- Parish St Peter Port
- Experience New Candidate
- Party The Guernsey Partnership of Independents
I’m extremely excited to present this manifesto to you, the voter. I’m a new candidate so I represent new blood in the assembly. My professional outlook/business experience means I provide a fresh look through an experienced lens. I decided to run for election because I couldn’t simply sit and watch from the sidelines. I want to help make positive changes so Guernsey becomes an even better place to live.
- I will commit to making our government more decisive, effective and efficient;
- Find a way to reduce the environmental impact of our buildings;
- Introduce new consumer protection legislation;
- Find a way to improve our on and off island travel connections; and
- Let’s not ignore the effects of climate change.
I’m a 57-year-old dad with two daughters and a husband to my amazing wife, Cate. I’m the owner of Chescoe Limited, Chartered Surveyors, a past men’s captain at La Grande Mare golf club, an avid record collector and a community volunteer.
I spent 10 years as the States Senior Building Control Surveyor before setting up my business in 2014. I’ve worked extremely hard to build trust with my clients and strengthen relationships with contractors and professional bodies in Guernsey, becoming one of their ‘go-to’ surveyors.
If you know me you’ll be fully aware of my love of music and the performing arts. I‘ve been lucky to travel around Europe annually following my favourite bands. I’m a regular concert and festivalgoer - if that doesn’t show commitment to a passion, I don’t know what does!
There are many reasons to run as a Deputy, however I’m more determined thanks to my family. Cate and I grew up in a small village in England, built our first home there and brought up our two wonderful children, Caitlin and Chloe in Guernsey. I am proud of my family and the support they have shown for my decision to run for election. They too want me to help make Guernsey an even better place.
My passion for music led me to volunteering at Vinyl Vaughan on Saturday mornings. A small group of us helped him set up his dream record shop, which has now been open for three years. I am also a volunteer for St John Guernsey. I was pleased to help out during lockdown assisting with collections and deliveries. I’m also a member of the St John Guernsey property board and provide professional advice on property and regulatory matters.
Now for my political statement, I want to say first and foremost there will be no false promises. I may not have all the answers now but I will try my utmost to push forward what I believe in.
I’ve spent over 35 years in the building and construction industry so I know a thing or two. There is currently no obligation to build to industry best practice here. Let’s challenge this. It will seek to increase efficiency, reduce costs and improve the quality of our homes and workplaces.
We also need to urgently consider ways to reduce the environmental impact of our buildings in terms of emissions and energy use. It’s time we improve our current energy policy and linking this with how we build on the island. I want to help drive forward improvements to our Island Development Plan for planning and building and I think we are in a great position to start working more closely on green initiatives with the private sector.
I will not allow Guernsey to become an economic backwater where innovation and progress has left us behind. Let’s focus on areas such as digital connectivity, environmental protection, refuse disposal and rights for consumers. I would seek to ensure we position ourselves to be at the forefront of new thinking and action in these areas.
I am also eager to focus on consumer protection measures. Guernsey is at the mercy of rogue traders and, having experienced this myself, I know this is a painful, expensive and unpleasant experience. We need to implement legislation protecting ourselves from such behaviour. Consumer protection and trading standards, supported by law, is something I will push for.
We also need to find a way to improve our travel connections to the UK and further afield. We must make services more reliable and affordable. Our dependence upon Condor and Aurigny for essential travel, food and freight has run its course. We must increase competition.
Guernsey is not immune to the effects of climate change and, if the forecasts are accurate about rising sea levels, we must act now to make improvements to our sea defences through a planned structure of work.
Running as a Deputy for the first time I’m excited about joining the Guernsey Partnership of Independents - a group of like-minded people who, although remain independent, are wholly supportive of each other. The Guernsey Partnership of Independents has endorsed my nomination and together we can make and implement the necessary changes to benefit our island and all islanders. I can’t wait to get started alongside them.
If you think the issues I’ve raised are important, vote Chescoe on 7 October 2020.
Answers to questions proposed by the public:
What concrete measures would you like to see implemented in Guernsey during the next term to achieve net zero carbon by 2050?
In my manifesto I have identified the necessary correlation between our energy policy and our Island Development Plan and the out-dated building regulations. Perhaps a building grant system for the purpose of improving our homes and workplaces will help us to set achievable and measurable targets so that we can track our progress towards that end goal. Public grants can be simply reclaimed by way of parish rates over an agreed period, with a charge on the property. This would also stimulate the construction industry and economic growth.
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?
