Monday, February 1, 2010

TREVOR AGREES TO PUT P201 - ‘STRATEGY FOR DEALING WITH YOUNG OFFENDERS’ WORKING GROUP PROPOSITION ON HOLD

Trevor has just informed us that following discussions with Home Affairs Minister, Senator Ian Le Marquand he has agreed to put his proposition to establish a working group to develop a strategy for dealing with young offenders ‘on hold’ until April.

Trevor explains: ‘Having been one of the politicians who called for the urgent construction of an all-encompassing ‘Children’s Plan for Jersey’ (whilst Vice-Chairman of the Vulnerable Children’s Services Scrutiny Review), I’ve taken this decision to allow us to see if all that is needed can come out of the work recently commissioned with Andrew Williamson. Similarly, to establish if the claimed ‘reactivation’ of the Corporate Parent which failed so dismally in the past can now live up to its responsibilities. It’s no good just having a new name – it has to deliver.’

Nevertheless, Trevor is keen to stress that at this stage he is certainly not pulling or abandoning the proposition.

‘Like the Minister I obviously do not wish to see any work unnecessarily duplicated,’ he told us. ‘But one of the pleasing outcomes of my earlier proposition, P148, was that the debate around it in November 2009 has really contributed to focussing people’s minds on the urgent need to get to grips with the issue of young offenders.

Thus, given that things have finally begun to move somewhat I’m happy to put the proposition on hold for a couple of months to see what develops. But I will be watching the situation closely. This is not just about sorting out the Youth Justice system. Far from it!

We need a root and branch look at everything that underlies and contributes to young people ‘going off the rails’ and offending. If the work initiated by the Home Affairs Minister and his colleagues fails to deliver in terms of the necessary depth then come April I will bring the proposition back to the States for debate. This is just too important to risk not getting right.

Trevor also told us of his real frustration with the failure of Ministerial government to utilise the many different skills and work experiences of Members existent within the States.

‘I obviously have very real concerns about how the Chief Minister has consistently told us he is committed to ‘inclusive’ government - yet time-after-time has acted to implement the exact opposite. Setting up this style of strategy group would have been an example of precisely the way the States should be making use of individual Members professional experience and skills to get the best results for the community.

This is an area of work I am passionate about coming from the background that I do; and where I would like to play a part. Many other ‘backbenchers’ feel exactly the same about other areas. We appear to have taken a step in the right direction with the recent acceptance by the States of the Fort Regent working group advocated by Scrutiny. And if we are not to forever be a ‘them’ and ‘us’ government then this is surely the way forward that we must be willing to follow. Unfortunately, I admit I can’t help feeling that for many within the COM ‘inclusion’ is just a convenient sound-byte for the spin-doctors’.

9 comments:

  1. Sorry but from the way this is written it sounds like backbenchers have zero say or power within the States. But in saying this it is obvious that the COM are more concerned about getting us out of recession and filling in deficits than the backbenchers, or is that an unfair comment? I only suggest this because a lot of propositions from backbenchers would effectively cost us more money and besides on the subject of young offenders anyway. Ian Le Marquand has historically taken more than just as passive interest as it is. You are trying to make out by this post that you are more concerned than the former magistrate of Jersey and that sounds again unfair on Ian.

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  2. Deputy Trevor PitmanFebruary 2, 2010 at 2:09 PM

    Anonymous #1. I wish people would just call themselves Jon,Paul,Sara or Jason or whatever - 'anonymous' is jut so impersonal. But there you go. Looking at the text I have to say that there isn't anything in it that claims or suggests the JDA 'are more concerned' than Ian Le Marquand.

    Personally I get on with Ian very well and I have no doubt whatsoever that he also cares. Out of interest we are both on the new St. Helier Policy Advisory Group which will look at policing issues and a whole range of other things. A press release from the group will be out next week I believe.

    The above report just gives the facts to do with my decision as I fed them back to the site. But to give a little more detail. Having already discussed this with Ian a number of times over several weeks, following a discussion again yesterday I agreed to wait and see what might arise from the work of Andrew Williamson.

