Issue Of ‘Trust’ Over New Council Masterplan

town hall 11Councillors have delayed approving a new Corporate Plan, which lays out Council policies through to 2018, because the document tabled by officers failed to include the changes councillors said they wanted.

It’s led one member to claim there’s an issue of “trust” in the Authority.

And there was another problem. It was set to be discussed when most off island members had gone home.

Chief Executive Theo Leijser brought the draft version of the masterplan to last Tuesday’s Full Council meeting.

It contains a range of priorities in social health, infrastructure, housing and the economy.

Key goals include the introduction of smart grid technology, releasing land for housing and at least £15m of new investments delivered on the islands.

But it was scheduled last on the agenda, which meant the majority of off-island councillors had to leave in order to get boats back home for the evening.

Only St Agnes councillor Richard McCarthy remained.

Before leaving, St Martin’s-based Cllr Christine Savill said the scheduling of the discussion was “unfortunate,” because in her view, it was “the most important item in the meeting.”

But Cllr Colin Daly felt there was a more important reason to delay the approval.

“What we’ve been presented with is nothing like what we asked for,” said Colin.

That view was echoed by Cllr Fran Grottick, who felt the wishes of councillors had been ignored.

She said they’d worked hard in various meetings to make “pivotal” recommendations to the plan and there was “unanimous agreement” to amend some of the wording on at least two occasions, “only to find that wording is back in again.”

Fran said it was “a matter of trust” and asked “what’s the point of going to workshops and having universal agreement to amend something if it goes back into the document.”

But the discussion was closed down by Chairman Amanda Martin, who said there was no point going any further because a proposal to delay it had already been tabled.

No date has been set for the next discussion of the plan.

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