Extraordinary and Christmas meeting of Chief Pleas kicks off 2023

Last Friday’s Extraordinary meeting of Chief Pleas saw new and returning Conseillers from the uncontested 2022 general election attend their first government meeting having just been sworn into office. This meeting was essentially to see Conseillers elected to various committees in advance of the statutory Christmas meeting held on Wednesday of this week. Only one nomination for the position of chair of the Policy & Finance (P&F) Committee was put forward, that of the incumbent John Guille who therefore returns to the role. Conseiller Frank Makepeace stepped down from the island’s Education Committee as its sole remaining member following several years of turmoil in which several members resigned and whose mandate currently resides with P&F. P&F chair, John Guille, and deputy chair, Pippa Donovan, then put islanders and parents’ minds surely at ease by confirming that ‘significant progress’ has been made with regards to the provision of education on Sark since that committee took over its mandate in October 2022.

The statutory Christmas meeting of Chief Pleas then followed this past Wednesday and included the forthcoming by-election on 15th March 2023, two Code of Conduct reports, an increase in Development Control planning application fees. Information reports were noted from the Top Level Domain Special Committee, the Agriculture, Environment and Sea Fisheries Committee and the Douzaine, whilst Sark’s astronomy club was seeking further support in maintaining the islands Dark Skies status, and the Douzaine’s mandate was updated. P&F have removed its legal obligation to find accommodation for those school children educated post-13 in Guernsey though it confirmed that they would continue to assist to the best of its ability. Ordinances approved included those concerning for the Investigation for Air Accidents and Incidents and for the public holiday for the coronation of King Charles III. A proposition on future public consultations regarding various island policies and strategies was also carried, though it had been highlighted by a member of the House who called for all efforts for contested elections, that, with not a single member having faced the ballot box, there was presently no such endorsement of government by the electorate.

The next scheduled meeting of Sark’s government is that of the Easter meeting due to be held in April 2023 over which the new Speaker, Paul Armorgie, will preside.

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