- Parish Castel
- Experience New Candidate
On my honour, I promise to do my best to scrutinise, propose and approve laws, policies and initiatives which are fit for purpose and promote the health, well being, prosperity, privacy, security and happiness of all Islanders. My assessment is that the economy requires achievable, reasonable and time bound objectives and I propose that we courageously follow a more aspirational path: We are the toilers of the sea and it is our territorial waters that hold the key to our future prosperity.
- Capable: I possess a wide range of skills in project management, coaching, mentoring and administration.
- Competent: I deliver projects and services on time, to specification and within budget.
- Credible: All my policies and initiatives are thoroughly researched and backed by multiple corroborating sources.
- Committed: I was a long serving member of the Guernsey Scout Association and a Vice President of a major UK bank.
- Propose and champion stewardship responsibilities for real estate asset owners to encourage the reduction and repurposing of derelict or vacant property.
- Bring proposals to expand the agriculture, horticulture, dairy, animal husbandry and forestry sector in order to diversify our economy, provide food security and to meet carbon targets.
- Bring proposals to expand aquaculture production of fish, shellfish and edible seaweed to better utilise the potential of our territorial waters.
- Propose a strategy to pivot towards an energy generation economy, to harness the Bailiwick’s solar potential.
- Propose the creation of a Guernsey Investment fund (quasi sovereign wealth fund) to reduce dependence on direct and indirect taxation, funded by revenues generated from above initiatives.
- Investigate, propose and champion the adoption of Universal Basic Income within the Bailiwick.
I will support measures that:
- Policy and resources: promote fair and consistent governance; ensure that taxation is proportional, equitable, minimal and justified; provide role model behaviour; advocate a ‘book of work’ approach to States of Guernsey business; that reports back to all Islanders in a “state of the Bailiwick address” (SOBA) annually
- Education, Sport and Culture: focus on delivery of high quality, relevant and practical education that optimises a student’s talents and interests and prepares them for life; empower teachers to teach and students to study: offer all Islanders the opportunity for self improvement; promote more extensive and affordable access to sport, athletics and exercise; promote the expansion of home grown talent in drama, music and the arts.
- Employment & Social Security: address public sector stakeholders needs for an agreed pay and conditions formula; complete outstanding work required to implement robust, universal discrimination legislation; empower parents to parent.
- Environment and Infrastructure: review the overall strategy for land use to ensure it is fit for purpose; provide guidance and support to ensure that all housing stock is fit for habitation; review sea defences to provide remedial actions through hard and soft engineering; provide disabled and mobility challenged accessibility to beaches.
- Health: pivot from treatment to prevention; promote healthy nutrition; continue to promote reduction in smoking, medication, narcotics and alcohol consumption; provide a comprehensive and readily accessible mental health service; ensure care of our elderly is dignified, competent and socially inclusive.
- Home affairs: enforce existing fixed penalties, especially for anti social behaviour, littering and fly tipping; provide alternative community participation penalties; extend the recruitment and training of special constables and civil defence agents to alleviate high demand during major public events; provide robust border protection, including sea control of territorial waters and fisheries protection.
- Overseas aid and development: pivot from cash aid toward expertise aid of equivalent value; partner with small loans charities (in-country microfinance NGOs) to provide direct loans to individuals; re-home surplus to requirement, useful equipment.
- Development & Planning: review the planning policy to ensure it is fit for purpose; define “sustainable” and “affordable” housing criteria and increase the supply of housing filling these criteria; promote the use of sustainable, low carbon materials in construction.
- Assembly and Constitution: support measures that increase transparency, accountability and inclusivity; champion duty of care to all deputies, officers and civil servants; deliver high value service to Islanders.
- Trading Supervision: ensure that best practise and SMART goals are adopted for all public owned or supported entities; consider development proposals of the ports and airport infrastructure throughout the Bailiwick where justified and affordable.
- Transport and Licencing: support retention of existing, and development of new, routes especially into the European Union by both sea and air.
