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  • "It's a great shame that Liverpool are threatening to take away (take back) some of our cruise trade but rather than vesting vasts amount of energy in undermining their bid why not look closer to home and make the Port of Southampton irresistable.

    As a regular user of the cruise terminal I have to say the general environment at southampton is shabby (outside the immediate terminal building) with a very unattractive landsacpe between the docks and the city centre and very poor transport links between the two. Contrast to Liverpool where the moorings are in the heart of the city and within walking distance of all the attractions.

    The cruise trade is growing rapidly and I have no doubt there is sufficient to sustain both ports. After all, who in their right mind would travel by choice to Liverpool to meet their boat when they live south of Birmingham anyway? But we do need inward investment in Southampton and by the Port Authority expecially."
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Angry MP queries Merseyside deals

Angry MP queries Merseyside deals

Julian Lewis MP

Joe Anderson

First published in News

A HAMPSHIRE MP is taking the leader of Liverpool City Council to task in the ongoing Cruise Warsrow, accusing the Merseysiders of “behind-the-scenes deals”.

Julian Lewis seized upon comments made in the Daily Echo by Liverpool council leader Joe Anderson, who suggested a deal to expand his city’s cruise operation had already been agreed.

Cllr Anderson also threatened to sue the Government for “reneging”

on what he claimed had been agreed.

New Forest East MP Dr Lewis raised the matter in Parliament, asking Transport Minister Mike Penning whether he was aware of the interview.

Mr Penning said: “I am aware of such comments being reported.”

He insisted the outcome of the consultation into Liverpool’s proposals had not yet been determined, promising a decision would be reached “soon”.

It is understood that early in 2012 is the most likely time for an announcement.

Southampton’s political and business leaders, and cruise terminal bosses are demanding Liverpool repays the £21m public handout it received from the Government and European Union to build its cruise terminal before a state aid restriction on its operation is lifted.

Liverpool has offered to pay back just £5m and ministers are considering its proposals after a consultation ended in September.

Dr Lewis launched a furious attack on the Merseysiders’ tactics, saying: “I do not like the way in which people in Liverpool are apparently relying on behind-the-scenes deals, whether it be deals to get public money by making promises they do not intend to keep, or deals to pay back just a fraction of the money when they want to change the basis of the original promises they made.”

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