Chairman Keen To Discuss Council Restructure

Council Chair, Mike Hicks

The Chairman of our islands’ Council wants to hear whether islanders would like the Council restructured.

Mike Hicks favours reducing the number of elected Councillors from 21 to about 8 for St Mary’s and one for each off–Island.

He’s also backing the idea of paying a core of elected members to work full-time, with each having a specialist area such as education, social services or transport.

Some local authorities already follow this so-called cabinet approach and supporters of the idea claim that it allows talented people, who otherwise couldn’t afford to give up work, to stand for election.

Mike says the Council discussed something similar over a decade ago and rejected it, but he says the world has changed and he feels Scilly is lagging behind other authorities.

It could also mean Councillors work hard to reflect the community needs because, if it was a full-time occupation, they’d be keen to get re-elected.

He says it could bring in younger Councillors and allow people to leave Council jobs to stand for election. Currently staff that work for the Town Hall cannot serve as members.

Mike says he knows from personal experience how difficult it can be to serve as a Councillor while holding down a separate full time job.