East Suffolk Council tours the region’s vital port health function

Senior officials from East Suffolk Council were given a tour of Suffolk Coastal Port Health Authority’s (SCPHA) facilities and operations at the Port of Felixstowe to see how vital health checks are carried out on food and animal-related goods entering the UK.

The delegation included Stephen Baker, Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service; Nick Khan, Strategic Director; Cllr. Steve Gallant, Leader of East Suffolk Council; Cllr. Mary Rudd, Cabinet Member for Community Health; Cllr. Mark Jepson, Assistant Cabinet Member for Community Safety and County Lines; and Fiona Quinn, Head of Environmental Services and Port Health.

From left: Richard Jacobs, Steve Gallant, Stephen Baker, Fiona Quinn, Mary Rudd, Mark Jepson and Nick Khan in front of a timeline illustrating SCPHA’s history.

Port Health Manager Richard Jacobs said: “We were delighted to receive these senior members from East Suffolk Council with the opportunity to demonstrate the hard work of all our team members.

“Port health is going through unprecedented times across the UK, so there is a lot to talk about in terms of how we’ve adapted and prepared to meet the demands.”

The delegation received a presentation by Richard in the morning before touring the quayside and 70 Shed Border Control Post in the afternoon.

The East Suffolk Council members were able to see first-hand how health checks are carried out on food and animal-related goods coming into the UK, including peanuts, tuna and chocolate-coated grapes.

From left: Richard Jacobs, Steve Gallant and Mary Rudd inspect a bottle of peanuts imported into the UK

Stephen Baker said: “It’s been absolutely terrific. I’m always keen to get people down here to see the port first-hand. Then you can understand the sheer scale of what’s going on and what a critical role the port health team play in making sure it all works.”

Steve Gallant added: “You forget how much work is involved in making sure that imports coming into the UK are safe and appropriate for consumers to use. It’s a really important part of the work that East Suffolk Council does.”