Thursday, 28 July 2011

Deputies Elections - St Brelade No 2 1993

St Brelade's number 2 districts always garners more candidates that St Brelade No 1. Perhaps it is because with a single seat, as No 1 district, there is always going to be just one winner, whereas No 2 allows votes not only to choose their preferred candidate, but also to hand out a vote to a second choice, so there is much more to be gained - a vote for X is not necessarily a vote lost for Y.

Traffic seems to have been one of the large issues. The Bel Royal/St Aubin problem - the fact that there is a bottleneck road, with traffic coming / going down Beaumont Hill and coming / going along La Haule - still remains. I remember there was an idea of buying up land and making a gyratory system, perhaps like the one which works very successfully to reduce traffic at junctions around the bottom of Wellington Hill looping around Stopford Road. But nothing ever came of this, and traffic filters slowly and sluggishly in turn, as two streams merge into one heading into town, and are crossed over by traffic going up Beaumont.

Mr Bewers indeed took a very early retirement at 52. There is no indication in the literature what he did as a company director, and why he could retire so young. It is interesting how some of the same campaign strategies keep cropping up - "a new and refreshed style of political representation" is one such, and I also remember, among others, Deputy Guy de Faye doing so, promising his website would become an interactive forum, always updated. Alas, it never materialised! But Peter Bewer's call for "sporting and leisure facilities" would come to fruition - remember in 1993, there was no Quennevais swimming pool and sports centre, although there was a football pitch.

Deputy Graham Huelin, on the other hand, has a more conservative agenda, but one that still had a place for reform, and one that is personally to my liking - "to preserve all that is good in Jersey and improve all that is not." I am biased, of course, because I voted for him, mainly because he was approachable, listened about problems, and worked quietly away to resolve them, preferring to negotiate around obstacles that being confrontational, but doing so extremely well. He was a consensus builder, bringing people together to work through problems, and we could do with more of those in today's States. And with Deputy Huelin, this was not just an empty form of words - in contrast to the flannel which we find in some politicians today.

Incidentally, an anecdotal piece of information is that when he first joined the Civil Service, he took over my mother's post as she was just leaving to raise a family, and would in due course have a son! She taught him before she left - transition arrangements were common in the Civil Service back then.

Deputy Tom Jordan, on the other hand, presents much more a picture of entrenchment against the forces of modernity, as he will fight "preserve the Jersey way of life'. Although he says he can see the need for improvements, a lot of what he mentions is fighting developments, and stopping what he sees as "drastic change". The main thrust of his campaign is largely keeping the "status quo". And while stopping developments certainly earns merit with the electorate, in the long term, it is something negative, instead of bringing something new in as Deputy Mike Vibert did later with fighting against a golf course and replacing that plan with a country park that everyone could enjoy.

Gary Matthews has a very modern agenda - free prescriptions, better childcare, more open government - and represents, more that Peter Bewers ever could, " a new and refreshed style", although notably he doesn't use that phrase. Instead he plays on the need for the vitality of younger States members, and more representation of the ordinary people including the working class.

Graham Thorne's call for a "freedom of information law" shows how long this issue has been around - nearly 18 years. In his case it sprung, I think, from frustration that even as a Deputy he could not get information that he wanted to request from other States Departments. Of course, back in 1993, there was not even a voluntary code of sharing, no agenda's published, and secrecy was endemic.

Most of the issues he brings up are still around today - outside labour coming into the Island, especially during times of unemployment (which was also the case in 1993, where there was a "winter work scheme"), centralised welfare, and remarkably for 1993, the idea of whether the Bailiff should be an elected position.

In the election, Deputy Graham Huelin was re-elected, but Deputy Tom Jordan lost his seat to Gary Matthews. Clearly, after three years, the electorate wanted change from Mr Jordan, and obviously as Graham Thorne had lost his seat six years ago, he would have to be rather more impressive to win back support.

Some of the matters raised have come to pass, some are issues still with us today. Traffic and over-development crop up quite a lot, and Deputy Jordan's linking the two is still something which I feel doesn't get the importance that it should. An example would be Constable Peter Hanning's recent backing of a development in St Saviour which completely ignored the issue of the dense traffic and schools close by.

One matter that is slightly more common is Peter Bower's suggestion of giving "ordinary people a chance to air their views on important issues in the parish by calling public meetings". These tend to be issue specific - like the black headstone - but they do happen, and largely at the instigation of Parish Deputies rather than the Constable, who may feel that Parish Assemblies are sufficient. It is notable that these occasional meetings usually take place at Communicare, which is much more suited for access that the Parish Hall at St Aubin.

St Brelade Number 2

Peter Bewers
Occupation: Retired director
Age: 52

PETER Bewers wants to offer a new and refreshed style of political representation if he is elected tomorrow. He is hoping to provide a stronger voice in the States, and says that he would give ordinary people a chance to air their views on important issues in the parish by calling public meetings.

