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Jonathan Paul Le Tocq

Contacts
07781 152810
  • Parish Castel
  • Experience Current Deputy
  • Party The Guernsey Partnership of Independents
What do you think?
Yes No Maybe

Personal Statement

The primary focus of the new States must be economic recovery and future resilience. I wish to see fresh investment in our infrastructure, our town and both harbour areas, making them better places to work and live in. I commit to continue vigorously defending Guernsey’s autonomy and constitutional rights, seeking the best outcomes for the Bailiwick post Brexit including new opportunities with the rest of the world for local businesses.

  • RESPONSIBLE – tried & tested, an experienced local statesman
  • RELIABLE – people trust me to engage with them & carry things through
  • RESILIENT – not afraid to persevere in tough situations
  • RESPECTED – by people from all walks of life locally & abroad
  • REAL – a genuine Guernseyman who tells it like he sees it but is not afraid to change his mind in the light of fresh evidence

Manifesto

Brought up in a traditional family of farmers and growers and speaking Guernesiais, I’m as passionate about our island as you can get! I have also benefited from living part of my life in London and Paris.

First elected in 2000, my service has included: Deputy Treasury Minister, Home Minister, Deputy Chief Minister & Chief Minister.

Elected onto Policy & Resources in 2016 I was appointed to the newly-created role of Minister for External Affairs. Speaking French has been useful in forging stronger relationships with France & the EU especially in the more intense Brexit environment.

With graduate and post-graduate qualifications in French, Music, Philosophy & Theology, after university I worked a while for the UK government. Returning to Guernsey most of my working life has been involved in ordained Christian ministry and the third sector especially in the areas of governance, reform and leadership development.

I have a keen interest in music, the arts, history and community wellbeing and served on the boards of several charities and non-profit organisations locally and internationally.

Whilst awaiting the outcome of the Review on Secondary Education Models, it’s my personal view that a ‘three college model’ of some form would be the consensus preference of teaching professionals, parents and the community as a whole; my views are shaped by experience on the Education Council in my first term which proposed a similar model, acceptable to the majority of educationalists at the time. Back then the Assembly chose to retain the 11+ so the idea was rejected, nevertheless I have seen nothing since to indicate that we could not make it work now. On this basis I laid an amendment in the recent Education debate to move toward such a ‘three college model’. However the States chose instead to review all viable models again and it will ultimately be for the next Assembly to decide on the basis of that evidence, and implement swiftly.

I helped promote restorative justice during my first term and still feel that our justice system needs reform so that resources are focused more effectively on what keeps us a safe and secure jurisdiction. I recently drafted an amendment on cannabis for medicinal use and associated enforcement reforms. Our criminal justice system is not the place to deal with drug misuse, it needs to be treated as a public health matter.

I remain an avid supporter of our unique island culture and history, especially its French and Norman influences which could be in danger of being lost in the general homogenisation of all things today. Our forefathers made an effort to maintain historic buildings, ancient names, laws and customs which could have so easily been lost in the pursuit of convenience. Having campaigned for some time for our Guernsey language I was pleased support was recently agreed and especially my proposals passed which make both Guernesiais and French official languages of Guernsey alongside English. At the very least this reflects the fact that whilst we are grateful for strong ties with both England and France, we are ‘ni anglais, ni français’ as I often quip. There has already been a rise of interest from overseas and there is so much more we can do together in the future through our identification with Victor Hugo and Hauteville House, the common marine environment and the blue economy, agriculture and the Guernsey breed.

For further details, clarification or any questions please check out my website,
social media, email or call me.

Thank you for reading this!

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 on dozens of States Committees since first elected in 2000: eg. Education, La Mare school committee, Ladies College Governors, College of FE, Apprenticeship Committee. I was president of Overseas Aid, PSRC, Home Minister, Deputy Chief Minister and Chief Minister and Chair of Policy Council and the Civil Contingencies Authority in the last Assembly. This term I have been on P&R and served as the lead for External Affairs, helping negotiate agreements with France, Latvia, representing Guernsey in London, Paris and Brussels.

