Top

Neil David Cave

Contacts
07911 736230
  • Parish Castel
  • Experience New Candidate
What do you think?
Yes No Maybe

Personal Statement

My experience across different sectors and my professional qualifications enable me to provide a balanced and pragmatic view for moving Guernsey forward. With a background in corporate governance, I promise to act with integrity, sincerity and diligence for an open and accountable government to bridge the disconnect between the States and Islanders.

  • Age: 55
  • Education: Castel and La Mare Primary.
    La Mare Secondary and Grammar.
    College of Further Education. Bournemouth University.
  • Employment: Civil service (13 years); international retail (7 years) and finance (13 years).
  • Qualifications: Associate of the Chartered Governance Institute, MSc in Corporate Governance.

Manifesto

There isn’t enough space for detailed proposals, but the following will give you an idea of what I stand for – a more extensive manifesto is on the election website.

EDUCATION

Schools need to fit our children, not the other way around. I am thus against a two-school model.

The Island needs a strategy for investing in Islanders at every stage in life.

  • This must start with targeted high-quality early childhood education as the basis of efforts to create productive Islanders and afford them the best opportunities in life.
  • Create programs to supplement traditional higher education; job training; specialised apprenticeships; retraining programs for workers made redundant later in life.
  • Encourage continuous “up-skilling” by individuals – as this in turn creates a more robust and prosperous economy.

Consideration of the German schooling model which has the option of a more vocational stream for those for which this is the most suitable path.

The Islands capability to reskill and upskill the labour force will be a key determining factor for our continued prosperity.

BUILD AND MAINTAIN INFRASTRUCTURE

  • Fibre optic broadband must be delivered to all households as a matter of urgency. Internet access is critical to the future of the Guernsey economy.
  • Proper maintenance programs for all public assets are essential – it’s a false economy to cut costs in this area.

CREATE A WIDER TAX BASE

  • Zero/ten to be made optional – double taxation treaties mean that Guernsey is potentially missing out.
  • Tax empty/derelict properties – housing is too valuable a resource to be left empty.
  • Tax on marine fuel.
  • Increase harbour dues for cruise liners.

CONTROL PUBLIC SPENDING

  • Zero based budgeting for each Committee at least once every political term.
  • Transparency on all spending – seem to be numerous QUANGOS.
  • Are there overlaps where services can be streamlined?

CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

  • Good governance requires transparency of the decision-making process – Freedom of Information legislation would force the States into becoming more open to scrutiny.
  • Third party contracts to include clauses permitting details to be made public.
  • Utilise blockchain technology to engage with the public via electronic polls to get views on major decisions.

ENVIRONMENT

The environment is our most fundamental asset. We have a moral obligation to pass this asset on to future generations undiminished.

At the same time, we cannot afford to have an ideological view of Environmental Policy. The activities that create comfort and prosperity (e.g. transportation / heating our homes) always have some environmental costs. The logical way to balance growth and environmental responsibility is to build the price of pollution into the activities that cause it to reflect their true “social cost”.

REVIVE & THRIVE

  • Create a three-story underground car park at North Beach – the top being level with harbour-side wall / toilet block. The top story would be a communal and “reserve” parking area.
  • Move cruise ship disembarkation point to harbour terminal – increase footfall through Town.
  • Revive Fortress Guernsey to tie-in with opportunities from the forthcoming WWII anniversaries and documentaries.
  • Expand the West Coast cycle path.
  • Create a Marine Conservation Zone off the West Coast to incorporate Sea Bass breeding grounds.

A brief summary of my views on other topics:-

I would support:

Maintaining L’Ancresse sea wall

Extending airport runway

Assisted dying

Investigation of land reclamation around
Mont Cuet

Medical use of cannabis (undecided about wider use)

I am against:

Goods & Services Tax

Development on Green Field sites

There are numerous other issues that need discussing for which there is not room here. Please feel free to raise them with me by email, phone or Facebook.

I don’t have all the answers to the Islands problems but I will commit to seeking out the opinions of those more knowledgeable on specific items to help me better understand them and do my best to ensure the best outcome for the Island.

I hope you exercise your right to vote and I would be most grateful if one of them would be for me. I won’t let you down.

Answers to questions proposed by the public:

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 ?

Projects for local infrastructure that may be able to use the unemployed - expansion of the West Coast path / reviving Fortress Guernsey. Also infrastructure work (such as making the North Beach a covered underground multi-story carpark) using local firms. Sadly the States seem one of the employers most eager to recruit outside of the Island.

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

First we need to understand what carbon neutral means (eg does it include our rubbish being burnt overseas, international flights taken by locals). Pollution taxes, particularly on carbon emissions, would encourage cost effective conservation; consumers and companies can respond in whatever ways makes the most economic sense to them. Any tax on pollution would also make cleaner sources of energy more economically viable and mean that the price should reflect the true “social cost” of any activity. However green taxes are a regressive form of tax and thus the impact for the less well-off needs to be considered. If we introduce a carbon tax I hope it is spent on Island subsidising green initiatives for the less well-off rather than being used to buy "carbon credits". I would like to encourage new builds to incorporate solar, wind and brown water recycling as well as designing space to include batteries to store the electricity generated.

