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Personal Statement

Guernsey needs a vibrant tourist industry. Our finance sector deserves all of the attention and government support it gets BUT we must also breathe new life into our visitor economy. Darren’s manifesto is different to other candidates in this election. He does not want to be yet another wishy-washy ‘jack of all trades’ but, instead, wants to knuckle down, make the most of his business experience and concentrate on turbocharging Guernsey’s tourist industry.

  • ‘CHAMPION’ FOR TOURISM – Darren wants to turbocharge tourism
  • FOUR-POINT PLAN – Clear focus on game-changers that are all achievable
  • MANDATE – Seeking mandate to be Economic Development’s lead on tourism
  • RIGHT KNOWLEDGE – Has relevant experience in business and government
  • PLEASE USE ONE OF YOUR 38 VOTES TO TURBOCHARGE TOURISM

Manifesto

Most candidates will make a cursory mention of tourism in their manifesto but that’s not enough. Now, more than ever, we don’t need lip service – we need action. It is imperative that this very important industry gets a massive reboot. When the time is right, it needs to bounce back fast.

‘CHAMPION’ FOR TOURISM

Darren wants to be elected as a Deputy with a mandate to have a seat on Economic Development where he will ‘champion’ Guernsey’s tourism industry and will turbocharge tourism.

Darren is offering a clear four-point plan that, using his experience both in industry and government, he knows he can deliver.

VISIT GUERNSEY

Visit Guernsey must evolve into a public-private partnership. Instead of politicians perennially focussed on reasons for not doing something, let’s give seats at the board table to those with skin in the game, real know-how in the industry and a make it happen mentality.

VICTOR HUGO

We must develop our Victor Hugo offering and make it more than Hauteville House.

We can transform Candie Museum (conveniently next to the famous Victor Hugo statue) into a much-needed and long-overdue Victor Hugo interpretation centre with 4D multimedia experiences and more. It could include a Victor Hugo-branded arts centre and workshop where the glow of the 19th century hero will inspire the 21st century.

Let’s create a permanent son et lumière spectacle on the Town seafront to celebrate the island’s most famous resident. The same technology infrastructure could also be used for other themes.

GUERNSEY COW

When plans are finalised for the new dairy, it must include a visitor centre, ideally as part of a working farm. If you forgive the play on words, the Guernsey cow can be a real cash cow. It is incredulous that we don’t have one attraction that seeks to capitalise on an island icon that enjoys global recognition.

AURIGNY

Buying Aurigny was the right decision but the fact that, back in 2015, we did not have a clear understanding of Aurigny’s raison d’être beggared belief.

Darren’s successful amendment was due to change that and the 2016-2020 States was set a deadline to agree criteria for how Aurigny selected routes, capacity and frequency and a new approach where we measured the airline’s success not just on its balance sheet but also on social and economic contribution.

What happened? Internal reports, external reports, consultant reports, scrutiny reports and more but we’re still absolutely none the wiser. It’s still foggy with no clarity of purpose that we can all understand.

Darren’s other successful 2015 amendment that serious consideration should be given to rebranding Aurigny to a name that positions it as a Guernsey airline was simply brushed under the proverbial carpet.

Aurigny, whatever it’s called, has the potential to be Guernsey’s greatest strategic asset. Darren is seeking election is to make certain that another four years isn’t wasted.

YEAR-ROUND DESTINATION

We must change our mindset and become a genuine year-round destination with 365 days packed with reasons to visit. Darren will work hard to foster sports and arts tourism, celebrate our local food and drink, promote our local retail offering, showcase the Guernésiais language and further exploit all of the unique ‘islands of Guernsey’ (including Alderney, Sark and Herm).

We need to excel as a disability-friendly destination and also emphasise our green credentials and build on them.

100% INDEPENDENT

Darren is a genuine 100% independent candidate. With NO party allegiance, he will work with anyone if it advances Guernsey’s best long-term interests – and challenge anybody if it doesn’t. Politics isn’t about personality, it’s about policy. Darren’s focus will never be on the next election, it will always be on the next generation.

Revive and thrive... revive and thrive... blah... blah... blah. The States is great at putting together action plans – but isn’t so great at putting plans into action.

Darren won’t let this happen and, using his experience both in government and business, he is confident he will deliver everything on his clear four-point plan in the next four years.