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 ?

Firstly we need to ensure we are investing sufficiently in training and retraining where necessary so that local people can work towards the qualifications they need to apply for specific jobs in the first instance. The weighting on job interview processes could also be amended.

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

We need to encourage home owners to take greater individual responsibility for things such as better insulation of older properties, making the most of household technology to maximise efficient energy usage, adapt the regulation of the electricity grid to encourage innovation. Our aims should be measured and achievable, broken into manageable steps. We have demonstrated we can do so through the recycling statistics. This objective should not be seen in isolation but in the context of healthier lifestyles for example.

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

Whilst I have always stood in and represented the Castel I have also always made it clear that I am a Guernseyman first and my first priority will be to defend island and constitutional issues. This is unchanged by the voting system in my mind.

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

Yes, also that too much productive land being could be lost for leisure purposes. If Covid has taught us something it is that we should be looking to grow our own more, support agriculture and horticulture and eat healthier, less processed foods in season.

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?

Through increased commitment to values such as not reneging on decisions made within one term's assembly, not revisiting issues that are already projects being delivered (thus wasting more time and money). This requires at least some form of team working and visible commitment which is why I have signed the Partnership of Independents pledge - https://guernseypartnership.gg/join-us/

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

Climate Change is real and Guernsey has a part to play. However panic is not what is necessary. Our part should be proportionate to our size and realistic to our ability to influence. As such we must concentrate on the things which could impact us, just as our forefathers did, eg sea defences, greater self-sufficiency, encouraging less wastage - reduce, reuse, recycle.

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

Courage, resilience, integrity, ability to lead by example. Experience in the face of challenging circumstances.

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?

Yes, so long as the majority of islanders value the possibility of reduced fares over frequency of flight options. I can't see how we can have both for an island of our size.

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?

Diversification of our tax base would be wise in any circumstances, but especially in such a rapidly changing world. An over reliance on both Income Tax and TRP is not sustainable. However I would not counternance introducing regressive taxes such as a GST UNLESS we simultaneously could bring down income tax for example, and target the means to support those worst affected. The Fiscal Review should hopefully provide us with better data to work out our options. Plus post-Covid some of our competitors may need to change their tax models. We are well placed to remain competitive if so.

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

We made some long-awaited changes during the 2012-16 term. I'm not sure we are ready to make further changes until we have seen clearer data on the effects to our economy this year.

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'm more keen on short-medium term visions (goals) than long-term vague goals which take a long time to negotiate and debate and often add little value to the decisions we need to make right now. Check out my blog posts on letocq.gg if you want to know my ideas for short term realistic, achievable goals based on Guernsey's strengths, its brand, historic reputation and the global opportunities.

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?

The Covid crisis forced many to rethink their usage of the car; some have altered their lifestyles permanently as a result. Linked into healthier lifestyles it is clear we could do more. Promotion of electric bikes is certainly working in getting those who would otherwise never cycle active. I am not against the car but if everyone could reduce their usage down by at least one journey a week that would make a huge difference. If that journey was instead on foot or by cycle, that adds an additional benefit. We should encourage small achievable steps.

Do you support outsourcing of States services?

Yes, in certain circumstances, it can prove both more effective and efficient. Eg. Our IT services were costing us £20m a year and rising each year (largely in staffing and contract costs) across the whole of the States. At the same time our staff were fire fighting and not being upskilled sufficiently in the digital solutions environment due to lack of exposure. Partnering with Aglisys Guernsey in a hybrid outsourcing arrangement we have been able to cap that cost and simultaneously access a global player in digital solutions, who in taking on the majority of our existing staff (thus reducing our risks) but also adding their contractual global buying power to give us far better value for money.

