Guernsey Press

Let's be clear on our priorities

What price an ‘old boys’ reunion at the top of the political tree in the Channel Islands? Lyndon Trott reunited alongside his (briefly) former oppo from Jersey, Ian Gorst?

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Deputy Gorst, now seen as the favourite for high office once again, has previously been vocal in his appetite for Channel Island cooperation. Deputy Trott probably less so. He once said in a magazine Q&A: ‘I went to Jersey once, but it rained.’

Clearly Jersey States members did not rate the job that Kristina Moore was doing, or the way she was doing it, in supporting a vote of no confidence in her leadership this week.

Ironically, as part of its charm offensive before the vote, Jersey’s Council of Ministers published five key priorities for 2024 in a manner which, to some eyes, in terms of its direction and clarity, would put Guernsey’s Government Work Plan to shame.

Five short statements. Five priorities encapsulated in just 22 words. Promote economic growth and productivity; deliver more homes; improve island health services; do more for children and families; invest in St Helier. No finances, no detail, but a clear and succinct statement by which the electorate could hold a government to account.

Guernsey’s Government Work Plan still tries to be all things to all people and fails. It’s not easily understood, it’s not clear and simple, and as a result, it doesn’t hold a government accountable.

How does Guernsey stack against to Jersey’s priorities? It wants economic growth, but is not making a significant dent in doing anything about it; of course it wants to deliver more homes, but that’s sluggish; improving health services is a priority but paying for it is going to become more of an issue; while the latter two are not really on the island radar.

A short list of Guernsey priorities would be enlightening and accountable.