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Heidi Jean Renée Soulsby

  • Parish St Martin
  • Experience Current Deputy
  • Party The Guernsey Partnership of Independents
What do you think?
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Personal Statement

It has been an honour and a privilege to serve as a People’s Deputy since 2012 and I have done so with drive and passion. A Chartered Accountant by profession, I have held board level roles in the international finance sector and helped to establish several successful businesses. Throughout my working life I have succeeded through analytical thinking, continual learning, developing trusting relationships and helping others do their best.

  • President of the Committee for Health & Social Care. Member of the Civil Contingencies Authority.
  • Attended every day of every States meeting since being elected.
  • Brought stability and financial control to the largest and most complex part of the States of Guernsey.
  • Set firm foundations for the new model of health and care, known as the Partnership of Purpose.
  • Intimately involved in the Bailiwick’s response to the global pandemic.

Manifesto

The next few months and years are going to be critical for the future of Guernsey. Thanks to the fantastic effort of the whole community, we have been able to move out of lockdown faster than most other jurisdictions in the world. We live a life within the Bailiwick without the restrictions being seen even just a few miles from our shores. However, the consequences of the global pandemic have not gone away. It is crucially important that Guernsey is nimble, both to respond to threats and to grasp opportunities. At the same time, we must work together as a community, as the pandemic has shown we can, to build back better and focus on what really matters to us.

This year has shown how we can act decisively and effectively. However, that has only been possible because those at the heart of the Bailiwick’s response to the pandemic worked in an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect, listened to each other and made evidence-based decisions.

We must build on this positive way of working and push aside the divisiveness and negativity that has characterised much of this States’ term if we truly care about Guernsey’s future. We can’t afford to have politicians revisiting majority decisions just because they don’t like them. It makes for poor, indecisive government and does a disservice to our community. In our consensus system, if the ‘Revive and Thrive’ recovery plan is to be a success, we must move forward together.

Joint working is at the heart of the new model of health and care - the Partnership of Purpose - which became a reality during the pandemic with healthcare providers from the public, private and third sectors coming together to provide such a fantastic response. Firm foundations have been set which we must build on next term with the whole of government working together to address the causes of poor physical and mental health and wellbeing.

A high standard of education, good quality housing and measures to mitigate climate change will all help to improve our health and wellbeing, assist people to maximise their potential and, in turn, help our economy grow. That is why reaching a conclusion on the secondary education model, providing more affordable housing, and helping islanders make their homes more energy efficient, all need to be addressed. It is also why we need to turn Skills Guernsey into a driving force that helps us adapt to the changing workplace.

Working together is also necessary if businesses are to be able to flourish. Improved access to government and digital connectivity are essential, but so is investment in our sea links and tourist offering. Our response to the pandemic has already resulted in international interest being shown by those involved in medical research and we must continue the work we have done to turn such exciting opportunities into reality.

The Policy & Resources Committee will be the key to progress next term. Through its policy role it is the Committee that can make joint working happen politically and in its resources role it can make government work better operationally. I have a proven track record of working with others to get the job done and get it done properly. That is why, if I am re-elected, I will seek a place on that Committee and put all my efforts into ensuring Guernsey really does revive and thrive over the coming years.

Finally, I would like to thank Lois Falla, my proposer, who has been such a source of personal support these last 8 years and Roger Allsopp OBE, my seconder, who has worked alongside me as a non-voting member on the Committee for Health & Social Care this term.

Answers to questions proposed by the public:

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

I have been Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, Vice Chair of the Scrutiny Committee, Member of the Commerce & Employment Department and Constitutional Investigation Committee and Deputy Minister of the Health and Social Services Department. I am currently President of the Committee for Health & Social Care and member of the Civil Contingencies Authority. In the governance review of Health & Social Care it was said, ’It was evident from interview responses and observation that the leadership provided by the President is exemplary. Committee members reported that she listened to them and respected their individual views and contributions while maintaining momentum in the work of the Committee. She actively supports the Committee to build good governance into their work and leads by example.

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 ?

Under the current regime jobs should be made available to locals before recruiting from off-island. What we need to do is ensure local people are supported to obtain the skills we need to minimise the number of licence holders required.

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

I would like to see a home insulation scheme to help people make their homes more energy efficient and measures to make it easier and more affordable for businesses to use alternative energy in their premises and for their transport.

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 duty of a People’s Deputy is to consider issues at both an Island-wide and Parish level. This I have always done. I do believe that there should be more powers given to the Douzaines in respect of matters at a Parish level.