    How in-depth this will be should be quite clear before the end of March. We'll decide on the next step from there. Maybe you should go on line to the States website and read his comments on the proposition for yourself. Providing everything that needs to get looked at to with youth offending does so I think we will both be happy.

    As to your comment that the COM are more concerned with getting us out of deficit I'm afraid this just doesn't add up in my view, so we'll have to differ on that one.

    You only have to look at scandalously inept decisions such as the over-priced and redundant Inicnerator they committed us to; the shambolic handling of the contract and huge waste of taxpayers' money without any accountability; the barking decision to effectively go against established economic commonsense by deciding to effectively take money out of the economy with the pay freeze.

    Not to mention the total failure to implement a fair system of progressive taxation. Are we here to just look after the interests of the Leona Helmsleys of the world or that of the community as a whole? On the smaller scale 18 of them are even quite happy to rip off taxpayers for their Blackberry bills when thay already get an allowance to cover such communication costs. And not a single checking mechanism on how these are used in sight!

    And, in terms of the bigger picture let's not forget that it is also the redundant Thatcherite politics - most accuarately summed up as 'Greed Fundamentalism' - of those who dominate the COM
    that led the island into this precarious situation where we could very easily go under due to wider global events in the first place. Not least, of course, by leaving us so dependent on one industry. But more on that in a later post...

    Finally, as to Terry Le Sueuer's total failure to deliver on 'inclusive' government - as he had promised to do if Members would only support him in his pitch for Chief Minister - this is just plain, hard fact. Actually, I don't even think he would deny it now himself.

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  3. Trevor, when its 'anon' it means the poster does not have a google account.

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  4. Anonymous #2:

    Having a Google account has nothing to do with it. If you click on the "comment as" menu below the comment box, you get an option to type your name in for the headline. Even if you don't do that, you can still put your name at the end of your comment in the ordinary way, like this:
    David Rotherham

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  5. David, I doubt everybody wants to be identified for fear of then being accused of being an oligarch or something else totally stupid.

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  6. Actually David it maybe better if you just clafiry your rules -

    "We shall not accept comments that are offensive in language or content, libellous, irrelevant or deranged i.e - critics of any JDA Member, critics of any JDA Manifesto item or proposal, either past present or future"

    Thank you.

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  7. Sorry, have to take issue with you on one comment.

    ‘Not to mention the total failure to implement a fair system of progressive taxation’.

    We do have a progressive system of taxation. The more you earn, the more you pay. What you are actually looking for is a disproportionate system of taxation, which means the more you earn, the higher your tax rate.

    Other than the usual subjective ‘they can afford it’, what logical reason is there for the more well off to pay a higher rate of taxation ? The very people who you are suggesting should suffer greater taxation are the ones who will receive no discernible benefit for their increased contributions.

    Given that one of the key points of your manifesto is ‘Population and Environmental controls’, how many people would need to be employed, (Plus housed, pensioned, health-cared etc.) at the average Jersey Wage (Assuming of course that most of those would pay tax) to provide the same income tax as a single person paying £ 100,000 per year in income tax ? And your idea is to discourage further high net worth individuals to come to this island by upping top tier tax rates ?

    I would be interested in your comments
    Stuart

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  8. Anonymous #3:
    Not wanting to be identified is a much more credible reason for being anonymous. However, it could mean you get mistaken for other unidentified correspondents, whom you would not really like to be mixed up with.

    Paul:
    Your suggestion is an extension of the rules, rather than a clarification. Thank you for offering the idea, but I believe the existing approach gives us a valuable communication channel to discuss with non-supporters their disagreements and disappointments.DR

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  9. I don't believe people disagree with some items of the JDA, I support some leftie views, I never agreed with GST, I don't like the housing situation and I am glad Terry Le Main is re-looking at the J-Cat situation.

    From my point of view I just think the JDA should try and be more appealing to more voters. It just seems to look after one niche to me.

    JTM

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