Philip Hygate To Take Early Retirement

The Council of the Isles of Scilly has announced that chief executive, Philip Hygate, is to take early retirement, with effect from 10 January 2013.

Mr Hygate has been chief executive since January 1992, a period of 21 years, making him one of the longest-serving Local Authority chief executives in the country.

A Council spokesperson said that during Mr Hygate’s tenure as chief executive, the Council went through a period of significant modernization and investment, particularly in respect of education, economic development and infrastructure.

Chairman, Mike Hicks, thanked Mr Hygate for his long service to the Council and community and wished him well in the future.

Mr Hygate said: “It has been a privilege to be part of such a special place and to have contributed to securing its well-being and potential. I wish Scilly the best for the future.”

Mr Hygate had been suspended from his role since October 30th.


21 Responses to Philip Hygate To Take Early Retirement

  1. Fran Grottick January 19, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Hi Peter,
    Sadly, the money is probably a ring -fenced grant or
    loan, and I would imagine can only be spent on the buildings.
    I think(and hope)that the runway will be repaired soon.
    Agree that we all need to provide first class accommodation with a first class welcome.
    Come back soon!

  2. Peter January 17, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    Fran: thank you! That’s a kind offer. Todd: I’m guessing that the big issue to which you refer as sorted is the leaving of the Chief Exec. Fran: don’t put the coffee pot on yet as I suspect we will not be coming over to Scilly this year. In 2011 we managed to visit twice. Once in 2012. I’m sure we will return, but the state of the islands’ politics and infrastructure leaves me apprehensive. If we book a flight will there be a runway to land on, as it is crumbling and needing urgent repairs? In the longer term, I remain worried, but I’ve posted in detail about this before. In a nutshell, you need a longer runway to attract visitors from further afield. It seems to me that there is nothing wrong with the terminal building and the £4M could have been redirected to providing for larger planes, but hey ho. And you need 21st century tourist accommodation as the norm, not as a bonus. How many more visitors think like me?

    • Nobby Nobbs January 20, 2013 at 10:41 am

      Most of them I should think!

    • Adam Morton,St.Martins January 20, 2013 at 7:04 pm

      Hi Peter or any one else thinking of visiting. Please do not worry about the state of the runways. Airports opperate under very strict safety codes . If the runway was not safe it would not be used. Provided you can afford to come here , none of these issues affect you in the slightest,(thankyou for your concern none the less). As far as the visitor is concerned it is business as usual (nothing to worry about). Nearly all the issues you read about here are local politics & economics which will all dissapear once enough of you visit.

  3. Fran Grottick January 16, 2013 at 8:43 am

    Dear Peter,
    Thank you for your interest, and concern.
    There are many challenges ahead.
    You’d be welcome for a coffee on your next trip.

  4. Todd Stevens January 15, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    Our councillors have pretty much sorted out the big issue now Peter. Just some damage to repair now. For many, the place feels so much better already.

  5. Peter January 15, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    Dear Fran
    Likewise, don’t get the wrong impression of what I’m saying. I KNOW you are a friendly and talented bunch (clearly multi-tasking is the norm) and there are, as you say, so many wonderful aspects to life on the islands. My wife and I enjoy visiting immensely. My point was that, in contrast to all these marvellous aspects, I’ve been shocked to discover that all is not as rosy as might appear to the outsider, and I worry that poor administration may damage or even destroy the island community that we hold dear.

  6. Fran Grottick January 14, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    Dear Peter,
    Please don’t get the wrong impression.
    There have been very serious issues to address, but we are getting there.
    You are right, we will need outside expertise to help in an analysis of how to move forward, but there are still many encouraging aspects to life on the Isles.
    We are not all at war, we are united in a wish to take the Islands forward in a positive manner, even if there are differing views as to how this might best be achieved.
    On the whole we are a friendly and fairly talented bunch, and well worth a visit!!

