Guernsey Press

Inder questions calibre of Alderney politicians

ECONOMIC Development president Neil Inder has questioned the calibre of politicians in Alderney.

Deputy Neil Inder at the Scrutiny Hearing with Economic Development. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 32526980)

When asked what his committee had done for Alderney since its election three years ago, Deputy Inder told a Scrutiny public hearing that it had tried its best but been thwarted by a lack of interest from politicians in the northern isle.

‘I still think Alderney has got an awful amount going for it, but I’m not entirely sure they’ve got the right politicians up there,’ he said.

‘Our door is always open. There is no one on our committee who wouldn’t assist Alderney. But we can’t go in there with big boots and start shouting the odds. Alderney to a degree has got to come to us.

‘[A] statement I made in the early days was effectively an open door for them to come and talk to us, but I haven’t had any serious engagement from them to come to us. We can’t go there and ask them to do anything.’

Deputy Inder told the hearing he had suggested many ideas which could help Alderney develop its economy.

‘If I was the King of Alderney, there are lots of things I would particularly like to do,’ he said.

Deputy Adrian Gabriel, who was sitting on the Scrutiny panel quizzing Economic Development, reminded Deputy Inder that early in his presidency he had said there was ‘something not quite right’ in Alderney and that he would try to ‘get to the bottom of it’ and help the island.

Economic Development members Nick Moakes and Sasha Kazantseva-Miller, who also attended the hearing, identified agencies linked to their committee which had recently been active in Alderney.

‘Some of our service areas, such as the Digital Greenhouse, have an ongoing relationship with the Alderney community.

‘They provide events and online resources and you can dial in.

‘I know there are active conversations with the Alderney community, including I believe Alderney Chamber, on the development of some of our enterprise initiatives, such as the Guernsey Enterprise Scheme.

‘There are different levels of conversation at officer level and service level with the wider Alderney community,’ said Deputy Kazantseva-Miller.

Deputy Moakes said that representatives of the promotional agency Guernsey Finance had visited Alderney recently to understand ‘the nuances and specifics of Alderney to see if they could help in any way’ and described it as ‘a step in the right direction’.