The way States and parish officials work together is being redefined - more than a decade after the current arrangements were agreed.
The Parish Working Group met earlier this month, and the Douzaine Charter was top of the agenda.
Written in 2011, it sets out the working relationship between the States and parishes and directs how the two bodies will work in partnership on matters of mutual concern.
It was signed by Deputy Lyndon Trott - the then-President of the Policy Council, and a representative for each of the parish douzaines.
It enforces pledges by the States to "provide them with sufficient information to reach an informed view on the matter" when seeking opinions from the parishes, and to give the douzaines the opportunity comment on any decisions which will affect the parish before the decision is made.
Sustainability was also at the heart of the Douzaine Charter with an agreement between the States and the parishes to "promote sustainable social, economic, and environmental policies for the benefit of the parishes".
The Parish Working Group is intended to build stronger links between the government and the douzaines, with regular monthly meetings and dialogue between the two. That has led to the planned redevelopment of the Douzaine Charter which was developed and signed in 2011.
Chaired by Deputy Bob Murray, the Group serves as an 'open forum' for discussions.
“The parishes provide many important services and to do so, often have to engage with a range of different government Committees and service areas," Deputy Murray explained. "To have a single forum where we can feedback on those experiences, share thinking, and arrange conversations directly with key officers and politicians helps to make for a very good working relationship.”
Pictured: Deputy Bob Murray.
Rob Lenfestey, Dean of the Torteval Douzaine said the Group has proven useful in allowing more open dialogue with the States.
“We have a number of groups that meet where we can discuss certain subjects but the Parish Working Group serves as a broader forum where all the parishes are represented and we know we’re being heard by the States’ decision-makers. It helps us to connect the dots and make sure we’re all on the same page as we work together to deliver the best services for our parishioners.”
The Group's meetings are attended by members of the States principal committees as needed to address the priorities of the parishes.
The most recent meeting, held on 19 May, focused on feedback of the Liberation Day celebrations for 2023 as well as the Douzaine Charter.
This was the second year where celebrations were devolved to the parishes, but with a focus on St Peter Port seafront as well following feedback from 2022.
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