- Parish St Saviour
- Experience New Candidate
- Party The Guernsey Party
Why am I Standing? I have lived through Guernsey’s various prime activities of Horticulture, Tourism, and Finance. At the height of double-digit inflation in the ‘seventies, working 3 jobs to try to build a house - I know how tough things can get when the economy falters. I have been very worried by the direction of travel this last Assembly has taken and I fear for Guernsey’s future without change.
- Integrated Transport Strategy.
Not fit for purpose.
- Island Development Plan.
Not fit for purpose.
- Population & Management Plan.
Not fit for purpose.
- Seafront Enhancement Plan.
Not fit for purpose.
- 2 Schools Education Plan.
Not fit for purpose.
OVERVIEW – WHAT DO I PROPOSE?
The economy is front and centre to Guernsey’s ability to recover and grow. To assist this, we need a substantial focus on digital skills and improved internet connectivity. Consequently, 5G can happen quickly until fibre is widespread in the longer term. We need a re-appraisal of external market opportunities across our Finance sector bearing in mind Brexit, the impact of Covid and new productivity developments such as AI. Other areas include broadening the scope of our Intellectual Property legislation to encompass a single point of worldwide registration. Digital Asset Management is another area ready for tapping into – providing we have the legislative framework and off-island connectivity and resilience to permit it.
Aurigny has to be brought to break-even as a minimum. I would support the creation of a separate Transport department responsible for all external links and internal transport infrastructure and policy.
I would be ready to reclassify empty retail premises for domestic use to lessen the demand for new housing as far as possible. I also favour States backed guarantees for appropriate mortgage applicants, for example nurses, teachers and other essential workers on low or moderate incomes.
I am in favour of making Solar accessible and in particular – the serious investigation of sustainable tidal power (perhaps with Alderney). We need energy (and indeed food) security as an Island.
As a member of The Guernsey Party, I am in accord with the following Policy objectives.
Tax & Public Finances
- Aim for no tax increases during the next term, no GST, maintain low taxation to be internationally competitive.
- Increase tax relief on charity donations to assist 3rd sector losses during COVID.
- Increase responsibility of the charity sector to deliver government objectives through direct funding.
- Deliver promised public sector efficiency savings without cutting frontline services.
- Aspire to reduce tax rate for the lower/middle tier tax payer to 15% in medium term.
- 3 x 11-16 schools with 1 x 6th form college on one site.
- Support creation of The Institute.
- Develop re-skill programme for the unemployed and indentured apprenticeships for 16+.
- Suspend internal capital expenditure processes to speed up infrastructure investment.
- Reduce regulation: adapt/ease controls by sector to support business recovery and boost employment post COVID.
- Invest in infrastructure, preferring local contractors.
- Consider introduction of a digital system for monitoring persons in isolation.
- Accelerate harbour development.
- High speed broadband for the whole Island.
- Repair all damaged sea defences with urgency, including L’Ancresse. Maintain them properly and consistently in future and configure for predicted sea level rise.
Energy, Renewables & the Environment
- Solar Fund: free solar panels (reducing bills) to be repaid by part proceeds of solar production.
- Focus on more rapid development of renewable generation including tidal and offshore wind and encourage transition to electricity for home heating and transport.
- Review the effectiveness of the GFSC as a regulatory body.
Transport & Connectivity
- Licensing of ramp use in harbour and enforceable service level agreement with Condor: rejig schedules, consider what options for replacement of the Liberation to improve reliability.
- Give Aurigny a long-term, strategic objective: lease rather than buy aircraft.
- Restructure all strategic transport responsibilities under one governing group.
- Review work permit policy for teachers, nurses and other key workers to consider long-term licences/reduce staff turnover. Review population management strategy for the hospitality industry.
- Resolve nursing staff pay dispute including terms and conditions (in conjunction with policy housing and work permits). Reduce staff turnover - develop nursing as a rewarding, affordable career choice for islanders with on-island training.
- Commence strategic planning for the need to increase space for care for the elderly.
Law & Order
- Consider recreational use of cannabis subject to suitable regulation and THC limits as per Canada system.
- Expansion of exemptions from Planning. Simplification of the planning process - set shorter target response times. Significant reduction of land use and purpose categories.
- Embargo on further large developments in the Vale and St Sampson’s where infrastructure is under stress.
- Halt removal/reduction of parking spaces in St Peter Port and elsewhere. Increase access to parking in St Peter Port as part of harbour development.
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?
As a Douzenier and Trustee of the Parish Community Centre, I am familiar with working with colleagues at all levels. I am both a pragmatist and a visionary.
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 ?
Guernsey's economy is not a simple either or. It is now very much more complex than historically. I do feel that those individuals who come in to the Island with skillsets that we lack are welcome and in many cases, provide further employment opportunities by growing the economy. Equally, when local skills exist - they should always be given priority over bringing in from outside.
What concrete measures would you like to see implemented in Guernsey during the next term to achieve net zero carbon by 2050?
My priority in terms of the impact of Climate Change is our sea defenses - particularly in the North of the Island.
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?
