Email to Deputies

sent out week c/ 25th March

Dear Deputies,

 

Firstly, we should like to express our sincere thanks to those of you who supported the recent Mooring Fees Requete.

Once again the Mooring fees issue was narrowly defeated and all local mooring holders will start having to pay these huge increases from next week.

We were very pleased however to see that the vote on Part 2 of the Requete – “To consult fully with the leisure boat stakeholders, the GBA and the GMTA in advance before any mooring fee increases are made for 2025 and 2026”, that this was carried by an overwhelming vote with 34 in favour and 3 against. We therefore look forward to discussions at an early formulative stage with STSB.

We fully understand that the States of Guernsey are short of funds and we did offer an attractive alternative proposal which we considered to be a fairer one, but this was not accepted by a slim margin.

However, there are two important issues which have been unearthed during our extensive research that urgently require redressing.

These are:

  1. That the Harbours have subsidised the Airport in the Ports Accounts, and that the Harbours should be split from the Airport. The “Guernsey Ports” accounts should not remain in their consolidated format.
    The system of accounting was changed in 2009 which obfuscated the financial records so that it was difficult for the average lay person to clearly determine where the profits and losses of both departments were occurring.
    In the interests of complete transparency, which incidentally the States maintain is important in this day and age, the STSB should revert back to the old system.
    Despite statements to the opposite, before 2009 the Harbours and the Airport were not one business but two businesses paying their surpluses or losses into the Ports Holding Account (PHA). The Airport’s long-term losses were thus covered by the Harbours until Covid. Harbours and Airport need to have their own Holding Account and the subsidy needs to stop.
    Retired Harbourmasters and Harbour Managers have confirmed that this old system allowed them to easily identify the true facts and to budget accordingly to rectify any anomalies. It also allowed the Harbours to accrue funds for future works. The Harbours and the Airport should each be separately managed by professional experienced managers from their relevant industries ie. the Harbours by the Harbour Master and the Airport by a qualified Airport Director.

 

  1. That the current Competition & Regulatory Ordinance (Guernsey) 2012 be amended to allow the Guernsey Competition & Regulatory Authority (GCRA) full powers of acting as an economic regulator on all States Departments, especially all Trading Boards, to prevent any future abuse of a dominant market position of this type and to cover all of the existing sections of that Ordinance.
    This would give (GCRA) similar powers as the Jersey Competition & Regulatory Authority (JCRA) and thus provide a fairer system of regulation across the whole of the Channel Islands.

We noticed that during the States debate last week, considerable interest was expressed by several of your political colleagues on both of the above issues and that these urgent matters should be rectified.

As Deputies, you have the power to see that this is carried out as soon as possible as this will endeavour to safeguard the future welfare of the Guernsey Consumer who you actually represent.

Nick Guillemette. (President of the GBA).             David Norman. (President of the GMTA).