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