Off-Islanders Attending Council Meetings Should Get Free Boats Says Councillor

tripper boats st marys quay 2A St Martin’s councillor wants off-island residents to receive free boat travel to St Mary’s so they can attend Council meetings without being out-of-pocket.

Cllr Colin Daly expressed his view during a Full Council debate on whether all elected members should be allowed to sit-in on the committees on which they don’t serve.

The majority of members who spoke felt that off-island councillors attending meetings purely out of interest should pay their own way.

But Colin thinks all off-islanders and not just councillors are at a disadvantage and are treated like “second-class citizens” because there’s a cost in attending St Mary’s meetings.

Colin says, “we’re supposed to be running an open democracy here” and feels people should be able to attend Council meetings if they want to.

He says the former Chief Executive Philip Hygate agreed that any off-islander could get free passage to Council meetings on a special boat, by sharing the Council-funded transport arranged for the off-island members.

Colin says it’s hardly ever happened and he can “count the number on one hand.”

But he says the option should be there for islanders who have a particular interest in an ongoing issue.

Colin said it wasn’t the right time in the last meeting to pursue the point and push for support for off-islanders, but he does intend bringing it up at Council again.

Some members raised the cost of funding travel to non-essential meetings.

In the meeting Cllr Adrian Davis asked whether meetings are arranged to coincide with transport from the off-islands, to reduce costs

Council Chairman Amanda Martin told him that’s not the case. She replied that, “boats are taxis and we don’t schedule meetings around the times of taxis.”

48 Responses to Off-Islanders Attending Council Meetings Should Get Free Boats Says Councillor

  1. Herewegoagain August 31, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    Good on you Pete and Adam but please dont feed the trolls,save your opinions for people whos opinions actually count rather than the trolls,as we all did last year when the government inspectors came over,funnily enough their meeting had to be postponed because of the bad weather and the boats couldnt run!

  2. Missy August 31, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    Not only does the council pay for specials (boats at around £40 a time, each way) for the school children when they come to St Mary’s or when relief teachers go to an off island base on a daily basis, but the council also pays for taxis to and from the quay to the school, and it does this not only for the children and the teachers but it also does it for the council staff as well.
    So why is the council paying for regular boat trips and taxi’s AND off islands school bases; it seems only logical to remove one of those items from the expenses column.
    Talk about having your cake and eating it.

  3. pete August 31, 2015 at 9:43 am

    JTTSM. So your WORRIED about the TAX MAN. That’s a new angle. Do honestly think that you are going to save any money by cutting all these services.

  4. pete August 30, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    Some of these responses prove that some of the residents on St. Mary’s, are greedy, selfish and very jealous of the off islands. As I said before, they have a typical british attitude. If I can’t have it then you can’t have it .

    • JTTSM August 30, 2015 at 11:37 pm

      Pete, please enlighten us as to why saving money for the British tax payer is greedy behaviour by St Mary’s residents? It’s got nothing to do with ‘if I can’t have it … Etc’, it’s plain economic sense and as before there is no valid reason for keeping these expensive bases open. I don’t understand why the St Mary’s residents would be jealous, they have a bigger and newer school, excellent sports facilities, more variety of shops, better internet, easier travel to and from the mainland – or is that just a deflection as you realise that I’m right as you still haven’t given a proper reason for keeping those bases open.

      • Adam Morton, St.Martins August 31, 2015 at 9:46 am

        Its greedy behavior because the level of UK public spending is set at around £8000 pa per capita. By my calculation St.Mary’s has received something in the order of £40m over the past 5 years or so + the lion’s share of the £8m the Council gets for its services Lets say it was £6m pa that gives a grand total of £70m over 5 years divided by 1600 people = £43750 divided over 5 years gives you £8750 pa. In the unlikely event that the off islands were receiving their entitlement in the first place, what could your possible motive for saving the taxpayer money be other than spite? I am all for it being better used to give off islanders better lives but that isn’t your intention is it?

  5. pete August 30, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    Roger. It’s such a practical idea, that makes you so FRIGHTENING.

