In a lively meeting today, the States of Alderney resolved to terminate the Alderney Bird Observatory’s tenancy agreement on its premises at The Nunnery. The agreement provides for a token “peppercorn” rent of £99 per annum.
The formal Billet proposition, which had been amended fortechnical reasons, was proposed by Bill Abel. In his argument, Mr Abel referred to the Nunnery Covenant which set out the principles for which the ABO‘s predecessor had been granted use of the premises. “The lease fell due on 31.12.2020 and continues subject to 3 months notice” he said. Referring to the ABO’s media campaign he concluded: “The lady doth protest too much, methinks”
Speaking against the motion, Graham McKinley said: “If you support the ABO, why are you doing what you are doing today?”. He described the move as “premature” and “without full notice”.
Ian Carter urged the States to consider the need for “sustainable investment” when considering the proper use of States’ assets. Steve Roberts said the States was not thinking, and being made to look ‘incapable in the economic interest’. Boyd Kelly said the debate was only about the termination of the tenancy agreement.
At one stage the President rebuked members and urged them to remain calm as at one stage the meeting appeared to be about to descend into name-calling. His sardonic comment of “We don’t need facial expressions” quickly restored order.
Annie Burgess observed that a lot of comments were not relevant to the matter at hand. “It’s about The Nunnery and the lease” she said. Christian Harris said that the States was under an obligation to make a return on its assets. Alex Snowdon paid tribute to the ‘hard work’ of the ABO as well as the AWT and the Alderney Society.
In an 6:3 vote, the States resolved to give three-months’ notice to the ABO.
Pour: Mr Abel, Ms Burgess, Mr Gentle, Mr Harris, Mr Kelly Mr Snowdon,
Contre: Mr Roberts, Mr McKinley, Mr Jenkins
Abstenu: Mr Carter