Voters Islandwide are unhappy the Senatorial role no longer exists. In the 2013 referendum, most voters in St Brelade voted to retain Constables and no option to have Senators was available other than by supporting the status quo of unfair representation between the Parishes.
In the last States Assembly, combining Islandwide representation with district representation in the form of Ministerial and Planning Committee roles compromised the ability of two out of our three of our former St Brelade Deputies to be more active in Parish planning matters.
Fair representation between Parishes or Districts should not be compromised by such random and unnecessary conflicts of interest.
If elected, I would seek:
- a reinstatement of the Senatorial role and clearer delineation of States Members’ roles between Islandwide and district/Parish work
- improved and more balanced Parish representation that is fairer, more transparent, more accountable and involves Parishioners more actively in political decision making with District Deputies in a support role.
The Ministerial system has not worked well in the way it is currently set up. Some Ministers and Assistant Ministers have acted little more than spokesmen of government departments that need major reform, while looking for advice from civil servants who are not truly independent.
There is no value to the public in having any elected States representative as a Minister or Assistant Minister unless that person is informed and courageous enough to properly oversee, and, at times, challenge the civil service departments and public sector agencies under his or her administration.
States Members need to accept that under our current political system it is unlikely that any future elected States representative will have the necessary skills to manage and oversee States Departments as a Minister acting alone.
We saw during the pandemic how Ministers dodged releasing minutes that could show their influence over political decisions with serious consequences for Islanders by arguing they needed a ‘safe place’.
Political accountability should not be avoided in this way.
If elected, I would seek that Ministers be required to:
- work in committee with two independent specialist advisers/researchers directly appointed by the States Assembly with a role of advising the Minister as first level scrutineers of the civil service
- use Strategic Delivery Panels comprising heads/representatives of significant independent providers of services in the relevant area directly appointed by the States Assembly to lead government in reorganising the use of resources in the relevant areas and coproducing delivery plans
The How Proposition List also includes proposed amendments to make Ministers more accountable and a right of recall of elected States Members. It also contains other detailed changes to improve the running of the States Assembly and the conduct of elections, all to add more value to your vote.