  6. Roger August 30, 2015 at 9:08 am

    Re: the Tides and some of the off islands being cut of at times, this is a new phenomenon! we live on an Island we are surrounded by water and yet we hear more and more that there is no water, what has happened to the plank or using the punt to land people? thats how It was always dun but less and less these days.

  7. Herewegoagain August 30, 2015 at 8:40 am

    No reply? Hehe no point trying to argue with ignorance even if they can write long sentences.

    • Ewart August 30, 2015 at 10:37 am

      Please elucidate.Is this short enough for you??

    • Just trying to save money August 30, 2015 at 11:54 am

      See, no coherent argument to keep the off island schools open. All reasons as to why they should stay open have been successfully, and quite rightly countered. As for ignorance, I think you’ve proved that, by the above statement.

      • Ewart August 31, 2015 at 12:35 pm

        Just trying to save money,
        I would suggest you read my comments of the 29th .August.
        I do not make any reference to Schools on the Off Islands or the Children being taken to St.Mary’s for schooling. I do not have any particular view on that subject. My reference was to the use of the word TAXIS.
        As for ignorance ——- Touche. sorry no accent over the “e” my laptop does allow this??

  8. Ewart August 29, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    If the Chairman of the Council had used a Bus as an analogy for a boat, she may had,had a point. However a taxi one books for a specific time, thus there would no reason to schedule meetings around the times of taxis.

    • Linguine August 30, 2015 at 9:22 am

      Ewart, I am sure you have a point, so well done for that!
      It would be unwise for even the Linguist to take the bus for the time being.

  9. pete August 29, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    It’s very very true that boat travel is far safer than traveling by car, especially with some of the idiots on the roads today. I only mentioned bad weather, but if you live on the islands then you should know that we have a problem with what is called Tides. This results in some of the off islands being cut of at times, result no boats. So therefore should the schools on St. Mary’s open and close to suit the tides. If some of you want to close the off island schools and mundersley.

    • Just wanting to save money August 30, 2015 at 7:20 am

      And many days did off island council workers miss last year because of tides? I guess it was around nil. So your point is?

      • Adam Morton, St.Martins August 30, 2015 at 10:41 am

        Don’t fool yourself! I have little interest in school business but it has been established time and again on here that the grants received for off island transport & boarding are NOT transferable and would be lost to Scilly as a whole if withdrawn. Ask yourself truthfully if you would be happy to put your 5 year old on a jet boat every day,which has had one engine failure, one incident in collision with another boat and the bottom gouged out going aground on a rock in just the last 12 months?
        I would love to see a more frequent and timetabled boat service (especially out of hours) Great socially and economically but we know it has nothing to do with this has it? Its about keeping all the wealth on St.Marys. Careful what you wish for or the next thing you will be moaning that the off islands are poaching all your trade and getting some of the cushy jobs, emptying the COOP and scrutinising your share of public spending. We might even get to see your infrastructure plans and point out obvious flaws! You done such a great job on your own haven’t you!
        You want to save money- what so you can spend it on yourselves? – show us the workings from council accounts as to why you think the off islands are getting more than their share per capita.

        • JWTSM August 30, 2015 at 5:28 pm

          Adam, I didn’t say the grants were transferable. All I’m saying is that there is no reason not to place all the education on one site, there by saving money. The grant given to the council/school would go back into the national tax savings. The school would save 6 or 7 teachers salaries plus cleaning/maintenance costs. I can’t understand your argument about putting a five year on a boat when it is ready done so frequently, do off island council workers place their lives at risk everyday then? This isn’t about the off islands taking a share of the IOS income, it’s about not wasting money. Your narrow minded view sums up why there are so many perceived obstacles to saving money.

          • Adam Morton, St.Martins August 30, 2015 at 10:45 pm

            For starters 5 year olds don’t go on the boats, only juniors on Fridays , I know coz I deliver the school dinners to the base each day! Get your facts straight!
            Cut the bull***t, this isn’t anything to do with saving money its just about depriving the off island of the teachers incomes and ANY benefit because you are sad, bored anonymous, internet trolls with nothing better to do !

