Alderney States 'has lost public confidence', says politician

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The public has lost confidence in Alderney's government, according to an island politician.

Louis Jean, chairman of the General Services Committee, has called for a referendum on the size of the States and the length of terms of office.

He claims most States members are not trusted by the public and the government's reputation has been damaged on and off the island.

Mr Jean has also called for the restoration of Paul Arditti.

Mr Arditti was forced to resign as chairman of the Policy Committee after a vote of no confidence in May.

This led to a petition of no confidence in the States being delivered to the Lieutenant Governor of Guernsey, the Queen's representative in the Bailiwick.

Referendum questions

  • Do you want five members of the States instead of 10?
  • Should the term of office for States members be shortened from four years to two?
  • Should the term of office for the president be shortened from four years to two?
  • Do you want to bring forward the October 2014 election and hold it instead in April (or as soon possible after if necessary changes in law take longer)?

Mr Jean's proposal to restore Mr Arditti and for the referendum to be held will go before the States of Alderney at their meeting on 18 September.

He proposes the 11-strong government, made up of 10 members and a president, who only votes in the event of a tie, should become just six-strong with five members and a president.

Mr Jean said of reform and some of his fellow Alderney States members: "I think they've just got into a way of doing things, I think this report actually will galvanise some of those people into improving the way they approach these things that need doing."

If the States do agree to hold a referendum there will be a further hurdle to climb as the Bailiwick does not have any laws under which one could be held.

Adrian Lee, a former professor of politics, said: "It's a major constitution change and even if, however unlikely it may seem, the States of Alderney voted for it, it would require considerable discussion certainly via the Privy Council route before any sanction was given."

Any major change to law in the Bailiwick must be approved by the Privy Council as the islands owe allegiance to the English Crown.

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