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Jonathan (Jon) James Wilson

Jonathan (Jon) James Wilson
  • Parish Forest
  • Experience New Candidate
What do you think?
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Personal Statement

I am the proud father of two great boys, Charlie and Billy, and have started and run several businesses, employing local people, helping them grow their potential. During lockdown, I was fortunate to be able to deliver food and prescription medicine, meeting many islanders. I am a free-thinking independent candidate, an active member of a problem-solving institute and wish to tackle challenges for the benefit of the Bailiwick.

  • To strive to do what is right even when it is hard, working to earn your trust.
  • Treat all people as though they are inherently good and capable.
  • Recognise that genuine change requires collaborative action.
  • Aspire to address the most complex and critical economic and social problems,working creatively to build positive, systemic change.

Manifesto

Sustainability and Diversification

Guernsey residents by and large enjoy a high standard of living with a natural environment that is second to none and which benefits us all. The island is safe with low levels of crime and has a strong GDP per capita.

We should take nothing for granted, however and work towards ensuring that the quality of life we enjoy is sustained over the long term.

To do so we must:

1. Look beyond the financial sector

Guernsey derives much of its GDP from the finance sector. The financial industry globally is however, facing increasing regulatory headwinds. If Guernsey’s financial sector were to suffer, whether by reason of geopolitical pressure on offshore financial centres, competition from other jurisdictions or poor decisions on island, this would negatively impact almost everything around us.

If we were to put emphasis and focus into developing other industries, Guernsey would be far better placed to weather storms and could mitigate the risks of an attack against it.

The ‘Blue Economy’, focussed on our unique marine environment, offers much for this island to explore and profit from. Local natural resources are a largely untapped source of economic growth for our island.

2. Embrace the global sustainability trend to deliver local benefits

Sustainability is a key element of future business. The demand for businesses to act with integrity and strong environmental and social principles should be at the forefront of any company strategy. It is about doing the right thing. We all acted with strong principles during the lockdown and the result was that we successfully eradicated the virus. This sense of community will permeate throughout the social fabric of the future to hold businesses and States departments to account and will provide the island with the diversity and sustainability vital for us to create long-lasting island wealth and strength for years to come.

3. Fund the recovery and reward sustainability

A large borrowing requirement will be necessary to see us through the recovery phase following the lockdown. The important factors are how the money is spent and the repayment program.

How can we repay the debt in a few years and not burden future generations and subsequent States members with the money we need to put our lives back on track? I would propose viable solutions that do not increase the tax payable by individuals.

Mental Health and well-being

The States should excel in promoting access to sports and social events for all. This will serve to strengthen social fabric, reduce a sedentary lifestyle and create enjoyment. This in turn will guard against isolation and poor physical and mental health.

Supporting entrepreneurs

Creative business owners are likely to be the lifeblood of the island. They should be supported with all conceivable resources.

Self-sufficiency

The lockdown showed Guernsey folk to be responsible and adaptable in the face of adversity. It showed that as high a level of self-sufficiency as possible in such times is of critical strategic importance. Hedge veg and local businesses became lifelines If we could go much further, revitalising agriculture and investing in more natural sources, this would make our island greener, quicker, at the same time as protecting our independence. Wave and tidal power are potentially major power sources for maritime nations and the advantages of these concepts are relatively high efficiency and relatively low cost.

Investment rather than bailouts

If long-term viable companies require funding to get through the economic downturn, the States should consider equity investment, rather than handouts or debt.

Education

I advocate the Three School Model with the Grammar school being revitalised and a hybrid of exam score and primary school recommendation employed. Our children should be given the best education possible as it is they who will continue to create a better quality of life for both themselves and also us, in the future.

Later years

I support a clear unambiguous path for retirement accommodation and care. Nursing homes for the old and disabled and all basic dentistry, spectacles, hearing aids and prescriptions should be provided for free.

If we are bold enough, we will make a huge difference to the island on a long-term basis, providing a pioneering approach to stand as an economic flagship and thought leader to other island nations.

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?

Effectively functioning boards of directors act in a similar way. There should be a clear understanding of the goals and problems to solve, producing medium to long term scenario planning. Strategic options are put forward and the best chosen. I have sat on many boards, some better than others and understand how to achieve positive outcomes. The IoD Diploma taught at the GTA is invaluable as grounding and I would recommend that committee members undertake this course of study.

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 ?

As an immediate solution, States spending on urgently required infrastructure projects will provide employment over and above the current unemployment level. Clearly, we should also look to educate and retrain islanders so that this happens less in the future and that we have the on-island capability to ensure these positions can be filled here. Therefore getting the education system as strong as possible is of massive importance.

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?

As candidates are standing in an election with island-wide voting, I expect that we are all looking at the island as a whole. Clear guidelines that incorporate the 25 square miles will make for clearer legislation and understanding. Where there is a situation that affects a particular parish, douzeniers will be able to discuss this with States members through open channels of communication.

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

Yes, absolutely. More incentives for agricultural usage of land should be forthcoming, with an extension of the buy local promotion.

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

Intelligence, listening skills, the ability to collaborate effectively, strategic thinking and longer term direction and thought attributes

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?

