Last night at St Martin's Public Hall I had the privilege of being proposed by Mr. Charles Strasser, OBE and Seconded by the following;
Francis William Tadier
Colin Perchard CVO, OBE
Howard Le Roux
Mr. Charles Strasser's Nomination Speech.
Mr. Connétable, Ladies and Gentleman and fellow Parishioners, I have had the pleasure of addressing many audiences during my lifetime but this evening it is not only a pleasure but also a privilege because it is the first time that I am addressing Parishioners in my adopted parish of over 40 years. I am also absolutely delighted that my maiden address is to nominate Bob Hill for the position of Parish Deputy.
Frederick John Hill, BEM, or Bob as he is known to us all, is possibly one of the best known States Members in the Island. It is not because of the time he has served St Martin’s in the States, but because of the excellent work he has done on our behalf for the Parish and Island.
Bob is Jersey born, lived in the Parish and for 9 years attended St Martin’s School just a few metres up the road. In those days it was an elementary School which taught the basic 3 “R’s,” however Bob learnt about another “R,” that of Rioting when he served as a Police officer in Brixton many years later.
Bob left the green lanes of St Martin’s as a very green 20 year old to join the Metropolitan Police. After his training at Hendon he was posted to London’s East End in the days when the Kray twins were at their peak.
Bob later served in Brixton where his outstanding work for the Community was recognised by Her Majesty in the 1991 New Years Honour List when he was made a Member of the British Empire. What a wonderful achievement for a St Martin’s schoolboy.
On returning to Jersey he became Bob the Builder when with his wife Ann they set about building a new home for themselves. Two years later Bob successfully contested the Deputy’s seat in this Parish.
In some people’s eyes Bob’s decision to stand in St Martin’s was seen as ill conceived because his new home just happens to be in Trinity and also who was this upstart who had not served his Parish in any capacity?
But those people just did not know of Bob’s enthusiasm and capacity for work and his ability to relate to both the old and new St Martinais.
I can still recall Bob first calling at my home. I was struck by his enthusiasm, energy, his openness and his abundant good sense. I sensed that here was a local man who had gone into the world, gained a great deal of experience and was bringing that knowledge back to the Island and was seeking my support to elect him.
It should be recalled that in those days States Members were not remunerated, Bob was giving freely of his time and expertise. I must confess that I had no difficulty in deciding that I was going to vote for Bob and I have continued to do so ever since.
Since we do not have a political party system in The States, it is vital to have Deputies of integrity, prepared to probe and challenge. As a backbencher, without ministerial responsibility, Bob is in a unique position to fulfil that important role and at the same time also look after the interests of all St. Martin parishioners.
Bob now has a proven track record for his hard work, his attention to detail, his friendly and approachable manner and for the many propositions he has lodged in an attempt to make life a little easier for us all.
The States has adopted a whole number of Bob’s propositions these include many amendments to the licensing Law, one of which was to allow the pubs to remain open all day on Sunday’s, quite a controversial proposal at the time but just imagine if some one today suggested that pubs should close at 1pm or people be denied the opportunity of buying a bottle of wine after 1pm on Sundays. He closed the Share Transfer loophole and made it now possible for unmarried parents to have the choice of the surname of their child when registering its birth.
Bob’s commitment has not diminished and this is evident by the fact that it is more than 10 years ago since he last missed a States Sitting. And in his past 3 year term of office he has lodged 29 propositions and tabled over 100 oral and written questions.
It is worth mentioning Bob’s last three year term, because he has worked tirelessly to expose the unlawful suspensions of senior States employee’s which has cost the Island several million pounds.
In addition to his success in addressing the suspension problems, the States also supported his propositions to extend States Question Time, the requirement for Ministers to submit Comments in good time and for Members Interests to be viewed online. He also successfully persuaded the States to conduct reviews into the role of the Crown Officers, the suspensions of the Hospital Consultant and Police Chief and the Child Abuse Investigation.
Also thanks to Bob Jersey is no longer the only place in the British Isles not to have a Police Voluntary Visitor Scheme.
We are all aware of Bob’s exploits on his bike, but it should also be recalled that he instigated the annual inter island States Member’s cricket match which he not only organises but also plays and under his captaincy Jersey has again retained the cup this year.
Mr Connétable, ladies and gentleman St Martin’s is fortunate to have an outstanding Parish Deputy with a proven track record, he is very fit and well able to continue to serve our Parish and I have the pleasure and privilege of proposing his nomination.
In accordance with Article 8 sub paragraph 2 of States of Jersey Law, I declare that Bob has no convictions, not even for speeding on his old bike.