Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Farming, Food and Marine Environment George Eustice MP visited St Mary’s yesterday to explore three key areas of sustainability and development essential to the future prosperity of the islands.
The Minister discussed how the Isles of Scilly Inshore Fisheries Coastal Agency can fulfil Defra requirements through a guaranteed level of sustainable funding and ensure continued management of the Marine Conservation Zone. He was then taken for a trip around the Marine Conservation Zone in a glass bottomed boat.
It is crucially important that the Islands retain the freedom of flexibility to manage its own Local Action Group and evidence of past successes were presented to the Minister.
Mr Eustice was also informed of the importance of forthcoming water legislation that will see the Council of the Isles of Scilly brought in line with all water companies ensuring both the Environment Agency and Drinking Water Inspectorate have enforcement powers in relation to water on the islands. The application of the legislation and regulations will inevitably result in additional burdens and responsibilities to the Council and capital investment may be required to improve the infrastructure to meet the standards. The Minister noted the issues and discussions with ERDF will be held.
Chairman of IFCA, Councillor Andrew Guy said it was a very productive and forward looking meeting and that he looked forward to welcoming Mr Eustice back to the islands at a later date.