Alderney ‘too focused on pet projects’

ALDERNEY States members are choosing to waste money on ‘pet projects’ despite a potentially economically challenging winter approaching, General Services Committee member Steve Roberts has said.

Steve Roberts. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 31234459)
Steve Roberts. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 31234459)

An expensive gun law change and a planned attempt to update the island’s approach to good governance, which could cost more than £500,000, was described by him as a ‘blatant case of poor governance and inefficient management, skewed by egos and ambition’.

Mr Roberts, who is also an Alderney representative in the States of Guernsey, said he had considered resigning from his position on the GSC.

‘I have found that some of our States members are shifting positions very quickly,’ he said.

‘I feel the committee members are spending too much time focusing on pet projects that do not effectively address the problems our island faces. But I want to stay to provide balance – if I leave, there won’t be any. If you believe in something, you have to stand up and say it.’

With increasing energy costs and other cost of living rises, Mr Roberts said the island’s government should be preparing for what could be coming around the corner.

‘There is no need for these projects, we need to be looking at bringing down our deficit from Guernsey and start concentrating on getting things right.’

Last year the Alderney Wildlife Trust, under the guise of the government, tried to introduce new wildlife legislation, which was met with a backlash from a number of islanders at a public meeting.

Alderney Bird Observatory warden John Horton said that it had nothing to do with the input on the biodiversity programme, but he was offered a meeting with the States a year ago.

‘During the meeting we said that things needed looking at closely and the civil service member in charge of all of it said they were trying to rush it through while we have the States members to support it. I was flabbergasted they made that comment.’

He said he and fellow board members preferred to stay out of politics surrounding wildlife in the island.

‘It’s just a frustrating situation. I want biodiversity to benefit but it has become a political football. My experience in Alderney, while I have loved it and I have seen genuine environmental progress, my experience has been more smoke and mirrors.’

The handling of invasive species was one area he thought had been neglected.

‘We have a massive problem with invasive species. There are 1,001 programmes going on supported by government being paid for by taxpayers, but where is it going?’ said Mr Horton.

Top Stories

More From The Guernsey Press

UK & International News