Cash for a cause – islanders dig into their pockets

CONTRARY to what’s frequently said in certain quarters, I don’t usually refer to jumble sales in this column – but rules are there to be broken.

CONTRARY to what’s frequently said in certain quarters, I don’t usually refer to jumble sales in this column – but rules are there to be broken.

Sark School’s staff, pupils, parents and assorted helpers recently raised £640 in just a few hours by selling stuff others deemed surplus to requirements – a considerable amount of money in a community that is not as affluent as it was.

To put that into context, a similarly supported event in Guernsey where contributions matched Sark’s on a per capita basis would raise tens of thousands of pounds.

I have decided to report this because the money raised is going towards an adventure week in the Isle of Wight at the end of April for which parents of the 16 pupils signed up for the trip have already shelled out £400 per child.

Head teacher Sarah Cottle told me that although the amount raised was a tremendous effort, they still need to find more than £1,500 for the trip and they intend to have a sponsored fundraiser between now and the start of the Easter holidays.

Although times are hard for many in Sark, there’s still a fair amount of cash washing around the place, so if anyone – either from here or indeed elsewhere – does have a bit spare then there are few more worthy causes. I say that because while Sark is an idyllic place for children, it is perhaps more important for them than others raised elsewhere to get away and see how others live.

With a bit of luck this plea on the school’s behalf may raise a nice few quid, and if there’s any left over I’m sure it will be put to good use – next year’s plan to take the whole school to Herm, for example.


I hear that temporary chief secretary Colin Kniveton will be returning to his regular job in the Isle of Man at the end of February – his four-month stint in Sark having come to an end without this place exercising the option to extend it by a couple of months.

No doubt we’ll learn in due course what measures he recommends to make Sark’s government more efficient than it is, although given Chief Pleas’ dismal record for communicating with those who elect its members, I say that more in hope than in confidence.


Other news is that our elected representatives, or some of them, also missed an opportunity to make a stand about outside interference a month or so back.

Apparently it came when some conseillers were unhappy at the Ministry of Justice idea that Sir Norman Browse should be appointed as election observer.

When questioned as to why Sark had effectively rolled over and agreed, one General Purposes and Advisory member said that had they not, Lord McNally would have overridden them and appointed Sir Norman anyway.

Most people in Sark would have loved that to happen because at least Chief Pleas would have made its first stand against interference and bullying and, given the sort of publicity which would have ensued, I doubt the ministry would have pursued its threat.

It would have laid down a welcome marker, for all manner of reasons.


Sark muddy roads

Work continues to be difficult to come by and there’s little sign of the government doing anything worthwhile to help.

Meanwhile, the appalling state of some island roads continues to worsen by the day. Room for a bit of joined up thinking, I’d have thought.

Comments for: "Cash for a cause – islanders dig into their pockets"


Hmm. Are the roads being surreptitiously ploughed up and made ready for planting with Vines?

There may be a faint chance of a bottle of two if the ENTIRE land mass of Sark was to be covered with the wretched things.


Ah..... but would you want to drink it, knowing that it had been trodden by Kevin Delaney and his followers??


I would just like to know why Kevin Delaney was sent a copy of Edric Baker's letter to respond to, when in fact Edrick's letter was addressed to Frederck and David Barclay ? I would also like to ask the editor why Edric Bakers letter was held back until Kevin Delaney's reply was ready.


This comment has been received from the Guernsey Press editor:

As is standard practice when letters are received that appear to require response, we send them off – in an anonymised form – to whoever seems the most likely and relevant source to comment. In this case, that was SEM and, as can be seen, Mr Delaney accepted the invitation to respond.

Regarding ‘holding back’ the letter, this again is standard practice. We allow five working days for organisations and/or individuals to respond to reader letters so that any counter comments can be run at the same time as the initial criticisms. If they are not received in that time, we generally run the letter on its own.

The system has been in place for over a decade and generally appears to work well, from the feedback we receive.

Mr Baker was kept aware of this and raised no objection to it ahead of publication.


If letters are sent "in an anonymised form" how come Kevin Delaney started his reply with "I have been shown a copy of Edric Baker's letter........"???


Mr Baker had already sent the same letter to all Sark Conseillers. Evidently Mr Delaney had already seen it and recognised it when he received it via the Press.


Well when a lot of people have no jobs on island, or at least reasonble well paid employment, it is notable that, as usual, posters still seem to continue to take the rise out of SEM when those days should be well gone and everyone looking out for each other as they used to and for C.P's to be looking to finding work to keep the economy turning.

Sark is not Guernsey or the UK. No one hands you money every week or pays money into your bank acocunt when you have no work!!!

Insensitive conseilleurs going round suggesting that ex employees of KD(and some had no choice as their companies were taken over by SEM)suggesting that they not be employed by the island, well heeled residents now having the opportunity to get their litte sheds painted for a few coppers and maybe a sandwhich thrown in seems to be the bleak future and still the KD hecklers carry on their stupid enane comments. Not the suggestion or offer of jobs - not a comment to C.P's to get their act together and get work up and running to get money turning round the island and people able to pay back their very expensive bank loans for their little house builds! No comments on the lines of maybe get C.P's to come to an agreement with SEM to get on with Beauregard project or the vinery until something else comes to aid the unemployed.

