- Parish St Martin
- Experience Current Deputy
- Party The Guernsey Partnership of Independents
I’ve been a proactive and effective member of the States since my election in 2016, earning a reputation for being conscientious, constructive and capable. I returned home to Guernsey in 2004, having lived, worked and studied overseas. I’m married to Rollo and we have four children: Tom (11), Zara (8), Theo (6) and Xavier (nearly 2). My professional background is mainly in the creative industries and I have a range of qualifications, including two degrees.
- Overarching Aims reduce cost of living; improve living standards & sustainability
- Professional Skills strategic thinking, research, analysis & communication
- Values honesty, integrity, fairness, efficiency & constructive decision-making
- Principles joined up, long-term thinking, fiscal responsibility & social cohesion
- Personal Attributes intelligence, empathy, pragmatism & open-mindedness
What I’ve achieved so far
I’m proud to have made a positive and practical difference in many ways over the last four years.
As an individual deputy, I have been effective in championing Green Finance, responsible investment, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, action on climate change and protecting the natural environment, clean energy, active travel and sustainable waste management.
I made the case for various policy improvements, including better governance over digital connectivity, better population management policies for the care sector, stronger, clearer laws around sexual offences and the inclusion of social and environmental objectives in our Covid-19 recovery strategy.
In my constituency work, I have helped many individuals, charities and businesses across a range of issues. I’ve represented the interests both of older people, through Ageing Well in the Bailiwick, and younger people, often working with them directly and through schools.
At committee level, I helped deliver Guernsey’s first referendum, the successful implementation of the waste strategy, the energy policy and the climate change policy, to name just a few.
Beyond our shores, I have good working relationships with counterparts in other similar jurisdictions.
Joined up thinking
The economy, the community and the environment are all dependent on each other. We need to take a joined up approach, rather than treating them as separate issues. We certainly shouldn’t have to choose between a thriving economy or an equitable community or a healthy environment: we need policies that support and sustain all three.
We already have some strong foundations in place. Our recovery strategy, Revive & Thrive, envisages this kind of joined up approach, focusing on ‘building back better’ in terms of the economy, our community and health and care, protecting and enhancing our environment at the same time.
Our energy and climate change policies also give us many opportunities to stimulate our economy, improve our quality of life and support our environment. Both policies focus on the sustainable use of resources, which could simultaneously improve living standards and reduce the cost of living. For example, an initiative making homes more energy efficient could generate more jobs locally, reduce running costs for householders, and reduce carbon emissions whilst improving air quality – a win-win-win scenario.
Joined up thinking goes hand in hand with long-term vision, which is another essential component of good decision-making. Problems arise when policymakers pay more attention to the short-term effects of their decisions than the effects that will be felt years and decades later, when they can no longer be held accountable – which is why I introduced a requirement for policymakers to consider the impacts of their decisions not just on current generations but on future generations too. If re-elected, that long-term vision will continue to be one of my guiding principles.
We face many unprecedented challenges over the next few years: how we respond to external factors such as Covid-19, Brexit, climate change and global economic turbulence will shape our lives here in Guernsey, both in the short term and in the long term.
There are many vital challenges domestically too: demographic pressures mean that both our tax system and our health & care services must continue to evolve. We need to strengthen connections within our community and with the outside world, invest in infrastructure and help businesses big and small to flourish. We need an education system that will give people of all ages the skills and opportunties they need to thrive in the 21st century, and a justice system that better supports a free and fair society. We also need to nurture our natural environment, which underpins so much of what makes Guernsey special. Every single one of these challenges, however, is also an opportunity to improve our island and our way of life.
If re-elected to the States, I will use my detailed knowledge of key policy areas and understanding of some of the complexities around Brexit to help the next Assembly hit the ground running.
Getting in touch
You can find much more specific information on my website: www.lindsay.gg. Please get in touch if there’s anything in particular you’d like to ask or discuss in person: I’d love to hear your views.
Proposed by Rupert Dorey
Seconded by Richard Holmes
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've been a very active member of two committees during this political term: Environment & Infrastructure and the States' Assembly & Constitution Committee (of which I also held the position of Vice-President). As my committee colleagues will attest, I contributed a great deal in terms of discussion, ideas and research, and sometimes more directly in terms of policywriting and practical action. On both committees, a range of different views were represented but we would usually arrive, through discussion, at a consensus position.
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 ?
Unemployment levels are thankfully now very much down from their all-time high a few months ago, but they are of course still higher than average. We need to invest in skills and training within our workforce across all age ranges. Now would be a good time to look at expanding and improving our apprenticeship scheme, for example. In terms of work the States commissions, there is already a weighting in the States' procurement process for 'benefits to the local economy' (which should favour any local contractor over off-island contractors): this weighting could potentially be increased if there is evidence of local contractors with the relevant expertise losing out to off-island contractors.
What concrete measures would you like to see implemented in Guernsey during the next term to achieve net zero carbon by 2050?