The future has to support sustainability, both in terms of ecological issues and also, those of business and community. We should get behind new and interesting projects and companies with these attributes in mind. The Covid pause allows the time to consider what has gone before may not have been the best strategic path for businesses, governments and we can reset with a view to what we actually want for the future. Structures and networks are largely in place to be built on and improved but we should grasp this time as an opportunity to embrace new ideas, with a shift of collective thinking and to focus on delivering local benefits. Local employees, for instance, should be better rewarded rather than the most benefits going to shareholders of large companies who reap rewards of local toil. Redressing this balance will be difficult but worthwhile.

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?

Firstly, carbon emissions from seriously polluting vehicles must be cut on island. I am a cyclist (no lycra shorts but I use my pedal bike to get around increasingly) and to be behind a smoking van is fairly grim for me, let alone Guernsey’s children.Improved cycle paths, both in terms of extent and safety is massively important and should be a priority for the forthcoming term. Sharing a path with walkers, such as that along Glategny esplanade, is achievable. Providing more pavements along some narrower roads will be far more difficult. Public transport has the capacity to be improved on several fronts. Electric vehicles for bus routes and all States cars and vans should be easy to provide. No further purchases of petrol or diesel transportation for States works, for instance, should be permitted. Dunkirk introduced free bus travel in autumn 2018 resulting in increased bus trips of 85%, of which half of the new bus users previously travelled by car. Adding new routes and more frequent services would be a valid starting point.

Do you support outsourcing of States services?

We should aim for a philosophy of experimentation to some degree. Access to new ideas, innovation, and infrastructure in order to build a better society for all, means we must build better cooperation between businesses and governments. Outsourcing of some States services should be clearly be researched.

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

There should be both incentives and disincentives. Incentives in the form of subsidies for the purchase of electric vehicles, or conversion of cherished vehicles to electric. A college course that allows students to study such engineering endeavors and disincentives such as the fining of seriously polluting vehicle owners and the destruction of these vehicles at the owners expense, if issues are not remedied within a defined timeframe.

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?

Tidal Power is reliable, sustainable and we know exactly how much could and would be produced. As a maritime nation, I cannot imagine why this has not been installed before. It would provide 'green' power for the island, enough to provide electricity for our needs (including potentially free charging points for electric vehicles) and the excess can be at a climate protecting premium to other nations who value this type of generation. This would be top of the list for an overdue infrastructure project. It would indeed provide employment and provide services to larger ships, when they return.

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?

Absolutely. Government should work collaboratively with industry. We have some very gifted architects on this island who would benefit from clear guidelines from Planning in order to utilise existing structures to produce fantastic residential homes. A streamlined process and knowledge of what would be acceptable with creative flair would give rise to better developments and an increased feel-good factor

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?

As a new candidate, I believe that we should consider the future that we want for ourselves. The time is ripe to debate public health, education, supply chains, and the environment.

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 believe in the scrutiny of how and why decisions are arrived at and the accountability of government. There are rules on conflicts and declarations of interest and I would urge States members to act with the utmost integrity. Members that flout rules should be admonished. Depending on the seriousness, a new election for the seat may be forced.

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?

I totally agree. It has been passed and efforts to provide and distribute NICE-approved medicines should be forthcoming without delay. How is it possible that we can drag our heels on such an issue? Action needs to be taken immediately and I would back expeditious measures to ensure this happens.

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

I have been along these roads at night and understand he question. Noise pollution and speeding are crimes that should be prosecuted. They ares also antisocial behaviours that on a societal level should not be tolerated. There are many motor enthusiast on island with some great sporting events and perhaps there could be a way to facilitate his enthusiasm until electric cars become the norm.

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?

The looming Brexit issue seems to take up little conversation and debate these days. It is vital that we secure good relations with other nations. A clear strategy would be to link commercially with jurisdictions that have similar forward-looking policies to form a 'Sustainable Economic Area'.

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?

Everyone should be treated equally and fairly. My view is that we should work ensure that this happens as soon as possible. There are clear human values here. We all know that this is right and I will work to ensure that it put right without a ponderous delay.

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

I do not support GST. It will be damaging mostly to lower earning families. There are better, fairer options.

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

Diversify away from finance by supporting entrepreneurs in other sectors and to use what is abundant, low cost and largely untapped. The ‘Blue Economy’, focused on our unique marine environment, offers much for this island to explore and profit from, be that tidal power initiatives or aquaculture. This will mitigate the risks of having all our eggs in one basket and provide sustainable returns for years to come.

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 largely vocational qualifications that incorporate industry placement and are generally in place of A levels. If students are focused an a particular career path after their GCSEs, this is a great opportunity to enter the workplace and continue to study in their chosen field.

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?

To create innovative government to help facilitate the creation of value by entrepreneurs. We have many clear-minded people looking to start businesses for the right reasons, such as returning value to the community, employees, shareholders, suppliers, etc. Government can assist by providing education and retraining initiatives to support them and be open and welcoming to technological innovation.

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 believe that our children should be given as many options to pursue their chosen education and subsequent career, as possible. For some, this will mean vocational courses and apprenticeships, for others, the academic study route with the subjects that will lead them to higher levels of study. A States funded level of education for all, whichever of the above is suitable for primary school children to move to and attend is my wish. I hope that all types education are available and appropriate. I attended a grammar school and many of my work colleagues and friends attended the Grammar School. They enjoyed their education and the options they were given, as did I. I am also aware that some children find exams stressful and are not at their best. That is why I am proposing a mix of test level attainment with the ability for primary teachers to support a child’s application for Grammar with knowledge of likely capability.

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