Councillors Question Chief Executive’s Role On Quangos

Councillors have questioned the amount of feedback they get from officers attending meetings and quangos on the mainland.

During a report at last Thursday’s Planning Meeting on the formation of the new Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Nature Partnership, Vice Chair Amanda Martin asked why the Council’s Chief Executive, Philip Hygate, was chairing the so-called LNB Initiation Board.

She wanted to know why it wasn’t a member representing Scilly.

Head of Planning And Development, Craig Dryden, said this was because Philip sits on the board of the Local Enterprise Partnership and there ‘s expected to be a close alignment between that organisation and the LNP.

Councillor Dudley Mumford said it would be useful to have a report on these meetings from the Chief Executive, in particular what their future plans are and Amanda suggested Philip should give a presentation to members about the work of the LNP and LEP.

She said it would be helpful to members and Councillor Richard McCarthy agreed, saying it was difficult to work out what these organisations actually do.

Earlier in the meeting, Council Chairman, Mike Hicks, said he was “disappointed” that there wasn’t more Member involvement with the Isles of Scilly AONB.

He said there needed to be a review of these structures, especially with the LNB coming up and the Chief Executive’s involvement in that.

He felt Members should be more involved in the AONB and felt that organisation would also benefit from that.

Councillors heard there are plans to elect a second Member representative to the AONB board at the next Full Council in September and Amanda urged members to stand as representatives and report back to the Council on what was happening.

She said she’d also read that the AONB officer, Trevor Kirk, and the Chief Executive were attending a national conference in York and she wanted Philip Hygate to supply a report on that. She said it would be interesting for members to know what the officers where gaining from that meeting.

Richard said the two officers had visited the North Pennine AONB last year and there was a suggestion that more grant money could result from that, and he wondered whether that had actually transpired. Craig replied that this is something they’re still looking into.

The Isles of Scilly AONB have traditionally not allowed press or members of the public to attend their committee meetings, even though many mainland AONBs do. But Richard said he believed this was about to change and he felt it would increase the feedback to the wider community.