Scilly’s Council Chairman Survives Challenge To Post

wesleyan chapel 2The Council Chairman has survived the first major threat to her authority since being elected to the position in 2013.

Cllr Amanda Martin was challenged by former islands’ GP Cllr Adrian Davis for the top role at last night’s Full Council meeting.

Adrian had been nominated by Cllr Gordon Bilsborough, who said the Council could benefit from a change of direction in the management team.

He said Cllr Davis was a well-known and respected member of the community.

Cllr Marian Bennett, who seconded Adrian’s nomination, said she was “alarmed” by the amount of disengagement in the community.

She said she had heard “so many views of the present situation” from residents on Bryher, particularly relating to finance, restructuring and the lack of information, that she had come to the conclusion that “a change is required.”

Last week Adrian sent a letter to all members asking for their support to change the senior positions in the Council. He wrote that there was a lack of transparency and had concerns over financial issues in the Authority.

In Cllr Martin’s support, Cllr Chris Thomas said she had made difficult and courageous decisions over the last couple of years that weren’t always popular.

But they were done “in the best possible interests of the islands” and not for personal interest, he said.

In the end only five of the councillors present supported Adrian’s bid. The eleven remaining councillors voted for Cllr Martin.

However, there is a new Vice Chairman. The former holder of that position, Cllr Gaz O’Neill, did not stand.

It turned into a two-horse race as both Cllr Davis and Cllr Steve Sims were nominated for the job.

Members eventually voted for Cllr Sims by eleven votes to seven.

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