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10th December 2014 - Press Release

New Appointments bring Port and Community closer

Dover Harbour Board is delighted to announce the appointment in the New Year of Samantha Parker and Neil Wiggins as the first Community Directors to join the Board in 2015. These new appointments strengthen the links between the Port of Dover and the community at the start of what will be a momentous period of regeneration for both the area and one of the world's most recognised ports.

Samantha Parker was full of enthusiasm for her forthcoming role:

“I grew up in Kent and was educated at Barton Court Grammar School for Girls in Canterbury. My mother, who was one of Kent’s first Super Nurses and my late father who was a Chief Navigating Officer in the Merchant Navy, instilled in me a set of virtues which I remain true to today. I am married to Carl who is a Tree Surgeon and a service veteran and we have 2 young children. I live in a village in the Dover and Deal Constituency and have dedicated over half of my life to public service.  I have lived and worked in the Dover district for the past 20 years.  I have worked at both the Eastern and Western Docks and my husband also worked out of the Eastern Docks on the ferries before his army career.  My godfather was a Captain with Townsend Thoresen.   My career has equipped me with many skills and qualities that are directly transferable to the boardroom. I am a member of a local running club and a keen supporter of my children’s primary school. I am a keen participant in my village community.”

“The Port is a vital part of the town of Dover and the surrounding area and we all want even stronger links to make it work for everyone. My role will be to bring an insight into the thinking of the community and act as a bridge between those involved in the Port and the future of Dover. This is a great day for everyone and anyone who has an interest in Dover, in the Port and in the jobs it will safeguard and create as part of its shared vision.”

Neil Wiggins was equally delighted, reflecting on his forthcoming appointment he said:

“We have been on quite a journey over the last few years, and it is time to move on as we all work together to deliver a brighter future for Dover. I am immediately resigning as both Chairman and a member of the Dover Peoples’ Port Trust in order that I can ensure my full commitment to the Port of Dover as a community voice on the board and fulfil my duties as a member of the Dover Harbour Board without any conflict of interest.” 

George Jenkins OBE, Chairman of the Dover Harbour Board, welcomed the new Non Executive appointments which followed a detailed interview process involving community representatives.

“We had an overwhelming response to this important appointment and a list of high quality candidates to choose from. The Minister of State for Transport, the Rt Hon John Hayes MP, said in the House of Commons that it was important to link the Port to the town. We see these new appointments as a strong statement of that intent, offering a direct link between the Board and the community that will bring a fresh perspective to assist us in our future plans.”

George Jenkins believes these new appointments will add stability and strengthen the links to the local community as Dover moves forward together.

“We will now have Community Directors appointed to the Board who will have a wide ranging appreciation of the community and its views. This will bring another valuable element to the composition of the Board and we heartily welcome these new appointments. The Board are submitting a Harbour Revision Order to enshrine these new positions in legislation. These appointments and our proposed direction of travel shows we are moving forward with determination, integrity and a clear vision of where we want the Port to be in the future. The Port and the local community are working ever more closely together to achieve shared goals. We want to see the Port of Dover recognised as one of the world’s great ports and a vital element in the UK economy. We will continue to work to cement Dover’s reputation as the best Port in the world for the benefit of our community and customers."

Charlie Elphicke MP said that this shows real progress is being made.

“The community representatives considered the two selected candidates to be outstanding.  We had no hesitation recommending them both to be Community Directors.  Community Directors on the Dover Harbour Board places the community at the heart of decision making at the port.  There is still further work to be done in order to ensure that the Community Director positions are enshrined in legislation and I will continue to press DHB for the HRO to enable this to happen.”

“The announcement of the community directors is a big step on the continuing road to reform. It shows what a success the People's Port has been. With this landmark development much of what the People's Port Trust set out to achieve has now been completed. Once the HRO is finalised, it will be an opportune time for the People's Port Trust to be concluded.”

Shipping and Ports Minister John Hayes MP welcomed the Community Director appointments.

“A great amount has been achieved in Dover since the plan for the Port was announced in April, showing that the port and town working together can really get things done. I’d like to congratulate both George Jenkins and Charlie Elphicke for leading this and all they have done in delivering the landmark of appointing two community directors.  I extend my thanks and congratulations to everyone else involved in doing so much to bring together the Port, the town and its community.”


Issued by Corporate Affairs on 01304 240400 (ext. 4410 from 8.30 – 17.00)

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