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Is it time for a joint Jersey and Guernsey CEO?

Is it time for a joint Jersey and Guernsey CEO?

Thursday 23 March 2023

Is it time for a joint Jersey and Guernsey CEO?

Thursday 23 March 2023

The sudden resignation of Jersey's Government CEO has reignited calls from Guernsey's former Chief Minister for the Channel Islands to work more closely together.

It was announced yesterday that former Belfast Chief Executive Suzanne Wylie, who was only appointed to the top role in Jersey's civil service in February 2022, will be returning home to take up a new opportunity as Chief Executive of the Northern Irish Chamber of Commerce.

Deputy Gavin St. Pier has made repeated calls for Guernsey and Jersey to work more closely together, since he was Chief Minister and during his time on Guernsey's back-benches.

He told Express that the news of Ms Wylie's resignation paves the way for a discussion about joint working across the islands with a joint role prime for definition.

"Having vacancies in senior leadership roles are golden opportunities for any organisation – and government is no different - to reconsider its future requirements.

"If the political leaderships in both Jersey and Guernsey are truly serious about delivering, rather than talking about, future joint working, they will seize this opportunity to define a joint role. A role whose purpose is to transform and deliver more cost effective public services across both islands."

Having faced opposition when he has proposed closer joint working between Guernsey and Jersey before he isn't expecting anything to change this time around either.

"It won't be easy," he acknowledged. "That's an understatement. It will be very hard. But there are always more reasons presented against change to counter those in favour. Massive internal resistance in both islands to such an idea is to be expected. Now is a time for bold vision, ambition and leadership."

Guernsey faced turbulence with its leading public sector role in 2021 when Chief Executive Paul Whitfield was removed from his role - the island's States never confirmed how much it cost to remove him, despite repeated requests.

Alderney is also currently without a Chief Executive - in January it was confirmed that the island was seeking its third in just two years after Kathryn Jones resigned.

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