States Meeting Summary 2-3 March
3rd March 2021
Oral questions with notice
To begin this week’s States Meeting, non-executive States Members asked Ministers oral questions with notice for two hours and 20 minutes.
Catch up on questions with notice by skipping to 10 minutes into Tuesday morning’s meeting. The following questions were asked:
1. Deputy Kevin Pamplin asked the Minister for Children and Housing, Deputy Russell Labey:
“Will the Minister update the Assembly on the impact, if any, that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on the commitment made to address the recommendations of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry and its follow up report in 2019?”
2. Deputy Mike Higgins asked the HM Attorney General, Mark Temple QC:
“Will H.M. Attorney General advise members which person or body has legal responsibility for oversight of the States of Jersey Police in cases where claims are made that the Police have either failed to undertake an investigation into a criminal allegation, or have failed to investigate it properly; and will he further state who is legally accountable when it is found the Police have failed to investigate a crime properly?”
3. Deputy Inna Gardiner asked the Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré:
“Will the Chief Minister advise what plans, if any, the Government has to introduce or enhance legislation in the Island regarding online safety, including measures to address cyber-abuse, cyberbullying and trolling?”
4. Deputy Geoff Southern asked the Minister for Social Security, Deputy Judy Martin:
“Is it the Minister’s assessment that the response to Written Question 54/2021 shows that the most basic components of Income Support have not matched inflation of 16% over the period 2014 to 2021; and will she explain how the statement that average claims increased by 18% is consistent with the concept of effective indexing?”
5. Senator Sam Mézec asked the Chief Minister:
“Will the Chief Minister advise what measures, if any, the Government will propose to ensure that the decade-long freeze in real-terms earnings that Islanders have experienced since the aftermath of the financial crash does not continue through to the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic?”
6. Deputy Louise Doublet asked the Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Richard Renouf:
“Is it the Minister’s intention to revisit the current position within the Gatherings Regulations and Order whereby children under the age of 12 are counted towards the number of people considered as taking part in a gathering; if so, when will he do so; and, if not, will he explain why?”
7. Constable Simon Crowcroft asked the Minister for Treasury and Resources, Deputy Susie Pinel:
“What progress, if any, has the Minister made in implementing the decision of the States Assembly on 16th December 2020, in adopting the 10th Amendment to the Government Plan, to review the provision of public services by the Parishes?”
8. Deputy Mary Le Hegarat asked the Assistant Chief Minister, Senator Lyndon Farnham:
“What health services, if any, that are due to be relocated from Overdale to the former Les Quennevais School building is it anticipated will not return in their current form on completion of the new Hospital?”
9. Deputy Steve Ahier asked the Minister for Health and Social Services:
“Will the Minister advise the Assembly whether he intends to relax the restrictions on relatives visiting family members in care homes?”
10. Deputy Carina Alves asked the Chief Minister:
“In light of the citizens’ panels and juries being set up by the Government, will the Chief Minister state how the Government will ensure that the people selected to take part in any such panels are representative of the Island's population, and that all methods of collecting qualitative and quantitative data from these panels and juries are impartial and follow international best practices for market or social research?”
11. Deputy Montfort Tadier asked the Assistant Chief Minister:
“Will the Minister advise what consultation, if any, was undertaken with the residents of Les Quennevais Park and Clos des Sables area before the decision was made to relocate Overdale facilities to the old school site?”
12. Deputy Robert Ward asked the Minister for Social Security:
“The UNCRC Committee requires GOJ to ensure that support provided by way of benefits is adequate. However: Where an adult claimant leaves work without ‘good cause’ regulations provide for a sanction period of 91 days during which income support will be paid at a reduced rate. This applies equally where the claimant is a member of a household which includes a child. Does the Minister exercise discretion when the household includes children?”
13. Deputy Kirsten Morel asked the Minister for International Development, Carolyn Labey:
“What actions, in any, is the Minister taking to help people in developing countries gain access to Covid-19 vaccines?”
14. Deputy Robert Ward asked the Minister for the Environment, Deputy John Young:
“Will the Minister advise what records, if any, are kept by his department of incidences where residential rental properties have failed fire safety standards; and will he provide the number of any such incidences for each of the last 3 years?”
15. Deputy Mike Higgins asked the Minister for Social Security:
“Will the Minister advise members what discretion, if any, she has with regards to the management (and cancellation) of debts owed by Income Support recipients due to overpayments, including in which circumstances this discretion has been, or may be, exercised?”
16. Deputy Carina Alves asked the Minister for Health and Social Services:
“Are reminders sent to the people taking part in workforce testing, given that such testing is meant to be undertaken at regular intervals?”
17. Constable Simon Crowcroft asked the Minister for Infrastructure, Deputy Kevin Lewis:
“Following my oral question on 30th June 2020 about the Minister’s review of the future of the former police headquarters site in Rouge Bouillon, and statements during the debate on the Government Plan regarding the temporary relocation of the Sea Cadets to this site, will the Minister advise the Assembly of the progress on this review?”
18. Deputy Louise Doublet asked the Minister for Education, Deputy Jeremy Macon:
“Further to questions about this subject on 9th February 2021, will the Minister confirm the commitment to extending the number of weekly hours of nursery education provided by the Nursery Education Fund to 30 hours by the Autumn Term 2021; and, if he will not do so, will he explain why and state when he will be in a position to confirm such an extension?”
19. Deputy Geoff Southern asked the Chief Minister:
“Will the Chief Minster advise when he considers the Government will have delivered ‘meaningful increases on minimum wage’, given this commitment made by the Government in the Common Strategic Policy?”
