Councillors To Debate Ash Futures Economic Report Next Week

hugh town housesCouncillors will be given their first chance to debate in public what could become the islands’ economic blueprint for the next 10 years.

Senior Manager for Strategic Development, Diana Mompoloki, will be asking them to approve the strategy, produced by consultants Ash Futures, at the Full Council meeting on Tuesday.

The wide-ranging report, released in July, included a raft of proposals, including upgrades to the islands’ water, sewerage and electrical infrastructure, new public transport options, better leisure facilities including a new pool and visitor centre and more use of electric vehicles.

But it’s the plan to build up to 120 new homes that’s proved the most controversial.

MP Andrew George said after his October public meeting on St Mary’s that the mood of islanders was against the homebuilding plan and he backed that view.

He said there were concerns that some of the Council’s recent public consultations haven’t been as thorough as they should have been.

In her report, Diana says approval of the strategy next Tuesday won’t commit councillors to following through on every proposal.

She says the individual elements will be brought back to members to make investment decisions over the next few months.

Councillors will also be asked to nominate two members of Council to sit on a new Island Futures Group, which will drive the strategy forward.

That board will have representatives from the Duchy, Steamship Company, Islands’ Partnership, Wildlife Trust and Tresco Estate. They’ll also recruit two people from the islands’ business sector to join the group.

The Council will create a new, full-time coordinator position once funding is in place.

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