Nick Mann - page 2

Freedom of Information Act not front and centre

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More than 10 years ahead in its approach to the information act, Jersey has moved from a code to a full-blown law. In comparison, the way Guernsey’s code has been treated hardly encourages its use, suggests Nick Mann

2017 agenda will feel akin to climbing Alpe d’Huez

Stylised pics of the Alpe d'Huez for POLITICS Page.

The 11-plus vote apart, the States has been largely marking time since the general election at the end of April. But this year will be a lot different, says Nick Mann. Starting with a vote of no confidence in Education, Sport & Culture, big debates, including the waste strategy and the island-wide voting referendum, will follow one after the other

Inter-island co-operation needed on European stage

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The UK has been our voice, eyes and ears within Europe, says Nick Mann. And losing that benefit post-Brexit should be of real concern for us in the Channel Islands – especially considering the attitudes of some countries towards the islands and our place in the world of finance. Stepping up our presence in Brussels is the right course of action, otherwise we’ll be left to watch as our interests are swept aside by EU decision-making

Time for the ‘musketeers’ to fall on their swords

Education, Sport & Culture vice-president Deputy Carl Meerveld, left and Deputy Marc Leadbeater, who has resigned from the committee.

Deputy Marc Leadbeater’s resignation from the Education board should be a catalyst for the remaining members to follow suit and avoid all the disruption and uncertainty that holding on will cause, suggests Nick Mann 

Scrutiny can shine a light into shadow of overspend

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News that the work at Salerie Corner junction would cost some £80,000 more than budgeted has overshadowed what should be seen as a positive step, writes Nick Mann. He hopes that some light will be shone on the overspend by the Scrutiny Committee, but it would have been reassuring if Environment & Infrastructure had taken a more proactive stance and revealed why it was investing in things such as CCTV. Its failure to do so means that the heavily-criticised transport strategy has got off to an inauspicious start

11-plus debate must rise above post-truth politics

US Election

Tomorrow’s selection debate will result in a vote like few others because of its fundamental impact on the community, both now and how it will evolve, requiring deputies to weigh up the evidence, rise above the rhetoric and make informed judgements

Chalkboard system left languishing in digital age

Broken chalk on a black board for politics

At the end of the month, Education, Sport & Culture will ask the States whether to retain selection or move to a comprehensive system. But with many islanders unable to see past their own 11-plus system experience and the majority of teachers campaigning for change, the weighting of the arguments will prove crucial in what is expected to be a tight vote

Barrage of proposed changes could over-complicate plan

Environment & Infrastructure president Barry Brehaut, who with his vice-president Mark Dorey has placed several amendments to the Policy & Resource Plan. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 16575886)

The Policy & Resource Plan is facing 20 amendments when it goes before the States. But while many of these are well-intentioned, Nick Mann wonders if some are just adding layers of unnecessary complexity, while at least one seems totally superfluous...

Plan looks to marshal States’ Wild West urges

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Given the savings targets expected of the States during the next three years, the long-term planning and prioritising of projects when linked to detailed business plans of the committees next June should, in theory, help stop the States entering uncharted territory

Scrutiny needs to find its voice and skip the chitchat

Picture By Peter Frankland. 17-10-16 Scrutiny hearing re education.

The idea of shining a light on the work of States committees to get a better understanding of how they are progressing has to be a good idea. But what if those holding the torch fall short of gleaning any new or worthwhile information from their fellow deputies? It may still be finding its feet, but it is critical that Scrutiny holds committees to account when given the chance, says Nick Mann

What’s the real buzz about P&R’s vision of the future?

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The Future Guernsey vision is seeking to make the island ‘the happiest place to live’. But at the same time as promoting this dream, P&R is saying there is no money to help the island’s poorest. The apparent contradiction between the goal of reducing poverty while bringing in tax rises and increased charges shows the tensions inherent in this bold plan

A good time to look at reform of the Ecclesiastical Court

Photo By Steve Sarre 04-08-16Weather Page Scenic Town Church

The French scrapped theirs during the Revolution in 1789, the UK in the 1850s and Jersey in 1951, but in Guernsey the Ecclesiastical Court remains and continues to play its finances close to its chest. The Guernsey Press has pushed for the court’s accounts to be released and in Nick Mann’s opinion, publication would enable an open discussion about its operation. Nobody should fear this – although of course islanders may not like what they see...

Coping with the conundrum of consensus government

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If the ongoing debacle involving the Committee for Education, Sport and Culture and its split over the future of secondary education has shown anything, it has highlighted the difficulty of consensus government, writes Nick Mann. It has also put the president in a position that could well lead to his having little choice but to step down...

Alderney’s issues are laid bare by eloquent report

Pic by Adrian Miller 29-10-15Alderney Stock photos for archive

A report by the Constitution Unit of University College London into Alderney’s administration warns that it is inconceivable Alderney can be administered satisfactorily by 29 people and that shared services are going to come under ever-closer investigation in Guernsey as it looks to control spending and ensure efficiency. Change is vital if its independence is not going to be questioned, suggests our political columnist

States finds three ways to juggle hot potatoes

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Instead of States assemblies moving in a linear direction and coalescing around major policy ideas in a timely fashion, Nick Mann ventures that governments just can’t help but revisit the same old ground in order to put their own stamp on proceedings. And with committees running off down blind alleyways, complexity is added to issues that have already been thoroughly analysed

Referendum brings chance of electoral certainty

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It should be no more than a sideshow given the major issues facing the States, but whether its members should continue to be elected by district or via some form of island-wide poll is high on the political agenda for some. A binding referendum has been promised, but, as Nick Mann says, that is about the only thing certain about an issue which will cast a shadow over this Assembly, just as it has its predecessors...