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 was a Vice President in the securities operations of a major UK bank’s centre of excellence in Manila. I was a key actor in our site and department management committees and chaired my department management meetings. I always employ a collegiate culture – that is to say inclusive; I am an active listener when others speak and banned blackberries and smartphones! I insist on a structure and ensure it is followed.
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 ?
I can’t answer this easily; employers must be permitted to select the best candidate in order to fulfil their duty of care to the customers or clients. A qualified local who is a poor fit should not get the job just because they are local. However...I would like the Island to consider moving towards a Universal Basic Income instead of means tested benefits. Where it has been tried it has allowed both an expansion in the job market generally or promoted enterprise on the part of the unemployed.
What concrete measures would you like to see implemented in Guernsey during the next term to achieve net zero carbon by 2050?
A pivot towards an energy economy. Guernsey’s solar potential is large enough if we invest in capture technology – that is photovoltaics, wind turbines, tidal turbines and wave action. I will be proposing this.
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 island is my constituency.
Are you concerned about the large amount of agricultural land that is being lost for private gardens?
Yes. I am proposing that land not required for it’s intended planning purpose be managed by Guernsey and put back into productive use. Sounds like eminent domain, yet my proposal would seek to reinforce the owners right to own whilst recognising the Island’s expectation that the owner demonstrates good stewardship of their assets.
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’m already limiting the commitments I will undertake in order to ensure that I under promise but over deliver; My priorities are simply the urgent and important needs of the Island – an economy that is sustainable, diverse and low carbon, a distributive mechanism to ensure that no Islander is left behind – Universal Basic Income is the tool I prefer – and a pivot toward an energy economy. Beyond that, I am planning to serve the interests of my constituents through regular surgeries and to champion efficiency gains in all public services.
What are your opinions on climate change and Guernsey's role in tackling it?
It’s real and we need to do more to reduce impacts – including role model behaviour which we can export to others.
What are the attributes and skills you will be looking for in the next President of the Policy & Resources Committee?
An active listener who is prepared to be assertive when a decision needs to be taken.
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?
No, because a cost benefit analysis needs to be balanced against other considerations such as a Risk, Assumptions, Issues and Dependencies assessment. Covid has shown us that disruptive events can lead to severe impacts on our assumptions. Oil price fluctuations, Volcanic eruptions and fleet groundings have all affected airline profitability to the detriment of report findings.
Do you believe that diversification of the island's tax base is an important consideration for Guernsey in today's volatile and fast-moving global economy? If so, how can this specifically be achieved for Guernsey?
I would like to see (and hope to investigate some possibilities) a move away from tax as our only source of revenue. Yet I acknowledge that even with efficiency gains and a growing economy there might still be shortfalls. I would though, make every effort to narrow the requirement and that would include measures such as challenging the decision to set aside money for capital projects that goes unspent.
What are the candidates' views on maternity pay and leave and how would they improve the current arrangements, if at all?
I want to introduce some form of Universal Basic Income to ensure that any life event still leaves an individual with enough to meet their physical needs – that way both Mothers and Fathers could potentially take simultaneous leave rather than separate maternity and paternity.
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?
Pivot to an energy economy.
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?
I do and I think technology will essentially solve this on our behalf. The question is then one of pace of change – if driverless, on demand e-vehicles are slow to appear, then a transition period where e-buses, running on routes that serve smaller communities may be the key. My model would be the Jeepney services in Manila, though not utilising diesel powered buses!
Do you support outsourcing of States services?
Yes. I’m an outsourcing monster.
What will you do to educate the islanders about the reality of the climate crisis which is the biggest threat currently facing the world?
My experience is that you have to appeal to peoples emotions and not their reason. This impact’s you in this way. And offer hope that a new operating model will alleviate or mitigate the situation.
Most environmental problems are caused by the love of growth. Would you consider de-growth?
