The results of a snapshot survey of Islanders’ views on the Government’s priorities have been published.
The survey, which ran online between 21 August and 1 September, consisted of seven questions, each with detailed statements to rate in order of importance. More than 2,000 Islanders took part and were asked to reflect on whether their views of the Government’s five strategic priorities had changed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The five strategic priorities are: Putting children first; Improving Islanders’ wellbeing and mental and physical health; Creating a sustainable, vibrant economy and skilled local workforce; Reducing income inequality and improving the standard of living; Protecting and valuing our environment.
The findings were presented to the Council of Ministers and have helped to shape the Government Plan 2021-24.
The Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré, said: “I would like to thank Islanders who took part in this survey. We felt it was important to learn how people’s concerns and priorities may have changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, so we could take that into account as we developed the next Government Plan.
“This Government Plan is vital to setting the way forward for our Island. The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted upon people’s lives and we wanted to know how this had altered their views on our strategic priorities.”
Those who responded to the survey highlighted ‘Improving Islanders’ wellbeing and mental and physical health’ (68%) and ‘Creating a sustainable vibrant economy and skilled workforce’ (60%) as being more important now than before the pandemic.
Making Jersey carbon neutral was seen by almost 81% of participants as either more important or just as important as before the pandemic.
69% of participants said they were more concerned with having access to good mental health and support services than before the pandemic, and 65% with having access to hospital services. 72% said that investing in a new hospital should be the Government’s priority.
Concerns were raised about investment in schools, sports facilities and youth centres (55%), educational outcomes in secondary schools (52%) and the protection of, and support for, vulnerable children and children in care (53%).
Participants were worried about reduced job security (70%), being financially independent in old age (71%), being supported if they became unemployed (63%), and the impact of Brexit.
More than 3,000 comments were submitted as part of the consultation. These comments were mainly about the importance of affordable housing and the development of a new immigration/population strategy, the importance of building a new hospital and improving health services, and the need to find a solution for Fort Regent. Participants also raised the importance of good education, youth and sports facilities and continued support for carbon neutrality.
Government of Jersey News Release.