Senator John Le Fondré’s message appeared to take a swipe at critics who had raised concerns in the JEP’s series to mark 100 days of the new government about the amount of progress that ministers had made.
He said: ‘While it’s actually been 78 days since the Council of Ministers was elected by the States Assembly, we’ve been working hard behind the scenes to set our agenda, deal with legacy issues and to develop ways of working more productively.’
He pledged to make his video blog, or vlog, a regular occurrence. Uploaded to YouTube on Friday and promoted on Twitter, it received 206 views in its first 48 hours online, rising to 460 by yesterday.
In it he began by saying: ‘I’ll be speaking to you regularly via social media about the areas I’ve been focusing on as Chief Minister, as well as the wider work that’s going on across government to ensure that we’re making a positive and tangible difference to all Islanders.’
By yesterday, while nobody had posted a comment or question in response on YouTube, five people had responded on Twitter. Of those, three criticised the quality of the video and, particularly, the sound. In response, Senator Le Fondré said: ‘It’s the first attempt and I will make sure to take these points on board so that the vlog is better quality next time.’
The four-minute message listed actions taken by the Chief Minister, the Council of Ministers and civil servants at Cyril Le Marquand House. It cited a ministerial decision setting out the terms of reference for Policy Development Boards, which Senator Le Fondré described as ‘essential in ensuring policy is developed in a collegiate way from the very outset, making the most of the skills of all States Members’.
‘I am determined to build an inclusive government that works alongside all members of the States Assembly and Scrutiny,’ he added.
He also revealed that he had met ten of the other 48 States Members so far and that he aimed to meet the remainder before the end of the year as part of his efforts to improve communication. In the video, he referenced the government’s response last week to the UK’s 25 technical notices on Brexit, the plan to bring in an accountancy firm to modernise the States’ finances, and a new partnership between Skills Jersey and UK organisation Primary Engineer to give schoolchildren the chance to work alongside local engineers.
The Chief Minister also mentioned his recent visit to the Minquiers to ‘reinforce sovereignty’ over a ‘sometimes overlooked part of the Bailiwick’. He highlighted his invitation to open the Portuguese Food Festival. And he praised youngsters who recently picked up their GCSE results.
Senator Le Fondré wrapped up his video by telling viewers: ‘I hope this short video has given you a brief insight into the work that is my focus and I look forward to engaging with you more frequently over the coming months.’