Guernsey Press

Requete is walking a delicate line

As the evenings draw out, we’ve fully entered a new season – the political requete season.

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It may be a somewhat cynical take, but with an election now just 17 months away, some States members may consider it opportune time to get noticed by the voting public.

If you can get noticed with a political petition which might even have a chance of success on an issue that matters to people, so much the better.

Among a splurge of requetes announced this week is one which may well have a decent chance of success – a last-minute bid to slash proposed increases in mooring fees at the ports.

It was rehearsed in the States before Christmas, where it lost by a single vote. But with various absences, and new information flying around, it might have a very real chance of success.

Guernsey Ports could have a reasonable case to impose higher fees – if maybe not swingeing increases.

But its approach has been muddled – harbour fees linked to airport losses, basing the argument on removing taxpayer support and then changing tack to funding big investment plans at the harbour. And ‘consulting’ with boat owners who say that they feel they were completely ignored.

But it surely can’t be the acceptable thing to do, politically, to launch an immediate challenge straight back to the Assembly for every close vote.

This requete will walk a delicate line.