Boundary Commission Says Number Of Scilly Councillors Should Be Cut
The number of elected members on Scilly’s council could be reduced to sixteen, with a single councillor for each off-island.
Those are the recommendations published today by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England, who are asking locals for their views on the proposals.
They’ve started an eight-week consultation on the new democratic arrangements for the islands.
The Commission’s draft report proposes that the Council should have sixteen councillors in the future – twelve for St Mary’s and one for each off-island. That’s five fewer than the current arrangements.
Councillors discussed the same draft proposals, put forward by officers back in December last year, but voted unanimously to reject them and retain the current 21 elected members.
There was strong opposition from off-island representatives.
Cllr Christine Savill told the meeting that 53 St Martin’s residents had signed a petition lodging a strong objection to any move to halve the off-island representation from two seats to one.
Cllr Savill said she wouldn’t back anything that led to a reduction in seats because she couldn’t justify that to her electorate.
But Professor Colin Mellors, Chair of the Commission, said his department had, “looked at evidence provided by the council and councillors which we believe points to a reduction in the total number of members of the council.”
Prof Mellors added: “We also believe that there is a strong case for the Off-Islands to maintain specific representation so the proposals mean that Bryher, St Agnes, St Martin’s, St Mary’s and Tresco all retain one councillor each.
He said the commission is keen to hear what islanders think of the proposed new electoral arrangements. “Over the next eight weeks, we are asking local people to tell us if they agree with the proposals or if not, how they can be improved”.
The full recommendations and maps are available on the Commission’s website at www.consultation.lgbce.org.uk and www.lgbce.org.uk. If you would like to make a submission to the Commission, you should contact them by 25th November 2016 at:
The Review Officer (Isles of Scilly)
Local Government Boundary Commission for England
14th floor, Millbank Tower