Politicians win the day as Alderney crane given shelter

ALDERNEY’S new harbour crane has finally been moved out of the reach of corrosive sea spray on the quay, after a push from States members to protect the island’s asset.

Alderney's new harbour crane was finally moved out of reach of corrosive sea spray on the quay after a push from island politicians to protect the island's asset. (Picture supplied by Alderney States member Steve Roberts.)
Alderney's new harbour crane was finally moved out of reach of corrosive sea spray on the quay after a push from island politicians to protect the island's asset. (Picture supplied by Alderney States member Steve Roberts.)

The crane cost the island nearly £1m. in January when Alderney States members voted to replace the former crane that had been damaged by water and sea salt erosion.

Alderney States member Steve Roberts, also an island representative in the States of Guernsey, said the new crane was destined to suffer the same shortened lifespan and deterioration as the last.

Following criticism from Mr Roberts and fellow States member Alex Snowdon, the crane has been moved to a more sheltered location away from the sea.

‘The crane has now been moved off the quay. Many thanks to all the staff responsible for doing this,’ Mr Roberts tweeted.

‘Let us get the crane shed ready as soon as possible to protect our assets.’

The crane is the joint responsibility of the General Services Committee and the harbour office.

‘The harbour office has been instructed by the committee to move the crane away from the quay when it is not in use,’ said Mr Roberts.

‘They have offered to move it on weekends, but it is my view that it should be moved away from the salt water and quay at all times when it is not in use.

‘We only receive two to three boats a week, so it should only be out in the weather for the two days it is needed. We need to protect our island’s investment.’

When Alderney purchased the crane in January, the island needed authorisation from the States of Guernsey because of the unique fiscal partnership between the governments.

‘From memory, the last Policy & Resources Committee sought and were given assurance that things would be different this time around before authorising spend,’ said former P&R president Deputy Gavin St Pier on Twitter.

‘I thought the plan was not to allow what happened to the last one (with a massively shortened life) to happen again.’

Mr Roberts said he was concerned about both the lifespan of the machine and Alderney’s reputation in the Bailiwick as a consequence.

‘We want to show ourselves as responsible fiscal partners to Guernsey, and part of that is taking care of our investment,’ he said.

Mr Roberts said the harbour has assured him that a crane shed will be available at some point in the future near Grosnez. At the moment, the shed is waiting for electricians to put cable into the building.

Mr Roberts also emphasised that the problem with the crane being left on the quay was the harbour’s proximity and exposure to the breakwater, sea and weather.

The Guernsey Press attempted to contact the Alderney harbour office, but no one was available for comment.

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