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?

I am primarily interested in solving the issues affecting the whole Island. If I am elected but not a member of a Committee then I should have more time to deal with individual issues. I am more familiar with the Castel than elsewhere but see the Douzaine as the first call for parochial issues and a Deputy as way of helping Islanders deal with issues with States Departments.

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

I am against green field sites being built on, so I hope that any agricultural land being incorporated into gardens is not allowed to be paved or have structures put on it. Hopefully after this pandemic we will see an upturn in individuals growing their own produce in allotments.

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?

Like any idea it will need a majority in the States to carry forward - I hope that my ideas are sensible enough to achieve support.

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

Guernsey does not need to lead the way or try and be the gold standard, our environmental policy/impact will be dictated by what happens in the UK and EU (designs and efficiency are determined in their legislation) we just need to be sure we won’t be a dumping ground for environmentally unfriendly products. I would like to encourage new builds to incorporate solar, wind and brown water recycling as well as designing space to include batteries to store the electricity generated. Pollution taxes, particularly on carbon emissions, would encourage cost effective conservation; consumers and companies can respond in whatever ways makes the most economic sense to them. Any tax on pollution would also make cleaner sources of energy more economically viable and mean that the price should reflect the true “social cost” of any activity. However green taxes are a regressive form of tax and thus the impact for the less well-off needs to be considered. I am wary of the carbon credits systems – this seems to be a money-making exercise by the men in the middle and very difficult to determine that all the money they take is actually used for the purposes they say it is. I would prefer that any policy that had this concept of paying to pollute was kept local i.e. used to subsidise electric cars/bikes or solar panels for the less well off in the Island – or even invested in tidal energy or trials of electric planes (which would be feasible for flights between the islands).

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

Leadership and integrity with an open agenda – not working in the background.

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 support extending the runaway - it's not so much "build it and they will come", it's more like "if we don't build it, they can't come". Air transport links are crucial for the Islands economic wellbeing and thus we need to extend the runway. An extension would also increase safety and allow flying in foggier conditions.

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?

Tax should be used to discourage behaviour - thus I think we will need to consider more "green" taxes. I also propose the following to widen the tax base: Zero/ten to be made optional – double taxation treaties mean that Guernsey is potentially missing out. Tax empty/derelict properties – housing is too valuable a resource to be left empty. Tax on marine fuel – I don’t understand why this is not already in place. Increase harbour dues for cruise liners to ensure all the costs involved in managing the passengers onshore are covered. I think we will need to consider more "green" taxes (however, these are a regressive form of tax and the impact on the less well-off needs to be considered).

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

Unfortunately, I'm not familiar with the arrangements and thus I'm not aware that there are any issues with this. Happy to discuss further if I am elected.

I believe Guernsey needs a vision; a forward-thinking concept for the future of the island’s infrastructure, community wellbeing and economy. What’s yours?

I would like to see a Marine Conservation Zone a) protect sea bass breeding grounds and other marine life b) long term this will increase the sustainability of fish for locals and elsewhere c) provide tourism opportunities fishing and diving. I would also like to see an exploration of land reclamation options (my thought is Mont Cuet) - if we start now then in 10-15 years we will have more space to use for either improved infrastructure such as sewage treatment plant or recreational use. I also believe that enlarging the West Coast path would be beneficial on many levels. Also infrastructure work (such as making the North Beach a covered underground multi-story carpark) using local firms. I also have proposals for widening the tax base: Zero/ten to be made optional – double taxation treaties mean that Guernsey is potentially missing out. Tax empty/derelict properties – housing is too valuable a resource to be left empty. Tax on marine fuel – I don’t understand why this is not already in place. Increase harbour dues for cruise liners to ensure all the costs involved in managing the passengers onshore are covered. I think we will need to consider more "green" taxes (however, these are a regressive form of tax and the impact on the less well-off needs to be considered).

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?

Personal transport is part of modern life and our weather and topography make walking and cycling difficult to maintain throughout the year and there are those who are not able to walk or cycle. In principle it makes sense to discourage car use but unfortunately there is a lot of judgement around this. I imagine most households have a car (even those who chose to cycle to work) but it doesn’t necessarily mean that car users are unhealthy nor that they don’t care about the environment. I think we will need to consider more "green" taxes (however, these are a regressive form of tax and the impact on the less well-off needs to be considered). I also propose that the West Coast path be widened and extended to allow both walkers and cyclists to use it for greater lengths of the West Coast. I would like to see full fibre broadband connectivity so that working from home was a more viable option.

Do you support outsourcing of States services?

It would depend on the service and the benefits/ costs of doing so.

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

Promote green taxes. Rational people respond to prices, and rational prices should reflect the true “social cost” of any activity. However green taxes are a regressive form of tax and thus the impact for the less well-off needs to be considered.

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

It's something I'm keen to find out more about – I’m currently reading Green Swans by John Elkington. However modern society is based around consumerism and advertising to encourage us all to buy more and upgrade and so it is something that I feel will need to be driven by the younger generation.