70% of our carbon footprint comes from energy (mainly for heating/cooling), waste (mainly legacy emissions) and transport (mainly on-island travel), so those should clearly be the main areas of focus. Personally, I'd like to see the States introduce effective incentives to make homes more energy efficient and provide more effective support for sustainable transport, for example. There are thousands of ways we could achieve the net zero target but what's important is that the measures we take are appropriate for Guernsey, and acceptable to the community. For that reason, establishing a citizen's assembly and an independent advisory body are the key next steps. We could feasibly reach net zero well ahead of 2050, but only if measures have good community support. I would urge anyone interested in this area to read our Climate Change Policy and Action Plan: it's a detailed document that goes into far more detail than I can here. And/or please get in touch, of course - I'm always happy to discuss this issue!
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 majority of committee work and issues debated in the States of Deliberation are island-wide issues, but much constituency work does tend to have a more localised aspect to it. Over the last four years I have represented people, groups of residents and community interests all over the island, and if re-elected I will continue to work in the interests of all Guernsey people, irrespective of whereabouts in the island they happen to live.
Are you concerned about the large amount of agricultural land that is being lost for private gardens?
Yes: I seconded the amendment that protected more areas of agricultural land in the IDP and since then the incremental effect of agricultural land lost to domestic curtilage is something I've been concerned about. Each individual change may seem relatively insignificant, but the aggregated effect over time is contributing to the loss of our natural habitats that support our biodiversity. As a committee, we flagged this as a concern and asked for the issue to be specifically monitored to provide us with evidence to support any necessary changes to the IDP in its upcoming review. I think we should have a more rigorous policy around changes to domestic curtilage, with more specific stipulations to protect open land and natural habitats.
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?
I take my commitments seriously and work very hard as an indvidual to put them into action. In a consensus system of government like ours, the ability to listen to others, understand their point of view and bring a majority of colleagues with you is a key factor in making commitments a reality. The main reason I joined the Guernsey Partnership of Independents was because it is a group of independent candidates committed to working with others to move things forward.
What are your opinions on climate change and Guernsey's role in tackling it?
Guernsey can punch above its weight in terms of mitigating climate change: besides what we can do to reduce our own environmental impact, our role as a green and sustainable finance centre can mobilise the capital required to fund the transition from the brown economy - that based on fossil fuels - to the green economy - based on renewable energy and sustainability. The work that we fund through the OADC can also have a positive impact disproportionate to our size. I worked very hard to put climate change firmly on the political agenda in its own right and was very involved in developing and shaping our Climate Change Policy and Action Plan, so I'm pleased these received such a strong endorsement from the States. We now need to put them into action without delay.
What are the attributes and skills you will be looking for in the next President of the Policy & Resources Committee?
I will be looking for someone who behaves more as a statesperson than a politician, by which I mean someone who looks beyond the political term to the longer term future of the island. It's also important that our Chief Minister can represent Guernsey as a mature and responsible jurisdiction on the international stage. He or she will obviously need to have a very good working knowledge and understanding of all the main issues (particularly those relating to Brexit and Covid-19, as it will be hugely important for the Chief Minister to hit the ground running). He or she will also obviously need good leadership qualities - without too big an ego, though - and ideally be a consensus builder with a desire to get things done, efficiently.
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 base my decision on detailed research of the costs and benefits (and the assumptions underpinning them), also taking social and environmental considerations into account. I go into debates well prepared in terms of research, but with an open and inquiring mind.
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: having too many economic eggs in one basket is not a good position to be in. Finance is our dominant industry and is often rightly called the engine room of our economy, so diversification within the sector itself is helpful. I've helped to do this by successfully championing Green Finance. It's also important to diversify beyond the finance sector, though: I think we have some excellent potential to grow the creative industries in particular, which are more future proof than many, as creativity is not an easy factor to automate. We are already home to the largest creative agency in the Channel Islands and as a community we have some fantastic creative talent (again, this is an area in which I feel we punch above our weight), so we have some promising foundations on which to further develop this promising sector of the economy.
What are the candidates' views on maternity pay and leave and how would they improve the current arrangements, if at all?
A 2019 PwC report identified a potential £168m boost to Guernsey's GDP if we were to increase women's employment rates to match those of Sweden: one of the barriers preventing us realising that potential is relatively poor statutory maternity pay and related provisions. I have championed shared parental rights through this political term, because where there are two parents, both should be able to play an equally active role in their child or children's upbringing. At the moment, the default assumption is that childcare is primarily the responsibility of women: this assumption harms the economy and it also harms our social fabric, by unintentionally putting barriers in the way of men who want to share parenting responsibilities more equally with their partner. The evidence is clear: in jurisdictions where parents (not just mothers) are better supported, the economy and the community as a whole benefit.
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?
