Each of the ten parishes in Guernsey is administered by two elected Constables. They are supported and scrutinised by an elected council of residents called the Douzaine.
Together the Constables and the Douzeniers aim to promote a thriving local community.
The Constables are responsible by law for the day-to-day administration of the parish, assisted by a small team of parish staff.
Douzeniers are representatives of the parishioners and are responsible for the vision and direction of the parish and the transparency of its affairs. The Douzeniers elect a Dean and a Vice-Dean. In most parishes there are 12 Douzeniers, as the name “Douzaine” suggests. But the Vale has 16 and St Peter Port has 20.
Douzeniers and Constables are volunteers. The parish staff are employed by the Constables on behalf of the parish.
The responsibilities of the parish are numerous. Here’s a selection:
- collecting the parish rates and ensures the funds are well spent
- collecting household refuse
- issuing liquor licences
- giving permission to erect buildings within 1.5m of a public road (‘bornement’)
- inspecting hedges and douits after the June/September cutting back
- maintaining parish property
- promoting and enhancing the assets of the parish
In addition, there are optional projects, such as
- producing a parish magazine
- taking part in Floral Guernsey
Links to the States
Douzaines are the link between the parish and the States of Guernsey.
Historically, Constables and Douzeniers have met with parish Deputies before States meetings to give feedback on the items in the Billet d’Etat (agenda) on behalf of parishioners but this may change under Island-Wide Voting. Some parishes have also organised parish surgeries for members of the public to meet with their local Deputies