The new council administration has been following the debate in the pages of the County Press about our cross-Solent services, however we think the issues and what people want from the ferries is clear.

In his earlier letter, MP Bob Seely talked about the importance of support for the ferries during the pandemic.

The fact that he had to point out that, as the providers are purely commercial organisations, without assistance there could have been great damage to the Island, perhaps in itself indicates that there is a problem, but also hints at the solution.

The key is the need for cross-Solent services to operate under a Public Service Obligation.

Indeed the presence of such an obligation could well help guide appropriate ownership.

The new Alliance-led council is committed to pursuing the creation and imposition of such an obligation.

However, I have to take issue with the MP’s assertion that it is the council can make this happen.

If that were the case we would have done it on the day we took control of the council.

That said, while the last administration may have been reluctant to act, there is no such reluctance on our part.

We want to make it happen, but the power rests with the government.

Unfortunately, if one looks back, one can see that attempts to pursue such an obligation by councils prior to the last Conservative administration were rebuffed by Westminster.

In a nutshell, we welcome discussion, but, more importantly, we want to see positive meaningful action and that requires a change of attitude in Westminster.