With the nominations open for the Vale By-Election, I decided to look back at the contents of my manifesto and reflect on whether I had achieved any of my aims. To recap one of my key policies was promoting joined–up government and building on the work already done.
Well, as part of the Development and Planning Authority, I have been working with the members of other Committees to promote the draft Island Development Plan. The IDP is designed to balance the often conflicting demands of the economy, the environment and society and that means also the different interests of the Principal Committees and individual Deputies. It is a piece of work that is coming to fruition after more than 5 years and I certainly do not want to delay or seek to re-invent it.
The people in the Office of the D&PA (aka the Planners) have put on some excellent presentations and issued succinct and useful summaries to explain its complexities, hopefully, answering some if not all of the concerns voiced by both Deputy and the public alike. A full debate will take place on the 12th October provided the schedule lodged for that date is approved on Wednesday 21st September.
As well as the draft IDP, I attended the Scrutiny Committee’s open hearing on the Waste Strategy. Whilst it has also been many years in the making, this Strategy has evolved over time and I hope the report from the States’ Trading Supervisory Board will show a viable way forward. It was interesting that those answering the questions of the Scrutiny Committee were keen to point out that, with hindsight, it was felt that there should have been more detailed work at the early planning stages: like that done for the draft IDP perhaps?
I have also been pushing for better communication between the Deputies to assist with joined-up government encouraging Committees to let us know what is on their agenda at an early stage. I haven’t been very successful so far although I know there is a general intention to keep the public better informed.
The first meeting of the Douzaine Liaison Group is due to take place in September and I am looking forward to hearing their views of how we can improve communication and how we can work together for the benefit of the community.