Sark Newspaper 08 March 2019

4 ETHICS WINS OVER ARROGANCE AS REGINALD GUILLE’S NAME DISAPPEARS FROM THE COMMITTEES HE HAS DOMINATED FOR FAR TOO LONG This week the Sark public finally had a late Christmas present when, as if by magic, the name of Reginald Guille finally disappeared from the list of members of the Policy & Finance Committee on the Chief Pleas website. Readers will be well aware of his comings and goings of- ten reported in what Guille referred to in the Hansard Chief Pleas report of 18th January 2019 as “ that paragon of unbiased reporting, the Sark Newspaper ”. Well, we can now make yet another “ unbiased ” report to the effect that HE IS GONE (again). Over the years Reginald Guille has compromised democracy on more occasions that most people care to remember and the manoeuvrings leading to what we hope is his final departure is no ex- ception. Having tried to evade the disgrace of appearing before a code of conduct panel by tendering his resignation, Guille was effectively reappointed thanks to the efforts of the unelected Peter Sam- uel La Trobe-Bateman who appealed to the as- sembly to stand up to show their appreciation of Guille. The point which covers this clear breach in the procedure of the assembly is headed ‘ Procedural - Appreciation for Conseiller Reginald Guille MBE ’. From Hansard we cannot tell who stood up in support of La Trobe-Bateman’s appeal, but what is clear is that Reginald Guille soon ap- peared as a co-opted member of the Policy & Fi- nance Committee. The question of how Sark’s newly elected Con- seillers allowed themselves to be compromised and to let their ethical standards slip may possi- bly be due to their inexperience. Quite possibly, allowing the Bateman plea to be given any cre- dence had also something in part to do with his father heading up Sark’s judiciary. Peter Samu- el La Trobe-Bateman seems to operate in some- thing of a bubble of privilege in Sark and has not faced the electorate, but merely slipped unop- posed into the powerful position that he now oc- cupies as chairman of the Island’s Policy & Fi- nance Committee. He is, in effect, Sark’s ‘chief minister’. Readers will remember that this all-powerful ‘super’ committee is the creation of Reginald Guille, after his rejection of the highly profes- sional budget meticulously prepared by the then Conseiller Sébastien Moerman and his team. Indeed Conseiller Moerman is reported in the Hansard of the meeting of 18th January 2019 stating that: “ I believe I have, with members of the previous F & R Committee, pushed for changes, changes that are desperately needed for this Island to succeed and without increasing taxation. Our key goals were a sound, responsible and professional budg- et; the development of an economy programme free from state interference; an adequate civil ser- vice, proportionate to the size of Sark but using those professional skills and expertise required by an independent jurisdiction; an increased use of management accountancy; an internal audit func- tion; a human resources function. The above were key measures to modernise Sark to meet modern standards as required by Sark residents. They rightly want to know what we are going to do and why .” So following Reginald Guille’s efforts we are now left with Peter Samuel La Trobe-Bateman as chairman of the committee in charge of Sark’s finances, who, in the same Hansard report re- ferred to above, is quoted as stating: “ In this tricky time with Brexit and everything go- ing on, and the electricity and stuff, I certainly do not want to loose our Chairman over something. So I would ask all Conseillers that support Reg, and try and persuade him not to resign, to stand up and show our appreciation. Thank you. ” It is little wonder that the media reports that en- sued, whether ‘biased’ or ‘unbiased’ focused on this turn of events; an impassioned plea coming from an unelected member of a supposedly dem- ocratic assembly calling for elected and unelect- ed members to reinstate an unelected and dis- graced individual as the Island’s ‘chief minister’. Certainly, Sark’s finest hour this was not. The only saving grace for Islanders has been the sec- ond, and hopefully final, departure of Reginald Guille. We must now surely see the replacement of the unelected Peter La Trobe-Bateman with an elected Conseiller as chairman of the Island’s lead committee. Meanwhile, Sébastien Moerman should be given the credit that he deserves for trying his best to resurrect Sark’s failing econo-