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Andrew William Taylor

Andrew William Taylor
  • Parish St Pierre du Bois
  • Experience New Candidate
What do you think?
Yes No Maybe

Personal Statement

I know how real businesses tick, knowledge crucial to Guernsey. With three successful businesses to my name since 2014, I have a proven eye for opportunity and development. Each business has been self funding and clear financial planning has allowed operation and growth without continued borrowing. Aged 32, I am ready to give back to the island and have the time to invest in Guernsey’s future.

  • Entrepreneur - proven success in businesses outside of financial services
  • Architectural Technologist - I can read plans, visualise and understand the built environment
  • Government Interaction - proven experience dealing with multiple States departments to aid business growth
  • Optimistic Yet Realistic - I know my skills, my weaknesses, and when to seek advice

Manifesto

Guernsey should not run as a business, but the basic principles of business should run through. Simple solutions exist to complex problems and the application of critical thinking with new ideas, followed by action, is essential to enriching life in Guernsey.

Trust me with your vote, I promise a fresh vision to local Government. I am not naive enough to promise the earth, so I’ve picked a few key issues and provided my thoughts. I understand this is only a snapshot of the issues facing a Deputy, but being this far down the alphabet I’m just grateful you’ve made it this far.

Infrastructure: We need to get back to basics. Walk any of Guernsey’s coastline for examples of failing infrastructure needing urgent attention; slipways, piers, cliff paths & sea defences.

Our historic monuments are under-utilised and neglected. With creativity some could be converted into holiday accommodation with their maintenance becoming self-funding and increasing our tourist bed-stock, as has been done in neighbouring jurisdictions.

Small infrastructure projects can be completed with on-island expertise and labour. As part of ongoing maintenance schedules, expenditure is spread over many years, allowing for longer term fiscal planning whilst freeing up Government for other issues as they arise.

Government should invest solely in Guernsey. Public funds, whether saved or borrowed, should not be committed off-island and our attention should not deviate from maintaining our island home for the benefit of the population.

This term will bring difficult decisions with regards to funding. Ongoing costs & capital expenditure must demonstrate four clear principles to gain my support; proven need, ability for completion, affordability & measurable results. I am wholeheartedly against tax increases/GST to fund idealistic proposals and believe reform comes before re-finance.

Reform should be led from the ground up, retaining the core workforce and understanding their needs is key to efficient working. Increased middle management leads to bureaucratic process and inefficient working. The ongoing nurse’s pay disparity is a prime example of misunderstanding key workforce value and the increased costs associated with poor staff retention.

Diversification of the Economy has been suggested, but very little offered as to how or more importantly who will be responsible for this.

The Public Sector is our second largest employment group with around 5000 employees. Should, as an example, a 5% drop in this sector be achieved, in the region of 250 people could enter the private sector to diversify the economy.

Diversification of our economy should include a new Market facility for the numerous successful “cottage industries” (bakeries, crafts, growers, etc) which are blocked from expansion by crippling rents for retail outlets/light industrial units. If allowed to grow, these industries would circulate money through our economy whilst also creating varied employment opportunities. The facility, copying successful and imaginative ideas from around the world, need not be an expensive investment and could be operated as a part-time venture to encourage entrepreneurial spirit.

An example of diversification within my own business activity; opening a Coffee Roastery during lockdown allowed me to supply coffee beans direct to my customers’ homes. More importantly though, removing an additional layer in our supply chain has reduced off-island coffee spend by some 70%, created a part-time job and reduced on-going costs.

Through Tour Guernsey, I know that tourism has incredible potential. Visitors love Guernsey yet there’s no meaningful increase in visitor numbers year on year. I support an industry led privatisation of Visit Guernsey’s marketing. This has been done successfully in other jurisdictions and would result in multi-million pound savings to the Government.

Expansion within tourism can be achieved without major infrastructure changes though there are plenty of opportunities to enhance the visitor, and of course local, experience.

Education is more complex than the number of schools, we must look at the wider picture - understanding the needs of our children whilst generating skills that can be utilised on island. I benefitted from the States Apprenticeship Scheme and fully appreciate the role it offers to students wanting a skills based outlook.

