Record number of douzaine and constable candidates
PARISH POLITICS is alive and kicking in parts of Guernsey after the first island-wide general election, with record numbers of candidates signed up for the douzaine and constable elections.
Local democracy has been reinvigorated, particularly in St Sampson’s, St Peter Port and St Martin’s.
In St Sampson’s, there are 12 candidates for the four douzaine seats, in St Peter Port there are 10 candidates, and in St Martin’s there are nine.
Last year there was only one parish election where there were more candidates than seats. This year there are seven.
However, the problem of uncontested community elections remains in the Vale, Castel, St Andrew’s, St Peter’s and St Saviour’s.
Across the island there are 67 candidates for the 46 douzenier and constable positions.
Of the 67 candidates, 26 are women, which is a big increase in female representation in the grass-roots elections compared to the previous year.
In particular, the number of new women candidates has nearly quadrupled.
Dennis Le Moignan, senior constable for St Peter Port, was delighted with the number of nominations in his parish, and explained that serving on the douzaine was a meaningful way to make a difference.
‘It’s very important the douzaines are maintained. They have a big role to play. We’ve found over the years that we can do things more efficiently and usually cheaper than the States can do it, because we get on with it and we do it.
‘In our parish we’ve got small sub-groups, for instance we’ve got one that looks to see what we can do to help make things better in the parish in all sorts of ways, for instance once we put cigarette bins all round the Town and since we started doing that we’ve noticed that a lot of businesses have followed suit because they thought it was a good idea.’
The group ‘Women in Public Life’ was set up at the beginning of this year to try to close the gender gap in public roles, and chair Shelaine Green was heartened to see the surge of interest in the parish elections.
‘We are really pleased to see such a high number of female candidates and we congratulate each one for stepping forward to represent her local community.
‘Looking at the douzenier elections specifically, there are 19 new female candidates, which is nearly four times the number in 2019 when only five new women stood.’
n The parish elections are all due to take place in the evening of Wednesday 4 November.
Voters need to be on the electoral roll.
For more information and the lists of candidates go to La Gazette Officielle.