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Committees pick Presidents to oversee development agency

Committees pick Presidents to oversee development agency

Friday 08 April 2022

Committees pick Presidents to oversee development agency

Friday 08 April 2022

A political group formed to oversee a new east coast development agency includes only the Presidents of the three States' Committees with policy responsibilities most closely linked to the agency's work.

This means there is no place on the political oversight group for the holder of the post of Treasury Lead - currently Deputy Mark Helyar - who was initially going to have an automatic role as chairman of the group before deputies amended that proposal out of a policy letter which they debated last week.

Instead, the political oversight group is made up of Deputies Peter Febrache, Neil Inder and Lindsay de Sausmarez, pictured top. 

The Policy & Resources Committee confirmed the arrangements to Express late yesterday. It is understood that the oversight group will hold its first meeting this morning. 

The States' senior committee said: "Following support from the Assembly, and in line with the final propositions, the Committees of Policy & Resources, Economic Development and Environment & Infrastructure have agreed for their respective Presidents to form the political steering group to oversee the setting up of the development agency.

"They will now meet to finalise an open and transparent recruitment process for the agency and to take forward the actions agreed by the States."


Pictured: Deputies Peter Ferbrache, bottom right, and Carl Meerveld clashed over how much political oversight there should be of the arm's length development agency and the States rejected the latter's attempt to require all of the agency's proposed projects to be approved by the Assembly.

The States' Assembly agreed last week to set up a development agency as a company limited by guarantee. The agency will have an independent board operating at arm's length from government with a role to drive development along the island's east coast from The Bridge to the southern end of Town. The company will be wholly owned by the States.

Deputies also agreed that the development agency should be overseen by three politicians. 

But they did not accept a proposal from the Policy & Resources Committee for Deputy Helyar and his successors as Treasury Lead to chair the oversight group. They replaced that proposal with a direction to each of the three committees most closely linked to the development agency's work to nominate their preferred members of the oversight group.

Deputies Ferbrache, Inder and de Sausmarez's roles will include recommending to the States the appointment of development agency board members and certifying that the development agency's long-term plan is consistent with relevant States' strategies and policies. 


Pictured: Deputy Mark Helyar was an early enthusiast of a development agency independent of the States to drive development along the east coast.

When the Policy & Resources Committee unveiled its proposals for a development agency, they were fronted by Deputy Helyar. At the time, he said the agency would be "a delivery vehicle, managing land assets on behalf of the States in the seafront enhancement area, establishing commercial partnerships and working with developers and the community to deliver regeneration projects...its aim will be to maximise the value of States' assets to the community, including from commercial, environmental and social perspectives".

However, followers of Deputy Helyar's comments on social media say that he has been critical of the outcome of last week's States' debate on the development agency and expressed the view that it will not be an effective body.

In an unusual move for an elected public official, Deputy Helyar has also recently advised readers of his Facebook page that all of his contributions on the page are under copyright and must not be reproduced by commercial media without his permission.


Pictured: Deputy Mark Helyar is believed to be the first deputy to attempt to copyright his contributions to social media and prevent other media from reporting them.


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Two wasted days - was there a point turning up? 

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