Between a rock and a hard place!

Posted on: 20th May 2011

Originally posted 14/10/09


As ever, never a dull moment.??The communities at either end of the Isles of Scilly ferry link deserve to be fully involved and consulted as six years of planning and hard work approaches its final and most contentious hurdle. I’m determined that a project I helped to set sail is delivered and that the £30 million of public funding is not lost. But it would be wrong to impose a project on a community affected by it without considering their reasonable concerns.??I spent time recently meeting people on the Isles of Scilly. I held six meetings. The Island Council were keen that local concerns were heard; indeed senior officers and members came twice. There is an understandable anxiety on the Islands that factors they fear are out of their control may scupper their biggest project for decades and jeopardise the link.??Having told the people of Penzance a month ago that they were “not fully appraised” it was disappointing that both Cornwall and the Scillies Councils were less keen to co-operate with a seventh public meeting I called in Penzance last Friday. As you know over 500 people turned up. Another successful meeting.??Few in Penzance or Scilly would see the ferry link put at risk. A solution can and must be found. Reasonableness and compromise are now required.??Meanwhile MPs in parliament are apparently unhappy that a top auditor is holding them to account. He should have gone further and investigated those who have apparently used taxpayers’ money to become property developers and capital gains tax avoiders; or those who bought a taxpayer funded second home in Westminster when they were within easy commuting distance. For some it would be like having a second home in Porthleven when you live in Penzance!??I have been either leading or deeply involved in debates this week on fishing, fair trade and water bills, etc. If MPs were more excited about these things, than apparently objecting to reasonable scrutiny of their financial affairs things would be a lot better.

Andrew George MP 14th October 2009