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Ministerial roles split in portfolio shake-up

Ministerial roles split in portfolio shake-up

Friday 05 February 2021

Ministerial roles split in portfolio shake-up


The role of the ‘Minister for Children and Housing’ is to be split as part of a shake-up to Ministerial portfolios.

Under the restructure, a ‘Minister for Children and Education’ and a ‘Minister for Housing and Communities’ are to be created.

The change means that the Education Minister will now have responsibility for children’s welfare, fostering and adoption, social work and mental health provision for young people, as well as educational matters.

In addition to oversight of the island’s housing provision and policy, the new ‘Minister for Housing and Communities’ will support charities and aim to develop closer links with departments that support the elderly. 

The portfolios of Children and Housing Minister and Education Minister were previously held by Senator Sam Mézec and Senator Tracey Vallois respectively.

Senator Mézec stepped down last year in order to support the vote of no confidence in the Chief Minister. 

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Pictured: Former Children and Housing Minister Senator Sam Mézec.

Senator Vallois, meanwhile, resigned in January amid concerns about the return of children to school and not being listened to by colleagues and officers.

In the wake of Senator Mézec’s departure, former Assistant Education Minister Deputy Jeremy Maçon stepped into the Children and Housing role. Since Senator Vallois left, he has also been Acting Education Minister. 

He has already signalled his intention to take on the latter role permanently.

States Members will decide in an election next Tuesday.

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Pictured: Senator Tracey Vallois resigned as Education Minister last month.

The Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré, confirmed he will be nominating Deputy Maçon, but made no mention of his preferred candidate for the Housing and Communities role. 

Explaining the rationale for the restructuring, Senator Le Fondré commented: “As we have seen during the outbreak of covid-19, education and the well-being of children and young people are intrinsically linked. 

“Joining the portfolio for Children and Education will enable the Minister to focus on joining up legislation, policy and practice to make sure that children’s needs are understood and met through our work: this will truly mean Putting Children First."

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Pictured: There'll be a vote on the Minister for Children and Education role in the States Assembly next week.

He continued: “I’d like to thank the Children’s Commissioner, who has made many good arguments in favour of this change, and who continues to work in the best interests of children.

“This change also presents us with an opportunity to reconfigure the role of Minister for Housing: by introducing a focus on communities into this role, we will therefore have a champion and support for good housing but also for critical elements of our community.”

Pictured top: Acting Education Minister Deputy Jeremy Maçon - the Chief Minister's preferred candidate for the role of Minister for Children and Education -  on a tour of Rouge Bouillon School last week.

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Posted by Ann Esterson on
What goes around, comes around. This is back to how it was pre 1990! And the reason for merging Children's Social Services etc with the Adult one which then came under the Health Department was because you cannot separate children's issues from family ones.
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