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Scilly's MP meets Minister over transport concerns

The Isles of Scilly's MP has met with Communities Secretary Sajid Javid to discuss 'growing concern over the apparent monopoly of transport links between Penzance and Scilly'.

Derek Thomas told This is Scilly News said that he is keen to ensure that the current transport situation on the islands will not have a negative effect on future investment.

He said: "I have asked Sajid to look at what can be done, if anything, to address or help to address the current tension caused by just one operator for the Scilly link. I am concerned that if this perception of a monopoly (or if the situation has arisen where the operator is dominant) and frustration is allowed to fester it will hinder our efforts to attract further investment private and public.

"Sajid has asked me to write to him to set out my concerns. We are just about to resubmit a coastal community fund application to improve the infrastructure in and around Penzance Harbour. I am keen that nothing is allowed to hinder this, that we can convince the Government that we have a good fair scheme that benefits everyone and can be delivered in time and within budget."

Derek was among the Conservative MPs who voted against Labour's amendment to the Queen's Speech to end to the public sector pay cap.

He said of Wednesday's vote: "I understand why people are unhappy with the vote against lifting the cap on public pay rises. I agree wholeheartedly that it is time to lift the 1% cap on public sector pay. Over a number of years now public sector pay increases have fallen below the rising cost of living. This undermines morale, impacts recruitment and retention and puts considerable pressure on household finances.

"The business in the Commons this week is to accept the Queen's Speech. The matter of public sector pay, whilst important, is not a matter for the Queen's Speech. Now that the Queen's Speech has passed in the Commons we have the opportunity to deliver the change the nation needs and continue to build the economy (the only way to properly fund public services and pay)."

He added: "Given that the Government has set up the pay review body to look into public sector pay the responsible thing to do is to wait until this body brings forward its recommendation. This is why I voted against the amendment.

"I expect the Government to lift the 1% pay freeze as soon as possible. This will be what I will be pressing for at the opportune time. The amendment to the Queen's Speech was more about an attempt to bring down the Government rather than a defence of public sector employees."

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