Following the turbulent period in Jersey Politics earlier this year, this Government’s first job was to present its Common Strategic Plan. With only two years to implement it, the focus is on addressing immediate challenges facing Islanders, such as the cost of living, hospital facilities, and housing.

The plan outlines benefits for various sectors:

– Households: transitioning to a living wage, reducing GP costs, and minimising Government fees, duties, and charges.

– Families: providing nutritious school meals in all States primary schools, extending nursery and childcare services.

– Patients and care providers: delivering urgent improvements in our health services and commencing construction of a new hospital at Overdale.

– Islanders: providing more affordable homes, introducing a new licensing scheme for rented accommodation, enhancing the Residential Tenancy Law, and reviewing social rent policies to prioritise those in greatest need.

– Businesses: removing unnecessary bureaucracy, focusing on skills development, improving the planning processes, and creating incentives to enhance Jersey’s reputation as a stable and well-regulated business environment.

– Community: implementing measures to revitalise Town and adopt recommendations from the Violence Against Women and Girls Taskforce report.

Previously, Governments would set about compiling a wish-list of aims, adding items as long as they fit within the budget. However, fundamental flaw in this approach often led to overextension as the Island did not have the adequate resources to deliver, so little would be achieved. By prioritising objectives more effectively, greater benefits can be realised for the community.

In addition to these priorities, routine activities across the public sector will continue. Islanders expect the Government to provide stability, operate quality essential services, and always act in the best interests of Jersey. We will work inclusively to achieve the best outcomes for Islanders.

The Common Strategic Policy 2024-2026 is scheduled for debate by the States Assembly on May 21st, following the Scrutiny process. Therefore, these priorities may have been subject to some amendments by the time this magazine is published.