Transport Working Groups Will Decide Scilly’s Response To Minister

Panel members at last Wednesday's Transport User Forum

Panel members at last Wednesday’s Transport User Forum

A series of private meetings will be held to achieve consensus on how islanders want the government to help improve our transport services.

In March, a delegation including representatives from Friends of Isles of Scilly Transport and the Council was invited to talk to a House of Commons Transport Select Committee.

They outlined our travel problems but the islanders couldn’t agree on how to solve them.

FRIST is pushing for a year-round subsidised boat. The Council is not – they want money to improve facilities.

At the end of the Commons session, Baroness Kramer told the islanders that, “no coherent plan’ had been put forward. She advised them to decide what they wanted.

At the Transport User Forum last week, Council Chief Theo Leisjer told attendees that the Authority had set up working groups to decide what to request from government.

The ‘Transport for Scilly’ body includes the Duchy, Scilly and Cornwall Councils and the Steamship Company. Theo said the representatives are from organisations who “could sign a cheque” or who own transport assets.

A second group made up of Council representatives, Healthwatch, FRIST and the Islands’ Partnership will analyse data and suggest options for transport schemes.

As the two-hour meeting was finishing, FRIST’s Marian Bennett asked the Council CEO to outline what they would say to Baroness Kramer.

Theo said that was up to the working party but they had to be “very clear” about what they say.

If they go back with different views, the response from government will be “go home,” he said.

On hearing that, Marian replied that the Council just wanted to maintain the status quo.

That brought a swift response from Council Chairman Amanda Martin. She said that while Marian “might be happy with the state of play” the Council was going to tell the Minister that everyone was working hard to find a solution.

No timeline for agreeing a reply was given. The next working party meeting will meet on May 6th.

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