Cornwall Council Preparing To Take On Raft Of Scilly Council Services

town hall windows signScilly’s Council could ask Cornwall to provide a raft of essential services to the islands as it prepares to plug a 40% hole in its budget.

The details were revealed in a report to Cornwall’s Resources Policy Advisory Committee at their meeting last Thursday.

The report says Scilly’s Council is facing “significant budgetary pressures in the context of continued austerity measures, which is adversely impacting on its ability to continue to provide a whole range of both vital frontline and support services to its residents.”

And it says that following recent informal discussions between Scilly’s Chief Executive Theo Leijser and Kate Kennally, his counterpart in Cornwall, both sides are keen to explore the opportunities to provide services or functions to the islands.

So far this year, Scilly’s Council has agreed to share a Chief Fire Officer and the Monitoring Officer role with Cornwall.

They’ve also put in place an agreement to obtain legal services and already share an Acting Director of Public Health.

The report says there’s potential for Cornwall to take on some waste services and to fill the Section 151 Officer role when the current holder leaves in September.

The S151 Officer is a statutory role that looks after the financial probity of the Council.

The report also says Scilly’s Council has expressed an interest in sharing IT support, human resources and procurement.

But the report also warns Cornwall’s councillors that their authority shouldn’t suffer financially by bailing out Scilly.

It says that any collaborative arrangements “must be mutually beneficial to both the Council and the IoS” and ideally provide a net modest external income stream to Cornwall, who are also facing budget pressures.

26 Responses to Cornwall Council Preparing To Take On Raft Of Scilly Council Services

  1. John Allsop September 13, 2016 at 10:28 pm

    A 40% hole in the councils budget and they are going to spend over 800 thousand to knock the old school down and use the emergency fund in the process. Lets hope there is no emergency requiring council funds because a lot of it will have gone. And it,s not their money it,s ours, the tax payer put it there. It,s about time they lived within the income that the tax payers can provide. Or do they think our income and pension is a bottomless pit.

    • Morris September 14, 2016 at 10:13 am

      You are right on the mark John; the site post demolition will cause more problems than the empty building, the science block is begging for conversion rather than destruction, this truly abysmal council is hell bent on financial vandalism. Seemingly there aren’t enough councillors with the wisdom or courage to call a halt to the lemming like rush to push the finances over the cliff edge.

  2. Adrian September 10, 2016 at 10:37 am

    Oh Muddy Waters you are so so right and the problems are still so evident.
    In fact six of us DID call a meeting to debate the position of the (elected) Chair of the Scrutiny Committee. Two long standing members wrote in, without attending the debate,
    to say that they considered our actions as ‘worthy of contempt’ . and another, (who was present) accused us of wasting Officers time and Council money .
    Would you sit on a committee in those circumstances? Would you have confidence in your colleagues?

    Also despite two code of Conduct investigations involving myself, both of which went to Cornwall C.C.and DID cost this authority legal fees. both resulted in a NO BREACH assessment, restrictions were put on my work by a sub committee of my fellow MEMBERS.
    ( My supposed crime?? challenging a senior officer —in private!)

    All in all I do not believe that there is any desire amongst the present majority of members to recognise let alone address the present serious underlying problems.

  3. Adrian Davis September 9, 2016 at 4:15 pm

    I respond to your post of 8th Muddy D W ,
    I just wonder why you should think that being elected to out LA means that the SMT / Officers take any notice of elected members should they have a different view to themselves.. As you know I have been there and tried.!
    For example half way through the present term ( 30.04.15)….” I wrote to the Chairman expressing my view that the ”short term financial situation seems bleak and the long term even more so…” The reply I received dismissed my concern.–BUT -look where we are now!

    More will come out in due course I am sure!

    • Muddy D Waters September 10, 2016 at 12:01 am

      I have considerable sympathy for the position you found yourself in; however it remains that any six members can demand an item be put on the agenda and equally can instruct the chairman to proceed to a vote. The problem you faced still remains whereby the chairman and her grossly inexperienced vice are de facto members of the so called senior management team. Having been courted into the team they are automatically complicit and inevitably no longer act to uphold the wishes or represent the views of fellow councillors who perhaps want to debate a policy interpretation or a resultant course of action.
      Elected members of our council have come together in the past to remove a failing chairman and put someone in charge that properly exercised their function; surely by now there are enough who can see the folly of her ways and feel empowered to act?