'I want to address all the traffic problems in the parish, including the Bel Royal/St Aubin problem,' he says. In addition, he will lobby for the extension of pavements from La Moye School to Mont es Croix.

A married man with three children, he was educated at Hautlieu School and has lived in Jersey for 45 years. He took early retirement in June.

Mr Bewers's policies include careful planning for the future of the Island's prosperity in financial affairs. He says he will also strive for a programme of street lighting for all the parish housing developments. Mr Bewers supports sensible, well-planned housing developments, providing the traffic problems can he overcome.

'I support efforts for lower air fares into the Island,' he says.

He adds that he also supports any improvement in the provision of sporting and leisure facilities for the parish.

Graham Huelin
Occupation: Retired civil servant
Age: 68

ST BRELADE Deputy Graham Huelin's ambition is to preserve all that is good in Jersey and improve all that is not.

A States Member since 1987, the former assistant Greffier and Bailiff's secretary believes that the Island's most important issues are unemployment and immigration.

He is also concerned about the Island's recovery from recession and giving support for the finance, tourism and agricultural industries.

'I believe in the need for stable and responsible government to promote confidence from the local electorate and - just as important - respect from the outside world,' he says.

'As a Deputy I believe that the most important thing is to listen to parishioners, care for their needs and help whenever possible.'

If re-elected for a third term in St Brelade, Deputy Huelin promises hard work, approachability, reliability, integrity and the acceptance of accountability for decisions taken on behalf of electors.

Currently president of the House Committee and a member of IDC and the Public Health and Industrial Relations Committees, as well as the Prison Board, the Deputy is also a member of the Bel Royal/Beaumont Study Group and is chairman of the St Brelade's Bay Improvement Group.

Tom Jordan
Occupation: Hotelier
Age: 44

DEPUTY Tom Jordan is running for re-election with the pledge to `preserve the Jersey way of life'.

Educated at De La Salle College, the Industrial Relations Committee president says that as a parish representative he intends to continue the good working relationship he has with other St Brelade representatives.

`Throughout my term as Deputy, I have consistently expressed concern on development plans, especially with regard to Lesquende, he says. `I have obtained an undertaking from Public Services that they will implement a traffic survey before further developments take place in the parish. I shall also request that preference be given to first-time buyers with St Brelade connections.'

Deputy Jordan is also the vice-president of the Sport, Leisure and Recreation and Overseas Aid Committees. He is a member of the Defence and Harbours and Airport Committees and is the chairman of the Firearms Council and pilotage sub-committee.

'I am a supporter of the honorary system and I see Jersey as a very special place to live. Although I feel that there are many areas for improvement. I would not like to see such drastic change that we lose the uniqueness of our Island life.' he says.

Gary Matthews
Occupation: Travel manager
Age: 35

GARY Matthews wants to see younger people in the States and says there is an imbalance in favour of wealthy and business candidates in the House.

He wants to see more working class representatives speaking on behalf of ordinary people, families, pensioners and the needy.

A family man with three children, Mr Matthews is a Warwick University politics graduate and was educated at Hautlieu School.

'I believe that the people of Jersey are generally disillusioned with the States,' he says. 'We need young, approachable Deputies of integrity who have the long-term vision needed to take the Island into the 21st century.'

Active in green politics for some years, he is also a member of the Jersey Rights Association.

Mr Matthews thinks that free prescriptions and health care for the elderly and young should be considered, and he wants to see an improved bus service and better childcare facilities.

'I support the calls for political reform, including more open government, freedom of information and an emphasis on long-term progressive policy formulation.' he said. 'I am also vary concerned about high unemployment figures locally and want urgent action for real jobs for locals as well as reforms in the welfare system.'

Graham Thorne
Occupation: Plumbing engineer
Age: 57

FORMER St Brelade Deputy Graham Thorne, who ran an unsuccessful senatorial campaign, would like to see more open government.

He thinks that Jersey residents should have more knowledge of States business and supports the idea of a Freedom of Information Act for Jersey.

Married with two children and two grandchildren, Mr Thorne runs a plumbing and heating business and has lived in St Brelade for 35 years. A Deputy from 1981 to 1987, he was on the Resources Recovery Board, now part of Public Services, as well as two other sub-committees. He did the initial 'spadework' in creating a football pitch at St Brelade. and also worked on providing pavements at Pont Marquet and main drains at Quennevais Gardens and St Sampson's Avenue.

Mr Thorne is concerned about labour being brought into the Island and the fact that Jersey labour is not employed in all jobs.

Large welfare payments placing a heavy burden on taxpayers also concerns Mr Thorne, who would like to see a central welfare fund.

He supports the calls for an elected Bailiff, but believes that the matter should be thoroughly investigated. He also thinks that politicians and civil servants need to he more accountable.

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