16 July 2008
The Council of Ministers has today published a new report entitled Keeping Jersey Special
. It articulates the policy areas ministers believe are crucial for government to keep in balance in order to meet Islanders’ needs while also protecting our quality of life. It brings together the social, economic and environmental policies already articulated by specific departments, and it represents a resource for the next Council of Ministers to use when developing specific policy.
The Council of Ministers feels that two years into the latest Strategic Plan is a good time to take stock. The report looks at the significant achievements to date but, more importantly, at what needs to be done to realise Islanders aspirations for the future.
It draws on the many public consultations that have taken place, including Imagine Jersey 2035, and it identifies the strategic direction the Island needs to take if Jersey is to sustain the aspects of island life that are dearest to residents.
There are eight key actions identified, the outcomes of which will help the next Council of Ministers develop new policies. They bring together the need to balance social, economic and environmental policies, in a bid to meet islanders’ needs while also keeping Jersey special.
Senator Frank Walker, who is outlining the main points of this report in a speech to the Citizens Advice Bureau later today (16 July), says: “It’s only by achieving a balance between social, economic and environmental policies that Jersey can remain a successful and wonderful place to live.
“We’ve achieved much that will help us sustain our economic prosperity but there is more to be done. Now we also need to focus on the challenging social and environmental aspirations of Islanders. We can’t sustain a thriving economy without the firm base of a sustainable community.
“Much has been done to help the more vulnerable in our society – initiatives like Income Support, which targets those in real need, and Housing’s Homebuy scheme which aims to open up home ownership to a wider section of society. But we know there’s more to be done.
“We asked Islanders how they wanted us to respond to the challenge of the ageing population. They told us. We know they want to protect the environment, and we know they want enough housing to cater for current and future local demand. We are making no firm proposals, but we have compiled a statement of the priorities as we see them, for keeping Jersey special.”
This report highlights the progress made on the Strategic Plan and the work still to be done. It brings together the detailed findings of consultation exercises, including Imagine Jersey 2035. It puts forward no specific proposals, but draws together the priority areas which the Council of Ministers believes must be kept in balance in order to secure a successful and sustainable future for Jersey and its people.
The report is being published now so it can be considered over the next few months, with a full briefing and discussion to be arranged for States members in September. The report will be made available to everyone who attended the Imagine Jersey 2035 event, and to all those on the consultation register. It will form an important background paper for the next Council of Ministers in preparing their Strategic Plan. -ends- Notes to Editors: A copy of the report is also available here.