For me, it's about looking at the bigger picture: our economy, community and environment are all connected with and dependent on each other, so it's important to take a joined up approach. It's no good looking at individual issues in isolation - i.e. just looking at an issue in terms of its economic impacts without also considering the wider context. I'm optimistic about Guernsey's future: yes, we have serious challenges to navigate, but if we take a joined up approach I am confident we can achieve a vibrant economy, a cohesive and fair society and a healthy and sustainable natural environment for current and future generations.
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?
It's all about giving people more viable options from which to choose. We know from every survey carried out here in recent years that many more people in Guernsey would like to walk, ride a bike, catch a bus or share a lift than currently do. Walking and cycling are particularly important from a public health point of view as they are the most effective means of tackling what's referred to as the physical inactivity epidemic, and all the related problems (such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and various cancers caused by unhealthy lifestyles) - but many people who would like to walk or ride a bike don't feel it is a viable option, and the main reason they cite is that it doesn't feel safe on our roads. This has a lot to do with the fear of mixing with motorised traffic - which is why infrastructure is so important. This doesn't need to involve road widening (which is just as well, as that's often impossible!) or even much construction: sometimes it just requires a more creative and user-centric approach. When we invite two-way traffic down roads where two vehicles can only pass each other if one of them drives along the pavement, for example, it's little wonder that people on foot don't feel safe. In those circumstances, often a one-way system (with cycle contraflow if possible) will not just make it safer for people walking, but it also makes it more convenient for people driving, as residents of the Baubigny area often testify. This is just one aspect of very many that can improve the choice available to people moving around the island: there is far more detail in the First Periodic Review of the Integrated Transport Strategy for anyone that is interested - or of course, just give me a call or drop me a line!
Do you support outsourcing of States services?
It depends. The key question is, 'Who is best placed to deliver this service most effectively and cost-efficiently?'. Sometimes that might be an outside provider and sometimes it will be more effective and cost efficient in-house.
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 already do this in as many ways as I possibly can, through my work as a States member (I've been the most vocal and active deputy on the subject in this political term), through my committee work (climate change is in our mandate), through my unpaid work as a writer in publications such as the Guernsey Press, through my work with schools (I'm currently helping to establish an exciting island-wide student initiative) and through working directly with young people, who are the most important stakeholders of course.
Most environmental problems are caused by the love of growth. Would you consider de-growth?
It's a bit more nuanced than this. The brown economy is one in which growth is dependent on environmentally destructive activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels and the exploitation of natural resources. However, growth in the green economy does not have the same impact, as the green economy is based on the sustainable use of resources, eco-friendly systems and clean, renewable energy. The transition to a green (and blue) economy is incredibly important and works hand in glove with moving from a more linear to a circular economy. This has economic, social and environmental benefits, so it is a worthwhile priority.
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?
Our Integrated Transport Strategy already supports exactly this, and is already funded. Those interested in finding out more may like to read the First Periodic Review, which provides a useful summary of the strategy and progress to date. Infrastructure for people walking and cycling is one of the most effective (and indeed cost-effective) measures to support the transition to a more sustainable transport system, so there is a strong economic, social and environmental case to be made for investment in active travel infrastructure to support a more efficient and effective transition.
What environmental policies would you support to reduce Guernsey’s reliance on the internal combustion engine, in support of International global warming initiatives?
Through our energy policy, the States has already agreed to phase out internal combustion engine vehicles in line with the UK (likely to be in the early 2030s), and to support this we need a well-thought-through transition to low energy forms of transport (including active travel and clean public transport) first and foremost and electric vehicles (which will need to be supported by comprehensive domestic and public charging infrastructure - a significant investment). Through our climate change policy, the States has also committed to review the transport strategy (which already supports these aims) more effective, as transport is the single biggest contributor to our carbon footprint - so that review will be an opportunity to assess which aspects need to be better supported or implemented. Anyone who is interested in this topic and would like to find out more, please give me a call or drop me a line!
What measures will you put in place during the next term to ensure that environmental biodiversity will be protected and enhanced?
Funding the Strategy for Nature is the first key step, as that will provide an evidence base to inform decisions about what areas we need to invest in going forward. It's clear our natural habitats - some of which are in really quite alarming decline - need much more active intervention to reverse the trend, and we need to take action on invasive non-native species, just to name one or two examples. Natural Capital Accounting and Biodiveristy Net Gain will be very helpful tools in making sure nature has more of a voice in decision-making and planning processes. Through the climate change policy the States has committed to prioritising local carbon sequestration, which has some exciting potential in terms of our biodiversity too. Personally, I'm very keen to develop a flagship Centre for Nature that will bring together research, citizen science, local knowledge, educational opportunities and ecotourism potential. Overall, it is vital that the Strategy for Nature is properly funded - which will come down to political will.
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?
