Charles Maitland resigns from Sark Chief Pleas

Charles Maitland Conseiller Maitland has led Sark's busiest committee for four years

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A senior Sark conseiller has announced his retirement from political life.

Charles Maitland has been chairman of the General Purposes and Advisory Committee for four years.

He said personal circumstances combined with the demands of the island's busiest committee had led to his decision to leave Chief Pleas.

Conseiller Maitland said he would step down at the end of Easter Chief Pleas meeting, which is due to be held on 10 April.

He said: "Last October I had a major operation, a dual hip replacement, and I think I've just run out of energy.

'Too much work'

"We've also been extraordinary busy trying to bring in reform to Sark and in a way that has been an added burden.

"I've enjoyed doing the job but after only six months in Chief Pleas it was forced on me rather unwillingly at the time as I'd seen how the workload was really too much, so I feel I've given it a really go."

Conseiller Maitland said a lot of his political colleagues had "been quite stunned" by his decision and he was "not sure there's anyone who really wants to take this on".

He said he was also prompted to resign as he "didn't get the support I'd hoped to have in last year's election" when he placed 13th out of the 14 successful candidates.

'Unpaid amateurs'

Conseiller Maitland said: "It's been increasingly obvious that GP&A has really got too much work... we deal with all Sark's external relationships and we're at the forefront of reform.

"It's a lot to expect unpaid amateur politicians to cope with, this is really why I've been pushing for help in Sark's administration and why we're taking that to Chief Pleas.

"Sark's administration has never been reformed in all of its 450 years and the committee system has grown... we've now got 16 independent committees and it really needs serious reform."

The committee's proposals for employing full-time civil servants are due to be discussed at the Chief Pleas Easter meeting.

Conseiller Maitland said he would concentrate on his other interests, which include being involved in the Seigneurie Gardens Trust and producing Sark Life.

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