Tradition Of Independent Scilly Councillors Could End

The Old Wesleyan Chapel

Council chambers at the Old Wesleyan Chapel

The tradition of only independent councillors serving on the islands’ Council could end with the elections in May.

Two islanders are seeking election as officially-endorsed Green Party candidates.

Councillors in Scilly have been independent and not affiliated to any party since 1891, when the islands’ authority was called the ‘Select Vestry’ according to museum curator and Council vice-chair Amanda Martin.

Louise Graham and Mark Prebble say their personal vision, values and aspirations for the islands are reflected in the policies of the national Green Party. These include caring for the environment, building strong communities and greater opportunities for participation in local government.

In a statement, the two St Mary’s residents told Radio Scilly that they “believe that whether we fish, farm or work in the tourist industry, the islands’ future is its people and its environment.”

Mark Prebble says he understands that party politics will change the Council’s way of doing things. But he says the ‘normal’ way of doing things here has ‘got us into a pickle’ with a budget deficit and disharmony within the community.

Mark believes being a party member can bring benefits that independent councillors don’t have, such as a wider support network to draw on. And he doesn’t feel that being a party candidate will restrict what he can do or say should he be elected.

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