St Martin’s Councillor Repeats Call For More Concessionary Boat Fares

st martins quay 2A St Martin’s councillor has again called for more concessionary boat tickets to be issued to off-island pensioners. And he says the extra tickets could be paid for by a small contribution from users, similar to the Buzza Bus.

Cllr Colin Daly was speaking at Tuesday’s Community Services meeting where members were told about plans to improve services for vulnerable adults in Scilly, including those on the off-islands.

Eligible residents are given 26 free return boat tickets every year, but Colin says that means they can only shop on St Mary’s once a fortnight, which “isn’t very practical.”

He said he understood the budget pressures and suggested residents might pay a pound for every extra ticket, rather than having to contact Social Services to put in a “legal case” for more.

Senior Manager for Community Services, Aisling Hick, said there’s “a lot of merit in the idea” but it would depend on the budget. She added, “we can’t go round promising things to people if we can’t afford it.”

Aisling insisted that if people are known to Social Services and are vulnerable they would get extra tickets anyway and there was no “huge application process.”

She said people just need to have a conversation with her department, which was “what they’re there for.”

And she said she wasn’t aware of any off-islander who was struggling, although Colin replied that he was.

Cllr Marian Bennett said users of the boat tickets shouldn’t have to prove they’re vulnerable.

It’s a preventative measure, she said, to stop loneliness and improve social contact for many people, especially those who are “stuck in the house on an off-island all week.”

Aisling told members that they have the power to give out as many tickets as they wanted. But she cautioned that there are large budget pressures in this area and they’ll soon have to recruit “lots and lots” of home care workers under new social care legislation.

2 Responses to St Martin’s Councillor Repeats Call For More Concessionary Boat Fares