States Assembly 9th March 2020

11th March 2020

The States Assembly began early on Monday 9th March for the Questions ​

Deputy Bailiff Robert McRae welcomed guests from the Ministry of Justice who were in the public gallery.

Oral Questions

You can watch all oral questions here

The income of Liberty Bus from the 5 million journeys taken last year, recycling levels in the island, Corona Virus updates and direct payments for respite carers.  

Deputy Rob Ward asked Minister for Infrastructure, Kevin Lewis "Given that it has been reported that there were 5 million bus journeys taken last year, what information does the Minister have on the income to Liberty Bus from paid bus fares, and what was the level of subsidy paid to Liberty Bus, in 2019?"

Deputy Kevin Lewis said that as the financial year for Liberty Bus runs from May to April so the audited accounts for 2019 are not available. He however confirmed that the contract includes an open book accounting agreement which provides a high level of transparency and trust. He stressed that the Government does not subsidise Liberty Bus.

Deputy Inna Gardiner asked The Chief Minister "Will the Chief Minister provide an update on what the Council of Ministers is doing with regard to the current situation with COVID-19 (i.e. Coronavirus)?"

The Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondre said, the position has been escalating over the last few weeks and Minsters have been actively involved and leading in preparations throughout this time. Ministers have also been liaising with department officers and informed of all key measures taken in their respective areas. States Members and key business organisations are receiving updates. He also added the Island is in a strong position to respond to this challenge.

Deputy Kirsten Morel asked Minister for Infrastructure Deputy Kevin Lewis "Does the Minister assess the current rate of recycling of waste material in Jersey as satisfactory; and what policies is he championing to encourage more recycling?"

Deputy Kevin Lewis said that Jersey currently separates a third of its waste and this is without having its own collections. He stated that this amount is satisfactory but "we are always working towards recycling more." Deputy Kevin Lewis also stated that he and his team are working with 4 more Parishes to bring recycling collection to every home and that this is a priority.

Deputy Carina Alves asked Minister for Children and Housing Sam Mézec, "Will the Minister advise whether he will introduce direct payments for respite care for carers of children with complex needs, given that a system for such payments has been running in the U.K. for more than a decade; and if not, why not?"

The Minster for Children and Housing, Senator Sam Mezec, said such a system is being explored. He said consideration is ongoing and options are being considered about how they may move from the present system… to one that enables greater self-directed support.  He added that any changes would require a change in law. Constable of Trinity, Phillip Le Sueur said the proposition would destroy Parish identities when stating why he would be voting against the proposition.


Tracey Vallois, Minister for Education took questions on preparations for Coronavirus should schools need to close, how many primary schools take part in the daily mile initiative and exchange programmes.

Watch QWON here:

Deputy Steve Ahier asked what plans are in place for Education to continue at home in the event of Coronavirus closing schools.

The Minister explained it was an ongoing situation, that leaders of schools would need to provide work expectations of students and the main focus would be on exam year pupils. She added options were being explored as to how best provide provisions for education at home.

Constable of St Lawrence asked if the Minister was satisfied that excluded children are being educated to the same standard to those that are receiving mainstream schooling,

The Minister said "in a very simple phrase I would suggest no." The Minster added context saying the demands in schools at the moment in regard to special education needs and behavioural social, emotional and mental health are probably the highest she's seen in a long time. The Minster added "We don't have the resources or capacity in order to support our students I the most appropriate way we should."

Deputy Tadier asked if the 9 schools listed as having exchange programmes is exhaustive. Senator Tracey Vallois confirmed that this was case.

Senator Same Mézec, Minister for Children and Housing took questions on resourcing in children's services housing and the economy migration policies.

Watch QWON here

Senator Kristina Moore asked the Minister if he is content with the level of resourcing on children's services and the turnover of staff.

I'm certainly comfortable with the resourcing that we now have in place as a result of the government plan… and of course that is due to increase. He stated that there is still some way to go to a situation where he's be completely satisfied but stated "I'm very satisfied with the journey that we are on."

Deputy of St Peter, Rowland Huelin asked "What policies is the minister considering assisting the economy

Housing policy development board meets at the end of this month to finalize its report and will make recommendations that he hopes will ease the burden the cost of housing is providing to many islanders

Deputy Kevin Pamplin had tabled an urgent question for the Chief Minister about the effect of the Flybe collapse. Deputy Chief Minister Lyndon Farnham answered the question and explained that members had already received an email from him over the weekend detailing the steps taken to maintain and replace the services that will be affected by the collapse.

Watch here

Deputy Chief Minister Lyndon Farnham delivered a statement on the Our Hospital project. 

You can read it in full here

Senator Steve Pallett, Assistant Minister for Health and Social services gave a statement of the Health and Wellbeing Framework.

Watch here

Tuesday 10th March 2020

The second day of the States Assembly started with the announcement screens have been temporarily installed in the States Assembly following a proposition passed last year on timing the lengths of Member's speeches during debates.

The first item up for debate was Electoral Reform as proposed by Privileges and Procedures Committee. PPC's Chair, Deputy Russell Labey delivered a speech outlining the proposal and spoke about the importance of voters feeling like their votes have equal weight and how this impacts voter turnout. Deputy Labey stated that the purpose of these changes were "about recognising where we're in trouble and trying to put it right."

