocking £150m to be spent on upgrading the city's port.
Today John Denham MP led a debate in Westminster Hall on the future of the Port of Southampton. Mr Denham presented the case for £150million of urgent investment to be unlocked for a major infrastructure project in Southampton.
In order for the Port of Southampton to remain competitive with European and UK rivals, it requires the redeveloping of two existing berths and dredging to allow access by the latest and largest container ships to the container port.
Work must begin in September in order for Southampton to be sure to remain competitive in the years ahead. Over 800 direct jobs and 1,200 indirect jobs will be safeguarded by the investment and over 200 new full time positions will be created. Unfortunately the entire project has faced a number of delays because of errors made by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and red tape at the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
Speaking after the debate, John Denham said:
“I think we have made real progress.
“The Shipping Minister Mike Penning admitted mistakes had been made and he promised that the Marine Management Organisation would have the necessary staff and expertise to deal with the planning application now in order to deal with mistakes of the past.
“He also sent a strong message to Hutchison Ports, the rival port operators, to back off from any future judicial challenge.
“There are still plenty of things that can go wrong, but I feel that today’s debate has made a difference and I am grateful to MPs across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight for taking part.”