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March 2023

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Is it just me, or have the last few months felt like when the lights come up at the end of a party? Suddenly, you can see how far that once-pristine venue has fallen.

Cracked cocktail flutes, party streamers hanging off the lamps, and some chocolate cake smeared menacingly into the carpet for good measure too (or, wait, was that stain there the whole time?!)...

Notwithstanding that the past three years haven’t exactly been a party (quite the opposite thanks to a little thing called ‘social distancing’), it feels that now we’re no longer in pandemic emergency mode, we’re being forced to confront the crises we left behind – and a handful of new ones – in the cold light of day.

Gone is the government’s ability to say covid is chewing up resources. It’s also been long enough that, “sorry, the last lot left the mess” isn’t an excuse that will get Ministers out of doing the washing up anymore. That "lot" were booted out of the party long ago – or, rather, their whole party was booted out.

So, what’s on the Tower of Pisa-like clean-up pile?

  • The growing lengths of Brexity red tape strangling local business (P4);

  • our growing civil service – 1,000 more heads added to the count in just five years, and yet the last government still somehow spent £100m on external labour in its final year (as Chamber touches upon on P31);

  • a growing mound of dirt at La Collette, reminding us of the perils of a growing population, and why we might need to physically grow the island in future to accommodate (P10);

  • a growing pile of reports telling us that inequality growing (Wylie, one year on, P24);

  • the cost of living... House prices... global temperatures, all... gah, make it stop!

Well, they say out of adversity comes good growth, right? Something about the cloud lifting and being able to see things in a new light...

The delightful Dreaming Trees at Howard Davis Park were a perfect example of that principle in action.

With the simple addition of lights and music, the barren branches of a public garden that would have served as no more than a cut-through for walking commuters in the chilly winter evenings were transformed into kaleidoscopic storytelling totems, which made up a trail trodden by more than 30,000 people that was beautiful, sustainable, accessible to all members of the community, and served to make them look at something familiar in a new way.

Connect will always seek to shine new light on the challenges the island faces, and celebrate those who do things differently – whether that’s business groups collaborating with government to find creative solutions to complex workforce challenges, finding a quirky new way to raise funds and awareness for charity (Sleeping rough is tough, P38), or upcycling heavy metal into a symphony of spirals (Artistic Engine-uity, P42).

Speaking of seeing things in a new light... With someone new (hi!) taking on Connect, we’ll be looking to refresh our content in the coming months and would love to hear your suggestions.

For now, party on, and enjoy Connect.

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