Just 2 politicians condemn Barbados trip
Jersey Deputy Geoff Southern has condemned the Electoral Commission's visit to Barbados today, calling it an unnecessary jolly.
Two members of the Commission and a States officer are in the Carribbean island to study its parliamentary structure.
Senator Philip Bailhache, Mr. Colin Storm and Ian Clarkson are on a fact finding mission to improve the States structure.
Deputies Trevor Pitman and Geoff Southern say the visit is "an outrageous waste of taxpayers' money."
But the Commission says the two day trip is worth every penny.
Deputy Trevor Pitman suggests a trawl of the internet and a skype conference would have been sufficient.
"With the island still in the clutches of recession, and so many unemployed there can be no excuse for such a glorious waste of money on what can only be seen as an unnecessary jolly."
The Chairman of the Commission, Senator Sir Philip Bailhache has refuted the criticism.
He says the £7,000 trip is a necessary part of the investigations they are carrying out to determine the best way forward for Jersey.
"We wish to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the composition of parliaments in other small jurisdictions, similar to our own, in order to assist us in determining the most suitable approach for Jersey," he said. "Our visit to Barbados will provide us with an insight into the operation of the Island's bicameral legislature; will inform our ongoing research, and will represent, in my view, good value for money. The costs to be incurred by the Commissioners are estimated to be about £6,700."
The Commission is continuing to seek the views of members of the public with regard to the future composition of Jersey's States Assembly.
Islanders can make their submission online at: www.electoralcommission.je; by e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org; or in writing to: Electoral Commission, Morier House, St. Helier, JE1 1DD.