Council Faces Questions About Cost Of Strike Action

A St Mary’s Councillor wants to know how much of the estimated £500 million cost of today’s industrial action Scilly will have to bear.

David Pearson posed the question in yesterday’s Policy and Resources committee, which looks after Council finances.

Chief Executive Philip Hygate said nobody could know and even if there were an economist in a meeting they “could only have a stab at it.”

He said it is impossible to predict what could affect the islands from the outside.

Philip believes the partial school closure will impact on parents.

Safeguarding of the elderly, vulnerable and young people would continue to operate.

The steamship company is not expecting any disruption to their services. Marketing Assistant Jacob Little says there shouldn’t be any delay to services from the mainland.

The Executive Medical Director of the South-Western Ambulance Service Trust wants islanders to “choose well”, and consider whether a potential 999 call is better suited to the health centre or the NHS direct call centre.

Local ambulance boss, Tony Smith, says as a Unison member he is technically on strike but has been given an exception under “life and limb” regulations which means he can still respond to an emergency.

Council Chairman Mike Hicks is appealing to anyone considering action not to walk out today and disrupt local services.

Mike says he thinks the strike is premature and blames the Government for not being prepared to negotiate further, adding that the islands have been lucky over the years during strike actions and the staff are very loyal here.