Guernsey Press

Deputy Cameron expected back in ESC discussions

DEPUTY ANDY CAMERON is expected back around the Education Committee table this week after being excluded over the past few weeks from any discussions about its secondary and post-16 plans.

Deputy Andy Cameron. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 32490163)

Deputy Cameron was kicked out several weeks ago after ESC president Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen made an unprecedented ruling that he had broken conflict of interest rules by publicly opposing committee policies.

But officials have started sending him papers again on all areas of Education, Sport & Culture’s mandate, and he told the Guernsey Press that he expects to be fully readmitted when the committee meets tomorrow.

The Guernsey Press learned of the development from a source outside ESC.

The committee declined to comment.

But Deputy Cameron confirmed his return.

‘I have the full un-redacted agenda paper for the meeting on Tuesday. This does include some items related to secondary and post-16 transformation.

‘It can be an unpleasant atmosphere in committee meetings, but I feel that I need to be there to challenge decisions,’ said Deputy Cameron.

When Deputy Dudley-Owen excluded Deputy Cameron she said she was relying on HM Comptroller Robert Titterington’s advice that a committee member should not receive papers or participate in discussions on items where he or she was publicly backing different proposals to those of their committee.

But Deputy Cameron said he remained opposed to the committee’s secondary and post-16 plans.

‘I’ve not changed my direction on this.

‘I hate the idea of moving the sixth form to La Mare de Carteret,’ he said.

‘I truly believe it’s one of the worst decisions made this political term.

‘Recent results prove that the sixth form results are far greater than the UK average and not far behind the private colleges. Why would you risk changing this?’

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A MEMO sent to Education president Andrea Dudley-Owen recently by HM Comptroller Robert Titterington, with the agreement of Deputy Cameron, indicates that the ESC president softened her position on the exclusion of her colleague after receiving reassurances about his intentions on secondary and post-16 policies.

‘To clarify, I am not planning a requete, and currently have no intention of raising or signing a requete on the current proposal,’ said Deputy Cameron in the memo to his president.

‘Furthermore, I am not undertaking any work, nor do I intend to undertake any work, with other colleagues on the current proposal.

‘Therefore, I do not currently consider that I have any direct or special interest in the proposal and I confirm that I am mindful of the provisions governing confidentiality set out in both the States rules of procedure and the code of conduct for States members.’

Two years ago other members of ESC complained when Deputy Cameron sent States members notes of a meeting held between the committee and teachers. The States’ code of conduct panel found he had been ‘naive’ and shown inexperience and issued him with a caution. At the time, Deputy Cameron was leading an amendment for an alternative model of secondary and further education.

‘In my opinion, the code of conduct against me and the recent conflict of interest rule have both been used to try to distract or silence me,’ said Deputy Cameron over the weekend.

‘I have only ever sought the most economical and effective way forward, and to play these political games only serves to paint a negative image of politics to the public.’