I welcome discussion on any aspect of local life or politics, I won’t shy from difficult questions so please get in touch if you’d like to know more.

To serve Guernsey as a Deputy would be an honour, so I hope you will vote Andrew Taylor.

Answers to questions proposed by the public:

Most of the detailed work of the States is done in committees, like the Committee for Environment and Infrastructure. What experience do you have of being on a committee and how did you contribute?

I have not worked on a committee, as a business owner I have always had the ultimate say in decision making but I have always taken full consideration of the viewpoints given by employees, and even acted against my original thought. I see this skill being transferable into a committee.

With unemployment currently running at an all time high, what measures would you like in place to ensure local people are offered jobs before license holders ?

To my knowledge, measures are already in place. As an employer in the hospitality industry I have always noticed a distinct lack of local candidates for job advertisements (relating to full time employment). I cannot comment for other industries but would be willing to engage in the discussion.

What concrete measures would you like to see implemented in Guernsey during the next term to achieve net zero carbon by 2050?

Cycling infrastructure (not limited to St Peter Port)

I live in St Peter Port but have interests in the Vale, St Peters and Castel. Will you be looking at Island Wide issues or more so in your Parish of residence?

Island wide

Are you concerned about the large amount of agricultural land that is being lost for private gardens?

Yes. We need to encourage more “wild” areas. Guernsey is lucky to have some incredible charities who are already working to combat this - most of what they’re seeking to achieve is actually pretty easy if we just get on and do it. (That's not intended to do disservice to their work.)

You will make many commitments as a politician, but how will you actually ensure these are achieved? If you have been a deputy before, what will you do differently this term to improve achievements?

This is my biggest concern if elected. Inaction. I believe the best way to achieve results is by working together, debate would benefit from a form of advance poling, if everyone is on the same page - skip straight to voting instead of hearing 40 of the same speeches.

What are your opinions on climate change and Guernsey's role in tackling it?

We play our part and any steps taking to reduce our environmental impact are important, but I don’t subscribe to “green washing”.

What are the attributes and skills you will be looking for in the next President of the Policy & Resources Committee?

Team leader, someone who can bring the assembly together and see past their own wants.

If the independent Cost Benefit Analysis supports lengthening the airport runway, would you vote in favour of investing in this key element of island infrastructure?

Yes - with a caveat. Extending the runway will give us the ability to land larger aircraft (and the potential benefits that brings), but we will need a proper marketing strategy if we are to encourage more people to visit. I would propose an industry led privatisation of Visit Guernsey to save Government several million and give a meaningful platform for the recent (and proposed) investments in local hospitality & tourism.

Do you believe that diversification of the island's tax base is an important consideration for Guernsey in today's volatile and fast-moving global economy? If so, how can this specifically be achieved for Guernsey?

Yes. Encouraging grass roots entrepreneurship is a simple and cost effective way to diversify our tax take if people can create part time businesses alongside their main employment prior to going full time self employed.

What are the candidates' views on maternity pay and leave and how would they improve the current arrangements, if at all?

No strong views.

I believe Guernsey needs a vision; a forward-thinking concept for the future of the island’s infrastructure, community wellbeing and economy. What’s yours?

I understand planning for the future, but we need to concentrate on what needs doing today, that will set us well for the future.

Do you agree that people should be encouraged to use cars less and if so what measures would you like to see introduced to achieve this?

Yes. Cycling is an excellent alternative to car usage. Education (on both sides) to break down the “them and us” attitudes given whenever this topic is mentioned, that will help us work towards solutions.

Do you support outsourcing of States services?

Yes

What will you do to educate the islanders about the reality of the climate crisis which is the biggest threat currently facing the world?

I will talk openly about it and help people to understand the positive impact that environmental awareness can have on your bank account, it’s generally cheaper to be green.

Most environmental problems are caused by the love of growth. Would you consider de-growth?

No, I don’t believe in growth for the sake of growth but, growth can be sustainable if thought through properly.

