Alderney's new President says he intends to "shake up the role" and take more of an active part in politics than previous holders of the office.
Former barrister William Tate was automatically elected after the only other contender in the electoral race withdrew on Friday, meaning the vote scheduled for Saturday did not take place.
Yorkshire-born Mr Tate replaces Stuart Trought who after an eight year tenure, bowed out with 18 months left to serve. Mr Trought, like his predecessors, remained as neutral as he could during political discussions, focusing on upholding rules of procedure during States meetings and acting as a gracious ambassador for the island.
Mr Tate said Alderney law contained provision for a President to be elected onto committees and to speak and vote on agenda items and to contribute to debate in the States of Alderney, which he welcomes.
"Different presidents have had different approaches," he explained. "Although there are people who say it is a ceremonial role, my interpretation is that there are greater opportunities for working together with the States. I've looked at the law, as you might expect, and there is a way in which I can use my skill set to support the States Members so they can deliver really strong and effective policies. That's a very important part of it for me – working together, as a team."
Last year Mr Tate was selected to chair a working group to look at how governance of the Island could be improved. He said governance review was still an issue close to his heart.
"This conversation across the island is still going on and it's something I still want to be involved in. It's something which is going to provide a framework to better deliver policy and help to make us a place where people will want to invest and bring business to, so I'm passionate about that as well."
Pictured: William Tate is the new President of the States of Alderney.
Mr Tate retired to Alderney with his chartered accountant wife Gabrielle 23 years ago. He's no stranger to getting stuck into local debate having played an active part in the anti FAB Link campaign, has advised residents representing themselves in court and has been a regular attendee of Peoples and States meetings.
"Since we retired here we've used our skills in different ways," he explained. "Recently we felt the time was right for me to offer my professional skills in a different capacity. It's always something I've wanted to do and it will be an honour and a privilege to represent the island locally and abroad.
"I would like to think I can bring my positive energy to our relations with the Bailiwick, with Jersey with our French friends in the UK. I really want to be an ambassador for Alderney which hopefully will then open up opportunities with our economy which will benefit everyone who lives here. That's the mission. It is a big target but it's one that I hope I can deliver."
Pictured: The States of Alderney in action.
Mr Tate's new role was announced by States Chief Executive Andrew Muter, Returning Officer for the States of Alderney on Friday afternoon as the election planned for Saturday was cancelled.
Mr Gates' nomination had come somewhat as a surprise locally and some questioned whether it was serious venture.
In a statement Mr Gates, expressed sorrow if it appeared he had "wasted" people's time but insisted his actions had been sincere. He said a "backlash" on social media and even on the street had been part of the reason he had stepped down.
"It is with deep regret I have decided to withdraw from the election," he said. "With work commitments I think the role of President would be too much and I wouldn’t be able to fully commit to the position.
"I have also received abuse in the street and on social media. I didn’t realise this was what was involved in the democracy of Alderney.
"Sorry if it seems I have wasted your time, however when a position arises as a States Member I will consider running for that instead.
"I wish William Tate every success - especially if he has to deal with the kind of backlash I have received for attempting to make a difference."
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