Monday 16 January 2023
During the last few months, representatives from the three governments of the Bailiwick have started to explore options for stronger working relationships between the islands.
Politicians from Guernsey, Alderney and Sark already meet regularly as the Bailiwick Council. The Alderney Liaison Group and Sark Liaison Group also enable bilateral political discussions with Guernsey. Through those meetings, a need has been identified to consider and coordinate changes in how the governments of the Bailiwick work together. The representatives agreed to identify and develop options to strengthen the islands' abilities to meet challenges which face small jurisdictions in an increasingly complex and rapidly changing world. Any adjustments to the relationships will also need to protect the independence and special characteristics of each island and the Bailiwick as a whole.
It is expected that the group of representatives of the islands will present any agreed proposals to their respective parliaments for consideration and will undertake wider public engagement.
Deputy Peter Ferbrache, President of the Policy & Resources Committee, States of Guernsey, said:
"Over recent decades there have been changes to the constitutional arrangements within each of the States of Guernsey, States of Alderney and Chief Pleas of Sark. However, until recently, there had not been much focus on how we might enhance working relationships between us to create an overall improvement in the effectiveness, efficiency and resilience of the Bailiwick's three governments. It is important to do that now to help the whole Bailiwick to face the future with confidence."
Mr Ian Carter, former chair of the Policy & Finance Committee, States of Alderney, said:
"During changes and challenges brought by Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic, Alderney has benefitted from the wealth of expertise and experience provided by the States of Guernsey. The advantages of stronger working relationships have been demonstrated further in the last year by the review and stabilisation of primary healthcare provision in Alderney. We have an opportunity to build on these examples and seek to modernise the way of working between our jurisdictions."
Conseiller John Guille, Chair of the Policy & Finance Committee, Chief Pleas of Sark, said:
"As the smallest jurisdiction of the Bailiwick, Sark has the least resources at its disposal to tackle challenges that affect us all. Conseillers often have to get involved in operational matters as a consequence. A stronger working relationship with the other islands can ensure that Sark's government has more opportunities to think strategically about the future, whilst also retaining features that make the island special."