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Cowboys and Aliens take over Alderney

With a new team behind it, and taking Cowboys and Aliens as its theme, there is a galaxy of familiar favourites and exciting new events on offer during Alderney Week.

New events for youngsters include Glow Mad for Alderney, on Saturday evening, a fiesta of music, UV lights and glow in the dark paints, water fights, inflatables, a miniature circus and a Gruffalo Walk.

Classic events like Cavalcade, the Torchlight procession, Daft Raft, Manpowered Flight are still on offer.

Big new events include a colour party at the Quarry – a riot of music and powdered paints - and the 18th century basement of the Island Hall being turned into a haunted house. Guests are handed torches and 11 actors with props attempt to scare them silly.

Emma Odoli, leader of the new Alderney Week team, said they wanted to make this Alderney Week the best ever.

We’ve all been putting our heads together since before Christmas to think up new and fun ideas,” she said. “With so many people in the team, there were lots of exciting contributions.

– Emma Odoli, Leader of Alderney Week

The former Alderney Week team, led by Ronnie Cairnduff, retired last year, but have helped the new recruits learn the ropes.

“We are really excited now, and a bit nervous,” said Mrs Odoli. “Ronnie and Ilona from the previous team have been fantastic, on the end of the phone constantly and we just want to get going now.”

What do they want people to take from Alderney Week this year?

“We want happy children because we feel if we’ve got happy children we’ve got happy parents,” she said. “We want everyone to have a good time, and we want it to go down in history as the best Alderney Week ever!”

New headteacher for Alderney's St Anne's School

A permanent headteacher has been appointed for Alderney's St Anne's School.

Martin Winward is moving to the island with his family in December. Acting Headteacher, Geoff Cowley, will continue in the position until the end of the year.

Mr Winward is currently headteacher at the Falkland Islands Community School.

He has written to parents and staff at the school.

My family are excited about the move and looking forward to moving from the Falkland Islands to Alderney. My wife, Natalie, and children, Eva aged 10, Vienne aged 8 and Ted aged 7 are keen to explore the island and look forward to being an active part of the community.

– Martin Winward

77 more people now live in Guernsey

The latest census figures show the islands population grew by 0.12% in 2014.

The last time the number of residents grew was more than two years ago.

Until recently the figure had been decreasing since 2012.

The numbers follow the successful completion of the Rolling Electronic Census Project.

There was an increase in the 65 to 84 and the 85 and over age groups of 2.7% with 268 people meeting that criteria. Also the island saw a decrease in the working age population.

77
More people now live in Guernsey
0.12%
Population growth

Mixed results in latest broadband customer satisfaction survey

Credit: PA Wire

The Channel Islands telecom regulator says there are significant differences in the amount of satisfied customers who use Jersey's three broadband providers, Sure, Newtel and JT.

The latest consumer survey results have been released today. Research is conducted every six months where 500 customers are asked to rate the service they receive.

In Guernsey, JT's results have improved and are now better than Sure's results, which have gone downhill.

Some operators have made progress in some areas but progress is not consistent with each operator over time or across the operators. There is still room for improvement by all and particularly so in Guernsey. I would urge all operators to listen and react quickly and decisively to the feedback from its customers, and use today’s survey results and those from November, to identify areas where they may need to improve to better meet their customers’ needs.

– Louise Read, CICRA director
Credit: CICRA
Credit: CICRA

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Job cuts could lead to public services being out-sourced

A proposed 70 million pounds worth of job cuts in Jersey's public sector could lead to some services being out-sourced and put in the hands of private companies.

There are fears that it might have a major impact on Parks and Gardens staff, who are currently employed by the Technical Services department.

But the politician in charge says the government is looking at many different options for providing cost-effective services in the future.

You'd expect us across the States, it's not just TTS but across the States, to look at the services that we provide and the ones that we deem that we should continue to provide, how best we can do that, now that might be doing it in-house, it might be doing it outsourcing or it might be doing it with some hybrid of the system, but whatever way we do it it's got to be done with the staff, they are part of any solution to any problem.

– Deputy Eddie Noel, Technical Services Minister

We are worried about our future, we've all got families and mortgages to pay, so it is difficult. We haven't been told anything. We don't know long we will be employed, if we will be continued to be employed or not

– Richard Le Gresley, Head Gardener

Transport strategy debate returns to Guernsey's States

Guernsey's government is tackling plans for a new transport strategy in the States today.

Politicians will be debating whether to pass a rise in tax for fuel, a charge for Carbon Dioxide emissions, improve cycling routes, the bus service and the introduction of paid parking.

It's a controversial topic with thousands of islanders attending protests against paid parking in the past.

The Environment minister says she's hopeful States Members will emerge from the Chamber tomorrow afternoon with a funded transport strategy.

If members are not keen on the fuel option, they now have the option of the paid parking clock and I'm sincerely hoping that if it comes to that option, all of those who supported it earlier this year will stick to their same vote and support it again today, so one way or another hopefully at the end of today we will come out with a funded transport strategy.

– Yvonne Burford Environment Department

UK says banning Bailiwick fishing is 'last resort' in row

Credit: PA stills

The UK department who have forced a ban on Bailiwick fishermen entering UK and EU waters say they have been forced to do so as a last resort.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) says Guernsey have not been honouring the agreement they signed, and are refusing to comply with the Common Fisheries Policy rules.

They say they have been working with Guernsey’s government since March on the issue.

When the ruling was announced this morning though, Commerce and Employment Minister Deputy Kevin Stewart said the decision had come completely “out of the blue”.

Defra says they hope banning Guernsey fishermen is a “temporary measure”.

This action is a last resort in response to Guernsey not honouring the terms of the agreement they signed, and not complying with the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy, which is designed to protect stock levels with quotas

We have worked with Guernsey since March to try and come to a mutual agreement, but Guernsey has regrettably refused to introduce a ceiling on their skates and ray catch which is not sustainable, nor is it a fair use of quota.

It is important we protect the long-term future of our fisheries and quotas play a crucial role in ensuring the sustainability of our stock. We understand the impact on local fishermen and hope this will be a temporary situation.

– Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)
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