School discusses Dibden Bay
It was a thrill to be invited to talk to a class of Year 6 pupils today at Oakfield School, Totton.
The children are studying ports, including the issues surrounding Dibden Bay, as a potential port site.
I am a well known for opposing port development this side of the Waterside.
I was also joined by a representative from Associated British Ports who provided the necessary balance to proceedings.
As always, the most interesting part was when the children got to ask questions.
One of them asked if plans to build the port would be likely to increase council tax.
I chuckled at the thought of children already worrying about council tax but had to correct the ABP representative who said it would not.
Over ten years ago, when ABP tried to persuade the government to give them permission to build the port,
it cost local authorities over £1 million in hiring lawyers and consultants to make sure the opponents had a fair hearing.
All this money comes from taxpayers, so yes, it will likely increase council tax if they try it again!
There is also a bit of a myth that ABP effectively created the land at Dibden Bay, for the purposes of future port use.
They didn’t. It was originally land owned by the British Docks Board, (a Nationalised Industry).
It was purchased by ABP as a speculative venture in the 1960’s.
Dibden Bay and the foreshore has all sorts of special protection designations of national and international importance.
It was even included in the original draft boundary for the New Forest National Park, something that should still happen when the review of national Parks takes place in the next few years.