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

The best education is that which involves people hands on and they can feel the benefits of it themselves. I have alluded to some ideas above, but one example is the benefits of reducing our dependency on imported foods flown or shipped from afar. Guernsey vegetables, fruit, dairy, meat and fish should all be our first port of call. Plus, this would keep the money flowing more in our local economy.

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

I think the concept of intentional de-growth could have equal if not more serious and uncontrollable ramifications as the love of growth. In my view selfishness, greed and envy are at the heart of the problems facing humanity (and always have been) - civilisations have risen and fallen due to humanity letting these passions run amok; a move towards creating a society which values selflessness, learns to be content with and enjoy what one already has, and supress envy by encouraging sharing and kindness - such a society can and will see moderate growth and can still innovate, reform and improve.

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?

Transport is linked to housing, work patterns and social activities. The bus service is certainly used far more than it was and the easy evening services, especially at weekends are welcome. However if more people lived and worked closer or did not need to take the commute into work by car so often, this would make significant improvements to both traffic congestion and health. With investment into infrastructure in our harbour areas I would like to see something akin to a regular tram system between the Bridge and Town.

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

I have addressed this is other answers also relating to healthier lifestyles.

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

The strategy for nature needs investment and I would like to see this aligned to a renewed agriculture and dairy programme. Similarly we would benefit from a marine park environment in our territorial seas aligned with research, measured environmental tourism and the artisanal fisheries which are part of the Guernsey brand.

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?

This is not a States' sponsored project but there have been many such ideas and designs for our east coast. I support investment in our harbours which will continue to be the main port of entry for most of our freight for some time. Similarly we should be looking to do our utmost to harness our future ability to become a nett exporter of energy through green and blue sources.

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

Climate change is real, but the term crisis can be unhelpful and misleading. I was told in my teens (late 1070s) that there was a climate crisis due to the hole in the ozone layer. That was real enough, but it proved not to be the crisis that some made it out to be. If the current 'crisis' is as life-threatening as some declare then we are acting far too late plus Guernsey making efforts out of proportion to its size would be wasteful and pointless. I therefore think a measured, proportionate and realistic approach is necessary. Panic never helps in making serious effective decisions.

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?

Along with Deputies Inder, Paint and others, I signed a requete which aimed at moving the inert waste project to enable land reclamation in the North East of St Julian's pier to create a new deep water birth. I still believe this would be the best place.

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?

Climate change is real, but the term crisis can be unhelpful and misleading. I was told in my teens (late 1070s) that there was a climate crisis due to the hole in the ozone layer. That was real enough, but it proved not to be the crisis that some made it out to be. If the current 'crisis' is as life-threatening as some declare then we are acting far too late plus Guernsey making efforts out of proportion to its size would be wasteful and pointless. I therefore think a measured, proportionate and realistic approach is necessary. Panic never helps in making serious effective decisions.

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 current spending is totally unsustainable. We need to make use of the current opportunity to bring in a far more commercially and Guernsey-focused board and executive. I am however glad that we own Aurigny as it would have proven very difficult (and potentially even more expensive) during the the recent crisis.

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 will stick to the last States resolution and do my utmost to discourage any further flip-flop decision making, which I detest.

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 not so concerned about capital expenditure - this matters, but not so much as annual operating expenditure which needs to be sustainable. However I am willing to consider anything that reduces the operating expenditure in a measured way, from the existing 4 schools if the majority of the public and teaching profession are willing to embrace and own the model. I continue to believe we could achieve this with a three school/college model, which is why I laid an amendment to this end (seconded by Deputy Brouard) but the Assembly voted to review all models once again.

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?

We cannot risk putting the island into a position where it is uncompetitive for businesses to stay here if they can easily up sticks and relocate to a competitor jurisdiction. Secondly we currently bring in as much now in our revised and extended 10% rate banding than we did prior to 0-10. Nevertheless our competitors are likely to need to review their corporate tax rates post Covid because their economies are likely to have suffered more than ours. That would be the most appropriate time to revisit.