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?

Personal transport is part of modern life and our weather and topography make walking and cycling difficult to maintain throughout the year and there are those who are not able to walk or cycle. The States need to take opportunities to buy land to widen roads before cycle/ walking paths become feasible. Green lanes could be utilised to become walking and cycling short cuts – unfortunately they are often overgrown or too narrow I believe that the Environment Committee already has a budget for road improvements it’s just that they need to spend it in a different way. I propose that the West Coast path be widened and extended to make it an option for safer off-road option for as much of the West Coast as possible. If we have a large number of unemployed following the pandemic, then maybe some can be used to work on this. I think we will need to consider more "green" taxes (however, these are a regressive form of tax and the impact on the less well-off needs to be considered). It should be noted that electric vehicles are also not without environmental cost – it’s just that it is moved to somewhere else in the world.

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

Unfortunately, electric vehicles also create environmental problems - just somewhere else in the world. However, if that is the way we are to go then it needs a coordinated approach eg Planning ensuring that new builds have parking spaces outside of homes that can have charging points outside. Green taxes so that prices reflect the true “social cost” of any activity. However green taxes are a regressive form of tax and thus the impact for the less well-off needs to be considered. If we introduce a carbon tax, I hope it is spent on Island subsidising green initiatives for the less well-off rather than being used to buy "carbon credits". I think vehicles, particularly diesel, over 10 years old should have annual emissions tests.

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

Create a Marine Conservation Zone off the West Coast. Investigate organic farming as an island wide initiative. Object to using Green field sites for building. Investigate land reclamation to ease pressure on land.

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 why this has not been progressed. However, I would like to know the impact of the plans on the tides and currents – I don’t want the harbour silting up or subject to tidal surges that may flood the front more than happens already.

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

The climate has changed throughout history (we can see raised beaches) so not all changes are necessarily man made. However, the rapid increase in population and consequential increase in consumption is depleting the earths finite resources and certainly making things worse.

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?

Unfortunately, I'm not familiar with this area. I’m against building on green field sites and have proposed that we review our waste strategy as soon as possible (to avoid last minute decisions like last time) and part of that should include a baling plant to use inert waste for land reclamation. Land reclamation needs to be discussed to avoid these conflicts between saving our biodiversity and improving our infrastructure. Happy to discuss further if I am elected.

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?

Sadly, I can't see the world becoming carbon neutral in that time especially with the continued growth of the Chinese economy. There is a lot to be said for having a target but even if all cars in Europe were electric, the production just moves the problem to somewhere else in the world. Fundamentally we need a clear understanding of what carbon-neutral means to the Island. How is it calculated – for example does it include transport of people/freight to and from the Island? The disposal of our waste abroad? Visiting cruise ships? International flights taken by locals? The production of goods imported into the Island? The environmental impact elsewhere in the world from making any changes? This is the first step in determining what target we are aiming for – I don’t believe this is straightforward and certainly not easy. Rational people respond to prices, and rational prices should reflect the true “social cost” of any activity. However green taxes are a regressive form of tax and thus the impact for the less well-off needs to be considered. Pollution taxes, particularly on carbon emissions, would encourage cost effective conservation; consumers and companies can respond in whatever ways makes the most economic sense to them. Any tax on pollution would also make cleaner sources of energy more economically viable. The market is a powerful mechanism for creating sane environmental policies - if we give participants the right price signals, which we have failed to do so far. However, Guernsey does not need to lead the way or try and be the gold standard, our environmental policy/impact will be dictated by what happens in the UK and EU (designs and efficiency are determined in their legislation) we just need to be sure we won’t be a dumping ground for environmentally unfriendly products. I am wary of the carbon credits systems – this seems to be a money-making exercise by the men in the middle and very difficult to determine that all the money they take is actually used for the purposes they say it is. I would prefer that any policy that had this concept of paying to pollute was kept local i.e. used to subsidise electric cars/bikes or solar panels for the less well off in the Island – or even invested in tidal energy or trials of electric planes (which would be feasible for flights between the islands). There is a lot of “virtue signalling” around the environment – it’s seems ok to use a bicycle and criticise car users but this judgement doesn’t take into account the individuals whole carbon footprint e.g. one long distance flight is greater than any person’s annual car use in Guernsey. The only way that we meet any target is by changing our lifestyles - modern society is based around consumerism and advertising to encourage us all to buy more or upgrade and so it is something that I feel will need to be driven by the younger generation. It will probably need a worldwide initiative to label products with their carbon cost so we can all undertake individual carbon audits.

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?

I don’t know enough about this subject. In these times it important to maintain airlinks and supporting Aurigny in the short term makes sense. The pandemic means it will be difficult to assess Aurigny’s performance for the next couple of years. I think they could simplify the fare structure with just a single fare for each flight (with extras eg flexible tickets).

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?

Absolutely. I support the maintenance of this sea wall. It seems contradictory to have an environmental policy based on rising sea levels to then remove a major sea wall from our infrastructure.

