Press News

Cornwall Council Cabinet approves extra £5 Million

posted Mar 17, 2011, 9:01 PM by Richard Cliffe

Cornishman Online 16 Mar 2011 (

“Cornwall Council’s Cabinet unanimously approved an extra £5 million in loan funding for the Isles of Scilly Sea Link yesterday in a last-ditch bid to keep the scheme afloat…….. Cornwall Council now says a decision must be made by the end of this month to avoid increased costs and a delay in the project until 2012.

The item quotes the FofPzH spokesman as saying “the  council's decision to press on with the Route Partnership scheme ignored alternative proposals which are estimated to produce almost £25 million of savings”.

Click here for full item.



The alternative proposals referred to be FofPzH are Option Pz +, a scheme rolled out by Andrew George MP on 3 Mar 2010 and subsequently amended to include, most recently, IOSSC’s recent fall-back vessel proposal should the Route Partnership project not be funded.  Option Pz + is a slap in the  face to Islanders as the fall back proposal offers no hope of a winter service and represents a lesser service than the Scillonian III offers today given that the replacement ferry is significantly smaller (~320 pax), expected to have a more uncomfortable ride, and slower crossing (>3 hours).  The proposed fall back ferry is based on a modified super yacht design so will grace the harbours.  As the vessel was designed for a short Denmark-Sweden crossing over relatively sheltered waters it may spend significantly more time in the harbours than the Scillonian.

The IOSSOC fall back proposals would require a very high level of borrowing from commercial lenders which it is difficult to see how it could sustain given the likely reduced revenues from running a smaller vessel likely to be more prone to weather cancellation than the current vessel.  Would this solution risk a Government bail out in the future?

 The extra £5 million of prudential borrowing does not have an impact on front line services (as suggested by FofPH) because it is funded from the charter fee for the new vessel which is already a known value.  The increase does adversely affect the size of the vessel replacement fund Cornwall Council wanted to build up to avoid the need to ask for another Government grant in 25+ years time.


BBC - Council plan to borrow extra £5m for ferry link

posted Mar 16, 2011, 3:10 AM by Richard Cliffe

BBC Internet News 15 March 2011 :   "Cornwall Council is considering borrowing an extra £5m to help fund a scheme for a new ferry link between Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

The council had hoped to receive final government approval for the project last year but following the Comprehensive Spending Review it was asked to reduce the cost or increase local contributions. The proposal will be considered by the council's cabinet on Wednesday.

The council said that, if approved, it would bring the level of local contributions up to £26.75m, 43% of the £62.05m required for the scheme."

Follow links for full story:

Protesters blame "inflexible approach" for ferry link delay

posted Feb 15, 2011, 1:38 PM by Richard Cliffe

GOVERNMENT delays in making a final decision over the £62 million Scilly Link project can be put down to the inflexible approach of Cornwall Council and the Route Partnership, say protesters.

Click here for 10 Feb article in


Anybody that has followed this project closely will know that objectors have done nothing to retain their credibility with the proposals they have made or supported.  There appears to be no solution, no matter how ludicrous or implausible, that will not be proposed if it achieves the aim of delaying and eventually sinking the project.  As a consequence it his hardly surprising if, after 7 years, the Council (who inherited this poison chalice from a previous authority) have become sceptical.  Rather than being inflexible it could be argued that the Council has been weak in conceding to investigate ideas which an informed and sane person would automatically exclude.  Examples that come to mind are the second-hand twin hulled SWATH vessel  will not fit in the harbours and consumes astronomical amounts of fuel, an out of town freight handling terminal for a freight throughput of less than 38 tons a day and a passenger terminal in the old Tinity House Building on the wrong side of a very busy road and on a blind corner.

For more a more detailed response see the online comments on this item.

