Second meeting for proposed Port of Dover Community Trust

Tuesday, 24 January 2012
The Bishop of Dover, the Right Reverend Trevor Willmott, has chaired the second meeting of community representatives who are working together in order to take forward the development of the proposed Port of Dover Community Trust (PDCT). Shortly before, he also chaired the first meeting of the PDCT working group comprising local amenity and interest, education, town and district authority representatives as well as the community and voluntary sector, who have volunteered to examine in more detail certain aspects of the PDCT on behalf of the wider group of community representatives.

Those attending all agreed on three fundamental areas of focus for the PDCT, these being community benefit, raising aspiration and regeneration.

Bishop Trevor said: "There is a very good common understanding that it is community benefit that binds us together. This is a long term proposition where partnership is crucial and we are all committed to creating Partnerships where there is constructive benefit, making a long-term, sustainable difference."

Discussions also focused on the more practical issues, such as how the PDCT should be structured, who should lead it, the process for appointing trustees and the beneficial area. The trustee body, it was proposed, would consist of no more then 10 people with the right mix of skills, influence and objectivity but also, crucially, sufficient local engagement. The group considered establishing an operational body alongside the trustee body in order to deliver the PDCT's vision and to become an actively engaged and major player in Dover.

Lady Pender, representing the Lieutenancy of Kent, commented: "The outline structure is very practical in that a group of trustees will hold the vision for the PDCT and will become ambassadors for its work in wider arenas whilst the operational body will become the engine room, raising awareness out in the community and with the authority to act."

A definition for the beneficial area was put forward, this being 'primarily for the town of Dover itself but open to the needs of the wider district.' Representatives considered identifying three or four major pieces of work for the PDCT to deliver over the longer term, but with there always being a small pot for grant making in order to address immediate issues within clearly defined terms.

Bishop Trevor added: "We are establishing contacts with other similar trusts around the UK in order that we can learn from them and ensure that our Trust is the best that it can be for our community. The development of 'community' in its widest sense is key to sustaining everything else. We will continue to break down barriers as we must be ready to act, as one."

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