§ Mr. Barry Field
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will set out his proposals for the privatisation of the principal trust ports and municipal airports in the United Kingdom.
§ Mr. Norris
Under the Ports Act 1991 four trust ports, Clyde, Forth, Medway and Tees and Hartlepool, have already successfully sought privatisation and a fifth, the Port of London Authority, has sold its commercial docks at Tilbury into the private sector. My right hon. Friend believes that the proper place for the major trust ports is in the private sector and he hopes that more of them will bring themselves forward for privatisation. He recognises however that the circumstances of the individual trust ports vary greatly. Before compelling a port to privatise itself under the powers in the Ports Act which will become available to him in July of next year he will consider its circumstances very carefully.
As regards municipal airports I refer my hon. Friend to the answer which I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Hazel Grove (Sir T. Arnold) on 18 May 1992, Official Report, 31.