Friday, July 27, 2007

Mersey Port Health Authority

A double dose of Ron Gould today

We spent the morning with the Mersey Port Health Authority. Beginning with the AGM (my first meeting of this authority) we heard about the work carried out in 2006/7 in the dock area with regard to public health.

Of particular concern was the health difficulties on our ocean going liners. In an incident last year a liner was tested for legionella, or listeria, or some other disease beginning with L, but it only showed up after the ship had set sail for ports elsewhere. We emphasised the importance of a much swifter testing regime, not taking up to 7 days in a lab in Preston somewhere.

Basically the MPHA deals with all aspects of public health within the dock area (which includes John Lennon Airport - Above us only sky).

We learnt at the meeting that the MPHA discovered in about May or June that they were to be responsible for making sure that nobody was smoking within establishments on the dock. There are evidently 400 of them and no database exists as to these buildings. A big job then from what seems like a very small team.

We had a tour of the proposed new liner docking facility on Princes Dock, imagine big liners docking once again in Liverpool, great news. Then we went to Seaforth to see the work of the MPHA in checking incoming food stuffs and animal products and the new building to make this easier. Obviously some consignments from out there in the rest of the world contain scary things and bits of animal parts etc that need a good inspection before they can go forward or are destroyed. A new terminal building will take care of them.

We also saw the plans for a new deep dock that will allow container ships that sit much lower in the water to dock in Liverpool. You know those big orange (usually) tin boxes that contain people's wordly goods or stacks of wood or whatever it is that companies want to import. Well they come into various ports in the country. Liverpool cannot easily take big shipments of ships with deep keels but with the new dock will be able to nearly double its intake.

Fascinating stuff

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