What intra island transport strategy would you support to ensure safe and ‘clean’ travel on island for all road users, pedestrians, cyclists and motorists? And how do you plan to deliver that plan financially?

Encourage increased use of busses for travel to & from school. The funding is already in place. Encourage and facilitate cycling through creating of “access only” cycle networks requiring only a few strategic bollards in smaller lanes.

What environmental policies would you support to reduce Guernsey’s reliance on the internal combustion engine, in support of International global warming initiatives?

I would support the proposals raised by the Guernsey Bicycle Group

What measures will you put in place during the next term to ensure that environmental biodiversity will be protected and enhanced?

I will cycle to states meetings wherever possible and will champion for biodiversity

The Guernsey Press had an article and a picture of a proposed East Coast development called HYDROPORT. It seemed to me to be a brilliant plan and included a new deep water harbour, a hydro electric supply by enclosing Belgrave bay and changes to St Peter port harbour to accommodate cruise liners and super yachts. It would provide jobs, produce an ongoing and substantial revenue stream and make us to some extent self-reliant on electricity, why has there been no update on this project?

Private enterprise, possibly not a States of Guernsey related decision.

Do you agree that there is a climate crisis caused predominantly by the actions of humans?

This question has been asked already in various forms - hopefully you’re aware of my positive stance towards our environment.

Longue Hougue has been proposed as a site for inert waste disposal despite it being a site of international importance in terms of wildlife. La Societe Guernesiase and other scientists have advised against this. What will you do to ensure that this valuable habitat is protected?

I would listen to the advise of local experts.

Most scientists and experts agree that a target of 2050 to achieve ‘net zero’ carbon emissions is nowhere near ambitious enough and will have catastrophic consequences around the world. What will you do to ensure that Guernsey takes action to significantly reduce carbon emissions during the next term?

Encourage a more environmentally sustainable approach to what we do.

What is your view on current spending on Aurigny, is it worth how much we are paying? Is it run efficiently? Did we need new aircraft?

Given it’s route network, varying aircraft and commitment to Guernsey I’d doubt it’s the most efficient airline, but that’s not to say it’s not run efficiently. Without proper analysis of their accounts/operations any further statement is pure speculation without solid fact.

If elected, would you fully support the retention, repair and ongoing maintenance of the Sea Defences provided by the anti-tank wall at L’Ancresse Bay?

Yes I support proper maintenance of our basic infrastructure, not limited to L’Ancresse.

A significant proportion of the concerns about the two college model of secondary education related to the capital costs and space standards: they could have been addressed with higher spending. Would you be prepared to spend more money on the future model of secondary education than previously agreed by the States in September 2019? If so, how much more?

I don’t have the facts to comment on this properly.

With the general increase in costs of running the island and with various capital projects requiring funding; and with limitations on the amount that islanders can be taxed; do you think that it may be time to revisit the 0-10 tax scheme that created a big black hole in the island's finances?

No. I believe we have plenty of scope to be more efficient with public funds.

If elected, what priority will you give to the introduction of the already-drafted consumer protection legislation?

It is not something I will be looking to act on, but I would not shy away from discussing it.

Did you know that same-sex families aren't treated equally when it comes to registering the birth of a child? What will you do to change that?

I didn’t know that. Personally I don’t see what difference it makes whether same sex or different.

Would you support a programme of privatisation of island utilities and other facilities such as Beau Sejour to help reduce record levels of borrowing resulting from the cost of Covid defences?

Yes, privatisation of VisitGuernsey (Marketing & Tourism) would benefit tax payers and businesses.

Increasing home working will likely result in surplus office space. Will you encourage an urgent revision of Planning Policies to facilitate conversion of retail and office space to residential & curb green-field development?

I think that would need a bit more in-depth thought. Do we need more flats/apartments? I don’t object to the idea and I support the protection of green fields, but I’m not convinced they are that easily linked.

What is your attitude towards enhanced and mandatory registration, chipping and DNA recording of dogs and control of their fouling, island-wide?

