Rob Goldsmith’s resignation was announced at the Company's AGM today (13 Sep). Mark Howarth, one of the Non Executive Director and Chairman Andrew May are jointly going to take executive roles for the next six months with Mark Howarth as Managing Director.
The announcement comes at a fraught time for the IOSSCO. The Company has been reviled for its pursuit of Judicial Review of the handling of the Penzance Heliport planning application by Cornwall Council. The legal challenge was interpreted by many as a naked attempt to protect the Company’s effective monopoly on transport between the mainland and the Isles of Scilly at the expense of Islanders’ interests. The Company has also struggled with its plan to replace the Gry Maritha freight vessel with the much larger Mali Rose. The new vessel took longer and cost much more to fit out than originally expected resulting in Gry Maritha having to continue in service beyond its planned date. The delays have reportedly imperilled the planned sale of the Gry.
The IOSSG’s ‘no holds barred’ opposition to the proposed new helicopter service has deeply alienated islanders, visitors and many in Penzance. With a Penzance Heliport and new helicopter service on the cards in the future (irrespective of the outcome of the current Judicial Review case) one had to question the commercial logic of wrecking the Company’s reputation with its customer base just to delay the start of the new service by 12 months. Many shareholders will have found the Company's very public, beligerant stance against the re-introduction of the helicopter service very difficult to take. We have to wait and see if the ISSCO now abandons its Judical Review claim.