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Stuart Falla defends his dual role

Stuart Falla defends his dual role

Friday 23 September 2022

Stuart Falla defends his dual role

Friday 23 September 2022


Prominent businessman, Stuart Falla has asked why those with concerns about his appointment to the East Coast Development Agency did not simply pick up the phone and talk to him directly.

He was asked about a potential conflict of interests between that position and his seat as a non-States member on the States Trading Supervisory Board which oversees our ports during a Scrutiny hearing yesterday.

The Scrutiny Management Committee were questioning the political lead of STSB, his senior staff, and Mr Falla.

The questions covered the STSB's broad remit, including the airport, harbour, dairy, and electricity supplies. 

Following a discussion around the hurdles in securing planning permissions for developing commercial opportunities at St Peter Port Harbour, Deputy Simon Fairclough turned to Mr Falla and asked him directly about the recent concerns raised over his dual role.

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Pictured: The Scrutiny Management Panel held their review of STSB yesterday.

During the States Meeting at the beginning of September, Deputies Andrew Taylor and Sam Haskins asked if Mr Falla's appointment had been "unanimous". Speaking on behalf of Policy and Resources, Deputy Peter Ferbrache said it was. But Deputy Neil Inder, as President of Economic Development said it wasn't.

Deputies Taylor and Haskins implied they were keen to see "someone new" brought in to the new development agency role, with "young and fresh blood", as opposed to Mr Falla who is in his 70s and has been involved in numerous States and community projects professionally and personally during his lifetime.

Responding to the questions on this same topic yesterday, Deputy Peter Roffey as President of STSB, interjected to defend his colleague.

"First of all, you're really asking the wrong people because Stuart was already the Chair of Ports when the oversight committee decided to appoint him as Chair (of the Development Agency)."

He added, "at the moment, I don't perceive there is any conflict. I can't put my hand on my heart and say that down the road that won't develop and if that happens then Stuart will have to make a decision.

"That's my perception but there certainly doesn't seem to be one at the moment."

Mr Falla himself questioned why there was so much attention on him, when he would be working with other people with an equal input to him.

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Pictured: The STSB answered questions posed by the Scrutiny Management Committee yesterday.

"There's a little bit too much attention on one person," he said, "because ultimately the development agency will be a team of five or six directors to call them that, so I don't think one voice will be dominant or overly persuasive within a team of six as the intention is to appoint people that have got the skills requisite for that job.

"They wont be people who will do what they're told, because it's certainly the intention that I would like to have people that are robust enough to have their own mind on those matters. 

"Secondly, much as we are here as a group representing STSB, the work is done by Simon, Alistair and the rest of their team, and the intention is the agency will appoint a Chief Executive and a Finance Director and the people who will actually be doing stuff, because ultimately the Chair and their board is there to oversee the work of their staff.

"So to have one person who is supposedly directing what is going on, I don't think that is the case. The same way Peter doesn't direct what is going on in STSB as it is the collegiate approach. So I find the attention given to one person is quite strange.

He went further to criticise those deputies who had queried his appointment in the States rather than calling him directly.

"I also find it quite strange that those same people haven't bothered to lift the phone to talk to me, but that's the way the States seems to work."

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