Midsummer Meeting of Chief Pleas

The Midsummer meeting of Chief Pleas was held on Wednesday 5th July 2023. 13 Conseillers were present with no apologies received though the Lt. Governor sent his for not attending as he occupied with the Island Games in Guernsey. Congratulations were given to islander Kevin Adams who has recently been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to Sark before Conseiller Guille expressed gratitude to the recently departed Chief Secretary.

Questions Not Related to the Business of the Day included a request for various committee’s agendas and minutes to be made public, a request that the Douzaine committee adopt a clearly defined position of being proactive as opposed to being reactive when exercising their judgement in the categorisation of and a plea for better governance and communication with the public as well as improved openness and transparency.

Items agreed included the by-election to be held on 7th September 2023, the change in legislation to increase the threshold of minimum and maximum tax chargeable to £1,000 and £20,000 respectively, an amendment to the education legislation meaning that costs can be charged to parents irrespective of whether the parent or the Sark’s Education Committee makes accommodation arrangements in Guernsey, after much debate the addition of hemlock water dropwort, oenanthe crocata, to the list of noxious weeds, UK Nationality legislation amendments, the approval of The Forfeiture of Assets Law, the purchase of a replacement crane, an update to the consideration of proxy and absentee voting. The proposal to defer advertising for a replacement Chief Secretary was also agreed by the House to enable a review of the role:

‘The Policy & Finance Committee considers it appropriate to take a period of time to pause, reflect and assess the role, function and duties of the Chief Secretary to Chief Pleas. These considerations will include how the Chief Secretary supports Conseillers as elected representatives of the Island, Chief Pleas and its Committees but also of the perception of the role externally including to the resident.

The Committee has already negotiated assistance from Guernsey’s civil service and taken steps to reorganize workload of existing Officers within the Committee Office. It is anticipated that the combined resources of the Committee Office and from Depts within Guernsey will mitigate immediate staff shortfalls.’

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