The MP for the West Cornwall and Isles of Scilly constituency of St Ives, Andrew George, congratulated project teams in Penzance and on the Isles of Scilly for the good progress they have made in preparing plans for the development of their harbours to improve and develop the Scillies ferry link.
Nearly a year ago, following the disappointing news that the original £62 million proposal to improve the ferry link had been rejected by the Department for Transport (because Ministers could not justify such a high level of public spending, after they had requested cost savings), Mr George called together a ‘Coalition of the willing’ to bring forward alternative plans. Having secured agreement from the Department that it would contribute towards the preparation of options and development costs, Mr George handed the project work over to Penzance Town Council last autumn. After appointing consultants, Hyder, to work with the hundreds of ideas and options which were presented to them last November, they have successfully sifted this down to just three which were presented at a public exhibition last week.
The Penzance Harbour Scheme Management Board will be meeting again this week to review the responses to the public consultation before making decisions about how to proceed.
Mr George said, “I congratulate all involved. Needless to say, this has been a difficult process given the circumstances. But people have, in some cases, put past differences aside and been prepared to work together for the general good.
“There is still a long way to go. Unfortunately, we don’t have any more time for reflections, delay or argument. We are in the last chance saloon. If we are to take advantage of the offer of many £millions of investment in this vital ferry and freight link then the project must continue to proceed at an accelerated pace in order to meet the immovable funding deadlines.
“The ‘Coalition of the willing’ has shown itself to be very willing and capable of moving forward and working constructively. Meanwhile the teeny residual ‘Coalition of the unwilling’ have always got the solace of social networking sites in which they can occupy themselves and their energies.”
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