Councillor Calls For More Consultation Over Scilly’s Economic Strategy

island future economic plan 2014A councillor has called for wider consultation on proposals put forward in the controversial Ash Futures economic strategy report.

Members have been told that the consultants’ blueprint will be debated at the Full Council meeting in September.

So far, Councillors haven’t had a chance to discuss the contents of the report.

The wide-ranging review makes a number of recommendations, including building up to 120 new homes and using the introduction of superfast broadband to help diversify the economy away from tourism

Cllr Fran Grottick told the Planning and Development meeting last Thursday that there were some parts of the report that she was sure the Council would endorse, while other parts they might “not be quite so happy with.”

She also felt there was “some way to go” to fully consult with the business community in Scilly, particularly the tourism sector.

Senior Manager for Strategic Development, Diana Mompoloki said any actions coming from the report would need to go through the formal Council approval process with further consultation.

One Response to Councillor Calls For More Consultation Over Scilly’s Economic Strategy

  1. Ray Wornes July 29, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    As far as I can tell the Ash Report is a complete non-starter as from what I have read it doesn’t offer any ideas that will significantly improve either the local housing situation or the tourism trade for the future without serious damage to the natural environment upon which Scilly trades. One of the worst aspects of the present political situation is that we elected a new Council promising change for the better with more consultation and a say in policy making for the public and business people. We have replaced the old management at great expense and have employed a new CEO but without a more highly skilled Technical Services Officer which everyone knows we desperately need. We have elected a new Chairperson and just when we were ready to forge ahead with a new Council brief we have forgotten all of those sincere promises and handed policy making over to Consultants which leaves the community with a fait accompli. Has anyone been briefing Ash I wonder? Surely the right approach would have been for Councillors to have drawn up their own list of priorities in consultation with the community. We should start again with a clean sheet using local common sense and much better Council employed expertise in Planning and Technical Services to produce a home-grown report, with or without ASH, covering all aspects of policy, including housing and the appropriate use of green and brown field land.
    I worry that the Ash proposals will fail local businesses for the next 20 years because after spending tens of millions on airport and quay upgrades there is no improvement planned or demanded in transport services for the travelling public other than cosmetic upgrades which will slowly but surely fail tourism. No new ideas and no considerably cheaper plane or boat services and high accommodation costs delivering just more of the same is a recipe for a further decline in tourist numbers. My view is that the IOSSC’s present business strategy is not encouraging more visitors. In future one larger all year round boat that caters mainly for day trippers will not provide the cheap, new mainland boat services these islands need. Nor will a small Gov’t subsidy. Focussed local strategy meetings that will identify major new policy directions, as we have recently achieved with SLR and waste recycling, could lead the way to solutions to the problems that are holding back business as well as social policy in this struggling island community.