Dog fouling does need addressing and on the surface I would support DNA records, but I can’t help but wonder how many perpetrators there are? The vast majority of dog owners are responsible, would there be enough non-picker-uppers to fund the scheme? Would need more thought.

I have one question for sitting Deputies and one for new candidates. Deputies:- what, in your mind, was your greatest political achievement in the last four years? New candidates:- What is your biggest political goal in the next four years?

My goal, which I believe is achievable, is to gain a proper understanding of the roles & procedures within Government/Public Sector, I think this is key to fully understanding the problems our island faces.

How good are your mediation and conciliation skills? The key to the islands well-being and progress is in working together to achieve the projects approved - to see sustainable, innovative solutions. Leadership in pulling the team together to move forward, rather than in circles.

Pretty good in life so far, but they’ve never been tested within a Government environment. If it’s any help, as a business owner I have certainly been in positions where I have disagreed with staff, but been willing to accept and work with their suggestions for the betterment of the business.

Would you support not giving Local Market licenses to those earning above a set level to support both LM and OM?

No.

First time buyers are encouraged to buy new build developments taking up green space, while there are vast amounts of listed properties facing dereliction on the island - buildings ripe for restoration, renovation and to be lived in. Currently, people are put off as they are greeted with stringent and outdated views by The Planning and Heritage Department - it takes too much time and money so are immediately put off. What will you do to change the process for the better?

Personally, I believe a bigger barrier to first time buyers moving into a listed building requiring work relates to finances (a lack of finances, mores specifically), before planning issues even get a look in.

Would you support changes in the law to make cannabis for personal use legal?

I support proper investigation of this subject.

Question for New Candidates: During the COVID-19 lockdown States Meetings were held virtually. On 24th of June Meetings resumed in the Royal Court Chamber. As a prospective States Member have you spent any time at all in the public gallery observing our Parliament (potentially your future workplace) in action? If not, why not?

No. I’ve listened in on debates and I’ve been in the Royal Court. I can imagine them together so never had the need to physically attend.

In 1945, the generosity of people outside Guernsey enabled the delivery of Red Cross parcels to the island on the SS Vega. What is your view on the statement that ‘charity begins at home but should not end there’? How can we best show our care for people in need in other parts of the world?

I support our Overseas Aid policies.

This is a question for new candidates; do you agree with the principle of scrutiny of government and if so how would you ensure that it was fairly carried out ?

Yes, government needs proper scrutiny.

Considering the mounting public pressure against the way our current justice system deals with cannabis offences, what is your stance on the legalisation and regulation of cannabis in Guernsey?

I support proper investigation of this subject.

In a review last year into drugs and treatments and States debate in January, HSC acknowledged that the disparity between life changing NICE TA drugs available in Guernsey compared to the NHS had become too great to be justified, with nearly 4000 patients now on sub-optimal treatments. The Guernsey Health Reserve was identified as the funding source. HSC announced last week a delay of at least a year to the implementation of this policy. How do you propose to tackle the pace at which change takes place within the States? Should you be held accountable for delivering on commitments you make individually, as a committee or collectively as the States?

I don't think it is practical to “hold people to account”, I agree with the sentiment, but it would simply add another layer of bureaucracy onto an already overly bureaucratic process. I would encourage sensible debate with a “quick debate” mode when for issues which are not deemed contentious.

What ideas do you have to ensure there is affordable housing including support for first time buyers and ensure affordable rental property is available for locals so they can continue to live here? What is your stance on mortgage tax relief and shared ownership initiatives?

Purchase/rental prices are largely dictated by market forces, Government intervention could make things very messy. I do support the work of the Guernsey Housing Association with their partial ownership schemes. I would also welcome investigation into alternative building methods and “self build” sites as have been tested elsewhere.

Earlier this year, the States passed the introduction of life-saving and life-changing NICE-Approved drugs & medicines by a massive 32-1 vote; these drugs are readily available under the NHS and SHS in the UK. HSC have now announced that the implementation of this is now to be delayed by a year or so. Out of all projects the States have on their list - this has to be THE single most important one because it will affect up to 4,000+ residents of our island. How do you intend to bring forward the delay of this incredibly important topic to a much quicker implementation date?

