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Senator Ozouf to Stand Down from States Assembly in May 2018

In 1999 I stood on a platform of pro-competition, reforming machinery of government and introducing more sustainable long–term public finances.  I highlighted the need for a fairer deal for the urban Parishes and other social changes. I worked hard to progress a significant range of policies and initiatives I believed would improve the lives of all islanders.  Having been born and raised in Jersey I studied Economics and Languages at Business School and then had the experience working for one of the world’s most respected private companies around the globe before returning to Jersey in 1998 for what was initially planned to be a short break before taking up a position in Africa to further develop my business career.  However, after experiencing barriers to reduce costs for farmers, and having listened to various States debates, I became convinced Jersey needed to change its approach of the management of public finances, the economy, and be far more long-term and strategic. Even though the island had been enormously successful up to the end of the 1990s, there were storm clouds developing internationally, but only a few seemed to notice.  For that reason, I decided to stand for the States, and I was privileged to be elected as a Deputy for St Helier, a Parish for whose people I have never forgotten gave me this first opportunity to serve the public of Jersey.  Since 1999 the island has weathered financial crises, taken many difficult but necessary decisions to re-balance and re-structure the island’s public finances, developed a new framework for the development of the island’s Financial Services sector based on sound business and quality, and continues to lead the world in numerous areas of expertise.  The need to respond to huge global challenges has resulted in building stronger and more co-operative relations in London with both the U.K. Government and many other countries and global organisations around the world. Domestically in 1999, Jersey Telecoms, Harbours, Postal and Housing were all States departments. Today SOJDC and all these departments have been incorporated into successful stand-alone entities. Competition has been introduced in many sectors, such as telecoms, and recently my long-term ambition of lower fuel prices has finally begun to take effect.  There is still much to do. However, today there is much more longer term thinking, spending is no longer set annually, there is an independent statutory Fiscal Policy Panel, a Comptroller and Auditor General, investment strategies have been... read more

Marriage Equality – updated

‘When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality can feel like oppression’ Author unknown This week the States of Jersey will vote to enact legislation to extend the rights established in law of heterosexuals to same-sex couples. A law to permit the marriage of two people, be they same sex or not, must be universal and non-discriminatory. Anything else would be abhorrent to me and I hope an overwhelming majority of others. The States voted for marriage equality in principle in October 2015. The votes for each part of the proposition was overwhelming. Note the last paragraph which set out timetable. Whilst it is accepted that the law drafting was complicated and the government has had other major priorities, it is a matter of regret that the law was lodged later than expected on 2nd October 2017. However, the debate commenced on 16th November 2017 and it was expected that the law would have been properly scrutinised and marriage equality made lawful in relatively early course. However as has happened a number of times before the debate was halted due to the decision of the Chairman of Corporate Services who used unilateral powers to delay and undertake further scrutiny. The right is not questioned – legislation should be scrutinised – but the Panel does not appear to have respected the agreed timetable or understand the urgency that there is a legitimate expectation that the law would take effect. The Panel have taken two months to conclude their work and have lodged a series of amendments. The amendments were the result of considerable amount of lobbying. The events of the last days... read more

#IJCI some initial thoughts ahead of tomorrow

The Oldham report highlights a political approach that in the past too often failed to ask questions and failed to recognise the importance of learning from evidence from the world beyond Jersey Jersey has much to be proud and has achieved much over the centuries which has changed the world around us for the better However like many places the Jersey Authorities from the 50’s to early 2000’s did not acknowledge the existence of Child Abuse The Oldham Report acknowledges it was not intentional However it is clear that this attitude failed and damaged irrevocably the lives of many There should have been for more questioning by politicians There has been too much reliance on process and hierarchy If a minister has appointed or accepted the continued employment of their most senior and therefore accountable that minister – whether assistant or not – is  responsible for the acts and decisions of those officials and departments whether they know or knew of those acts or them or not It’s the fundamental foundation stone of parliamentary democracy There has been a failure to take responsibility There has been a failure to act There has been a failure to put in place the appropriate and qualified leadership in the States This has failed children and others for too long The expression the ‘Jersey Way’ was in common parlance 10 or more years ago and has recently re-surfaced Some will disagree, but to me this terminology has always had too many associations with isolationism inward-looking island nationalism a closed society  sweeping things under the carpet being secretive and segregated detached  a blinkered parochial approach... read more

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