No one turned up, so Alderney scraps open committee meetings

A TRIAL of open committee meetings in Alderney is being ended, after not a single member of the public turned up.

Alderney Policy & Finance chairman Ian Carter. (Picture by David Nash)
Alderney Policy & Finance chairman Ian Carter. (Picture by David Nash)

The States of Alderney held a six-month trial to admit the public to meetings by Policy & Finance and General Services Committees in a bid to make local politics more transparent.

Agendas were divided into two parts – part A, which was open to the public for observation only, and part B, dealing with confidential matters of commercial, legal or personal sensitivity, which were discussed in private.

However, over the trial no members of the public attended.

Journalists have attended and have indicated their willingness to be briefed on the key issues following committee meetings.

Therefore, both committees have decided to revert to their previous closed meeting approach, which they said would save administrative time and costs.

P&F has also agreed to a uniform approach to agenda compilation and minute-taking across all committees, sub-committees and working groups to improve the administrative process.

‘The trial was initiated to meet calls for public transparency and it has been something of a disappointment that no members of the public have attended these meetings,’ said P&F chairman Ian Carter.

‘Although we remain committed to the principles of open government, we felt the additional burden placed on an already-stretched civil service could not be justified.’

The Building & Development Control Committee planning meetings and full States meetings remain open to the public.

P&F also noted that the Friday drop-ins with members, though not well attended, were still happening.

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