Andrew George interviewed on Radio Scilly 7 Feb 11

posted Feb 9, 2011, 7:06 PM by Richard Cliffe

Andrew George MP was interviewed on Radio Scilly on 7 Feb 11 over the IOS Ferry Link and delay in the decison to fund the project by the Department of Transport.  Sound file attached below.

The MP said little of substance either in support or against the project  - worrying given the strategic importance of the project and the consequences for West Corwall and Islanders if it does not proceed.

SW Business News reports both sides "up beat" after meetings with Transport Minister.

posted Dec 30, 2010, 4:42 PM by Richard Cliffe   [ updated Dec 30, 2010, 4:45 PM ]

SW Business News commented on the two deputations (one for and one against) who saw Norman Baker MP., Dept of Transport, on 15 Dec 10.  In their article dated 23 Dec (click here for link) they said  “representatives from both sides of the Isles of Scilly sea link debate said they remained positive following discussions with the transport minister last week”.

Comment:   True Friends has added comments to this SW Business News item (follow link above). 



Go-ahead for £44m Scilly link plans despite campaign

posted Oct 17, 2010, 5:37 PM by Richard Cliffe   [ updated Dec 30, 2010, 4:41 PM ]

Cornishman on-line, Fri 15 Oct (09:00).  Cornwall Council's Strategic Planning Committee rubber-stamped the plans yesterday, seven months after initially giving the £44 million proposals the green light. That was in spite of opposition from some campaigners over the scheme's damage to the historic Battery Rocks area of Penzance. Click here for link to article.

MP makes bullying claims following Government decision

posted Aug 26, 2010, 10:19 AM by Richard Cliffe   [ updated Aug 26, 2010, 10:22 AM ]

From   23 Aug 10

The MP at the centre of the controversial plan to redevelop Penzance harbour has accused players involved in the scheme of "bullying".  See here for full news item.

See “Our News” for comment on MP’s claims.

Ferry link go ahead despite Battle of Battery Rocks

posted Aug 26, 2010, 10:13 AM by Richard Cliffe

From the Cornishman online site 20 Aug 10.  

“The Government Office announced it was giving listed-building consent for work on the South Pier at Penzance Harbour. The decision came as a major body blow to campaigners who, for the past two years, have been fighting the plans amid fears the development would damage the historic Battery Rocks” . Click here for full news item.

See "Our News" for comments.

Penzance ferry plan feasible after pier consent granted

posted Aug 20, 2010, 3:00 PM by Richard Cliffe

Plans for a new ferry terminal linking Cornwall to the Isles of Scilly could be a step closer after planning consent was given to develop part of a harbour.  The Government has granted listed building consent for work to be undertaken at Penzance's South Pier.  See link below for more details. See here for rest of BBC news item.

FoPH take Harbour Battle to EU Parliament

posted Jul 15, 2010, 4:41 PM by Richard Cliffe

 FofPH today presented a petition to the EU Parliament (EU Committee of Petitions) claiming that the UK Government and Cornwall Council had ridden rough shod over the wishes of local residents by pushing through IOS Ferry Link project. 

Amongst assertions made by Mr Maggs were:

-   The whole of Penzance was “overwhelmingly against” the project.

-   The proposals would create the traffic problems in Penzance Harbour (rather than alleviate them).

-    The project would create an “industrial freight facility”  in the heart of the harbour.

-    EU funds would be mis-spent on this proposal.

-    He claimed the project would damage the Promenade and Jubilee Pool.

-    He made little reference to the needs of Islanders.

-    He advocated the SWATH solution promoted by Mr Cartwright.


Mr Maggs presented his petition with the help of MEP  Keith Taylor (Green Party) ( .  Keith Taylor asked that the petition be kept open and gave 4 reasons.  It was agreed the petition be keep open until a date in September.

A commissioner spoke in response to the petition.  The main point was that planning decisions were a national matter and provided that certain EU criteria were met regarding the process the EU could not over rule the national authority.  It was pointed out that the approvals process was not complete with final approval having not been given by the UK Government.

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