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Arditti ousted from Policy Committee

Posted Thu 23rd May 2013 at 11:11

Alderney States vote to oust Arditti as Policy Committee chairman

ALDERNEY Policy Committee chairman Paul Arditti was expelled from office last night in a seven to two vote against him at the Island's States Meeting.

It came after a majority of members earlier backed a motion of no confidence in Mr Arditti, quoting breaches of the Code of Conduct in respect of his dealings with AEL.

Residents filled the Island's courthouse to capacity to finally hear the details of members' allegations against Mr Arditti.

Allegations ranged from their chairman precipitating a crisis within Alderney Electricity to non Policy Committee members feeling 'isolated' from decision making, to claims of attempts to amass too much personal power. Mr Arditti argued that the charges were 'bunkum' and the advancement of the personal agendas of his fellow three Policy Committee members were behind the move.

Seven members voted for Mr Arditti to be removed; Mr Arditti and Louis Jean voted against.

Building and Development Control Committee chairman Francis Simonet, who proposed the States resolution to remove Mr Arditti, now takes on leadership of the Policy Committee.

The two hour debate saw members make increasingly personal allegations against Mr Arditti.

Proposing the motion Mr Simonet said Mr Arditti had: 'failed to recognise that the States of Alderney were placed in jeopardy' when he postponed a session for the Policy Committee to 'review, consider and debate' the nine resolutions made by the board of Alderney Electricity, ahead of its AGM. His actions 'created a situation where there was a real risk of mass resignation of the board of AEL... creating a threat to the continuation of power generation and supply to the island,' he said. He called Mr Arditti's approach 'childish' and 'disruptive'.

Neil Harvey seconded the motion saying it was 'not about' AEL; but that matter had been 'the final straw', following a similar pattern of behaviour over previous months which had led to the

He said motion was not about AEL; rather the AEL matter had been 'the final straw', the culminatin of a pattern of behaviour over previous months.. He said the affable public persona of Mr Arditti was 'not the Mr Arditti that I or the Policy Committee worked with'. He turned the clock back six months to when he had expressed a desire to stand for the Plebiscite. Mr Arditti, he said, had discouraged him, saying it would be 'divisive'. Meanwhile, he alleged, Mr Arditti placed himself at the centre of 'anything significant happening in or outside Alderney', collecting influential roles.' When it came to lesser posts he was slightly less careful, even not telling people before publishing appointments,' he said.

Chris Rowley said he also had been persuaded to drop ambitions to become the Alderney Rep. He said Mr Arditti at home to talk him out of it.

'He wheedled and cajoled me... and I was flabbergasted that he thought it was appropriate to do. The following day I had dinner with him and he sold me his vision and the fait accomplait of all the various chairman; I have never experienced anything like that. He had the tenacity of an Istanbul carpet seller and pester power of a six year old. I was actually quite shaken since it showed him to be an autocrat with little respect for democracy. I actually like Paul Arditti but he should not in my view be given any power. He added: 'We don't need a strong leader. We are grown ups who can discuss issues. My only regret is that Shakespeare is not here to do the play.'

Ian Tugby said he wanted a return to the 10 member Policy Committee that Mr Arditti replaced with just five, saying his lack of involvement with it made him feel 'isolated'. 'If all of us had been on it [the Policy Committee] now, we would have resolved it without resorting to this,' he said.

Paul Arditti said 'powers' were being confused with responsibilities - duties which he took very seriously. 'The chairmanship of the Policy Committee is not supposed to be a popularity contest,' he said. 'The job makes the chairman unpopular with the Committee from time to time.' But personal frictions between himself and non PC members could have been ironed out by talking, he said. He added: 'I simply do not understand how this is supposed to benefit the public or the island.' He accused Mr Simonet and Mr Harvey were using the code of conduct to peddle scurrilous rumours about him, while disregarding it themselves. 'What inappropriate conduct? What dishonesty? When? This is not about a loss of confidence in me - this is about personal agendas.'

Newly elected Steve Roberts abstained from the vote. He said he had found it 'very distasteful' and said it was a great shame that Members were not all standing together'.

Neil Harvey proposed Mr Simonet as the new PC chairman and Mr McDowall seconded it.


Reacting afterwards to the States vote Mr Arditti said: 'I think the public are 30 love down in this tussle with the States of Alderney. I don't know where they go from here; it's a mess frankly. And we can't introduce any real solutions to our problems until the States has credibility again.'

He said his work in Guernsey was the most persuasive reason for him to stay on as an Alderney States Member.

'I've got to decide whether to resign from the States of Alderney or not,' he said. 'If I stay I have to be sure I will be useful. Perhaps in Guernsey if I carry on serving the States of Deliberation with their Scrutiny Committee, then maybe that will help keep the flame of Alderney alive in Guernsey.'

Building and Development Control Committee chairman Francis Simonet will now take on leadership of the Policy Committee. He was proposed by Neil Harvey and seconded by

He said the large majority vote proved that Alderney States were becoming a more united voice.

He said: 'I'm pleased with the result but we are going to put the whole unseemly issue behind us. The States have now united behind me and I now intend to progress and to improve the economy. It's quite clear that the majority of States Members were very unhappy with the chairman of the Policy Committee, and now things can only improve. I have their support and I'm sure it will improve. We are going to have a look at reverting to 10 members on the Policy Committee. It will be more consensus politics than it has been in the past.'

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