Councillors squabble over floating bridge surcharge

The suggestion from East Cowes Councillor Karl Love that Floating Bridge users be subjected to a 50p surcharge to fund travel to the mainland for patients attending NHS appointments has been rejected by Isle of Wight Council Leader, Cllr Dave Stewart.

The proposal was made by Cllr Love at a meeting of Town and Parish Councillors on Monday (December 10).

Cllr Stewart stated that he didn’t feel that it would be right to impose the burden upon the residents of East Cowes.

The Isle of Wight Council contributes £60,000 each year to the NHS to help with the travel costs of some cancer and dialysis patients. But Cllr Stewart argued that funding should really come from NHS budgets not from the council.

After the meeting, Cllr Love claimed he had only meant the suggestion be used as a “last resort” and that he had “never tabled any such proposal at that meeting.”
Cllr Love also stated he would be willing to take a two per cent pay cut to help towards the cost of the scheme, and that he “would encourage other councillors to do the same.”

A Conservative councillor, Chris Whitehouse, said in response: “I do not claim expenses from the council, and I annually donate my full allowance to charity.
“Cllr Love is all talk and no action,” he added.