This is an Island wide election and our future prosperity will be determined on island wide issues.
What are your opinions on climate change and Guernsey's role in tackling it?
In my manifesto I have proposed changes to our energy policy and our Island Development Plan and our out-dated building regulations. Guernsey could become a model for the rest of the world if we decided to get behind it and spend on our infrastructure using both public and private finance to achieve that.
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?
In my manifesto I have clearly stated that if we do nothing about the runway, my fears for Guernsey becoming an “economic backwater” will be realised and we cant let that happen.
Do you support outsourcing of States services?
If public services either are or could be duplicated in the private sector and outsourced providing better value for the wider community, then I would support that initiative. I would not support outsourcing just for the sake of it. Guernsey deserves a reliably high level of public and private services.
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 have not read that article, but I do support the principal of developing the Eastern Seaboard for the many of the reasons that you point out in your question. If elected I will push for more discussion with the public and private sectors to get this moving.
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?
In my manifesto I identified the need to move forward with our energy policy. It is important that we have a mechanism to measure our net carbon emissions, we must understand what “net zero” means to you and I and also in international terms. Guernsey must measure carbon emissions in the same way as the rest of the world.
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’ve pointed out to the voter that I, like you, have lost my patience with the dependence that we have with both Aurigny and Condor. We must have more competition on these routes and the market will dictate the price that we pay. The taxpayer is liable for the creation and upkeep of our ports, but not the commercial services that operate out of them.
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?
In my manifesto, I have commented on the impact of climate change and the forecast and predictions that the experts have made about rising sea levels. Guernsey simply cannot ignore that, and we must invest in our sea defenses and our infrastructure and fund that in a carefully programmed and measured way.
If elected, what priority will you give to the introduction of the already-drafted consumer protection legislation?
I am really pleased that you asked this question because consumer protection is right there at the top of my manifesto. How in the 21st century do we afford the consumer in Guernsey so little protection and have such scant regard for the implications both financially and emotionally is beyond me. Lets change that as a priority.
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 think that commercial offices are easily split into two groups. There is modern, energy efficient and happy places to work; and then all of those that are not. In the UK the law states “ a landlord cannot let commercial premises if they fail to meet minimum energy standards”. Perhaps introducing similar legal requirements and then freeing up subsequent redundant buildings from their commercial use to residential use will make a positive contribution. This action might perhaps encourage more development of brown field sites and achieve your objective of less green field development.
First time buyers are encouraged to buy new build developments taking up green space, while there are vast amounts of listed properties facing dereliction on the island - buildings ripe for restoration, renovation and to be lived in. Currently, people are put off as they are greeted with stringent and outdated views by The Planning and Heritage Department - it takes too much time and money so are immediately put off. What will you do to change the process for the better?
I am not sure that de-listing buildings is necessarily a good thing, but where a protected building has fallen into disrepair and is earmarked for renovation. Certainly the process has to become quicker and planning becoming more in step with the private sector. Sadly the cost of renovation is however far greater than the economies of scale achieved by building 10 or more houses in a field. Building developers are not charities and must make a profit following trading, and so that is perhaps a reason for the imbalance.
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 GHA offer a high quality product and the joint equity arrangements are very fair in my opinion; they are after all in the business of generating profits. Back in the day, young people scrimped and saved for a few years and got their deposit up together so that they could get their first mortgage and then get a foot on the property ladder. I do share your concerns for the next generation, as the cost of a freehold is too high in relation to their earnings in many cases. If government is prepared to subsidise mortgages by way of tax relief, then it should be fair to everyone and offer the same levels across the board.
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 don’t need to read the reports… I agree.
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?
Guernsey Tourism has been in the doldrums for too long and the travel restrictions imposed by both ours and other governments following C19 has inevitably made things much worse. I think that travelling to Guernsey is too costly and unreliable. It’s cheaper to fly to Spain for a week that coming here and so families do just that. Rectify this and build more worthwhile visitor attractions with modern hotels and apartments and we will reap the rewards. It’s a tough nut to crack and government must work with private business and not be put off by the amount of hard work that this is going to need.
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?
In my manifesto I make it clear that I share the opinions of the majority of you. Our dependence on Aurigny and Condor has run its course and we must open up these commercial routes to international competition and very importantly make our ports cutting edge through public investment. Build it and they will come.
Should the island be spending tax payers money on maintaining air and sea links?
Government must invest taxpayer’s money to maintain and improve our commercial ports. It is not the function of government to subsidise commercial business. It sends the wrong message to prospective investors when it chooses to do so.