          • JTTSM August 31, 2015 at 3:12 pm

            Adam, once again you have shown the off island mentality of can’t change won’t change. Are you saying that no off island children ever come to St Mary’s? It’s this kind of ridiculous thinking that is wasting money. Mind you I can see why you wouldn’t want the St Martins base closed as by your previous post you would lose an income from providing school dinners. Quite selfish to ask the tax payer to fund you!

  10. pete August 27, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    Morris. Is the running and the maintenance of the desalination plant grant funded?

    • Morris August 30, 2015 at 9:11 am

      No, paid for by the water customer through water charges we pay separately.

  11. pete August 27, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    Kate. Nobby Nobbs only wanted mundersley closed . Martin wants all off island schools closed. As well as mundersley. There are two things which are unfortunately a drain on the tax payer and can not be avoided. One is the NHS. And the other Education. Even private education is funded by the tax payer, to a degree.

    • Copain de Nobby August 29, 2015 at 7:50 am

      What I don’t understand is this. The cost of running Mundesley and the Off Islands School Bases, including salaries, building maintenance etc must be in the region of £500,000 pa, perhaps the school governors would like to advise us. The jet boats already take off island children to St Mary’s on a regular basis. Council workers make daily journeys from the off islands to St Mary’s and return the same day. Perhaps the council could confirm how many working days were lost for off island council workers unable to come across, it’s probably a couple a year. Surely turning Mundesley into a youth hostel during the summer would generate income and if there was bad weather, which would probably be in the winter, the hostel would be empty so stranded children could be housed there in an emergency. With modern technology of nautical boating aids and improvements at the quays it is far safer now than it has ever been and certainly safer than driving to and from school in a car on the mainland. So I guess the only real excuse for not doing the above is that the off island children might miss out on the social mixing after school? Parents on the mainland have to ‘ferry’ (no pun intended), their children about at their own expense, to after school clubs so I can’t see a reason why it would stop the children here. I guess it is easier to do nothing than changing it and saving money.

      • La plume de ma tante August 29, 2015 at 11:09 pm

        Ah I see no reply from off islanders! I think because they know it makes sense and have no real argument to support education on the off-islands. The school governors need tob save money now do do as Copain de Nobby says.

        • Madame Cholet August 30, 2015 at 9:00 am

          But Mundesley is funded separately, close it and the money goes with it.
          Think of other reasons to shut it or ask Ray Wornes for advice, he is the islands’ educational and political guru with a hotline to central government.

          • Carrott August 30, 2015 at 11:46 am

            It all comes from the tax payer, whether locally or nationally, so your point is?

  12. pete August 25, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    Martin. You expect 5 year old children to travel to St. Mary’s.each day.You obviously do not live on a off island with children. This has gone on for generations, with excellent results, to a far higher standard than that they would receive on St. Mary’s. What price would you put on education.

    • Martin Mac'Martin August 26, 2015 at 7:52 pm

      Bla bla bla,
      What price would I put on education, about £1.5m pa to keep all the off island bases and Mundersley open, plus all the boat trips that we’re already paying for on top.
      I see plenty of 5yr olds on boats in the winter going back and forth between St Mary’s and the off islands, often in relation to schooling, so its really not an excuse any more.
      I understand you don’t want anything to impact on your way of life, but its the rest of us that are paying for it.

      • Kate Stephens August 26, 2015 at 10:13 pm

        Has Nobby Nobbs got a twin brother?

      • Adam Morton, St.Martins August 27, 2015 at 12:12 am

        Whilst we are on the subject of paying for it, I trust you will be covering the 600K overspend on your leisure facilities at porthcressa and not off islanders subsidising you? I hear the Council want £15m to spend on your sewerage facilities to come from the taxpayer because you haven’t invested your own money like the off islands do! Since you choose to live on an island it is only proper by your calculations that the £5 medical flights are canceled! You chose to hog all the money for a brand new school on your island for your own convenience so you can contribute to the cost of attending it! I suppose you are covering the cost of your desalination plant and not Scillies ratepayers collectively?
        Before any more comments ,do some actual calculations. St.Mary’s NOT Scilly has had around £40m in funding over the past few years. I don’t think the taxpayer should cover fee boat trips but if you are a St.Marys resident you certainly don’t have any room to preach!

