At the start of each meeting, the Bailiff enters the Chamber after the Royal Mace, which is carried by the Viscount. Everyone must stand as the Bailiff enters the Chamber and Members remain standing until after he has taken his seat.
The Greffier of the States calls the roll of Members in order of seniority, and they respond in French. The Dean of Jersey leads the prayers, which are said in French, ending with the Lord’s prayer.
The roll call is then completed, at which time a Member may be declared ‘absent de l’Île’ if out of the Island on States business, ‘excused’ if they have a valid reason for absence (such as a hospital appointment), ‘malade’ if ill and another Member swears that attending the Assembly would exacerbate their ill health, or declared ‘en défaut’ (in default) by the Bailiff if they are not present and do not have a valid reason.
I've been looking back over the period from 2015 - the year after the autumn elections of 2014, past 2016 and 2017 to the end of January 2018. There were around 559 votes on propositions and amendments in that period.
I've been collating these and gleaning some statistics from the raw data which is available as downloads. Other reports will be coming later, but in this case, I'm looking at how many occasions States members were "en default" - not present at the start of the States sitting - and with no valid reason. It's a bit like being absent from roll-call at a school.
|Sir Philip Martin Bailhache||62|
|Sadie Anthea Le Sueur-Rennard||55|
|Judith Ann Martin||48|
|Deidre Wendy Mezbourian||30|
|Kristina Louise Moore||30|
|Scott Michael Wickenden||17|
|Alan John Henry Maclean||16|
|Paul Francis Routier M.B.E.||15|
|Richard John Rondel||15|
|Alan Simon Crowcroft||14|
|Carolyn Fiona Labey||14|
|Zoe Ann Cameron||14|
|John Martin Refault||13|
|Philip Francis Cyril Ozouf||13|
|Susan Jane Pinel||9|
|Andrew David Lewis||8|
|Edward James Noel||8|
|Simon Muir Bree||8|
|Stephen George Luce||8|
|Geoffrey Peter Southern||6|
|Anne Enid Pryke||5|
|Philip Bond Le Sueur||5|
|Michael John Paddock||4|
|Michael Roderick Higgins||4|
|Roderick Gordon Bryans||3|
|Stephen William Pallett||2|
|Murray Julian Norton||1|
|Sarah Craig Ferguson||1|
It is interesting that there is a cluster of "worst offenders" after which there is quite a jump in the statistics. Sir Philip Martin Bailhache tops the table, but given his age, that is perhaps unsurprising. Of course the "default" can be raised if the member turns up later, and there can always be mitigating circumstances for some delays - I remember high tides and flooding at Beaumont at 7.30 am once caused me to get in to work delayed by about an hour.
If any latecomer has information to explain why they were persistently late, I'll gladly post it here.
More other attendance statistics coming in weeks ahead...!