  4. Adrian September 8, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    Just when we are expecting to hear the report of the Five Square Solutions survey we are told that there is urgent need to fill a 40% hole in the Budget.
    I do not believe that we were informed of the remit of this mainland Consultancy but we have been told that all options are to be considered and I believe that they were given a financial ‘cap’.
    During the public meetings some reassurance was given that no service provision would be reduced but on reading the report to CCC dated 1/9./16 it transpires that our CEO , in ‘informal’ discussions ‘ has stimulated the CCC to update its protocol to support CIoS in the event of the IoS needing to urgently close the care home..
    Why should . it become urgent?
    It has been known for some time that the building itself is far from ideal but, the absolute need for a Care Home in Scilly has been well established by the exemplary ,dedicated care given over the years by generations of Staff. This has been confirmed by repeated CQC inspections.
    Millions of pounds can be found to facilitate the tourist trade, which is commendable, but does charity not begin at home.?
    Urgent closure of Park House would mean sending more folk to the mainland which will result in more distress to all concerned and frequently earlier death.. ( I learned early in my career that moving the elderly from their established environment is life threatening)
    Everyone has the right, as far as possible, to be cared for ,, and die,,in their own environment, and not be ‘exported.’ Surely we should be seeking to replace/ update Park House and not closing the door to future generations and in doing so lose more jobs ?

  5. a council worker September 7, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    As a council worker I’d say that if there was a vote of confidence in Theo’s management approach he’d lose by a huge amount. Morale is rock bottom and no one is sure what or who he’s going to cut next. He came in promising change and to be fair has done that. Everything has changed for the worse! How much more damage can he inflict before members take note? Good organisations treat staff with respect not like furniture that can be shifted around at will. We’ve already lost two respected members of staff, how long until he screws up again with his uncosted plans and others have to pay with their jobs.

    • Hudson September 8, 2016 at 11:10 pm

      Whilst the problem can be largely attributed to the Chief Executive it is just unfathomable why members (other than the chairman and deputy who I fear are detached from reality) have not stood up for their staff and called time on what has become a dreadful regime.

    • M September 19, 2016 at 11:08 pm

      I work for the council too and I agree with everything you’ve said; nobody knows where the axe will fall next but are confident that it won’t take off the head…..he’s got the ear of the queen and they’re plotting for this council’s downfall.

      • Ewart Less September 20, 2016 at 1:58 pm

        I don’t think the Queen is plotting the downfall of the authority; its just the case that neither she nor the increasingly ludicrous CEO knew how they got us into this mess or have any inkling how to dig us out of the deep sticky mire of their making.
        He was so obviously the wrong man for the job and she chose him. She is by far the very worst chairman of council we have ever endured and will likely be the last to ever hold office.
        He’ll take the money until the council’s last gasp and she will shed more crocodile tears.

  6. Adam Morton, St.Martins September 7, 2016 at 10:45 am

    I’m glad we still have this forum, the only one in scilly i’m aware of that permits comment and keeps an archive. Archives are very inconvenient to some people as they record statements made in the past. Be sure to ask for comment ST, even if none is given.
    Totally agree Sue M.
    I wish a few more people would use their whole names though. Some try to say it’s just some mainlanders trolling the site or the editor putting up his own comments, please prove that it isn’t by using your real names .
    For all the whinging from the chairman in the light of the Brexit vote, the council has overseen the spending of perhaps an extra £30m or so in the past 5 years and no doubt the same in the next. This money was the taxpayers contribution to the EU and merely represents the same money distributed differently. Some council officers seem to think its a free money tree to blow in any manner they see fit and then still get their old council allocations as well! This money was supposed to build a robust economy capable of supporting itself and council services in the future, not spent on a shopping spree . As it stands the Council has impoverished the economy by undermining the call for transport subsidy in its greed for money to spend on its own projects which offer little value for money and contribute zero growth to the local economy.
    Lets not forget Feta, that the Council spent £750 a day on the interim CEO to restructure and then appointed the current one to make a U turn on £110kpa after which no savings could be found. This is after paying out nearly a quarter of a million in severance to the previous CEO!These are just some the published instances of waste conducted by the current Council. That is before we start on the as yet unused £7-16m 20meter quay project or the four million terminal facing declining numbers and likely given to a private operator and the egnos system as yet also unused! A million pound TIC given to a private advertising agency .At least the previous regimes at least recognised the need for a transport initiative!

