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Gavin St Pier Stands For P&R Vacancy

There Is to be a contested election for the vacant seat on Policy and Resources between deputies Bob Murray and Gavin St Pier.

The States will now have a choice between two candidates when the election to P&R takes place on 23 November.

The vacant seat comes after the departure of deputy Heidi Soulsby as vice president.

In her resignation letter, she expressed frustration:

"It has been obvious for quite a while that my views and advice have not been valued by some on the Committee and I think there is little point in me continuing in the hope that things may get better."

Deputy St Pier is being nominated by Deputy Yvonne Burford and seconded by Deputy Marc Leadbeater.

The former P&R President topped the poll in the 2020 election but lost out to Deputy Peter Ferbrache when the Assembly chose a Chief Minister for the new term.

He was invited to join P&R then, but declined saying that the 'the result earned him (Dep. Ferbrache) the right to build his own committee without me looking over his shoulder.'

Deputy St Pier says he was sad that Deputy Soulsby resigned, but thinks a seat on the most senior committee should be contested and the Assembly given a real choice:

 “Our consensus, committee system of government over the years has relied on a diversity of experience and views during committee discussion, and I believe that I would bring that to the Policy & Resources Committee.

I have enjoyed providing scrutiny and challenge from the outside of our government’s decision making for the last two years.

Undoubtedly this experience has given me a different perspective which I believe will now assist the Committee’s important work in the remainder of this term.”

Late last Friday (4 November), P&R announced it was nominating and unanimously backing the vice-president of Education, Deputy Bob Murray, for the fifth seat on the committee:

"Deputy Murray is a very capable States Member who is not afraid to tackle the big issues and we believe he will make a valuable contribution to the Committee."

But over the weekend, a fellow member of Education,  Deputy Andy Cameron, took to social media to express concern over the impact of Deputy Murray joining Policy and Resources, as he will have to leave Education:

"The Transforming Education Programme (TEP), which includes moving the sixth form to Les Ozouet Campus, was largely Bob's vision.

He was instrumental in convincing the majority of the ESC Committee that it was the right model for Guernsey.

He has been heavily involved in its development, there is no one in the Committee with the knowledge of or insight into the program that he has."

He continues:

"The Assembly voted through TEP largely off the back of him convincing them it was the right model and that he was the right person to deliver it on time and budget.

I worry that if he jumps ship to take a seat on P&R we will lose that oversight and accountability.”

Island FM has asked the States if the  Education Committee will comment on Deputy Cameron's views.

So far, there has been no response.

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