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

Yes and this is something that was considered when we debated the Island Development Plan. I am pleased that there are Agricultural Priority Areas that are meant to protect land but I am concerned about how this plays out in practice.

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?

No one should make commitments without knowing how they will be achieved and under the current system of Government it is impossible to be certain that they will. I think Government is pressurised into doing too much and then can’t deliver. The most important thing for next term is that priorities are set early on and States Members stick to them.

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

I studied climate change as part of my degree and know that man has had a considerable impact. I think it is important that we support people in helping to tackle it, such as through home insulation schemes.

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

Someone who likes to work in an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect, who listens and learns, is willing to admit their mistakes and makes evidence-based decisions.

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?

Whilst the global pandemic is still all around us, with tourism around the world on its knees and with the airline industry in a very precarious state, I do not think that now is the time to consider extending the runway. However, I do believe we should invest in our sea links.

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 need to diversify as the current projections show a dwindling tax base if we stay as we are. At the same time we need to retain our competitive advantage. That is why we need the evidence-based tax review that will be undertaken next term.

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

I was pleased some changes were made this term, although more could be done.

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 support the development of a showpiece Centre for Energy, Nature, Tourism, Research and the Environment (CENTRE) that will provide a multi-purpose attraction for the Bailiwick and focus on its natural resources.

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 do. The e-bike scheme has been a great idea. I would like to make certain areas of the island easier to walk around without having to cross the road as the pavement stops on one side, more cycle lanes and an ebike hire scheme.

Do you support outsourcing of States services?

It depends on what they are. If they can be done cheaper and more effectively I do. I am concerned that there are a lot of services provided by various organisations that could be more cost efficient if they shared their back office.

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

I have already done this through debates on coastal defences, energy policy and climate change strategy and will continue to do so.

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

The use of GDP as a measurement of how well the economy is doing is an issue. It is not much point having an increase in GDP if GDP per capita does not grow. Growth in GDP may not translate to an increase in per capita GDP if the population rises at a higher rate. Conversely, GDP may not increase, but GDP per capita may increase where the population decreases. I do believe that you only care about what you measure and that for a better society, we need to consider better life indicators, such as median income, inequality, net domestic product, wellbeing, carbon emissions.

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?

I would like to see electric bike rentals available around the island, improved pavement access so people don't have to cross a busy road, make Ruettes Tranquilles speed limits compulsory and more bike racks.

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

Encouraging the use of electric vehicles, be it cars, bikes or commercial vehicles. Supporting those on low incomes to have electric bikes as a subsidy still puts them out of reach for many. Subsidies for businesses to use electric vehicles.

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

Showpiece Centre for Energy, Nature, Tourism, Research and the Environment (CENTRE). Consider protection of a number of coastal habitats, replicate work done at Icart and reduce the use of harmful chemicals.

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?

There is a Seafront Enhancement Development Programme under way and I would expect that it has been considered as part of that.

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

I have always been interested in climate change and studied it as part of my degree. I agree with the vast majority of scientists that man is impacting our climate and that we should be doing something about it. I also think that, whether or not someone believes that the climate crisis is caused by humans, they should treat our world with care and respect.

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?

Encourage the minimisation of inert waste that is produced.

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?

Ensure the climate change strategy is actioned.

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?

The size and structure of the airline mean it will not have the economies of scale of larger operators. The losses are also to some extent a result of the purchase of new aircraft which has increased its depreciation charge substantially. However, there may be other options for the airline, particularly in electric aviation and I think this is worth investigating.

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 decision has been made and the States needs to stick to it unless subsequent evidence changes.

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

I am happy to wait for the policy letter to come back to the States in which this will be addressed.

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?

Now is not the time to raise more taxes. However, we do need the tax review, which the States has agreed should be undertaken, in order that we can determine long term sustainability.

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

I laid an amendment to increase consumer protection when the policy letter came to the States, so it is something I want to see come through as soon as possible.

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 and I know it is a complex area, with changes needed to various laws. An interim solution was considered. As a result of an amendment approved in June, which I supported, this will be addressed by the States next term.

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?

The borrowing facility hasn’t been used yet. The privatisation of Beau Sejour was looked at under FTP and found that it would not bring any savings. Before we consider doing anything like that we need to look at legislation on Transfer of Undertakings for Public Employees, or TUPE.

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?

The IDP should allow this to happen and it is something I supported when I was on Commerce and Employment Department. I would support any changes that are needed to make it easier to happen.

