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The States

The next sitting of the States of Jersey will commence at 0930hrs on Tuesday Tuesday 21st Januart 2014. Details of the propositions that are listed for debate at this and future States sittings and the dates on which they will be debated can be found at;

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States of Jersey

Election 2011

Good News Everyone!  Well what a day election day was although it already seems such a long time ago. A very sincere thank you to everyone who helped with the campaign – it was hard work for us all and I really appreciate everything everyone has done.  The final totals were as follows:

Sir Philip Bailhache: 17,538, Deputy Ian Gorst: 15,614, Senator Francis Le Gresley: 14,981, Lyndon Farnham: 11,095.

Making A Stand – Some of my thoughts in brief …

“When I stepped down as a Deputy in 2005, I said I’d take a few years out of politics to focus on my family and business commitments and come back and seek re-election on an Island wide mandate which is something I’ve always wanted to do, so I’m fulfilling an ambition.  I also think we deserve better than we’re getting. To be honest the calibre of States Member isn’t what it should be and the States are a shambles at present.

On the States

“The States of Jersey are letting us all down. Petty squabbling and failure to find solutions to many important issues are costing us dearly, and have created a great divide in our States Assembly.  I am standing for Senator because it is absolutely clear that the only way we can change the poor policies and decisions of the States is to replace the people who are making them.  They are wasting time arguing and the island is worse off for it. If we could get rid of the time wasting and get some focus on good healthy debate on the really important issues, I think people might just start becoming engaged in the political process”

On politics

“My politics are about people. My politics are inclusive. My politics are not about left vs right or socialism vs capitalism, my politics are about hope, health, vigour, vitality and opportunity for all. We can all have different political views but I don’t see that as a barrier to working together for the benefit of the Island.

On the reduction of Senators

“The States took a decision to change the constitution of the States Assembly by reducing the number of Senators without consultation with, or the permission of, the people of Jersey. This means that every islander will have two less votes at the elections in October.  Instead of being able to vote for six senators, we will only be able to vote for four.  It’s practically unheard of in any modern democracy for changes to a Parliament or legislative assembly to be made in such a way, or with such a small majority (1 vote)! and, in my view, it’s simply wrong and is very disrespectful to the electorate.”  For more information please visit www.democracy.je

On town

“I love St Helier, I was born and grew up in town. St Helier has great potential to be something modern and special. If we plan our town carefully and efficiently we could make better use of space whilst creating areas of community and important open spaces.”

On population

“We are living in a dream if we think we can freeze or reduce our population.  The human race is growing and generally speaking there are more births than deaths and we are all living longer.  We need to keep our population growing and mobile because without it, we won’t be able to grow and develop as an Island and as a community – but we must manage our population growth carefully and pay particular attention to immigration which must be tightly controlled”

On the job market

“Right now it’s a lot harder for young people to go into work which concerns me especially as we’ve got some great people coming out of the best universities in the UK. We have good but limited career prospects to offer them here in Jersey. The finance industry is vital and offers great opportunity, but that’s not everyone’s cup of tea.  We’ve got to look at encouraging and creating new opportunities and new industries. If we don’t grow and expand our economy then we do so at our own peril.”

On taxes

“There are two sure things in life, death and taxes.  We accept that but what I believe most people don’t accept, is why we should be paying for the mistakes of others. We islanders are a hardy bunch of people and we’re not afraid to put our hands in our pockets to pay taxes, but let’s get the island into a sound, solid manageable unit and then set the taxes accordingly – not the other way around.”

On being a Senator

“The office of Senator offers a huge propensity to do good. I think some of our States Members lose sight of that. They should treat their office as an opportunity to make a difference. Not to be divisive but to be worthy.  The most rewarding thing for me when I was a States Member was being in a position to help people, to change lives for the better – “States Members should also realise that Politics is about serving their Island and not themselves … As we approach the election it is clear that there are those who are only interested in saving their seats”

On Jersey

“Jersey is my favourite place on earth .. Jersey is very special. I lived, worked and studied in London for four years and that made me realise just how beautiful our island was and how lucky we were to live here.  We must remember though, we live in a fragile utopia and if we don’t govern ourselves properly and protect our surroundings and our environment, our prosperity is not guaranteed.”

On Health

Our health service is in urgent need of investment. We do not have the health service we deserve and the neither do the dedicated professionals working within it.  Why have the States failed to act before now? We need a new hospital or a major re development of the existing General Hospital premises as a priority. We must also ensure that our Health staff have the infrastructure, support and equipment worthy of their skill and dedication.

On how the public are feeling

“The people are disappointed with the States.  They feel let down, not listened too and disenfranchised”

 On GST

“The States have a strategic reserve fund that stands at around £500-600 million. We had an unexpected surplus of £30 million last year, yet we still put GST up 2%.  I would have held GST for another year and 2% would have stayed in our economy.  Jersey Telecom announced record profits, and the States drew a dividend of approximately £4 million. Why do the States own a telecoms company worth hundreds of millions of pounds, and draw a comparatively small dividend each year, when they tax us disproportionately?  Some States assets could be sold, and strategic reserves topped up to £1 billion, changing our whole financial aspect and outlook. With proper investment, reserves could generate enough additional income, negating further tax rises.”

On the economy

“Our local businesses have had a tough enough time recently, caused by the knock on effect of the world economic crisis.  Although Jersey has weathered the storm better than most, it is important to ensure our economy is properly understood, properly managed and properly resourced.

 

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