IW Council: Conservatives meet Wightlink to discuss ferry users group

A group of Conservative Councillors have met with WightLink Chief Executive, Russell Kew, to discuss ways in which the company and the Conservative Group can work constructively together for the good of the Island.

Speaking after the meeting, Conservative Group Leader, Cllr Dave Stewart (Chale, Niton & Whitwell) said: “We were grateful to Mr Kew for meeting with us. We had a free, frank, wide-ranging and constructive discussion about how we can ensure that WightLink better understands its customers and how we can work to boost the Island economy for the good of Island residents and cross-Solent service providers alike.

“The meeting was not simply a general discussion, we were very outcome focused and have already identified a number of areas where we may be able to progress ideas for improvements.”

Cllr Wayne Whittle (Ryde, North East) who leads for the Conservatives on Tourism and Business, added:  “We left the meeting with a clear plan to take forward the nurturing of a wider spread of ferry user groups, even better engagement with the business community of the Island, and a need to analyse and address any blockages to tourism and business growth that can be reduced by the Council, its processes and its policies. We will be meeting again with Mr Kew to discuss progress later in the year.”

Speaking for Wightlink, Russell Kew, commented: “I welcomed the positive and constructive meeting with Councillors Stewart, Whittle, Ward and Whitehouse. Wightlink is committed to working in partnership with Islanders and so developing such positive links with this group of elected representatives is a very healthy sign for the future. I was particularly pleased that they have agreed to help us establish a Ferry Users Group for the Eastern routes, to complement the excellent work being done by the groups we work with in West Wight.”

The meeting held on Monday 23rd September in County Hall was also attended by the Chairman of the Council, Cllr Ian Ward (Conservative, Sandown South) and by Cllr Chris Whitehouse (Conservative, Newport West) who is the Conservative Group Secretary and Education Spokesman who added: “The cross-Solent transport links are the lifeblood of the Island and it is right that we should be finding ways to work together with those who provide them.”