William Walden

Question 1. How important do you feel Alderney’s natural environment is to you personally and what specific measures would you put forward to ensure it is appropriately cared for?

Answer: Alderney’s natural environment is extremely important, on many levels, to me personally. We are all very fortunate to live in a place with very low pollution levels, diverse flora and fauna and largely unspoilt scenery. We are also fortunate, in the AWT, to have a dedicated body of volunteers to help monitor, maintain and improve natural habitats.

I would like to see a continuation of the good working agreements between States and AWT, where a grant is paid and works are carried out in return. Over the years AWT has proved to be more focussed and capable than the States organisation at maintaining footpaths and natural areas that are such a part of Alderney’s attraction to visitors and are enjoyed by our residents too.

An area that I would particularly like to receive attention is our sewage treatment, or lack thereof. A number of years ago, during my time as chair of GSC, the then States Engineer was looking into the possibility of installing a reed-bed system to treat sewage before it is discharged at the Fort Doyle outfall. Unfortunately, a scheme was never presented to committee. I’d like to see this idea revisited. If it is impractical, I’d like a full appraisal of what other options are available to reduce our impact on the marine environment.

 

Question 2. As a States Member you will have responsibility for protecting and ensuring the wise use of Alderney’s natural assets. You will also be asked to ensure that the island’s economy and its community as a whole is maintained, and viable. How will you achieve sustainable economic and community development to ensure Alderney’s future and what key goals would you set to achieve this?

It is difficult to envisage major land-based economic growth without adequate and affordable means of travel to and from the island. This is vital for our Tourism sector and for the residents who live and pay taxes here but have business interests elsewhere. I welcome the proposal which is being made to Guernsey States, to restore the full 23M width and resurface the airport runway. On the face of it, this should be achievable with minimal environmental disruption. The States of Alderney will have an input at certain points in the process and they must insist that the work is carried out to best environmental practice.

I believe that an all-season ferry service is highly desirable for the economic well-being of the island. This, again, should have a minimal environmental impact, particularly if it can be combined, using a suitable vessel, with the weekly freight services.

Above all else, Tidal Energy appears to have the potential to transform the island’s economy in the longer term and may even make it possible for the island to become an all-renewable-electric community some day. We must be cautious and we need to be satisfied that we are not only getting the best deal but that the impact on the marine environment is mitigated as far as it is possible. We should not consider massive land-based development to support tidal exploitation, such as converter stations.