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28 October 2014

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Candidates B to J

Ben Shenton

Ben Shenton

As part of our election coverage BBC Jersey interviewed each of the candidates about their election platform. This is what Ben Shenton had to say.

Election 2005
Ben Shenton
Parish Votes
Grouville 1042
St. Brelade 2100
St. Clement 1439
St. Helier 2901
St. John 562
St. Lawrence 933
St. Martin 740
St. Mary 317
St. Ouen 754
St. Peter 805
St. Saviour 1850
Trinity 582
Total Votes 14025

Each of the 15 Senatorial Candidates took time out of their campaign to speak to BBC Radio Jersey's Home Affairs Producer Hamish Marett-Crosby about their election platform and what they would do if they were elected.

Name: Ben Shenton
Party: Independent

Read a transcript of the interview with Ben Shenton below or listen to it using Real Player.

audio Ben Shenton Interview >
Audio and Video links on this page require Realplayer

Why are you going for an island mandate?

I'm standing because I care passionately about the island and I’m concerned about the future.

We are moving to ministerial government and I feel that I can influence more at a ministerial level acting on the executive, and with my background of my father’s social values and ethics and my own strong business background I have something to offer the electorate.

So what are you main plans, why Ben Shenton?

As I said before my Father is Senator Dick Shenton and I have been involved in politics since 1969 indirectly, I've seen all the characters over the years, Le Marquand, Vibert, Le Sueur and Gwyneth Huelin.

I've seen the policies, I've seen the failures and I've even seen some of the successes.

So I know exactly how we have come to be in the position we are in today, and I think this coupled with my background in the finance industry gives me good foresight to help move forward in these difficult times.

You talk about difficult times. Let’s work on the assumption you are elected to the States. What do you think the main problems you and your future colleagues will be facing?

I think we have a tremendous job ahead of us. I think the faith of the public in the States is at an all time low level and I think this is one of the reasons for voter apathy. Hopefully we will see a change at the forthcoming elections.

I think people need a parliament that they can trust and a parliament that shows a bit more common sense. I think we also need a bit more unity among States members and a little less name calling and falling down to the personal level.

There are numerous policies ahead of us, I won't go into them all in detail but I think if we adopt a common sense and practical approach we can move forward.

Alright but lets go into detail for a moment, what will be your priority if you are elected?

The first task will be to appoint the Chief Minister and then the ministries, hopefully I will get a senior appointment within the States and there will be a lot of work to be done in that area.

I think one of the first things I will look at is I will contact Social Security to ensure that there is a way of allowing for an extra payment in the form of a heating or fuel allowance this winter. This is something we would need to look at quite urgently.

Oil prices as everyone knows have gone through the roof and there is going to be a rise in electricity prices later in the year, therefore it would be wrong in an island as wealthy as this island is at the moment for any of our less fortunate people to suffer if we should have a very severe winter.

Is that a hint at the portfolio you would be looking for? You said you were seeking a Ministerial position.

No I would actually be looking for something along the lines of Finance and Economics. I'm not convinced that the island has been run in the most prudent manner. I think we need to be far more flexible in the management of the island accounts.

We have a large strategic reserve which is in effect dead money.

We tend to prop forward five year plans rather than keeping our hand on the tiller. We should be moving towards half yearly budgets and we should be moving towards much more flexibility in the way we handle states accounts.

The first job you will be called to do if you are elected is to elect a First Minister. What are your thoughts on that?

At this point in time we only have two candidates for the role.

I have got Syvret to the left of me and Walker to the right. I'm stuck in the middle. It would be nice for a third person to come along and give us a little bit more choice.

There are two things I would mention here. Firstly I'm standing on a platform to represent the people so when making my choice of Chief Minister I would look at the electorates voting whenever the person last stood for election and that will be the main drive of my choice.

Secondly it is a secret ballot but I will be announcing to the electorate who my choice is. If I don't vote for the person who becomes Chief Minister I would hope that they are not so petty and individual as they would rule me out of the executive.

last updated: 23/11/05
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