Top

Rhian Helen Tooley

Contacts
07781 124951
  • Parish St Peter Port
  • Experience Current Deputy
  • Party The Guernsey Partnership of Independents
What do you think?
Yes No Maybe

Personal Statement

My name is Rhian Tooley. I am a qualified teacher and Youth Worker and former HR manager. I am passionate about Guernsey and this community. I spend my spare time walking my dog with a camera in hand and cheering on my children who are educated in States schools. A fuller version of my manifesto appears on my website – or I can post/email a copy on request.

  • Affordable Healthcare - No one should be denied access to primary care due to cost
  • Mental Health - Deliver a dedicated Mental Health & Wellbeing centre
  • Revive and Thrive - Invest wisely for a resilient & sustainable economy
  • Build on Partnership of Purpose - Bring health and care services into the community
  • Justice Framework Review - modernise and improve outcomes for society & individuals

Manifesto

I have been Vice President of the Committee for Health and Social Care since I was elected in 2016. I am committed to making healthcare affordable for all. We have reduced the cost of children’s medical appointments, made contraception free to under 21s and improved screening for cancer. I was instrumental in changing the outdated abortion laws and introducing capacity legislation. I am proud to be part of the team who shaped our response to the pandemic and aided our community’s success in eliminating the virus in the Bailiwick enabling the return to work and education ahead of our neighbours. I secured states funding for the Sports Strategy and Guernesiais Language Commission. I fought for Further Education to be delivered in purpose-built facilities and I’m delighted that we’ve made good progress on The Guernsey Institute. I will always work to ensure that all our community are treated fairly and I seconded the amendment which brought forward anti-discrimination protection on grounds of sexuality and religion.

We need to invest in the Revive and Thrive Strategy to create a resilient, resourceful and sustainable economy. We must invest in Green finance, the digital economy, health tech and tourism to take Guernsey forward. The review of taxation must be completed before changes are made and any system must be fair and proportionate. We need to understand people’s concerns and acknowledge those who cannot bear further taxation. I will prioritise efficiency to reduce the need for tax revenue.

Education is a subject close to my heart. I have experience of teaching in both private and state schools and I’ve worked as a Youth and Children’s Worker. My children (one of whom has Special Educational Needs) attend States schools. Every child deserves the best possible education to meet their individual needs; no child should be left behind. I’ve been a member of ESC since 2018 and it’s no secret that I have supported the One School/ Two Sites model. I’m committed to finding the best possible education system for all our children, whatever form that takes. I will continue to research and I will respect the review and vote based on the evidence and the needs of all our children.

I support the Primary Schools’ and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Education reviews. Many of our students are in unsuitable facilities and we need to understand the issues and create solutions.

The Guernsey Institute and Skills Guernsey should be supported to equip Islanders of all ages for future workplaces, focusing on older people and those who wish to continue working or retrain as well as school leavers. This will create a more resilient home-grown workforce, responsive to the needs of our community and economy.

Guernsey has a growing reputation as a leading Green Finance jurisdiction and we need to lead by example with our commitment to local environmental policy. We must deliver our carbon reduction targets, improve energy efficiency and, in the transition to a low carbon economy, we must support those who struggle to meet increased costs.

We need a review to modernise our Justice Framework and in particular consider its interaction with health, education and poverty. As Vice-President of HSC I prioritised commissioning a review into Substance Use and Misuse and we have made it possible for service users to access medicinal cannabis where appropriate. It is time for an evidence-based debate on the advantages and disadvantages of decriminalising, or even regulating, cannabis.

Independent reviews show that Guernsey’s Health and Social Care services are good but we know there’s room for improvement. Making healthcare affordable will require some changes to our system, work we have begun and which needs to move forward at pace. We must invest more in preventative healthcare measures which reduce long-term costs. The Partnership of Purpose and hospital modernisation programme are key to increasing capacity and enabling new ways of working which will improve lives and health outcomes across our society.

I am a member of The Guernsey Partnership of Independents because I believe Guernsey’s government should be formed by independent deputies working together for the good of our island community. I bring experience, insight and the willingness to find compromise which will be needed for the next four years. I will continue to work constructively to build our economy and strengthen our society making a better future for all.

Please consider giving me your vote on October 7th.

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?

Inter alia: Vice President of The CfHSC, Member CfESC, Member of the board of St James' Member of Guilles Alles library board. Read papers, background research challenge and contribute in discussion. Speak in the States and win support of the committees' policy letters and projects.

