21 Jun 2019

Partnership visit to Jersey

A fact-finding visit to Jersey by a multi-partner delegation from the Isle of Wight has forged closer links between the two islands.

The recent visit marked the start of a new partnership between two island communities striving for one common goal — sustainable, integrated public services.

An ambitious ‘One Government’ programme to promote a unified, customer-focused public service is already underway in Jersey, and the trip provided an invaluable insight for the Island delegation into how it was being achieved.

The Isle of Wight contingent included Councillor Dave Stewart, leader of the Isle of Wight Council, and Vaughan Thomas, chair of the Isle of Wight NHS Trust, as well as James Payne, chief executive from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

As Jersey is recognised internationally for its digital infrastructure, John Irvine, chief executive of Island cable provider, WightFibre, also joined the delegation to see the benefits of ultrafast broadband in action.

Councillor Stewart explained: “This visit, which was carefully planned and extremely well hosted by Jersey, gave us a comprehensive insight into their government approach to public services on an island.

“As a result of this visit, we have made strong links with another island-based community which is already along the one public service road we are about to tread.

“We have been offered an ongoing engagement with Jersey which will provide us with an invaluable relationship and partnership for the future.”

Jersey has recently seen some significant changes to the organisational structure of its departments to deliver a single public service.

Mr Thomas said there were many similarities between the Isle of Wight and the Channel Island, not least the close relationship between health and social care.

He said: “The Jersey system is fully integrated and works alongside fire and police effectively, in a way that we definitely recognise on the Island.

“There are some crucial differences too, and it was particularly interesting to discuss how the authorities on Jersey address the challenges of being so far from the mainland.

“There is probably a lot that officials in health and social care on Jersey can learn from a future visit to the Isle of Wight, I very much look forward to continuing these valuable discussions.”

During the two-day trip, the delegation met with several senior government figures and toured some of the island’s facilities, including its hospital, port, police station and digital hub.

Mr Irvine said: “Jersey completed the upgrade of its telecommunications network to full fibre in 2018, well ahead of the rest of the world.

“As the Isle of Wight, with WightFibre’s Gigabit Island project, will not be too far behind, it was useful to see the benefits of full fibre in action.

“In particular, the Digital Jersey Hub was a great example of how to foster digital innovation by making these new state-of-the-art facilities available to small companies and start-ups.

“These lessons learned will be particularly helpful when we come to build the Isle of Wight’s own digital hub.”

Mr Payne said the visit was an important opportunity to meet with the Executive Officer of Jersey Police Authority to understand the governance model for policing in Jersey and to also review the One Government estate.

"This is an area we have been advising the Isle of Wight because of our expertise in delivering the estate change programme for Hampshire Constabulary,” he added.

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The recent visit marked the start of a new partnership between two island communities.
The recent visit marked the start of a new partnership between two island communities.
Factfile
  • Jersey is recognised internationally for its digital infrastructure.
  • Jersey has recently seen some significant changes to the organisational structure of its departments to deliver a single public service.
  • During the two-day trip, the delegation met with several senior government figures and toured some of the island’s facilities, including its hospital, port, police station and digital hub.
 
Isle of Wight, UK