Reform Jersey - weekly update on Coronavirus and Covid-19 infection
Reform Jersey continues to work with colleagues across the Government of Jersey during this public health emergency. We have been working collaboratively, in the best interests of islanders, to promote the importance of informed and timely decision making. During this critical time it is essential that the States Assembly works together, puts political differences aside, and focuses on the common goal of protecting islanders.
In the past week, Reform Jersey’s States Members have been listening to the concerns of our constituents, actively seeking answers to the issues worrying islanders, and taking action to ensure that measures are put in place to protect and support islanders.
We are also committed to communicating clearly with our constituents about the actions that are being taken, what help is available, and what individuals can do to help limit the impact of the virus on our community. We urge all islanders to ensure that they keep up to date with official advice from the Government of Jersey, and follow the recommended actions.
People requiring assistance from an elected representative can get hold of us by calling the Reform Jersey Helpline on 07829 725255. Our States Members continue to meet with constituents remotely by telephone and Skype.
Here is a summary of some of the work Reform Jersey has been doing this week:
In his role as Minister for Children and Housing, Senator Mézec launched the new Children and Families Hub, to support children and their families. He has also worked to ensure that tenants have protection from eviction during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Deputy Ward made the suggestion that free parking should be made available to healthcare workers. This idea was taken up by the Minister for Infrastructure, who has issued free permits to frontline staff.
As Chair of the Education and Home Affairs scrutiny committee Deputy Ward produced a comments paper for the States Assembly on Powers for Education Minister to close Schools (P.30). He emphasised the vital importance of teachers and school staff to the fabric of our society and raised the issue of how previous lack of investment for remote learning is now showing.
Deputy Tadier has undertaken his weekly constituency surgeries via Skype, and answering calls coming in through the Reform Jersey helpline.
During the emergency States sitting Reform Jersey raised the following issues:
Deputy Alves asked the Health Minister for more detail concerning the number of infections that had happened on Island, and what was known about how/ where infection had occurred. She has followed this up with a letter to the Minister outlining her concerns about the completeness of information available, and advice given to families at risk of coming into contact with suspected cases of Covid-19 infection.
Deputy Ward asked the Minister for Home Affairs about the provision of Personal Protective equipment to frontline workers within the uniformed services, and asked for assurance that clear standards are being used as a reference point.
Deputy Southern asked what action is being taken for carers needing to park, particularly those providing domiciliary care.
Deputy Southern also asked questions about what estimates are being undertaken to assess the potential impact of the pandemic on jobs and incomes.
During the debate on Emergency Powers (P.29) Senator Mezec emphasised the risk of cutting out the Privy Council and made it clear that he had raised these issues around the Council of Ministers table. He made it clear that he was supporting the proposition on the basis that it includes an end date to the emergency powers. Deputy Ward asked if enacting this temporary measure will make the formation of an emergency council less likely. Thus preventing these more draconian powers.
Deputy Southern and Deputy Ward raised a number of concerns in relation to Releasing Money from Social Security Fund (P.31). The proposition was called in for scrutiny, Deputy Alves is part of this scrutiny panel.