Brand New ‘Water Barometer’ Promised For July

town hall flowersThe Town Hall is going to get a brand new ‘water barometer’ to highlight the scarce resources on St Mary’s.

It will be similar to the old visual reminder, a regular feature in the 1970’s.

It’s a year since Council Chairman Amanda Martin made a request to bring back the visual reminder of the water levels on St Mary’s and Senior Manager for Infrastructure, Craig Dryden, promised councillors that a new one would be in place by the start of the tourist season this year.

Unfortunately the original barometer isn’t available anymore so councillors have been told a new one will be created by July.

Last summer the Authority’s Emergency Planning department imposed a hosepipe ban because they said low rainfall and a predicted increase in tourists would put further pressure on the supply.

Although a new, higher capacity desalination plant was installed in 2013 at a cost of £0.5m, it has been underperforming because of iron contamination in the bore holes that feed it.

Councillors have been told that a seawater intake has been designed to overcome the problem and the Council has applied for a licence from the Marine Management Organisation.

It’s intended to be a temporary measure to meet peak demand until a permanent design has been finalised.

The Council has made repairs to the Old Town ‘biobubble’ which treats sewage from the St Mary’s settlement.

It’s also upgraded the underground pumps outside the Bishop and Wolf pub in Hugh Town, part of the notorious ‘Mermaid Run’ sewerage system that often becomes blocked in high season or during heavy downpours.

But the Water and Sewerage Forum, which councillors voted to establish in February, and which will allow islanders to have their say on upcoming changes to legislation being applied to Scilly, still hasn’t been appointed.

Senior Manager for Infrastructure Craig Dryden says he hopes that can meet for the first time either this month or in July.

6 Responses to Brand New ‘Water Barometer’ Promised For July

  1. John bourdeaux June 27, 2015 at 9:22 am

    I was actually querying if we need to house 120 entrepreneurs ?
    Not locals if you check the records when chairman of housing several years ago
    We helped facilitate all the 106 builds for young Scillonians and indeed if you meet the criteria I am sure this still possible.sadly I don’t think the new proposals will promote affordable housing,however lets hope so

  2. Mrs S O'Hara June 26, 2015 at 1:47 am

    The sale of council houses was not a good idea in a place with a limited and starkly finite landmass, now housing association properties are also to end up on the “open” market. Sadly 120 new houses may only be Island homes the first time they are sold. Section 106 is enforced with all the limp wristed vigour that has become the norm for the Council’s planning function.
    The Council’s approach to infrastructure is weak so the concern expressed about 120 new properties is quite understandable.
    One must sympathize with those who are struggling to make a living and a life here but there is also a great need to get recognizably effective, fair and consistently enforced controls in place that are able to credibly regulate any future development.
    There is a need to move away from the fiasco decisions that allow a bungalow that was already permitted to be sub divided because of a domestic circumstance to then convert the garage in one half to be developed into tourist accommodation!

  3. Mark Prebble June 24, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    I’d rather have a proper water meter that measured the actual resource I consume than a publicity stunt. How will this ‘meter’ measure, what units will it display and how much is it going to cost?

  4. John bourdeaux June 24, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    So do we still want 120 new houses?

    • confused June 25, 2015 at 10:24 am

      Otherwise people like myself are stuck living at home/paying WAY over the odds for rent. Most long term rents on Scilly are akin to extortion, i pay as much as my little brother does in LONDON. This is often with no ability to get a written contract and often with massively limited rights – no visitors (including people knocking on the door), no use of the kitchen, no use of the washing machine, limited use of the bathroom. The list of restrictions goes on.

      I cant see most people dropping their rent soon so it seems to me its either more homes or we retroactively introduce clauses to social housing tenancy agreements to move people to more suitably sized homes (after a grace period to avoid increasing worry in stressful times, say 6 months from a death/children moving out). After all, you don’t own a council house, and just because its been your home for 20 years, doesn’t mean you still need a 4 bed property as a couple – being downsized to a 1 bed property to free up the stock for those of us who actually need the rooms to home our families. Just because i am young enough that i didn’t had the chance to buy a property whilst they were cheap is a terribly reason as to why i should be forced to move away from my home in order to get on to the property ladder. I have stayed a built a career whilst family members have moved away, without more housing lowering the cost to locals, this trend will do nothing but increase and turn Scilly into nothing but a holiday home/retirement home combo.

      The housing market on Scilly in general has failed with regards to the younger/non-home owning members of our community. £100/week for a SHED is quite frankly greedy, takes up the majority of my wages and leaves me with little in the way of savable income. Even if i were to manage to save enough for a deposit, our general market housing is so massively over-priced that it would financially ruin me were i to look at anything much larger than a bedsit.

      Social housing does mitigate this somewhat, but when there is a shortage of suitably sized vacant houses, all due to some retired people deciding that they don’t really want to downsize because why should they be the ones to help the younger generation (regardless of how they justify it to themselves, that’s what it equates to). But thats ok, their son is coming over for a week in august, and their daughter in July for 2, so those bedrooms aren’t being wasted at all…..

    • Quincy June 25, 2015 at 11:25 am

      How about you round up 50 families John and take them down the quay and ship them off the islands. Then you get to take baths all day and run a water-park.