Guernsey

Guernsey States savings may be used for services

Guernsey's Policy Council is recommending £2.4m of savings are put towards funding 13 new services in 2011.

The recommendations form part of the first annual review of the States Strategic Plan.

The plan was designed to help deputies get a better focus on medium to long-term aims and how to fund them.

States members are due to discuss the options at their meeting at the end of September.

The £2.4m in savings was found through efficiency savings made by the Financial Transformation Programme.

The recommendations included proposals to fund services that previously had been approved by the States, but for which funding had not been available.

They also included jobs within government and overarching controls to bring together and coordinate work already being undertaken by different States department.

The Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy, the Domestic Abuse Strategy and the Children and Young People's Plan are all cross-department schemes to coordinate the various approaches.

The Domestic Abuse Strategy and the Obesity Strategy, which aims to tackle the rising obesity rates, were both previously approved but with limited funding.

The council, made up of the island's 10 ministers and the chief minister, recommended the funding of nine new posts; four social workers, three for housing control, an assistant employment lawyer and a criminal justice strategy co-ordinator.

Other proposals include the first of four payments of £250,000 to Guernsey Museums for improving the storage of heritage items, the remaining three instalments are due to be paid on a yearly basis.

The Community Service Scheme, an alternative to short prison sentences, the Guernsey Renewable Energy Commission, set up to promote and license macro-renewable energy projects, and a dedicated wheelchair service would also be provided with funding under the plans.

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