Council Committee Resignation Appears ‘Premature’

Councillor Richard McCarthy

Councillor Richard McCarthy

An Isles of Scilly councillor has again highlighted the problems of finding enough elected members to sit on committees.

At last Thursday’s Full Council meeting, an agenda item was tabled which sought to replace Cllr Richard McCarthy on the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee, or HOSC, following his ‘resignation’ from that body.

Rules state that members can’t sit on HOSC if they also sit on a committee that procures services from the NHS or a similar provider.

Richard is chair of Community Services and was recently appointed as the Council’s representative on the board of the new Royal Cornwall Hospitals Foundation Trust.

But Cllr McCarthy said reports of his resignation were “slightly premature.” He won’t start sitting on the new board until June and felt he could carry on until then, which was agreed by the administration officer, Sue Pritchard.

But Richard felt this highlighted a “real issue” for HOSC. If they follow the rules, they’ll have to exclude all members who also sit on the Children’s Trust Board and Community Services committees, and that would leave only two members on the Health committee, he said.

Mrs Pritchard said they were currently taking legal advice on the governance of the committee to see if a local solution can be put in place. This could permit members to sit but they’d have to remove themselves for matters relating to their own committees.

The Council was also asked to elect new committee members to replace St Martin’s councillor, John Goddard, who passed away last November.

Sheila Thomas was elected onto the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Ralph Banfield onto the IFCA, Christine Savill to General Purposes and Mike Nelhams to Licensing.

Richard McCarthy was elected onto the Standards Committee to replace Brian Lowen who resigned as chairman earlier this year.

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