After what seemed like an age, we were back! Well for just over an hour anyway.
Some of you may have thought “Was it worth it? After sorting out your wifi connection in the Chamber, you then listened to the President of P&R giving some good news about the decreasing budget deficit and had a discussion over the Vale By-Election – why did you bother?”
Whilst we currently have a limited agenda, it is still really important for the Deputies to get together, not just for the meeting, but also both before and after to chat to and ask questions of those we don’t see on a weekly basis. For example, I was pleased to see the two Alderney reps to catch up on events in their Island and to discuss how it may effect us all in the Bailiwick.
The States meeting also included an update by Deputy Gavin St Pier which I found extremely useful. I am pleased to say that, at future meetings, the Presidents of the Principal Committees will also provide updates which should give us more of a heads up on their current priorities.
I was also particularly interested in the proposals in respect of the Vale By-Election in October. Currently, the trend is to close the Electoral Roll before submission of nominations but the Committee for Home Affairs requested we agree for the Roll to close 4 days before the By-Election instead. Whilst this means candidates will not have a complete list of those on the Roll for their district from the outset, they will be in a position to encourage people to register in time for the By-Election. This can only increase interest in politics and get more people to voice their opinion.
The next meeting covers the important elections to fully constitute the States Trading and Supervisory Board, the approval of the Same-Sex Marriage legislation and proposals regarding data protection amongst other things. More importantly (for me at least), the meeting after next will be the debate on the draft Island Development Plan. We are already seeing proposals for amendments and receiving many letters voicing concerns over the perceived effects of the draft Plan. The Development & Planning Authority, of which I am a member, will be working hard to alleviate concerns.
If you have any queries or observations on the work I do, or on any topic of Government, please do e-mail or call me. We need to hear your views to ensure we keep in touch with the residents of Guernsey whether or not you are on the Electoral Roll. Although, as I said in the Assembly on Wednesday, I do encourage all those not yet on the Roll to register – you must be on it to vote!