Residents Unhappy With Council Call Public Meeting

The Town Hall

A public meeting called by residents who are unhappy with the Council is being held tomorrow.

The locals have arranged the public forum to air their concerns over governance. They want to share suggestions on what can be done to improve matters.

In a statement the un-named group say they’ll aim to increase transparency, accountability, honesty, integrity and decency within the community.

Dr Adrian Davis will chair tomorrow night’s discussions and he says the suspension of school headteacher Bryce Wilby has brought things to a head.

Adrian believes that the Council and governors have not acted in a ‘humane and decent’ way because they haven’t informed Bryce about the reason for his suspension.

A press statement referring to deep concern over the events at the school has been released by Adrian and Margaret Davis, Louise Graham, Patrick Brown and Lisa Magill.

Adrian says feelings of “angst and unhappiness” have also prompted some of that group and additional residents to email all Councillors.

ScillyToday has seen the letter, which asks the identity of the person who called the governors meeting, which led to the head teacher’s suspension.

They also want to know who set the agenda.

Adrian wants tomorrow’s discussion to find a “constructive and non-destructive” way forward and he said it wouldn’t degenerate into name-calling.

There’s no pre-determined outcome of the meeting. Adrian says the attendees will decide that.

The meeting will be at the Town Hall, at 7.30pm.

Council Chairman, Mike Hicks, is aware of the meeting and said he hopes that Councillors will boycott the session, although he admits that he is “not their guardian.”

He doesn’t expect Council officers to attend because of the “delicate situation” which he doesn’t want played out in the media.

Scilly’s MP, Andrew George says he is aware of the meeting but is unable to attend. He has confirmed that he has had correspondence from islanders over the head teacher’s suspension and other matters relating to how the Council operates.


12 Responses to Residents Unhappy With Council Call Public Meeting

  1. Todd Stevens June 7, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    20 years of a regime that has bred fear in a close knit community when they are paid lots of money to look after our well being!!. Its a most miserable failure on their part. Its time to move forward without them at the helm. Only then will you be able to breath a sigh of relief and say-”Finnally, its all over, we can live our lives as normal people do”

    We need restructuring to occur at the top level.

  2. HEART of Scilly June 7, 2012 at 7:41 am

    HEART will be holding its next community meeting at the TOWN HALL on MONDAY 11 JUNE. Everyone is welcome.

    Visit in the next few days for an update on the agenda for this meeting.

  3. Sarah June 4, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    When and where is the next meeting?

    • Diane June 4, 2012 at 6:04 pm

      Monday, 11 June was agreed as the next date for a meeting of HEART, but the venue is still being arranged, but I expect we’ll know more soon after the bank holidays. HEART have a website at where the venue will be announced as soon as everything is confirmed.

  4. Simon June 4, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Surely the “attitude” of the chief officers is irrelivant. It’s how they do the job, and how well they do the job they are paid for that matters.

    I know various people over here who are similar in attitude, but they don’t get critisised. Lets judge the officers on their performance, not their personality.

  5. Diane June 4, 2012 at 9:27 am

    I can only say that I do see ‘Chief Officers’ interacting with people in the streets, but I don’t earwig their conversations, so whether they know these people personally or not, I couldn’t say. My personal experience is that I’ve always received a hello when I’ve made an effort to say hello. I know ‘them’ more than they know me, after all. But if that’s your genuine experience, then that’s something that needs to be looked at. Eliminating the fear and mistrust felt in this community will take work from both ‘sides’, as was mentioned last Thursday night at the community meeting. Rightly or wrongly, people do feel alienated in this community at times, and hopefully opening up more positive dialogue will help tear some of those barriers down and hopefully people in the community will be left feeling less “cold”.

  6. Graham June 3, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    The attitude of Chief Officers is a huge issue of concern to me, they walk around the streets and refuse to interact with the public, seldom a nod or hello, just how do you even do that in a place so small?
    It’s not on, it’s just rude, perversely so. How can you spend so many years here on the islands, meet so many people, and yet be so aloof and cold to people they see everyday?

    I worry for your momentum and strategy. Peoples faces could have been blurred out easily enough. I think you’re missing out by not using visual imagery, it’s compelling and breeds confidence among those who were too afraid to come to the first meeting.

  7. Pat Hicks June 3, 2012 at 9:15 am

    We have not got children or grandchildren at the school but if the teachers have done a vote of no confidance in the head i would be worried. they are more aware whats going on than most. yes maybe the way the head was suspended was not done properly but let the investagation be done. we all know that little can be said while its going on.. i was led to believe the council had little to do with it. As for the changes that needs to be done in the council yes i aggree. the councilors need to have more say and be running these islands not the officers. the officers are there to advise …..

  8. Kayte June 2, 2012 at 11:20 am

    @ Graham
    Photographs and video were taken but several members of the audience objected and the decision was taken to delete almost everything. The exception was a photograph of Lisa Magill writing at the flipchart which she said she was happy to be retained. So no, there won’t be any photographs sent to our MP.
    I’m also concerned that your statement “a vast percentage of residents are on the brink of desperation” might be taken literally. I don’t think that is a truthful assessment of the situation – even 250 concerned members of the public here on Scilly does not make up ‘a vast percentage’ of the population although I would agree that it is a significant percentage.
    I was happy to see Gordon Bilsborough and Amanda Martin at the meeting despite the advice from the Chairman of the Council not to attend. It was good to know that some councillors are prepared to go against that advice in order to stay in in touch with public opinion.
    I would also like to thank Adrian Davis and his fellow organisers for allowing islanders to meet in a forum that enabled them to discuss their concerns and plan a constructive way forward.
    So yes, I did attend the meeting and I do know what happened. I agree with Todd that the meeting was well attended.

  9. Todd Stevens June 1, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    The meeting was well attended. Some councillors and some officers also attended against the advise of the chairman. If there are no resignations after what was expressed at the meeting then there is no integrity or decency left and its time to remove those responcible from office!

  10. Graham June 1, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    What a turnout!

    The Members cannot ignore that number of people, I hope it was photographed and sent to Andrew George MP. Whitehall ought to know that a vast percentage of residents are on the brink of desperation about the current set-up.

  11. Gordon Bilsborough June 1, 2012 at 10:54 am

    I was one of the two Council Members who attended that meeting because I was anxious to hear residents’ views on Council matters. There were several interesting contributions from the floor about how the Council should operate; such as more transparency and democracy. However, when I asked Lisa McGill (twice), who chaired the discussion, if I could comment briefly on some of the points raised, she refused to let me speak. I found this most disappointing after taking the trouble to come to the meeting. Democracy is about listening to other peoples’ views instead of being selective, or am I being naïve? To her credit, when pressed, Lisa did apologise to me after the meeting.