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John Titmuss

Contacts
01481 236757
  • Parish St Martin
  • Experience New Candidate
What do you think?
Yes No Maybe

Personal Statement

I am a chartered accountant and after qualifying I entered industry with three of the major UK companies. I then accepted an offer from a Merchant Bank, Leopold Joseph & Sons to be their finance director. Within days of joining I was asked to come to Guernsey to establish the business that had recently been formed. This I did until I retired from banking in 1983.

Whilst working for Joseph’s I was establishing a property development business and by the late 1990’s when it had become self supporting I was able to concentrate on other things – director of London Luton Airport and a local councillor. By 2006 my wife and I visited Guernsey regularly to find a property that was suitable for our occupation. This took four years when we found a property in St. Martin. We spent the next three years obtaining planning and building control permissions and commenced the building.

Manifesto

If I am able to become a deputy I would like to use my vast experience of finance, business and lateral thinking for the benefit of the Island. The costs of Covid 19 to Guernsey will be a drain on its resources and new business must be brought to the Island.

Unfortunately I see little in the way of forward thinking coming from present deputies. Over-runs on budgets appear to be a regular event and unless ideas become more adventurous than raising duty on tobacco, alcohol and fuel the island is on a downward path. My ideas for the solution to this I will not go into at this stage but be assured they do not include the taxation of products that price determines demand. To give readers a clue I would reduce our corporation tax rate to encourage some of the companies in advertising and on-line retailers to establish their head offices in Guernsey. This would give employment and tax take to the island.

When I voted for all island voting I assumed parties would be formed. I understand that several parties have been established but none have ideas for the Islands future success. For this reason I am standing in my own name thereby giving me the freedom to vote with any party or deputy that has my views on each particular subject. My opinion is that a maximum of three parties would be ideal and each of these parties should have different ideas.

If you would like to talk to me regarding my ideas for making Guernsey a successful island again please ring me on 01481 236757.

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?

Experienced on committees at Luton Borough Council and company boards.

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 ?

Employ the best, nothing else.

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

Consider sea borne wind farms and whether electricity would be cheaper.

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

Island wide issues.

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

I have doubts regarding over use of land for private gardens.

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?

Push for them to be achieved and push for low charges.

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

I feel that those pushing for climate change measure may be ignoring history. Temperature rises and falls are not new, if one looks historically.

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

A history of finance and running successful businesses.

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 would vote for a longer runway as in talking to Easy Jet at London Luton airport, I was told that on a wet day with a full load their planes could not land in safety.

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?

I believe that corporation tax should be reduced to 5% if this would attract companies such as Amazon and the many others based in Southern Ireland. Although this would reduce the collection form Guernsey companies it would increase the total take dramatically.

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

No improvement necessary.

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 agree

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?

No

Do you support outsourcing of States services?

If the quality is better and no more cost – yes. If not no.

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

Island wide issues.

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

No but it must be controlled.

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 think the vast winds on island keep road users safe. Wind from France would be my main concern and we do not control that problem

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

Island wide issues

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

I am not sure that this Island has that amount of power.

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

No

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?

To answer the question I would need to know what inert waste includes. Is it likely to include undesirable materials.

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?

Aurigny – If it cannot make a profit it should be used for Alderney only. Aircraft should be leased not owned. The jet takes off and lands eight times a day. I am familiar with Easy jet planes and know that if a jet plane takes off eight times a day it would quickly need new engines.

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?

I would support the retention and maintenance of sea walls.

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 believe in the expression – if it ain't broke don't fix it.

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?

I believe that corporation tax should be reduced to 5% if this would attract companies such as Amazon and the many others based in Southern Ireland. Although this would reduce the collection form Guernsey companies it would increase the total take dramatically.

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

If elected I would consider the subject

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?

If elected I would study it.

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 - privatisation normally leads to subsidies.

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?

Owners if responsible would support all your suggestions.

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?

New candidate – create additional income and save costs.

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.

My mediation and consultation skills are fair although I do not stand fools lightly.

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

No – I feel the present system to be fine.

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 think that first time buyers should restore and renovate and new build developments should be reduced. The GHA are largely responsible for this and new States should reduce GHA size.

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

No

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 have spent no time in the public gallery because I understand that much time is taken by Deputies that have achieved very little in their lives.

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?

Charity begins at home is praise worthy and particularly correct in today's time of enormous borrowings for Covid 19 problems. When we are able to be generous this can come from budget under spends, not more borrowing.

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 an essential of good government. It should be carried out by a scrutiny committee made up of deputies who had nothing to do with the decision.

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 have no desire to change that law.

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?

One cannot interfere with the supply and demand principle. Mortgage tax relief if not too much is acceptable and shared ownership is fine.

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

Introduce humps across roads and use sound recording equipment with cameras. Police should monitor.

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?

NICE T.A. Drugs – fine for medical purposes and introduction should be speedy.

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 aware that most reports have recommended a runway extension. If the Island wants a company such as easy jet to drop off and load passengers at a reasonable price the runway must be lengthened.

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?

Brexit – little opportunity to deal with NZ, Australia and Canada. However Guernsey produces and consumes small quantities in global terms and needs to trade on the UK’s back. However I would be happy to try to strengthen our ties.

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?

Discrimination – I have no time for it and would fight for its place on the Island.

What criteria do you use for decision making?

Looking back, forward and laterally.

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?

When Covid 19 has been dealt with and we have returned to normality we should remember that Guernsey is a low tax island which attracts the wealthy and business. Without these the Island would have a dramatically different income and helping people, infrastructure and public services would be impossible.

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?

We should see our success in keeping safe.

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

My order of importance: Driving guernsey economy Invest in Guernsey infrastructure Focus on air and sea links Improve the runway Open our border safely Reduce expenditure after school needs.

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

Moving from UK over six years ago and paying Guernsey taxes.

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

Yes, after a thorough check on receipts against value.

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

No – monopolies create over pricing and inefficiencies.

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

Sale of States owned entities. If outside businesses can run the businesses cheaper then the States should let go of them.

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

Certainly not.

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

This would have to rise.

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

The lack of VAT encourages visitors to spend.

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

No – German structures have little interest to residents or visitors – do not protect, maintain or repair them.

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

Consult large overseas businesses to ask if we had corporation tax of 5% would they transfer their head offices to Guernsey.

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.

Be about right. I see nobody sleeping in shop doorways.

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?

Employers of incoming young could be given the right to build open market rooms (small) for employees. I understand hotels frequently use this systems.

How will your religious faith influence your voting decisions?

Not at all.

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 – I could not be more in favour.

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?

Part of my UK business is building health and diagnostic centre. I would be very happy to build one here, but it would not need the MSG in its current form. The diagnostic unit would have the MRI and PEP scanners as well as CT machines and ultra sounds. The specialist would be employed by the PEH and if more renowned specialists were required patients could ask for them and pay them.

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)?

No comment.

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

I have little knowledge of education and for that reason I will not comment.

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

I have no knowledge of the subject.

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 have no knowledge of this subject.

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

I agree it would teach me a lot.

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

The existing system seems good to me – if it works leave well alone.

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 certainly am of that statement.

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