Should the Channel Islands follow the Isle of Man and turn their towns into cities?

City Hall sign in Douglas, Isle of Man
Should the Channel Islands follow the Isle of Man and turn their towns into cities? Credit: ITV Granada Reports

Questions have been raised around whether Jersey and Guernsey's capitals could become cities.

This week Douglas in the Isle of Man became the first capital of a Crown Dependency to become one, after Queen Camilla granted it city status.

The Constable of St Helier, Simon Crowcroft, has been pushing for city status since 2001, but admits the idea hasn't gained much traction: "It's not a case perhaps of people opposing it but certainly when I've taken soundings in the past, there just hasn't been much enthusiasm.

"Maybe there have been other things going on which are a more pressing concern to residents."

But he does believe the island could benefit from having a city: "It's about bringing more status, more reputation and more civic pride to the island of Jersey."

However, in Guernsey, there does not appear to be much appetite for turning St Peter Port into a city.

The town's Constable Jenny Tasker said: "We discussed it in the douzaine and we felt that it was totally inappropriate for St Peter Port for several reasons.

"We are a small town on a beautiful island, being a city would make various demands on us with perhaps financial implications which we don't want and the paperwork was ludicrous".

The application process is available every 10 years in line with the monarch's jubilee, whereby applicants can bid for free to be granted the status.

A committee manages the bids, but the monarch officially grants the city status by a document known as the 'letters patent'.

Historically, cities were areas with cathedrals, but having one is no longer a requirement.

Birmingham was the first town to be given the city title, despite not having a cathedral in 1889.

Claire Wells is Douglas City Council Leader and hopes the new status will help entice more people to the Isle of Man: "If we get any opportunity to raise our profile, to encourage people to come over here, whether it be to work or visit, we want to do everything we can.

"For you guys to do the same, that would be fantastic for you.

"Ultimately we want to encourage the people that live around us to come and visit us and spend time with us".