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Chief Minister vows: ‘2020 will be a year of action’

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THE Chief Minister has promised that 2020 will be a ‘year of action’ for Jersey and that his government will conclude long-standing issues including finding a hospital site and introducing a migration policy.

Senator John Le Fondré

At Thursday's Chamber of Commerce lunch event at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Senator John Le Fondré echoed the recent words of his chief executive Charlie Parker, telling business leaders that this year needed to be a ‘year of delivery’.

He said that he expected decisions on the location and construction of the new hospital to be made this year, and that a new population policy should be introduced.

‘The coming year will be crucial to the future prosperity of Jersey,’ said Senator Le Fondré.

‘It is one where, domestically, we will tackle the issues that have hampered successive governments and provide the decisions and action that will generate results, instil confidence and benefit all Islanders.’

He added: ‘We have taken the time necessary to get the right plans in place but now they are in place, I expect to see action and real successes coming in 2020.

‘I have made clear to the chief executive and his senior leadership team that 2020 is a year of delivery. I, and my colleagues in the Council of Ministers, will be looking to see significant progress on the initiatives contained within the Government Plan, and a realisation of the vision within the Common Strategic Policy. 2020 is a year of action. I look forward to returning later this year to share the results with you.’

The Chief Minister said he was ‘absolutely committed’ to concluding the debate on the new hospital location and that a construction partner would be announced in the coming months. Consultancy company Mace, which helped deliver the 2012 London Olympics, was awarded a £750,000 contract to manage the new hospital project.

‘I am happy to report that the political oversight board is on schedule to meet our agreed timeline and significant work is taking place in the background,’ he said.

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‘Deputy Chief Minister Lyndon Farnham will make a statement to the Assembly next week, alongside his regular report on the board’s progress.

‘Last week, he and I were involved in productive talks with potential design and delivery partners as part of a comprehensive tendering exercise. Our intention is to appoint a partner before summer.

‘This work will ensure that in the important matter of construction, we get the right partner for Jersey. I am confident that the project has the real momentum it needs and that, subject always to the States Assembly, the hospital will be contractually committed by 2022.’

And he told the audience that he believed the States would introduce a migration policy before the end of 2020.

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‘The final report and recommendations will be presented to me at the end of this month, with the aim that a policy debate on the proposed migration controls will take place this summer,’ he said.

‘I don’t deny that this will be the most difficult policy decision faced by an Island government in recent years and will likely be controversial.

‘But, for the sake of our economy and long-term sustainability, it is critical that we get it right.’

Ian Heath

By Ian Heath
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