- Parish Castel
- Experience New Candidate
I would like to introduce myself. My name is Neil Shepherd. I was born and raised in the Castel Parish, and have lived in Guernsey for over 50 years. I was educated locally at La Mare De Carteret and The College of Further Education and I am currently studying Political Science with The Open University. My Mother is from Guernsey and my Father from Harrogate. I have worked in Building, Retail, Public Transport and I.T. I supported Island Wide Voting, but it is widely known that I am not convinced “Party Politics” is the way forward for Guernsey, nor Executive Government for that matter. A Deputy is a representative of the people. I administer the Vote 2020 Facebook group so I can listen and engage with islanders of all ages. I love my island and the people that live here. Although we will never all agree, the recent pandemic and Lockdown has proven that if the chips are down, we pull together and help one another. We are unique, be proud of that.
- COMMON SENSE
- ‘REAL’ DEMOCRACY
- A BETTER FUTURE
The Last 4 Years.
Wasted Time and Missed Opportunities
I am not going to bore you with hundreds of words of waffle, which you have probably already read today. These are the issues I consider most important going forward:
Guernsey is desperate for a new approach from Government. The people are tired of being let down by the long-winded bureaucratic mess we repeatedly experience. A lot of people feel disengaged with Government and Politicians, except every four years when we are asked to vote! The public should have brief break downs of billet material and a chance to attend surgeries, to get involved and move forward,
at times which are convenient (not just 10am “on a weekday”).
COVID-19 is a horrible pandemic. No matter what your views about this virus, one thing can be said, we have the best Nurses and Doctors and the island is very proud of you all. This is why I pledge to help the Nurses’ Union come to a conclusion in achieving pay parity.
I stand against the two school option and back the three school option, being actively involved in the protests against the former last year. Two school to me, is an infrastructural disaster waiting to happen. Costs are not viable with current conditions in Guernsey and I am not sold on the idea that this is best for our youngsters. I listen to the teachers and the public on this.
Economy and Regeneration.
This is a unique island and must remain so.
We have massive scope to replenish our island’s economy by utilising all aspects of Guernsey, and not just relying purely on ‘Finance’. Tourism could be rejuvenated for instance, by a re-fabrication and renewal of our coastal occupational fortifications. Using the College of Further Education and perhaps ‘Festung Guernsey’ with an apprentice drive (possibly sponsored and part Government funded) would be a great opportunity for training and Tourism all in one.
I believe we spend too much money on outside advice when we often have the local expertise available. We have an amazing calibre of people living here, from top bankers to world class athletes to the best virologists, farmers, growers, sea captains and fishermen. One would have thought we have enough locally grown intelligence and common sense to do things ourselves. We must prioritise the use of local labour companies. This clearly hasn’t been the case for some years.
Let’s become more self-reliant and produce more of our own food and energy. Tidal power should be considered. Let’s fund growing projects and get the kids involved. Better than spending all their time on iPads and computers!
Now before you all go “oh here we go” please read on. Does anyone remember the great Guernsey Tomato Industry ripped from underneath us? I do. Some refer to it as the Glory Days. I tend to agree. We have undeveloped greenhouses and acres of unused land. In the current economic climate, we are being threatened with tax rises, such as GST and using our own property to fund old age care. So correct me if I am wrong, if you legalise a ‘plant’ and grow it for: i) Medicinal; ii) Industrial; iii) Recreational purposes and tax it properly we could potentially avoid all this and also fund regeneration. An example would be Canada (who legalised it in 2017), who have contributed massive capital into their coffers. According to my calculations per capita and cost of living, Guernsey could boost its income by approximately £26.5 million in its first year. This is based solely on recreational use figures from 10 provinces in Canada. This is not including industrial hemp! That’s a massive economy on its own. New Zealand are now also considering legalisation and are about to hold a referendum. We need to act ahead of Jersey who are also considering a similar strategy.
I am the joint founder of the Guernsey Cannabis Reform Lobby whose objective is to provide education and debate on this matter.
Our Island is our home.
Make the right choices.