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  1. ITV Report

Alderney President calls for 'clarity' on finance and air links

William Tate told politicians they must resolve issues to make sure Alderney is a 'Sustainable community for the 21st century'. Credit: States of Alderney

The President of the States of Alderney has called for more talks on finance and air links with representatives from the other Channel Islands.

William Tate warned the All-Party Parliamentary Channel Islands Group (APPCIG) that it must address issues around subsidies and connectivity to make sure Alderney is a 'sustainable community for the 21st century'.

The meeting at the Houses of Parliament was chaired by MP Andrew Rosindell and attended by 22 members of parliament and peers. It was attended by politicians from across the Channel Islands and a representative from the Isle of Man.

On Alderney’s financial relationship, Mr Tate called for 'clarity' on the levels of subsidies the island can claim.

It isn’t a conversation which is taking place at pace, regrettably. It’s been in the ether for almost four years and we’re all very conscious of it but nobody has yet put together the plan for how that conversation will move forward. And we feel, as a community, very uncertain. So what we would like is some clarity about how that conversation is going to take place so that we can start to plan for our future.

– William Tate, President of the States of Alderney

Mr Tate also said discussions around Aurigny's air links had proved fruitless after two years - describing the prospect of visitors having to travel through Guernsey as 'a massive disincentive economically'.

We have an airline which is state-owned and operated by Aurigny. It was started in Alderney 51 years ago and, without going into all the why’s and wherefores, that service is unlikely to be provided in the future in the same way that it has been historically.

So we’re going to be faced with a reduction in our capacity which will seriously damage our economic prospects. Half of the seats on the Southampton to Alderney service are filled by tourists. That service could well end. And anyone wishing to visit Alderney will have to visit via Guernsey. That’s a massive disincentive economically.

– William Tate, President of the States of Alderney

He argued that without decisive action, Alderney would struggle to retain people to live on the island - particularly older residents whose families want to be closer to them.

MP Andrew Rosindell told the group he understands how 'detrimental' it would be to Alderney if its connectivity was reduced.