Councillor Stands Down After Ten Years

Merryn Smith

There’s a vacancy on the Council after St Mary’s Councillor, Merryn Smith, stood down at midnight on Sunday.

Merryn has served 10 years as a member.

He’s quit because his children are growing up and he says he wants one less thing to think about. Merryn is also a school governor and serves as a Special Police Officer.

But, if he didn’t have the family commitments, he would do it all again. He says the work ranges from paperwork, which can be dull, to decisions and policy making, which can be exciting and fulfilling.

Merryn is proud of his contribution to the community in particular, and he’s had a keen interest in education and housing issues.

He says he regrets not going onto the General Purposes committee, which looks after the Islands’ infrastructure including, roads, Bryher and St Mary’s water and sewage supplies and the airport.

He felt that could bring a conflict of interest because he works for British International Helicopters.

From Radio Scilly

Merryn talks to Keri Jones about his decision

Councillors are not supposed to reveal their opinions before they discuss an issue, which they’ll later vote on, something called predetermination.

Merryn says he’s now looking forward to being able to give his view on contentious issues in public.

Merryn says some Council decisions might look ‘barmy’ from the outside but you understand why the authority operates in the way it does when you get to see the processes and bureaucracy from the inside.

Merryn hopes islanders will stand for the seat he has vacated.

Merryn says you don’t have to try and get on the Council to make a difference. Islanders who publicly question town hall decisions or start petitions also have a large part to play.

Merryn says he hopes that a few islanders will come forward to stand for election. He says this would be a good time for someone to become a Councillor, as they’ll only serve for a year before full Council elections next May. That means if they don’t like the job, they can stand down easily.

Recently Rich Kendrick, who resigned from the Council’s Children’s committee over the authority’s handling of the Porthcressa regeneration and the new school path, said he would consider standing for election.

But yesterday Rich said he had reconsidered. He said he didn’t think there was much point because one new Councillor wouldn’t make enough of a difference.


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