Retaining young families a priority for Alderney's newest States member

Derwent Smithurst (right) will serve as an Alderney States Member until 31 December 2026. Credit: ITV Channel

Alderney's newest politician has outlined his priorities for his term in office after being elected to the last remaining seat in the States at the island's by-election.

Derwent Smithurst beat Frederick George Fisher by 280 votes to 185. Only 35% of the island's population voted.

Mr Smithurst told ITV News he thinks retaining young families is currently the most important thing for Alderney:

"In my career as an estate agent I've met some good families on the island who are suffering, they can't get on the housing ladder.

"The issue of keeping the young families on the island, the talent we've already got here, has become important to me because they're the lifeblood of the island and they're what will keep us going for the future."

He describes the contest for the remaining seat as a 'congenial race' which 'got his creative juices flowing.'

The politician says he aims to improve Alderney's financial deficit as he "didn't realise how bad the island's finances are."

Mr Smithurst also wants the States of Alderney to create more networking opportunities with Jersey, and to become more efficient as a governing body.