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

Any legislation which is already drafted should be presented to the Assembly for approval, provided that it is not now counterproductive to the Revive and Thrive initiatives and the general recovery of our economy post-Covid. I am not aware of what has held this up,

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?

Regulation of the information on a birth certificate is generally an operational matter and it should be a relatively simple issue to solve. Such information does nevertheless need to be balanced with the rights of the individual child to access appropriate and adequate birth information once they are mature. Speaking as an adopted child I am aware that such changes and the balance of rights can be achieved as is the case with adoptive children.

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?

Yes, but only if there is a clear business case proving that this would a) not put those services at risk and b) not end up coasting the tax-payer more in other services and operational activity.

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?

I agree that there is certainly a need to revisit both planning legislation and operational processes. We have over codified the system in the name of protecting ourselves from certain types of development. Additionally I have long felt that we have significant empty or poorly utilised space in the the Town and 'urban area'. I would like to see a more flexible and proactive planning regime which could allow for conversion of for example 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th floor spaces currently used for storage etc. for good value rentable of first time buyers apartments. Thus alleviating the pressure to build such developments elsewhere.

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

In principle yes, but I would need to be convinced that it was a) effective and b) efficient to enforce.

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?

I am proud to have fostered better relationships with the French, and specifically related to that to have helped avoid a major fisheries battle when the UK left the EU, plus achieving the goal of establishing French and Guernesiais as official languages alongside English, which helps demonstrates our autonomy and unique position globally.

How good are your mediation and conciliation skills? The key to the islands well-being and progress is in working together to achieve the projects approved - to see sustainable, innovative solutions. Leadership in pulling the team together to move forward, rather than in circles.

I feel that I have proven - particularly in the roles which the Assembly has appointed me to over the years - that I am both a team player and team leader. I chaired the committee which led on pay negotiations in 2004-08 which saw no pay-related industrial action during that period; I negotiated s4ttlements on contentious and complex pension reforms to end the old final salary scheme; I have served as Chief Minister last term and Minister for External Affairs this term, both roles requiring a high degree of diplomatic and conciliatory skills.

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

Certainly the OM needs to be seen as an economic enabler; we have not got this right and it needs further reform. As a result we should not therefore be allowing some kind of competition to exist between LM permit system and the function of the OM to attract serious investors.

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 would like to see greater flexibility to allow older properties in the Town areas to be developed into appropriate rentable and first time buyers apartments so that more young people actually lived and worked in the heart of St Peter Port. With regards to listing of ancient properties it seems to me counterproductive to list so many examples of the same thing. I don't believe we can afford to operate that way in our small jurisdiction.

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

I would support moves towards regulation and decriminalisation of cannabis for personal use in small quantities. However I believe it should still remain illegal to procure, sell and misuse in specific circumstances as it is with other substances and drugs. This would need to be carefully managed but generally my view is that we should move towards treating misuse as a mental health rather than automatically a criminal justice issue.

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 should be owned and not forced otherwise it ceases to be beneficial in the manner intended. Government has a role to play in encouraging a culture that takes responsibility and cares for the those worse off both at home and abroad. Guernsey people have a good reputation for doing both of these, which we should celebrate and foster as all of us benefit from living in one of the safest parts of the world and are among the highest incomes in the world even if we are on benefits. We will always tend to make comparisons with our ext-door neighbour however rather than those the other side of the world, so we need to ensure we communicate, educate and include the community in the joy of giving.

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 moves towards regulation and decriminalisation of cannabis for personal use in small quantities. However I believe it should still remain illegal to procure, sell and misuse in specific circumstances as it is with other substances and drugs. This would need to be carefully managed but generally my view is that we should move towards treating misuse as a mental health rather than automatically a criminal justice issue.

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?

