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5 afterthoughts on the Referendum…

The votes are in and Option A – a single, island-wide election for all 38 States Members – topped the poll in the first and last rounds of voting. That means big changes for Guernsey and a very short window – only eighteen months – to get them in place before the next election. It’s going to be a tough two years!

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5 thoughts on the Referendum …

With five days to go until Guernsey’s first referendum, here are five reflections on our current political system, its virtues and vices. They’re not a direct commentary on any of the options, but I hope they might help to highlight what could be gained and what could be lost, as you weigh up your choices for Wednesday’s vote.

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Billet Blog: 24 October 2018

The pace of States’ business picks up in October, with an agenda that ranges from benefit rates to airport runways. A report updating the Rules of Procedure will provide some opportunities to improve the ways that States meetings run, and will no doubt attract a fair share of amendments.

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Billet Blog: 26 September 2018

The States reconvene on September 26th, and once again the meeting starts with the election of a Jurat. This is an important role within Guernsey’s justice system and, as ever, it would be good to see a contested election with several good candidates – if this is something you’re interested in, please get in touch: I’d be glad to help you find out more. The agenda is relatively light, with several pieces of law to approve and three short policy letters, relating to regulation of the finance sector, minor changes to benefit rules, and dates of States Meetings for the final year of this term. Very few policy letters have so far come forward for October, either, so it looks like this autumn will be off to a more gradual start than most.

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Criminal Justice and Prison

In early August, I asked Deputy Mary Lowe some questions about criminal justice policy. These followed her announcement in the States that the Committee for Home Affairs might need to look at alternative accommodation for prisoners, because the prison is getting too full.

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Billet Blog: 18 July 2018

After a couple of relatively quiet States Meetings, the July agenda is full of interesting business, with seven policy letters – including proposals for the future of air transport licensing, and the publication of the KPMG housing market report – and a requete on the future membership of the States’ Trading Supervisory Board.

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Billet Blog: 5 June 2018

The States will meet twice in June, and both meetings are significant. The first meeting starts on 5 June with updates to the Policy and Resource Plan, and is followed by ordinary business of the States. The second meeting will begin on 26 June, with consideration of the States’ Accounts. This update deals with the first of the two meetings.

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Assisted Dying

It is amazing how much can change overnight. As a parliament, we’ve gone from squabbling over environmentally-friendly buses to intense debate on matters of life and death. The bid by seven States Members to introduce Assisted Dying in Guernsey started quietly: when the proposals were published, we had little media interest and only one or two letters from the public.

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Billet Blog: 21 March 2018

The March States Meeting, which begins on 21 March, is likely to be fairly short again, with only a couple of significant papers. There will be a general update on the work of the Committee for Economic Development (given by its President, Charles Parkinson) and an update from the States of Alderney (given by Alderney Rep Graham McKinley), which was deferred from the last meeting due to snow. The new President of the Committee for Education, Sport and Culture will give an update on that Committee’s financial position, following warnings from the previous Committee that it was going to substantially overspend its budget.

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Billet Blog: 28 February 2018

I’m sorry I haven’t been writing many of these recently. A series of winter colds have eaten into my time, so I’ve had to focus mainly on Committee and sub-Committee work. Despite the snow today, I’m hoping this is a turning point! Here’s a short blog on this week’s States Meeting, in any case. Over the next couple of days, it’ll be followed by a couple of longer pieces on secondary education and assisted dying – two significant and controversial, if very different, policy areas, where I want to time to explain the decisions I’ve made and the positions I’ll be taking. I hope they will contribute to some interesting and worthwhile conversations …

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