Election 2013: Dudley Mumford

Name: Dudley Mumford

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?

In the ideal world the return of a helicopter service would be welcome but some of the questions which would need to be answered are: affordability to islanders, where on the mainland will it be based and will it fly to St Marys or just Tresco? The Council does need to be included in any discussions.

I support the plans for upgrading the facilities at St Marys Airport and also the hard surfacing of the runways at Land End Airport as these measures will bring more resilience to air services.

It is important that the harbour improvements both at St Marys and Penzance are given approval by the Department of Transport as this will enable the Steamship Company not only to plan for their vessel replacement(s) but provide more flexibility in planning the service requirements of both vessels but in particular the Scillonian.

There needs to be an assessment of the merits or otherwise of a year round passenger boat service/freight subsidy which would require central government support

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

The Councils Waste Disposal Strategy needs to be reviewed as four years have elapsed since it was first approved. With the construction of a new incinerator in Cornwall can building a new one be justified on St Marys? They are expensive to build, expensive and complex to run and there will still be residual ash to dispose of. There is also the need to deal with legacy of the ‘Moorwell Alp’ and reconstitution of the area. Members will need to be more involved in finding the right solutions. With only three General Purposes meetings a year, is this adequate to enable us to address this problem?

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

Good communication is essential in councils decision making process. Committee chairmen should be fully involved in the agenda-setting process to ensure items of topical interest are also included for debate. Web-casting of all committees should be encouraged as should public attendance at such meetings.

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

Early and decisive action by all concerned. I support the actions listed below:

The Council agreed at the meeting on 19 March, 2013 :

  • to cancel all growth bids.
  • to cancel service carry-forwards from this year to next.
  • to block all recruitment including replacements for existing posts.
  • to examine those posts which were formerly funded by grant.

Councillors also agreed that a report should be brought to the next Policy and Resources Committee meeting on April 25 to offer greater detail and implications of the proposed actions. We are still awaiting this report. There will be a delay of at least two months until the new council have the opportunity of addressing the budget deficit. (This debate is available on the Councils Archived Webcast)

    • 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 Provision as in question one

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

Tourism is the major employer in Scilly with perhaps as many as 89% of residents having employment in the industry. The tourism industry has received substantial funding from the Local Action Group, which is in addition to the support received from the council. Tourism, i.e. the TIC, although not a statutory service provided by the authority, is the mainstay of the Scillonian economy and I believe it should be supported, certainly until the Blue Sail recommendations happen. Value for money does needs to be shown here.

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

I have been involved in running my own business here in Scilly for forty years. Both my daughters were educated in Scilly before moving to further education on the mainland. I have 23 years experience as a councillor, two years as Vice Chairman, six years as Council Chairman. I was a Governor of Carn Gwaval School for eight years and have been Chairman of the isles of Scilly Health Centre Trustees since its inception in 1994.

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

I am happy to hold regular surgeries. Living in Scilly Councillors have a much closer proximity to their constituents.

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

Being elected Chairman of the Council

    • 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?

This topic is long overdue for debate in the community, including off islanders. It was last discussed over ten years ago so it does need an airing. This debate should occur soon after the Interim Chief Executives recommendation relating to the councils management structure and perhaps could be facilitated by the Electoral Commission or similar body.

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

For the immediate future yes. The status of the Five Island School needs to be resolved first.