An Alderney politician has described a recent vote to stymy debate on the appointment of renewable commissioners as a “backwards step”.
The States of Alderney were asked by the Policy & Finance Committee this week to approve the appointment of three new commissioners to the Alderney Commission for Renewable Energy (ACRE).
It followed a People’s Meeting earlier in the week where concerns were raised about conflicts of interest held by one of the proposed candidates.
ACRE’s most important job will be to secure the outcome of a settlement agreement made between the Commission and Alderney Renewable Energy (ARE), a private energy company which owes ACRE more than a million pounds in outstanding fees.
Alderney rep, Steve Roberts, said: “It was queried whether the proposed appointed chair of the commission had any previous association with a former ARE director – the convenor clarified that all factors had been considered and due diligence had been completed and it was agreed by Policy and Finance to be approved by the States.”
Judy Craske has been proposed as Chair of the Commission, while John Wishart and Ian Corder have been proposed as additional commissioners.
The chamber lost out on a chance to debate the proposal, and the concerns raised at the People’s Meeting, after a successful amendment shut down debate on both the original item and several amendments lodged against the proposal.
Pictured: Alex Snowdon told Express he was unhappy with how debate on the appointments played out.
‘Amendment 4’ was voted on first and after being lodged by Boyd Kelly and Nigel Vooght. It sought to refer the matter back to P&F to make sure the appointments “remain consistent with the Renewable Energy (Alderney) Law, 2007”.
The proposers said: “The appointment of the Chair of ACRE is a matter for the States on recommendation from the Policy and Finance Committee. Due to a technical error, it is evident that the recommendation for the appointment of Chair was omitted from the paper presented to Policy and Finance Committee on 27 March 2023 and therefore the resolution has not been properly agreed in accordance with proper practice.
“Referral back to Policy and Finance Committee will therefore allow this anomaly to be corrected. At the same time, in the interests of openness and transparency, a further debate at Policy and Finance Committee will allow the Committee to fully consider an issue related to a perceived conflict of interest which was raised at the People’s Meeting on 12 April 2023.”
Alex Snowdon – who also lodged an amendment seeking to reduce the time any commissioner would be in post – said he was disappointed by the last minute amendment which, after being voted through, essentially halted debate on the topic until a later date.
“It’s a backwards step,” he said. “We should’ve been able to have the debate on the day. Why is a further debate required behind closed doors?”
He raised concerns that P&F have taken the debate away from the States of Alderney and “overshadowed” the rest of the Chamber.
Lamenting the decision he said “democracy seems to be drifting away”.
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