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 do not support the 2 school model. The Education Committee were advised that the best site for redevelopment was La Mare yet proceeded to try and cram everything into 2 other schools. I believe that the proposed extra spending was for Education to justify continuing with their model - the Committee themselves should have had the courage to review their proposals in light of the opposition.

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. I propose that we should investigate making this an optional tax. Although some transactions require zero tax to be carried in Guernsey - due to double taxation agreements, when money is transferred elsewhere, Guernsey is missing out. I would propose that any company that voluntarily paid tax in this way would be looked upon more favourably when requesting housing licenses.

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

Consumer protection is important but it would be for the relevant committee to determine their priorities. I think the economy and education should be the main priorities initially. However, having read the manifesto from the Guernsey Citizens Advice Bureau I would certainly seek for this to be moved forward as it would seem like a “quick-win” for the new assembly.

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?

Unfortunately, I'm not familiar with the arrangements and thus I'm not aware that there are any issues with this. Happy to discuss further if I am elected.

Would you support a programme of privatisation of island utilities and other facilities such as Beau Sejour to help reduce record levels of borrowing resulting from the cost of Covid defences?

No. Privatisation of telecoms was a big mistake - the lack of investment in fibre broadband means that we are lagging behind both in terms of speed and reliability of our digital connectivity which is now the most important part of a modern economy. Look at the issues Sark has with their private electric company. We need States control to ensure that all Islanders are catered for and it is not profit motivated rather than service motivated. The profit generated by the utilities goes back the States.

Increasing home working will likely result in surplus office space. Will you encourage an urgent revision of Planning Policies to facilitate conversion of retail and office space to residential & curb green-field development?

I support looking at alternatives to using green field sites. I have always thought that there should be some way of converting the top stories of the shops in the arcade into residential space – thus creating a ready-made market for Town. I would also support a tax on empty properties so that valuable housing stock is not left idle.

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

As a dog owner I think this is using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. Unfortunately, people will be anti-social (fly-tipping, littering etc) no matter how we try and curb it.

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 ensure we have the right educational system in place. Our route to continued prosperity is via an increase in productivity through education and up-skilling. We need to get this right as it is the foundation for the future success of our economy. We can never promise great outcomes for all, but we should be able to promise equal opportunities for all.

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 have recently completed a life coaching course which will help me in trying to reach compromises that are acceptable to all sides to move projects forward.

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

I'd need to do some research on this to understand the pros and cons of such a policy.

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?

As well as utilising underused States sites I have also proposed the introduction of a Tax on empty/derelict properties as these are not only eyesores but also a waste of a valuable resource. Any tax would only come into effect if the house had not been occupied permanently for 18 months. I would also support a tax on land that has been given planning permission but no building has been completed. I would suggest a period of three years from the purchase of the land or the granting of planning permission for the tax to start applying. I understand that a builder may need a flow of work but as we have a supply shortage, we need land to be used and discourage speculation. I agree that the planning laws need looking at to see what they are trying to achieve (I fail to see the historic significance of having wooden windows). I would have thought a proper documentation of the site would suffice – with modern technology anything can be scanned in 3D and preserved digitally for the future.

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

I fully support medical use of cannabis and CBD if prescribed by a doctor. However, the recreational use of cannabis is something I have some concerns about, especially for the under 25’s. Although more research is still needed, there is some suggestion that there is possible impact on brain development when used during adolescence (memory and learning problems) but it’s unclear if these effects are permanent. I understand the economic argument – cost savings, revenue generation but I would like more details of where this has happened in other parts of the world – social impact / under-age use (effect on their education) / use “hard” drugs / black market to avoid tax – and if there are long term effects from regular use and the additional cost of treatment for drug misuse. My understanding is that there are different strengths of cannabis available (dependent on the amount of THC) - would all strengths be available and if not, would there be a black market for the stronger strains. Ultimately, we will need a proper discussion based on all the information and experiences from other jurisdictions before deciding to relax the current laws.

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, I have not. My impression of the current States is of a divided and bickering assembly with little actually being done, so the prospect of spending time there did not appeal to me. However, my intention, should I be elected, is to only speak if I have something to add to a debate, not to repeat what someone else has said in a slightly different way, support electronic voting to speed the process up and support putting a time limit on speeches.

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?

Although I believe Guernsey has a moral obligation to support less well-off nations, I don’t believe we should be tied to the arbitrary 0.7% of GNP I use the Overseas Aid Committee as an example of potential cost saving – the Committee invite organisations to submit up to 4 separate applications for consideration. This has administrative costs for collating and presenting the projects, time making decisions and paying out funds and oversight of the projects. I would suggest that the States instead make a lump sum donation to the International Red Cross and contribute an additional £50,000 for each UN emergency appeal when necessary. There would then be no need for a permanent Committee and the associated administrative costs. I would add that no money should be paid to the more political relief organisations that now consider it part of their remit to issue statements attacking Guernsey – we are effectively funding our critics. Another proposal I have is the creation of a Marine Conservation Zone on the West Coast to incorporate the Sea Bass breeding grounds. The fish population requires protection and a marine reserve would give the population the chance to mature and increase (I would compensate fisherman with tapered payments over five years). As fish are economically a “common good” (i.e. no one owns them), the cost of this could come from the Overseas Aid Budget as by preserving and increasing fish stocks we are helping the whole sea fishing industry. Although this area on its own won’t save fish stocks the principle of more fish in European waters would stop European fleets fishing off Africa 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 ?