The ramifications of IWV have not been fully understood or anticipated. The historic connection between parishes and their Deputies stops - and parish issues can be raised with any Deputy. I think we have to relook at the role of the Douzaines so that parish issues are not lost and can be raised appropriately. The danger that I foresee is that 'active' Deputies will get most of the enquiries from residents regardless of location - and others will have little or nothing.
Are you concerned about the large amount of agricultural land that is being lost for private gardens?
Yes - food security is very important.
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?
I am member of a Party - that gives me access to more than my own vote as a starting point. Furthermore, it does not prevent acting in concert with like-minded, independent Deputies who share the same values.
What are the attributes and skills you will be looking for in the next President of the Policy & Resources Committee?
Financial acumen and courage to address the very many difficult decisions we now face
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?
The independent exercise undertaken by Frontier was (in my opinion) a simple spreadsheet projection. It did not provide any clarity on how or where our future passenger numbers could be found. Until I see a convincing business case that details credible evidence, then I am not convinced - particularly post-Covid. However, the issue is intertwined with the future role of Aurigny too - and so is not totally black and white.
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?
Guernsey is heavily dependent on taxation relating to employment. In recent years, due to the inexorable rise of the Public Sector under successive Assembly's, more an more indirect taxation has been imposed. I am not in agreement with that. In terms of the diversification of our economy - yes, I do support that.
What are the candidates' views on maternity pay and leave and how would they improve the current arrangements, if at all?
I would not change the current arrangements.
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?
A digital 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?
I believe it should be a personal choice as to the means of transport chosen by individuals whether by financial constraints or environmental concerns, or other matters such as practicality.
Do you support outsourcing of States services?
What will you do to educate the islanders about the reality of the climate crisis which is the biggest threat currently facing the world?
The biggest threat to the world right now is a ruined world economy, overpopulation and antagonism between superpowers.
Most environmental problems are caused by the love of growth. Would you consider de-growth?
Sustainability is very important. We should strive to be reusing resources as much as possible as part of our economic strategy.
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?
Cyclists and cars do not mix. We need to look at ways in which they mix as little as possible - for safety's sake. Slow moving cyclists inevitably hold traffic up and that leads to excessive pollution. I welcome new cleaner engine technologies.
What environmental policies would you support to reduce Guernsey’s reliance on the internal combustion engine, in support of International global warming initiatives?
What measures will you put in place during the next term to ensure that environmental biodiversity will be protected and enhanced?
This is an area that needs much more careful consideration before arriving at a strategy. There is a difference between essential biodiversity protection (such as pollination) and biodiversity for its own sake.
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?
I would certainly support re-looking at this initiative. Instead, the States wants to do it all itself with the SEA - which it has neither the funds, nor the expertise , nor the vision.
Do you agree that there is a climate crisis caused predominantly by the actions of humans?
There is an increasing rate of climate change which has to be attributed to human activity. Solving that worldwide is largely an unachievable goal in reality. People should use their own best endeavors to be more conscious of the impact they have on the 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 am not sufficiently aware of the issues to respond to this in a meaningful way.
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?
Whatever action Guernsey takes will be as nothing if the major economies and developing world do not take action. I do not currently know how Guernsey can in any realistic way make that happen.
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?
There are many factors involved in the loss-making airline. We definitely don't need new aircraft as we cannot afford what we have. It is however the provider of a lifeline service which we can rely on. Jersey for example cannot.
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?
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?
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?
Only if we can convince other jurisdictions to do so too. Doing anything that makes us less competitive in comparison would be extremely risky.
If elected, what priority will you give to the introduction of the already-drafted consumer protection legislation?
All legislation currently being drafted must be looked at through the lens of financial impact on our economy before ratification now.
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?
Registration is not an equality issue. Registration is a legal obligation and process which exists for the benefit of a child, to establish biological parentage and therefore the legal duties of parental responsibility and/or to enable the transfer and/or terminate those legal rights and duties (including rights to inheritance) upon adoption. Adoption is the process for assuming parental responsibility for any person who is not the biological parent of a child, whether same sex, heterosexual, or otherwise. All persons who are not biological parents are already treated equally"
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?
I would certainly look at each case on its merits.
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?
What is your attitude towards enhanced and mandatory registration, chipping and DNA recording of dogs and control of their fouling, island-wide?
Chipping is a sensible option. DNA recording, whilst an effective tool - is too expensive to implement and administer. Stiffer penalties for dog-fouling are an alternative, but very difficult to enforce.
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?
Reduce the Island's debt.
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.
I will do whatever necessary to achieve agreed objectives.
Would you support not giving Local Market licenses to those earning above a set level to support both LM and OM?
No. This is too simplistic a concept.
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?
The IDP is not fit for purpose. It should be scrapped and replaced with something far less cumbersome, less expensive and more efficient.
Would you support changes in the law to make cannabis for personal use legal?
With sufficient regulatory safeguards I would - but only if it wiped out the black market provision as a consequence.
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?
Yes I have - and have also listened online to many meetings. Indeed it is in part why I am standing - the level of debate is quite often poor and rambling. Not by all deputies, but some are notoriously fond of their own voice.
