An Isle of Wight Councillor has labelled a consultation into the Cowes Floating Bridge as a ‘catastrophic failure’.

Last year, the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) ran a consultation, to determine whether Floating Bridge 6 was performing as it should. A summary report, published on Wednesday, revealed just 14 responses were received from the Isle of Wight.

The report concluded:

“The responses to the consultation will be used by the Solent LEP to inform the ongoing monitoring of the Floating Bridge 6 project.”

However, it has been criticised by campaigners for grouping responses together under single, umbrella organisations.

Karl Love.

East Cowes Cllr Karl Love raised concerns about the level of engagement shown by the Isle of Wight.

He said:

“The consultation is a spectacular catastrophic failure and I wonder how much it has cost taxpayers to produce this report.

“Such a response cannot represent any kind of perspective on which policy or future actions are based. Ironically on the summery page it states ‘together stronger’. The report is far from representing being together in any sense of the word and there is no strength or power that comes from an Island response which is barely registered on any scale of an Island representation.

“It’s not even representative of a damp Solent squid!”

The report said one response was received from a stakeholder group, two responses from public authorities and 11 responses from individuals.

Of the responses, 13 raised concerns about the bridge while one was supportive of the project.

Cameron Palin, speaking on behalf of the stakeholder group, said members’ submissions should have been counted separately, and not as a single response.

He said:

“We submitted several hundred pages demonstrating that the floating bridge has hurt the economy and that the Council appears to have provided deceptive information to the LEP in their business case.

“The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership funded a new floating bridge to help local businesses and the economy — what are the LEP’s answers and their solutions that will provide a floating bridge as good the last one, in order to prevent even more damage to local economy and businesses?”

By Megan Baynes, Local Democracy Reporter