It would have been premature to commit to anything of this scale before the Energy Policy was agreed, which (as of a few months ago) it now has been. There are a range of considerations to take into account, including the efficiency of energy generated this way compared with how we currently source it (100% renewable through the cable), the profile/future of the visitor economy, and the environmental and social impacts of developing Belgreve Bay.
Do you agree that there is a climate crisis caused predominantly by the actions of humans?
There is a very strong consensus among climate scientists that that is the case. We detail this consensus, the evidence underpinning it and its significance in our Climate Change Policy.
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?
Longue Hougue is our current inert waste site; the proposal is to extend the inert waste facility into Longue Hougue South. As I explained at length in the debate, I would very much like to find an alternative site, and have been proactive in putting forward suggestions. (Not all inert waste can be reused, so even with maximum recycling so there is no avoiding the need for another site when the current facility is at capacity: having no site is sadly not an option.) I have also been proactive about working with La Societe and others to make sure the impact on the marine environment, the terrestrial environment and the geological features is minimised and properly mitigated. Of particular importance at Longue Hougue South are the eelgrass, maerl (which isn't within the proposed footprint but is found nearby and could be disturbed), scaly crickets and gabbro rock. Working parties including experts on all of these will inform the development of the proposals so as to negate or minimise any environmental impact, should the site be developed for inert waste.
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?
Our climate change policy is anchored very firmly in the scientific consensus and is focused on realising our net zero target as soon as is practically possible. (2050 is set out - in keeping with international standards - as the latest date by which we should achieve net zero.) I've been a major driving force in developing our climate change policy and action plan, and I'd urge anyone interested or concerned about climate change to read it, as it sets out the many and various areas that we will need to focus on in the next few years. Community engagement and involvement is a key factor in ensuring we introduce measures that will work in the Guernsey context.
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 main reason we bought Aurigny was to secure the lifeline routes. To me, that remains the single most important factor in the States' ownership of the airline, so in the necessary review of Aurigny and its role (especially in the wider context of uncertainty in the aviation industry more generally) that will be a key focus. Obviously the business model needs to be put on a more sustainable footing going forward.
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?
Our sea defences are increasingly important in the context of rising sea levels, and our sea defence policy rightly prioritises the maintenance of those defences relative to the infrastructure (e.g. homes, businesses, data, utilities etc) that they protect. That is why historically, though, investment in the anti-tank wall could not be prioritised, as it's a military defence rather than a sea defence. The States has now made the decision to invest many hundreds of thousands of pounds in its upkeep over the next ten years, so its short- to medium-term ongoing maintenance is secure, but ultimately within the next decade we will still need to find a way to protect that area as the wall - counterintuitively - is in fact exacerbating rather than preventing coastal erosion.
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 would of course take all the relevant considerations into very careful account, because value for money isn't just about money - it's about what you get for it. Our children's education is extremely important and, in my opinion, worth investing in to maximise the value we get from 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?
Our fiscal framework is being reviewed as it needs to be put on a more sustainable footing going forward. That review is obviously an opportunity to revisit Zero-10, although we do have to be aware that it was introduced because our key competitors were bringing it in, so we do have to be mindful of remaining competitive as a jurisdiction. I certainly think we should explore all viable options, though.
If elected, what priority will you give to the introduction of the already-drafted consumer protection legislation?
As the recent manifesto from the Citizen's Advice Bureau made clear, this is a real priority - and the prioritisation of legislative drafting has been a brick wall I and others have banged my head against over the last four years…! More money was devoted to aquire some of the additional legal resource needed, but even then it took some time to find the right people with the right expertise. It's an ongoing problem that affects a whole range of issues, and one that I would like to make better progress with if re-elected.
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?
This issue was specifically addressed in a successful amendment to the anti-discrimination legislation policy letter: I supported that amendment, which also irons out discrimanatory anomalies for parents of many other descriptions too. If re-elected, I will keep the pressure on until that legislation has been written.
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 main advantage of privatisation is that institutions are typically run more cost-effectively because they're being operated with the primary purpose of making a profit. When dealing with public services, however, I don't think profit should be the single most important factor. Efficiency certainly is, so that should be the core focus, but I'm wary of unintended consequences if too much focus is put on profit alone.
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?
Really, Covid-19 has just made an existing trend more pronounced. Since the advent of e-commerce, the retail sector has been fundamentally affected. Market share being stretched in this way has resulted in less demand for physical retail space - manifesting in empty retail space. We need to recalibrate accordingly. I wholeheartedly support more mixed-use areas because they make sense on a number of different levels, economically, socially and environmentally. The IDP does currently support mixed use redevelopment to some extent, but certainly policies could be extended and - crucially - accelerated.
What is your attitude towards enhanced and mandatory registration, chipping and DNA recording of dogs and control of their fouling, island-wide?