Absolutely. Unfortunately, due to the actions of the current States, I believe Freedom of Information legislation is the only way forward to achieve good governance and get Deputies to be fully accountability for their actions. Freedom of information legislation will have a cost but that is the price of good governance. A committee should welcome scrutiny - they should be confident that their decision-making process was appropriate; all the assumptions made were valid; all the options available were considered; and the correct criteria was used to judge them against one another. Then be willing for that information to be published. I understand confidentiality will mean most of it won’t be published but if they acted as if it were then we would have a lot more trust in our Deputies. I would back any review that was requested (such as the conduct of the Education Committee regarding the hiring process of senior civil servants) where such matters are clearly in the public interest. I would be willing to submit myself to scrutiny for any decisions I made as part of a committee.

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 fully support medical use of cannabis and CBD if prescribed by a doctor. However, the recreational use of cannabis is something I have some concerns about, especially for the under 25’s. Although more research is still needed, there is some suggestion that there is possible impact on brain development when used during adolescence (memory and learning problems) but it’s unclear if these effects are permanent. I understand the economic argument – cost savings, revenue generation but I would like more details of where this has happened in other parts of the world – social impact / under-age use (effect on their education) / use “hard” drugs / black market to avoid tax – and if there are long term effects from regular use and the additional cost of treatment for drug misuse. My understanding is that there are different strengths of cannabis available (dependent on the amount of THC) - would all strengths be available and if not, would there be a black market for the stronger strains. Ultimately, we will need a proper discussion based on all the information and experiences from other jurisdictions before deciding to relax the current laws.

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?

I think States members can be held accountable to varying degrees depending on their actions. As an individual you can only deliver if you can get the States to agree as a body – so long as you have raised it then there is little more that you can do as an individual. However, an individual Deputy has an obligation to challenge a Committee for failing to deliver or not having a reasonable reason for not doing so. As part of a Committee that commits to doing something then valid reasons have to be given for not meeting that commitment (some things are outside their control) and that they have acted on a best efforts basis. I don’t think the States assembly should be tarred with the same brush but the block voting seen by the current States (to stop proper scrutiny of Education, for example) does not reflect well on the assembly as a whole.

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 only way to keep prices down is to increase supply. With this aim I would suggest that the States need to: 1. Consider utilizing empty States sites (or old hotel sites) to create: a) a bigger supply of specialist retirement/sheltered housing for older people. These should be of sufficient size for them to feel comfortable and entertain family. It is important for the accommodation to be spacious and secure with plenty of parking to encourage people to give up their homes and make it is easy for family to visit. Too often this accommodation is seen as a place where an individual needs little space and will only have one car, the option to entertain family and friends is overlooked and I believe is off-putting for people who see themselves missing out and becoming isolated as a result (I would suggest that these sites should have a Community Centre for that reason). and b) flats/apartments for single parents which would have a creche on site to allow the parent to continue their education or work – having a child should not be seen as a way of getting a States house. 2. Introduce a tax on empty dwellings. Please see my suggestions on creating a wider tax base. 3. Undertake a comprehensive analysis of the current housing stock to determine our housing needs – it should be a pyramid from manor houses down to bedsits – to ensure the houses being built are what is needed i.e. not too many first time buyer houses are built without building the three or four bedroom houses that are needed to allow families to move into. Our inability to keep building enough houses to match demand has pushed up rents to excessive levels. That is why we must consider a land reclamation project to give us room to have housing built to reasonable standards and not crammed in to make a quick buck / meet demand. I think mortgage relief subsidy should be phased out. As I understand it the shared ownership initiatives are working well – the issues may arise when people want to move up the housing ladder. However if there are any issues with this, I’d be happy to discuss further if I am elected.

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'll need to do some research on this to understand why this has been delayed – there may be a good reason. If elected I will look into this further. Having just gone to the GDA hustings I can see that this is an important issue affecting the lives of thousands of Islanders – I would certainly do all I can to get this resolved sooner rather than later.

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

I believe that a law already exists to cover this but what constitutes noise pollution hasn’t been quantified within that law and thus something needs to be done to enable the police to carry out the necessary tests. I would support clarification of this law.

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'll need to do some research on this to understand why this has been delayed – there may be a good reason. If elected I will look into this further. Having just gone to the GDA hustings I can see that this is an important issue affecting the lives of thousands of Islanders – I would certainly do all I can to get this resolved sooner rather than later.

The recent Frontier report on the runway extension summed up that "the economic benefits of extending the runway are likely to outweigh the costs" with net benefits over 40 years of up to £687m (over £20k per household). Post COVID, do you support continued investigation into the potential for a runway extension to improve Guernsey's infrastructure, air links, and sustain the visitor economy?

