Council U-Turn On Concessionary Boat Fares

st marys harbour tripper boats scillonianThe Council’s Senior Manager in charge of Adult Social Services says off-island residents should use concessionary boat tickets in the same way that St Mary’s residents use the Buzza Bus.

Aisling Hick told councillors at Tuesday’s Community Services meeting that people can use the tickets “to access the things that make them feel better.”

“If that means coming to St Mary’s to have a coffee with friends and pop to the library, then that’s absolutely great,” said Aisling.

Current guidance on the Council’s website says tickets can only be used to access key services such as health and wellbeing activities, banking, local government and medical appointments.

The Council’s change of heart came about following discussions with St Martin’s councillor Colin Daly.

Back in February, he called the Authority “draconian” over their plans to cap the number of subsidised fares to one a week for each resident.

At the time, Aisling said her department had to find budget savings.

The Council currently gives 103 off-island pensioners or disabled residents the tickets and it costs just over £21,000 to run the scheme.

Colin said he was glad to hear the new guidance on the use of the free tickets and he wanted a leaflet issued immediately to let users know.

He said older people are “quite conscientious” and would worry about which tickets they could use for which trips. “Any doubts need to be cleared from their minds,” he said.