Debate on Government Work Plan is expected to be deferred

TODAY’S States meeting is likely to be over quickly because the first motion is that the meeting should be delayed until next week, when deputies are likely to be able to convene in person.

Debate on the Government Work Plan is likely to be delayed until the States can meet in the chamber again. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 29341395)
Debate on the Government Work Plan is likely to be delayed until the States can meet in the chamber again. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 29341395)

Debate today takes place on Microsoft Teams.

After the roll call a motion from Deputy Peter Ferbrache and Deputy Heidi Soulsby is that debate on the Government Work Plan should be deferred until the end of next week’s meeting.

The president and vice president of Policy & Resources have consulted with the States’ Assembly & Constitution Committee and the presidents of the principal committees.

The unanimous response was that the Government Work Plan would be better served with an in-person meeting.

Under stage three of the exit from lockdown, which is expected to start from Monday, everyone is allowed to return to their workplaces, except nightclubs.

The Government Work Plan has 46 potential recovery projects which aim to get the island’s economic engines fired.

It also proposes scrapping previously agreed but unneeded resolutions to ease gridlock in the workings of government.

These include those that came out of the successful ‘pause and review’ education campaign, and the decision to transfer the handling of probate from the Ecclesiastical Court to the Royal Court.

There are currently seven amendments tabled on the plan.

Four are from Deputy Gavin St Pier.

He wants to add public sector reform and investing in the island’s infrastructure to the top priorities of government.

As it stands there are three main priorities to the blueprint – responding to the pandemic, managing the effects of Brexit, and delivering the recovery actions.

Deputy St Pier also wants the new States to stick with the decision made last year to strip the Ecclesiastical Court of its power to handle probate.

His final amendment is that when the Government Work Plan gets further refined it should include recommendations on measures, objectives, targets and key performance indicators, so that progress can be monitored.

An amendment from Deputy Tina Bury is likely to be the most contentious of the seven.

She wants to pull some of the ‘pause and review’ education resolutions out of the bonfire, to ensure that there is sufficient rigour and objective evidence around the selection of a new school model.

Former Education member Deputy Peter Roffey wants devolved governance of schools to stay on the agenda so that head teachers can have more say in the running of schools.

Deputy Yvonne Burford’s amendment asks States members to agree to the principle of a sexual assault referral centre to help victims of rape, sexual assault and domestic abuse.

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