Ah. A doughnut economics problem. No. The solution is to find a balance, a sustainable economy. And that is also an education issue, to explain in rational terms how the transition can be managed and how it will not negatively affect livelihoods. It does require buy-in that we can no longer treat the Earth’s sources and sinks as inexhaustible.
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?
It’s not something I’ve considered. My bias is towards e-vehicles and bikes and buses over cars, but then I don’t drive. I accept that vans are a necessity.
What environmental policies would you support to reduce Guernsey’s reliance on the internal combustion engine, in support of International global warming initiatives?
Any that made both environmental and economic sense.
What measures will you put in place during the next term to ensure that environmental biodiversity will be protected and enhanced?
Stewardship requirements for beneficial owners of real estate assets. Seriously. Derelict vineries, covered in bramble may look like a wilderness yet they are only green on top, with a network of supporting but otherwise lifeless canes beneath. They hide rotting, abandoned cars: leaking battery acid, brake fluid and sump oil into the surrounding area and potentially poisoning our ground water.
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?
I don’t know.
Do you agree that there is a climate crisis caused predominantly by the actions of humans?
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?
I would vote against the measure, and argue that the waste be used to offset the Island’s requirement for aggregate, especially to use in gabions to reinforce sea defences.
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?
Pivot towards a solar energy economy.
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?
It is probably not enough to ensure we have a service that can deliver though I would agree we do not get the value we should expect. I have not had an opportunity to audit the company and could not make an informed decision as to how efficient or inefficient. As to the new aircraft, one inefficiency I can identify is that it’s fleet mix is wrong and the new aircraft go some way toward addressing that issue. I would ditch the Dorniers in favour of a more workhorse aircraft like the CASA C-212 Aviocar and the Embraer is the wrong type to employ on such a short sector. Rebalancing the fleet and expanding the routes served merit looking at though I imagine the cost to achieve might be mouth watering.
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?
No. The anti tank wall at L’Ancresse is a military fortification and not a sea defence. There are most likely better soft engineering solutions that are more suited to L’Ancresse’s situation. And maintaining the wall as an example of occupation heritage would need a compelling case before I would support expenditure.
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?
No. I have many questions about the Policy letter not least of which is there was no projected expectation of increase in attainment standards against an established baseline, which I understood was the principal driver of the project. The aim statement is laudable – increasing opportunity for our students – yet it seemed the solution was to present an expanded menu of McNuggets rather than a move toward understanding and enabling the first best destiny of our student body.
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?
Yes. If the policy is no longer fit for purpose and I agree that it seems to be the case, then revisiting this is both urgent and important.
If elected, what priority will you give to the introduction of the already-drafted consumer protection legislation?
This was not something that was on my radar to be honest. If it is drafted, then it should be considered and if fit for purpose adopted.
Did you know that same-sex families aren't treated equally when it comes to registering the birth of a child? What will you do to change that?
Yes, however this is not a compelling priority and I’m sorry, I do not propose to do anything about it.
Would you support a programme of privatisation of island utilities and other facilities such as Beau Sejour to help reduce record levels of borrowing resulting from the cost of Covid defences?
No. I would support measures designed to meet short term funding for our utilities by permitting them to issue CD’s. I have not considered Beau Sejour and would look at any proposal that did not seek to make the amenity exclusive or beyond the reach of the pocket’s of Islanders.
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?
So long as it is possible to convert offices to residential then yes.
What is your attitude towards enhanced and mandatory registration, chipping and DNA recording of dogs and control of their fouling, island-wide?
Big brother for little dogs. Fouling is antisocial and is probably better addressed through peer shaming rather than a CSI approach. Pet chipping though is a good idea – zoonosis (disease spread by animals to humans) would be easier to contain if dead contaminated pets could identified swiftly.
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?
To get the assembly to agree to pivot our economy from services towards energy production.
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 was a Vice President in the securities operations of a Major UK Bank’s centre of excellence in Manila. I was a key actor in our site and department management committees and chaired my department management meetings. I always employ a collegiate culture – that is to say inclusive; I am an active listener when others speak and banned blackberries and smartphones! I insist on a structure and ensure it is followed. I am assertive rather than aggressive or passive and give due weight and consideration to all points of view including my own.
