To ask the Scottish Executive how many of its officials are responsible for ports policy and what its current policy is with respect to both trust and non-trust ports.
Scottish ministers are responsible for devolved ports policy in Scotland. Policy advice is provided mainly by the Scottish Executive Development Department (SEDD) Ports and Harbours Branch. This falls largely to three staff in that branch amongst their other duties. The development of policy requires close liaison within SEDD Transport Group on related issues, including grant assistance to piers and harbours serving lifeline ferry routes in the Highlands and Islands, and with the Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department interest in fishery harbours.
Ports policy is set out in Modern Ports: A UK Policy (November 2000, Parliament’s Reference Centre Bib. number 9874). The paper sets out the broad policy aims on both devolved and reserved matters for UK ports. In addition, trust ports are implementing the guidance set out in Modernising Trust Ports: A Guide to Good Governance (January 2000, Parliament’s Reference Centre Bib. number 18579). This provides a benchmark for best practice in the management, accountability and operation of trust ports, including the appointment of board members.