By-election candidates face questions at parish hustings

A CANDIDATE in next week’s by-election has described the current government as ‘the worst we have had for many, many generations’.

St Clement hustings which were held over zoom with Marcus Troy and Simon Brée. Picture: JON GUEGAN. (31336979)
St Clement hustings which were held over zoom with Marcus Troy and Simon Brée. Picture: JON GUEGAN. (31336979)

Simon Brée, who is standing for Constable in St Clement, added: ‘They have let the Island down. If a referendum was held asking the whole Island if they had confidence in the government, it would lose.’

His opponent, Marcus Troy, criticised the current system of government, saying: ‘I think the States is too fat. There are too many Members.’

The two candidates were speaking at a hustings on Thursday night, ahead of next week’s by-election to succeed Len Norman, who passed away on 1 June.

At the meeting, the two candidates answered questions submitted by parishioners and both pledged that, if elected, they would not sign up to one of Jersey’s political parties but would remain independent and not be bound by a party line or manifesto.

They each promised to resist more building on green-field sites, although Mr Brée accepted that such development might be necessary

Mr Troy said: ‘Green fields are out. Like-for-like building is okay. We are doing more than our fair share.’

Mr Brée said: ‘I’m against green-field development, but we have to be realistic. Where are our children going to live?’ He argued for more development on brown-field sites, saying: ‘There are some that have been standing empty for 20 years or more.’

Both accepted that the parish needed an expansion of primary-school places and new amenities to cater for a growing population.

Mr Brée said demand for allotments was on the increase and some land could be converted for them.

Asked for their views on protecting the environment, Mr Troy said: ‘I would like people to

feel more comfortable with the speed limits designated. We need to slow down.’

Mr Brée suggested: ‘A network of cycling and pedestrian paths nowhere near existing paths or lanes could be an excellent tourism offer.’

However, neither man thought that tourism was likely to feature highly in the future. Mr Troy said the cost of advertising on tourism websites was difficult for hoteliers and noted: ‘They are not making enough money to live.’

Mr Brée saw a need for budget hotels, like Premier Inn, and five-star resorts but said: ‘The middle offer has gone. The days of tourism are over.’

The by-election will take place on Wednesday at St Clement’s Parish Hall with polls open from 8am to 8pm. Voters must wear masks while at the polling station.

Parishioners can place their vote in advance, if they wish, by visiting the Tribunal Offices at International House, 41 The Parade, on Monday between 9am and 2pm.

A voting service is also available for parishioners who are unwell or disabled. Details can be found online at vote.je or from St Clement’s Parish Hall.

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