Westminster warns Sark to make reforms
|Lord McNally - Abandoned the people of Jersey|
Sark has been warned to make government reforms sooner rather than later by Lord McNally, the UK minister responsible for the Channel Islands.
Lord McNally told islanders that he has no interest or agenda other than ensuring good governance in Sark. He said the island should make policy based on evidence; which is compliant with international requirements and has involved consultation with the people of Sark.
In a speech to members of Chief Pleas and other islanders he said: "The work of Colin Kniveton and Belinda Crowe has given you options for how to take forward a reform agenda; but it is for you to take them forward.
"I do not have a view on how many committees you have, provided the structure works and you make decisions effectively and in a timely manner. I do not have a view on how many civil servants you have provided you are able to administer yourself effectively.
"I do not have a view on which area you prioritise first from the Vision document, provided you do it a structured way and make policy based on evidence; which is compliant with international requirements and has involved consultation with the people of Sark.
"I have no interest or agenda other than ensuring good governance in Sark.
"I am aware that progress will not be easy. There is a lot to do and I know that there are pressures on you to fire-fight and deal with the daily issues at the same time. However, you are not alone, you have already benefited from the advice and experience of the other Crown Dependencies.
"There is a real opportunity to underpin Sark's special qualities in a way which protects and sustains what makes Sark so special.
"But the decisions are yours - not mine. I hope what I said today helps you in those deliberations.
"I want to leave you with a quote from the Sark Scribe which highlights some of the issues facing Sark. 'Of course there are things that do need fixing and it is hoped that Conseillers will now start to look seriously and constructively at supporting our faltering economy, encouraging the creation of jobs, consulting with residents before they draft new legislation, creating a strategic plan for Sark, costing the much-needed Boarder Agency presence, moving forward on land reform, reducing health care costs and a myriad of other things that are serving to keep Sark as the poor relation of the Channel Islands.'
"I wish you well."