Chamber is concerned that the States appears to be prioritising central Civil Service resources towards initiatives that simply will not drive forward a sustainable economy.
Life is about balance. Covid-19 has shown us that this year – the balance between health and economy.
The proposed Wildlife Law does not sign up to balance. In its present form, it is draconian and would impinge onto private property. Chamber supports the Blue Island Charter but is this latest wildlife legislation really the answer to that charter? It has been described by some as a “sledgehammer to crack a nut”.
The proposed law provides for the formation of a ‘Scientific Advisory Group’. As time goes by, this team of experts could have control of our island infrastructure – not our States nor indeed the public. Is this in the best interests of an island that has to create sustainable economic growth to survive?
Chamber asks the States for a re-balance on States Members priorities and Civil Service resources. More emphasis must be placed on economic development.
Below is the letter we recently sent to Mrs Catherine Veron outlining our concerns.
Copies were also sent to all States Members.
on behalf of the Alderney Chamber of Commerce
ALDERNEY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Thank you for taking time to speak recently with the Alderney Chamber of Commerce Council concerning the Wildlife Law Proposal. We have taken time to reflect preliminary feedback received from some members.
Undoubtedly it seems most residents and visitors appreciate Alderney’s heritage, beauty and wildlife. However, in this context we may consider that Alderney is set aside from many other parts of the world by our culture and conduct which includes low crime and high community bonding. In terms of further regulating, this has unearthed some deep rooted member concerns about regulation and Chamber therefore recommends further consultation.
Where we have received concerns, there appears to be overarching feedback that we are in danger of using a ‘sledgehammer to crack a nut’ by introducing this regulation in an area that is already well regulated and mostly without issue at this time. There have been many detailed points arising such as:- “the powers that the proposed Scientific Advisory Group will have moving forward – the extension of enhanced protected areas – the control of moles and game – no provision for domestic animal protection – could be used in future as a tool to prevent development – community control mechanic – it is misaligned with other islands in the Blue Charter agreement, – it will be impossible to police – it doesn’t adequately provide for the real marine issues – we have the LUP and other laws – this is retrograde” etc. It has been suggested that it is more appropriate to consider a policy framework or regulating only those areas that are absolutely essential for the protection of the environment eg: importation, endangered species.
The Alderney Chamber of Commerce is aware of the principles laid out within the Blue Island Charter and we will continue to encourage members to support environmental initiatives. However, in parallel, we are conscious that our civil service resources remain extremely limited and the balance of resource is currently misaligned with far too little resource focussed towards developing the economy. “Beautiful but Broke”, our current predicament, is unacceptable. Arguably, the development of a sustainable economy is paramount to the long-term survival of our community on this island. It is therefore essential that we develop a robust “strategic island plan” that scrutinises our financial model and possibilities as we move forward. This requires specialist economic expertise to help us model and plan for a sustainable future.
Finally we do congratulate the success of all those involved with the care and protection of our natural assets. The Alderney Chamber of Commerce is proud to support a remarkable community.
Andrew Eggleston – on behalf of Chamber Council
copies – Alderney States Members