The production of this report is intended to serve as a bridge between the ‘listening and researching’ phase of this exercise and the ‘deciding and doing’ activities that must come next. The Board hopes that the discussions it has stimulated and the suggestions it has made can inspire yet more ideas, and that all these in turn can be incarnated into concrete plans and strategies. The Government has pledged that its Departments will take this process forward over the coming years, refining, developing and implementing recommendations and ensuring that national identity considerations act as a lens through which to focus all policy decisions. However, for its ambitious objectives to be met it is important that this initiative engages an even wider audience.
As with the key themes summarised above, the next steps proposed below are open to comment and addition from readers. This Island Identity work aims to be participatory and evolving rather than prescriptive and set-in-stone. However, the Board’s current thinking involves the following:
- Appoint an Island Identity Champion, who can support and coordinate this work across government and ensure that all major policy discussions and changes to the law simultaneously advance the goal of nurturing and celebrating a cohesive and positive sense of national identity, both domestically and internationally.
- Create a website, where the themes and objectives can be explored in more detail and changes can easily be made to reflect ongoing debate.
- Devise a detailed stakeholder map and plan for stakeholder engagement and alignment.
- Elicit additional contributions, recognising the significant role to be played by Arm’s Length Organisations, voluntary groups and individuals.
- Agree on a small number of initiatives for 2021 that will engage and inspire the public.
- Have a ‘soft launch’ and let this initiative gain a natural momentum.
- Conduct additional research on what people themselves value about the Island, what barriers exist to better integration of different groups, and how Islanders – recent and longstanding – view themselves and their home. This might also be part of a broader public consultation.
- Create a strategic framework, built around key audiences, that defines the long-term objectives and also serves to make decisions in the short term, prioritising initiatives.
- Establish a measuring framework, collecting benchmark data (such as on public attitudes to civic engagement) and track over time.
Early versions of this report included a recommendations section, which collated the many excellent ideas (and perhaps a few less excellent ones) examined by the Board over the past year. Here they are edited down still further, and couched as opportunities to be explored rather than policy prescriptions which must be implemented. Some are quite vague and some highly specific; some would be easy to do and some would be hard. Many of these suggestions could work quickly and at little cost, and these are proposed as ‘Quick Wins’. However, the main aim of publishing this document is to provide a lens for Islanders and policy-makers to look through, rather than a series of concrete steps to follow. The overall objectives (reprinted below) are the important thing; these opportunities are just some of the possible ways we might achieve them.
We will attempt to take forward those ideas below which continue to receive positive feedback, and at the same time encourage readers with their own suggestions to put them forward.
- Conserving what makes Jersey look and feel unique and expresses our distinctive character and heritage
- Improving public awareness of our constitution and history, including understanding ourselves as a country, or small Island nation
- Nurturing a stronger sense of citizenship and engagement in public life
- Addressing alienation and social exclusion, and ensuring all Islanders feel the belong in Jersey whatever their background
- Expanding the international narrative about Jersey
- Developing Jersey’s distinct international personality, separate from that of the UK but with strong connections to Britain, France, other European countries and the Commonwealth
- Celebrating and better promoting what we do well
Opportunities and Ideas
- Production of an official, accessible booklet explaining Jersey’s unique constitutional arrangements and the language which should be used to describe them
- Creation of a specification sheet for the Jersey flag, including civil (red) and Government (blue) ensigns and the creation of Jersey civil air ensign
- Designation of a national day – possibly 9th May
- Development of an annual cultural festival – ‘Jersey Week’ – possibly coinciding with Battle of Flowers
- Determination of an anthem for Jersey
- Conducting a review into the role and effectiveness of the Honorary Consuls
- Commissioning research into the integration of immigrant and minority communities
- Increasing the proportion of the Jersey-specific component of the British Citizenship test relative to the UK component
- Introduction of ceremonies – at Parish or Island level – to mark milestones for migrants to the Island (eg receipt of residential qualifications at 10 years)
