Election 2013: Adam Morton

Name: Adam Morton

Ward: St Martin’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 would like to see greater variety in standards, pricing and options for travel. I do not think the standard of service is high enough for those “wealthy “visitors willing to pay for it and it is certainly too expensive to support the industries that rely on volume trade. I do not really care who provides the services or in what way they are financed. I feel though that without competition standards will stagnate. Not currently being a councillor – I have no facts to go on but firstly we should encourage current providers with assistance where possible and appropriate. If this is unwanted or fails then we should consider some kind of public service obligation. At all points free and fair competition should be possible. The government is very keen to reduce transport emissions. It occurs to me that whilst it is unlikely that we can severely reduce fuel consumption on our transport or gain subsidies, we could possibly offset it by local renewable energy production and use the proceeds to subsidise the service.

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

Again not being a councillor I have little factual information but whilst I doubt there is much we can do except ship out the current backlog of mixed plastic etc, I think business will have to be more accountable for its own waste financially in the future. The public will have to do its bit though as the worst aspect of waste is proper sorting, un mixed waste is easily disposed of or recycled. Mixed can only really go to landfill. I am not necessarily convinced in the wisdom of a new more complicated incinerator we just need to reduce what needs to go in! The issue will not be pleasant or convenient for anyone! The council have a much bigger part to play in not allowing us to get in this situation again. Whatever happens we need much more efficiency, control and accountability. So far I think the technical department has been very ineffective.

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

I think that all non classified information should be freely available online to help the electorate see why the council makes the decisions it does and allow reasoned suggestion. Obviously all councillors should make themselves available to the electorate and if regular surgeries are the best way forward then so be it. I do not think it good use of councillor’s time justifying their every move on various media. I wish to see an end to secret meetings were at all possible as they breed mistrust and fears of corruption. I would like to see the council conduct its business in a much more reasoned, accountable and open nature reducing its responsibilities where possible to concentrate on good quality policies that result in tangible results of public benefit. Information needs to be gathered from professional interested parties and sub groups which have channelled public needs and opinions in a fair and open manner with particular reference to tourism, schooling, medical, waste and transport.

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

To stop wasteful, inefficient spending. We are sadly in a recession where needs must outweigh wants. I think that staffing needs to be much more efficient if not reduced. Bureaucracy must be reduced and people not taken on just because there is a grant and dreaming up reams of paperwork, mostly superfluous, to load on the public.

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

Transport. It has always been a problem and never more than now. It is the single biggest factor affecting industry. We should be finding ways to make it much more viable and hopefully reduce costs.

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

I think that it should be to a larger extent self financing which will encourage it to its best efficiency and get results and value for money for which it will need to keep in touch with the needs of the industry financing it. Tourism is best run by those who it affects not by the council which has enough to contend with. Having to operate like any other business in the islands by selling itself to the industry will give better understanding of the condition and needs.

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

I think economic prosperity is the key to island survival and I have experience of most industries in Scilly. Instability is the single biggest worry at the moment with all sorts of far reaching social implications. I was born on the island have worked in most industries, I have a young family, and older parents, I run a successful business. I also have a keen interest in sustainability in all aspects. I feel this gives me as good a background as anyone for understanding situations and needs. I only wish to stand to affect change for the better not to start a political career.

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

On a small island of 100 people it should not be hard to keep in contact but I think there is scope for public meetings where members can raise concerns and councillors can report progress or lack of!

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

A hard one to answer and dependant of what context. I have built boats and a house, Met and married my wife and had a family, won business awards and Gig races.

    • 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? 

Yes. Without it democracy would suffer. In areas such as planning it is essential to prevent personal interests getting in the way of decisions, there has to be more than one for each ward. The needs of the off islands are quite different to St. Marys and can only be understood if you experience them. The off islands contribute much more than their % of population in many ways not only in costs but to the diversity that is Scilly.

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

Unsure. I was homeschooled and do not regret it. It is not a subject I have given much consideration. I understand that St. Marys people feel off islanders don’t contribute enough but I have serious concerns about safety. Having said that I would very much like to see the islands better connected for both social and business reasons which possibly make sense to discontinue Mundesley. On the other hand not all the islands have enough weather shelter to guarantee regular attendance. I think it’s likely to take a while to resolve but unlikely to result in significant financial savings either way, certainly not which could be spent on anything else.