No need for parishes to pay Constables
Monday 8th April 2013, 4:20PM BST.
From Hugh Gill.
MR Bellows’ letter (JEP 2 April) alleges that Constables would have to be paid by their ratepayers if they were not in the States. I think he misunderstands the situation.
Constables are paid for their States work, not for their parish work. So if they are not doing States work, there is no need for them to be paid by the parish. Seems simple to me.
The parish system works because there are people ready, willing and able to give their time and effort to serve the community. The fact that the Constables are paid politicians causes a potential problem, as they are also the head of the (honorary) parish system.
The return of the Constables to the parish halls in an honorary capacity will, I believe, greatly enhance the chances of the system surviving. Of course, under Option A, if any Constable feels they can manage both jobs, there is nothing to stop them standing as a Deputy in their district.
It is easy in this debate to forget that every parish is managed efficiently anyway by the paid staff who give support to those involved, whether they be registrars, rates or roads committee or police, not to mention the Constables, in an honorary role in the parish.
The last time there was a major change to the electoral system, 65 years ago, the States met once every two weeks or so, and the budget was about £3 million. Now they sit more often and have to find £650 million to keep our services going and pay all the ancillary costs of infrastructure, salaries and wages, not to mention facing up to challenges from the outside. It’s quite a different world and we need to change to face the challenges.
I would encourage your readers to consider the benefits of Option A in the forthcoming referendum as a starting point of making the meaningful changes we need.