Big drop in Alderney residents

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Big drop in Alderney residents

Post by GD on Tue 22 Jan 2013, 6:33 pm

Alderney's politicians are working with states members in Guernsey to tackle the biggest problem facing the island - depopulation.

They are meeting next month to try and find ways to boost the number of working, tax-generating residents.

Pupils at St Anne's school have fallen by a third in the last five years. The figure's being seen as evidence that young, working families are leaving Alderney in search of work elsewhere.

Head teacher Mike Gaunt said: "In the last five years, it's fair to say they've gone down by over a third from about 200 to about 135 now and that's a large drop, when you've not got many to start with, losing that number is significant.

"We are resourced quite well proportionately but inevitably if numbers are falling we are going to have fewer resources. At the moment we are in a falling roles situation and as staff leave, depending on what role they might hold, they are not replaced."

Figures from Guernsey's social security department showed that between 2008 and 2012 the number of employed and self employed people in Alderney fell by 129 - while the number of people registering as unemployed changed little.

The biggest drop off came following the scrapping of low value consignment relief.

Paul Arditti, chairman of Alderney's policy committee said: "It is a very serious problem - even without a census, it shows us that our demographic is changing as well as our critical mass. The official figure is 2,100 souls on the island but it's more likely 1,600 to 1,700.

"But also the demographics are going wrong. If you have that number of schoolchildren leaving that means it's the young families, the working families who are not finding sufficient work and are therefore leaving the island so you are into a downward spiral.

"What Guernsey now recognises is that we have a sustainability problem. The amber light is flashing."


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