Assembly votes for change on senior committee

THE newly-elected Assembly has delivered another vote for change after two newcomers were voted onto the top table and one of the longest serving deputies was rejected.

New deputies Chris Blin, Mark Helyar and David Mahoney arriving for the election of Policy & Resources members on Saturday. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 28809790)
New deputies Chris Blin, Mark Helyar and David Mahoney arriving for the election of Policy & Resources members on Saturday. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 28809790)

On their second day as politicians, Deputies David Mahoney and Mark Helyar won spots on Policy & Resources with 30 and 32 votes respectively, toppling Deputy Al Brouard who polled 11 votes.

The other elected members were Deputies Heidi Soulsby with 35 votes and Jonathan Le Tocq with 30.

The four successful candidates were all the nominations of Deputy Peter Ferbrache, the new president of P&R.

Deputy Gavin St Pier, the former president, had nominated Deputy Brouard, who was comprehensively beaten.

It means the senior committee is made up of two independents, two members of the Partnership of Independents, and one member of the Guernsey Party.

In his speech before the vote, Deputy Mahoney presented himself as the 'change' candidate who would make P&R balanced and cohesive.

'People have asked me why I stood for election and it's all about change isn't it? I wanted change, the people wanted change, and the people voted for change. I campaigned on it, a change in the way States business is done, and equally important, is seen to be done. I cannot overstate that.

In Deputy Helyar's pitch he called for an end to the bickering so that the Assembly could be a happier, friendlier and more dynamic place that gets thing done.

He also said he did not know how the parties would play out in the new States, but he offered an indication.

'A group of six votes in the context of voting in the last term is obviously a significant number and it is therefore important for our party to be interwoven as closely as possible in setting priorities and budgets so that we are all moving in the same direction.'

The theme of pulling together and working cohesively was also in the speech from Deputy Soulsby, who urged her colleagues to make it the best States ever.

'I'm not tribal, I don't do us and them, except when it comes to football.

'We must move on and all of us work together in an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect. We need to make decisions and action them whether we all agree with them or not, it is needed now more than ever before.

'We literally cannot afford the division that characterised the last States.'

Linguistic skills were on display as Deputy Le Tocq asked for support to continue as the P&R lead on external affairs and steer Guernsey through Brexit and other risks.

'The real work needs to be done now and it's largely outside of this Assembly, certainly in terms of the threats to our constitution, to our relationships, and that's where I can provide a degree of continuity, a degree of being able to hit the ground running.'

The Bailiff, Richard McMahon, led a round of applause after the result was read out.

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