Geraint Jennings was born in Saint Helier in 1966 and has had his home in the Parish ever since – and currently lives right in the bustling heart of Town.
I was first elected to the Roads Committee of Saint Helier for the first time in 1996 and was re-elected most recently in December last year. With many years’ experience serving the electors and ratepayers of Saint Helier, I am standing for Procureur du Bien Public to safeguard and celebrate our rich heritage, but also to look ahead to a safe environment, a secure economy and a just and fair administration – a prosperous future which will depend on working together for a more sensible system of electing Parish representatives to a more understandable and efficient municipal body for Saint Helier.
This election is being held under the new legislation which separated the elections of the two Procureurs du Bien Public which were previously held together, and voters will be called to vote for only one candidate on this occasion.
The rôle of Procureur du Bien Public has also been changed by recent legislation, so that a Procureur is now empowered to stand in for the Connétable for certain municipal functions; in effect, we have moved towards a situation whereby the Procureurs act as Deputy Connétables.
The traditional rôle of a Procureur continues: that of being the “attorney of the public good” – to oversee the financial and legal interests of the Parish and to act as the Parish’s representative in financial and legal transactions as authorised by the Parish Assembly. The Procureurs also recommend transactions and expenditure for the Assembly’s approval. In Saint Helier, by convention, the Procureurs du Bien Public attend (but cannot vote at) meetings of the Roads Committee, making that committee the Parish’s de facto municipal council, an equivalent of a town commune or council in counterpart countries. By recent convention, this committee holds meeting open to the public and media, as equivalent councils do elsewhere.
However, this out-of-date structure needs placing on a firmer footing than “convention” and “de facto”, and new legislation will be required to lay out formally that powers of a new municipal body with a clear and understandable system of electing members to that body. Bye-law making powers should be delegated by the States to Saint Helier, so that locally elected representatives can make the timely and efficient decisions and implement the projects that residents and ratepayers demand and pay for. Minor matters that need not be decided by ministers should be devolved down to Parish level; and Parishioners need a more straightforward system of elections to ensure balance, accountability, and involvement.
Building on past work to place the Parish’s finances and administrative structure on a sound footing, I propose it is now time for us to agree on a new elected structure fit to take on the new powers needed to serve the public good for the next decade, the next fifty years and the next century.[divider] [space height=”20″]
Address: 1 Spectrum, Gloucester Street, St. Helier, JE2 3DA
Contact number: 01534 280778
Email address: [email protected]