New Alderney reps for States of Guernsey
TWO new candidates who have pledged action on air links were elected to represent Alderney in the States of Guernsey – ending the tenure of Louis Jean and Graham McKinley.
Air links campaigner Steve Roberts topped the poll with 275 votes. The island’s youngest politician, Alex Snowdon, collected the next highest proportion with 229. Newcomer David Earl lost out by a whisker with just two fewer votes.
Mr Roberts said: ‘I feel humbled. The people of Alderney have shown their faith in me for the second time. I increased my vote by 80 per cent at the last election and now I’ve come and topped the poll here. I’m going to improve our air links by hook or by crook. My priorities are to form relationships with people and talk around the table to establish what our common denominators are and convince them of Alderney’s case.’
Alex Snowdon – at 30 Alderney’s youngest politician – said: ‘Our key priority at the moment is the review of the 1948 agreement with Guernsey.
‘We need to make sure this is independently chaired. The PSO [Public Service Obligation for flying to and from Alderney] and the tenders that are coming back need to be carefully handled by both parties involved.’
Seven of Alderney’s 10 States members nominated themselves to be the island’s representative in Guernsey, including Policy & Finance chairman James Dent.
He has introduced moves in Alderney to ensure that their representatives are more accountable to the rest of the Assembly.
He wanted one of the two positions to be elected by States members and also introduced a measure whereby they regularly address the monthly meeting on their actions in the Guernsey States.
However, he lost out on the role, gaining 216 votes.
Outgoing rep Graham McKinley received 221 votes. Louis Jean scored 171. Mike Dean received 91 votes.
Mr Jean was gracious in defeat.
‘I wish both Alex and Steve the very best in their new roles and I think they will do a good job,’ he said.
‘If I can do anything to help them I will.
‘I would also like to thank all of the Guernsey deputies I’ve worked with over the years and with some, formed strong friendships with.’
The Plebiscite will be ratified at the January States meeting.
Turnout at the vote was 50%, accounting for 742 members of the electorate.
Among them was Felicity Crump, Alderney’s oldest resident, who turns 106 in January.
She explained that her late mother would never have forgiven her if she had not taken part in the election as she had fought to give women the vote in the early 20th century.
Kevin Gentle, who just missed out on becoming a States member at the General Election earlier this month, was voted in at a by-election held on the same day as the plebiscite.
He takes the place of Tony Barnes, who stepped down because of ill health.