Tribute to former Planning Minister

FORMER States Member Freddie Cohen has died at the age of 63.

Former Senator Freddie Cohen. Picture: ROB CURRIE (30834746)
Former Senator Freddie Cohen. Picture: ROB CURRIE (30834746)

Mr Cohen, who was elected to the States in 2005 as a Senator, was Planning and Environment Minister for almost six years until he stood down in June 2011 to concentrate on a new role as assistant chief minister with responsibility for UK and International Relations, a post predating the formal creation of a Minister for External Relations.

When elected in 2005, Mr Cohen topped the poll in six parishes and was second in the remaining six, receiving 13,704 votes across the Island.

As Environment Minister, he was responsible for steering through the last Island Plan in 201l with other achievements including the creation of the Jersey Architecture Commission, the introduction of the eco-active environmental awareness campaign, the percentage for art scheme and publication of the north of Town masterplan.

Mr Cohen was a former president of the Jersey Jewish Congregation, a trustee of the Jersey Community Relations Trust and a member of the Jersey Holocaust Memorial Day Committee. Among his published books, he wrote The Jews in the Channel Islands During the German Occupation 1940-1945.

After receiving anti-Semitic threats, he initially announced that he would not stand for re-election in 2011, a decision which he was to reverse. However, in an election for four available Senatorial seats, he was ultimately to finish sixth and did not try again to return to the States.

Born in Manchester but educated in Jersey before studying accountancy in London, Mr Cohen was also a Constable’s Officer, Centenier and rates assessor in St John.

Frank Walker, who was Chief Minister when Mr Cohen first became a member of the Council of Ministers said that he was very sad to learn of Mr Cohen’s death.

‘I will always remember him as a vibrant and committed ministerial colleague who put a large amount of effort into serving Jersey. Apart from a ministerial colleague, I considered him a friend and it is very sad that we were unable to visit him for many months as a result of Covid-19,’ Mr Walker said.

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