Council Creates Six New Roles To Work On European Grants

economic development eco dev signCouncillors have approved the creation of six new roles to deliver the next round of European funding for the islands.

Three of those new positions – a Programme Manager, Engagement Officer and Finance Assistant – will organise the replacement for the old Local Action Group scheme.

But in a report that went before councillors at last week’s Full Council meeting, Senior Development Manager Diana Mompoloki said the new approach will be different.

Grants of between £1,000 and £100,000 will be given to islands’ firms to allow them to access support and training to start up or grow their businesses.

And an independent review of the old LAG programme said there wasn’t enough separation between staff who engaged with businesses and those that actually managed the applications and finances.

So this time, the Engagement Officer will work from the Islands’ Partnership offices on Hugh Street, while the other two staff will remain in the Town Hall.

The Council will also be involved in a second European programme, this time to replace the ERDF, which funded several important infrastructure projects like the quay extension and airport terminal refurbishment.

Councillors approved the appointment of a further three staff members to manage this Technical Assistance scheme.

Those grants, if successful, will be awarded by the Islands Futures Board, set up to deliver the recommendations made in the economic development report produced for the Council last year.

The board is currently made up of Council Chief Executive Theo Leijser, Chairman Amanda Martin, and representatives from the Duchy, Islands’ Partnership, Tresco Estate and Steamship Company.

Back in March councillors approved recruiting two representatives from Scilly’s smaller businesses to that group but Mr Leijser told members that although they had advertised for people to come forward, “no credible applications” had been received yet.

Cllr Christine Savill was concerned that the perception in the community “will be that the major players are having all the input” and she urged the appointment of the extra representatives quickly.

Diana told councillors that all of the new appointments will be made from the existing budget for her department.

They will be three year roles, although Cllr Fran Grottick questioned why, if this was the case, the Council had to include redundancy payments within the budget when the staff get laid off at the end of their contracts.

Diana said this was the law and kicked in after just a year of employment.

The new roles will mean there’s a total of ten people working on grants and capital development within the Council. Diana says her team has pulled in over £30m of funding for the islands over the last five years.



22 Responses to Council Creates Six New Roles To Work On European Grants

  1. Adrian Davis October 4, 2015 at 10:11 am

    I wonder if ‘Local Realist’ has read the EXTERNAL Auditors report for the last TWO years?

    • Morris October 5, 2015 at 8:31 am

      None so blind as those who will not see!
      Given the length of the input LR might well be suffering from Wornitis or Morton fever.
      Joking apart I do hope that the back benches are in a position to force the Senior Management Team to pause for thought? I suspect that there is every possibility that audit are increasingly frustrated with the repeated poor performance and are allowing the SMT enough rope to hang the authority.

  2. JOHN BANFIELD October 3, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    I have seen the light!!! I may be a bit thick, but I have worked out the long term plan, 6 new jobs, all essential workers! so possibly 6 new houses needed to house them.The Council will compulsory purchase them from the stock of private houses that have 106’s on them. Someone told me when we were building that it was too good for a Scillonian,(a joke I thought at the time). It would be a lot cheaper than having to pay full market price for housing on the open market. Do I need to book a one way ticket out of here?

    • Adam Morton, St.Martins October 5, 2015 at 10:27 am

      I think you will find that council officials are pushing open market housing development opportunities the next local plan ……I wonder who they could possibly have in mind as the beneficiaries of this scheme!!!!!

      • High Lanes Drifter October 5, 2015 at 6:25 pm

        Adam,
        rest assured that the Dear Leader would not deign to allow mere functionaries to build nests of feathers!
        This insignificant contrivance over which you fret is no more than a most welcome opportunity for her subjects to furnish the shining one with a palace of burnished gold built at the end of a road of yellow bricks.
        The walls will be adorned with two hundred and twelve decorative claws that will magically ward off occupancy by all non celestials.
        At an auspicious moment we will be instructed to avert our gaze and her unanimous consent will flow allowing all to proceed.
        Let us give thanks for the many blessings that the Dear One has caused to bring joy to our humble existence!

  3. kay banfield October 3, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    Local realist you paint such a black picture of our tourist industry that I’m surprised providers and visitors don’t give up and throw the towel in now. What an insult to people who have worked successfully in the trade all their life, what an insult to the people working hard to promote tourism. The tourist industry is evolving, Hotels and guest houses used to be the order of the day,many visitors in the latter years have been choosing to stay in self catering accommodation, this is happening nationwide not just in Scilly. One day it may change again, who knows. Transport is an issue wherever you go in the world, we were snowed in at Heathrow two years ago, it happens. But then as we’re not of the right calibre so what would we know. (By the way I do so wish you had the courage to put your name to your missives)

  4. Al October 3, 2015 at 11:47 am

    Before embarking on further grand schemes that appear to have little local support the Council should be funding more immediate concerns for which grants are readily available which do not require additional staff to generate. A good example would be the provision of decent, reliable public transport which in Scilly means a safe, comfortable bus service operating year round, to a timetable not tailored for driver’s convenience and the needs of the 1970s. And one that is not subject to whether or not the operator/driver is banned from operating the service as result of criminality. And any successful, customer oriented bus business requires its drivers to be civil and helpful, characteristics absent from the present set up and ones that require no grant aid whatsoever! A good role model are the Skybus bus drivers who operate safe and reliable vehicles too. Perhaps the answer would be to provide the Skybus bus operator a grant to assist running a proper Community bus service.

  5. Jenny October 2, 2015 at 7:51 am

    The new posts will be outside of the accountable governance of the people elected to represent the majority of people. The proposals for the airport are the same. Less accountability to our elected members. Based on the views posted on this site about some of our elected Councillors, some will applaud the lack of accountability to the people of these isles.