Read the proposal here

Constable of St John, Chris Taylor spoke about his experiences in elections over the years and that he believed the proposed changes would spell the end of the parish system. He asked members to reject the proposition. Constable of St Ouen Richard Buchanan praised Depuy Labey's proposition, but pointed out he did not agree with many of the points. Following comments from the Constable of St Helier and Deputy Lindsey Ash spoke, Constable of St Mary John Le Baily began his speech by apologising for things he's said in the past that may have been politically incorrect. Deputy Tadier spoke in support of the proposition while the Constable of St Peter, Richard Vibert urged all members not to support the proposition.

Deputy Gregory Guida said he wanted to talk about the true cost of the proposition, which he believes is the loss of closeness to community which the role of the Constables provides. He said the national treasure of Jersey is how close politicians are to the electorate and urged the members to vote against the proposition. Constable of St Lawrence Deirdre Mezbourian stated that members of the public have twice voted to keep the constables as members of the Assembly.

After a return from lunch, the States Assembly resumed the debate where Deputy Graham Truscott said he was a staunch supporter of the Constables remaining while Deputy Steve Ahier said he was in favour of PPC's proposition ad that it is time for Jersey's electoral system to come into the 21st century.  Deputy Judy Martin also spoke in support of the proposal. Senator Sam Mezec spoke in support of the proposal, his argument focusing on the weighting of votes.

Constable of St Martin, Karen Stone said she agreed there was a need for electoral reform but stated she did not believe this proposition was not it.

The Assembly voted on three of the Electoral Reform paragraphs.

The first part of the proposal was PPC's proposal to agree that equal weighting of every individual's vote should form the basis for the reform of the States.

The proposal was ADOPTED


The States Assembly then voted on the proposed new structure of the States Assembly which would have seen it mad up of 46 members elected across 9 newly formed districts.

The States Assembly voted to REJECT the paragraph


The States Assembly voted to REJECT the paragraph which proposed that constables would retain the role as speaking members of the States but remove their right to vote.


Wednesday 11th March 

Deputy Jeremy Macon outlined his proposal for the Diversity Working Group which highlighted the need for unconscious bias training among other changes which encourage more diversity.

Read the proposal here  

The Chief Minister John Le Fondre, Deputy Louise Doublet, Constable Karen Stone, Deputy Rob Ward and Deputy Lesley Ash were among the first to speak in support of the proposition.

The proposal was ADOPTED


The Minister for Infrastructure Deputy Kevin Lewis accepted Constable Simon Crowcroft's amendment to the Sustainable Transport Policy.

You can read the proposal here

Members spoke on the amendment and expressed their support for the amendments.

The amendments were ADOPTED.


Deputy Rob Ward then proposed his amendment to the Minister for Infrastructure's Sustainable Transport Policy. The focus of his proposed amendment was to introduce a bus pass scheme for Under 21's. It would be a pilot scheme for the term of one year.

You can read the proposal here

Deputy Montford Tadier spoke in support of the proposition and argued that cycling and walking was not a viable solution for young people when, for example, travelling from Trinity to the new Skate Park in St Brelade.

Constable Sadie Le Sueur-Rennard spoke against the proposition. She stated that unless she knew how much the proposal would cost she couldn't support it.

Deputy Kevin Lewis opposed the amendment and said he thought Deputy Rob Ward's proposal was a little premature. He did state that a better bus service was a priority and asked the assembly to not support this "un-costed proposal." Constable of St John Chris Taylor congratulated Deputy Ward but said he could not support the proposal. Deputy Geoff Southern said that he believed people using the lack of cost projections was an excuse used by some members to not vote for changes.

Deputy Hugh Raymond spoke and started by asking "What is a bus?" due to the fact that he has to travel some distance to find a bus stop in Trinity. He stated that he wanted more facts and more figures and wanted to wait for the Bus Development Plan.

Deputy Scott Wickenden spoke against the proposition but highlighted there should be more work to identify people they could help with free bus passes instead of blanketing the under 21's with the free pass option. Deputy Carina Alves said that those who were asking for evidence before running should allow the scheme to be piloted for the proposed year in order to gain the evidence to see if the proposed scheme would work.

The vote was REJECTED



Deputy Kevin Lewis, the Minister for Infrastructure's amended Sustainable Transport Policy was then debated.

Read the proposal here

Many members spoke on various topics, Deputy Mary Le Hegarat asked about road safety officers and the relation of this to road safety for cyclists, Senator Kristina Moore asked about alternative energy efficient buses. There were also questions relating to Liberty Bus and the available routes.  Deputy Rob Ward asked for clarification on costs and other members also asked for costs and timelines for the policy.

The proposal was ADOPTED


Deputy Gregory Guida, the Assistant Minister for the Environment, proposed the Draft Sea Fishing Regulations.

Read the proposal here

He stated that the main point of the proposition was centred around closing loopholes.

The proposal was ADOPTED


Deputy John young, the Minister for the Environment proposed the final item on the agenda, the proposed Plant Health Regulations.

Read the proposal here

The Minster outlined that the regulations replace 70 EU directives and that the regulations were an evidence-based regime. He stated that the adoption of the would put Jersey on an equal footing with all other member states of the EU. He stated it was an important measure to safeguard our environment.

The principles were adopted in the first reading by a show of hands.

Deputy Montford Tadier then asked for some clarification on the issuing of permits during the second reading.

The Attorney General Mark Temple stated that the conditions on which the Bailiff may issue the warrant are clearly stated within the regulations document.

Deputy Kirsten Morel assured Deputy Tadier that the search powers he asked for clarity on were scrutinized and that there are detailed answers in the Scrutiny Panel's report.

The regulations were ADOPTED in second reading


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