Waste, Transport And Apologies: New Councillors Sum Up Their First 100 Days

wesleyan chapel 2Getting the Council to apologise, progression with waste management and transport planning are some achievements highlighted by the Isles of Scilly’s new councillors.

Radio Scilly asked each of the six new members elected in May to sum up their first one hundred days in the role.

As Chairman of the General Purposes committee, Steve Sims feels he’s done his best work on waste management.

Postponing the SLR consultants’ waste report because all the paperwork wasn’t in place was important, he says. And he was pleased to hold a special meeting during which they confirmed that the Moorwell Alp removal would start by early October.

And Steve says getting the Authority to apologise, after they failed to inform the community about the dioxin levels at the dump, was, “a novel thing for our Council.”

But he says the issue is how members, most officers and the public knew nothing about this.

James Francis says new and existing Councillors have brought positive movement forward with the work of the Transport committee.

They’ve been able to support the “good work” of the Economic Development Team in securing funding, regulatory dispensation and logistical support for crucial projects including hard runways at Land’s End, St Mary’s quay and airport improvements, he says.

James says he hopes that the public will be able to enjoy “the fruits of this labour” during the autumn and winter.

Cllr Francis also believes much has been achieved with plans to restructure the Council as a more efficient organisation.

James says the General Purposes committee has been tardy, but there’s been real progress on removing the Moorwell Alp and beginning the new waste management strategy this autumn.

Colin Daly has been a councillor and Council Chairman previously. He’s the only member to describe a failure during the first period of the new Council, citing the 50% increase in the Buzza Bus fares, which was voted through in July.

He wants further debate ahead of another rise in 2015.

Cllr Daly has been working on issues that his St Martin’s electorate has raised. He wants to ensure that the island retains its school base and that Mundesley boarding house arrangements stay in place.

Colin believes if the school became an academy, the Council would be rendered “almost powerless to do anything.” But he says he has kept closely in touch with the way the governors are thinking and has offered his support.

He says that the St. Martin’s rubbish heap is starting to go away and there is a promise of a complete clean up. This will need to be followed by a proper removal procedure to keep it clear, he says.

Andy Guy says he’s proud of passing exams in boat licencing and in his role as Lead for Equality and Diversity. He feels he is “voting in the right direction for the good of the islands.”

But he says his introduction to the Council has been quite intense and learning about the procedures of Council business, such as planning protocol, has been “challenging.”

Adrian Davis also noted the complexity of the organisation and says that he has spent much time learning procedures. He’s “hardly missed a meeting” either formal or informal, and says there are more of them than he had expected.

He says he remains keen to hear the views of others and firmly believes in consensus.

Adrian says the Council is still in a period of “considerable internal stress” and he says we must respect those who feel vulnerable.

Avril Mumford says it’s “early days” and she feels she has a lot to learn, but she too is attending as many meetings as possible, has listened carefully and voted the way she believes is right.

She says she’s looking forward to the next 100 days.

Fran Grottick says there’s a “phenomenal” amount of paperwork and her first meeting required reading 328 pages of documentation. Fran added that she hasn’t forgotten her election promise to communicate more with electors and suggests another public meeting could be held soon.

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