A LONG-SERVING St Helier Deputy is to step away from politics and ‘pass the baton on to someone younger’.
Deputy Mike Higgins was first elected as a Deputy in 2008 and was subsequently returned in 2011, 2014 and 2018. He has been a long-standing member of Scrutiny, sitting on a number of panels, and has previously served as chair of the Economic Affairs Scrutiny Panel.
Deputy Higgins has also been the organiser of the Jersey International Air Display – something which he said he would continue to do when he steps back from the States Assembly.
He said: ‘I have been honoured to represent the people of St Helier District 3/4 for almost 14 years and would like to express my thanks to them for their confidence in me and their support over the years.
‘I have decided not to stand in the 22 June election for a number of reasons. Not least my age. I shall be 74 in September and I had to decide whether I wanted to spend another four years working in the States Assembly or to use those years to do the personal things that have always come second during my time in the Assembly.
‘I concluded that now is the time to pass the baton on to someone younger and I shall devote my time to organising the Jersey International Air Display, developing the new First Tower Community Centre as a member of the First Tower Community Association and writing the book I have been researching for over 30 years and never had the time to complete.
‘Although politics can be intensely frustrating I am proud of my record in fighting for individuals who have been wronged by government departments or public servants in the States Assembly. I am delighted with some of the outcomes I managed to achieve for them and intensely disappointed that some of them still remain unresolved after 12 years battling with the system.
‘I will continue to fight for the introduction of a Public Services Ombudsman scheme to give redress to them and other people who have been wronged, and for greater public accountability of the government and public servants.’
Deputy Higgins added that his proudest achievement was helping to secure the West of St Helier Community Centre, which is now located next to First Tower School, which is expected to be opened later this summer following a £1.5 million grant from the Fiscal Stimulus Fund.
‘I spent 13 years negotiating with the Social Security Minister, two Viscounts and three Attorney Generals to get them to vacate the building to enable us to use it for the benefit of the community. First securing the whole of the ground floor which has been used since 2009 by the Youth Club and finally in 2020 the whole of the second floor. The building will be made available to community groups and the Youth Service every day and evening of the week,’ Deputy Higgins said.