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

I can see the reason for doing so. It would have to be considered alongside other action required arising from the aftermath of the pandemic and Brexit, with government needing to be focused on key priorities.

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?

Establishing the new model of health and care known as the Partnership of Purpose and setting firm foundations for the future. Many visions have come and gone but this one is real.

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.

In the governance review of Health & Social Care it was said, ’It was evident from interview responses and observation that the leadership provided by the President is exemplary. Committee members reported that she listened to them and respected their individual views and contributions while maintaining momentum in the work of the Committee. She actively supports the Committee to build good governance into their work and leads by example.

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

Only if it didn’t impact the ability to attract those in difficult to recruit to areas, such as specialist doctors and depends on the earnings level. If very high it is quite likely not to be of a significant number to make a difference. Set too low it may make it harder to recruit people.

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?

I do question some of the strict requirements placed on renovations of old buildings and need to preserve old wood, however bad a state the building is in. It is worth looking at.

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

I would support decriminalisation of cannabis for personal use. I really welcome the debate next term when HSC bring the substance use strategy to the States. It should have happened in June but because of the COVID crisis, and the fact the same staff who were involved tackling that were also those involved in the strategy, this did not happen.

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

I support the work of the Overseas Aid and Development Commission. As someone who has supported Fairtrade and has promoted it for many years, I believe we should be helping people beyond our shores break out of poverty. If we don’t, their problems can become our problems.

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 would support decriminalisation of cannabis for personal use. I really welcome the debate next term when HSC bring the substance use strategy to the States. It should have happened in June but because of the COVID crisis, and the fact the same staff who were involved tackling that were also those involved in the strategy, this did not happen.

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?

The delay is not a year from now. The reason for it was a global pandemic and not having anyone to take the work forward. HSC worked at pace to get the review undertaken and policy written. It was agreed in January this year and then the pandemic struck. The funding source for the first year has been identified, not the full cost for implementation. The result of the tax review will be needed before being able to identify where the other money is coming from. Currently looking at what can be brought in more easily without pharmacy involvement.

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?

I have fought for affordable housing for a long time and tried to get a first time buyers scheme in but this was not supported. I will continue to fight for affordable housing and think it is crucial we do so, including support for renovating existing houses,

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?

The delay is not a year from now. The reason for it was a global pandemic and not having anyone to take the work forward. HSC worked at pace to get the review undertaken and policy written. It was agreed in January this year and then the pandemic struck. The funding source for the first year has been identified, not the full cost for implementation. The result of the tax review will be needed before being able to identify where the other money is coming from. Currently looking at what can be brought in more easily without pharmacy involvement.

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

Implement extant resolution on noisy vehicles that is long overdue.

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?

This was delayed due to the global pandemic and not having anyone to take the work forward. Work has now commenced to see what can be expedited.

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?

Given the impact of the global pandemic on travel and the airline industry, which has clearly changed the assumptions in previous reviews, I do not believe now is the time to look at a runway extension.

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?

Given the impact of the global pandemic on travel and the airline industry, which has clearly changed the assumptions in previous reviews, I do not believe now is the time to look at a runway extension.

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

I am Vice Chair of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and do believe that the Commonwealth has an important part to play in the future. It is also useful to connect with other members of the British Islands and Mediterranean region with whom we share similar challenges. I would like to continue forging ties with fellow Commonwealth countries next 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?

Yes I supported the Discrimination legislation and the amendment to speed up the introduction from that proposed in the policy letter.

What criteria do you use for decision making?

I believe in evidence-based decision making and that has determined how I have voted since I was elected.

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 support an abortion law that provides protection for vulnerable women and was pleased that HSC's proposals to update the law was approved after a long debate this term. I did not support assisted dying, partly because I believed this could not be introduced without a Capacity law. HSC achieved the passing of the Capacity law last term too.

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 and I think the tax and benefits review next term will be one of the most crucial pieces of work for Guernsey's long term future.

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?

I think we need to improve our tourist offering but in a way that reflects and focuses on the island's natural environment and riches. That is why I support the development a Centre for the Environment, Nature, Tourism and Education.

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

Implement revive and thrive, sort out the schools, invest in Guernsey’s infrastructure and improve, driving Guernsey’s economy, reduce states expenditure, protecting the environment, focus on air and sea links, addressing social needs, open our closed borders, extend the runway.