I support extending the runaway - it's not so much "build it and they will come", it's more like "if we don't build it they can't come". Air transport links are crucial for the Islands economic wellbeing and we should extend the runway. An extension would also increase safety and allow flying in foggier conditions.

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 was not aware, however, I support extending the runaway - it's not so much "build it and they will come", it's more like "if we don't build it they can't come". Air transport links are crucial for the Islands economic wellbeing and we should extend the runway. An extension would also increase safety and allow flying in foggier conditions.

Brexit presents a unique opportunity for Guernsey to strengthen its ties with other Commonwealth countries and stand on its own two feet on an international scale. Would you be willing to make an effort to strengthen our diplomatic ties to countries like New Zealand, Australia, and Canada?

I think we should focus on our relationship with the UK and Europe as they will have a direct impact on our future. I would be wary of the cost of having diplomatic ties with the Commonwealth (I could see it becoming an excuse for a cheap holiday for senior politicians and civil servants rather than anything meaningful for Guernsey).

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?

People should not be discriminated against, however I do not like the idea of quotas – it should always be based on the best person for the job.

What criteria do you use for decision making?

I like the PrOACT (Problem, Objectives, Alternatives, Consequences, Trade-offs) model from the book “Smart Choices” (Hammond, Keeney and Raiffa) – which starts with ensuring that the problem is properly defined because if you start from the wrong place the final decision will not be the best one.

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?

When private behaviour does not affect the rest of us, then we ought to let individuals decide what is appropriate and what is not. I personally would like to be able to have some say in my ultimate demise. I would like to have the choice of how I go and give these instructions before that time arrives so that I can go painlessly and with dignity at the time of my choosing. I do not want to be in a position whereby I have no meaningful engagement with anyone and rely on someone feeding me and taking me to the toilet or any other possible situations where I have no quality of life and I’ve been kept alive for no other reason than I can. I realise this might offend people’s moral reasonings, but I don’t feel there is any need to keep people alive against their wishes especially if they are in pain or where they are no longer fully ‘compos mentis’ [sound mind, memory, and understanding] with no quality of life. Obviously, there would be safeguards, such as living wills, to ensure that life is not taken without proper authority and protection for medical staff. Regarding abortion, the person whose choice that is should be is the mothers as again it is a decision that not affect the rest of us. I don’t see it as “failing to protect human life” I see it as an enlightened society allowing individuals to make informed choices – death is inevitable, but quality of life should also be considered. To me, my life would be meaningless without any quality of life and I would like to have the option to go when my family and friends have good memories of me and not as a shell of the person I am now. I also don’t see it as enlightened to force a woman to have a child against her wishes.

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?

I would need to have more information on the tax take from wealthier individuals to ensure we don’t tax them too heavily as I would imagine that they are major contributors. In principle I would support progressive taxes. My suggestions to widen the tax base include: Zero/ten to be made optional – double taxation treaties mean that Guernsey is potentially missing out. Tax empty/derelict properties – housing is too valuable a resource to be left empty. Tax on marine fuel. Increase harbour dues for cruise liners.

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?

My proposals that would enhance the tourist industry are: Revive Fortress Guernsey : The Island is missing out on potential visitors from the forthcoming anniversaries (every 5 years) marking both the start and end of the Second World War that will inevitably take place up until the 100th anniversary of the end of the war. There are now numerous TV documentaries highlighting Guernsey’s unique position in the war and the extensive fortifications here and thus an opportunity to tie in with these programmes is being missed. Guernsey could exploit this market by restoring and opening up the different types of bunker, for example, the entire network at Fort Houmet. If nothing else the program would stop these fortifications falling into disrepair and becoming unusable. A specialist tour company could be used to advertise historical military holidays in the Island. I would envisage that the tour operator would have special access to certain bunkers as a unique selling point for the tours (using local tour guides). Holidays of varying length could be offered with the longer tours incorporating Alderney. Expand West Coast Cycle Path: If we have a large number of unemployed following the pandemic, I would suggest employing some to widen and extend the coastal path. The West Coast is a major selling point for tourism and a more extensive walking/cycle path should be seriously considered for this reason. Currently the West Coast path is approximately 1 metre wide and this is not suitable for cyclists and walkers to mix. Wherever possible the path should be widened to about 3 metres. Ways to extend/join-up the path should be investigated to make as much of it as possible a designated off-road path along the coast. A longer-term goal would be to try and make a cycle path along the coast along the South Coast cliffs (all be it for the more adventurous cyclist). A runway extension would also help make Guernsey a more viable destination. I don’t think tourism will ever be what it used to be however we might have an opportunity to market Guernsey as a COVID free and environmentally friendly option (no long-haul flight and possibly in the future use electric planes?) so we may see a boost depending on how the UK comes out of COVID and Brexit (hassle free travel to Guernsey?). But the hospitality industry is generally good for Guernsey and should be supported until we come out of the pandemic (however it shouldn’t be subsidised indefinitely – if the market shrinks then the local sector will have to adjust accordingly).

