“IT is important for local citizens, our neighbours to feel that they are listened to and communicated with.”
Warrenpoint Port CEO David Holmes, responding to claims made by Carlingford Lough Community Group, says everyone should have a say on how the area is shaped in the future.
“ I do urge the wider community to get to know the Port, to understand how we are a vital component in the local economy and to engage with our ‘On Board’ campaign as it is developed.
“I look forward to open discussion in the weeks and months ahead with our neighbours, friends, fellow businesses, and indeed those who do not currently support Port operations.
“I think that it is very important that we all have a voice in shaping the future of our area from an economic, tourism and environmental perspective
Mr Holmes offered an invitation to the Carlingford Group to meet and discuss their concerns.
“We request that the authors of this correspondence (printed in last weeks edition) please engage with us directly on the perceived issues relating to the Port activities. We are very happy to engage on the matters pertaining to us“.
“We are very aware of concerns some local groups and individuals have in relation to the Port activities. We are fortunate that we live and work in an area of outstanding natural beauty. The nature of the work of the Port obviously requires us to be close to the water to carry out our commercial activities. We however, are not in the position of many other Ports who have an extensive landbank for development. We must work within the confines of the space we have available to us at our edge of town location. As CEO it is my responsibility to make sure we make best commercial and environmental use of that limited space.
“Since taking up my position I have been committed to Warrenpoint Port being a good corporate citizen. This is a core value and objective of the organisation. This incorporates engaging with our neighbours including the citizens of this area. We want to be completely open and transparent. We want to address the issues that we can address and agree to disagree on those that we cannot.
“What we need however, is proper dialogue and discussion. We are listening and we are open to listening. The recent letter from ‘The Residents of Carlingford Lough Community’ has no names attached to it. We do not know who has drafted this correspondence to the press. They have incorporated Port activities; third party customers; Newry Mourne and Down Council; proposed infrastructure projects such as the Southern Relief Road which we have no direct influence on; and other business activities in Milltown Industrial Estate completely unrelated to the Port, in one single correspondence which can create confusion. We request that the authors of this correspondence please engage with us directly on the perceived issues relating to the Port activities. We are very happy to engage on the matters pertaining to us.
“We have a difficult period ahead as we try to navigate the uncertainties of our responsibilities as a Port in relation to Brexit. We have already outlined our concerns as to the short timeframe available to consult the local community on what we likely will be required to do by the UK Government. This is something we are gravely concerned about as we believe we will be required to install new infrastructure. We need urgent clarity on this situation so we can take the required action.
See more in this weeks Newry Democrat