Would you support not giving Local Market licenses to those earning above a set level to support both LM and OM?
I have no firm opinion on this as my thoughts on housing are principally concerned with defining standards for affordable and sustainable, ensuring that if the market cannot meet shortfalls in provision then that other actors (the commons or the state) can step in to meet the need.
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?
Firstly, I would want to understand the motivation for this approach. I’m in favour of making more alterations available to property owners without planning permission requirements to ensure property can be maintained to modern standards and would not insist on arcitectural features being retained where they are not readily apparent of distinctive. I don’t favour a wholesale knocking down of buildings of character to be replaced by a succession of bland boxes.
Would you support changes in the law to make cannabis for personal use legal?
Broadly yes. But I’m not going to Champion this cause and any change must give comfort to the majority that it does not lead to abuse.
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?
No. It was not a priority investment compared to the research I conducted to formulate my policies.
In 1945, the generosity of people outside Guernsey enabled the delivery of Red Cross parcels to the island on the SS Vega. What is your view on the statement that ‘charity begins at home but should not end there’? How can we best show our care for people in need in other parts of the world?
I don’t agree with the statement – I have, throughout my adult life, supported young people around the globe through monthly contributions to PLAN UK and WorldVision. I do so, not out of charity, but rather in the selfish hope that the improvements in living conditions that my contributions provide will enable a talented youngster to achieve their potential and discover a cure for cardiac failure. Or cancer. Or a new energy source. Or a way to clean our Oceans. I cannot predict where this person will live and so cast my bread upon the waters in the hope that one day it will return.
This is a question for new candidates; do you agree with the principle of scrutiny of government and if so how would you ensure that it was fairly carried out ?
Scrutiny is a duty of all Deputies – to ensure that the laws and ordinances passed by the Assembly are fit for purpose and free of unintended consequences. Governance is key; terms or reference must be standardised to reduce the likelihood of bias and regular audits by competent authorities should be expected and delivered. I don’t much like the current arrangement – best practise for financial business is to change the firm periodically to ensure that there is no collusion to hide malpractice and the SoG should be, themselves, examples to the rest.
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 favour either at a pace that Islanders are comfortable with. I will not, however, propose or champion either approach.
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?
Last question first. Yes and every four years (or thereabouts) the public has the option to register approval or disapproval through their opportunity to vote. As to the disparity in provision of medication between the UK and Guernsey and the pace at which the policy can be implemented, much depends not only on our ability to buy the medications initially but also on our ability to maintain purchasing power to meet future needs. It would be remiss to promise something that might not be sustainable.
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?
Firstly, let’s define what affordable is – and the only SMART way to do so is to say it must be related to the a buyer’s potential to secure a mortgage – in effect a property that does not exceed a multiple of five times median wages. The next issue is which actors are motivated to provide affordable housing – and the answer is that it would be the state or the commons based on the last twenty years experience of house building on Island. The initiative I would like to explore is a Mortgage Authority – an SoG owned or sponsored corporation that mobilises private investor’s money to fund mortgages backed by the full faith and credit of our government thus relieving the state of the responsibilty to own and maintain real estate assets whilst lowering borrowing costs due to risk sharing. A complicated solution, better explained on Wikipedia (Government National Mortgage Association, GNMA or “Ginnie Mae”). I don’t favour mortgage relief as it tends to disadvantage renters compared to mortgage payers and I dislike financial solutions that rob Peter to pay Paul. Shared ownership is already offered by the GTA I believe, however I’m not averse to extending the program.
Earlier this year, the States passed the introduction of life-saving and life-changing NICE-Approved drugs & medicines by a massive 32-1 vote; these drugs are readily available under the NHS and SHS in the UK. HSC have now announced that the implementation of this is now to be delayed by a year or so. Out of all projects the States have on their list - this has to be THE single most important one because it will affect up to 4,000+ residents of our island. How do you intend to bring forward the delay of this incredibly important topic to a much quicker implementation date?
