It is now official: I have been appointed Assistant Minister for Home Affairs and Assistant Minister for The Environment. This is fantastic as I am extremely interested in all of the functions covered by both those departments and I will be working with two extremely experienced and pleasant Ministers. Now that my role has been defined for at least the next six months, I will change this web site from “campaign” mode into “representation” mode.
On that last subject, Deputy Morel has agreed to hold our first St Lawrence surgery together in the very near future. Watch this space or his own pages for the date as soon as we have one.
That was a long day! From eight in the morning to eight at night, candidates and supporters stood by the Parish Hall door, suffering from both sunburn and exposure thanks to the rather variable weather. The flow of voters never stopped and some had to queue for up to half an hour before getting their time in the booth. To all those who took the trouble, thank you!
Thanks, as well, to all the volunteers who made the day possible, from the Honorary Police to the many Adjoints and to the Parish staff. Their day ended at three in the morning..
The count took another two and a half hours and by ten thirty we had our results: Kirsten Morel, who beat me by three hundred votes, and I would be the next two Deputies for St Lawrence.
This is the last stretch. From tonight, we will have three more afternoons visiting homes in the Parish. On Monday night, we will have knocked on about 2,300 doors. I can barely believe it, but the 250 Km on the bicycle odometer are a hint that this is real. I apologise if we missed you and I am sorry if I couldn’t access, or find, your front door. For those who would still like to have a chat, I will be at the St Laurent Pub on Tuesday 15 between 19:30 and 21:30.
Our hustings took place yesterday, May 2nd, at the St Lawrence Parish Hall. We had a full room and were able to answer more than twenty questions in an orderly and respectful way that earned praise from the audience. I do prefer a dialogue instead of the strict question and answer format but I think that worked well in showing the position of all three candidates on most of the issues of concern to parishioners. A full video of the event is available there: https://www.vote.je/connetable-deputy-hustings-videos-2018/
We just spent the day in the Royal Court at the hearing of the well publicised case of the defective nomination form of Reform candidate Sarah Westwater.
After a full morning of testimonies from her proposers, seconders and party officials, it was found that Miss Westwater’s form had a number of defects and discrepancies. None of them were suspected to be malicious and the problem was whether to allow such breaches of the law and whether the court had the jurisdiction to consider them “not a matter of substance”.
After a lunch recess and the defendant’s statement, I was asked to make a contribution:
“I understand the problem of jurisdiction and the serious issue of not setting a bad precedent but I would prefer to face Miss Westwater in the polls”.
And I will.
In a surprise, but welcome, judgement, the Royal Court decided to uphold Miss Westwater’s candidature and the elections will therefore take place as planned in St Lawrence on the 16th of May with the three candidates myself, Kirsten Morel and Sarah Westwater competing for the two available Deputy seats.
The Judicial Greffe were very efficient at producing our Candidate Manifestos booklet and got it posted much earlier than expected. It is a good place to find general information about all the candidates for the upcoming election but please be aware of the following mistake:
Parishioners in St Lawrence can vote for 2 Deputies.
instead of 1 as mentioned. A link to the corrected version can be found here.
The first hustings in St Lawrence will take place tonight (Wednesday 25th of April at 19:30) with all 17 candidates for Senator answering Parishioner’s questions. Our first Deputies hustings for your three candidates running is scheduled for the 2nd of May at 19:30, with another one being planned.
Candidates have been invited by many special interest groups to listen to their problems and share their views.
So far, Digital Jersey, Plastic Free Jersey, the Jersey Construction Council, Chamber Connection and Jersey Sport have invited all the candidates, while the Jersey Chamber of Commerce invited a select subset of four, probably trying to guess who will really be running the government in six weeks time.
Agriculture also had a voice with the first Senatorial hustings having been held at the RJA&HS especially for farmers. The large number of candidates for Senator meant that only a handful of questions could be asked but they unsurprisingly revolved around the availability of temporary workforce and the declining States help for agriculture.
Similar issues were raised by the other groups who found it difficult to hire locally and struggled to deal with new taxes such as the proposed Waste Tax.
Plastic Free Jersey would like to see the Island take the lead in regulating single use plastics and Digital Jersey were promoting a project for delivering IT degrees in Jersey.
You can find my views on all of these in the Questions section of this web site.
The weather is making canvassing a pleasure and I would like to thank everyone for their warm welcome despite the fact that it seems I am almost systematically catching them at a bad time such as tea or the kids’ bath. My special apologies to one particular resident: I only heard your shower was on after I rang the bell!
Best tool for the trade: an electric bicycle. Carbon neutral and easy to park. As a bonus, riding through the beautiful countryside of St Lawrence is always a delight.
Attaching the very last poster. We were very careful to follow all the Department for Infrastructure guidelines (not everybody does..) but also tried not to annoy anybody with posters in front of houses or gardens. If one of our posters is posing a problem, just let us know.
Up all night putting signs up. Election campaigns in Jersey are very hands-on and it should remain that way. Keep the budget cap low!