Off-Island Councillor Urging People To Stand For Vacant Bryher Seat

marian bennettBryher’s only councillor is urging residents to stand for the vacant Council seat on their island.

The local authority has issued a notice calling for nominations for the seat, which has not been filled since Chris Hopkins decided not to stand for re-election.

There’s also a vacancy on St Mary’s, following the resignation of Cllr David Pearson in December.

Cllr Marian Bennett says she’s worried that she’s the sole representative for Bryher and feels she doesn’t have the time and ability to cover all aspects of Council business there.

Marian hopes someone younger can stand and share the load.

She admits that councillors can receive criticism from the community, but she doesn’t believe that’s the reason no one has come forward.

She says younger islanders who would make excellent councillors just don’t have the time because they’re working long hours to make a living, often for the authority themselves, which makes them ineligible to stand.

Even though some people think the off-islands should only have one councillor each, instead of the current two, Marian says it actually takes a lot of work to do it properly.

And while she appreciates that all Scilly councillors should be representing all islanders, there are some specific areas on the off-islands that are tackled differently, like water, waste and transport.

You need to know your community and experience infrastructure problems first hand to properly serve your island, says Marian.

Anyone wishing to stand needs to request an election from the Council’s Returning Officer.

Marian says she’s happy to talk to anyone who would like to know more about the job.