Floating bridges issues will be fixed, cabinet member said

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I read with interest Richard Hollis’ missives on the Floating Bridge (online, 09-28-21).

Richard Hollis, a former Conservative adviser is, once again, attempting to rewrite history with a misleading narrative surrounding the Tories handling the floating bridge debacle.

His administration put the ship into service without proper trials and tests, they spent millions of pounds trying to fix the flaws, they tried to convince the residents of this island that the ship was fit for purpose, and then they procrastinated on the legal process. and on dealing with the problem head-on.

In November 2020, the SLEP – which funded the purchase of the new vessel – requested an independent technical report on the problems with the failing FB6.

This request was ignored by the previous administration and left unanswered.

In March 2021, the former head of the Conservative administration repeatedly claimed that legal proceedings were underway between the town hall and the ship’s builder / designer. In fact, no mediation process had ever started.

Former councilor Hollis claims there should have been a project committee. But that’s exactly what was in place throughout the life of the project with all parties including experts and SLEP as board members. As a review chairman, he would have known this fact.

And once again, two independent reports have fully relieved the then independent administration of responsibility for the purchase of the current Fb 6.

Instead, the Alliance administration immediately and decisively demanded that the mediation process be initiated by the end of November 2021. This is currently being worked out.

In addition, the Alliance has started the commissioning of an independent technical report on the vessel which will be completed no later than the end of 2021 and complies with the SLEP requirement and requests that the previous administration has not made.

The Alliance also imposed a moratorium on major capital spending on FB6 other than immediate and minor outages to maintain service.

In March 2022, there is a statutory five-year MCA inspection of the vessel. There is no choice in this four to six week decommissioning and the costs of this inspection of around £ 250,000.

Contrary to the way the Tories have treated FB6, their misinformation and their weak and unsuccessful attempts to find a solution, the Alliance will, within the first six months of its mandate, resolve the mediation process, will have mandated an independent technical commission. report and will have settled all issues directly with SLEP before taking very clear and decisive action to finally put an end to the last four years of incompetence.

Considering all the actions that the Alliance is taking, a pragmatic, clear and decisive action plan will be implemented and if this indicates a new ship, the Alliance will not hesitate to make this decision and move on from there. incompetence to lasting completion.

LATEST NEWS: Floating bridge between Cowes and East Cowes until November

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