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 think Guernsey has and will have - an increasing need of charitable support locally. However, I do not believe that we should have tied ourselves to a percentage of GDP. Islanders are very generous and will always respond to external emergencies and disasters without attempting to legislate - that is the route we should be taking in the future.
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 ?
Wholeheartedly. It requires proper funding and a Freedom of Information provision.
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?
Our economy is under severe strain. Allocating scarce resources is never easy. However, I do feel that all initiatives should be based on knowing the full cost to the public purse before they are agreed and implemented. If there is a shortfall in funding for any initiative, health or otherwise, the decision has to be "What do we lose to permit it?" It should not be (and I will not support), raising taxes.
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?
As an immediate initiative, States backed mortgage guarantees for essential workers. Similarly, interest-only mortgages for a realistic period to enable lower paid workers to get on the property ladder, underwritten by the States for the agreed period. Assuming that property prices do not remain static, this provides for a rise in the value of the property before capital has to be repaid.
What would you do to address traffic noise pollution from vehicles speeding and backfiring along St Georges Esplanade/Les Banques and towards town?
The traffic is so heavy along that stretch that I doubt speeding occurs that often. Admiral Park should have a roundabout to increase traffic flow. Individual vehicles will produce different levels of noise pollution - as will the way they are ridden or driven. Even if some sort of legislative solution was found - I do not see how it can be realistically policed.
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?
No. Not until we see what Covid does to the World economy.
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?
If there were practical benefits economically - yes.
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?
Everybody matters in Guernsey. Legislating in an attempt to protect certain individuals on whatever grounds is a very difficult way to achieve something that is best addressed through education.
What criteria do you use for decision making?
Depends on the issue.
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?
I saw my wife die over two years as a result of cancer. If she had asked me to find a way to end her life and ease her suffering, I believe I probably would have. But it is a completely personal decision, and the safeguards around providing it as a legal option are very complex indeed. I do not look to moral or religious issues for guidance however - I look to an individual's ability to endure suffering unnecessarily.
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 do not look to anyone paying more tax. Tax rises are self-defeating.
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?
Before Covid, Tourism had shrunk to represent a very small percentage of GDP. Until a vaccine is widespread, I cannot see any return to normal levels. I do feel however, that a pan-Bailiwick approach to encouraging what business there may be (Staycations and incoming), can be more cost-effective for everyone.
Please list in order of importance: - driving Guernsey’s economy - addressing social needs - protecting the environment - invest in Guernsey’s infrastructure and improve - sort out the schools - focus on air and sea links - extend the runway - implement revive and thrive as a priority - open our closed borders as a priority - reduce states expenditure
I am afraid that everything - and I mean everything, is secondary to getting our economy functioning and growing. Without a buoyant economy, all of the other pressing issues are not going to be capable of being addressed anyway.
List your achievements to date which have been a benefit to Guernsey.
In what arena?
Do you support a reduction in the cost of running the civil service? If so, how would you do that and over what timescale?
We can only afford a Civil Service that is sustainable as a consequence of available funds and there are many calls on States' funds.
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?
Aurigny are not making a profit and are unlikely ever to do so. If we can get them to breakeven that would be the best case scenario. If that meant a total monopoly, then I would support that on the basis of it is currently a huge drain on resources and better the devil you know.....
What is your view regarding commercialisation with respect to States owned entities?
For fair value - I would support anything that is not an essential, universal service.
Should the island be spending tax payers money on maintaining air and sea links?
It has no choice.
What is your view on future funding for long term care as current funding will be insufficient by 2040?
Private insurance initiatives - even if paid in part by the States.
What is your opinion of introducing a goods and sales tax?
No. Not at all.
Would you support the ‘listing’ of all remaining historic military structures, as Jersey has done, to ensure their ongoing protection, repair and maintenance?
If money exists.
What initiatives would you put in place to grow our economy?
Reduce bureaucracy, incentivise digital solution development for improved productivity, worldwide hub for IP registration, DAM adoption and exploitation, to name but a few…..
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.
All States expenditure has to be affordable and sustainable - that is the lens through which I view everything and will take each case presented on it's merits accordingly.
How will your religious faith influence your voting decisions?
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?
Introducing private/public backed insurance initiatives.
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 don't know what they are unfortunately.
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?
All things digital and ensure we have access to fast internet asap.
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 would need to know the extent of the issue and the funds needed to address any solution. Currently, I do not know enough about the extent.
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.
I could only demand a free vote in the States. We cannot have referendums on all issues that are emotive unfortunately.
What is your position on the opportunity to debate the abortion issue more openly and fairly with more balanced representations to the Deputies?
I could only demand a free vote in the States. We cannot have referendums on all issues that are emotive unfortunately.
How do you see the way forward for secondary education in the island? Do you favour a particular model and if so which one?
Yes, three 11-16 colleges and a separate 6th form.
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?
Both are equally important. Access to relevant construction skills, funds and the circumstances pertaining to each of these plays into identifying the priority.
What are your views about the proposed way forward with regard to Probate, recognising that the age-old system has been efficient, pastoral, and inexpensive? Are you of the view "if it ain't broke don't fix it"?