Readers will remember that the Isle of Wight council Overview and Scrutiny Committee set up a Task and Finish Group to look into the motion approved at October’s full council meeting in relation to the recent increase in ferry fares and cuts to services.
Tonight (Thursday) sees representatives from all the ferry companies, Hovertravel, Red Funnel and Wightlink attend the Task and Finish Group meeting at County Hall.
Residents welcome to attend
The ferry operators will be asked to ‘give evidence’ at tonight’s meeting which we expect to be a popular choice with councillors and members of the public.
The public gallery will be open and the meeting starts at 6pm sharp. Follow our Twitter stream for live coverage.
The motion approved by full council read,
THAT this Council is deeply concerned about further cuts to ferry services recently announced by Wightlink and the corresponding reduction in the service provided to Island Residents and visitors which has a direct impact upon the economy of the Island. As the Local Transport Authority the Council notes with regret that Wightlink failed to consult or engage with the Council or other Island stakeholders about their proposals.
The Council is also very concerned about the levels of fares for crossings by motor vehicle on ferry services, which inhibits the ability of Island residents to travel for work, family, health and social reasons and again impacts greatly upon the economy of the Island and the quality of life for Island residents as well as having a direct effect on the tourist trade which is essential for the Island.
This Council resolves to take all possible steps it can to address this situation and, in addition, to support the Island’s Member of Parliament and as an initial step the Isle of Wight Council invite senior representatives from each of the ferry companies to attend an appropriate scrutiny panel to present and explain their position and take questions from the panel on behalf of the island community.