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

Hospital modernisation programme approved with building to start 2021. Opt out organ donation scheme passed.
 Free Under 21 contraception introduced, reducing teenage pregnancies dramatically.
 Free cervical smear testing. Free HPV vaccinations.
 Autism hub at Le Vieux Jardin built.
 Beauville key worker housing built.
 New Capacity Law and lasting powers of attorney passed.
 NICE Drugs and Treatments policy letter approved and Orkambi and Symkevi approved for cystic fibrosis.
 Regulation of health and care policy letter approved and work commenced to develop.
 Cannabis rescheduled to enable it to be prescribed for medicinal purposes.
 Licensed commercial cannabis growing regime established and licences granted.
 Health Improvement Commission established.
 Joint Strategic Needs Assessments supporting design of future health and care services introduced.
 Autism and dementia frameworks and carers’ strategy launched.
 Four year radiology replacement programme actioned and due to complete at end of 2020.
 Maternity services turned around after 2014 NMC review to receiving nationally recognised Blue SCAPE award.
 PEH parking overhauled and active travel options provided.

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

I support a more efficient public sector. This can be achieved by increased digitisation of services and more joined up and streamlined processes. It should be an ongoing process.

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?

It's an option that needs considering. Open skies makes little sense with no route really sustainable where airlines are competing.

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

It depends on what they are. If they can be done cheaper and more effectively I do.

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

Yes and I think we need to focus on improving our sea links.

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

I do not believe in people having to sell their home but I am concerned about intergenerational fairness if we just increase contributions to pay for it. We need to consider this when we have the tax and benefits review.

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

I have always been opposed to GST as it isn't progressive and voted against looking into it in the previous term. The debate will not go away until we have a sustainable tax system, which we do not have at the moment and which is why the tax and benefits review is going to be critical next term.

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

I think Festung Guernsey have done a great job and support the concept of listing historic military structures.

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

Improving digital connectivity, easier interaction with government, enhancing our tourism offering and building on medical research opportunities that have arisen this year.

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.

I don't think it is possible to give a single answer. The amount the States provides to those who need support will vary and some will feel more satisfied than others as to the support they receive. I think ESS did a good job in restructuring the benefits system but we must do what we can to ensure that people are not struggling unnecessarily.

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 should firstly be doing all we can to ensure local young people maximise their potential and stay here. We should only need to give out licences for specialist areas where it would be difficult to find people with the specific skills locally. I support affordable housing schemes and close working with the Guernsey Housing Association.

How will your religious faith influence your voting decisions?

I don't practice any faith, although respect those for whom their faith is important to them.

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 and no. Given the impact of the global pandemic on travel and the airline industry, which has clearly changed the assumptions in previous reviews, I do not believe now is the time to look at a runway extension.

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?

We get an excellent service from primary care and don't suffer the long waiting times in the UK, nor the closure of GP practices there. Any way of reducing the cost of seeing the GP or attending A&E that does not involve repurposing existing funding will have a cost. Options include an insurance or subscription scheme. However, we can't just look at the funding without also looking at the structure of primary care and the need to make it more joined up with the rest of health and care, as well as enabling people to access services directly. HSC drafted a policy letter this term on primary care setting out options but this was not submitted as a result of the pandemic. However, there should be a debate early in the next term. The States approved the joint HSC, ESS and ESC policy letter in August to enable reduced GP and A&E costs for Under 18s.

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 voted against assisted dying last term primarily because we did not have a Capacity Law in place. I suspect that there will be more calls for assisted dying over the coming years as the law changes in other countries. We have an excellent palliative care service, but can always do more.

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

Yes and we debated them this term. I think they are a great alternative to A levels which don't suit everyone and could be offered at the Guernsey Institute.

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?

Improve digital connectivity, make it easier to interact with government, reduce employer contributions for certain start-ups, overhaul Skills Guernsey and support medical research opportunities.

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?

HSC included in its 2020 budget, funding for a community health and wellbeing centre, particularly to support people who fall through the gap identified in the assessment undertaken in 2019. Hopefully this can be progressed in the coming months.

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 believe the public were able to have their say on both issues this term. More could be done, but all those with a strong view were able to provide it and did.

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

We had a thorough and intense debate with plenty of opportunity for people to make their views known, which they did.

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 will wait for the policy letter to come to the States before deciding but, whatever the decision, we need to stick to it and move on.

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

Essential maintenance should be treated separately from capital projects. The States have historically not had a good track record of the former which has resulted in extra costs further down the line. I support the rebuild of the Fermain wall which is now an eyesore.

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 supported the policy letter.

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