Cross Solent Operators Partnership Board meetings censored reveals FOI

A Freedom of Information request of minutes from Cross Solent Operators Partnership Board (CSO) meetings has been censored.

The CSO minutes from meetings held in January, February, March, April, May 2018 and  November 2017 have been “redacted” in part.

None of the information relating to those present at the meetings has been made available as the meeting are “not a public forum” and information could be “commercially sensitive”.

The most recent document from May states: “[Blank] explained the regeneration proposals and the review of the Island plan was an opportunity to think about more interesting proposals and gateways are critical points of the Island. Ryde Esplanade is horrible and not a good experience and it was important to be aspirational.”

Other information relating to Solent Go cards, the BID scheme and an electric car infrastructure scheme for Southampton, Portsmouth and Hampshire is also mentioned. However, a whole paragraph has been redacted amongst these discussions. It is unclear what the censored paragraph talks about.

Travel issues are discussed regularly in the minutes, with ideas for departure screens and more information relayed to ferry passengers regarding train services.

Healthcare travel, costs, and limitations appear to have been discussed at length in the meetings.

The minutes state: “Often the ferry service was not the most difficult part of the journey. Often it was the other parts for example getting from Town Quay to Southampton General Hospital or getting from the Hovercraft Terminal to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth.”

Railway planning and future development of land owned by Network Rail also came up in the minutes but information surrounding it was heavily censored.


Other items discussed at the meetings include, a collaboration between SWR and Steam Railways, lack of Island Line ticket inspections and the Floating Bridge.

A spokesman for Isle of Wight Council’s Corporate Information Unit said: “The Cross Solent Operators Board is not a public meeting or forum. The redaction of people’s names is usual in these circumstances. Also some information offered to the group, by those present might be deemed to be commercially sensitive. In order to remove any redaction on names, each member of the group would have to be contacted and their permission sought.”