Alderney has "very serious" economic problems

Image caption, Islanders raised concerns about the cost of living

A senior Alderney politician says the island is facing serious economic problems.

Richard Willmott, chairman of the Policy and Finance Committee, spoke after concerns were raised at a meeting about rate increases.

Five businesses in the island's main shopping area are closing down.

He said: "That is serious news. But putting the blame on Alderney's rates is the wrong reason."

He said the increase in rates for those five properties last year was just £15.21 for the five businesses together.

He said: "It does mean to say we misunderstand the problems the island has, because they are very, very serious."

Concerns were also raised at the people's meeting about proposed charges for planning applications and increases in water charges.

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