ESC listening to parishes' Liberation Day concerns

EDUCATION, Sport & Culture is keen to keep speaking to the parishes over Liberation Day, but will not be making any change to its favoured parish-based events until 2024 at the earliest, it has said.

ESC said the island-wide cavalcade had been a highlight. (31535460)
ESC said the island-wide cavalcade had been a highlight. (31535460)

Committee president Andrea Dudley-Owen said that committee members were in 'regular liaison' with douzaine representatives, discussing plans and 'offering support'.

It said that its favoured model, using Liberation Day funding split across the parishes to stage their own events, rather than an annual big event in Town, was making Liberation Day 'a whole-island celebration' at the same cost as a Town event.

'We recognise that the new structure for Liberation Day commemorations places more work in the hands of the parishes,' said Deputy Dudley-Owen.

‘When we announced the change structure in January 2022, which followed a successful “trial” for Liberation Day 2021 brought about by the pandemic, there was widespread support across the majority of parishes for the change of approach.

'We do understand that there are varying views within individual douzaines themselves and are keen to engage with them, which we will do directly through our existing channels of communication, rather than through the media, to better understand what has changed for them during the last year if more parishes now have concerns.'

ESC said that after 9 May last year it received 'hugely positive feedback from many islanders' about the island-wide approach and said the island-wide cavalcade was a highlight.

‘We know that where a couple of parishes did not put on any events this was a source of disappointment for their respective parish communities,' she added.

'We recognise that the feedback we received has been largely anecdotal, so we have recently been conducting a survey through Island Global Research to allow the community to share their views on the new format of Liberation Day.

‘While Liberation Day 2023 will remain as planned, we will of course analyse the results of the survey and make a decision on the future direction from 2024 onwards taking into account the community’s wishes, balanced against resources and logistical considerations and the views of the parishes themselves.

'Of course it continues to be our intention to hold bigger Town-based events every five years, and we think this frequency will make those celebrations even more special and memorable for our community.’

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