The States of Guernsey's Population Policy Group have
completed their initial deliberations into the creation of a legal
and administrative framework for a population management regime in
Guernsey and their findings and proposals are contained in a Report
published in the January 2012 Billet d'Etat.
One of the sections of the Report deals with the open market.
The long awaited headline conclusion is that removal of, or major
structural changes to, the open market are not proposed.
However some of the proposals are likely to cause consternation
in some circles. A summary of the proposals follows:
1. An open market, with some changes, should be retained as part
of the new population management regime. So far so good.
2. Further consultation should take place on whether children of
open market residents, who were minors in the household of their
parents when first residing here, should become qualified residents
(and thus able to occupy local market dwellings) after 14 years
continuous residence, which would coincide with proposals for local
market minors. At present open market minors must live here for 20
years in any 30 year period before qualifying.
3. All residents of open market dwellings should be required to
hold an Open Market Resident Certificate. This is to enable the
States to monitor and manage effectively the size and make up of
the island's population.
4. No requirement should be introduced for open market residents
to demonstrate their ability to make a specific personal
contribution to the island.
5. Criminal conviction checks will form part of the application
process for anyone moving to Guernsey whether requiring a Permit or
Certificate or intending to live on the open market.
6. A clear policy direction is set to limit the long term
effects on the island's population of the present arrangements
whereby unlimited numbers of unrelated adults can occupy dwellings
inscribed on Part A of the Housing Register. It is also proposed
that the Policy Council undertakes an information gathering and
public consultation exercise to explore the consequences of various
options relating to this issue including retention of the status
quo. The Council should report back to the States with its
proposals during the first half of 2013.
7. The same proposals as mentioned in paragraph 6 also apply to
hotels inscribed on Part B of the Housing Register and nursing
homes on Part C in relation to staff living and working there who
do not, at present, require a housing licence. Also controls
related to residency in Part D lodging houses will be revisited as
part of the consultation process.
I would expect that most open market residents will have few
complaints at the contents of the Report. Those most likely to be
concerned are persons currently falling within the categories
referred to in paragraphs 6 and 7.
Hopefully publication of the Report will lead to favourable
media coverage regarding retention of the open market and thus
boost activity in the market which, earlier this year, had
virtually come to a standstill.
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