Monday 4 June 2018

FRIST calls for IOSSG Chairman Andrew May to resign

Test of letter sent by by FRIST:


To: Board of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group Limited

16th May 2018

Dear Sirs,

I write on behalf of FRIST whose membership includes shareholders, islanders, customers and other stakeholders, to express extreme concern at the failure of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group Limited (“the Company”) to properly put in place a long term plan to invest in, and secure, suitable passenger and freight ships to service the Isles of Scilly for the next generation of islanders, visitors and stakeholders.Instead it appears that a disproportionate amount of management time and shareholder funds have been directed towards the air wing of the company and, in attempting to retain the Company’s monopoly on transport to the islands, exacerbated further by the recent extraordinary announcement of the launch of a helicopter service from Land’s End, a location where the Company’s fixed wing aircraft already suffer from a lack of reliability due to poor weather.

Under the Chairmanship of Andrew May:
- the Company purchased the Mali Rose in May 2016; despite substantial investment, it is still not in service and it appears possible that it may never be suitable for the islands.
- the islanders have still not been given a clear long-term plan for the financing and ordering of a new passenger ship or ships.
- the Company claims that the helicopter service from Land’s End will be launched in response to islanders’ request for a helicopter service, but:
- the Company fails to point out that during its “listening” events held with islanders in 2017, representatives of the Company refused to discuss helicopter services, and that
- the petition for the reintroduction of a helicopter service, which has been signed by more than 11,000 people stated the following:

To: Isles of Scilly Steamship Group


We, the residents, visitors and friends of the Isles of Scilly, object to the actions of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group in seeking to deny us a helicopter service from Penzance. 

Penzance is the only logical site as it suffers less from low cloud and fog than Land's End, is close to transport links and has existing tourist facilities.

We demand that the Directors of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group put islanders first and cease their attempts to prevent a new helicopter service from Penzance.

Why is this important? We need a stronger transport system that provides resilience, reliability and choice.

We question whether the decision to launch a helicopter service from Land’s End is actually a vanity project intended more to retain the Company’s monopoly by attempting to frustrate the launch of a competing service from Penzance. We are concerned that the decision to launch this service may be a commercially high risk strategy that will further weaken the Company’s ability to meet its responsibilities for investing in new ship(s) for its core service.

We strongly support the long term future of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company as a provider of transport to the islands but also passionately believe that the growth of the islands’ economies has a far greater chance of success through the introduction of healthy competition to ensure that islanders and visitors alike can benefit from choice and higher standards of service.

The frequent and recent changes of chief executive have not resulted in any significant or radical improvements so we must conclude that the necessary changes cannot be achieved under the current control of Andrew May as Chairman.

FRIST believes that islanders should be able to look forward to working with an active Board which is truly engaged and committed to implementing the long-term transport needs of the islands.

Yours sincerely

Marian Berkeley
FRIST Co-ordinator
07770 341 302

FRIST is the campaign group formed in 2011 with a membership of over 2,000 committed to achieving affordable reliable all-year transport services between the mainland and the Isles of Scilly.

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