Government Work Plan 2021
The States is currently holding an important debate to decide the Island’s priorities for the next four years.
This is the first stage of the process. There will be a final debate in July once full costings for each of the projects is known.
Prioritisation exercises are common in the States – in the past you may have heard of the P&R Plan or the States Strategic Plan. But this version, called the Government Work Plan, is particularly significant and worthy of everyone’s attention because it comes directly after the upheaval and financial impact of both Covid-19 and Brexit.
What’s included in the Government Work Plan (and what’s left out) will have a material impact on all of our lives. Compromises and difficult decisions will be needed to made to agree a Plan that is achievable and affordable, yet ambitious enough to kickstart Guernsey’s recovery.
We’ve created this resource page to help you follow the Government Work Plan as it develops, and will be updating it with links to relevant documents, videos and media articles. Because we’re Women in Public Life, we’ve paid particular attention to the involvement of female Deputies to give you an idea of what you could expect if you were elected to serve your Island.
Deputy Heidi Soulsby, the Vice-President of Policy and Resources, is leading the Government Work Plan project. She explained the Plan to the IoD recently and you can watch a recording at the top of this page.
In previous years, the States has produced colourful summaries to make its major planning and prioritisation exercises easier for the public to understand and engage with. But the States is moving at speed to develop this Plan and these summaries are not yet available.
The closest we’ve found to a summary is Figure 8.1 from the Billet.
To really find out what’s in the Plan, you’ll need to look at the actual Billet (the policy paper and appendices).
The Billet is HERE.
If you are just want an overview, read the Executive Summary (pages 3 to 6) and the Recovery Actions (pages 139 to 156).
There’s no index but this list should help you navigate the document:
- Pages 3 to 6: Executive Summary.
- Pages 7 to 31: main report.
- Pages 32 to 36: summary of “Revive and Thrive”, the recovery strategy of the last States which has been incorporated into the new Plan.
- Pages 37 to 81: old resolutions (actions) that P&R recommends deleting from the States ‘To-Do’ list. Can ignore this part if you wish.
- Pages 82 to 96: the To-Do list that this States inherited from the last one, including the resolutions that are to be deleted.
- Pages 97 to 138: the current priority list for new legislation. Worth looking here if you are waiting for new legislation to be drafted.
- Pages 139 to 156: Recovery Actions – the things the Island is going to do to get back on its feet after Covid/Brexit (if agreed in July). Read this section for more detail about Figure 8.1.
Policy and Resources is leading the development of the Plan, with the input of all of the committees of the States, including Education, Sport and Culture, led by Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen, and Environment and Infrastructure, led by Deputy Lindsay de Sausmarez. But no matter how collaborative the process, there will still be aspects that Deputies want to change or add. They can do this by placing amendments – these are debated first.
The Committee for Education, Sport and Culture (which includes Deputy Sue Aldwell) wants to rescind the resolutions (delete the actions) that were agreed by the last States as part of Deputy Dudley-Owen’s successful Pause and Review Requete. As President, Deputy Dudley-Owen has explained that this will allow Education to continue with the review of secondary education without having to dedicate time to solutions that cannot be delivered. Learn more about the rescinding the resolutions here and Education’s plan for secondary education in Guernsey here.
Deputy Tina Bury placed an amendment (Amendment 2), seconded by Deputy Adrian Gabriel, that would keep the Pause and Review resolutions in the Plan but adjust them to give Education the flexibility to include any models or criteria they wished. This was Deputy Bury’s first amendment (fanfare!) and the first one to be laid by one of the three new female Deputies. Learn more here.
The Committee for Education, Sport and Culture responded to Amendment 2, saying it would ‘drag its work backwards‘. Deputy Bury replied to ‘correct any inaccurate impressions‘ of the purpose of her amendment. Result: The amendment was lost 24-15.
Deputy Victoria Oliver originally seconded two amendments (Amendment 5, Amendment 6) that would potentially add ‘public service reform’ and ‘investing in the island’s infrastructure’ as priority four and five in the Plan. Deputy Heidi Soulsby has placed her own amendment (Amendment 8) accepting the addition of ‘public service reform’ but broadening the scope of this fourth priority to ‘right-sizing government‘. Result: Amendment 8 was successful, Amendment 5 was withdrawn and Amendment 6 was defeated.
Deputy Yvonne Burford placed an amendment (Amendment 7), seconded by Deputy Sasha Kazantseva-Miller, that would add a Sexual Assault Referral Centre to the priorities in the Plan. Learn more here and here. Result: The amendment was successful 34-0.
There were currently three further amendments and you can read the full list at the bottom of this gov.gg page.
The original start date for the debate of the Government Work Plan was 17 March 2021.
However this was deferred by a week so that it could be held in person, rather than online.
The first meeting on Wednesday 24 March was a Jurat election, followed by the States meeting that was already scheduled for that day. The Government Work Plan debate followed immediately afterwards, starting in the afternoon of Thursday 25 March and continuing into Friday 26 March.
How to watch/listen
The best way to watch the debate is in person by sitting in the Public Gallery at the Royal Court. We are awaiting confirmation that the Gallery will be open. For a step-by-step guide to using the Gallery, click here.
Alternatively, you can listen on the radio by tuning to 1116AM (medium wave). Or listen online on the BBC Guernsey website – just search for ‘BBC States of Guernsey Live’.
Or you can listen on the States website. This is particularly useful if you are busy during the day and want to access a recording later. Go to the States Meeting Information Index. Choose the date of the meeting you are interested in and then ‘Watch the States meeting online’.
Members of Women in Public Life will either be in the Gallery or listening in from home, depending on timings and Covid restrictions. To be added to our Politics WhatsApp group, send your name and phone number to email@example.com. We’ll keep you up to date with arrangements beforehand and you can share thoughts and questions with other interested folk during the debate.
Follow Deputy Gavin’s St Pier‘s Twitter feed (@gavinstpier) for explanations of his amendments. For example, Amendment 3.
Deputy St Pier has also posted a copy of his opinion piece about the Plan from the Guernsey Press on 16 March.
On 19 March, the Guernsey Press ran a story about Deputy Heidi Soulsby‘s counter-amendment, entitled ‘P&R top two want States to ‘right-size’ public sector’ which was then the subject of the Editor’s Comment.
On 23 March, the Guernsey Press reported Education’s media release countering Deputy Tina Bury‘s amendment, and her response to it: “Deputy hits back at ESC’s misleading claims“. The amendment was also the subject of the Editor’s Comment. Bailiwick Express and ITV Channel TV also covered the story.