Number Of Councillors In Scilly Could Be Reduced
A single elected member could be representing each off-island if councillors accept recommendations being put forward at today’s Full Council meeting.
The Democratic Process Panel has already streamlined the committee system.
They’re now suggesting reducing the overall number of councillors from the current 22 down to 15.
Bryher, Tresco, St Agnes and St Martin’s each have a total of two elected representatives on the Council and that would go down to one. The 14 seats on St Mary’s would be reduced to 11.
The DPP argues that there have been three vacancies – one on Bryher since the 2013 elections and two on St Mary’s – one since January and a further vacancy since July this year.
They say the reduction would increase the number of constituents per councillor and even up the ratios across all five islands.
The panel had discussed removing the individual island parishes altogether but felt this was “a step too far.”
They say a benefit of the changes could be that the allowance paid to each councillor, currently £3,412 a year, could be increased, making the role a more attractive option for a wider cross section of the community, particularly those already in work.
Any proposals will need to be reviewed by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England and involve alterations to the relevant Acts of Parliament.
That could take at least 18 months, although councilors believe the new system could be in place by the next local elections in 2017.