Chairman’s Report: Mike Morris

It is an honour and great pleasure to address you as the Chairman of the UKMPA in this issue of the Pilot magazine. I wish to praise the stewardship of John Pearn our outgoing Chairman for the dedication and passion he has shown throughout his tenure during the last three years. I am pleased to say that as IMPA Vice President John has agreed to remain on the executive for the immediate future, so with the wisdom and guidance of both John and Don Cockrill as Secretary General, I hope to carry forward the good work begun by them.

A chairman is only as good as his team. I would like to thank all the members of section committee (SC) for entrusting me with this honour to discharge this important duty within our Association and the amount of time, knowledge and professionalism they bring to the executive. Without the assistance of friends and colleagues on SC, the Chairman’s position would be a much more difficult job.

We sadly lose Tony Anderton our PNPF pension guru to retirement in September. We wish Tony together with Trudy a long and happy retirement. I would like to welcome Chris Hoyle and Ian McMahon onto SC. I am sure they will enjoy their time on the executive.

Pilots from all over the world attended the recent EMPA conference in the historic city and

port of Liverpool, celebrating the 125 th anniversary of the opening of the Manchester Ship Canal. This conference had significance for me personally as a Manchester pilot as it was tinged with both sadness and excitement for the future as I was standing down from the Board of EMPA after six years as Vice President in order to take the reins of the UKMPA as Chairman.

I thoroughly enjoyed working with our friends from Europe and being closely involved in thwarting the Port Package III, which was intended to introduce competition in Pilotage. Congratulations to my friend Peter Lightfoot (Tees) on being elected as Vice President of EMPA for the next four years. I am sure there will many challenges in the coming years and it is fitting that we have such an experienced pilot on the Board of EMPA. I hope members of the UKMPA who managed to attend enjoyed the topics and presentations based around pilot safety together with hospitality Liverpool had to offer, culminating in a spectacular gala dinner in the Anglican Cathedral. Special thanks should go to Martin James, his wife Caroline, together with my wife Sue, for all the time, effort and help putting together a packed social programme which was enjoyed by all.

Through SC and T&TC, John Slater (Liverpool) has been working with developers to produce our own UKMPA reporting app which makes it easier for the pilot to report defective pilot ladders to their CHA and the MCA at the same time, and contains all the information to show the vessel the regulations and other things to promote pilot ladder safety. The app is pre-loaded with those ports who previously expressed an interest, and other ports can be added simply. The app is available on both Android and IOS platforms and can easily be found by searching ‘UKMPA’ on the play or iTunes store. Hot on its heels is a pilot ladder rigging course, which is well on the way to being finalised so that the UKMPA members can present and promote the correct rigging procedures to nautical colleges and other relevant stakeholders.

At the time of writing Brexit is still looming large within the UK. With Boris Johnson as new Prime Minister committing to leaving the European Union on the 31 st October this year, a new initiative — to re-instate freeports in Liverpool, Southampton, Tilbury and Sheerness — which expired in 2012 when the statutory instruments lapsed and to create new freeports in Teesport, Tyne, Milford Haven and London Gateway. These ports are set to benefit from becoming freeports under new plans from the Treasury. This is good news for ports and pilots who should see an increase in traffic.

Before I close this first report, I would like to thank my colleagues in the Port of Manchester. Being a small pilotage service of 19 Pilots, I am extremely grateful to them for supporting me over the years whilst I have been on SC, the board of EMPA and now Chairman of the UKMPA. There are frequent occasions when I have had to meet government and other stakeholders at short notice, and my colleagues have covered my watches and done swops in order for me to do so. I do not take this for granted and am extremely grateful for their time and support.

Fair winds and safe sailing to you all.

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