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Deputy leaving politics to ‘focus on Air Display’

Deputy leaving politics to ‘focus on Air Display’

Tuesday 17 May 2022

Deputy leaving politics to ‘focus on Air Display’

Tuesday 17 May 2022


The St. Helier Deputy behind the International Air Display is leaving politics after 14 years to focus on the annual show and writing a book he has been researching for three decades.

Mike Higgins was first elected to represent the 3/4 district of St. Helier in 2008, and was re-elected in 2011, 2014 and 2018.

During his time as a States Member, he has chaired the Economic Affairs Scrutiny Panel and been a member of numerous others, including the Education and Home Affairs Panel, the Care of Children Panel, Brexit Review Panel, Safer Travel Panel, Efficiencies Panel. He is also a member of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.

Deputy Higgins said he was "honoured" to have had the opportunity to represent his parish, and thanked parishioners for "their confidence in me and their support over the years."

He said he had several reasons for not standing in June's election, "not least my age", adding: "I shall be 74 in September and I had to decide whether I wanted to spend another four years working in the States Assembly or to use those years to do the personal things that have always come second during my time in the Assembly."

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Pictured: Deputy Higgins said he also wanted to spend time writing a book he hadn't had time to do yet.

He continued: "I concluded that now is the time to pass the baton on to someone younger and I shall devote my time to organizing the Jersey International Air Display, developing the new First Tower Community Centre as a member of the First Tower Community Association and writing the book I have been researching for over 30 years and never had the time to complete."

Reflecting on his time in the States Chamber, Deputy Higgins said that, "although politics can be intensely frustrating", he was proud to have used his political role to fight "for individuals who have been wronged by government departments or public servants in the States Assembly."

"I am delighted with some of the outcomes I managed to achieve for them and intensely disappointed that some of them still remain unresolved after 12 years battling with the system. I will continue to fight for the introduction of a Public Services Ombudsman scheme to give redress to them and other people who have been wronged, and for greater public accountability of the government and public servants."

He described his "proudest achievement" as the West of St. Helier Community Centre located in the old Overseas Trading Corporation site adjacent to First Tower School.

"Following my election in 2008 I quickly recognized the need for a such a centre and set about trying to find a suitable site for it. In fact, there was only one publicly owned building in the area which could be used for this purpose but it was occupied by the Social Security Department, the Viscounts Department and the Law Officers Department for storage of equipment and papers.

"I spent the next 13 years negotiating with the Social Security Minister, two Viscounts and three Attorney Generals to get them to vacate the building to enable us to use it for the benefit of the community. First securing the whole of the ground floor which has been used since 2009 by the Youth Club and finally in 2020 the whole of the second floor. The building will be made available to community groups and the youth service every day and evening of the week.

"Following the grant of £1.5m from the Fiscal Stimulus Fund in 2021 the building has now been completely renovated and is expected to open for public use on the 1 July 2022."

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