20. Senator Sam Mézec asked the Minister for Children and Housing:
“Does the Minister support the ambition set out in the Jersey Homelessness Strategy that setting more affordable rents for social housing should be considered?”
21. Deputy Inna Gardiner asked the Minister for Infrastructure:
“Given that, in adopting P.64/2020, the Assembly agreed that legislation should be brought forward by February 2021 for the prohibition of plastic and paper bags, will the Minister advise when this legislation will be lodged for debate?”
22. Deputy Mary Le Hegarat asked the Minister for Home Affairs, Constable Len Norman:
“Will the Minister provide an update on the number of applicants currently awaiting confirmation of their new status under the Jersey-EU Settlement Scheme?”
23. Deputy Kirsten Morel asked the Minister for Health and Social Services:
“Will the Minister advise the Assembly of the expected date, and anticipated cost, of the removal of the Nightingale hospital at Millbrook?”
Oral questions without notice
After questions with notice, non-executive States Members asked the following Ministers questions without notice for 45 minutes (15 minutes each):
- The Minister for External Relations, Senator Ian Gorst
- The Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Richard Renouf
- The Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré
Catch up on questions without notice by skipping to 2 hours 30 minutes into Tuesday morning’s meeting.
Revised Foreshore Encroachment Policy
The first item for public business was the Minister for Infrastructure, Deputy Kevin Lewis’, proposed revised policy for encroachments on the foreshore (land between the low and high tide marks, owned by the public of Jersey).
Deputy Carolyn Labey proposed an amendment to the Minister for Infrastructure’s proposition. The Deputy requested alterations to the revised policy and asked that the Minister provide a map, establishing a public boundary, as part of this policy.
The Minister for Infrastructure proposed an amendment to Deputy Carolyn Labey’s amendment to his proposition. He asked, instead of incorporating a map explicitly within the revised policy, to report back to Environment, Housing and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel with his proposals for establishing the public boundary in the form of a map or a plan.
The States Assembly voted to APPROVE Deputy Carolyn Labey’s amendment to the proposition, as amended by the Minister for Infrastructure – see how States Members voted on part a and part b of the amendment and the amendment to the amendment.
The States Assembly voted to APPROVE the Minister for Infrastructure’s revised policy for foreshore encroachments, as amended – see how States Members voted here.
To watch the full debate on the revised Foreshore Encroachment Policy, skip to 38 minutes into Tuesday afternoon’s States Meeting.
Changes to the Migration Control Policy
Deputy Rowland Huelin asked, on behalf of the Chief Minister, for States Members to approve proposed changes to the Migration Control Policy which seek to provide greater control over the number of workers with permission to reside permanently in Jersey.
Deputy Louise Doublet proposed an amendment to the proposition, on behalf of Deputy Jess Perchard. Deputy Perchard’s amendment proposed that the common population policy be updated annually based on the prior year’s population growth and that the proposed independent, expert panel be gender-balanced, with members from across the globe who have expertise in small island populations.
Deputy Rowland Huelin proposed, on behalf of the Chief Minister, an amendment to Deputy Jess Perchard’s amendment to the Chief Minister’s proposition. He proposed that, instead, the appointment of members to the independent, expert panel be overseen by the Jersey Appointments Commission and at least one member of the panel should have expertise in small country populations.
The debate on the Migration Control Policy resumed on Wednesday morning.
The States Assembly voted to APPROVE the Chief Minister’s amendment to Deputy Jess Perchard’s amendment – see how States Members voted here.
The States Assembly voted to APPROVE Deputy Jess Perchard’s amendment to the proposition in all three parts, as amended by the Chief Minister – see how States Members voted in part a, part b and part c.
Reappointment of Commissioner to Jersey Overseas Aid Commission
Following the Minister for Infrastructure’s proposal, the States Assembly voted to reappoint Mr. Alistair Calvert as a non-States Commissioner of the Jersey Overseas Aid Commission from 21 March 2021 to 20 March 2024.
Improvements to road safety
Constable Karen Shenton-Stone proposed improvements to road safety, as amended by the Minister for Infrastructure, Deputy Kevin Lewis.
The amended proposition asked that the Minister for Infrastructure review the Island’s road safety to identify improvements, with a focus on the needs of vulnerable road users. It also requested that the Minister review Jersey’s Highway Code to identify the benefits of introducing a hierarchy of responsibility for road users.
Senator Sarah Ferguson proposed an amendment to the proposition, requesting that the Minister for Infrastructure study the Direct Vision Standard and introduce a similar standard in Jersey so that vulnerable road users are made visible to other drivers.
The States Assembly voted to REJECT Senator Sarah Ferguson’s amendment to the proposition – see how States Members voted here.
Returning to debate the original proposition, the States Assembly voted to APPROVE Constable Shenton-Stone’s proposed improvements to the Island’s road safety, as amended by the Minister for Infrastructure.
Catch up on the debate on improvements to road safety in full by skipping to five minutes into Wednesday afternoon’s States Meeting, a recording of which will be uploaded here within the next few days.
Appointment of Chair and members to Comptroller and Auditor General Board of Governance
Following the Chief Minister’s proposal, Grace Nesbit was appointed by the States Assembly as Chair and Robert Tinlin and Professor Russel Griggs as members of the Comptroller and Auditor General Board of Governance.
The States Assembly adjourned on Wednesday afternoon and will meet again on 23 March, at 9:30am.
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