Last week’s release of the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership’s findings from their public consultation on the Cowes Floating Bridge, prompted harsh criticism from the Isle of Wight councillor for East Cowes, Karl Love.
In response to Cllr Love’s accusations that the Solent LEP consultation for the floating bridge was a “shockingly poor example of community engagement” and a “spectacular catastrophic failure”, the LEP have provided a response.
LEP: Committed to consulting
A spokesperson for the Solent LEP told OnTheWight,
“The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is committed to consulting in relation to all large project applications for Solent Growth Deal Funding.
“The second Floating Bridge 6 consultation lasted for 16 weeks, extended at the request of local stakeholders, and was promoted on our Website, on social media, through our newsletter, wider business networks and in the press.”
“Extremely detailed” responses
They went on to say,
“The responses that we received were extremely detailed, including from stakeholder groups who capture the views of wider networks.
“The public consultation forms one part of a wider piece of work, and it informs the decision making process, alongside a comprehensive appraisal carried out by an independent party.”
Stakeholders submitted several hundred pages
On the release of the report, a spokesperson for the Floating Bridge Stakeholders Group said,
“We submitted several hundred pages demonstrating that the floating bridge has hurt the economy and, in our opinion, the Council appears to have provided deceptive information to the LEP in their business case.
“28.3% pedestrians use this floating bridge since charges were introduced (based on 2014 numbers).
“The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership funded a new floating bridge to help local businesses and the economy; what is the LEP’s answer and their solutions that will provide a floating bridge as good the last one, in order to prevent even more damage to local economy and businesses?”
Image: © With kind permission of Allan Marsh