Since the last election I have worked hard to honour the pledges I made, whilst also taking forward new initiatives.
The St Mary Walkable Village project has finally been delivered after more than 20 years of parochial campaigning and I have since worked on other local problem areas, making and following up submissions to the Infrastructure department accordingly.
I have endeavoured to bolster the sense of community, leading a team of volunteers which has organised a wide range of events, encouraging different groups of parishioners to come together. This has been really successful and many people are becoming involved in parish life for the first time. I am particularly pleased that the young people at our Youth Club are participating widely, as I have supported the Youth Project consistently and was pleased to bring a Partnership Agreement to a Parish Assembly for funding approval.
To ensure that vulnerable parishioners are further considered, I am hoping to launch a community support group.
I have several other projects underway both in the parish and with an island focus:
Education – supporting existing parish childcare providers to maximise opportunities as a new nursery school unit is included in plans to rebuild St Mary’s School.
Education – backing moves to put higher education funding onto a statutory basis.
Housing – undertaking preliminary work in revising St Mary’s Village Plan. There is potential to include further first-time buyer homes, subject to consultation and the agreement of parishioners.
Social Policy – having worked on the Access to Justice Review since early 2014, supporting the resulting draft Law due for debate on June 26th.
Infrastructure – investment in amenity space and infrastructure is vital for quality of life and the economy.
I have long been a critic of the ministerial system in its present form – it has not brought the benefits that were promised at the outset, our government has become more adversarial and simply put, the people of Jersey deserve better. I hope that changes to the machinery of government recently set in motion will lead to more opportunities for active participation for all Members, to enable their diverse skills and experience to be better utilised for the good of the Island.
In response to a Care Enquiry recommendation, PPC has lodged a proposition to define States Members’ duties and it is clear that every Member must play a full part in making the Assembly function efficiently. In this term I have served on the Legislation Advisory Panel, the States Employment Board and as Chairman of the Planning Committee. With the rôle of the Constables in the States Assembly now settled by referendum, it is clear they must continue to combine their parish duties with responsibilities in the Assembly. Whilst my background and my heart is in the Parish, my experience allows me to balance the workload appropriately.
With your support I am ready to play my part, drawing particularly on the knowledge I have amassed in areas such as education and planning.