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A Consultation on proposals for a Harbours (Scotland) Bill

A Consultation on proposals for a Harbours (Scotland) Bill

Thursday, August 21, 2014

ISBN: 9781784127695

This consultation paper seeks views on proposals for a draft Harbours (Scotland) Bill. This draft Bill repeals section 10 of the Ports Act 1991 as it applies to Scotland. In addition the draft Bill also provides an opportunity to tidy up some aspects of current harbours legislation

Executive Summary

The primary purpose of this Bill would be to effect the repeal of section 10 of the Ports Act 1991 as it applies to Scotland. This would remove Scottish Ministers’ power to compel Trust Ports (over the relevant turnover threshold) to bring forward privatisation proposals. This proposal is founded on two premises: firstly, a policy aim to remove Trust Ports from classification as Public Bodies by Office for National Statistics (ONS), and secondly, to remove a level of uncertainty for those ports affected and thus reaffirm Scottish Ministers’ support for the Trust Port model as part of the diverse range of ports ownership structures operating in Scotland. It is not intended that the Bill would prevent ports voluntarily bringing forward proposals to change their governance and ownership structure under the existing terms of the 1991 Act. It is the policy of the Scottish Government that the power in Section 10 to require privatisation proposals is highly unlikely to be exercised. The power has not been exercised by Scottish Ministers’ since devolution.