Dog poo isn't just unpleasant: more importantly, it poses a health risk to humans (potentially causing blindness for example) and to other animals, causing abortion in cattle, for example - something that can have extremely adverse economic impacts on farmers. There is also the issue of litter (especially plastic pollution) that goes hand in hand with dog poo - and on that topic, I have never understood the mentality of bagging a dog poo but then leaving it there, or worse, flinging it into a tree! Because of these problems, I am open to looking into possible solutions, of which this suggestion is one.
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 really pleased to have got green finance onto the political agenda to the point that it has been adopted as a strategic position for the island, and also pleased that the States has backed that up by committing to meaningful action on climate change - something in which I also played a key role. Some of my other achievements are listed on my website: lindsay.gg.
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.
Absolutely spot on - I couldn't have said it better myself! My parliamentary record shows that I am a constructive, positive person who works with people from across the political spectrum to build consensus and get things done.
Would you support not giving Local Market licenses to those earning above a set level to support both LM and OM?
People coming into the island on very high salaries and competing in the local housing market can create a probem because it can inflate the market, making it harder for people trying to get onto the property ladder to do so. We have already got a work stream looking into what housing market interventions the government should or shouldn't do, and I'm supportive of this work stream being broadened to look at this issue too. I'm glad to see that open market transactions have picked up recently, but again we need to be alive to opportunities that could provide ideally mutual benefits to both the local and open markets.
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?
There has to be a balance between heritage considerations and practicality, and I don't think we've got that balance quite right yet. I'm aware of some listed buildings with owners keen to redevelop them very sympathetically but it's made commercially (very) unviable because of the restrictions around what can and can't be done to listed buildings. I'm also concerned that buildings are sometimes listed for the wrong reasons. We do need to look at our listing policy and ask ourselves what we're trying to achieve and then adjust it accordingly.
Would you support changes in the law to make cannabis for personal use legal?
There is a strong case for decriminalising the use of cannabis. The case for legalisation should look at evidence from the various different models around the world and take into account social and health considerations as well as economic considerations.
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'm a current deputy so this question isn't strictly applicable to me, but when I was a new candidate in 2016 I was extremely well informed: for years beforehand I read every billet from cover to cover and did my own research around the issues, on top of my full-time job at the time. I was often shocked, listening to debate, by how little research some of the sitting deputies seemed to have done by comparison, when it was actually their job!
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?
Our Overseas Aid and Development Commission runs an impressively efficient ship, delivering good value for money through its support of some excellent projects and incidentally benefitting Guernsey's reputation internationally through that work. Money goes an awful lot further in some of the poorest countries in the world than it does in the developed world, so in practical terms you get a lot more bang for your buck. Guernsey benefits from this work too: reputationally, of course, but also in more practical ways as well. One aspect I'm particularly interested in is climate change mitigation: climate resilience is already embedded throughout much of the OADC's work, but through our climate change policy we've now agreed to set out guidelines that will further support climate change mitigation in these regions, which is so important, because often mitigation in those parts of the world can be much more effective than anything we might be able to do locally (think rainforest protection and regeneration, for example).
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 ?
I'm not a new candidate so strictly speaking this question doesn't apply, but it is the role of every single deputy to scrutinise government. The Scrutiny Management Committee needs stronger teeth to compel evidence etc, which is something the States have agreed.
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?
This is not the only aspect of our justice system that is long overdue for review, so if re-elected I would encourage the swiftest possible progress in coming forward with this important bit of work. The States has agreed that this particular issue is a priority, so it should come back for debate realtively soon. There is a strong case for decriminalising the use of cannabis. The case for legalisation should look at evidence from the various different models around the world and take into account social and health considerations as well as economic considerations. That's on the use side, obviously: on the production side, we need to focus on streamlining our regulatory processes so that they are more joined up: at the moment they're too disjointed, so I would like to see the disparate threads of the process brought together in a much more efficient way. We are wasting a very good opportunity until we do.
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 funding doesn't appear to be the main barrier here: HSC said it would be made available in 2021 and having looked into it it seems that's still the case. It appears to be the logistics around the availability of the drugs and treatments which is more problematic under the current restrictions. I agree that this is a priority, and as someone who supported the change in policy I am very keen to see it realised: many people's health (and in some cases, lives) depend on it.
What ideas do you have to ensure there is affordable housing including support for first time buyers and ensure affordable rental property is available for locals so they can continue to live here? What is your stance on mortgage tax relief and shared ownership initiatives?
The private housing market is a classic example of a situation where one person's benefit is another's disadvantage: people who are already on the property ladder want their assets to increase in value, whereas that makes life even more difficult for people trying to get onto the housing ladder in the first place! The key is making sure that there is enough of the right types of homes to meet the needs of people across the board, from those needing affordable housing to those looking to upsize and those looking to downsize too. The evidence so far suggests that the partial ownership scheme (which hasn't been running for very long in the grand scheme of things) has been successful in giving people a much-needed foot onto the property ladder. There's currently a lot of work going on under our housing policy to take stock of where we're at (because there have been some significant changes in the market even since the last review a couple of years ago) with respect to affordable housing, key worker (e.g. health worker) accommodation, homes suitable for more elderly people, government interventions and various other aspects, so if re-elected I would be very keen to properly resource that work (something that's been an issue to date) and move things forward.