  7. Peter January 14, 2013 at 11:53 am

    As a mainlander and regular visitor, but therefore able to take an outsider’s view, I’ve been shocked over the last few months to discover via this site both what a mess the islands are in politically and also how much fighting there is. Then I read how much the Director of Finance was being paid (was it £70.000 plus expenses?). Fair enough for such an important job, but then I began to add it all up… I guess many other top council jobs are paying big money, plus you’ve got your departments of this and departments of that. All for a population of around 2,000! Crazy. Either you are getting some big subsidies from central government or your council taxes are massive or money is being denied for certain services to cover these salaries and bureaucratic structures. Also, no disrespect to the islanders, but… I live in a village on the mainland with a population about the same as Scilly’s and I very much doubt that, were we to run our own health service, schools, highways, etc etc, we would have enough talented and suitably experienced people within the village population to do so effectively. We would need to give almost all the top jobs to outsiders in order to have the right calibre. The answer has to be to end your (semi-?) unitary status and have the islands managed by Cornwall County Council (sorry!), albeit with a Chief Officer for Scilly. This would have the advantage of uniting the warring islanders against a common enemy – Cornwall Council.

  8. Todd Stevens January 13, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Scapegoat? Errrr-the mistakes were all his Glynn!

  9. Kev Wright January 12, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    As CEO, Glynne, surely the buck stops with him? So if the council’s inadequacies don’t stem from Philip Hygate, it’s still his responsibility at the end of the day to ensure that things work as they should. He was the top dog, the man who oversaw the rest. The buck stopped with him. Simple. If others below him are to blame then it was his responsibility to change who was running these positions or investigate why they were being so badly dealt with.

    The fact that you’ve admitted there were inadequacies points to someone at the top not doing his job properly.

  10. G Lucas January 12, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    It will be interesting to see what changes are made, or if Phillip Hygate is being made a scapegoat. I don’t know all the facts and I’ve got an open mind about the whole thing, but it seems strange to me that one man can go unchecked for that length of time with all the blame for the Council’s inadequacies being placed on one man’s head.

  11. Carmen Stevens January 12, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Other ideas….given the financial pressures of our Authority – We could share Cornwall’s CEO but MUST have a locally based top manager with significant executive powers within whatever structure is created. Or how about trying what other Authorities have done and have a shared CEO role between 3 of our Chief Officers. Just thoughts…….and NO the CEO must not be the Monitorin Officer

  12. Susan Sto January 11, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    It’s difficult to sack someone with no good grounds. I’m glad that this has reached a resolution and Phillip can leave the islands with his dignity and the knowledge that he has been succesful in post for over twenty years. He has overseen the Runway development, huge investment in Adult education, steady and sensible increase in the housing stock, overseen the building of a multimillion pound school, unbelievable sports development at Carn Gwaval, the modernisation of local government. He has also been in post during the Islands Boom period of tourism and cared for the youth of the islands as Secretery for education.

    • MikeB January 11, 2013 at 11:54 pm

      “He has overseen the Runway development”
      So this will be the airport almost being bankrupt and the runway close to being closed because it failed a grip test

      “overseen the building of a multimillion pound school”
      which is sinking and with a playing field that still can’t be used”

      “unbelievable sports development at Carn Gwaval”
      which can’t make enough money to cover it’s own costs

      “the modernisation of local government”
      That’s hilarious – the Council of the Isles of Scilly is 20 years behind any other unitary authority

      “He has also been in post during the Islands Boom period of tourism and cared for the youth of the islands as Secretery for education.”
      How many head teachers has the school had?

      Get real Susan!

      • Mike Brown January 16, 2013 at 12:55 pm

        BTW MikeB is not me.

        You forgot to add in that he chaired the Route Partnership which cost us millions and failed dismally after 7 or 8 years

    • Todd Stevens January 12, 2013 at 9:27 am

      It is the long term affects that judge a person in a job like this- I have lived under his style of governance for nearly 15 years-and all I can see is that everything that is important to us failing. His legacy is only just beginning to hit home. I can not see a single thing to thank him for -his Public relations least of all. I’m so glad he’s finally gone.

      The next person to run these islands needs to know the difference between fear and respect.

  13. Carmen Stevens January 11, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    Nice to see the boot on the boot on the other foot. Now we should look to the future and ensure the next head of Council has a short contract, renewable but based on annual performance and capability in ALL areas. This needs to be monitored by an independent person recommended by the Local Government Assocation

  14. Todd Stevens January 11, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    Oh so thats the- ‘official line’ is it? Time for a pint and ask Keri to put on a record- howabout -Things can only get better?

  15. Nearly Nobby Nobbs January 11, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    Does this mean he will be vacating the accommodation that was given to him as part of his job? What will happen to the investigation will it still go ahead?

  16. Nobby Nobbs January 11, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Personally I’d have sacked him.