Treasury Minister Alan Maclean – who has announced he is standing down after 12 years in the States – has called on those colleagues who remain in the Assembly after May to use their experience to help steer and shape the new House as it embarks on tackling the challenges ahead.
He is one of three ministers – alongside Infrastructure Minister Eddie Noel and Housing Minister Anne Pryke – to announce they will not be seeking re-election. Senators Paul Routier and Philip Ozouf are also stepping aside.
Education Minister Rod Bryans, External Relations Minister Sir Philip Bailhache and Health Minister Andrew Green have not yet announced their intentions.
As a result of the loss – or potential loss – of so many key political figures, Senator Maclean, who is the subject of the Jersey Evening Post’s Saturday Interview, says that there will be pressure on those who remain.
‘What we will need in the next States Assembly is stability and courage to see through the changes that are going to be necessary, particularly around the machinery of government,’ he said. ‘With a number of senior politicians retiring and leaving and obviously we don’t yet know what the election will hold, I suspect there is going to be at least 20 new States Members.
‘And as such we will need to call upon the experience of those that have been around for some time to show strong leadership.’
He added: ‘The future for the Island is very positive, but we will still need to face up to a number of big challenges.’
Those challenges include continuing scrutiny from the likes of the OECD and IMF and properly implementing an overhaul of the way the public sector is run agreed by States Members this week under machinery of government changes.
And, he adds, the Island should start reinvesting in the Strategic Reserve rainy day fund, from which around £140 million has been taken in recent years to cover unexpected costs such as the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry, infrastructure projects and job creation during the financial crisis.
‘I have a great deal of optimism about the future of the Island, but it is going to need focus and hard work,’ he said.