  7. Jonny Exile September 7, 2016 at 9:37 am

    The most telling thing in this piece is that the Section 151/senior finance officer is leaving after little over a year. I think that’ll put us on our fourth incumbent since Lawrence-Roberts left in 2013. Speaks for itself really.

  8. John Hicks September 6, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    My heart is breaking.

    • Pete September 7, 2016 at 7:19 am

      John. Your heart will break when we all pay financially for this mess .

    • Anne Collins September 7, 2016 at 7:35 pm

      Just think all this was started when the previous chairman and his vice chairman had those meetings with the LGA in Newquay, those were the meetings that only a very select inner core of members were made aware of. Our elected members must have seen the utter turmoil brewing for many months and yet they have lacked the courage or foresight to challenge madam chairman or her fully compliant vice chairman.

  9. Peter September 6, 2016 at 11:23 am

    I did say that this should, and inevitably would, happen in my many postings when I used to contribute fairly regularly to this site until I got fed up of the abuse. And this is only the beginning of Cornwall Council taking over.

  10. A Martian September 5, 2016 at 10:37 pm

    You had a working functioning council which you gleefully disembowelled; you imported the feckless and hung on their every word. You overpaid and they in turn have relentlessly underperformed. All in all pretty shabby chairman.

  11. Tyrion Lannister September 5, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    Cersei has few options left but consoles herself with the knowledge that the chain and throne of the realm (yes there really is one in the chamber) will be hers to fondle and polish hereafter once they are consigned to a corner in her little house of curios.

    I know I made this comment in July but it seems to have been somewhat oracular.
    The outcome is as predicted but is nonetheless indefensible.

  12. Little Crebawethan September 5, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    Congratulations Chairman. You have presided over the most divisive and poorest performing Council in my memory. Good, honest and hardworking local people have been sacrificed to make savings and yet the high-earning imports remain. Under your leadership the Council has been diminished to the point of no return. Cornwall will take over in all but name. I suspect it is now a matter of time before our Council is merged. You have handed it over to them.
    I have a Tesco mobile. It says Tesco on the paperwork but it is 02 who deliver the network. They make it work. Tesco just bill me. That’s what you have achieved. I am paying and other ratepayers are paying our Council to hand over our rates to Cornwall.
    I thought the Council was meant to look after the interest of Scillonians. I know that former Council Chairmen would be ashamed of what has happened. Are you ashamed, Mrs Martin?

    • Feta September 6, 2016 at 11:19 pm

      Most of the financial problems stem from a previous era with incompetent decisions. Under a previous regime a beach cleaner was purchased for £275k, which was used once! Where is the machine now? Dumped at Moorwell under our water table! and poisoning us! Which fool decided to spend that and let that machine be dumped there?So before you go knocking the current leadership a lot these problems are from the previous regime.

      • Muddy D Waters September 7, 2016 at 8:00 pm

        Oops I think that was closer to £40,000 which included the large tractor which towed it. Still nice try at blame deflection.

        • Matty September 8, 2016 at 9:09 am

          Ok the figure was wrong, but Feta has a point about previous mistakes costing this council more. I’m more concerned about the toxic waste under the water table. Yes the current council are still making mistakes, however, if Muddy D Waters thinks it is so easy why don’t they put themselves forward for a councillor post? Or are they one of the moaners who can’t be bothered to put their expertise to the local good?

          • Muddy D Waters September 8, 2016 at 4:54 pm


            You are right on the salient point it was the present council that moved from the sheds and buried it. Oh and the figure wasn’t just wrong it was out by a country mile. Can I presume from your comments that you are already on the council and ergo we should be thanking you for your contribution to the present debacle?

      • FYI September 11, 2016 at 5:44 pm

        Could I humbly suggest that you read back through previous audit letters, the greatest criticism of the previous administration was that it built up reserves too much! Damn good job they did because your present crew blew the lot and we would have been in an even bigger mess without the dosh to offset the disgraceful overspends.

  13. Sue M September 5, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    Seems pretty pointless keeping Scilly’s council when the only thing that seems to get them animated is dog poo and uPVC windows, rather than the issues that actually worry the residents, like transport and housing. Time to hand the whole lot over to Cornwall and get rid of this useless and bloated senior management team that only seems to be able to overspend.

  14. Linguine September 5, 2016 at 8:41 pm

    If ever there was any doubt that the Linguist can’t do sums here’s the proof. The first significant saving that should come from this is the most obvious, we surely don’t need a £110k Chief Executive to oversee the scraps left on the plate.
    Oh, Madam Chairman hang your head in shame!