for Connétable of St Brélade
on Wednesday 16th May
A brief statement from Mike
Now that the turbulence of last week has passed and I find myself precipitated into the role of Connétable of St.Brelade rather more rapidly than anticipated, I would like to sincerely thank Professor Ed Sallis OBE for his kind words and proposing me and the following who had the confidence to second my nomination:
Philip Le Cras
I had expected that there would be others being nominated for the rôle and had prepared for a campaign so I was not surprised at the last minute to hear that Marilyn Carré was being proposed. This meant that St.Brelade would be one of 2 Parishes having an election for Connétable.
Some banners were put up, artwork for posters finalised, arrangements made with friends to drop leaflets around to some 4500 households and then much to my surprise on Friday I received a summons to attend the Royal Court the following Thursday regarding some discrepancies on my fellow candidate's nomination paperwork.
It would appear from the documentation sent to me that there had been a failure to compete the section of the nomination form appertaining to affiliation to a party prior to it being completed by proposer and seconders. This had been referred to the Autorisé who had in turn requested the Attorney General's advice as is the accepted protocol for dealing with such matters. The court was therefore asked to give guidance on the way to proceed. Ms. Carré's proposer and seconders were also summons and I surmise the court would have simply asked them to confirm they were in full knowledge that she was a reform party member when signing the nomination paper. I have no doubt that in the event that everyone agreed we would have simply proceeded with the campaign as planned.
Circumstances were altered however when Ms. Carré chose to withdraw her nomination and I received a second summons to attend court as once again an interested party.
The court sat on Thursday morning for 2½hrs. and deliberated whether the original nomination meeting should be declared null and void and a new nomination meeting held.
Advice regarding time-scales was taken from the Judicial Greffier who indicated that it would just be possible albeit notices would need to go out the following day. I was asked to address the court as was the Electoral administrator for the Parish. I made the point that I would consider myself somewhat hard done by if there were to be another nomination meeting as my nomination paper was in order. I added that notwithstanding this, I was happy and willing to fight an election.
The Court made a decision, after having retired to deliberate for some time, that given that I was in effect the only candidate for the one position I would be declared Connétable elect and was warned to be sworn in on 1st June.
Yes I'm absolutely delighted to be able to serve the Parish as Connétable for the next 4 years but I'm disappointed with the process which has had to take place and also disappointed not to have fought an election.
If anything can be learnt from this it is that the design of the nomination form should be reviewed and I shall make every effort to see that this occurs.
I now look forward to hearing Parishioners' views and acting on concerns which will inevitably arise.