Council of the Isles of Scilly
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The Council of the Isles of Scilly is a ''
sui generis ''Sui generis'' ( , ) is a Latin phrase that means "of its/their own kind", "in a class by itself", therefore "unique". A number of disciplines use the term to refer to unique entities. These include: * Biology, for species that do not fit in ...
'' unitary local government authority covering the Isles of Scilly off the west coast of
Cornwall Cornwall (; kw, Kernow ) is a historic county and ceremonial county in South West England. It is recognised as one of the Celtic nations, and is the homeland of the Cornish people. Cornwall is bordered to the north and west by the Atlantic ...
. It is currently made up of 16 seats, with all councillors being independents. The council was created in 1890 as the Isles of Scilly Rural District Council and was renamed in 1974.


History

Historically, the Isles of Scilly were administered as one of the
hundreds of Cornwall The hundreds of Cornwall ( kw, Keverangow Kernow) were administrative divisions or Shires ( hundreds) into which Cornwall, the present day administrative county of England, in the United Kingdom, was divided between and 1894, when they were r ...
, although the Cornwall quarter sessions had limited jurisdiction there. For judicial, shrievalty and lieutenancy purposes, the
Local Government Act 1972 The Local Government Act 1972 (c. 70) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that reformed local government in England and Wales on 1 April 1974. It was one of the most significant Acts of Parliament to be passed by the Heath Go ...
provided that the Isles of Scilly are "deemed to form part of the county of
Cornwall Cornwall (; kw, Kernow ) is a historic county and ceremonial county in South West England. It is recognised as one of the Celtic nations, and is the homeland of the Cornish people. Cornwall is bordered to the north and west by the Atlantic ...
". The archipelago is part of the
Duchy of Cornwall The Duchy of Cornwall ( kw, Duketh Kernow) is one of two royal duchies in England, the other being the Duchy of Lancaster. The eldest son of the reigning Monarchy of the United Kingdom, British monarch obtains possession of the duchy and the ...
– the duchy owns the freehold of most of the land on the islands and the Duke exercises certain formal rights and privileges across the territory, as he does in Cornwall proper. The
Local Government Act 1888 Local may refer to: Geography and transportation * Local (train), a train serving local traffic demand * Local, Missouri, a community in the United States * Local government, a form of public administration, usually the lowest tier of administra ...
allowed the Local Government Board to establish in the Isles of Scilly "councils and other local authorities separate from those of the county of Cornwall"... "for the application to the islands of any act touching local government." Accordingly, in 1890, the Isles of Scilly
Rural District Council Rural districts were a type of local government area – now superseded – established at the end of the 19th century in England, Wales, and Ireland for the administration of predominantly rural areas at a level lower than that of the ad ...
(the RDC) was formed as a ''
sui generis ''Sui generis'' ( , ) is a Latin phrase that means "of its/their own kind", "in a class by itself", therefore "unique". A number of disciplines use the term to refer to unique entities. These include: * Biology, for species that do not fit in ...
'' local government authority, outside the
administrative county An administrative county was a first-level administrative division in England and Wales from 1888 to 1974, and in Ireland from 1899 until either 1973 (in Northern Ireland) or 2002 (in the Republic of Ireland). They are now abolished, although mos ...
of Cornwall.
Cornwall County Council Cornwall County Council ( kw, Konteth Konsel Kernow) was the county council of the non-metropolitan county of Cornwall in south west England. It came into its powers on 1 April 1889 and was abolished on 1 April 2009. History Cornwall County Counc ...
provided some services to the Isles, for which the RDC made financial contributions. The Isles of Scilly Order 1930 granted the council the "powers, duties and liabilities" of a
county council A county council is the elected administrative body governing an area known as a county. This term has slightly different meanings in different countries. Ireland The county councils created under British rule in 1899 continue to exist in Irela ...
. Section 265 of the
Local Government Act 1972 The Local Government Act 1972 (c. 70) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that reformed local government in England and Wales on 1 April 1974. It was one of the most significant Acts of Parliament to be passed by the Heath Go ...
allowed for the continued existence of the RDC, but renamed as the Council of the Isles of Scilly. This unusual status also means that much administrative law (for example relating to the functions of local authorities, the health service and other public bodies) that applies in the rest of England applies in modified form in the islands. The Council of the Isles of Scilly is a separate authority to the Cornwall Council unitary authority, and as such the islands are not part of the non-metropolitan county of Cornwall. However, the islands are still considered to be part of the ceremonial county of Cornwall. With a total population of just over 2,000, the council represents fewer inhabitants than many English parish councils, and is by far the smallest English unitary council.