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 was a member of Public Services from 2012 - 2016 and also sat on the External Transport Group. I was a also member of Culture and Leisure from 2012 -2016, was the political rep on the Sports, Arts and Language Commissions and also a member of the Events Group. My political and civil service colleagues would, I hope, all say that I contributed in a positive manner and was a valuable member of the team.

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 ?

I think this will happen naturally if unemployment remains high. Licences are only available if a locally-qualified person is not available to do the job. We need to follow policy.

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

Renewable energy (including tidal power) offers Guernsey’s best opportunity to make a meaningful difference and help our island become, carbon neutral, maybe even better if we export to Europe and start to payback our carbon debt from yesteryear. We need to stop talking and start doing. If you forgive the play on words, renewable energy has the power to be an economic generator.

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?

Whilst the old parish Deputies pre-2020 also helped people island-wide, the post-2020 island-wide Deputies should reverse things and also maintain an extra relationship with their parishes. It is likely that Deputies will be elected from far and wide an there is still every reason for them to each serve their locale.

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

Yes, it is a concern.

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?

My manifesto concentrates on tourism and I want to be a 'champion' for tourism in the States. Instead of being another jack of all trades, I am putting forward a very clear four-point plan with game-changers that I know are achievable and within the scope of government.

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

Renewable energy (including tidal power) offers Guernsey’s best opportunity to make a meaningful difference and help our island become, carbon neutral, maybe even better if we export to Europe and start to payback our carbon debt from yesteryear. We need to stop talking and start doing. If you forgive the play on words, renewable energy has the power to be an economic generator.

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

The 2016-2020 States term was more toxic than ever before. The urgency dictated by the pandemic meant the States was forced to temporarily paper over divisive cracks between groups of Deputies. The new P&R president needs to adopt a collaborative approach and help everybody work together for the good of Guernsey.

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?

A longer runway is certainly one of the tools in the toolbox, albeit an expensive one in terms of both economic and environmental impact. I do not think it is as simple as 'build it and they will come'. The Frontier Report and others are arguably more theoretical than practical. I know from my experience on PSD (de facto director of Guernsey Airport) and also the External Transport Group from 2012 until 2016 that easyJet was very keen to fly to Guernsey. The problem was NOT the length of the runway, the problem was the mood music when a T&R policy letter gave Aurigny the de facto monopoly on the Gatwick route. I spoke passionately against this but to no avail. Guernsey appeared, still appears ‘closed to business’. Even if easyJet left a row of empty seats to comply with payload restrictions, the industry metric of RASM (revenue per available seat mile) is very attractive for the LGW-GCI route. Short sectors like this generate a much higher RASM when compared to longer sectors, say London to Athens. An airline could probably do three rotations to Guernsey, compared to just one to Athens. I am not saying no to a longer runway but I do need to be convinced. It's certainly not an instant fix and there are many other dynamics at play.

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?

There is always a need to relook at things but we must remain competitive and our reputation as a well-regulated but tax neutral jurisdiction must never change.

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 want the island to invest in its future. It is never about the next election, it is about the next generation. My manifesto concentrates on one industry sector and I have presented a clear four-point plan to turbocharge tourism. VisitGuernsey must become public-private partnership; Victor Hugo must be more than Hauteville House; Guernsey cow must have visitor centre; we must establish Aurigny’s raison d’être. As a 'champion' for tourism in the States, I know that I can help deliver all four of these game-changers that are all achievable and all within the scope of government.

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?

Car users should not be vilified but I believe that people should be given viable options if they are going to use their cars less, even if it's for just a chunk of their journeys. One of the best ways would be to make the bus service free. The States already gives a large subsidy and, if that subsidy was increased slightly, it would mean that it could be free. I voted for this when I was in the States from 2012-2016. With a tourism 'champion' hat on, this would be a great point of difference for our tourism industry.

Do you support outsourcing of States services?

The outsourcing of some States services does make sense where there may be a cost-saving and/or an increase in the quality outcomes. The third sector has a huge role to play in this area but must be funded appropriately and not taken for granted.

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

I do not believe that 'de-growth' is a viable option. I believe there are ways that we can, if we make concerted efforts, mitigate the environmental effects of growth.

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

There are more electric cars (and electric bikes) on the island roads each year and this will increase further when car manufacturers respond not only to consumer demand but also the regulation of governments across Europe. Arguably, Guernsey cannot act in isolation and market-trends will have a big impact.

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

When I was a member on Culture and Leisure, the museum director explained how being a politician responsible for our heritage was different to other departments because you could not correct your mistakes - when it's gone, it's gone. The exact same is true of our biodiversity - when it's gone, it's gone. All politicians need to recognise this and use this mindset when helping ensure that biodiversity is protected with appropriate funding and legislation.

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 do not know why there has been no update. Focussing on renewable energy, tidal power offers Guernsey’s best opportunity to make a meaningful difference and help our island become, carbon neutral, maybe even better if we export to Europe and start to payback our carbon debt from yesteryear. We need to stop talking and start doing. If you forgive the play on words, renewable energy has the power to be an economic generator.

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

Yes. Renewable energy (including tidal power) offers Guernsey’s best opportunity to make a meaningful difference and help our island become, carbon neutral, maybe even better if we export to Europe and start to payback our carbon debt from yesteryear. We need to stop talking and start doing. If you forgive the play on words, renewable energy has the power to be an economic generator.

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?

Renewable energy (including tidal power) offers Guernsey’s best opportunity to make a meaningful difference and help our island become, carbon neutral, maybe even better if we export to Europe and start to payback our carbon debt from yesteryear. We need to stop talking and start doing. If you forgive the play on words, renewable energy has the power to be an economic generator.

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?

My manifesto concentrates on tourism and I want to be a 'champion' for tourism in the States. Instead of being another jack of all trades, I am putting forward a very clear four-point plan with game-changers that I know are achievable and within the scope of government. One of them is, better late than never, we need to establish Aurigny's raison d'être. My successful amendment in 2015 meant that we should have agreed by now criteria for how Aurigny selects routes, capacity and frequency and a new approach where we measure the airline’s success not just on its balance sheet but also on social and economic contribution. There have been reports after reports but there is still no real clarity.

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?

Decisions like this need to be evidence-based and considered with an open mind. It is a classic case of their being arguments for an against.

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?

For a generation, or more, we have obsessed about buildings when we should be obsessing about teachers instead. Utilising the existing buildings at Les Varendes, Baubigny and Les Beaucamps makes sense with minimal new buildings and upheaval - so three schools, one with a sixth-form (at Les Varendes) is a pragmatic solution to the current impasse and would certainly be evolution, not revolution. As I said in my very first manifesto back in 2012, "spending millions on new school buildings is not, on its own, a guarantee of providing Guernsey children with a better education. This can only be achieved in tandem with finding, motivating, training and retaining the best teachers possible." Teachers make the biggest difference and my thoughts haven't changed. Capital costs are one thing but we also need annual expenditure on more teachers, more teaching assistants if we are going to make tangible differences to the education of our children.

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?

There is always a need to relook at things but we must remain competitive and our reputation as a well-regulated but tax neutral jurisdiction must never change.

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 was aware of this fact and I would vote for a change in the law.

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 was a member of Culture and Leisure when we actively looked at opportunities to outsource/privatise Beau Sejour. I was open-minded but no savings could be made. Beau Sejour makes a huge impact on the lives of many, many islanders and I think that we get good value for money from it.

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?

Needs are ever-changing and it is vital that our planners are cognisant of changing demand for office, retail and residential space, whether this is Covid-related or not. Change of use and change of policy should be considered, especially if it means that we are able to keep what green spaces what currently have left. I very much favour development on brownfield sites, not green fields.

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 manifesto concentrates on tourism and I want to be a 'champion' for tourism in the States. Instead of being another jack of all trades, I am putting forward a very clear four-point plan with game-changers that I know are achievable and within the scope of government.

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 believe that I have a proven ability to help deliver innovative solutions rather than dwell on problems, which is often a territory where many politicians feel most comfortable. I know that I have the ability to be a team player with the social skills to establish a positive working rapport with anybody and everybody. I am also comfortable leading large projects. Rather than going round in circles, my manifesto includes a clear four-point plan for tourism - four game-changers that are all deliverable and all within the scope of government. I can and will make things happen.

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

No. For example, we NEED medical specialists and we should not put barriers in the way of recruiting the best. If we disadvantage ourselves, we won't get the best. Even worse, we might not recruit at all and essential treatment will no be available on island.

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?

We need to prioritise and build first-time buyer properties on the island’s many brownfield sites. We need to keep Guernsey’s young people and green fields.

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

I believe the evidence for legalising (decriminalising) cannabis more than merits an open-minded States debate but we should never normalise cannabis. Regulation would be needed and work of the multi-agency Drug and Alcohol Strategy, including the third sector, would have an important role to play.

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?

I was a member of the States from 2012-2016 and, like many, I have continued to closely follow the States since then on the radio.

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?

We should make more of the States' contribution to overseas aid. It should be more than a box ticking exercise. There can be a real feel-good factor for islanders. Aside from funding we channel through the UK's Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC), I believe that we should concentrate on a theme for a four-year period. Imagine supporting 'clean water in Africa' by trying to deliver the same capacity of water annually that is in the St Saviour's reservoir. Imagine an 'April Showers' month when people made a small donation to the fund when they use the ubiquitous water dispensers in local offices. Imagine an eye-catching waterfall display at Guernsey Airport where visitors could donate leave their left-over local bank-notes and leave with a positive image of how we are helping those less fortunate.

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 ?

Scrutiny is a vital part of government and needs to be done in real-time with sessions that are open to the public. It is not a case of writing an historic report on what has happened, it is a case of analysing the here and now and questioning what will happen.

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 believe the evidence for legalising (decriminalising) cannabis more than merits an open-minded States debate but we should never normalise cannabis. Regulation would be needed and work of the multi-agency Drug and Alcohol Strategy, including the third sector, would have an important role to play.

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?

There should not be a health-condition lottery and NICE approved drugs should be made available to all. It is not acceptable for the States to approve a policy and for there to be an undue delay in its implementation.

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?

We need to prioritise and build affordable first-time buyer properties on the island’s many brownfield sites. We need to keep Guernsey’s young people and green fields. Mortgage relief, shared ownership initiatives and other tools need to be considered but it is worth highlighting that fundamentally the best way that any government can help people buy their own home is through a vibrant economy paying appropriate wages.

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?

There should not be a health-condition lottery and NICE approved drugs should be made available to all. It is not acceptable for the States to approve a policy and for there to be an undue delay in its implementation.

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?

There should not be a health-condition lottery and NICE approved drugs should be made available to all. It is not acceptable for the States to approve a policy and for there to be an undue delay in its implementation.

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?

A longer runway is certainly one of the tools in the toolbox, albeit an expensive one in terms of both economic and environmental impact. I do not think it is as simple as 'build it and they will come'. The Frontier Report and others are arguably more theoretical than practical. I know from my experience on PSD (de facto director of Guernsey Airport) and also the External Transport Group from 2012 until 2016 that easyJet was very keen to fly to Guernsey. The problem was NOT the length of the runway, the problem was the mood music when a T&R policy letter gave Aurigny the de facto monopoly on the Gatwick route. I spoke passionately against this but to no avail. Guernsey appeared, still appears ‘closed to business’. Even if easyJet left a row of empty seats to comply with payload restrictions, the industry metric of RASM (revenue per available seat mile) is very attractive for the LGW-GCI route. Short sectors like this generate a much higher RASM when compared to longer sectors, say London to Athens. An airline could probably do three rotations to Guernsey, compared to just one to Athens. I am not saying no to a longer runway but I do need to be convinced. It's certainly not an instant fix and there are many other dynamics at play.

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?

A longer runway is certainly one of the tools in the toolbox, albeit an expensive one in terms of both economic and environmental impact. I do not think it is as simple as 'build it and they will come'. The Frontier Report and others are arguably more theoretical than practical. I know from my experience on PSD (de facto director of Guernsey Airport) and also the External Transport Group from 2012 until 2016 that easyJet was very keen to fly to Guernsey. The problem was NOT the length of the runway, the problem was the mood music when a T&R policy letter gave Aurigny the de facto monopoly on the Gatwick route. I spoke passionately against this but to no avail. Guernsey appeared, still appears ‘closed to business’. Even if easyJet left a row of empty seats to comply with payload restrictions, the industry metric of RASM (revenue per available seat mile) is very attractive for the LGW-GCI route. Short sectors like this generate a much higher RASM when compared to longer sectors, say London to Athens. An airline could probably do three rotations to Guernsey, compared to just one to Athens. I am not saying no to a longer runway but I do need to be convinced. It's certainly not an instant fix and there are many other dynamics at play.

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?

Guernsey needs to benefit from the best of both worlds. We need to fight for accurate and appropriate representation through the UK Government but we also need to continue to establish our own rapport with other jurisdictions that is independent of this. Working alongside the other Crown Dependencies often makes sense. External affairs is a vitally important role in government and increases in importance every term.

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 am very committed and the States has a huge role to play in not only changing legislation, but also changing mindsets.

What criteria do you use for decision making?

I seek to make evidence-based decisions and, whilst I am not one to be swayed by the vocal minority, I do always listen to what others have to say. I don’t, and will never claim to, have all of the answers. I think it is important to have a back-to-basics approach because it is often all about asking the right questions to the right people if you want to get the right answers.

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?

Deputies cannot shy away from emotive issues and they do need to be debated. Debate needs to be respectful at all times and all points of view listened to and considered and with an open mind to look at the evidence.

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?

There is always a need to relook at things but we must remain competitive and our reputation as a well-regulated but tax neutral jurisdiction must never change.

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?

Most candidates will make a cursory mention of tourism in their manifesto but that’s not enough. Now, more than ever, we don’t need lip service – we need action. It is imperative that this very important industry gets a massive reboot. When the time is right, it needs to bounce back fast. I want to be elected as a Deputy with a mandate to have a seat on Economic Development where I will ‘champion’ Guernsey’s tourism industry and will turbocharge tourism. My manifesto concentrates on tourism. Instead of being another jack of all trades, I am putting forward a very clear four-point plan with game-changers that I know are achievable and within the scope of government. VisitGuernsey must become public-private partnership; Victor Hugo must be more than Hauteville House; Guernsey cow must have visitor centre; we must establish Aurigny’s raison d’être.

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

They are ALL important but it is worth stressing that without a vibrant economy, the island has no way to pay for the essential services that it needs to provide islanders. There will always be a tension between government priorities on say economic and social policy and we must not let either slip.

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

The civil service is pretty lean and mean at the moment. It is easy to say there's a lot of fat to trim but my belief is that any further large-scale reductions in head count (by far the largest cost) will mean that services suffer. The cost of our public sector, when compared to Jersey and the Isle of Man, shows it offers pretty good value for money to the taxpayer.

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 should not be the only airline. Guernsey needs to be 'open for business' and encourage other airlines to offer Guernsey services. Giving Aurigny the de facto monopoly on the Gatwick route meant the mood music was not welcoming to other airlines and this is a concern. My manifesto concentrates on tourism and I want to be a 'champion' for tourism in the States. Instead of being another jack of all trades, I am putting forward a very clear four-point plan with game-changers that I know are achievable and within the scope of government. One of them is, better late than never, we need to establish Aurigny's raison d'être. My successful amendment in 2015 meant that we should have agreed by now criteria for how Aurigny selects routes, capacity and frequency and a new approach where we measure the airline’s success not just on its balance sheet but also on social and economic contribution. There have been reports after reports but there is still no real clarity.

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

Privatisation is certainly not something that I would rush to endorse in Guernsey. Having said this, I think that the States' trading assets need to be run in a commercial, business-like way and the States Trading Supervisory Board has an important role in ensuring that this happens.

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

Buying Aurigny was one of the best decisions that the States has ever made but better late than never, we need to establish Aurigny's raison d'être. My successful amendment in 2015 meant that we should have agreed by now criteria for how Aurigny selects routes, capacity and frequency and a new approach where we measure the airline’s success not just on its balance sheet but also on social and economic contribution. There have been reports after reports but there is still no real clarity. Buying or subsidising our sea links is something that may have to be considered in the future.

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

We should do everything we can to avoid new taxes or increased taxes. We absolutely must grow our economy instead. Turbocharging tourism will make a difference because it brings new money into local economy. There are many reasons why we should not follow Jersey by creating a sales tax (GST). We must not be fooled into its introduction on the pretence of a low 'introductory' rate. The cot of collection, borne by government AND also business, could be disproportionate to the amount raised.

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

When I was a member on Culture and Leisure, the museum director explained how being a politician responsible for our heritage was different to other departments because you could not correct your mistakes - when it's gone, it's gone. This really resonated with me so listing buildings is certainly something that should be considered as a priority. My manifesto focusses on tourism and military tourism represents a unique opportunity for Guernsey. I support the efforts of Festung Guernsey and others already doing good work in this area.

