Billet Blog: 30 November 2016

This meeting is the third and final States’ debate in a very long November! The dominant issue will be secondary education – specifically, the question of whether to retain the 11+ or move to a non-selective system. This, and the other items of business, are discussed further below.

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Billet Blog: P&R Plan – Phase One

I had the honour of attending the Youth Commission’s annual “Youth Works” conference yesterday, and taking part in a workshop with the Youth Forum, who are preparing their plans for next year. We learned a useful approach to making plans. It goes like this: take a large sheet of paper and draw three columns on it. At the top of the first column, write: Why? Underneath it, list the reasons why you want to do this piece of work. Once that’s done, move to the second column … and again, write: Why? If, in the first column, you wrote “we’re doing this because we want to hear young people’s voices”, in the next column tell us why it matters to hear young people’s voices. When you’ve done that, move to the third column. And, once again, write: Why?

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Billet Blog: 1-2 November 2016

The first of three States Meetings in November (we meet again on 15 November to talk about the Policy & Resources Plan, and on 30 November to debate other business, no doubt including the future of secondary education) will begin with the Budget, and will also include the Committee for Employment & Social Security’s annual report on Benefit and Contribution rates. In addition, there will be business carried over from the last meeting, and a few other small items.

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6 Households, 3 Reports, 1 Budget

The States is considering three really important policy letters in November: the 2017 Budget, which raises taxes and directs government spending for the year ahead; the annual report on Social Security Benefit and Contribution Rates for 2017; and the Policy & Resources Plan (which I’ll only touch on briefly in this update), which aims to provide a framework and a goal for all policy development during this political term and which, through the Fiscal Framework, directs how government finances can be raised and spent in future.

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Billet Blog: 12 October 2016

The October States Meeting will be dominated by the Island Development Plan – which I have blogged about separately here. There are a few other items of business, which I have covered briefly below.

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Island Development Plan

The Island Development Plan, or IDP, is a baptism of fire for us new States Members – over a thousand pages, spread over two reports and eleven appendices, plus extensive supporting guidance and technical background. It is also the first time, for many of us, that we have experienced sustained lobbying over the propositions we will be debating.

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Statement – Supplementary Benefit

The front page of today’s Guernsey Press carried the news that Deputy John Gollop and I dissented from one proposal in the Committee for Employment and Social Security’s annual policy letter on Benefit and Contribution Rates. For the avoidance of doubt, we fully support all the other proposals in the report (and, of course, I’ll blog on them in due course). The full statement I gave to the Press, explaining my position on this issue, was as follows.

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Billet Blog: 21 September 2016

The first States meeting of the autumn was over in a morning. All the items were passed, with very little debate. The second meeting, on 21 September, is likely to have more substance – and this blog is longer as a consequence. Key items include updating our Extradition Legislation, bringing in Equal Marriage laws, and constituting an Employment Advisory Panel for the new Population Management regime. I have covered all the items below – please skim through and dip into those that interest you!

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Billet Blog: 7 September 2016

After a quietish summer, the States will meet again in just over a week’s time: on Wednesday 7 September. There are two States’ Meetings next month – the second begins on 21 September. From then, it is all systems go until the end of the year. This blog is an update on the items to be debated on 7 September.

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Prevention and Health

Every year, about 20 people in Guernsey and Alderney under the age of 75 die of liver disease. On average, 19 of those deaths (95%) are thought to be preventable. Likewise, around 35 people die of respiratory causes before their 75th birthday, and 22 of those deaths (63%) could have been avoided. There are about 112 deaths relating to cardiovascular disease (including heart disease and stroke) among under 75s each year, with 69 (62%) thought to be avoidable; and 218 cancer deaths, of which about 128 (59%) might have been prevented.

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