The Isle of Wight council have denied space to Alliance representatives at the forthcoming roads Private Finance Initiative (PFI) public meetings.
Alliance co-chairs Tanja Rebel and Geoff Mason last week contacted Councillor Edward Giles to request just 15 minutes within the three 90 minute meetings in which to put the alternative arguments against the proposed multi-million pound roads PFI scheme.
In his polite, yet short, response Councillor Giles told Geoff Mason, “The decision to proceed with the PFI was made long ago so it is not a question of now discussing the pros and cons of whether we should go ahead.”
Councillor Giles did state that Alliance members were welcome “to listen to the presentation and to ask questions at the end of the presentation.”
Having received this response, Geoff Mason expressed a certain level of disappointment, “from the councillor?s response it seems clear that the council have, once again, made up Islanders? minds for them. This is clearly a done deal in the eyes of the ruling group. It is a shame that the three public meetings will be merely presentations of what will happen and any valid points made against the „proposed? scheme, by the audience, will simply be ignored or brushed under the carpet.
“The Alliance believes that the council, in denying us a short space within the meetings, has given up the chance for a healthy debate and the opportunity to show the public that they have watertight and sustainable arguments in favour of the scheme.”
The Alliance will be attending the meetings and plan to ask a number of very searching questions.