Election 2013: David Pearson

Name: David Pearson

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?

Ideally, I would like to see a reversal of Scillonian sailings,so that it operates for the benefit of Islanders,in their efforts to coordinate with connections on the Mainland, without being forced to overnight in Penzance. This would also allow visitors to travel from upcountry during the day. The Scillonian would then generally berth overnight on St Marys. I will continue to put this forward in Council and suggest that the IOSSC explain why it can’t be done.

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

The “Alp” must be removed,before we can start thinking about future needs and a serious study undertaken about how we join the Recycling society. We also need to examine our waste to find out what materials actually need to be dealt. It might be helpful for Full Council to deal with some of the issues, which have not been solved by the General Purposes Committee.

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

Communication needs to improve and Members need to take a more proactive role in publicity. There will still be issues,however,that are commercially or personally sensitive, which need to be kept confidential, but this should be made clear.

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

Steps are already being taken to examine this situation and how it has arisen. Certain areas are being looked at by the Interim Chief Executive, in terms of Organisation and how the Council is spending on Contracts. The Council has set its Budget for next year and will need to ensure by more rigorous oversight, that overspending does not occur.

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

Some years ago, I would have said Childrens’ Services, but it is clear that Transport problems are the major issue, in terms of Health and Wellbeing and promoting the Islands’ economy. If re-elected I would seek to ensure, that the Council’s full attention is given to the improvement of links, bearing in mind, that we are in the hands of Commercial Enterprises.

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

Tourism is too important to our Economy for the Council not to support the industry in some form. The TIC is an important cog in this wheel and I believe, the Council should continue to back it.

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

If re-elected, I believe, that gives a mandate to continue to speak and act on behalf of the Electorate.

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

I am in the shopping area of town most days and speak to many people. I have been attending over 100 meetings a year. I would like to see a venue established, which Councillors’could use as a Surgery.

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

I think this question has to be answered in the local context and I believe, that my main achievement has been to help bring Childrens’ Services out of Intervention, to where they are today, rated Good by Ofsted, after numerous inspections.

    • 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? 

Since this composition was established, the work of of the Council has increased exponentially and certain roles have greater responsibility and need greater time commitments. I think, that fewer, but more committed Members may have to be the order of the day. Democratic Processes need to assess the composition of the Council at the earliest opportunity. My view is for fewer Members, say fifteen and a combined electorate, covering the whole Islands.

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

I believe the present system is the best for looking after our off-Island children, but this has to be considered in the light of the viability of the present building.