Alderney States member defends review stance

‘ALDERNEY solutions for Alderney problems’ are what is needed, one of its States members, Neil Harvey, said as he defended the stance taken over a recent governance review.

Pic by Adrian Miller 29-10-15Alderney Stock photos for archiveHarbour

Mr Harvey said he and other States members had always supported a review of the island’s governance, but few were impressed with the recent independent report, which showed a lack of appreciation of the realities of Alderney.

He was responding to comments from the Chamber of Commerce president Andrew Eggleston, after the business group expressed its sadness at the ‘derailment’ of the second part of the Good Governance review.

Mr Harvey said the independent report, in its lack of understanding of Alderney’s realities, suggested solutions, such as the Commissioner for Standards in Public Life, which while appropriate in the Scottish and UK parliaments were over-engineered and vastly too expensive for Alderney.

He said in one respect at least, ‘transparency’, the report recommended something agreed and minuted last May, which was not evidence of good research.

Comments for: "Alderney States member defends review stance"

Woodman

"He said in one respect at least, ‘transparency’, the report recommended something agreed and minuted last May"

Agreed and minuted is not the same thing as "implemented". Transparency is a dirty word to most States members, including Neil Harvey. During his term of office and his Chairmanship of the Policy & Finance Committee the SOA reduced the number and regularity of Committee meetings, thereby increasing the delay before minutes of the few remaining meetings are published.

Committee agendae and minutes have never been very informative but in the last 4 years they have become almost devoid of detail and are otherwise downright cryptic. Committee press releases, which used to be put out pretty much every month, seem to have dried up altogether.

All of this adds up to NOT keeping the public properly informed, which is NOT transparency, and it all happened on your watch, Mr Harvey.

TAFF

But why spend so much public money on this anyway? And start, and not finish? Although I think it shows poor management to have started in the first place.. What were the TOR for the study, and who approved them? In most well run organisations an organisational review is part of the annual budgetary process as staff costs are a large part of the budget. And top management normally knows how it should be structured and staffed, so why do we need such costly help?,

If SofA does not know how Alderney should be organised and managed, then it suggests that major changes are needed.. Alderney has most of the functions of any small Local Authority, plus some extras, such as Flights and Ferries, and the relationship with SofG. So what is the real problem? Other than the failure to manage it. adequately, which has been the case for some time, nor to involve the public. For example Alderney has no Island Plan, which shows how the various problems will be resolved, by whom, and when. Started twice, in 2006 and 2011, but never completed.

The other aspect is that States Members -10 ? - are not limited to policy making but get heavily involved in the "doing" whether qualified or not. Top marks for trying, and the original idea was to try and save costs, but not the most efficient way to run an organisation. Better with 5 only, elected to specific posts, and an additional senior member of staff who is responsible for Island Development, including flights and ferries. Somebody who is properly qualified to do that, and make a proper attempt to solve the major problem we have been facing for far too long..

Alderney is a lovely place to live, particularly in retirement, but it could be improved by the measures mentioned above