In my last blog post, I looked at why we need a long-term vision for Jersey – an addition to the four year plans set by each Council of Ministers and which would be the guiding document by which all other policies across government would be guided and informed. How though do we begin the process of creating a long-term vision for the Island?
What if we stepped back and asked ourselves what we actually want for our Island? What are the big picture issues by which we judge Jersey as a place to live? And what are our expectations for future progress?
Looking at long term plans from other places, I’ve been struck by the fact that people everywhere – no matter where they live want the same things:
- A safe place to live
- A rewarding job
- A decent, affordable standard of living
- Their children to learn and thrive
- To live in nice surroundings
- To live in a healthy environment
So if that’s the case, why don’t we just rip off their aims – who wouldn’t want decent homes, affordable living, rewarding jobs, opportunities for children to reach their potential, and a safe, beautiful clean environment? For most part, politicians broadly agree about the end results they want to achieve. The real debate is about how to achieve these aims.
Community, environment, economy
In order for all of us to join together to begin to describe our ideas about Jersey’s future, we needed an objective and fair way of organising and guiding the conversation. This is the long term planning ‘framework’. It is neutral, and makes no assumptions about the importance or priorities of its parts. The framework, based on considerable research and public consultation conducted in the past, has been created to structure the vision for Jersey. It is based around three core themes; community, environment and economy.
10 key strategic goals have been defined under these core pillars, which are vital to Jersey’s future success. The goals are enduring, so won’t keep changing, and are expressed in terms of the personal impact on Islanders.
Each theme is are broken down into more detailed goals. Under the goals are outcomes, the things that need to go well to achieve the goal.
We can’t have it all – there are tensions. For example, Jersey can’t pay for community support and facilities without a successful economy. We can’t have a successful economy without investment in education and skills, and we can’t have all the skills and expertise we need without new people coming to Jersey – and so we need decent homes, a beautiful natural and historic environment and good infrastructure to attract them here.
But how do we raise awareness of the tensions and difficulties of deciding what we want for Jersey and get people’s input into the final vision?
In the next blog post I’ll look at what we wanted to achieve with a public consultation and how we set out it.
Dr Ian Skinner, Assistant Director Strategic Planning and Performance, Chief Minister’s Department