This is not an easy one to answer because such delays and obstacles are often caused by the lack of specific staff to progress such measures, especially where there are only perhaps one or two in a section with the skills necessary, and particularly if it is lawyers and accountants who are required. Also many people seem to want the public service to reduce in size not get larger! As a result the price we pay for living in a small place is that often process can take longer as one person is undertaking roles which would be covered by several in a larger country. In this instance, I understand the delay is not due to financial issues rather to the professional staff required in Public Health for example who have been fully engaged with the Covid crisis.

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?

With regards to mortgage tax relief the States voted for a phased reduction to the relief and I believe that was about right. However I am in favour of creative incentives in property ownership and best usage of our limited space and stock, including shared ownership schemes and the viager system which is used in France. I would like to see greater flexibility to allow older properties in the Town areas to be developed into appropriate rentable and first time buyers apartments so that more young people actually lived and worked in the heart of St Peter Port. With regards to listing of ancient properties it seems to me counterproductive to list so many examples of the same thing. I don't believe we can afford to operate that way in our small jurisdiction. We have over codified the system in the name of protecting ourselves from certain types of development. Additionally I have long felt that we have significant empty or poorly utilised space in the the Town and 'urban area'. I would like to see a more flexible and proactive planning regime which could allow for conversion of for example 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th floor spaces currently used for storage etc. for good value rentable of first time buyers apartments. Thus alleviating the pressure to build such developments elsewhere.

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?

This is not an easy one to answer because such delays and obstacles are often caused by the lack of specific staff to progress such measures, especially where there are only perhaps one or two in a section with the skills necessary, and particularly if it is lawyers and accountants who are required. Also many people seem to want the public service to reduce in size not get larger! As a result the price we pay for living in a small place is that often process can take longer as one person is undertaking roles which would be covered by several in a larger country. In this instance, I understand the delay is not due to financial issues rather to the professional staff required in Public Health for example who have been fully engaged with the Covid crisis.

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

I don’t think there is a specific silver bullet solution, however the new legislation on regular motor servicing should help minimise the noise pollution and other pollutants caused by poorly maintained vehicles generally. Obviously the Police can and do undertake spot checks on vehicles and so it would require them to do a series of spot checks in the specific roads you mention to help deter the behaviours you mention.

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 is not an easy one to answer because such delays and obstacles are often caused by the lack of specific staff to progress such measures, especially where there are only perhaps one or two in a section with the skills necessary, and particularly if it is lawyers and accountants who are required. Also many people seem to want the public service to reduce in size not get larger! As a result the price we pay for living in a small place is that often process can take longer as one person is undertaking roles which would be covered by several in a larger country. In this instance, I understand the delay is not due to financial issues rather to the professional staff required in Public Health for example who have been fully engaged with the Covid crisis.

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?

Yes, so long as the majority of islanders value the possibility of reduced fares over frequency of flight options. I can't see how we can have both for an island of our size.

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?

Yes, so long as the majority of islanders value the possibility of reduced fares over frequency of flight options. I can't see how we can have both for an island of our size.

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 met with the NZ High Commissioner at the end of my time as CM and had met the previous Australian HC before. During this term I signed, on behalf of the States, a TIE Agreement at the NZ High Commission in London and we discussed potential future trade policy. I also hosted a visit of the Indian High Commissioner where we discussed future post-Brexit opportunities in fintech, digital and creative. Whatever one's view on Brexit and its potential negative effects for the UK, there are certainly many new doors opening willing to us for trade with past partners where we have existing strong ties in terms of governance, rule of law etc.

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?

As I stated in debate only step 1 has been taken. The detail is in the legislation which needs to be drafted and returned to the Assembly. I remain as committed now as my past record shows.

What criteria do you use for decision making?

1. Evidence - provided by a) professional staff b) my own experience c) as wide engagement with the island community as possible. 2. Value - in terms of questions such as: is this money better spent doing X than doing Y or retaining the status quo. 3. Risk - issues such as sustainability, funding sources, skills required, project management, etc. 4. Timing - is this the right thing but the wrong time? Would this be possible/better if phased?

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?

