The States of Guernsey and Government of Jersey have stated ambitions to continue joint-working projects across the islands – despite not specifying what work is currently being undertaken, or what work is planned for the year.
This comes after covid-19 disrupted previous efforts for inter-island partnerships on policy and public service operations.
Formal efforts to work together started to accelerate in 2018 with the establishment of a Channel Islands Political Oversight Group and Public Services Board.
When asked on the status of joint work with their Jersey counterparts, Guernsey’s senior Policy & Resources Committee said: “The States of Guernsey works closely with the Government of Jersey on a range of strategic issues as well as on policy development and operational delivery.
“In order to help find further opportunities the two islands created a Political Oversight Group, and the Channel Islands Public Services Board made good initial progress on identifying opportunities for inter-island collaboration as part of this initiative.”
Pictured: Multiple attempts to coordinate joint-working between Guernsey and Jersey have been attempted in the past decade.
Policy & Resources argued that whilst these groups convened multiple times between 2018 and early 2020, the demands of the pandemic halted much development between the islands.
“The key Committees in Guernsey and Departments in Jersey involved in this strategic development work became fundamental to the Government’s response to the pandemic and this affected the time and resources available to progress these possibilities for sharing ideas and resources,” they said.
Looking to the future of collaboration, the Committee said: “partnership plans and joint working is still being taken forward by the relevant Committees and this work is expected to grow as the pressures of Covid-19 begin to reduce".
Pictured: Deputy Peter Ferbrache (left), the President of Guernsey's Policy & Resources Committee; and Senator John Le Fondre, Jersey's Chief Minister, currently hold joint chairmanship of the Channel Islands Political Oversight Group.
The Government of Jersey provided an almost identical response to questions: “The Political Oversight Group and the Channel Islands Public Services Board made good initial progress on identifying opportunities for inter-island collaboration as part of this initiative".
They reiterated how the groups had met between 2018 and 2020, specifying that the Political Oversight Group had met four times within this period.
They also recognised the disruption caused to the initiatives by the pandemic, claiming the key departments involved - Health and Community Services, Strategic Policy, Planning and Performance, Justice and Home Affairs - became fundamental to the Government’s response to the pandemic and this affected the time and resources available to progress these ideas for sharing ideas and resources.
“Partnership plans are now being taken forward by departments rather than being driven by a central programme, and this work is expected to grow as the pressures of Covid-19 begin to reduce," said the Government of Jersey.
More to follow…
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