A hotel in Alderney is cancelling a large community event it was organising for the Queen's Jubilee over "insults and abuse" it has received after taking over the Alderney-Guernsey ferry service.
The Blonde Hedgehog expected to lose around £15,000 hosting a Jubilee Jamboree at La Frette Farm on 4 June. The hotel said it was "prepared to shoulder this loss as we felt it would be fantastic to offer up something that was inclusive and fun for the whole island".
But it has been forced to cancel out of fear that the event will provide further opportunities for aggressive criticism of staff by people who are unhappy that the hotel's boat service - The Salty Blonde - was recently awarded a contract by the States of Alderney to run its subsidised ferry link to Guernsey for the rest of 2022.
"This last week has been the worst ever for us," said Tracey Farquhar-Beck, Group Director of The Blonde Hedgehog.
"Both us and our fabulous teams across all our businesses [are] taking insults and abuse regarding our partnership with the States of Alderney to operate a ferry service.
"This has now trickled over into our other business activities with waves of criticism regarding any events we are currently offering or planning."
Pictured: The Salty Blonde won the ferry contract for the first time this year.
Express reported on Friday that The Salty Blonde had won the ferry contract for 2022. The service offers two rotations per day, six times a week, with the possibility of an extra sailing during the height of the season.
The contract runs until 31 December and a service will be operated during the shoulder months as well as in the summer.
The Salty Blonde has taken over the service from The Little Ferry Company, which declined to bid for the contract this year.
Ms Farquhar-Beck said that The Salty Blonde's ferry service is "employing four local people, bringing in more tourists and giving Alderney residents another means of transportation to leave the island - a circular economy and a positive move for the island".
But some people in Alderney are angry about the States' decision.
Pictured: The Queen's Platinum Jubilee will be celebrated with events throughout the Commonwealth over the first weekend in June.
"The furore on social media is saddening and heart-breaking, but it seems a sad but inevitable part of running any business these days," said Ms Farquhar-Beck.
"Some people have their minds set on a particular point of view or narrative. No matter how hard we might try to persuade them with facts or reason, some will not hear another side of the story.
"We are not saying that people should not speak out and give an opinion if you don't agree with policy decisions by the States of Alderney, but it's not right to insult and abuse us because you disagree.
"As much as we wanted to carry on with the [Jubilee Jamboree] event for the many kind and lovely people who support us - and there are so many lovely people on Alderney - we simply cannot justify exposing our teams to any further unkindness.
"We are very sad that we will not be providing a platform for the many charities who were joining in to raise funds and send our gratitude to those who have offered help with this event as well as the many calls and emails of general support."
Ms Farquhar-Beck said that the company had provided sponsorship to local clubs and charities amounting to £75,000 over the past three years.
The Blonde Hedgehog still intends to host live music at the hotel over the Jubilee weekend.
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