        • Martin Mac'Martin August 27, 2015 at 1:33 pm

          It comes down to numbers and its a very simple equation.
          Spend x amount of £’s on 1700 people plus the majority of the visitors plus the two ways on and off the islands, i.e. the airport and the quay, or spend it all on 60 people and a goat
          It’s the same on the mainland, the majority of money gets spent in the towns and city’s where the majority of people live,

        • Morris August 27, 2015 at 4:00 pm

          Adam, time to cool down and get your facts straight, the desalination plant was funded completely by a grant. Unless you choose to home school your children (which can sometimes leave children poorly equipped to reason and socialise) they will be making full use of the new Five Islands School, all that is available on St.Mary’s is just as available to you at the other end of a boat ride, St.Martin’s is a beautiful place to live, for goodness sake stop constantly whingeing about your lot and start counting your many blessings!

          • Mark Prebble August 27, 2015 at 8:52 pm

            Your cheap jibe at home schooled children fails to acknowledge that poor social skills and cognitive ability are just as attainable in the state’s school system as any other social network for life skill building. At what age are you making this claim for and what criteria are you using to evaluate the individual. Where’s your evidence?
            Give a child a chance and there’s every likelihood that with the support and love of their parents they’ll make a reasonable job of being a grown up.

          • Adam Morton, St.Martins August 28, 2015 at 12:19 am

            Martin Mac Martin, the equation is known as the Barnett formula and it does not entitle St.Mary’s to take more than its per capita entitlement by robbing the off islands of theirs! As I thought , your comment is just hot air based on no facts or calculations.
            Morris , it appears you did not benefit from your education enough to give you even a basic understanding of the British tax & welfare system! If the ability to accept total horse manure comments based on nothing other than pure malice towards the off islands is a product of the five island school then it should be closed! You haven’t offered any fact whatsoever never mind reason!
            Whether grant or direct Government funding , the money originates from the British taxpayer . To say that one counts and the other doesn’t is hypocritical at the least, ignorant at best! This was an argument about off islanders being treated as second class citizens by some of their St.Mary’s counterparts – a point which you have proven with flying colours!
            With devolution coming it is important that members of outlying communities take an interest in the allocation of funding to see that they are not being done out of their share and then seeing it spent on items not of their choice.

    • The Patrician August 27, 2015 at 8:41 pm

      Well it’s safer than travelling by car, and if you don’t like it, don’t live on an off island, simple really.

  13. pete August 22, 2015 at 9:55 am

    Reply to Martin. Typical british attitude. If I cannot have it then you should not have it. As for closing Mundersley what happens in the winter when the boats do not operate due to bad weather. Brainless thinking.

    • Captain Carrott August 23, 2015 at 12:02 am

      Pete, if you lived here you would know boats operate all year round – own goal, off island council workers seem to be able to get here on a daily basis all year round.

      It’s not a case of ‘if I can’t have it’ .. Etc it’s just common sense – 2 nil

      ‘Brainless thinking’ is your comment – Game over

      Martin MacMartin is making perfect sense.

      • High Lanes Drifter August 23, 2015 at 8:35 am

        Quite so and if the weather was ever too bad for boating I am sure the Dear Leader would walk with the young from the off islands to ensure their continued enlightenment, or visit each island in turn and speak to them in tongues for there would be no question of alchemy or calculus on such days.

        • Martin Mac'Martin August 24, 2015 at 8:45 pm

          Regards winter boating, there are less than a handful of days when the boats don’t go, due to poor weather, which is about the same number of days mainland schools are closed each year due to bad weather, so again, not valid reason, to keep off island school bases open.
          Then the there are the video links set up to each off island at great expense to the tax payer, these could be used to continue education if required for the odd day.

          Do you realise that there is one island that has a deputy head, 2 classroom assistants and a care taker all for 6 children, and on top of this the council pays for a special boat each day for council staff and to bring the children over to St Mary’s for “inclusive” days, And you still think that off island school bases are valid?. If you were running a business (which is effectively what the council is) would you be so wasteful with precious resources?
          Yes off island school bases are very nice, but they really are not justifiable.

