The senior management group took to Facebook in response to Travel Trident's post in which it pledged to continue running a boat service to Herm while holding ticket prices next year.
'It is very sad and disappointing to read the negative speculation and comment on Travel Trident’s Facebook page in recent days, especially with us all being in such a fortunate position [regarding Covid],' they wrote.
Herm staff wondered whether Trident’s management and some of their Facebook followers had considered the effect of negative comments upon the future of Herm Island.
'None of us are perfect, nor beyond criticism, but we do need to try to stick to known facts rather than speculate,' they said.
'The morale of the Herm community has been hugely set back by this negativity.'
Herm set out some relevant information to counter the comments on Travel Trident’s recent Facebook post, including some of its history, the work ethic on the island and the contract between Herm and Travel Trident.
'The contract rolled annually until Covid prevented the contract and sailings continuing in March this year,' Herm staff explained.
'As soon as Covid restrictions eased in June, Herm’s team established for Trident, at Herm’s cost, online booking facilities to enable their sailings to re-commence.
'Once restrictions eased further, use of the Trident kiosk for ticket sales was restored by Trident.
Proposals from Trident for charges for use of the ferries by Herm’s staff were agreed by Herm, whilst negotiations of a contract between the parties were sought by Herm.
'In September Herm provided information to Trident showing their charges represented a 63% increase on the previous contract prices and that £16,791 had been overpaid to Trident by Herm on the past years’ contractual terms.
'No response to either of these points has been received.'
Herm said it has invited Trident to meet and discuss terms on numerous occasions, re-iterating that a new contract would remain open to negotiation until both parties are satisfied with the conclusion.
However, to date, all requests by Herm to meet to discuss contractual arrangements have been rebuffed by Trident. An offer of mediation by the States has been similarly rebuffed.
It has never been Herm’s intention or desire to replace Trident’s service.
Herm Island is replacing the island’s own boat, ‘Little Herm’, as it is ageing and was designed as the previous Herm leaseholder’s motor yacht, rather than a passenger carrying vessel.
The new boat, at only 14 metres, is only slightly longer than the current vessel and will not be ready until June 2021 at the earliest.
This new ‘Little Herm’ boat will have passenger seating and its primary uses will be to provide transport for staff, a flexible service for accommodation guests, an evening service during the summer for small groups of diners, and particularly winter coverage when visitor numbers are low and unprofitable for Trident’s large 23 metre, 250-seat vessels.
Herm said it would complement Trident's sailings, and not in any way replace it.
Travel Trident’s recent Facebook post that it is ‘here to stay’ and committed to continuing service had been welcomed by Herm staff.
They said it is what they had been waiting for.
'Herm has clearly and repeatedly stated that continuation of a service from Trident is, and always will be, Herm’s preferred option,' they said.
'Herm recognises and greatly values that Trident’s word is their bond and greatly value their statement that services will continue.'