‘Last Chance’ For St Mary’s And Penzance Harbour Works

St Mary's Quay

St Mary’s Quay

The St Mary’s Quay improvement scheme has reached its, “last chance saloon” according to Council officer, Diana Mompoloki.

Cornwall Council is now driving the project in both Scilly and Penzance because our own Council isn’t a transport authority.

The government insists that both sides of the link need to be viewed as one project.

Diana told the Council’s transport committee that the St Mary’s team has provided plans and documents for the mainland team but discussions have been hampered because of difficulty in arranging a meeting with the Cornwall councillors overseeing the project.

Amanda Martin confirmed that councillors had not been able to meet with their counterparts either.

There’s a feeling that Cornwall have other, road-based transport priorities and Dudley Mumford added that the transfer of Penzance Harbour from the Council to a harbour board adds to complications.

The Steamship Company is a St Mary’s Quay project partner, along with the Duchy and the Council. Chief executive Jeff Marston spoke of, “ a degree of frustration” over the Penzance project, which appeared to be going, “slightly backwards.”

Diana warned if the project can’t be finalised now, it would be hard funding the quay improvements in the future. The Government is changing financing of major transport schemes in line with the population levels.

The Local Enterprise Partnership will administer the funding but only £13m has been offered for the years 2015 to 2020. That contrasts with the £63m that was on the table for the failed Route Partnership scheme.

Cllr Marian Bennett said she was concerned that ten years of work could be lost and Diana feels that the European element of the cash will be reapportioned if there isn’t progress within two months.

She’s grateful for the support of a Local Government Ministry official, who looks after aspects of European funding. Diana says he has valuable access to other ministries and can discuss the project, “civil servant to civil servant.”

He is keen to sign off the cash and, “smacked the table” to force a meeting between project partners in Penzance.

Following the meeting in Penzance, the official has agreed to collate a business plan for the St Mary’s Quay works, together with dredging and possible rock armour placement at Penance.

That will be submitted at the start of March.

The Department for Transport’s reaction to the business plan will determine what happens next but Diana told councillors that she doesn’t want to raise the community’s expectations as she is not 100% sure she can deliver the project because of the slipping timeline.

5 Responses to ‘Last Chance’ For St Mary’s And Penzance Harbour Works

  1. Stuart February 26, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    Need more incomers to be like her.

  2. Kev Wright February 25, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Of course this all should have been done ages ago. But best of luck to Diana and the team on this one. Fingers and toes crossed. And yes, from what I hear Diana is doing a good job, long may she continue to do so.

  3. islander February 25, 2013 at 10:12 am

    Could not agree more with what has been said by Nobby and Lindsay… Diina Mompoloki seems to be very good and helpfull at her job.
    well done.
    But once again it seems cornwall council are draggggiinngg their heels.
    the people of penzance must feel very frustrated

  4. Lindsay Sawyer February 25, 2013 at 8:27 am

    Can I just say how lucky we are to have someone like Diana Mompoloki working on Scilly’s behalf.

    I have recently got to know her, after being recommended to ask her advice.

    I would just like to say how impressed I was by a) Her willingness to help. b) Her approachability. c) Her professionalism combined with cheerfulness.

    Lindsay Sawyer.

  5. Nobby Nobbs February 25, 2013 at 8:14 am

    Diana Mompoloki. is without doubt the best asset our council has, she works tirelessly for the good of the islands without an agenda and, councillors should do everything in their power to keep hold her, perhaps even offer her the role of ceo

    Thanks Diana, your efforts are appreciated 🙂