Skip to main content

Cornwall and the government must do more for Scilly


I lament the fact that the ancient links between Penzance and Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly look in jeopardy. There is still little resolution and a firm plan on the sea link, I welcome the fact that people in Penwith are getting together to try to rescue the mess caused by the Conservative-Independent Cornwall Council (the Penzance Seafront Forum). The helicopter link too looks in doubt short sightedly Cornwall Council granted Sainsburys planning permission to turn the existing heliport site into yet another out of town supermarket for Penzance, despite the fact the heliport had not found a new home. Once again big business has taken precedence and blinded the council to the bigger picture. Whoever we blame for the mess we are in, the very real business, tourism and community links between Penzance and Scilly are in grave doubt, we need to take action.

The undynamic Cornwall Council does not look to be doing anything about these links, they seem more than content to attract the helicopter to boost the revenues of their loss making airport at Newquay. Whether flying twice as far and using twice as much fuel is a long term solution to the helicopter remains to be seen, I am very sceptical as many in Penzance are. Cornwall Council's shameful lack of commitment to the Isles of Scilly is more than made up for by their own council which is thinking differently about how to secure links and how to secure a better deals for the people of the islands. They have announced today that they are looking into having link re-designated as a "Public Service Obligation Route", this would mean that the government would take responsibility for the links between the Isles of Scilly and the mainland. Yesterday I blogged about how Cornwall only need look to Scotland for how devolved administration and thinking differently to the Westminster village could make politics work better for the people. Scillonians have realised this truth too, they have investigated sealinks between island communities and the mainland. To their shock and horror, the Scottish do this very well. The example they have given is the Isle of Islay, a similar distance from the mainland as Scilly but whereas the Scillonian III costs £95 return journey, they pay £12 return. They pay £70 to fly to Glasgow and back, currently it is £175 to fly to Newquay and back to St Mary's.

As I said yesterday if it is good enough for Scotland it should be good enough for Cornwall and Scilly. The government needs to step in and subsidise the essential links between Penzance and Scilly. I hope that Cornwall Council does something good for us for once and lobbies government to make this happen and I hope they are joined by our coalition MPs. The link to the Scilly Today story is here. I wish Scillonians and Islanders alike the best of luck with this, I hope for the good of my town and the islands that Westminster sees sense.

Popular posts from this blog

The 3 actions Penzance Town Centre needs from Cornwall Council

My name is Rob Simmons and I'm a candidate for Penzance East in this Thursdays Cornwall Council election and these are my 3 priorities for our town centre:  1 Action on reducing Parking Fees  2 Action on unfair business rates 3 Action on empty shops and buildings.  I firmly believe that Cornwall Council ought to do more to support Penzance Town Centre and these 3 changes would be a massive leap forward.

1.Action on Parking Fees, Penzance has some of the highest parking fees in Cornwall, we all know that it puts people off coming to town and crucially shoppers from staying for longer periods. With out of town retail parks popping up everywhere and the lure and convenience of the internet our town centre needs help. Cornwall Council must do it's part in supporting the town centre. Penzance needs a Cornwall Councillor that will lobby to change this and find a solution that benefits us and stops CC seeing Penzance as a way of making money. We need to see a major overhaul of parking…

A breath of fresh air at Penzance Town Council

The election has certainly rung a great many changes at Penzance Town Council. There are now 12 brand new councillors (although Simon Reed has been on the council before). Between retirements and not getting re-elected not a single mayor that served between 2013-2017 is now on the council and only 1 that served as deputy mayor in that time are still on the council. A number of former mayors, deputy mayors and chairs and vice chairs of committees are also no longer with the council. Or to put it another way many of the active town councillors that formed the approach and policies of the town council in the past are no longer there pulling the strings.

When I was first elected back in 2013 there was a feeling that (long overdue) change had been brought to the council, that those new people elected had brought change. That was the feeling with 8 new councillors elected and 12 of the existing councillors being re-elected. This time around there are 12 new councillors and only 8 from befo…

Some of my work for Penzance or why I'd be an effective Cornwall Councilor

This blog intends to illustrate some of my work for Penzance and to show the kind of issues I have supported and argued against, over the last few years. In this time of great political turmoil and with Brexit looming large on the horizon, it is more important than ever to have representatives that will stand up for issues, knows how to campaign effectively and gets things done. There are 2 sections below; 1 being an effective councillor and 2 standing up for local issues, these are the reasons why I think I am a very credible Cornwall Council candidate and why with a greater platform I could be more effective in making things happen. This is only a glimpse of my work for Penzance East, please read some of  my older posts for more and as always any questions or comments find me on twitter @cernyw or drop me an email robscornishblog@gmail.com.

Being an effective councillor:

I was elected onto Penzance Town Council back in 2013, when I also stood for Cornwall Council for Penzance East. I…