I challenge some of the assumptions raised in this question: firstly, the difference in outcomes of the enhanced medications compared to the existing ones offered on 4000 disparate items may be marginal in many instances and/or may be contraindicated by other clinical factors, resulting in no net improvement on the part of the patient. Indeed it may be better to retain faith in an existing therapy which is tolerated rather than risk the upheaval caused by a change in regimen. So speaks a cardiac patient. Next, a quick move to fill the gap might impact other clinical needs; we are just about to enter seasonal flu season and people in risk groups need assurance that their health care needs will be met just as much as people receiving existing medications. Once past these stress points, the aspiration can be met.
What would you do to address traffic noise pollution from vehicles speeding and backfiring along St Georges Esplanade/Les Banques and towards town?
Ha! It’s not just the front, Vazon at 4am hosts a nightly sprint…My understanding is that the requirement to test all vehicles annually should address the issue, ensuring that vehicles fall below maximum permitted emissions are put into remediation. And if not, then the legislation can change to lower the allowed Db for motor bike exhausts.
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?
I challenge some of the assumptions raised in this question: firstly, the difference in outcomes of the enhanced medications compared to the existing ones offered on 4000 disparate items may be marginal in many instances and/or may be contraindicated by other clinical factors, resulting in no net improvement on the part of the patient. In deed it may be better to retain faith in an existing therapy which is tolerated rather than risk the upheaval caused by a change in regimen. So speaks a cardiac patient. Next, a quick move to fill the gap might impact other clinical needs; we are just about to enter seasonal flu season and people in risk groups need assurance that their health care needs will be met just as much as people receiving existing medications. Once past these stress points, the aspiration can be met.
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?
A pre-COVID report that takes no account of prevailing and future travel needs. I wonder how much of those cost benefits depended on FlyBe for instance. So no – the report is no longer relevant to the current situation.
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 am now. How many of these reports were written in an era when planes were getting larger over all? Most. I would prefer to spend the money on our national flag carrier and permit it to expand it’s routes and services, especially into the European Union.
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?
Yes. I note though that Australia and I guess New Zealand don’t much like our finance industry and that significant antipathy exists.
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 AM a person with a disability. But that is not my motivation, it is rather that discrimination denies talent and makes us as a community poorer.
What criteria do you use for decision making?
An Eisenhower Square to determine urgency and importance and a scorecard that rates risk and issues together with a cost benefits analysis. And if it feels right, it probably is right.
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?
Here goes...I defend two contradictory positions at once; I am pro life AND I support a woman’s right to choose. What I want to see is fewer abortions because there are far too many worldwide in an age when both men and women can access effective contraception and that seems to indicate a lack of responsibility rather than clinical imperatives. Where euthanasia is concerned, I have great sympathy with those facing a terminal illness where life experience is degraded and most likely painful. In those instances I think we owe those individuals the right to the choice to pass and avoid further discomfort provided it is their expressed wish. One last comment – the clinical need I can support is where there is a threat to the life of the mother; I have seen reports from Scandanavia that seem to point to the systematic termination of pregnancies with poor quality of life expectations, amongst them children born with Down’s syndrome. That smells to much like a eugenics programme for me to be comfortable with it.
It is beyond time to invest in our people, infrastructure and public services. Do you plan to make the island's tax system more fair and progressive, so that more businesses and the wealthy pay a fairer share?
Yes. No – I don’t equate progressive with fairer. I want to explore and implement Universal Basic Income to make our economy more distributive.
In light of covid-19 and the hit that the tourist industry has taken what plans (if any) would you try to put in place to make Guernsey more attractive to tourists after travel bans are lifted? And do you feel tourism should play a more crucial role in Guernsey? If not, why?