I am unaware of the true reasons for the delay in implementation so cannot offer a solution at this time.

What would you do to address traffic noise pollution from vehicles speeding and backfiring along St Georges Esplanade/Les Banques and towards town?

I do not condone this kind of activity. Breaking the speed limit is an offence so this is a matter of the police.

In January 2020 the States passed a policy to make all NICE TA drugs and treatments available to Islanders. Do you see this as a priority and if so how would you expedite implementation?

I am unaware of the true reasons for the delay in implementation so cannot offer a solution at this time.

The recent Frontier report on the runway extension summed up that "the economic benefits of extending the runway are likely to outweigh the costs" with net benefits over 40 years of up to £687m (over £20k per household). Post COVID, do you support continued investigation into the potential for a runway extension to improve Guernsey's infrastructure, air links, and sustain the visitor economy?

I am a strong supporter of our visitor economy. There will certainly be changes to air travel since the Frontier Report, but I believe we have enough knowledge/connections locally to gain an understanding of the impact.

Have you been made aware that every report that the SOG has commissioned for 20 years has flagged the need to extend the runway to circa 1700m+ and the commercial benefits it will bring for the island as a whole?

I am aware of several reports into a runway extensions.

Brexit presents a unique opportunity for Guernsey to strengthen its ties with other Commonwealth countries and stand on its own two feet on an international scale. Would you be willing to make an effort to strengthen our diplomatic ties to countries like New Zealand, Australia, and Canada?

I’d have no objection to this if their were clear benefits, but I really think we need to concentrate on our own shores.

The current states assembly has approved proposals for a Discrimination Ordinance, but much work needs to be done. How committed are you to ensuring that LGBTQ+ people, people of colour, people with disabilities and people of faith are protected on this island?

I’m committed to equality.

What criteria do you use for decision making?

Proven need, ability for completion, affordability and measurable outcome.

In the last two years two pieces of legislation have come to the States which specifically target the most vulnerable members of our society - euthanasia and abortion - where a person’s fundamental and basic right to life is overridden in the name of lesser rights. Do you believe that disposing of a person’s life is a sign of progress? Do you believe that failing to protect human life at any age or stage of development is the mark of a civilised and enlightened and caring society?

Had I been part of this debate I would have followed the medical advice given.

It is beyond time to invest in our people, infrastructure and public services. Do you plan to make the island's tax system more fair and progressive, so that more businesses and the wealthy pay a fairer share?

I agree that we need to invest in our infrastructure, our people and our services, but I would like to know what you deem a “fairer share” before agreeing any further. Are you suggesting fairness in relation to the value of service received, i.e. user pays?

In light of covid-19 and the hit that the tourist industry has taken what plans (if any) would you try to put in place to make Guernsey more attractive to tourists after travel bans are lifted? And do you feel tourism should play a more crucial role in Guernsey? If not, why?

The privatisation of VisitGuernsey (Marketing and Tourism) would allow tourism to properly grow at acceptable rates. Tourism may not be the largest financial contributor to our island, but it enriches our lives with restaurants, museums & places to go.

List your achievements to date which have been a benefit to Guernsey.

I have taken several thousand visitors on tours of our island (aboard my Tour Guernsey Land Rover); showing them the natural beauty we have on our doorstep and teaching them of our rich heritage, encouraging them to come back for more.

Do you support a reduction in the cost of running the civil service? If so, how would you do that and over what timescale?

Yes. With a ground up review to understand the needs of the frontline “service” providers. Quickly, but very much dependant on results of aforementioned review.

As we subsidise the airline, should Aurigny have a monopoly over all air routes to and from the Bailiwick, with a regulator to ensure fair pricing and a policy of not for profit?

No.

What is your view regarding commercialisation with respect to States owned entities?

I am in favour of commercialisation (with limitations)

Should the island be spending tax payers money on maintaining air and sea links?

Yes, provided it is properly directed.

What is your view on future funding for long term care as current funding will be insufficient by 2040?