- Support for measures to reinvigorate Parish Assemblies, such as production of a guide for young people and newcomers, coverage of Parish elections on ‘vote.je’, increasing digital participation
- Development and inclusion of indicators for National Identity in the Jersey Performance Framework
- Ensuring all new legislation in the States is considered through the lens of national identity (just as it is for cost and manpower)
- Development of a Jersey ‘Identity and Citizenship’ Curriculum for teachers – taking inspiration from the Welsh Curriculum Cymreig and French citizenship teaching
- Increasing support for the work of the Political Education / Public engagement subcommittee of the Privileges and Procedures Committee
- Induction and integration materials and events for new arrivals, explaining Jersey’s unique history, constitution and culture
- Establishment of a Jersey National Gallery and Cultural Hub
- Installation of new heritage/history plaques around the Island in distinctive Jersey design style, perhaps accompanied by a new walking trail and dedicated app
- Development of a national registry of cultural works and artists to serve as a launch list for education, exploring national culture, raising awareness of our classics, artists, writers, musicians and current works
- Acceleration of the development of a Cultural Development Framework and review of the structure of Governmental administration of arts, culture and heritage in Jersey
- Provision of a clear Ministerial lead on Heritage, including the creation and adoption of a new Heritage Strategy
- Supporting Jersey Heritage to obtain accreditation as a UNESCO Global Geopark, giving in international recognition of Jersey’s unique landscape, natural and cultural heritage
- Re-adoption of the traditional title Îles de la Manche (rather than Îles anglo-normandes)
- Commissioning of a rapid study of the Jersey University concept – in its widest sense, including a campus for a UK or other university
- Development of a talent programme to develop human capital to fill top public sector posts
- Assisting Government, businesses, charities and other organisations to utilise Jèrriais in their outward-facing literature
- Development of a new modern Language strategy for Jersey Schools
- Maintenance and phased increase of External Relations Bilateral Programme Fund
- ‘Ambassador Packs’: Promotional packs providing information on Jersey and handouts for visiting dignitaries, travelling sports people, politicians, civil servants, JOA volunteers, business representatives, Arm’s Lengths Organisations etc
- Development and roll-out of Jersey Ambassadors initiative to more target countries
- Coordination of the projection of Jersey’s image externally among the various organisations which do so
- Re-establishment of External Relations as a separate department within the Government of Jersey
- Establishment of a working group of outward-facing bodies to prioritise the international bodies, forums and treaties at which Jersey should increase its representation (eg UN, Commonwealth etc)
- Research into the legal / regulatory and economic implications of allowing French brands to operate on favourable terms in Jersey
- Government support for a Rural Enterprise Hub, Creative and Traditional industries
- Inclusion in Government of Jersey Economic decision-making matrix of a section for Identity, ie what impact an initiative will have on Jersey’s National Identity and/or international personality and reputation
- Continued emphasis and support on development of Jersey as a jurisdiction of choice for impact investment and philanthropy
- Development of a ‘St Helier Town Centre Masterplan’: a strategic, cross-departmental strategy for vibrancy and economic growth
- Continuing specialisation of Overseas Aid in areas of most relevance to Jersey, where we can add the most value and develop expertise and reputation
- Continuing to reverse the decline in the percentage of GVA devoted to international aid and to progress towards international target of 0.7%
- Support for Ports of Jersey to promote the whole Jersey identity, rather than just financial services, at the ports of entry
- Fast tracking the commitments within the Sustainable Transport Policy to improve public transport and provide dedicated safe routes for pedestrians and cyclists
- Development of a ‘Jersey Style Guide’ for the public realm, covering the naming of roads and buildings, and the look of signage, street furniture, utilities installations etc.
- Development of a unique Jersey road sign design, following European cues
- Designation of new Conservation Areas following community consultation
- Audit of listed buildings lost
- Review of the planning regulations and protocols to examine viability requirements, whether too much weight is provided to infrastructure for motor vehicles, and whether sufficient weight is attached to the input of the Historic Environment Team
- Design of a Jersey emblem to be featured on all national sports team’s uniforms
- Seeking to qualify as an international sports team and self-representation at International sporting bodies (e.g. FIFA)