Number Of Councillors In Scilly Could Be Reduced

Council chambers at the Old Wesleyan Chapel

Council chambers at the Old Wesleyan Chapel

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.

6 Responses to Number Of Councillors In Scilly Could Be Reduced

  1. Mrs E Windsor September 24, 2015 at 7:43 am

    Long overdue,
    Plus it would be good to reduce the off islands power ratio in line with the head count.
    Perhaps a clause should be introduced that excludes shareholders of the ISSco from being councillors, that way conflicts of interest can be avoided.

    • Ewart September 24, 2015 at 7:21 pm

      Just hand the functions of the Council to Cornwall Council. No need for highly paid Officials, or Councillors paid an allowance of £3412 per year plus expenses.
      I would suggest the total numbers of Councillors required to represent the Islands, should be no more than five. There should be no reason to travel to the Mainland for meetings as there is now high speed broadband on the island (at a very high cost to tax payers) witch would allow the Councillors to participate in Council meetings etc. by the means of a video link.

      Only a passing thought !!!!!!

  2. Monopoly September 23, 2015 at 8:26 pm

    I suppose with fewer of them to vote it’;ll be easier to surrender the lease of the airport and hand it over to another party. Which company do you reckon will be chosen? My money’s on a certain steamship and aeroplane operator.

    • Adam Morton, St.Martins September 24, 2015 at 8:42 am

      No , it will be put out to tender like the TIC on impossible terms and then when no interest is registered there will be a secret deal done behind closed doors with said operator in which it will take on the operation (with great reluctance !) of a few million pounds worth of asset . The Council will then say they are powerless to influence the provision of transport!

  3. scillymary September 23, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    Instead of worrying about a reduction in the number of Councillors they should be consentrating on reducing the enormous number of people we are employing to run our small community.

    • Linguine September 24, 2015 at 8:52 am

      The Chief Executive who is on 100,000+(one hundred thousand plus for the Linguist) has managed to employ all the extra people whilst saving 300,000 pounds (three hundred thousand pounds for the Linguist), although the accounts (sums for the Linguist) showed a substantial increase in staff costs so there must have been a mathematical error in the books (sums wrong for the Linguist). I remember the clamour for change, sadly the result has become a nightmare of mismanagement followed by reorganisation leading to the left hand being oblivious to the function of the right. Airport next!
      Be careful what you wish for folks!