Next few months ‘are going to be crucial’

STATES members have been told that the next few months will be critical in plotting the island’s path to prosperity, and they must bring about action with speed, responsibility, and a greater appetite for risk.

Vice-president of Policy & Resources Deputy Heidi Soulsby. (29368481)
Vice-president of Policy & Resources Deputy Heidi Soulsby. (29368481)

Setting out the Government Work Plan, which is a plan of action for the new Assembly during this term, Deputy Heidi Soulsby, the vice president of Policy & Resources, said a new way of working was needed, and they did not have the luxury of time.

‘The Government Work Plan will only be a success if it is owned by the Assembly.

‘While Policy & Resources is directing the work and facilitating its development, it doesn’t belong to the Policy & Resources committee.

‘Neither is it just the plan of the committees of the States.

‘To succeed this has to be the government’s plan of integrated actions.

‘A plan that the Assembly owns and its committees execute together.

‘I have been heartened by the positive approach of members and the understanding of what we need to do.

‘I must reiterate that the next few months are going to be crucial.

‘They are also going to be extremely hard and very difficult decisions are going to have to be made.

‘But we should not be frightened by that; we need to embrace it.

‘After all, that is what we have done over the last year.’

The overarching aim remains to get the economy back to pre-pandemic levels this year, and within three years to exceed the economy’s previous growth path, in other words, to make the most of all the opportunities and possibilities that lie ahead.

Better focus has been brought in with the proposition to cull 133 previous agreed States resolutions, the oldest of which dates back to 1996,

In total 46 recovery actions have been put forward, but they will be pared down later in the year.

Deputy Soulsby said it was a realistic plan and she described it as the key building blocks for the future.

The main watchword of the speech was the need to operate ‘differently’, and it was stressed that the plan was not static because ‘stuff happens’.

Deputy Soulsby hoped the Assembly would embrace some of the lessons which have been learned over the past year.

‘We now know that when we put a focused and joined up programme together, based on evidence and good practice, resourced properly, monitored and reported transparently, and work with our small community, we are up there among the best in the world.

‘It’s a massive task and whilst we are moving quickly, it is impossible to do everything at once which is why the policy letter today is, what I like to describe as the amuse bouche to the entrée, or main meal that will be the debate in July.

‘But we must take what has worked well and do it again.

‘The need is great, time is short and finances are tight.’

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