Council Takes Legal Advice On TIC Transfer

tourist info schiller shelterThe Council is likely to have given up all its tourism roles by next summer.

Council consultants Ash Futures have recently recommended that the islands’ diversify away from an economy reliant on visitors.

Now the Town Hall is seeking legal advice on how it can transfer the Tourist Information Centre to the Islands’ Partnership.

Senior Manager for Strategic Development Diana Mompoloki says that the TIC is the only remaining tourism-related function that the Council has responsibility for.

In last week’s Planning meeting, Cllr Fran Grottick welcomed the move to obtain legal opinion, saying the transfer could be “challenging.”

That’s because the TIC is currently located in a public amenity space, the Schiller Shelter – the building doesn’t belong to the Islands’ Partnership.

The move would represent the final step in the transfer of tourism-related activities from the public sector to a single private body, as recommended in the original Blue Sail Report.

That’s already having an effect. In the meeting, Cllr Marian Bennett asked for information on accommodation occupancy rates, which used to be collected by the TIC.

But the Council’s Economic Development team didn’t have the figures and Marian was told that the Islands’ Partnership now owns that data.

12 Responses to Council Takes Legal Advice On TIC Transfer

  1. Perspective August 4, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Let’s hope that if the IP do take over the TIC – which is probably a good move – they do not actually acquire the site and it remains a shelter for the public. If that is the case then what is the problem?

  2. Sheila Thomas August 4, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    Andy, I don’t think the council would have to take legal advice about handing over the TIC to IP, there are already many private TICs around the country.

  3. Curious August 2, 2014 at 9:22 am

    I understand the IP is a private enterprise partnership which promotes it’s own interests.
    How can we allow them to use a public shelter for their own promotion and close it to the public when they choose ? Wake up Council !

    • Andy Hargreaves August 4, 2014 at 9:55 am

      Hi Curious. Just to be clear, the Council is taking legal advice about the transfer, not the Islands’ Partnership and it relates to the TIC function itself, not necessarily the shelter. It was also the Council who moved the TIC there, not the IP.
      Andy Hargreaves, Editor

  4. Colin Bean August 1, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    The shelter (if it is to be “let go” by the Council), should be put out to tender, and the IP be made to buy or rent it along with other interested parties. I do worry about the privatisation of the TIC and the creeping power of the IP.

  5. Sheila Thomas August 1, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    well said Ray, I agree the council MUST NOT be allowed to hand over the Schiller Shelter to Island Partnership. I am still not convinced that the Council using it as the TIC was a legal move and am still in contact with the ERDF Officer, Ian Whale who was responsible for the handling of the project. It is bad enough that there is a sign on the shelter door that gives the summer hours of shelter opening from May 25 as till 7p.m. but in bracketssays that “due to staff shortages the shelter will close at 5.30 until further notice”. God, it’s August today, we are really giving our visitors the short end of the straw.

  6. Ray Wornes August 1, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    A brand new expensive public building with new toilets being handed over to a private business organisation? Please don’t change anything Councillors but if you must then just send the TIC back to the Island Partnership’s Steamship Office at their expense and allow the whole of the Schiller Shelter to go back to its original public use as a bad weather shelter. Don’t let this community down again. The IP will have had enough public money this year to last them 20 years. Let them put their hands in their own pockets and spend some of their profits. What have we got back from the IP in new or cheaper services, like a St.Mary’s early morning boat or big reductions in fares, for all those tens of millions of public money being spent on Airports and Quays – absolutely nothing. The Council’s Transport policy must work for all islanders not just for private business.

    • Carolyn Garman, Islands' Partnership August 7, 2014 at 9:10 pm

      Hello Ray. Hopefully you will have read by now (Scilly Today, 6th August) that the Islands’ Partnership has no interest in taking over the Schiller Shelter. I also wonder if you are muddling the Islands’ Partnership with the Steamship Company. The Islands’ Partnership is a not-for-profit company funded by membership subscription and responsible for marketing the Isles of Scilly as a destination. We are not responsible for the boat, fare structure, airports or quays. If you’d like to know more about what the IP does, please pop by the office (which we rent from the Steamship Company) or give us a call on 424036. Thanks, Carolyn

  7. Adam Morton August 1, 2014 at 9:36 am

    I think it would be a bad move to turn over all responsibility to IP, They do not have the right to privatize public information. IP does NOT represent everyone and is governed by a few directors including representatives of the Duchy & SSco who (I believe)will not necessarily have anyone else s interests at heart when it comes to offering advice to the Council over the necessity of subsidies,public expenditure etc. Getting better promotion for the islands does not mean closing down all alternatives so that people are forced to contribute to £60,000 position among other things they don’t need and can’t afford!
    To me it is fast becoming like the Council-primarily concerned with job creation in its self and suppression of public information. Who has heard a thing about transport since this committee was appointed? Even FRIST has gone quiet since getting an influence.
    What happened to HEART? Every day seems to bring another report of secret meetings or Councillors being told not to comment! All they can do is blame ST for “negative reporting” instead of supplying positive news to report!

  8. n/a July 31, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    What are the IOS council thinking? Are they just trying to hide the bad decision to move from the high street to the shelter in this latest move?

  9. Ian T. July 31, 2014 at 10:38 pm

    Has Ash Futures actually suggested what the islands should diversify to..?? Virtually all of the South West is reliant on tourism to a greater or lesser extent. Why do they think that Scilly, above all, could be any different..??

    • Yet anoth July 31, 2014 at 11:03 pm

      Spot Ian!