Guernsey Press

Delay 'could change dynamics' of P&R's no confidence vote

Speculation that a slimmed-down Policy & Resources Committee could now be saved when the States finally votes on a motion of no confidence in it were rising at the weekend.

States members spent a full day on Friday debating Deputy Charles Parkinson's motion of no confidence in P&R. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 32752365)

Politicians and States watchers were assessing the fall-out of the States’ inability to conclude the motion debate inside a day.

Some now believe, especially following the resignations of Deputies Mark Helyar and David Mahoney from the committee, that the remaining members of the committee may have a better chance of survival when the States ultimately votes, which is expected on 13 December.

P&R president Deputy Peter Ferbrache said on Friday night that he was feeling ‘a little bit more bullish’.

‘But, it’s a but, that could evaporate tomorrow,’ he said.

  • Listen to our Shorthand States round-up of Friday's no-confidence debate

He also faces the prospect of trying to find two new members for his committee if it survives over the next few weeks, though he had already said he would not be ‘twisting arms’ over the no confidence vote in the next two weeks.

‘We’ll have to look at finding new members, just in case, you’ve got to have all options covered,’ he said.

‘It’s a bit of a conundrum, we will have to think that through.’

Deputy Charles Parkinson, who brought the motion against the committee, admitted that the resignations of the two members before the start of debate on Friday, combined with the adjournment of the meeting, ‘could change the dynamics’ of the debate and the result, which everyone has said they expect to be tight.

‘But other members of the States may see this as an admission that P&R has failed and they may say that even P&R is not really defending its position.’

Deputy Carl Meerveld was one of many members frustrated at the inability of the States to finish the job on Friday.

‘This is an incredibly important issue, whether we have confidence in the leaders of this Assembly, being deferred over several meetings.

‘That is exactly what we have ended up with. Apparently we can’t focus and deal with an issue as fundamental as this in a prompt way.’

Former P&R member Heidi Soulsby, who left the committee 13 months ago, said she believed that the move to defer the final vote was ‘intentional’ and described the inability to conclude business as ‘extraordinary’.

The States is due to return to conclude the debate on the motion on Wednesday 13 December.