Administration

The council also performs the administrative functions of the
AONB An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB; , AHNE) is an area of countryside in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, that has been designated for conservation due to its significant landscape value. Areas are designated in recognition of th ...
Partnership and the Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority. Some aspects of local government are shared with Cornwall, including
health Health, according to the World Health Organization, is "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity". World Health Organization. (2006)''Constitution of the World Health Org ...
, and the Council of the Isles of Scilly together with Cornwall Council form a local enterprise partnership. In July 2015 a
devolution Devolution is the statutory delegation of powers from the central government of a sovereign state to govern at a subnational level, such as a regional or local level. It is a form of administrative decentralization. Devolved territories ...
deal was announced by the
government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legislature, executive, and judiciary. Government i ...
under which Cornwall Council and the Council of the Isles of Scilly are to create a plan to bring health and social care services together under local control. The Local Enterprise Partnership is also to be bolstered. , 130 people are employed full-time by the council to provide local services (including water supply and
air traffic control Air traffic control (ATC) is a service provided by ground-based air traffic controllers who direct aircraft on the ground and through a given section of controlled airspace, and can provide advisory services to aircraft in non-controlled airs ...
). These numbers are significant, in that almost ten per cent of the adult population of the islands is directly linked to the council, as an employee or a councillor.


Premises

The council has its offices at Town Hall on The Parade in
Hugh Town Hugh Town ( kw, Treworenys or ) is the largest settlement on the Isles of Scilly and its administrative centre. The town is situated on the island of St Mary's, the largest and most populous island in the archipelago, and is located on a narrow ...
on St Mary's, the largest island. The town hall was built in 1887–1889. Council meetings are held a short distance away at the council chamber, which is the Old Wesleyan Chapel on Garrison Lane, which was built in 1828.


Elections

The council consists of 16 elected councillors – 12 of which are returned by the
ward Ward may refer to: Division or unit * Hospital ward, a hospital division, floor, or room set aside for a particular class or group of patients, for example the psychiatric ward * Prison ward, a division of a penal institution such as a pris ...
of St Mary's, and one from each of four "off-island" wards (St Martin's, St Agnes, Bryher, and Tresco). The latest elections took place on 6 May 2021; independents won all seats, with the off-island wards all seeing uncontested elections. The number of councillors elected in each ward was reduced by one for the 2017 local elections, with the islands previously being represented by 21 councillors representing unchanged ward boundaries. Whilst each of the inhabited isles is formally a
civil parish In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative parish used for local government. It is a territorial designation which is the lowest tier of local government below districts and counties, or their combined form, the unitary authorit ...
, none of them possess a
council A council is a group of people who come together to consult, deliberate, or make decisions. A council may function as a legislature, especially at a town, city or county/shire level, but most legislative bodies at the state/provincial or natio ...
or
meeting A meeting is when two or more people come together to discuss one or more topics, often in a formal or business setting, but meetings also occur in a variety of other environments. Meetings can be used as form of group decision making. Defin ...
in their own right. Elections to the council were last held in May 2021. Independent candidates won all seats, with St Martin's, St Agnes, Bryher, and Tresco seeing uncontested elections.


Notes and references


External links


Council of the Isles of Scilly official website
{{Authority control Unitary authority councils of England Local education authorities in England Billing authorities in England Local authorities in Cornwall Council of the Isles of Scilly