The Prince’s Foundation interactive public meeting well attended

The start of last week saw Sark’s Seigneur, Christopher Beaumont, and The Prince’s Foundation host a public meeting on Monday at the Island Hall whilst other stakeholder meetings were also scheduled for the following day.

Attended by a huge number of residents who were eager to hear what was to be said about the initiative, a 20-minute introduction by Ben Bolgar, a Senior Director at the Foundation, was followed by several interactive exercises. The aim of the meeting was for the community to share their thoughts about Sark, its unique qualities and the various challenges it faces in order to collate a long-term plan including a sustainability appraisal, and ‘to build a consensus around what future opportunities might be for the island.’

Activities involved islanders listing out their positive and negative views on the natural, social, financial and built aspects of the island, whilst another activity featured a large map of Sark where attendees were asked to place coloured dots on areas that they either liked, disliked, or felt that opportunities and improvements could be made. Common positives appeared to be the island’s natural environment and beauty and its community whilst common negatives were derelict buildings, lack of medical security and even Chief Pleas, the local government, not delivering on its mandate.

The chair and deputy chair of Chief Pleas’ Policy & Finance Committee, John Guille, and Pippa Donovan, later made a statement to the local media:

“It was encouraging to see good attendance from Islanders to what may be the beginning of a potentially very useful piece of work by a respected foundation.”

“Overwhelming concern was expressed by islanders that this should not be linked to any commercial interests, though we have every faith that the Princes Foundation are experienced professionals and well positioned to establish this separation.”

“We were all pleased to learn that this is just the beginning of the process and look forward to the preliminary report this Summer when the Prince’s Foundation will be able to devote considerably more time to engage with the entire community.”

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