Boundary Commission Says Number Of Scilly Councillors Should Be Cut

polling station scillyThe 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 and 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




11 Responses to Boundary Commission Says Number Of Scilly Councillors Should Be Cut

  1. Adrian September 30, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    If I may ,Pete, I would like to respond to your pertinent question.
    The ‘Secret Panel I referred to was I think a panel of three Members (selected how/by?) which on reading the independent assessment decided to make my representation as a Councillor conditional., As I said I was not allowed any representation to this Panel and in fact the whole process only allows the accused ten days to respond to the original complaint.. This does not seem fair to me or perhaps even legal.
    Then on 30th November I was one of six members who called a special meeting. to debate an ethical issue concerning the revised Scrutiny Committee. We were of the opinion that there was a conflict with the Nolan Principles of Public Life and other Government guidelines.
    Prior to the meeting two longstanding members circulated a letter saying that our actions were ‘worthy of contempt’. . They did not attend the meeting to hear or debate the argument
    During the debate one attending member accused us of wasting Council time and money.
    That meeting finally made me realise that there is an enormous gulf between me and the
    majority of the other members and that i could no longer continue as a Councillor.

  2. Adrian Davis September 29, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    I agree with you that it needs ‘determined principles’ to challenge the present administration and perhaps some remaining members have learned by my experience.
    Should one challenge senior officers, / members,, either in a private meeting,or by private letter /,email there is what I consider a most efficient gagging system in place.
    Despite my second Code of Conduct complaint being assessed by the Governance and Information and Audit Services Manager at Cornwall C.C. as NO BREACH ( 7th Oct 2915) as was the first, restrictions were placed on me by a secret panel in my absence, as reported later in the Cornishman
    ‘All in all’ it became clear to me that, despite a considerable mandate,(3rd.behind present Chair and V.C.) that I could no longer function as a councillor. (and I apologise again to all those who voted for me–for not lasting the four years-)
    Like most people I was unaware that our LA had in place a system whereby they could act as accusers and make judgement ‘in camera’ where the accused was not present and I would strongly advise anyone seeking election next May to study the Standing Orders with care.

    • Gordon Bilsborough September 29, 2016 at 7:24 pm

      I was not surprised when Dr Adrian Davis resigned from the Council following the way he was treated. Despite being cleared of breaching the Members’ Code of Conduct by Cornwall Council’s legal Officer, a Panel of three Members from the Finance, Audit & Scrutiny Committee decided he should receive training on dealing with the media. It also decreed that he should only meet Council Officers by appointment with a third party present.
      I thought this was an insult to Adrian after being informed that he had not breached the Code of Conduct. To make matters worse, when the report from Cornwall Council was presented to the Finance Committee, we were informed it was for information only and hence no questions would be permitted despite it being in the public domain.
      When I challenged this ruling, I was treated to an unwelcome aggressive lecture by a fellow Member on committee procedures. I was tempted to resign after that shameful rejection of the Council’s policy of “Openness and Transparency” but decided to carry on in the hope that I could continue to fight prejudice from inside the tent.
      I have the greatest respect for Adrian Davis and strongly deprecate the way his position was made untenable simply because he had the temerity to say what he thought.

      • Pete September 29, 2016 at 10:36 pm

        Why was Adrian not supported by his fellow compatriots?

        • Morris September 30, 2016 at 3:36 pm

          Probably because in the time honoured fashion they “decided to carry on” in the ho ho hope that they could continue to fight prejudice from inside the tent whilst still drawing their allowances. Anyway there must be a limit on the number of times one can resign to make a point especially if one has a track record of running with the fox and then hunting with the hounds.

  3. Adam Morton, St.Martins September 28, 2016 at 9:31 am

    It really SHOULD matter but frankly the only proof we have of this Councils existence is the address on the Council tax bill! Anyone standing for it now would have to be bored or desperate for dubious status! Thanks to the Chair,CEO & vice chair we don’t have a transport committee, TIC or soon even an airport.

    • Simon September 28, 2016 at 11:59 am

      I couldn’t agree with you more, even the members that used to have determined principles and the guts to voice them now seem sufficiently subdued so that they kowtow to the lunatics who have taken over the asylum. Time was that some of the off island councillors displayed the intellect and stamina to keep the council on an even keel. If the Islands possessed the ability to turn back the clock it would wind back at least the last three truly disastrous years of our council.

  4. Todd Stevens September 27, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    Just cut the head off- that’d be a good start!

    • Berths Mason September 28, 2016 at 5:18 pm

      He, he!?Can’t argue with that sentiment!

  5. Barbara Simpson September 27, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    Yes, that’s why they’ve recommended St Mary’s has 12 councillors

  6. Janet Lowne September 27, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    Unsure of this recommendation surely St Marys councillors have more residents to look after then the rest of the islands.