Your silly selfish comments are no comfort to people with no money coming in on Friday.

At least Phil is tring to make suggestions even if it is going backwards having island kids working on the roads again as they used to so their parents have some money coming in. Constructive ideas needed not silly comments. Shame on you.


I suppose you do realize that on the very day that SEM were carrying out their last cull of workers, their hotel business was advertising on the States of Jersey jobs website for 12 workers in Sark!!!


@Jay1 - heart in the right place as usual, but head in the sand. The Barclays delivered us the messed up Sark we have today.

Perhaps there was once a Feudal undertone that kept the Sark that the tourists came to see in order, but there is now absolutely certainly an atmosphere of uncertainty and fear of encountering legal costs.

And for certain any new businesses are kept away for fear of falling foul of a mauling from the SNL.


Thank you for that AJ - much appreciated.

However I do remember an unseemly rush of land owners on island willing to sell their properties to Sark Estate Management

and probably a few still waiting in the sidelines ever hopefull. I am sure that you are not one of them!However if so many properties were sold almost overnight surely it might have been obvious to all that it may make rhe island land ownership top heavy and thus it would have made more sense to liase with them at the time to ensure that the islands interests and theirs were heading in the same direction. Unfortunatly they do not seem to have the most diplomatic person in their front office even if he does make some valid points. I am sure though that it is never too late to try and come to terms with the fact that both sides have to co-exist and thus try to make the best of a bad job. Indeed I still hope so.


Those that sold out are mostly gone, suggesting those remaining are the Sark faithful "concentrate".

You are dead right KD is no diplomat - but nor does he insert very many "valid" points into the endless stream of SNL spite, hyperbole and invective.

I too hope for a compromise, but that starts with a cessation of SNL hostilities and crude acts of SEM defiance, otherwise it is plain than nothing is changing. And no new businesses are going to pitch up to broaden the economy.

Channel Island resident

Mr Baker's letter was in response to a letter sent from the Barclay Brothers to Sark residents; he didn't mention Mr Delaney's name at all. Mr Delaney was afforded the 'right to reply' on the matter of petitions against Sark's government and was highly critical of Mr Baker himself. And yet Mr Delaney began his letter by claiming to speak, not for his employers at all, but for himself as editor of the 'newspaper' SNL. Why was this published as a response to Mr Baker's letter - it was nothing of the kind. Was Mr Baker given 5 days to respond to Mr Delaney attack?


GP - you do the whole of Guernsey and Sark a serious disservice by giving any credence to the chief of SEM provisional propaganda political wing.

There are MANY small businesses that would love to set up on Sark and take advantage of its unique charms, but none will risk falling foul of the cash mountain and influence that was so perfectly exposed by Panorama.

In order to restore "international credibility" there needs to be a Panorama follow-up to announce that the Bs have recanted and decided to allow the elected governing council to get on with its job of preserving the Sark that the community wants, without such crass interference from their wholly unelected (and unelectable) placeman.

Yes, it might not be a 21st century microcosm of a failed EU nanny-state in the image of Crowe, but that is a GOOD thing.

Jim S

Well said GB! I have just seen the latest SNL (and survived).

It is of course the usual regurgitated serving of familiar tripe, crudely calculated to cause maximum division combined with minimal enlightenment - but the whole of Edric Baker's Letter to the GP is reproduced in a context set by the bilious and now strangely anonymous wordmongers of the SNL (why no more bylines? We all miss Deputy Editor's John Donnelly's wit and wisdom)

And so the process of suppression of freedom of expression of any views other than those heaping unquestioning praise on the affairs of the SEM continues. So how does it feel to be so crudely used, abused and exploited, eh, GP?

What business contemplating setting up in Sark is going to spend more than a picosecond contemplating its options as long as this type of wilfully divisive propaganda continues unabated - and apparently - with GP collusion..?


Well said G.B.

Only thing is that I don't see the Bs backing off or Mr. Delaney also.

There was no mention of complaint in Edric Bakers letter, purely a list of petitions brought against certain laws on Sark.

The really interesting thing is will we get an answer as to the reasons why, all those petitions were made.

Very doubtful on that one. No doubt the answer will be glossed over by, for the benefit of Sarks residents??



Totally agree on your comment.Seconded.


Just a P.S.

Having read K. Delaneys letter. He appears to have concerns about 'Power' of the current government of Sark.

I've sent a letter to GP to the Sark thread, whether it will be published who knows?

However the gist of my leter were a few pertinent questions: Does Mr. Delaney recognize the fact that all governments of countries no matter how large or small wield a certain amount of power, this also goes for councils of towns.

At present Sark needs a Strong government.

Another question I asked of Mr. Delaney why continue living on Sark when he has constantly, weekly criticised the government and many others on Sark. No doubt he would reply that he is there to fulfill his employers wishes?? Which are??

Just one more question: Why did his employers buy into Sark when it was well known that Sark had a Feudal Government. And has survived extremely well for over 400 years.Without outside interference.

I could bang on about all this and perhaps stand on a Soapbox in the Avenue.

Hear ye! Hear ye!