Languages
Page last updated at 20:37 GMT, Thursday, 11 December 2008

Barclays shut down Sark interests

Sir David (l) and Sir Frederick Barclay

The billionaire Barclay brothers are closing businesses in Sark, with the loss of about 100 jobs - a sixth of the Channel Island's population.

The jobs are in hotels, shops, estate agents, restaurants and building firms.

Sir David and Sir Frederick want radical electoral reforms on Sark and object to the hereditary posts of seigneur and seneschal remaining.

Sark's first election to choose a democratic government for nearly 450 years was held on Wednesday.

Election recount

Preliminary results released earlier by the Returning Officer on Sark showed that only five of the 28 candidates who received the most votes were pro-reform.

The people of Sark are reaping what they sowed... they only have themselves to blame
Gordon Dawes, advocate for the Barclay twins

The seigneur is the head of the government, while the seneschal is Sark's chief judge and the president of the Chief Pleas.

Advocate Gordon Dawes, who represents the Barclays, said that he was not entirely surprised that some Barclay-owned interests had been closed down on Sark.

"The people of Sark are reaping what they sowed the day before," he said.

"They only have themselves to blame. They could have co-operated with Barclays Investment but they chose to obstruct it.

'No support'

"It was clear the Barclays were clear on their commitment to the island with support - they got no support at all.

"Sark doesn't appear to want or appreciate the Barclays' investment and so it doesn't have it.

"The island cannot at the same time treat the Barclay family in the way that it has and expect them to continue investing large sums of money into its economy.

"Sark is going back to where it was before the Barclay brothers were there."

The island have a right to their democracy
Sandra Williams, electoral candidate

According to Mr Dawes, the businesses that the Barclays have shut down are operations that would normally be closed over the winter.

However, there is concern for the people who have lost their jobs as there is no welfare state in Sark.

Sandra Williams, one of the candidates in the election on Sark, told BBC News the will of the electorate needed to be respected.

"The islanders have a right to their democracy. They voted the way they voted and there's nothing we can do to change that," she said.

"The groundswell on the island last night was that the people have used their democratic right which we now have to be fully democratic."

The 73-year-old Barclay twins, who own the Telegraph Group, have other interests in the Channel Islands - in 1993 they bought the neighbouring island of Brecqhou.

Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Historic election recount ordered
11 Dec 08 |  Guernsey
Barclays new Sark court challenge
23 Oct 08 |  Guernsey
Last meeting of feudal government
02 Oct 08 |  Guernsey
Rights laws 'don't apply' in Sark
22 May 08 |  Guernsey
Sark democracy plans challenged
21 May 08 |  Guernsey
Sark democracy plans are approved
09 Apr 08 |  Guernsey

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific