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Garry Michael Collins

Contacts
07781 134321
  • Parish Vale
  • Experience Past Deputy
What do you think?
Yes No Maybe

Personal Statement

• I am 39 years old, live in the Vale and proud to have been born in Guernsey. • My professional background is working within finance. I have held senior roles within treasury services, banking and accounting. I would be a full-time deputy. • I have been involved in voluntary sport administration since I was 18 years old and honoured to have received 9 awards over the last 20 years.

  • Experience & Professional - over 20 years of financial experience in senior roles
  • Passion & Caring - passionate about helping Guernsey fully recover
  • The Parish & States – an experienced Douzenier & Former Deputy between 2012-16
  • Hard Working and Down to Earth – common sense, hardworking and an experienced project leader
  • Openness & Transparency – not afraid to speak out, asking difficult question

Manifesto

My Experience in Politics

  • I was elected a Vale Deputy in 2012 with 1,275 votes. In 2016 I received 1,362 votes, but with the reduction in seats (which I voted for) I was not re-elected having finished seventh with only the top six being elected.
  • When I was in the States 2012-16, I served on;

– Commerce & Employment

– Treasury & Resources

– Scrutiny Committee

– Commonwealth Parliament

  • I was also involved with the Digital Greenhouse and the Skills Guernsey Policy Group. My website details the 2,614 votes I cast in the States of Deliberation between 2012-2016.

Education, Sport & Culture

When I was in the States (2012-2016)

I voted…..

  1. To end the 11+ exams, I want all pupils to have equal opportunities to excel in their chosen subjects across all schools.
  2. To rebuild La Mare De Carteret, primary and secondary schools, It is very disappointing any school on this affluent Island should have to manage without top class facilities.
  3. To keep the four-school model, I am extremely disappointed that no progress has been made, as I said at the time, try to change everything and nothing will get done……. 5 years later!

My view then was we should have rebuilt La Mare De Carteret and then with three schools newly built, pause and review, one step at a time.

Sport

  • I am a strong supporter of Sport in the Bailiwick. I was delighted the States supported my amendment in 2015 to create a sport strategy, which has led to the Active-8 strategy, a plan for sport between 2021-2030. I passionately believe sport can have a positive impact on your mental wellbeing, improve your social skills and impact on your physical health.

Culture

  • I totally support the need to maintain our Culture, the Arts, our Dairy and our herds, our language, our coast lines (which cannot be left to just fall away anymore) our museums and many other things that make Guernsey the best place to live in the World.

Our Economy & Our Finances

  • Building back better and ensuring the economy is strong, is the enabler to support Guernsey through this economic disaster. The key to revive & thrive is getting the next States to invest in capital projects and stop the complex process between committees.
  • Air and Sea links. I want us to have a reliable ferry service. I continue to think that extending the runaway will not fix any of our problems. I still believe Aurigny should be working with EasyJet on a franchise agreement, that will benefit both locals travelling away and the tourist sector, who need extra support.
  • I attended the Electric Aviation/Marine presentation on the 6th August. I am keen we investigate all options and enhance our Inter-Island links.
  • We need to live within our means, but that picture at this stage is still so unclear. We need to protect our Pensioners who cannot cope with large increases in taxes or duties, also we need to review our minimum wage.
  • I voted against GST in 2015 and would do so again, as it hits the poorest in our community. I am against paid parking and against a free bus service, tourists can pay.

Health & Children Services (COVID-19)

  • We need to say a BIG thank you to Dr Nicola Brink for all she has done for this Island. COVID-19 hit and she was ready, willing and able. Thank you.
  • I voted to build the new Mental Health and Wellbeing Centre when in the States. It should not stop there, we need to continue supporting Islanders of all ages, young and old, it can hit anyone, anytime.
  • I support the need for a Sexual Referral Centre, and I am a big fan of the Youth Commission programmes.

Please see my full manifesto for more information and my general policies/views

General policies/overview

  • We need a Full Justice review debate.
  • We need discrimination laws asap.
  • We need clearer and greener energy.
  • We need a new IDP plan that works.
  • We need our population not to explode.
  • We need to resolve parking in town.
  • We need to help first time buyers.

Thank you to Ellie Gallichan & Pam Bartlett MBE (chairwomen of the Ron Short Centre) for supporting my nomination.

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?

Having been a States Member between 2012-2016, I have experience at States Board level, plus also having worked professionally on boards, and sport bodies locally and internationally know how to contribute.

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 ?

Yes unemployment is running high, but we still need the right people in the right jobs, the population management system should enable the Island to turn on and off the work licenses are required.

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

A move towards renewable and greener methods, support solar power, more electric vehicles and more power from the cables.

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?

Yes, 90-95% of issues are Island wide problems.

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

Yes, there is concerns about the loss of land and the effect that has on insects and animals locally.

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?

Yes, you are just 1 of 40 votes (including the 2 Alderney reps) remembering that it’s ok to disagree on a subject, but not to make it personal, as next time you might need their support.

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

We are small Island, but we should embrace more renewable methods.

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

A strong leader with the skills set to bring people together, being open and honest with the full assembly.

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?

I still fear that lengthening the runway without agreements in place with the budget airlines is wrong, horse before the cart, let's agree with EasyJet or BA a deal operating our Aurigny planes, let's do it.

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 we should always continue to look to the diversification of the tax base, but remembering this is a very expensive Island and many people do struggle on the Island already.

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

Yes there needs to be a review of the maternity and paternity leave as new born children do need support of both parents.

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?

Guernsey does need a vision and that needs to work across all sectors, the economy is the engine room, we must not forget that.

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, I think the States should be working with employers more about car sharing and active plans.

Do you support outsourcing of States services?

Yes, the States actually outsource a lot now.

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

Support the 2020-2050 Energy plans and the nature strategy, get more Islanders using electric cars.

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

Yes I would consider re-growth, but it would have to be the right things.

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?

All users need to respect each other, one day I'm a pedestrian, the next a motorist and the next a cyclist, there is not just one solution to fix all the problems.

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

The current policies.

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

Support the Nature strategy and ensure action plans are created.

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?

Good question, don’t know the answer, not in the current government.

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

Yes and No, I am more in the camp that about half of modern warming is due to the human effect.

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?

A question that needs to be raised to the planners.

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?

Support the 2050 Energy plans and the nature strategy, get more Islanders using electric cars.

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?

Yes, given the situation Aurigny was a good buy, understandable it's difficult to run an airline on loss making routes.

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, we shouldn't allow sea defences to not be maintained.

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?

Yes, I have no idea on costings so cannot answer that to the penny, but I believe in a 3-school model then 2-school model.

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?

Actually the States returned to a Revenue surplus in 2016, and the 2012-2016 government help fill in the hole left from the previous States. We need to be very careful about any tax changes, the Finance Sector again has been the rock for the Island re covid.

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

It's on the list, cannot make any promises as there are 40 members in the States.

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?

Yes

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?

No

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?

Yes

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

I am supportive

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?

Resolve the Education system in this Island.

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.

Yes, very good - thank you.

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

I would need more detail to fully answer the question, but all sectors are important.

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 really needs reviewing, I support the need for a first time buyers market.

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

Yes, we need a full Justice Review, I do have concerns about young Islanders getting into drugs, smoking or drinking, any change has to be done very careful and measured.

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.

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?

Guernsey does support the rest of the world via the Oversea Aid & Development Commission.

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 I do

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?

Yes, we need a full Justice Review, I do have concerns about young Islanders getting into drugs, smoking or drinking, any change has to be done very careful and measured.

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?

Yes

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?

The IDP really needs reviewing, I support the need for a first time buyers market and that started with zoning of the land for set prices.

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?

Good question, if elected, the only way to press is publicly keep the pressure on HSC.

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

I think that effects all the Island, we need a full Justice Review, if the laws are not in place, they need to be.

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?

Good question, if elected, the only way to press is publicly keep the pressure on HSC.

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 not sure on this one, covid has really been a game changer and the questions I do have is do we have the hotel space or will we ever outbid countries like Spain etc., over cheap travel.

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?

No, I haven't been made aware.

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 is not a fully independent international country, we still rely on the UK for international relations.

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?

Very committed.

What criteria do you use for decision making?

Risk, Cost, Return on Investment, Common sense, Will it work

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?

All human life is a gift we must ensure the right steps are taken.

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?

Yes, I agree the system needs reviewing.

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?

Yes, the tourist industry has a role to play, it also supports local cafes, restaurants and hotels, which also Islanders enjoy, it's interlinked.

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

Driving the Guernsey Economy, sort the schools, then all the next equally.

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

Firstly through my employment, having been involved in some major businesses, which have created massive wealth/tax for the Island, secondly via my sport roles, major events hosted on the Island creating large economic returns for the Island.

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

Actually 40-50% of the civil service is retiring in the next 4-5 years, so there will be opportunities over this time to reduce.

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?

I think running airlines is an expensive business, Aurigny is having to run on many loss making routes, we need to be very careful about our policy after covid.

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

I think that would be a bad move. Selling Cable & Wireless was, JT returns what 10M in dividends each year… what a mistake by then States.

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

Yes, we have such low footfall, we wouldn't have an airport or harbour if we were a small towns in the UK.

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

It's still a new scheme and we might need to top-up from general revenue the shortfall.

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

None, it will hit the poorest in the community first, we need to look at other methods/costings costs before this.

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

Yes I would.

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

Guernsey natural resources are very limited, so we need to support the digital sector more, creating Guernsey the place to do international business, where laws and regulations can be enacted very quickly.

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.

Guernsey is a very expensive Island, housing for one, we need to ensure all Islanders are working and support those who struggle.

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?

We firstly need to support the young people here, we need more affordable housing, we must be careful not to try to grow ourselves out of trouble, as that didn’t work for Jersey.

How will your religious faith influence your voting decisions?

When you consider each motion, you must think of yourselves as a judge, judging over facts presented.

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?

Yes, however I am not sure on this one, covid has really been a game changer and the questions I do have is do we have the hotel space or will we ever outbid countries like Spain etc., over cheap travel.

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?

Many Islanders can pay for the primary care, however we need to look at the system, as older pensioners might have used all their savings and young family might need be able to afford it.

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 do have great concerns over any assisted suicide, the UK have rejected the idea many times and Guernsey really needs to be very careful about any steps in this direction.

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 new courses which follow GCSE's and are equivalent to 3 A Levels, Guernsey should always look at all options.

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 some great tools in the box, for example the Digital Greenhouse, which was created in 2015 when I was a member of C&E Board, we really need to invest into technology for the future.

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?

Firstly the issue needs to highlighted, I have in my manifesto clearly stated the Islands needs to support more Islanders, again we need to support Guernsey Mind so more can be done.

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 am a great supporter of public referendums, in fact I think we should have elections every 2 years electing half the assembly, so I think these types of changes should be put to the public at the same time.

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

The opportunity seems to have passed, I agree the public should have had more time to understand all the issues involved and all sides given the chance to air their views.

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

I voted to keep the 4-schools in 2015, but agree we could move to a 3-school model now, there are 2 options I understand on the table.

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?

The States of Guernsey is an large organisation and many issues happen at the same time, to me it's important that all our assets are maintained to the standards required, otherwise it will cost more in the long-run. I think the States over the last 4/5 years should have been investing into capital projects, with having returned to a surplus in 2016 the money is there from general revenue to do so.

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"?

I do think the system needs to be reviewed.

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