If we can’t afford it, we’re going to have to face up to the reality at some point.

What is your opinion of introducing a goods and sales tax?

Against. The administration costs will outweigh the tax gains (unless high rate of tax), it will be a bureaucratic nightmare for small businesses and doesn’t address Government spending habits.

Would you support the ‘listing’ of all remaining historic military structures, as Jersey has done, to ensure their ongoing protection, repair and maintenance?

I’d rather see them put to good use as event spaces/visitor accommodation, as Jersey has done.

What initiatives would you put in place to grow our economy?

Construction of a new market facility to encourage grass route entrepreneurial spirit in small retail/light industrial units.

Do you believe that the rates of income support are a) too low b) about right or c) too high? Explain your answer in some detail.

Too high & too low. For those that genuinely need assistance, it would often appear that there is not enough support. On the other side, a small portion of our population are seemingly able to exploit the system.

How will you support and encourage young people coming to the island with regards to housing and licencing to ensure the island has more stable tax base as the population ages?

I believe we can create genuinely interesting employment opportunities to keep our (and potentially encourage additional) young people; I see opportunities for young people relating to energy production, conservation and tourism.

How will your religious faith influence your voting decisions?

Not applicable

Have you read the recommendations contained in the Frontier Economics Report in which they state that the long term benefits of extending the runway far outweigh the environmental and capital costs? If so, are you in favour of extending the runway?

I would support an extension to the runway in conjunction with the privatisation of VisitGuernsey (Marketing & Tourism). If we are increasing our capacity for travel, we need to increase our marketing power.

What are your views on the cost of Primary Healthcare locally and what innovative ideas do you have that don’t simply involve ‘redirecting funding from a different states pot’ to create fair, equitable and affordable access to Primary Care for all islanders?

Having had very little requirement of local healthcare I am not really in a position to comment.

Do you support developing end of life care (including palliative care) or would you look to introduce a form of euthanasia as in assisted dying (assisted suicide)?

I would support the option for both, but appreciate it’s a minefield to legislate.

Education - Do you know what T levels are and if you do, would you be enthusiastically demanding that they are available here in Guernsey?

I didn't know what they were, but having briefly read up about them I would be a strong supporter.

What will you do to help Guernsey businesses revive and thrive and make Guernsey a 'smarter' and technologically advanced place to do business, and to encourage new start up businesses?

Guernsey has booming cottage industries, the biggest barrier to them up-scaling is a lack of light industrial units and/or lack of (affordable) retail units. I would propose the formation of a market facility comprising of small retail/light industrial units.

There is a lack of mental health support available - particularly to those who seem to fall into the apparent gap between the secondary and primary mental health services. What will you do to address this?

I'm not fully aware of how someone would fall between primary/secondary care, if you asked this question I’d be interested to talk to you to understand further and be able to formulate a proper response.

How would you as a deputy ensure emotive proposals such as, change to abortion law or assisted dying law would be publicly debated? And allow Islanders to have more of a say in these emotive issues.

Deputies are elected to make decisions, I would absolutely listen to the electorate on ANY issue, but I would not necessarily defer the decision making.

What is your position on the opportunity to debate the abortion issue more openly and fairly with more balanced representations to the Deputies?

I think the recent debate/consultation was open, fair and balanced.

How do you see the way forward for secondary education in the island? Do you favour a particular model and if so which one?

My decision would be based upon professional/electorate feedback, I would not seek to overturn a previous decision.

Recognising the importance of our natural environment and our hospitality industry how would you propose to move forward essential repairs and any development at St Peter Port harbour, securing access to our beaches (e.g. Petit Port, Divette, Soldiers bay), the maintenance of our cliff paths and the important access from the bathing places to the Clarence battery? Does this essential maintenance take priority over the development of the East Coast/Town seafront?

Essential maintenance can (and should) take place alongside “development”. The Seafront Enhancement programme would be utilising private funds to make use of public assets. The two issues should work alongside each other. In terms of repair & maintenance, I’m confident we have the skills/knowledge available locally to bring new solutions to these old problems.

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