Friday 14 October 2011

Husting's Speech; Thursday 13th October 2011

The St Martin's Hustings was held in the Public Hall last night with most of the seats being occupied. Both candidates were permitted to address the audience for ten minutes. This was followed by 17 questions being asked on a wide range of subjects.

My address is as follows.

When preparing for tonight’s speech I looked back to my first Hustings speech to see whether the promises I had made then had been kept and whether the concerns people had about me had been addressed.

If elected, I said I would pursue policies based on Consultation, Openness and Accountability. Those three words are now seen in many candidate's manifestos.

I believe we all benefit from more Openness and Accountability in all areas of public administration. However there is more to be done and if re-elected I will continue pursue those ideals.

I also said I wanted to listen and reflect the concerns and interests of all parishioners in both parish and Island affairs and to inform and be informed.

I believe I have kept my promise, I am seen around the parish, and I rarely miss Parish Assemblies or Parish committee meetings. I am delighted that with the help of the former Connétable John Germain we introduced the Green Lanes system in St Martin. As promised I established a self funding Twinning Association, I am a regular member of our parish church congregation, President of the St Martin’s Division of St John Ambulance and with Gary Westwood we ensure that St Martin’s has sufficient footballers to compete in the annual Trinity shield competition.

I feel very much a part of the parish and with your support; I hope to continue as Deputy for another 3 years.

I said I would endeavour to ensure that our countryside and coastline was preserved. I successfully lodged a proposition to reinstate the Cliffside at Geoffrey’s Leap so that the area is preserved for future generations. As a member of the parish Conservation Committee I am ever vigilant in protecting our countryside.

I am proud of my attendance record in the States having only missed a handful of the 800 plus Sittings that have been held since being elected.

I have lodged a whole plethora of propositions and regularly asked questions I also partake in States Debates and only speak when I have something to contribute.

I believe I have made a difference to the lives of many of the Parishioners and resident’s Island wide. One is now able to enjoy a pub lunch on a Sunday and purchase a bottle of wine after on that day. Police may confiscate alcohol from persons under 18.  I also established the registered doorman’s scheme which is being incorporated into the new licensing law.

Parishes are able to retain all the revenue from speeding fines and Driving licences are now renewed from the date of expiry and not the date of renewal. Allegiance to Her Majesty and her heirs has now been retained in the police oath. Owners of share transfer properties now pay stamp duty following purchase. Unmarried parents are now able to register their child in either the father’s or mothers surname if they wish.

Following the suspension of an unacceptable number of States employees, the States has approved my proposition to establish a new States Suspension Policy and my further amendments to the States Employment Law are currently the subject of consultation with States and Private employers. 

The current State’s sitting schedule is as a result of my proposition and recently the States approved my proposition whereby Members Interests are recorded on line. At the last Hustings I said that if re-elected I would seek approval for a review of the role of the Bailiff and Crown Officers. I am pleased to say that following States approval the Review was undertaken under the chairmanship of Lord Carswell.

However I have not always been successful and was disappointed that the States recently rejected my proposal to amend the Highway’s Law which was intended to protect road users who become victims of negligence caused by the failure of the States and Parishes to maintain its roads in good condition. That is a matter I will pursue if re-elected.

As one can see, individual States Members can make a useful contribution in the States if they are prepared dig and delve and spend a great many hours researching and consulting with the public.

So much for the past but now to the future; on parish matters the issue of the ownership of the roads and footpaths in Maufant Village is coming to a head after over 30 years. The residents know how much time I have devoted attempting to resolve the long standing problem but I believe we are very close to resolving it and there will be a vital meeting which is open to all Maufant residents next month.

The issue of affordable housing for first time buyers and accommodation for the elderly is an ongoing problem but St Martin has not stood still as is evident by the developments behind the St John Ambulance Hall, Maufant and the extension to Court Clos.

Balancing parish need and protecting our countryside is difficult but this can be best achieved by keeping Parishioners fully informed and public consultation with would be developers.

I have been part of the Committee appointed to address the issue of the Rectory and the recent application to build 14 first time homes and 10 apartments for retired persons. Unfortunately that proposal was so lacking in detail and reinforces my previous comment that would be developers must work much closer with the parish before launching their proposals.

We are about to build a welcomed new school which will require oversight by elected members. The parish football team will now require a new pitch; however with the help of others I am assisting the Club in finding an alternative pitch.

Parishioners continue to be concerned about speeding motorists so I very much welcome the news that the Honorary Police have trained a number of officers who will be conducting regular speed checks throughout the parish.

It is disappointing that unlike other Parishes, St Martin does not have a community news letter that is produced freely in other parishes. If re-elected, along with our new Connétable appropriate steps will be taken to address the matter.

On Island Affairs the issue of job creation, cost of living and immigration will continue to demand attention. Much criticism and undue attention has been given to the division and behaviour of some States Members. That supposed problem is nothing new and was raised by Sir John Cheshire in his final address 5 years ago. It should be remembered that the States Chamber is a debating forum and some members do on occasions allow their passion to over run. The offenders come from both sides of the Chamber.

Due to the cherry picking of the Clothier Report the present set up is causing frustration and tension because too many States Members are denied being part of the government.

To remedy the problem, it is vital that the States elects a true leader to be its next Chief Minister, who will appoint States Members for their ability rather than their loyalty to the Council of Ministers. The current crop of Ministers has under performed much to the dissatisfaction from both inside and outside the States Chamber.

The States made a major blunder when not supporting Len Norman’s proposition to exclude GST on all food for human consumption which I supported. Had support been given we would not have got locked into expensive income support mechanisms, and any future increases in GST would NOT have affected the cost of our food. It was absolutely naïve to believe that GST would remain at 3% for any length of time despite promises from the Council of Ministers.

There are belt tightening measures in place but it is pointless making savings in one quarter and than spending it in another.

One area of concern is the cost of private education. I opposed the ill conceived attempt by the Education Minister aided by the Council of Ministers to raise schools fees. Parents know they will not be immune, but any increases must be as a result of wide consultation and staged, so that parents can make long term arrangements.

There are other Parish and Island issues which I am sure will be raised from questions which will follow, however in conclusion I would like to say that I have kept the promises I have made. I am known for never ducking issues and I attend to the concerns from everyone who raises them with me. I have a proven track record in both parish and Island affairs and it is a privilege to serve the parish.

When first proposing me, Alan Mollet said he was confident that I would not let parishioners down. Mr Connétable I believe I have fulfilled Alan’s prediction. 

No comments:

Post a Comment