Election 2013: Amanda Martin

Name: Amanda Martin

Ward: St Mary’s

 

    • What, if any, changes would you like to see made to transport provision for the islands? What would you do to influence this if you were elected?

I should like to see a state-aided freight subsidy. The local authority must continue to give transport matters very high priority.

    • What are you views on how to tackle the waste issues on the islands? 

I support the formation of a community-based waste management forum. This needs to happen very soon in my opinion.

    • Do you believe the Council needs to be more open with the local electorate? How will you personally influence this if you are elected? 

Transparency and greater communication are vital for succcessful and sustainable local government. I would advocate trimestrial councillor surgeries (the council meetings generally work to a thrice-yearly calendar). There needs to be a greater awareness and understanding of who does what – the roles and responsibilities of members and officers are often misperceived within the community.

    • The Council is facing a budget ‘black hole’ in the coming years. What are your top priorities for tackling this situation? 

The priorities and unavoidable statutory responsiblities must be identified, other services must be streamlined and rationalised (i.e. we need to decide if we should implement 3-star services rather than 5-star in the interests of sustainability)

    • What do you feel is the biggest problem facing the islands? And what will you do, if elected, to try to tackle this issue? 

We face several huge problems (transport, housing, declining tourism figures, waste managemment) but budgetary constraints underlie all of them (see above)

    • How involved should the Council be in funding tourism-related activities like the Tourist Information Centre? 

The Council should have a role in an advisory capacity.

    • What do you feel makes you able to speak on behalf of the local electorate in Scilly as a Councillor? 

Having lived and worked in Scilly over several decades, I hope I understand the place and the people reasonably well. I am very concerned for their prosperous and sustainable welfare.

    • If elected, how will you maintain contact with the local electorate? Will you hold regular surgeries or similar events? 

Contact with the electorate is desirable and achievable through council meetings, newsletters, the council website and face-to-face interaction. I believe that thrice yearly surgeries could be helpful but islanders should always feel able to contact their councillors as issues arise. I am usually available at the end of a phone or via my workplace.

    • What has been your biggest achievement in life so far? 

Producing four healthy children of good, kind dispositions with enquiring minds and a sense of humour.

    • Do you believe the current composition of the Council, with thirteen elected St Mary’s representatives, and two for each of the off-islands, is correct? If not, what changes would you like to see? 

The current situation needs careful scrutiny. I can see the case for one reserved seat per off-island and perhaps eleven seats on St Mary’s. However, this will need serious consideration, particularly in view of the number of council committees and duties.

    • Do you believe Mundesley House should continue in its current form? If not, what changes would you like to see made? 

The business case for Mundesley needs examining. Any changes would have to take into account a proper consultation with off-island parents to identify the best solution for all concerned.