Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Cruise from Liverpool

It would really be nice to support my city, no-one wanted the regeneration of Liverpool more than I but the way those in power in the city have and are behaving makes me embarrassed to be a Liverpudlian. Nowhere is it more evident than,in what Southampton Echo has called cruise wars. Yes Liverpool are behaving like thieving scousers, its hard to admit it, only its not the populace, its the polititions making a show of us with their tactics. Only this time they have run into big burly sailor type, a seaport with a history for no-nonsense. And look what happens when they start 'frigging in the rigging' with Southamptons sailors and their cruise trade.   So its always interesting to get the other side of the story which the Oldham Hall Street brigade wont do, so imbedded are they with Peel Holdings and their plans, instead they try to sell the idea to an unwitting public and we get Peeled.

So here is a Southampton take.
By Gareth Lewis »

A REPEAT of the bad-tempered port wars between Southampton and Liverpool looks to be back on the cards after the northern city revived controversial plans to use taxpayer-funded facilities to muscle in on the lucrative cruise business.
“It stinks,” says port director Doug Morrison after learning Liverpool still hoped to use its Pier Head landing stage, which was built with £21m of public funds, despite the idea being rejected by the Government in December last year.
The plan to use the Pier Head terminal on the iconic Mersey waterfront as a start and finish base for liners, known as turnaround cruises, is seen as a threat to Southampton’s core cruise business as the largest base for such trips in northern Europe.
It’s galling for Southampton docks owner ABP, which has invested £41m of private money in its cruise facilities in the past five years.
The Department for Transport (DfT) decided against relaxing its rules on publicly funded competition to allow a full turnaround facility at Liverpool’s Cruise Terminal on the grounds that it would have an “unfair and adverse effect” on the market.
Now officials from the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company, owned by developer Peel, are again in discussions with the city council to transfer cruises from its existing turnaround facility, a tatty dock in Bootle, to Pier Head.
Now, however, Peel says the move would just be temporary, while it presses ahead with ambitious plans to build its own cruise terminal as part of the £5.5billion skyscraper Liverpool Water scheme. That scheme, the largest urban regeneration project in the UK, is likely to take years, with a planning application not due to be submitted until later this year.

In a bid to appease concerned rivals they say the number of turnaround cruises would remain the same, but ABP is unimpressed arguing if they wanted better facilities “they should have invested in them years ago”.
Mr Morrison said: “It’s nonsense. It’s the same proposal again only described as temporary.
“They are determined but ultimately if they want to use the publicly-funded terminal then let them pay back the £21m and they can start using it.
“I think this is a threat to all the other cruise ports, to the Tyne, Holyhead, Harwich and Dover and it’s a threat to Southampton. It’s a distortion of the marketplace.
“We will be lobbying for them to use the existing facility. They should have invested in their facilities years ago.”

Southampton Cabinet member for economic development Councillor Royston Smith said: “Whatever way they try to do it it’s still wrong. If you’re using public subsidy on a commercial basis it’s just wrong.
“I am surprised and disappointed. You can’t keep asking the question again and again until you get the answer you want.” Southampton Test MP Alan Whitehead said: “The key point is whether Liverpool is still using public money to compete with Southampton’s port. This move certainly appears to be against the spirit of the Government’s ruling and I will be speaking urgently with ABP and the Government to ensure Southampton in no way loses out because of it.”

Oh and this is what Peel Holdings do with our heritage..let it rot while Oldham Hall street tell us how wonderful they are.

1 comment:


    Is this a reportage on the crisis from Peter Elson, or is it further lobbying on behalf of Peel?