Councillor Dr Corinda Essex attended the 46th British Island and Mediterranean Region (BIMR) Conference held in Jersey from 15-18 May 2016.
The conference opened with a ceremony held in the Jersey States Chamber followed by the Annual General Meeting of the BIMR. This allowed delegates the opportunity to speak on key issues impacting their jurisdictions. Councillor Essex highlighted the challenges facing St Helena as a result of currently being unable to open St Helena Airport for full commercial use.
Plenary Sessions included ‘E-government’ and one on the ‘Engagement of Parliaments with their Younger Constituents.’
Councillor Essex said:
“This session was the most enlightening. Jersey has in place a very robust and successful approach to ensure that all pupils start to get involved in debates and are exposed to the democratic process, starting in primary school.
“St Helena could benefit greatly from emulating some of what has been established in Jersey, and it is my intention to discuss this with key stakeholders in Education and youth movements to determine what can be introduced within the resource constraints on-Island.”
Workshops centred on increasing voter engagement, using social media to engage with the public and improving the public impact of Committee (Scrutiny) Reports.
Councillor Essex explained:
“This was of direct relevance to me because of my membership on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). A number of delegates were very interested in aspects of how the PAC operates on St Helena, and it was pleasing to see that St Helena’s processes and procedures are better developed than those in several similar jurisdictions – despite our small size and remote location.”
During the conference Councillor Essex renewed friendships and was met by delegates who were interested to hear about St Helena’s commercial air access plans.
Councillor Essex concluded:
“I want to thank those who made my attendance at the conference possible, in particular, the Secretary of the CPA St Helena Branch Gillian Francis, who co-ordinated complex travel plans.”
29 July 2016