Sark Newspaper 08 February 2019

9 week he published a ‘notice’ on his corner of the state website, where he hastens to reassure us that he is here to protect the Sark consum- ers’ interests: “ As you are aware, the out of court settlement agreed with Sark Elec- tricity Limited (SEL) last November stipulated that SEL would charge 66p/kWh for electricity until the end of February 2019. I have had several enquiries from residents who are, justifiably, wondering about the price of their electricity from 1 March onwards. Given the enquiries that I have received, I have asked SEL to let me have an indication of what price it is proposing to charge from 1 March and I will publish details of any response when I receive it .” He then goes on to inform us that he has engaged engineers to assess the value of SEL and its as- sets: “ My office has recently appointed engineers, WSP, to carry out a valuation of SEL and Sark Electricity Holdings’ assets. Their representative has visited Sark in order to familiarise himself with the electrical generating and distribution sys- tem used by SEL. The resulting valuation report, along with the information I already hold and oth- er information my office has requested from SEL, will provide me with suitable material upon which I may base any determination concerning the elec- tricity price which it may be appropriate to make going forward .” (See the full ‘notice’ here : assets/notice_6th_february_2019.pdf ) This is extremely confusing. The state-appointed Electricity Price Control Commissioner appears to say that he has employed assessors on our be- half in order to determine the electricity price in future. Meanwhile, Chief Pleas are supposedly employ- ing their own assessors in order to ascertain the value of the company so that a purchasing price can be agreed. Sark’s tax-paying electricity consumers are, in other words, funding two separate assessments of SEL whilst funding the Commissioner’s £15,000 a year, in addition to funding the legal costs of both SEL and Chief Pleas, amounting to nearly £700,000 so far and additionally to being expected to stand as guarantors of any eventual purchase of SEL by Chief Pleas. Where is the money going to come from to pay for all of this? It is impossible not to agree with Mr Gordon-Brown when he says that this must stop. Commissioner White rounds off his ‘notice’ with this statement: “ For the record, although the eco- nomic arguments for my office’s previous Determination were never tested in court, I believe that they were both valid and robust .” This statement is certainly contrary to infor- mation provided by SEL’s customer update of December 2018: “ I discovered that the commissioner’s lawyer had persuaded the commissioner that continuing into court next week would simply increase costs but was not likely to be successful. So his lawyer ap- proached our lawyer to settle .” http:// Sark Electricity Price Control Commissioner Anthony White appears to be totally out of con- trol, prolifically expending other people’s money, whilst the only thing he seems to approach with anything resembling economy is the truth. Why is he still there? Why are we still paying him good money to squander vast sums on our be- half? This madness must indeed end. Managing Director of SEL, David Gordon-Brown WHAT THIS FANTASIST HAS COST THE TAXPAYER SO FAR 1st year’s contract £ 15,000.00 2nd year’s contract £ 15,000,00 Contracting Anthony White and his B&W Energy partner £ 8,000.00 The amount spent by Chief Pleas on legal fees to defend White’s various decisions up until Nov. ‘18 £ 156,184.60 Chief Pleas’ agreed contribution towards SEL legal fees incurred by SEL in its defence against Chief Pleas’ hostility £ 115,000.00 SEL’s legal cost for defending itself of £500,000 minus £115,000 to be paid by Chief Pleas, all of which will be recovered by SEL through its bills £ 385,000.00 WSP assessors £ undisclosed Grand total excluding un- disclosed and unquantifiable items such as reputational damage £ 694,184.60