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

My manifesto concentrates on tourism and I want to be a 'champion' for tourism in the States. Instead of being another jack of all trades, I am putting forward a very clear four-point plan with game-changers that I know are achievable and within the scope of government. VisitGuernsey must become public-private partnership; Victor Hugo must be more than Hauteville House; Guernsey cow must have visitor centre; we must establish Aurigny’s raison d’être. We can turbocharge tourism.

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?

The demographic time bomb (a word that has seemingly slipped down the political agenda in recent times) is still a huge challenge that the States will be grappling with for years to come. There are no easy answers. One of the most palatable ways is for our young people to remain in Guernsey so we need to prioritise first-time properties because once they are on the ladder and Guernsey remains their home, they will contribute in a positive way to affect the dependency ratio in a good way.

How will your religious faith influence your voting decisions?

I do not believe that my religious beliefs will impact on any voting decisions.

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?

A longer runway is certainly one of the tools in the toolbox, albeit an expensive one in terms of both economic and environmental impact. I do not think it is as simple as 'build it and they will come'. The Frontier Report and others are arguably more theoretical than practical. I know from my experience on PSD (de facto director of Guernsey Airport) and also the External Transport Group from 2012 until 2016 that easyJet was very keen to fly to Guernsey. The problem was NOT the length of the runway, the problem was the mood music when a T&R policy letter gave Aurigny the de facto monopoly on the Gatwick route. I spoke passionately against this but to no avail. Guernsey appeared, still appears ‘closed to business’. Even if easyJet left a row of empty seats to comply with payload restrictions, the industry metric of RASM (revenue per available seat mile) is very attractive for the LGW-GCI route. Short sectors like this generate a much higher RASM when compared to longer sectors, say London to Athens. An airline could probably do three rotations to Guernsey, compared to just one to Athens. I am not saying no to a longer runway but I do need to be convinced. It's certainly not an instant fix and there are many other dynamics at play.

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)?

Deputies cannot shy away from emotive issues and they do need to be debated. Debate needs to be respectful at all times and all points of view listened to and considered and with an open mind to look at the evidence.

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

T-levels are a possibility but I think that that the Sixth Form Centre's IB (International Baccalaureate) programme already ticks many of the same boxes and will be more international in its perspective. From this academic year, the Sixth Form Centre and College of FE are working in partnership to offer an IB Career-related Programme that includes a Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment qualification. But, of course, it is important that Education keep abreast of all opportunities that it can reasonably offer students.

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?

VisitGuernsey must become public-private partnership; Victor Hugo must be more than Hauteville House; Guernsey cow must have visitor centre; we must establish Aurigny’s raison d’être.

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?

Mental health is arguably an on-island epidemic and we need to do everything we can to recognise this, resource appropriately and treat cases as quickly and effectively as possible. Mental wellbeing is also important (prevention not cure) and that is why it is so important to invest in sport and the arts.

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 cannot shy away from emotive issues and they do need to be debated. Debate needs to be respectful at all times and all points of view listened to and considered and with an open mind to look at the evidence.

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

Deputies cannot shy away from emotive issues and they do need to be debated. Debate needs to be respectful at all times and all points of view listened to and considered and with an open mind to look at the evidence.

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

For a generation, or more, we have obsessed about buildings when we should be obsessing about teachers instead. Utilising the existing buildings at Les Varendes, Baubigny and Les Beaucamps makes sense with minimal new buildings and upheaval - so three schools, one with a sixth-form (at Les Varendes) is a pragmatic solution to the current impasse and would certainly be evolution, not revolution. As I said in my very first manifesto back in 2012, "spending millions on new school buildings is not, on its own, a guarantee of providing Guernsey children with a better education. This can only be achieved in tandem with finding, motivating, training and retaining the best teachers possible." Teachers make the biggest difference and my thoughts haven't changed.

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?

There is no reason why we have to prioritise one over the other. Often ignoring the need for upkeep (including sea defences) is penny wise, pound foolish. Often ignoring the need for substantial infrastructure improvements is knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing. We still reap the dividend when our ancestors invested in Guernsey for its future generations and we need to do the same.

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