States Departments and Committees
The time spent on strategies and reviews this term has beaten all other States terms I have been in over the last 22years. How did we manage before – well we got on with the work in hand to get things done. Senior staff have been so tied up going from one strategy or review meeting to another some have seen their day job suffer. Many of the strategies that have been completed and approved have yet to be implemented, as funds are not available until the review of the priority list takes place next term.
Most Departments have made cutbacks, do I think more can be done? Yes. Should this happen before more charges are brought against our population? Yes. My view remains as custodians of the taxpayers purse, a mindset must always exist of whether it is a case of ‘need or want’ before agreeing expenditure. Monitoring must be key on all policies and expenditure.
I would like to see in the future Public Meetings with the Chairman/member of each of the new Committees making themselves available quarterly in a public forum as a way forward to engage, listen and work with those whom we serve in the States.
Public & Private Partnerships
The States are increasing the numbers of Private & Public Partnerships, this approach must be welcomed and encouraged wherever possible. A prime example of the States learning more by working together is with the Guernsey Disability Alliance, with their input assisting with policies and the Disability Strategy, we as a community have a better understanding resulting in a better informed strategy.
The Youth Forum held recently in the States Chamber with the Bailiff as Presiding Officer saw the elected representatives from all the High Schools, Elizabeth College, Ladies College, Grammar School and Blanchelande College conduct a day’s debate on various issues. What a credit they all were to their schools but just as important for our islands. Finally, at last after many years there’s now a formal group of young people working with the States for our island and their future.
Will the States have Webcams available on States Days for those at home or work to watch their government in action in the same way many other Parliaments do? Will the States have a listen again facility of States meetings? Will the States use Social Media more for instant engagement with the public? The States needs to encourage people to get involved, all ideas welcome.
The States still has a long way to go to achieve openness and accountability, if anything this States has been more reluctant to share information publicly than previous States. I remain of the view the States should have a robust Freedom of Information in place that doesn’t have brick walls in place as reasons why information cannot be shared.
Simultaneous Electronic Voting
Simultaneous Electronic Voting was once again rejected, if only Guernsey was like Jersey where their States Members welcome and support SEV, why do the majority of Guernsey States members reject the opportunity to be open and accountable? If elected I will continue to support Simultaneous Electronic Voting and try once again to get this implemented so you can hold States members to account.
States Members Pay – I didn’t take any pay rises again this term.
After much resistance my amendment to have States Members remuneration published annually was approved, although many objected at the time – why?
One of the concerns for the Vale Parish remains the Mont Cuet tip and all the problems that come with it. The rubbish mound continues to rise above road level yet the States waste disposal still hasn’t been finalised and agreed by the States yet. The difficulties associated with Mont Cuet site keeping bags and debris inside the perimeter especially on windy days continues. This problem needs a permanent solution sooner rather than later.
Vale Douzainiers & Parish Officials are all volunteers who work continuously and tirelessly to keep the Vale Parish in good order for all of us to enjoy, and for those outside the parish who venture north and visit our lovely recreational areas and beaches. I’d like to publicly thank the members of the Douzaine and Parish Officials as too often they are the unsung heroes of our Parish.
The Vale Parish have an excellent new website encouraging parishioners to find out what’s happening in the Parish, the States are trying to do similar but obviously on a larger scale. People are looking for an easy way to communicate these days, the internet enables 24hr access to information that previously was only available during office hours. Have the States got it right yet? No not at all but with people now employed to address previous communication shortcomings I have no doubt great things will be happening in the near future.
I remain a supporter of Island-wide voting. The people of this Island should be able to vote for any member of their Government, not part of it. For as long as I can remember politicians have been elected who do not live in the Parish or District they are representing. Candidates have the choice where they wish to stand at each election yet the electors have no choice other than the candidates in their district.
If only the 2012 candidates had followed through their promise at election time Island Wide Voting would have been in place for this Election.
The States also rejected last month the opportunity to present and debate my amendment to carry out a separate coloured voting slip on the 27th April to ascertain if you support Island Wide Voting yes/no. This could have saved the added expense of a Referendum on another day.