Councillors Accused Of ‘Veil Of Secrecy’ Over Waste Discussions

town hall windows signAn islander who has campaigned for over 30 years to reform waste management in Scilly says the Council is drawing “a veil of secrecy” over its current plans and has called for more openness and consultation.

Ray Wornes was speaking after the Authority failed to publish a webcast as promised of its recent Transport, Economic Development and Infrastructure meeting, where councillors were updated on waste and recycling issues.

That took place two weeks ago but a recording of the meeting still hasn’t been made public.

Last Thursday, the Press Office told Radio Scilly they would be, “uploading the video soon.”

Cllr Gordon Bilsborough, who has criticised recent changes to the way meetings are webcast, says he’s been told it will be available “within the next few days.”

And yesterday, the Vice Chairman of the committee, Cllr Ted Moulson, said that he didn’t know the technicalities of why the recording hadn’t been made available and had referred the matter to the Chief Executive Theo Leijser.

The Council ended its £15,000 a year contract with the company Public-I, which had provided live webcasts of meetings, as a cost cutting measure in March.

Councillors were assured that any new system would make archived video footage available “immediately after meetings” but since the introduction, only three of the scheduled eleven Council meetings have been uploaded for public viewing.

Gordon says he’s not satisfied with the way the changeover has been handled and will continue to press the matter until it is resolved.

Ray Wornes feels the lack of transparency is reflecting badly on the elected members of the Council.

He told Radio Scilly: “If councillors are now determined to shut people like me out of discussions by not informing me of meetings or not reporting on those meetings then we are not getting what we voted for.”

Ray says councillors are, “breaking their promise by going back to the old ways of allowing secrecy and leaving out the caring public.”

He believes they are, “making new plans possibly whilst only listening to those with commercial interests.”

The waste issue is one of the most important to get right, says Ray, because he feels the Council’s performance “over many decades of toxic pollution and health risks has been an absolute disaster.”



9 Responses to Councillors Accused Of ‘Veil Of Secrecy’ Over Waste Discussions

  1. Carole Cilia June 24, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    I live on Jackson’s Hill and the stench doesn’t reach us … it really is only bad when you walk passed Moorwell

  2. philip sommers June 22, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    As a regular visitor to the isles I find it extremely annoying and frustrating that the moorwell heap of rubbish is just the same every year I come!!! when oh when is it going to be removed ?My feelings go with the residents who live in the area overlooking the heap… Come on council do something about it instead of talking about it ,then holiday makers like me and I am sure others wont have to put comments like this, in order to get a positive reply, yours sincerely… Philip from eEastbourne….

  3. Ray Wornes June 20, 2015 at 8:14 am

    Sorry Stew but we don’t want to spend the whole week with our noses glued to the Town Hall notice board for a notice of a meeting that may or may not be happening. Many must rely on those recordings for saving them time and effort and for vital information on what’s going on in the Council. How would anyone know they were not going to publish the recording until after they didn’t publish, get real Stew. I spoke to the CEO some time ago about having a Council notice board up at Telegraph but what would be best is for the Council to religiously record and publish all meetings as I hope was intended and no more secret meetings either, otherwise we can’t take part in democracy. The Council seems to have developed an aversion to openness to head off unfair anonymous criticism which everyone has to endure especially yours truly. And by the way there has never been the chance to have the Council that I wanted. The reality is that If anyone is trying to be constructive then they are usually heavily criticised but those that write anonymous, negative and personal comments aren’t likely to be taken to task if no one knows who they are which is why a real and full name should be a requirement for posting comments on this site so that everyone gets real, up front and responsible for what they write Stew whoever you are.

    • P Lebian June 20, 2015 at 2:11 pm

      For once and only this once I have some sympathy for your viewpoint after all you will have witnessed the very many secret meetings that took place in the lower reaches of McFarland’s Down’s a couple of years ago when the Curator was planning her ascendancy.
      This council will never be truly open or transparent all the time it is under the direction of the present incumbent.
      Openness and fairness are concepts that merely clutter her view of the path she is determined we will be obliged to follow and don’t think that sanity will result from the more frequent interventions from Tresco, at best it will serve until Tresco gets what Tresco wants.

    • Julie Q June 20, 2015 at 6:20 pm

      The phrase “Keyboard Warrior” springs to mind…. someone prepared to hammer out their complaints and protests online, but when it comes to doing something like standing for council or popping into town to check a noticeboard for a meeting concerning something which (apparently) they are passionate about, it’s too much effort. I would have thought that “Being constructive” would involve the innovative use of a desolate area of the island and encouraging entrepeneurial (sic) spirit for a local business/individual rather than stifling a progress that could be beneficial to us all. Ray, there is STILL a vacancy on the council (two if you include Bryher) please stand for council and with the courage of your convictions I would vote for you in an instant. Rattling on here gets nobody anywhere and the chances of councillors and officers taking any notice are minimal compared to a face to face discussion. I’ve approached both parts of the council and found them reasonable, positive and forthcoming. Stand for council, stand by what you are typing about…. you may be surprised by the support you get.

  4. Aged ex councillor June 18, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    Not to worry ,councillor Simms has it all under control!!!!!!!!

  5. Euan Rodger June 17, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    … and as regards commercial waste continues to be an ‘absolute disaster’.

  6. High Lanes Drifter June 17, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark!”
    Perhaps more to the point Holland and most definitely Moorwell, the stench is powerful now just imagine what it will be like if summer is finally declared.
    For the first time in my life I have some pity for the folks who live on Jackson’s Hill.
    No wonder ‘no broadcast’ probably frightened that too many red faces will be visible.
    Surely someone will step in soon to stop the fight.

  7. More Stew June 17, 2015 at 8:26 pm

    Once again Ray it’s time to get real……okay, so the meeting wasn’t available as a webcast but I guess that it was open to the public if they chose to attend.
    This is the council you wanted, live with it