  14. Transient poster August 20, 2015 at 11:23 pm

    With reference to point number 2, Martin, some islands (definitely St. Martins ) had their own dedicated video conferencing units set up on each off island in community centres and other public accessible locations. Each had their own ISDN2 line at the time (paid for by the council ) before the launch of standard broadband and St. Marys had two units and lines for them to dial in to simultaneously, but no one ever used them and subsequently ended up being used in other departments ad hoc. The technology has always been there for councillors and staff to communicate remotely but instead they favour one to one meetings locally and jump at the chance to go to the mainland for an all expenses paid jolly.

  15. Martin Mac'Martin August 20, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    1. If the council are funding off island boat trips, then perhaps its time to close Mundersley down and use the tax payer funded boats to ship the children back home each night

    2. The islands have EU funded superfast broadband and an EU funded community centre, so why not set up a video link

    3. Cllr Daley chose to live on an off island so should stop complaining about all the difficulties and should stop expecting everyone else to fund his way of life

  16. Hecuba August 20, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    Ah, the linguist is evidently suffering some confusion/discombobulation/befuddlement with those pesky numbers again (for schedules rely on numbers/figures or they’d be very hard for the less gifted amongst us, who like to retain departure times etc. for future reference, to recall with ease). Taxis, and indeed private hire vehicles, do not run to a schedule. By their very nature they appear on demand (or at least fortuitously). Buses (is there a bus service on the islands? I forget…) run to schedule. Therefore/ergo, in this instance at least, boats ordered especially ARE akin to taxis, and boats that run to schedules are akin to buses. To conclude, then, I ask the following of the curator of artefacts/artifice:
    1 (sorry, scrap that) a) if by ‘boats are taxis’ you actually mean ‘boats are buses’?
    b) If this is the case – and I rather suspect it must be – should we be worried that the grip on language is heading in the same direction as the ability to work out budgets?
    c) why not schedule meetings around the time of ‘bus’ schedule this saving the LA funds?

  17. meme August 20, 2015 at 11:34 am

    Quite right, Councillors attending meetings purely out of interest and not a member of the particular committee should pay their own way, as they do not have a voice at the meeting and no vote, so why should the Community pay for them to attend.

    • Stephen Smith August 20, 2015 at 1:00 pm

      I agree. But if the council has already chartered a special for one or two people, then offering free passage to anyone else who wishes to hop on board and attend a council meeting would be jolly good PR and a positive way to try and engage the electorate. It’s a sunk cost after all. Anyone who does not want to attend the council meeting but wants to take advantage of the boat outside of the schedules could make a cash contribution, thereby recouping some of the cost of the charter, saving the council a pound or two. Easy enough to let people know via social media / radio announcements / notice board when the chartered boats are booked I’d have thought.

  18. John Hicks August 20, 2015 at 11:29 am

    I sometimes wonder on which cloud in Cuckoo land some of these councillors sit. Why the off islanders are thought to be being treated as second class citizens astounds me, they all live on the off islands by choice and know that a certain amount of expense comes with that choice. To consider giving people free transport to go to a meeting and do their weekly shop at the same time seems very naive to me. The council is striving to save money so to start giving a certain section of the community free transport will only end up with the people on St. Marys demanding free transport to the mainland to attend whatever they may decide interests them too, and do a bit of shopping………. And why shouldn’t they?

  19. Pensioner August 20, 2015 at 11:19 am

    Is this the Chairman who was elected with the manifesto to restructure and reduce costs and to make a more .efficient body ??! What happened there then?

    • High Lanes Drifter August 21, 2015 at 9:08 am

      How can you criticise the Dear Leader so? Did she not tread the long march toward reconstruction and reorganisation! She did this for you, not out of some misguided wish to be adorned with the golden necklace of office, don’t you realise the necklace was her destiny!
      She is guided along the true path by wise counsel who were themselves nurtured in the bosom of the fabled Regional Development Agency.
      Our lesser councillors are struck dumb by her celestial radiance, rendered powerless by the searing wisdom that is the product of her enlightenment! Rejoice in her many achievements and give thanks for her bounty.