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 funding doesn't appear to be the main barrier here: HSC said it would be made available in 2021 and that's still the case. It appears to be the logistics around the availability of the drugs and treatments which is more problematic under the current restrictions.
What would you do to address traffic noise pollution from vehicles speeding and backfiring along St Georges Esplanade/Les Banques and towards town?
This is a problem across the island, as the many people who have contacted me through this poltiical term about the issue of noise pollution will confirm! We are now signatories of something called the Vienna Convention, which requires us, among other things, to introduce regular vehicle checks. This is the perfect opportunity to ensure motorbikes and other vehicles are within acceptable noise parameters. (The reason this isn't currently enforced is partly because the testing needs to be done with certain equipment in a controlled environment, both of which could be facilitated when the new system is phased in.
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?
The funding doesn't appear to be the main barrier here: HSC said it would be made available in 2021 and that's still the case. It appears to be the logistics around the availability of the drugs and treatments which is more problematic under the current restrictions.
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?
The recent Frontier report was carried out pre-Covid: there have been some very significant changes since then, so we will need to look at the issue in the context of the post-Covid world when we better understand the future of the aviation and tourism industries and where technological innovation is likely to lead.
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?
I have read all the relevant reports on this issue. The recent Frontier report, for example - the full text of which has not been made generally available - was carried out pre-Covid: there have been some very significant changes since then, so we will need to look at the issue in the context of the post-Covid world when we better understand the future of the aviation and tourism industries and where technological innovation is likely to lead.
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 will undoubtedly shine a spotlight on our constitutional relationship with the UK as well as our relationships with other jurisdictions. We already have good parliamentary relationships with other Commonwealth countries through the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, of which Guernsey is an active member. I have good personal links with some of these countries too: I've lived in several Commonwealth nations, including in Australia for about five years, and one of my brothers has lived in Canada for most of his adult life. These personal ties can only help when it comes to forging stronger diplomatic 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?
I've been a strong supporter of anti-discrimination legislation. Awareness is always the first step, which community action in recent years has done so well to raise, but ultimately we do need the legislation in place to underpin a less discriminatory society. If re-elected I will continue to support this work, which has finally been properly resourced, until we have the legislation in place. In the meantime, I'll continue to do whatever I can to raise awareness and support people and businesses to change protocols and practices to remove discrimination wherever possible, as a lot of change can be achieved ahead of legislation too.
What criteria do you use for decision making?
Great question! For me, the key is to take a rounded approach that takes into account both the bigger picture and the finer details. I strongly believe in the importance of considering issues in their broader context, so as to avoid perverse or unintended consequences that can result from looking at an issue too narrowly. So often there are helpful synergies between economic, social and environemntal policies, and the best decisions create positive impacts across all three areas. I have quite an academic background so I am good at researching issues - a skill I have found to be very important in the role of deputy - and I'm well known for my love of data. However, it's not just quantitative data that count: often the qualitative data are just as (if not more) important. I'm very aware of the subconscious biases that tend to affect decision making, so for example I make a conscious effort to research issues from different angles, including and especially from angles I'm least intuitively comfortable with. This helps avoid something called confirmation bias, for example, where people are far more likely to subconsciously find and remember evidence that supports their pre-existing opinion, and far less likely to find and recall evidence that contradicts it, leading to ever-more entrenched positions and risking poor decisions as a result. Evidence-based decision making has become something of a cliche, but I do think it is important, and one of my recurring themes in the States has been the need for better data, generally speaking. I'm glad to say this does seem to be improving in many areas now.
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?
The wording of this question shows just how complex, subjective and emotive these issues are: as the significant public engagement on both issues showed, these issues that touch on fundamental human rights mean a lot to people, whatever side of the debate they're on. Rights aren't like a jigsaw puzzle: they don't fit neatly into one another. Some fundamental rights clash with other fundamental rights. This is exactly what makes them such difficult and emotive topics to debate, because ultimately it comes down to a judgement call to draw a very subjective line in order to distinguish which rights should carry more weight than other rights - and of course wherever that line is drawn, some people will feel as though those rights have been weighted unfairly.
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 fiscal review that will come to the next States that is designed to look at a wide range of options to make our fiscal framework sustainable and fair, whilst remaining competitive. Since the introduction of Zero-10, the tax burden has fallen even more heavily on individuals, which is why people have felt so squeezed over the last decade. Our current arrangements are unsustainable in the long term context because of demographic pressures and other fundamental factors, so our fiscal system will need to change. I think we need to explore all possibilities that are viable within the parameters of basic fairness: I am not a fan of regressive taxes or other measures that hit lower earners hardest.