No to both. Both human dignity and the care we can and should provide as human beings are in my view undermined once we embrace a 'short cut solution' to life issues. These issues are complex and cannot be reduced to simplistic individual rights issues.

It is beyond time to invest in our people, infrastructure and public services. Do you plan to make the island's tax system more fair and progressive, so that more businesses and the wealthy pay a fairer share?

There is a balance to be struck between a fairer system and a pragmatic approach which recognises that our economy is influenced by decisions taken elsewhere and outside of our immediate control (eg. Other jurisdictions' tax rates and systems). It would be foolish to have a system that could be praised for being the fairest and most progressive on paper, but did not attract the business and investment necessary to garner the tax it sought to raise. Our system therefore needs to be regularly tweaked and reviewed in this light.

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?

It seems to me we ought to play more on our Unique Selling Points (USPs) both old and new (post Covid). These include: 1. being a 'safe haven' for health, business, families, children. Post Covid many will not want to risk holidaying in places where there are health and travel risks. 2. More versatile and flexible in offers such as AirBnB, bijoux guest houses and private hotels. 3. Maximising our Victor Hugo and WW2 USPs on the continent and in the USA.

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

Economy + infrastructure investment (linked). Revive & Thrive. Air and Sea links/runway/border control issues. Schools. Social needs. Reduce expenditure.

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

Built stronger relationship with France and EU - helped remove us from EU blacklist; negotiated to avoid major fisheries stand off; negotiated on future new cable links; ensured we focus more on palliative care; helped several local individuals and families in seeking justice off-island; laid amendment to make Guernesiais and French official languages alongside English.

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. Efficiencies can be made, but not just in the civil service which only makes up 25% of the total public sector. It requires phasing over 3-5 years - contractual and legal negotiations with unions are complex and could cost more if mishandled.

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 is one possible option, but may prove problematic in terms of types of aircraft needed and added risk to the taxpayer which is already very high.

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

I am not against the idea, as it can work well, but usually in larger jurisdictions where there are not monopolies. Generally I prefer we own them but commercialise them fully. The Post Office has been a success story in this regard and it has competition which may mean it could be a candidate.

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

Yes. Certainly this is essential to a point - we are dependent and will continue to be so for some time - on the outside world for a large part of our food supply. We can ameliorate this dependency but its unlikely it will completely go away. As such we should have a stake at least in our transport links.

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

Greater care options are necessary. Helping people stay at home longer, adapt their home, move into more suitable accommodation, etc. need to be considered alongside the more expensive binary choices of going too early into care homes or hospitals. The funding should be shared fairly, not discouraging saving, investment or frugality, neither encouraging bad practices. Ultimately the social insurance contribution will need to rise, but it should do so only after the above has been brought in.

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

I used to work for VAT in the UK and have seen first hand how regressive and expensive to implement and oversee such taxes can be. So I still wish to avoid introducing a GST unless absolutely unavoidable. However we cannot simply keep on increasing things like TRP and fuel duty. Similarly we are over reliant on taxing employment and income. We have some taxation on spending now in the form of excise duties and imports. If it can be demonstrated that a proportionate reduction in Income Tax and/or other taxes could be achieved with the introduction of an expanded form of tax on spending I would be content to consider it.

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

This would make sense especially if linked into a WW2 tourism offer.

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

Investment in the Harbour and Bridge areas could significantly help the sustainability of our tourism and transport links as well as freeing up valuable land for enterprise and industry. Investing in our USPs (see above) to boost tourism, digital enterprise, fintech, medtech and potentially health tourism.

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.

We have made several moves to improve income support in the last few years, but there is more that will need phasing in. The move away from housing benefit and supplementary benefit has been positive but there are still anomalies.

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?

Firstly we need to encourage more couples to have children earlier, our own family size and fertility rates have been decreasing significantly in recent years. Secondly we must encourage more of our own young people to either stay or return to the island post-uni, through appropriate job creation, entrepreneurship and employment security. Thirdly we must do more to attract businessmen with young families to make Guernsey their base.

