Election 2013: Fran Grottick

Name: Fran Grottick

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?

Most important change in short term is hard surface runway provision at St Just. Secondly, improvements to alleviate problems caused by poor visibility. Exploration of other connecting or direct flights from other destinations to increase our visitor base would be a welcome change also. I will endeavour to encourage and support all of the above if elected.

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

Moorwell ‘Alp’ affects the environment, our health and our tourism image. As the Council’s waste strategy was adopted in 2009 we now need, in order to tackle waste issues:
1. Up-to-date costings on all options including shipment of waste to mainland to reduce the ‘Alp’, needed urgently.
2. Robust encouragement of all recycling choices.
3. Meaningful public consultation ASAP following above.

    • 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 certainly believe that Council needs to be more open. I am a member of HEART formed to encourage accountability and transparency. I have already tried to further the same by organising or helping to organise several public meetings including ‘Meet Some Candidates’ on April 24th. I would continue this work if elected.

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

I support the appointment of the interim CEO Mr Barry Keel and his work to examine the processes and protocols of Town Hall working. I will decide on the top priorities to tackle the black hole after reading his report but would work to ensure decisions that follow are based on fairness and accountability. Meanwhile I would support a hold on all new projects and careful analysis of all spending.

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

As income from tourism accounts for up to 92% of all island income, the drop in visitor numbers must be seen as the biggest problem facing the islands. We must all work together as IoS plc (as once was said) to ensure a high-quality but value for money visitor experience and market it as well as we can. Improved Simply Scilly website is very important. I would encourage this.

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

This is a complex question. In an ideal world, the industry would be self-sufficient. Yet these are difficult times and if 92% of income of the IoS is tourism derived it seems reasonable for the Council to support its core business. If tourism fails, Council would find it difficult to find the support to function. Support is usually discretionary not mandatory and should be kept under constant review.

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

I consider that I have proved that I want to listen and learn from the electorate. I will be able to speak on behalf on the local electorate as a councillor because I consider it a key part of my responsibility to ensure that I am aware of the concerns of the community and their views on important issues.

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

I have already discussed with several other prospective councillors the possibility of sharing space in a convenient location. I would support regular meetings, say once a month, so that our availability becomes well-known and we can engage with the community in the future.

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

Probably winning the school cookery prize. I bake a mean Lemon Drizzle Cake but election rules preclude me from providing samples to prove it. Sorry Keri!

    • 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? 

I understand it is 10 years since the current composition of the Council was reviewed. I would support another look at the current representation, and how best to move forward. I do think it’s important that the off-island view has a place but there does seem an imbalance regarding representation numbers.

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

I support the proposed review of Mundesley arrangements but hope off-island parents and pupils will be able to comment in confidence. It is not just a question of finance. Mundesley is an important factor in children’s social development. There would always need to be proper provision for children in some form should they be affected by weather. I await the report and discussion with interest.