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're not and I don't think ever will be a mass-market tourist destination, and in fact I don't think that many islanders would accept the trade offs that that would involve (think big tower block hotels etc). I have been consistent in advocating for a higher-value tourist propostion that is not dependent on significantly greater tourist numbers - in other words, getting more bang from each tourist buck. I submitted a paper to Economic Development exploring various opportunities for eco tourism, which I think holds interesting potential to do exactly this, making the most of our unique natural environment in a way that would support its conservation and enhancement. A flagship Centre for Nature could play a key role in this. In general terms, we should aim to maximise the value of the niches that play to our strengths, making more of our culture and heritage features, the potential for more art and sports tourism, and course food tourism, as well as making more of our wonderful natural surroundings.
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
These issues are all related and to some extent interdependent: they are certainly not binary choices in terms of their prioritisation. For example, a policy supporting energy-efficiency measures in homes can stimulate the local economy, drive down bills and ultimately the cost of living for householders, reduce our carbon footprint and improve our air quality - a win-win-win scenario. All of the topics listed are important in their own right, and the States should focus on achieving them in the most efficient and effective ways possible - which will sometimes be very much in combination with one another.
List your achievements to date which have been a benefit to Guernsey.
I explain my main achievements over the last four years on my website, lindsay.gg, but the main ones relate to green finance, climate change, protection and enhancement of our natural environment, the population management policy around senior carers, the strengthening of the sexual offences law, the future generations resolution, the inclusion of ESG criteria in our investment policies, and the policy around digital connectivity.
Do you support a reduction in the cost of running the civil service? If so, how would you do that and over what timescale?
Of course I'd support a reduction in the cost of running the civil service if that cost reduction was delivered through greater efficiencies, for example through further modernisation and better co-ordination of frontline services. However, the service delivery aspect is all important: I would not support a cost-cutting exercise for its own sake if it had a detrimental effect on public services. We saw through the FTP how that can be a false economy. Our public services are currently going through a digital reform that is designed to deliver genuine efficiencies and savings. In terms of supporting government, some further restructuring of the civil service could help drive efficiency, as I don't think it's there yet.
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?
The main reason we own Aurigny is to protect our lifeline routes, and the company is bound by certain commercial stipulations including a commitment to certain pricing protocols to ensure a certain percentage of affordable tickets are made available. It would of course be perfectly possible for another airline to provide that service, and even provide it at a lower cost to travellers, but it's important to remember two factors: commercial airlines are typically subsisdised by the jurisdictions they visit, so the taxpayer would need to support them to some extent anyway, and most importantly they would owe us no obligation to continue to service our lifeline routes and could walk away at any time. This has of course happened in the past, and it was that very factor that prompted the States to buy Aurigny in the first place. The security of our lifeline route to Gatwick is a fundamentally important consideration in all debates around Aurigny or the runway.
What is your view regarding commercialisation with respect to States owned entities?
The main reason commercialisation appeals is because it usually means operations will be run more effectively. This is of course something that all entities should aspire to, whether or not they're in the public or private sector. Downsides of commercialisation where public entities are concerned include a sometimes unhelpful emphasis on profit at the exclusion of other considerations, so I think it's always important to consider what the core public service function is and keep that front of mind. Each case should of course be considered on its individual merits, but funamentally a government's job is to provide the services the community needs, so delivering that service well should always be the core consideration.
Should the island be spending tax payers money on maintaining air and sea links?
Air and sea links are vital in supporting basic needs and delivering benefits for all islanders, whether or not they use them directly themselves - for example through freight supplying supermarkets and all other shops, medevac, the finance industry etc. Critical national infrastructure is, as the name implies, really quite important, so I am supportive of investing in improvements that will deliver positive benefits, as long as the investments make sense taking the full range of economic, social and environmental considerations into account.
What is your view on future funding for long term care as current funding will be insufficient by 2040?
The current funding for long-term care was only designed with a 15 year horizon, so it was only ever an interim solution to a problem that as we know is becoming more and more pronounced. Recommendations will be brought to the next Assembly: it is important that we put long term care funding on a fair and sustainable financial footing, and equally important that that care is delivered in the most appropriate ways, of course. I'm particularly keen to support caring for people in their own homes for as long as that is in their best interests, which it often is.
What is your opinion of introducing a goods and sales tax?
We need to look at all viable options to make our fiscal system fairer and more sustainable, but instinctively I would be keen to avoid GST if at all possible as it is regressive - i.e. it hits people with less disposable income harder.
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 need to be an informed decision taking into account the full ongoing costs alongside the potential benefits.
What initiatives would you put in place to grow our economy?
There is some excellent potential to expand our position as a green and sustainable finance centre, so if re-elected I will continue to support and champion that sector. I also think our creative industries hold a lot of promise, and there is definite room for expansion: that could be an excellent avenue for economic growth, especially as it is inherently more resilient future proof than many other economic sectors. The green and blue economies are also obvious areas with great economic as well as social and environmental potential, so I would continue to champion and support them as well.