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

I see many of these as inextricably linked as fundamentally, we must aim to align policies to create wealth and promote productivity (the bigger the pie, the easier everything else becomes) but not at the expense of our environment nor leave behind the less fortunate in society. I also have different ideas on the projects for revive and thrive. Please find below the items listed in order: driving Guernsey’s economy reduce states expenditure implement revive and thrive as a priority sort out the schools extend the runway - invest in Guernsey’s infrastructure and improve protecting the environment addressing social needs focus on air and sea links open our closed borders as a priority

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

I have constantly sought to improve myself and gained professional qualifications (Chartered Governance Institute and MSc in Corporate Governance). This “upskilling” has added value to the Guernsey economy both in the standard and nature of the work I was qualified to do.

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?

Unfortunately, I'd need to do some research on this to understand the pros and cons of such a policy.

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

States owned entities need to cover the cost of business and maintaining / improving the infrastructure to be suitable for the Islands growing needs in the 21st century. I would prefer that charges included a small amount to cover future infrastructure needs rather than big increases every now and again. At least being States owned the entities can be directed to do work that would not be viable for a private company and all the profits are kept within Guernsey. The privatisation of Telecoms has been a drag on the Guernsey economy.

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

We shouldn’t subsidise Condor until they get a suitable boat to replace the Liberation. They should never have been allowed to use just one boat. I understand why Aurigny is subsidised but I wonder how they compare to similar sized airlines. I think they could simplify the fare structure with just a single fare for each flight (with extras eg flexible tickets).

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

Unfortunately there is no such thing as a free care system – we either pay now or pay (sell assets) later; every solution is either unfair, unpopular or expensive and often a mix of all three. All too often people feel that if you contribute, you get less than your fair share. Whilst we all support a welfare state, it has to ensure that those who look after themselves and families are rewarded not penalised. My view would be to get everyone to start paying more now as it is better to start sooner rather than later to build up the funds – it could be used as a form of progressive tax. Centre for Policy Studies (UK Govt Think Tank) support a model based on the state pension. The government would guarantee a decent level of care, while encouraging people to pay for better treatment. This would allow people to protect their homes while creating a “thriving insurance market” (although I don’t know whether we have the volume for it to work in Guernsey).

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

I am against this tax as this strikes me as being a very “lazy” way to raise revenue. An initial 5% level will soon rise to 7.5% then 10% as the States want to fund projects through raising this tax rather than through cost savings. I also believe that the administrative burden it will place on retailers will stifle small businesses and impact local spending. It is also a regressive tax that will hit the less well-off hardest.

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

Yes. I have proposed the revival of the Fortress Guernsey initiative. The Island is missing out on potential visitors from the forthcoming anniversaries (every 5 years) marking both the start and end of the Second World War that will inevitably take place up until the 100th anniversary of the end of the war. There are now numerous TV documentaries highlighting Guernsey’s unique position in the war and the extensive fortifications here and thus an opportunity to tie in with these programmes is being missed. Guernsey could exploit this market by restoring and opening up the different types of bunker, for example, the entire network at Fort Houmet. If nothing else the program would stop these fortifications falling into disrepair and becoming unusable. A specialist tour company could be used to advertise historical military holidays in the Island. I would envisage that the tour operator would have special access to certain bunkers as a unique selling point for the tours (using local tour guides). Holidays of varying length could be offered with the longer tours incorporating Alderney.

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

Widen the tax base Review public expenditure Get our life-long education system sorted - we need to get this right as it is the foundation for the future success of our economy as I believe our route to continued prosperity is via an increase in productivity through education and up-skilling. Infrastructure projects to use local companies and/or unemployed labour.

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.

Unfortunately, I'm not familiar with the income support system. I'm not aware that there are any issues with this, but happy to discuss further if I am elected.

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?

I think we need to upskill the current labour force to drive the economy. The more people that arrive will then subsequently need supporting as they grow older.

How will your religious faith influence your voting decisions?

It won’t. When private behaviour does not affect the rest of us, then we ought to let individuals decide what is appropriate and what is not.

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?

I support extending the runaway - it's not so much "build it and they will come", it's more like "if we don't build it they can't come". Air transport links are crucial for the Islands economic wellbeing and we should extend the runway. An extension would also increase safety and allow flying in foggier conditions.

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?

Unfortunately, I'm not familiar with this issue. I'm not aware that there are any issues with this. Happy to discuss further if I am elected.

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)?

When private behaviour does not affect the rest of us, then we ought to let individuals decide what is appropriate and what is not. I personally would like to be able to have some say in my ultimate demise. I would like to have the choice of how I go and give these instructions before that time arrives so that I can go painlessly and with dignity at the time of my choosing. I do not want to be in a position whereby I have no meaningful engagement with anyone and rely on someone feeding me and taking me to the toilet or any other possible situations where I have no quality of life and I’ve been kept alive for no other reason than I can. I realise this might offend people’s moral reasonings, but I don’t feel there is any need to keep people alive against their wishes especially if they are in pain or where they are no longer fully ‘compos mentis’ [sound mind, memory, and understanding] with no quality of life. Obviously, there would be safeguards, such as living wills, to ensure that life is not taken without proper authority and protection for medical staff.

