05 December 2014
The Council of Ministers is planning to hold a series of online question and answer sessions, public drop-ins and community meetings to explain policy decisions to islanders and to listen to their concerns.
These community events are an important part of demonstrating ministers’ support for openness and transparency in government. Departments have been placing increasing amounts of information in the public domain in recent years and the new Freedom of Information Law is being introduced a year earlier than originally envisaged.
The Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, has said he is determined to rebuild public trust on issues like electoral reform, and he wants to communicate more directly with the people he is working for. He said “I want to build a successful and cohesive community, where government supports education and training, economic growth, jobs, affordable homes, good health and a secure retirement.
"These community events will promote open and transparent government and enable ministers to work with Islanders in the best interests of Jersey.”
Community meetings will consist of a short presentation from one or more ministers, followed by questions from the audience. The aim will be to explain the reasons for decisions that have been made and to answer questions and listen to views from the audience.
People attending the meetings in parish venues will be able to ask their questions in person, or they can submit them in writing on the night, using forms and a collection box provided.
Ministerial drop-in meetings will allow people to attend a public venue between set times to speak personally to the Chief Minister and up to 3 other ministers about any issues that concern them.
Ask the Minister
'Ask the Minister' will be run along the same lines as the Twitter Q&As offered by the Chief Minister and former Treasury Minister earlier this year. These will be held monthly, with ministers taking their turn to answer questions online for an hour at different times of day.
These opportunities for Islanders to explain their concerns and to question ministers directly are being arranged to support the Council’s intention to communicate more directly with Islanders. Dates for the meetings will be publicised nearer the time.