1st May 2012
Alan Whitehead has welcomed the final decision by the Marine Management Organisation to unblock millions of vital investement in Southampton's port.
The investment will create 200 new jobs, and safeguard a further 800, as well as an estimated 1200 more in the wider economy.
Alan Whitehead and fellow Southampton Labour MP John Denham campaigned in Parliament for DEFRA Ministers to intervene to sort out delays that threatened to derail the planned investment.
Two docks at the port required widening and redeveloping in order to be able to handle new larger containers. But the work was repeatedly delayed due to errors by the Marine Management Organisation, DEFRA red tape, and legal challenges from other ports.
Two weeks ago, Dr Whitehead organised a fresh meeting with DEFRA Ministers to personally make the case for unblocking this urgently needed investment.
Commenting on the announcement by the MMO that the work on the port can now take place, Alan Whitehead said:
"After a long wait, this is a good result both for our port and Southampton's wider economy. When we lobbied Ministers on this two weeks ago we made it clear that time was running out for this investment and that the Government needed to act quickly.
"Though the investment should never have been delayed for so long in the first place, I'm pleased we've finally got the right decision and that we can move forward to build a truly 21st century port that will fuel jobs and growth across Southampton both now and in the years ahead."
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