Douzaines call on islanders to help out with IWV vote
WITH just two-and-a-half weeks to go before the island-wide voting referendum, the island’s most populous parish is still short of the volunteers it needs to man its polling stations.
As of yesterday afternoon, St Peter Port douzaine was ‘a few short’ of the 64 volunteers needed to assist voters at the Constables’ Office, St Stephen’s Church Hall, the performing arts centre and Beau Sejour on 10 October.
‘We are OK, we are just a few short,’ said senior constable Dennis Le Moignan.
‘I think probably we were in a better position volunteer-wise [going into the 2016 general election] than we are in this moment.
‘We are still looking for volunteers – it doesn’t just have to be individuals, it could be people from businesses as well. They are all welcome to come and speak to us about it.’
Mr Le Moignan said he was not ‘too worried’ and if the shortage of volunteers remained unresolved with just a week to go before the referendum he would ask to have the States appoint civil servants to help out.
‘At the last moment, all of a sudden you could get an influx of people,’ he said. ‘Hopefully this piece will really help, some people will see it, speak to other friends about it and get in contact with us.’
The Vale douzaine has also made an appeal for ‘four or five’ more volunteers, while the senior constables of two other parishes have said the matter will be on the agenda at their upcoming douzaine meetings.
St Sampson’s senior constable Paul Le Pelley said he was expecting it to be a long day for volunteers: ‘We have got two stations to run, at the douzaine room in Le Murier and the St Sampson’s Church Hall at Potter’s Corner, and it is a long day.’
Forest douzaine was due to discuss arrangements for the referendum yesterday.
St Martin’s dean of the douzaine Ben Gregg is organising the parish’s schedule for the day. He is currently out of the island.
In his absence, a spokesman for the constables’ office said that anyone interested in volunteering is welcome to call the office.
The remaining parishes said preparations for the vote were going as planned.
‘We are very lucky to have a team we can call upon who are happy to do it,’ said Torteval senior constable Sue Aldwell. ‘Over the last few months we have also had quite a few people asking for postal votes. I don’t expect there to be as many people coming in as there would be for an election.’
A spokesman for Castel said parishioners had responded well to the call for volunteers.
‘We are pretty well served, we put an advert in the Guernsey Press and our ratepayers responded, so we are fully staffed for the referendum,’ he said. ‘But if there are any parishioners who want to be on a reserve list, we would be very pleased to hear from them.’
St Saviour’s has one two-hour slot yet to be filled, but that is ‘fully expected to be filled shortly’.
St Peter’s has a full team of volunteers, while St Andrew’s has not yet been reached for comment.
n Anyone interested in volunteering for the island’s first-ever referendum should contact their parish douzaine.