Long Standing Scilly Councillor Resigns

chris thomasChris Thomas has resigned as a councillor. He submitted his resignation letter ten days ago and councillors were formally notified of his decision in an email sent by Council Chairman Amanda Martin last night.

Chris says he wants to spend more time touring in his motorhome.

He’s been a councillor since 2006 and during that time he’s chaired the Sea Fisheries and Transport committees.

Chris says he has always tried to do his best for Scilly and feels privileged to have served as a member for nine years.

Some of the highlights of his time on the Council include the Porthcressa regeneration project, the road resurfacing, airport improvements to the CAA’s new standards and agreeing the quay lengthening.

Chris says that should give the Steamship Company more options when they look to replace the Scillonian because it will create a deeper berth.

But not all of his time on the Council has been happy. He says some of the work was “stressful” and he blames our former MP for the failure of the Route Partnership scheme – a plan to fund a new ferry and significant upgrades to St Mary’s and Penzance quays.

Chris says Andrew George “scuppered” the bid after it was rejected by the new coalition government in 2011.

Chris’ resignation leaves three vacancies on the Council.

David Pearson resigned when he moved to the mainland last year and Chris says he might have resigned earlier if an election had been called to replace David.

The second of two Bryher seats also remains unfilled, after Chris Hopkins chose not to seek re-election in May 2013.

22 Responses to Long Standing Scilly Councillor Resigns

  1. fran grottick July 21, 2015 at 9:49 am

    Firstly, thank you, Chris, you were always helpful.
    Secondly, constructive criticism is welcome but it is difficult to engage with those who do not give their names.
    Please engage with all your Councillors and tell us how you believe improvements could be made.
    Consider calling for an election and standing for one of the 3 vacant seats..
    Sincerely, Fran 422424

  2. Graham W July 20, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    If everyone feels so let down by the performance and actions of our elected councillors, then why can we not have a local referendum to effectively vote in all new members?

  3. Steve Sims July 17, 2015 at 12:59 am

    Chris is a great guy, a real gentleman, and he was an exceptional councillor. His breadth of wisdom will be much missed. He certainly helped me a lot. This sounds like an obit, which it isn’t, there’s a lot of life in him yet. What we will miss on the the council is his commonsense, his experience his pragmatism (which is sadly lacking sometimes) and not least his humour.

    • Adam Morton, St.Martins July 17, 2015 at 11:43 am

      Its Ok Steve, You got your nice roads, stuff the rest of us!

      • pgh July 18, 2015 at 12:29 pm

        i’ll vote for you adam ..4 seats available on the council .Time to get on it and make a difference

        • Adam Morton, St.Martins July 20, 2015 at 10:08 am

          Thanks but one person isn’t going to make a difference. Too few stood in 2013 and were outnumbered by the old order and so had to join them rather than make a fresh start. The whole impetus for change is lost now, money wasted, opportunities lost. That won’t return now, it was a last chance!
          All we can do now is turn the spotlight on their activities and give no place to hide. We have a Conservative government now making cuts. Transport underlined our whole economy, livelihoods and sustainability and the Council blew it big time! It underlined effective and efficient waste processing/recycling, local infrastructure projects, homebuilding and future industries. Without it is like building a house with no foundations!
          Best chance now is private initiative and example and do our best to stop the Council undermining it.

    • S Moorhen July 18, 2015 at 11:28 pm

      Quite right, not one to slavishly vote at the behest of the chair or to sit through countless meetings saying nothing of consequence. His ability to evaluate the nuances of a range of alternative strategies and then explain the strengths and weaknesses of each in turn to the whole chamber is masterful.

    • Solomon July 20, 2015 at 8:41 am

      Surely it’s not fair to single out Chris for showing a lack of pragmatism, this seems a little harsh especially as you seem to regard him as your gauge for commonsense and wisdom.
      By your own admission he has helped form you as a councillor and as you seem to consider him to be exceptional (presumably by comparison with his peers) you could have afforded to overlook the pragmatism bit

      • Steve Sims July 20, 2015 at 10:59 am

        Solomon you have completely misinterpreted me.

        What we will miss on the the council is his commonsense, his experience his pragmatism (which is sadly lacking sometimes)

        I mean is will miss Chris’ pragmatism which is is sadly lacking in the chamber sometimes (not lacking from Chris).

        • Solomon July 21, 2015 at 12:19 am

          So what you are saying is that the colleague who shows pragmatism has decided to abandon ship leaving you to work with the remainder who you consider often lack pragmatism.
          Given that you are second in command have you thought how your utterances are likely to be received by the dwindling number in he chamber?

  4. dcliffe July 16, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    Re Adam Morton. The key ‘snout in the trough’ is frequently mis-identified in the RP debacle in my opinion. The ex MP is a victim of it in my opinion. Chris Thomas is entirely right thought in his assessment.

    • Adam Morton, St.Martins July 17, 2015 at 1:08 am

      Norman Baker had the final say (not AG) and felt that the public were not getting enough out of the considerable investment . If the case was a good one then it would have got funding regardless!If it were good enough, perhaps AG would have supported it too? How many Councilors at the time were shareholders in the IOSSSco?

  5. Yetanoth July 16, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    An analytical approach and a powerful and incisive intellect, the chairman we should have had.

  6. Julie Q July 16, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    It’s actually four vacant seats after the loss of Roy Duncan. Four out of 21 seats…. this council is running on empty.

  7. Linguine July 16, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    The council will struggle to manage without his ready wit and stimulating insight into the needs of the Islands.

  8. Adam Morton, St.Martins July 16, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    Thankfully our former MP saw it was just a case of snouts in the trough just in time! Unfortunately Mr Thomas’s performance at the meeting with the transport minister was somewhat lacking and resulted in a failure to secure any meaningful commitment to transport IMO.

  9. Persie July 16, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    3 vacant seats now!

    At this rate there will be a very good argument in favour of reducing the number of elected officials on the Council.

    • High Lanes Drifter July 16, 2015 at 1:51 pm

      Some of the seats that are already filled remain pretty vacant.

      • Sheila Thomas July 16, 2015 at 9:17 pm

        High Lanes Drifter – an opportunity for you to fill one of them, see what you can do and how you would cope with people knocking you all the time

        • Gordon Bilsborough July 16, 2015 at 10:18 pm

          You are dead right, Sheila.
          Let these anonymous critics put their money where their mouth is, or shut up!!!

          • High Lanes Drifter July 17, 2015 at 4:03 pm

            Gordon perhaps it would be good to remember that our money is already where your mouth is, it was entrusted to you and other candidates who promised much in manifestos that remains to be delivered.
            You and others have devolved your authority to a little group comprised of some members and some officers.
            You sleep walked in to the mess that is the current council and despite your exhortations you have done diddley squat to get democracy re-established.
            You are there because of our mandate, stop whingeing at critics and start being effective; show your teeth when it counts in the chamber and for goodness sake try and do it effectively!

        • High Lanes Drifter July 16, 2015 at 11:01 pm

          As a former generous contributor you will doubtless appreciate how much better it is to give than to receive.