I have no policies relating to the tourism industry. I would like to see more industry led proposals targetting specific groups; disabled people, pet friendly travellers, dark skies, marine sports enthusiasts. Then we can look at targeted support, though in the case of the disabled I will be proposing specific measures such as disabled access to beaches which would add to Guernsey’s offering to tourists.
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
Some of these are concurrent priorities – addressing social need goes some way toward driving economic benefit for example. Of the examples listed, only the extension to the runway seems like a nice to have rather than a must have.
List your achievements to date which have been a benefit to Guernsey.
25 years as a Scout Leader.
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. It needs to be run as a streamlining project – the CSB have qualified people already – reducing redundant processes and duplication. It also needs a robust control environment in order to reduce errors, especially in validation and release.
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?
We certainly should be looking at giving competitive advantage to our flag carrier.
What is your view regarding commercialisation with respect to States owned entities?
Did we learn nothing from the sale of Guernsey Telecoms to Cable & Wireless? I can support policies that float those companies, allowing the SoG to retain some ownership through a golden share and thereby protecting strategic assets; but I would prefer that we explore securitisation, both to address a market shortfall for suitable investments for Island savers and to reduce pressure on the public finances.
Should the island be spending tax payers money on maintaining air and sea links?
Not if we can mobilise the commons to take on that role.
What is your view on future funding for long term care as current funding will be insufficient by 2040?
I woud support the measure but with reservations attached; an equity release policy is a terrible idea, except for all the other suggestions including doing nothing. Being asset rich rather than cash rich is still an admission that you are rich. Yes the medicine was a bitter pill to swallow, but it was still medicine and if for no other reason than to buy us breathing space then I would have supported the proposal. I would like us to revisit funding needs if policies to grow revenuesare successful though.
What is your opinion of introducing a goods and sales tax?
Let’s consider the introduction of Capital Gains before GST. Capital Gains (CGT) has some merit as it recognises the contribution of society in growing the value of your assets – taxes have paid for the policies that have made Guernsey an attractive place to live, helping to buy house prices and markets in other tangible assets and it is fair then to ask for recognition of that.
Would you support the ‘listing’ of all remaining historic military structures, as Jersey has done, to ensure their ongoing protection, repair and maintenance?
No. I would like to maintain some flexibility in our building preservation policy in general to ensure that there is a needs led response rather than being prescriptive. That way we can enhance our built environment rather than burden future generations with the upkeep of monuments which serve no other function.
What initiatives would you put in place to grow our economy?
The world and Guernsey are moving towards a low carbon future yet energy demand is only going to grow. In response to that opportunity I will be proposing that Guernsey pivots towards becoming an energy economy.
Do you believe that the rates of income support are a) too low b) about right or c) too high? Explain your answer in some detail.
I favour replacing benefits with a Universal Basic Income. The pilot schemes that have been operated have all pointed to rising standards in education, reduced crime, better health and well being, reduced dependence on substances and an increase in economic activity.
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?
There is an implied assumption that our population isn’t going to grow naturally; I agree that this is unlikely. I suspect that my suggestion might raise hackles and it would require enormous buy-in from Guernsey people and it is this: we promote adoption as a way to address the shortfall. Giving disadvantaged youngsters, displaced by war or famine or (as is likely going forward, rising sea levels) an opportunity to grow in a stable and loving community, to embed them in the Guernsey way of life so that they grow up as Guernsey citizens and naturally contribute to our prosperity.
How will your religious faith influence your voting decisions?
I’m not religious, though I do consider myself a Christian with Humanistic tendencies. Can I expand the scope of the question and respond by saying that all internal bias needs to be identified and understood to ensure that decisions taken are equitable and fair. I intend to be influenced by the merits and eccentricities of an argument rather than position myself on every issue.
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?
No, I have not read the report and no, I don’t favour an extension. I imagine that the report did not predict the lock down and it’s impact and is most likely no longer fit for purpose.
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?
To reduce costs I would actively pursue a pivot from treatment to prevention in the first instance. I am also looking at our benefits system and would like to see Universal Basic Income introduced which has a shown reductions in hospitalisations and an increase in health and well being overall. If the demand falls, economics predict that prices fall.
