Guernsey Press

No confidence vote as Sark douzaine down to one

A vote of no confidence in Sark’s douzaine will take place on Wednesday, after six members resigned, leaving only the chairman in place.

Last updated
(Picture by Peter Frankland, 33121853)

A letter signed by nine of the island’s 17 conseillers was passed to Paul Armorgie, the speaker of Chief Pleas, on Tuesday.

A spree of recent resignations over the last month has left only chairman Frank Makepeace in situ.

A statement attached to the amendment said that after recent resignations, the douzaine committee did not have enough members to make meetings viable.

‘The douzaine committee will struggle to be repopulated under the current chair’s leadership, due to existing style and personality differences,’ the statement said.

‘It is my assessment that the douzaine needs a fresh start so it can be re-populated with seven members and hence function correctly to serve Sark.’

One of those who signed the vote of no confidence was Conseiller Tony Le Lievre. He said that members had resigned, predominantly because they could not work with Conseiller Makepeace.

‘The committee cannot function, it’s non-operational,’ he said.

‘It is the second-most important committee of Chief Pleas that runs the nuts and bolts of island business. It has to be populated and functioning.’

He added that if the vote on Wednesday was successful, new names would be put forward for the douzaine.

‘It is one of the first items on the agenda. I imagine if the amendment is successful there would be a short recess and a new chair and deputy would be elected so the business of the douzaine could continue.’

Conseiller Makepeace said there were many different angles to the problems with the douzaine, but he could not discuss some until after the meeting on Wednesday.

He did however say he was submitting his own code of conduct complaint against Conseiller Le Lievre.

The complaint, also submitted on Tuesday, stated that when Conseiller Le Lievre was douzaine chairman, he had acted ‘inappropriately’ while awarding a lease to a private individual for a property known as the Old Island Hall at £23 a week for 10 years, with an option to renew for another 10 years.

‘I believe this has cost the island somewhere in the region of £150,000 in lost revenue over the 20-year period of the lease,’ Mr Makepeace said.

‘This whole saga of the Old Island Hall lease has been without doubt the single biggest gripe from islanders I have received and continue to receive, and people are constantly asking why nothing has been done.’

Conseiller Le Lievre said he had no comment on this matter.

‘I don’t see it as relevant to the subject of the douzaine,’ he said. ‘It typifies Mr Makepeace’s attitude.’