New Committee Chairman ‘Pressing Hard’ For Results

Cllr Robert Dorrien Smith

Cllr Robert Dorrien Smith

The Chairman of the Council’s new Transport, Economic Development and Infrastructure committee says members are faced with “quite a job of work” to tackle past problems on the islands.

Cllr Robert Dorrien Smith says there are wide ranging issues with transport that need to be dealt with, including freight to St Mary’s and the off-islands, as well as the cost and resilience of passenger transport.

Robert said it was “no exaggeration” to say that Scilly’s current transport system is “more or less the same as when I was a child.”

He also warned that the islands’ infrastructure had “fallen behind” and that this has been pointed out by government departments like Defra and the Environment Agency.

They’re currently bringing the islands into line with existing mainland legislation on water and waste management.

Cllr Dorrien Smith felt that economic development was “absolutely vital” in order to diversify the economy away from its reliance on tourism.

He said there were several big opportunities coming up including possible investments from multinational company Hitachi.

In May, Council officer Diana Mompoloki revealed that the authority had held meetings with delegations from Japan and Taiwan about smart grid technology, which would make more efficient use of locals’ electricity supply.

At the time, the Council suggested the tie-up could include Scilly school children being taught Taiwanese or Japanese.

Exeter, Falmouth and Plymouth Universities are also interested in putting money into the islands.

That would “put us on the map in the fields of the arts and science,” said Cllr Dorrien Smith.

He says he will be “pressing hard for results.”

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