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 support all measures that support maintaining quality of life, including appropriate palliative care, whilst permitting individuals to exercise their right to dignity where their outcomes are clearly deteriorating. My humanity is touched by the circumstances that people in these dire straits endure and I would want our provision to be able to meet the needs of those who wish to live and those who wish to finish the race.
Education - Do you know what T levels are and if you do, would you be enthusiastically demanding that they are available here in Guernsey?
Yes and yes, though I will be more enthusiastically supporting the adoption of I-Bacc. Shame they got rid of City & Guilds.
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?
Again, Universal Basic Income is my answer – to relieve businesses of some wage burdens and to stimulate purchasing power by increasing the disposable incomes of all.
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?
Firstly, Universal Basic Income has shown that well being outcomes are improved following introduction. A reduction in demand for mental health services should be a primary aim of our policies – much better to prevent than cure – and as a result existing provisions might be adequate to needs. Secondly, as a society we need to make the abolition of bullying anathema so that resulting mental health problems are not triggered – I will be ensuring that anti-discrimination legislation is delivered and will listen to expert advice on how to reduce bullying online and in society, supporting appropriate measure as they are proposed . Lastly, I will be ensuring that professional support is available – mobilising bursaries to ensure that suitable newly qualified are supported in their early careers to practise in Guernsey.
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 am both pro life and pro choice and don’t see a rational conflict in this: I would certainly welcome reductions in both the need for abortions and the need for euthanasia and I will be supporting measures that deliver these outcomes, driven by our humanity and not dictated by dogma. On both of these issues, incidentally, I believe that political parties must be prohibited from taking a party line – no bloc votes.
What is your position on the opportunity to debate the abortion issue more openly and fairly with more balanced representations to the Deputies?
I support all initiatives that allow us to understand the merits and eccentricities of individual cases; As a project manager I would like to see our laws reflect the need to tailor outcomes to suit the individual at the centre of the crisis, be that a pregnant mother or a terminal patient. Expressed will by the principal actor in these dramas is key though – no decisions by proxy allowed.
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 don’t favour a model as I want our education to be adaptive and responsive and I don’t believe that buildings teach, but rather that it is the commitment of all stakeholders that result in the best outcomes. Education policy should empower Parents to parent, Teachers to teach and Students to study. There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. I also believe that a key dependency for better attainment in schools is to ensure that our young people are afforded the best conditions in which to study, including be well fed, dressed and free from mental anguish and that means supporting families to achieve these goals, yet another reason why I favour Universal Basic Income. I don’t deny that buildings must be fit for purpose, but see also my answer about reducing bullying to promote better health care outcomes – giant education factories are not a good solution to promote that outcome – bullies find it easier to hide in crowds.
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?
I am going to assume that this is a question of resource allocation and address that first before dealing with desirability issues. In a world where all resources are finite, it is better and more cost effective to maintain than repair; I favour an early review and remediation of sea defences and the deployment of hard and soft engineering solutions, tailored to need, to protect our coastlines as the priority. The loss of the steps at La Vallette is actually an opportunity to replace the access to the Clarence battery, not on a like for like basis but rather with a locally engineered solution that blends into it’s surroundings, provides economic outcomes and delivers disability access. The steps were a sub optimal solution, designed to serve the needs of fit soldiers in a prior era, and a ramp that hugs the cliff allowing wheelchairs and baby strollers an easier passage to the monument would find favour with me. As to the proposed seafront project, I like the idea in general but cannot find any compelling reasons, thus far, to support the ideas that have been floated. A low priority at present for me.
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"?
We recently had the misfortune to have to avail of this service; leaving aside the financial questions, the professional, timely and sympathetic approach of the Ecclesiastical Court made the process civilised and dignified. I wouldn’t want to change that. I certainly don’t want to add cost, either to grieving families or executors or to the public purse in the budget requirement to fund cost to achieve for any proposed change.