  6. Local Realist October 1, 2015 at 11:46 pm

    I am getting more and more dismayed by the lack of recognition by locals of what a difference Diana Mompoloki and Theo Leijser are making. There are plenty of cheap jibes about six-figure salaries but we are lucky to have two people who, against the odds, have been able to secure massive amounts of European cash to secure our future development. These islands would be in a desparate state with the recent economic downturn if it were not for the massive amounts of income brought into the economy by Mrs Mompoloki’s successfully grant-funded infrastructure schemes. Think how many borderline B and B’s have been saved by the bednights taken by workers over the past 4 years. Tourism is too volatile and the Council Senior Staff should be commended for having the confidence, skill and vision to devise a plan to downgrade the importance of tourism and reduce its importance to our economy going forward. We can’t guarantee the transport connections because of our location so our kids future should not be based around the low-paying and fickle tourism economy. Embracing the superfast broadband, which we should not forget is only here thanks to Mrs Mompoloki, will provide our only hope for future prosperity and employment a long time after the last hotel closes and converts to flats or self catering accommodation. We have a connected, state-of-the-art workspace in Mrs Mompoloki’s Porthmellon Innovation Centre, ready to be used by digipreneurs. We need to build attractive, open-market homes to encourage them to move over. If locals already here can’t make use of our greatly improved infrastructure then they clearly are not of the right calibre. Once half a dozen of new hi-tech businesses start, more will come, as witnesses elsewhere.Combined with Mrs Mompoloki and Mr Leijser’s offshore sustainable energy project in partnership with some serious Asian multinationals, our childrens future will be green and rosy. And we must not stand in the way of progress that will allow Scilly to change, improve and stand as an exemplar of the new economy. Well done Diana. You have my support and admiration.

    • Adam Morton, St.Martins October 2, 2015 at 9:48 am

      I do so hope you are being very cynical.

      • Ewart October 2, 2015 at 7:58 pm

        Adam,
        Could this not just be the ramblings of the insane.
        Little men in white coats comes to mind.

    • Styles October 3, 2015 at 9:23 pm

      Ha ha! Comedy for free!

  7. Mark Phippen October 1, 2015 at 11:09 pm

    It is doubtful that the amount awarded in grants will me more than the cost of employing these 6 people. The method by which grants are offered and then sought by multiple parties in a competitive process, all costing money to bid, further compounds the entire folly. If the entire grant process was scrapped, there would be a net gain to the economy and people could be employed doing actual useful council work rather than creating an industry around this bureaucratic engine.

  8. Local Realist October 1, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    And that is the attitude that has got Scilly into such a mess. The islands cannot expect to give jobs to people already here. The skills required don’t exist locally. We must headhunt the best talent from the mainland and bring people in for their expertise and not rely on someone who happens to be resident but is not really suitable. If our Council had not had the foresight to recruit experts we would not have had access to the skills and talent of Diana Mompoloki. Scilly would have stagnated without her outstanding skills in accessing grants worth millions. She has literally kept us afloat with the Quay works, Airport, Road surfacing and now millions more in grant funding. Mrs Mompoloki is a classic example of why property should be secured for specialists who can help give secure the islands future growth and sustainability.

    • Mrs E Windsor October 1, 2015 at 3:01 pm

      In today’s modern connected world, why does the post holder have to live in Scilly?
      I assume most of their work will be over the phone or internet, so as you say a larger talent pool in the big wide world can be trawled.

      Also the ISSco should be kept as far away from anything like this as possible, they are a monopoly and as such should have no input or influence, unless they want to either provide a better service or allow competition to provide an alternative service.
      Its thanks the the ISSco that the Helicopter pulled out having had half their customer base poached.

      The islands don’t need any more grants unless its for a year round boat service that can do the journey in half the time, or perhaps a helicopter.

      Any EU funding which is going to end after the 2017 referendum should be spent on improving the transport link.

    • Real Localist October 1, 2015 at 4:23 pm

      You are kidding aren’t you, please tell me you are just holding up a big red rag for the nearest bull?

      The government got rid of the Regional Development Agency because the only significant growth it produced was within its own bureaucracy, we already have a crop of RDA migrants, no doubt we will need more for the Scillonian Development Agency!
      The roads are a great improvement but we haven’t seen a cost breakdown yet, every other project has been a nightmare of overspends, overruns and oversights.
      At the end of three years the six contracts will be extended moreover in the meantime the council will find jobs for the spouses or partners of all those who are engaged.
      At this rate they will probably get a grant to build their own social club.

      • Chargepayer October 2, 2015 at 12:57 am

        Just read that the roads were over budget by 255,000 on a predicted 900,000 spend. We really can’t afford much more grant success. This really is just too bad. Chairman time to do the honourable thing.

        • Sue M October 2, 2015 at 2:29 am

          Don’t be hard on the chairman – she’s already stated that she’s a linguist, not a numbers person – although I’m currently struggling to see ANY numbers people in this council…

      • Sue M October 2, 2015 at 2:39 am

        We should be thanking all of these Regional Development Agency staff. If they hadn’t messed up the “development” of the region, we wouldn’t still be below the 70% average income level of the EU (and yes, that includes Greece) and we wouldn’t be able to draw down the second and third slices of lovely EU money. Give thanks to Theo and Diana – they know their stuff.

  9. Pat Hayden October 1, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    Unbelieveable – I would not know where to start to express my feelings.

  10. JOHN BANFIELD October 1, 2015 at 8:44 am

    No doubt all of these successful candidates will be classed as essential workers and qualify for Local Housing, be interesting to see how many of them are from within the Islands.

    • Ewart October 2, 2015 at 7:50 pm

      John,
      You have completely missed the point, they will be on such high salaries they will be able to purchase property at open market prices.
      No need for properties with section 106 agreements attached to them.