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.
There is no right answer to this, because everyone's individual circumstances are different, so what is sufficient for some people (for example those with few overheads) might be insuffient for others at a different stage of their life, for example. Cost of living is high in Guernsey, and that has to be reflected in income support.
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?
This is one of the issues that will need to be addressed as part of the fiscal review. I am keen to establish a more sustainable model for economic growth that does not depend so heavily on population growth and the pressure on resources and services that that naturally creates. Housing is a really important factor with respect to keeping or attracting young people, and this again is something that will be specifically addressed in the work we're currently doing under the housing policy. My personal feeling is that the partial ownership scheme has worked well in this respect and it may be an increasingly important part of the equation.
How will your religious faith influence your voting decisions?
I'm respectful of people's religious faith but my own is not the type to interfere with 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?
The recent Frontier report (the full text of which was not made generally available) was carried out pre-Covid: there have been some very significant changes since then, so we will need to look at the issue in the context of the post-Covid world when we better understand the future of the aviation and tourism industries and where technological innovation is likely to lead.
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?
There's no doubt that this is a very important bit of work, and neither is there any doubt that a solution won't come cheap. I'm keen to explore all possibilities. I would like to see a more flexible approach to families' access to primary care that better accomodates the needs of children in particular, as too often that lack of flexibility, combined with cost pressures, act as a barrier for children needing access to primary care. The States has very recently approved some good first steps in this respect, but I'm supportive of seeing what has worked well elsewhere in an effort to find solutions that work in the Guernsey context.
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)?
There is no reason why this should be an either/or choice: palliative care is incredibly important regardless of whether or not assisted dying is ever introduced.
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, I've been aware of T-levels for several years. Level 3 education has of course been an integral consideration in relation to how we organise our secondary education (as secondary education has to be considered in conjunction with further and higher education). I like the sound of T Levels and would be happy to advocate for their introduction here in Guernsey, although to be honest I have always understood that they will be anyway.
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 would like to see more focus on the creative industries: by its very nature it's a sector that thrives on and stimulates further innovation. It has exciting economic potential, especially as it is relatively resilient in the face of the threat to jobs that is automation. We can support the growth of this sector (which already has a solid foothold in the island - it's just punching beneath its potential weight) in various specific ways, but in fact one of the most important things we can do is to nurture and support the arts within our community. Please give me a call or contact me by email if you're interested in discussing this!
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?
Like so many other people, mental health problems have affected members of my family, so I well understand the impact they have on individuals and their loved ones. As with other health issues, prevention is always better than cure, but we're never going to prevent all of the problems so we need to focus on both sides. The community itself has a vital role to play with respect to prevention in particular: I'm delighted that public awareness of mental health issues has become so much more prominent in recent years, because that awareness is the first step in creating an environment in which mental health problems can be prevented or spotted early. The work Guernsey Mind has done to train mental health first aiders in workplaces is particuarly valuable too. The more mental health problems we can prevent or catch early, the more effective we will be in tackling the issue as a whole, so I will continue to use whatever platform I have (as a politician, if re-elected, and as a writer) to raise awareness and destigmatise mental health problems, and of course do whatever I can to ensure that our mental health services are adequately resourced and organised.
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 was involved with trialling some quite innovative public engagement tools, for example using social media platforms, in the last few years: expanding the range of options for public debate will expand the reach of the engagement, which is always a good thing for the democratic process.
What is your position on the opportunity to debate the abortion issue more openly and fairly with more balanced representations to the Deputies?
The more public engagement in political issues, the stronger and more effective our democracy will be. I was involved in trialling some quite innovative public engagement tools, using social media platforms for example, but you can't beat face-to-face conversations if possible. Guernsey's a great place in terms of the public's access to deputies anyway, but we should take any opportunity to increase public engagement on important political issues.
How do you see the way forward for secondary education in the island? Do you favour a particular model and if so which one?
It's important not to pre-empt or prejudge the comparison of models, as each has so many variations (for example sites, student numbers, facilities etc) that make all the difference. If re-elected, I will make a decision based on academic, social, practical and economic considerations - and as a parent of four, the oldest of whom has just started at secondary school in the state sector, I am particularly motivated to implement a workable model of secondary education that is acceptable to as much of the community as possible without any further delay!
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 not an either/or: these are all areas that need investment and shouldn't be played off against each other. Revive and Thrive supports investment in our infrastructure and our natural environment, so I hope and expect to see these in the action plans that are being developed. Our Strategy for Nature will give us the tools to factor the value of the natural environment in to the decision-making process, which is something I think is long overdue.
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"?
It's generally accepted that the old system was efficient, flexible and inexpensive, but it's understandable why many felt that the Church of England being the beneficiary - given the monopoly of the service - was inappropriate in the modern age, notwithstanding the fact that many of the projects funded benefited the wider community as well as the Church.