The President of La Manche, Jean Morin, has visited Guernsey this week on his first formal visit to the island since being elected President of the departmental council in July 2021. The visit provided an opportunity to discuss a range of topics of mutual interest, with a particular focus on environmental matters including energy, climate change, and active travel.
Guernsey has a strong relationship with Normandy and in particular the departmental council of La Manche. This is formalised through a cooperation agreement with Normandy, La Manche and Jersey, which covers four priority areas: governmental links; economic development, tourism and transport; education, sports, culture and heritage; and environment and marine renewable energy. Alderney and Sark are associate members of this agreement.
During the visit President Morin met with Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq, Policy & Resources Committee member with responsibility for external relations, and Deputy Lindsay de Sausmarez, President of the Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure, as well as officers from the States of Guernsey and representatives of Guernsey Electricity. Discussions covered Guernsey and La Manche's respective responses to climate change, energy generation and interconnectors, and active travel. The President was also able to see the 'School Street' initiative at St Martin's Primary School and have a demonstration of the 'Walking Cycling Guernsey' app, which was released in 2019 to make information on Ruettes Tranquilles easily accessible to those out and about across the Island.
Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq, Policy & Resources Committee external relations lead, said:
"I was very pleased to welcome the President of La Manche to Guernsey this week, for his first formal visit to the island. Guernsey has a strong relationship with La Manche, our closest European neighbour, that has been developed over a number of years to encompass joint working on projects in a range of areas across government.
Since the UK's exit from the EU, engagement with France, including the department of La Manche, has been necessarily focussed on implementation of the fisheries elements of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement. With that work now complete, we are able to recommence our engagement on a wider range of strategic issues. The visit this week was a great opportunity to discuss topics that are important both to Guernsey and to our neighbours, and I look forward to continuing to work closely with La Manche both bilaterally and through our cooperation agreement with Normandy."
Deputy Lindsay De Sausmarez, President of the Committee for theEnvironment & Infrastructure, said:
"I was delighted to meet the President of La Manche this week during his visit to Guernsey. While our jurisdictions are of different scales, we both face very similar challenges in respect of decarbonisation and the transition to a more financially and environmentally sustainable transport model that can improve the community's quality of life.
The visit provided an excellent opportunity for Guernsey to share its experiences in these areas, such as the 'School Street' initiative at St Martin's Primary School, and to learn more from La Manche about the projects they are undertaking which might be able to inform development of policies locally."