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

Unfortunately I don’t. Although I’m reluctant to say this, the Education strategy needs to go back to the drawing board to determine exactly what the Island needs. Not necessarily to revisit the 11+, but to get some consensus on what the best offering is for our children from year 1 through to joining the workforce and beyond (upskilling and retraining) in a comprehensive joined-up strategy for “Lifelong Learning” in which non-academic education is valued just as much as traditional academic education. We need to get this right as it is the foundation for the future success of our economy. The upskilling and retraining would not only include local training courses but help with access to online / distance learning such as the Open University. Business/career relevant courses could be subsidised for people on lower incomes. Find out from business what skill shortages we have or foresee – are there existing training programs that cover these skills (or need small adaptions); if not, then how do we create these training programs so that we have the right people for the right jobs. Get business and the education sector (in the largest sense of the word) working together to retrain people for jobs that are in demand in sectors that are growing. Education and skills do not guarantee lifetime employment but higher skilled individuals, are more productive, more adaptable and more economically resilient. The growth in University education has come from poor quality courses of little value in the business world. Many of the young have been let down by encouraging them to study for worthless degrees, when they would have been better served training in more practical areas such as plumbing, electrical works, building and carpentry (areas where we still seem to import labour) or going straight into work and studying professional qualifications whilst in employment.

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?

The lockdown has provided ample evidence of the importance digital connectivity and the need for a truly fast and reliable internet connection. Internet access is critical to the future of the Guernsey economy and fibre optic broadband is now an essential part of a 21st century infrastructure and we have fallen too far behind in speed and reliability of connectivity. Fibre broadband should thus be delivered to all households as a matter of urgency (that is fibre-to-the-home rather than to the nearest exchange cabinet). If necessary, the regulator must be used to apply pressure on the providers to make this happen, with a target of, for example, 5,000 households per annum until the Island is covered. I appreciate there is a cost to the providers but that is the cost to them doing business in Guernsey. The fibre optic cable has been in the Island for over 15 years and we have fallen too far behind other jurisdictions such as Jersey in providing this for households. I can’t help but think that the focus on 5G is just a way for the telecom companies to sell more hardware. The benefits are not just for households but for individuals who can make a living online (such as vloggers/influencers) and businesses (the pandemic has highlighted the necessity for an online presence and the ability for staff to work from home). When we hopefully return to normal, working from home should be more widely accepted by employers (and this will tie in with the environmental strategy for reducing emissions) but we need a robust comprehensive, high-speed connectivity network to facilitate this on an on-going basis.

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

I am aware that primary mental health service support is very limited. However, I'm not sure how to fix this and would have to speak to people with more knowledge of the system to help me better understand what needs to be done. Happy to discuss further if I am elected.

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 would like to utilise blockchain technology to engage with the public to get views on major decisions. This technology allows people to register and vote on certain matters, this still relies on correctly phrased questions, but it would allow the States to get a proper feel for the public mood on important projects/decisions. However, I firmly believe that when private behaviour does not affect the rest of us, then we ought to let individuals decide what is appropriate and what is not. The proposals you mention are both individual decisions.

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

When private behaviour does not affect the rest of us, then we ought to let individuals decide what is appropriate and what is not. Regarding abortion, the person whose choice that is should be the mothers as it is a decision that not affect the rest of us and the Government should not force a woman to have a child against her wishes. I would like to utilise blockchain technology to engage with the public to get views on major decisions. This technology allows people to register and vote on certain matters, this still relies on correctly phrased questions, but it would allow the States to get a proper feel for the public mood on important projects/decisions.

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

Although I’m reluctant to say this, the Education strategy needs to go back to the drawing board to determine exactly what the Island needs. Not necessarily to revisit the 11+, but to get some consensus on what the best offering is for our children from year 1 through to joining the workforce and beyond (upskilling and retraining) in a comprehensive joined-up strategy for “Lifelong Learning” in which non-academic education is valued just as much as traditional academic education. We need to get this right as it is the foundation for the future success of our economy. The upskilling and retraining would not only include local training courses but help with access to online / distance learning such as the Open University. Business/career relevant courses could be subsidised for people on lower incomes. The growth in University education has come from poor quality courses of little value in the business world. Many of the young have been let down by encouraging them to study for worthless degrees, when they would have been better served training in more practical areas such as plumbing, electrical works, building and carpentry (areas where we still seem to import labour) or going straight into work and studying professional qualifications whilst in employment. Consideration should be given to the German schooling model which has the option of a more vocational stream for those for which this is the most suitable path.

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 have proposed that proper maintenance programs for all public assets should be a mandatory committee expenditure as it has been shown to be a false economy to cut costs in this area.

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"?

Unfortunately, I'm not familiar with the arrangements. I'm not aware that there are any issues with this. Happy to discuss further if I am elected.

Log in to Election2020

Log in for your saved candidate preferences. Your data is private and governed by the States of Guernsey privacy commitment. For more information about how your data will be used and looked after, see our Privacy Policy.

We're sorry, we couldn't log you in with the details entered.