Council’s New Vision Document Criticised For Ignoring Tourism Industry

town hall 4Councillors have criticised the Authority’s new vision statement because it failed to mention tourism – the islands’ biggest economic driver.

The Corporate Plan, which sets out Council policies through to 2018, was being reviewed by members for the second time.

A decision on the first draft was deferred because too many off-island councillors had to leave the last meeting.

Some councillors were also unhappy that changes agreed in workshops hadn’t been included in the final draft.

But at the Full Council meeting, Cllr Fran Grottick said she couldn’t support the document because it didn’t talk about tourism.

Fran said, “to have it mentioned nowhere in a corporate plan when our islands are virtually dependent on tourism seems rather strange.”

She wanted a statement put in to recognise that it is our key industry.

That view was shared by other councillors.

Cllr Gordon Bilsborough said they needed to emphasise, “loud and clear that if tourism fails, everything fails.”

Tourism should be a “flagship item,” he said.

While Cllr Marian Bennett said that tourism was too important to ignore and, “impinges on every aspect of life, such as transport and even the design of buildings.”

But Tresco Estate owner, Cllr Robert Dorrien Smith was less concerned about the omission.

He said the Council was keen to support all forms of the economy and they had an agenda for growth.

He didn’t feel they needed to single out a particular sector because it would change over the years.

In the end, councillors voted to accept the new plan, but with the inclusion of a phrase suggested by Cllr Grottick that recognised the importance of tourism to Scilly.

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