There is an air of change all around the Channel Islands – and for once Covid is not taking centre stage. It revolves around our government structures.
Discussions continue within Alderney regarding government reform. Sark is also going through a possible change in its style of government wishing for an executive style that includes an interwoven mix of executive, legislature and judiciary. Jersey is also contemplating further change after it abolished the status of conseilleurs a few years ago, and it seems from a recent article in the Guernsey Press that Deputy Peter Roffey is advocating executive style of governing.
All bodies, whether they be governments, businesses or clubs continually need to look ahead and not be complacent. Just because something has worked for many years, does not mean it is correct and appropriate for the future. In fact, by doing so, is a sign of weakness and inability to look ahead.
Our own Chamber is following this line and is considering a revised internal look. The subjects we find ourselves discussing are becoming more diverse and more important to the island.
Our constitution declares that we have seven Council members along with honorary treasurer and secretary. We need to diversify more and keep within our constitution at the same time. Therefore we need to focus on the main topics of the day by co-opting Chamber members to sit on and be an integral working part of such groups – three examples of which are energy, transport & tourism
For this to be successful, the core Council especially, together with those joining us on our working groups, must be prepared to put in the time expected and required.
After all, it is for the island, not we as individuals.
Council has no cabals with single agendas. We act – and always will – for the general good of the island as a collective body.
We remain more than pleased at our positive working relationship with the States and the Civil Service and will continue to further this as time progresses. The most recent example was our meeting this month with representatives of Guernsey’s Economic Development Committee, its chairman Deputy Neil Inder with Deputy Simon Vermeulen and two Civil Servants along with an Alderney States Member. An interesting and most outspoken positive hour!
Southampton Airport – Runway Extension
This is a prime example of the long hours spent collating our initial survey, putting together a lengthy submission along with 360 individual testimonials to the director of the airport and also sent to the relevant Councillors of Eastleigh Borough Council along with our States Members and certain Guernsey Deputies. I have to say that it was the Alderney Chamber that initially drove this within the Channel Islands.
The Proposed Marina
It is openly acknowledged that Alderney needs a marina. Without going into the minutiae of this concept, Chamber sees it as a most logical economic enabler and we trust that the extended period off exclusivity (due to Covid) with the present interested party will come to fruition.
The Alderney Artisans
What a great concept. It has the absolute support of Chamber. We have always known that there is so much talent on the island and it is now being pulled together. We thank those who have taken the time to elevate this to the level where it deserves to be. The initial meeting at The Georgian was a resounding success within a packed audience in the Georgian Orangery.
We have seen this as one of Chamber’s main roles in recent months to point out to members the absolute necessity of registering businesses with Guernsey’s Office of the Data Protection Authority. We have been sending out relevant information to all our businesses along with reminders of the critical need to be registered with ODPA.
New Co-opted Members
Fresh eyes bring fresh thoughts along with fresh concepts for the future. In recent months we have been delighted to include Holly from The Georgian with her expertise in the hospitality sector, Ian Corder with his knowledge in the field of energy and Jo Woodnutt specializing in young initiatives.
This is where all our members come together. If you feel you have some time available (it’s honestly not onerous!) and you have the island at heart, please let us know. As I have commented earlier, we are here not merely for today but for the future.
It would be a novelty if this subject were not included! The difference this year is that we are more positive. Aurigny, under its new management, appears to have restructured itself whereby Alderney is no longer the naughty little boy sitting in the corner of the classroom. The positive airs that also now emanate from the Guernsey States appears to be so much more pro-active. We welcome this new relationship.
I would like to thank Ilona for the monumental amount of time she takes in emailing our members on items that we are discussing and by also sending out all States’ media releases as soon as Chamber receives them – therefore acting as a conduit between the States and our membership. We are also now sending out a monthly bulletin of all meetings that we have been involved in and topics that come up for discussion. To add to this, surveys will be more common to establish the absolute thoughts of all members.
Each year seems to create an increase in time and workload for those on the Council and within our sub-groups. Much introductory and ongoing work is via email so negating many physical meetings. It is a fascinating time to be a part of Alderney and especially to be a part of Chamber. I think we can look to a fascinating year ahead. Despite Covid unleashing abject misery and heartache to so many worldwide, it has produced an opportunity for Guernsey and Alderney to create a sound and enthusiastic economic and political relationship which Chamber has long wished for.
We would like to thank you all for your support.
Please join us for a drink and a chat after the AGM.
My best wishes,