Guernsey Press

Sark conseillers could be disbarred over hall's lease

TWO Sark conseillers have been threatened with being disbarred from the douzaine after an investigation into a lease agreement with a private individual on a building owned by Chief Pleas.

Sark's Chief Pleas. (33332065)

An independent code of conduct panel has recommended that Tony Le Lievre be disbarred from the douzaine for three years and Paul Williams for 12 months.

The panel found that the lease on the ‘old island hall’ had not been put out to tender, records and minutes of meetings were not kept or were inadequate, the douzaine had not been empowered to sign the lease, trustees had not been informed and the lease had not been drawn up by a legal professional.

Conseiller Frank Makepeace, who made the complaint, said that it remained to be seen whether Chief Pleas would vote through the panel’s recommendations.

‘It remains to be seen if they will impose sanctions on the two conseilliers,’ he said. ‘Or whether it follows its normal route of protection of its own at all costs.’

Conseiller Makepeace was recently ousted as chair of the douzaine at a heated debate in Chief Pleas in April.

Conseillers Le Lievre and Williams were then elected as two of the douzaine’s seven new members.

He said Sark was facing a breakdown in all major areas of governance.

‘There is currently no permanent doctor in place, no senior civil servant in place and the education system in turmoil led by an inexperienced committee,’ he said.

‘Not to mention the abnormally high turnover of professionals, many who fail to complete their contracts due to committee interference.

'How long, one wonders, will it be before the inevitable outside intervention is made?’

He said that the only slight ray of hope was the grit and determination shown by the Code of Conduct Panel.

‘By leaving no stone unturned and performing a full and proper investigation into the complaint presented to them, this will have given many local residents the confidence boost needed to pursue their own complaints.’

Conseillers Le Lievre and Williams both confirmed they would be appealing against the decision and could not comment further on the matter until the appeal process had been completed.