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Alderney Rep. could join ESC

Alderney Rep. could join ESC

Tuesday 13 December 2022

Alderney Rep. could join ESC

Tuesday 13 December 2022


Alderney's representation on major States' committees in Guernsey could grow further with the potential election of Steve Roberts as a member of the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture.

The other Alderney Representative in Guernsey, Alex Snowdon, is already a member of the Committee for Health & Social Care. And Mr Roberts has told Express that he is in the running for the vacant seat on the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture which is due to be filled by the States tomorrow.

"I am of course delighted to be considered for a place on a leading committee," Mr Roberts, pictured top, told Express last night.

The Committee requires a new member following the resignation of its Vice President, Deputy Bob Murray, when he joined the Policy & Resources Committee three weeks ago. 

Les_Ozouets_campus_design_and_St_Annes_School_in_Alderney.jpg

Pictured: If Alderney Representative Steve Roberts joins the Committee, he will become directly responsible for St. Anne's School in his home island (inset), but initially he may find the Committee's agenda dominated by trying to get its planned post-16 campus back on track. 

On Saturday, voters in Alderney re-elected Mr Roberts and Mr Snowdon as their Representatives in the States in Guernsey for a further two years. 

Mr Roberts currently sits on the Transport Licensing Authority in Guernsey. He has never held a seat on a Principal Committee in Guernsey but said he would be pleased to join the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture.

"I do not know if there are other deputies interested. But of course I feel that having a voice for our Alderney School would be fair and democratic for the transferred service of education in my part of the Bailiwick," said Mr Roberts. 

"I believe this would be a first representation for Alderney on the Education Committee and I would be proud to carry that going forward. I am very close to young people as they hold our very future.

"I also experienced a difficult childhood myself and I understand it and remember it from a child's eyes. I can bring that said experience to the Committee."

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Pictured: Deputy Aidan Matthews is also considering standing for the vacancy on the Committee.

Mr Roberts may be the front runner to secure the Committee's nomination, but he could face a challenge in the election from Deputy Aidan Matthews, who told Express he was considering standing "from the floor".

"Yes, I am interested in the vacancy on the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture.  As you’ll perhaps recall, at the beginning of the States' term I was unsuccessful in securing a Committee place," said Deputy Matthews.

"Having stood from the floor once previously, I do have a speech that could in theory be dusted off and updated if that were a suitable course of action."

Mr Roberts backed the Committee's £105million reorganisation of secondary and further education when it was agreed by the States' Assembly last year. It includes running three 11-16 States' schools and moving sixth form studies from Les Varendes to operate alongside The Guernsey Institute in a new post-16 campus at Les Ozouets.

Deputy Matthews voted against the plans, having previously supported other models, including three 11-18 schools and alternatively retaining the sixth form at Les Varendes.

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Pictured: The remaining members of the Committee (clockwise from left): Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen, President, and Deputies Sue Aldwell, Sam Haskins and Andy Cameron.

The election of a new member comes just a week after the Committee announced the termination of its deal with RG Falla to construct its flagship post-16 campus. 

The Committee acknowledges that its search for a replacement construction partner will probably further delay completion of its new model beyond the most recent target date of September 2025. And Deputy Dudley-Owen said last week that "it is not yet possible to state with any accuracy what the cost implication" will be of the setback.

Deputy Dudley-Owen also said she and her members were "not disheartened" at the loss of their construction partner because they "know that this model remains the right fit for Guernsey and builds a firm foundation for the island’s future success".

One member of the Committee, Deputy Andy Cameron, said he hoped his colleagues would reconsider "a more economical model" of secondary and further education following the loss of its construction partner. 

The other members of the Committee are Deputies Sue Aldwell and Sam Haskins.

READ MORE...

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ESC faces questions on costs and timelines of new education model

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Education capital projects "continuing as planned

New post-16 campus secures planning consent

Union awaits "coherent vision" for post-16 project at Les Ozouets 

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