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Quay nightmares for States member

Posted Thu 22nd October 2009 at 09:36

Spending more money on the commercial quay upset one Alderney politician at yesterday's States meeting.

Ian Tugby said the thought of shelling out more than £250,000 on improving the upper berth had given him nightmares.

Mr Tugby suggested the States had ignored a number of his proposals at the project's outset - proposals that could have prevented going over the £9.5m budget.

"We've ended up having to cut corners," said Mr Tugby. "There is a major overspend. All this extra work should have been for the original price.

"There's no point saying any more because I know I will be shot to pieces at the end [of the meeting] but I worked down at the quay for years and know the situation."

Bill Walden accused Mr Tugby of misleading the States. He also said an extremely good price had been obtained for the extra work, which will strengthen the upper berth and bring it into line with the rest of the quay.

Colin Williams said the project wouldn't have even started had the States been aware of all the problems.

Richard Willmott agreed with Mr Williams.

He said: "It is Irish but it is true. Had we known every item we probably wouldn't have started. Every item has been necessary. The end result is going to be an extremely fine quay which will last for an extremely long time."

Mr Willmott also said the decision by Treasury and Resources to approve the spending almost immediately spoke volumes about how important Guernsey judges the project, the cost of which has currently exceeded £11m.

The States also passed next year's budget at the meeting. Alderney's five-year spend is budgeted to top £15m, with £4m to be used on setting up a housing association, £2.5m pledged for the New Connaught Care Home and more than £2m ploughed into the island's ailing water and sewerage systems.

Cash from the e-gaming reserves will fund the various projects but Mr Willmott warned Gambling Commission money may not be around forever.

"There is no reason to suggest 2010 is going to be any different than this year but we need to be aware that our gambling revenue may not last forever."

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