How will your religious faith influence your voting decisions?

A religious world-view can be as diverse - sometimes more so - than having a secular worldview. But as a follower of Jesus I believe this tempers me from extremism in terms of being civil and and non-dismissive towards others who hold differing views, able to advocate for weaker members of society, caring for those less fortunate or able to access opportunity in our community, and being a peace-maker and negotiator in situations of conflict. I define meekness as the courage and skill to channel anger into constructive action rather than destructive vitriol. I seek to communicate and engage wherever possible, with all types of people from whatever background, public service not self-service. These characteristics are not unique to followers of Jesus of course, but they are the ones which primarily influence my actions and ultimately my decision making.

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?

So long as the majority of islanders value the possibility of reduced fares over frequency of flight options. I can't see how we can have both for an island of our size.

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?

I believe that much of the direction of the "Partnership of Purpose" will help us achieve a more equitable and streamlined health service. I do not feel that fully integrating primary care into a 'national health system' for Guernsey is ultimately beneficial or necessary. We need however to find ways in which primary, MSG and secondary can work more effectively alongside appropriate allied and alternative care providers. Our primary provision is currently good, but Covid saw it severely stretched and tested. As such reform is necessary to ensure it is robust and sustainable, especially from an economic standpoint.

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 was not in favour of the Assisted Dying requete laid this term by Deputy St Pier and others. I laid an amendment which was eventually incorporated into other secondary propositions and passed which directed HSC to invest further in palliative care and alternative pain relief methodologies.

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. They are a new course launched recently by the UK to encourage greater relationship between career skills and training, apprenticeship and tertiary/higher education. Effectively technical courses they will be equivalent to 3 A levels in a similar way to the B-Tech courses. I have always supported greater investment in apprenticeships - we used to have an excellent scheme in comparison to the UK - it is too early for me to say whether T levels will help but I am optimistic.

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?

I have been involved in the last few years with the Digital Greenhouse and the Digital Guernsey initiative. I also was the political lead for the Future Digital Services - Smart Guernsey transformation programme. So I am passionate about leveraging all we can to encourage digital entrepreneurship. I believe more can be gained by our agencies (Locate, Guernsey Finance etc) working together to attract investment and start ups. We need to improve connectivity and broadband for starters.

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?

Services are stretched but I believe more could be done in small ways to encourage counselling early on through professional counsellors and pastoral support being made available in primary care community hubs. When there is a backlog often mental health deteriorates, being able to meet and talk with someone confidentially, even if further psychological help is needed, could alleviate the stress in many situations.

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.

It is never easy to undertake public debate on emotive subjects. Expert moderation is required. We should certainly aim to consult and inform as widely as possible and in as many ways as possible on such issues when such culturally strong views are held. Deputy Stevens and I did our best to try and ensure that greater public consultation took place in the recent debate, but were thwarted by a narrow margin.

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

It is never easy to undertake public debate on emotive subjects. Expert moderation is required. We should certainly aim to consult and inform as widely as possible and in as many ways as possible on such issues when such culturally strong views are held. Deputy Stevens and I did our best to try and ensure that greater public consultation took place in the recent debate, but were thwarted by a narrow margin.

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 have detailed on my website letocq.gg that I have favoured a 3 school non-selective model since my time on Education when I was first elected in 2000. I believe we could still garner enough support to make this work now. However we must await the results of the review currently mandated.

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?

This is a wide ranging set of issues. However I do not see these as mutually exclusive. In fact there are opportunities afforded which provide synergy to both. The key will be the next assembly's appetite to invest and therefore to fund such initiatives. Clearly we must find creative means of maintaining our infrastructure in such a way that it enhances our natural environment and provides new opportunities for nature and heritage tourism, majoring on Guernsey's USPs in a sustainable manner.

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"?

The States has already resolved to move towards the Jersey model of the Greffe/Royal Court managing the system.

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