Andrew George Will Support Islands’ Election Changes

Scilly's MP, Andrew George

Scilly’s MP says he’ll support islanders if they want legal changes made that will allow some Council staff and teachers to stand for election to the Council.

St Mary’s resident Sarah Moore asked Andrew George whether there could be special dispensation for islanders currently unable to stand, during the Heart Of Scilly Question Time session on Thursday.

Critics of the current system claim that, with so many islanders employed by the Town Hall or school, many able residents, particularly those of working age, are unable to become Councillors.

The issue hit the headlines in 2010 when Mundesley House parent Julian Pearson, who is employed by the school, was advised that his standing may not be legal and he subsequently produced a leaflet asking people not to pick his name at the polls.

Andrew George says if the change can be introduced, councillors would still need to declare interests and some senior Council Officers may be ineligible.

But the MP says this is something that may be possible under the Scilly clause, due to the unique nature of the population here, and he’d be prepared to take things further if islanders wanted him to.