Floating Bridge stakeholders have ‘very constructive’ LEP meeting

A contingent from the Floating Bridge Stakeholders Group gave a deputation to the funders of the Cowes Floating Bridge – the Solent LEP – today. They report back here.

Floating Bridge No 6 by Allan Marsh

Floating bridge stakeholders met this morning (Friday) in Portsmouth with the funder of the floating bridge, the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), a locally-owned partnership between businesses and local authorities that plays a central role in determining local economic priorities and undertakes activities to drive economic growth.

Invited by the Solent LEP to give a deputation, East Cowes Mayor, Peter Lloyd and Cowes Deputy Mayor, Cllr Lora Peacey-Wilcox, along with local engineers and with the support of the Waitrose’s manager and former floating bridge manager, Nick Symes, explained to the Solent LEP Directors the many recognised and non-admitted problems that the floating bridge continues to suffer.

Peacey-Wilcox: “A very constructive meeting”
Cowes Deputy Mayor, Cllr Peacey-Wilcox, said,

“It was a very constructive meeting.

“The LEP Directors were attentive and asked many relevant questions, and the presentation and detailed Causal and Impact Analysis report were well received.”

LEP encouraged active involvement
East Cowes Mayor, Cllr Lloyd, commented,

“We were successfully able to highlight the severe problems – many of which are seemingly unaddressed by the IW Council – and to emphasise the Council’s apparent inability to provide engineering solutions that help local businesses and achieve proper positive economic growth.

“The LEP encouraged us to be actively involved in their forthcoming public consultation on the Isle of Wight Council’s awaited revised business case.

“The Solent LEP Chief Executive, Anne-Marie Mountifield, also affirmed that the stakeholders should continue to be involved with the Isle of Wight Council regarding the floating bridge’s future.”

Report written on behalf of the Floating Bridge stakeholders group. Ed

Image: © With kind permission of Allan Marsh

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

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9 Comments on "Floating Bridge stakeholders have ‘very constructive’ LEP meeting"

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It’s good to learn that the IW Council is currently producing a “Revised Business Case” for the Solent LEP, but what will they say? “We have failed to consult effectively with our own staff who have been successfully operating Floating Bridges for countless years.and learn from their experience.” “We have failed to recognise that the Naval Architects produced a technical specification which contains a number of irreconcilable… Read more »
Sounds like a very usful meeting, highlighting long-term problems which have/are and will continue to hit the local economy of the IoW. Safety and noise issues are important but the poor service, financial cost and unreliability of FB6 are the main problems. Well done to all who took the case to LEP (who funded FB6 £3.4 million, which was poorly spent by IWC). It has hit the… Read more »
Interesting that Cllr Ward wasn’t invited. Full marks to the stakeholders (isn’t that all of us?) for raising the issue, but I wonder what the LEP could do about it except either: 1. lend even more money to an incompetent council or 2. demand repayment of the £4.6M loan for failure to fulfill its conditions. On the latter, Cllr Dave has been distressingly silent. Perhaps he is… Read more »

Correction: a mere £3.4M – the rest has been funded by IW CT-payers.


Well getting SLEP to ask for their money back must be one of the really stupid ideas. If they did who do you think that burden of that debt would fall on Island council taxpayers.


bbrown: Please read what’s written. I wasn’t suggesting that the stakeholders should propose recovery of the loan, only that that seems to be one of very few options which might be galvanised by this meeting.

There are, undoubtedly, many reasons and policies that the current IW council administration needs to be called to account for, including expensive new management and Fire Service changes, but I’m not at all certain that FB6 was their cock up. Somebody knows the names of the Councillors and council staff who wrote and approved the FB6 specification and then placed the order, was the Chief Executive, Mr… Read more »

But, of course, it’s the current council who will not tell us the facts, preferering to hide behind legalities. They’re all hoping that by the time the truth is dug out of the mess, they will all be long gone.
Accountability? Responsibility? Not under this administration.

Interesting points mariner58, but I think the majority of people complaining want a well engineered floating bridge that will last 30 years at least. Also most blame the staff not the councillors for the sign off, so not the politicians in this current council or the last for that matter – it’d be like blaming the Chancellor of the Exchequer for the failure of some MOD funded… Read more »