Islands’ Man Wants End To Ring Fenced Council Seats

Council Chambers at the Old Wesleyan Chapel

A St Mary’s man wants to end the system of having Councillor seats ring fenced for each island.

Barneslie Ward argues that the islands are not five separate units but should be one place with a common identity and says a community gets the Council it deserves, except in Scilly.

He wants all candidates to go before the entire electorate.

In the last election, the two people standing on each off-island were unopposed, meaning that they were automatically elected to serve.

The situation was different on St Mary’s, where there were more candidates than seats and there was a competitive election.

Barnselie has hit out at the Vice Chair of Council, Marian Bennett, for using her casting vote to break a deadlock in the Policy and Resources Committee that deals with Town Hall finances.

Councillor Bennett’s vote meant that a request to add £2100 to the budget of the Standards Committee, that investigates allegations of breaking rules and protocol, was approved.

Marian rejects Barnselie’s claim that she shouldn’t have used that power, as she has not been elected.

But the Bryher-based Councillor says she was.

She feels that off-island representation is important as there are special issues like inter-island transport and refuse collection, which need to be addressed by a local member.

However, Marian says all members should work for the islands as a whole and she feels that she does that.



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