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 ?

Job Centre. Skills Guernsey, Guernsey Institute and others to look at where we can upskill the current workforce for the roles which are available.

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

Incentivised drive to see homes made more energy efficient (possibly with grants for so doing). Improved community/ active transport infrastructure.

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 have always considered myself a Deputy for the whole island.

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

Yes.

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?

Stand firm to commitments but seek compromise where it will ease positive change.

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

Climate change is a real issue, Guernsey is small but punches above its weight and can make changes which will hugely enhance the environment locally and worldwide.

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

Strength, compassion, experience and diplomacy.

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 will need to review and consider the analysis and the wider research. I am not against anything which would improve our island's connectivity provided the pros outweigh the cons.

Do you believe that diversification of the island's tax base is an important consideration for Guernsey in today's volatile and fast-moving global economy? If so, how can this specifically be achieved for Guernsey?

Yes, There is a review under way which will need careful consideration.

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

Parental leave should be available and transferrable among those who have newborns/newly adopted children.

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?

We need to emenerge form the pandemic as an even stronger, wiser, kinder Guernsey. One which supports and sustains its population through sustainable growth of the 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?

Yes, better community transport, safer roads for pedestrians and cyclists. Yes, better community transport, safer roads for pedestrians and cyclists.

Do you support outsourcing of States services?

Where they can be done more efficiently and for less money, yes, but if we are outsourcing it should be to companies based in Guernsey wherever possible.

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

I support the building of the CENTRE which will provide a base for education and research both for our community and the wider world.

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

We need to ensure that our growth is sustainable.

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?

The Bus service and infrastructure for active travel should be treated as a community service and funded as such and funding exists in the Transport Strategy.

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

We should encourage the use of active travel and electric vehicles and look at the pros and cons of means tested subsidies on EVs.

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

CENTRE should be a priority for Revive and Thrive.

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?

This would be a high risk project for investment of public money in a public/private partnership, I'm not sure this type of gamble is right for our hard earned taxes.

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

Yes.

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?

It would undoubtedly be better to find an alternative site and I am open to suggestions.

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?

The agreed policy supports us reaching these targets much more quickly, but public engagement/ willingness will show the rate at which we can proceed. 2050 should be a back stop not a target.

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?

There is an ongoing review. We will need to resolve the issue of whatis to be Aurigny's main purpose.

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?

I'm in favour of well maintaining all of our sea defences but the Tank wall is not a sea defence and is doing more harm than good. The costs of maintaining this wall are huge and for no real community benefit.

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?

Yes, my aim is to give the children and young people of this island the very best education system possible. We should spend every penny we can to achieve that.

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?

There is a review of taxation ongoing. Any changes must be made after consideration of that and must be fair, proportionate and not overly burdensome.

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

I will seek to have it prioritised for consideration at Privvy Council.

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?

I supported a recent amendment to change this and will continue to support the change when the legislation returns to the States.

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.

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?

Yes. The IDP is due for review and recent events and their long term effects must be taken into consideration.

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

I have no objection to further measures being undertaken if they can be done in a way which does not over burden the public generally. Enforcing existing legislation would be a good start.

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?

The Partnership of Purpose. Relationships built here greatly contributed to the island's handling of the pandemic. If elected I want to continue thhis work and make healthcare affordable 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.

Good. As a former HR Manager I have often had to deal with very difficult situations and handle awkward relationships between others. I have a good track record of working well with people of all political persuasions.

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

The Population Management regime is due for a refresh in the light of global changes - Brexit and Coronavirus in particular.

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 recognise that we need effective planning laws to protect our environnment but that should not be a barrier to sensible development and regeneration. We should ensure that our planning laws are sufficiently flexible to allow people to improve and enhance their properties.

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

It's time for an open, informed debate about decriminalisation, legalisation and regulation of cannabis.

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?

Current deputy.

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?

Guernsey is small but punches above it's weight - we have a responsibility to offer support and care to those who are less fortunate. I support the provision of Overseas aid.

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 ?

Current Deputy - I voteed for the increase of powers for the Scrutiny 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?

It's time for an open, informed debate about decriminamisation, legalisation and regulation of cannabis.

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?

HSC has not said there will be a delay of at least a year. The HSC budget has been put together to enable this to begin in 2021. Covid has obviously impacted on the ability of the hospital to make the changes necessary for the delivery of some treatments and medications, as has the (linked) vacancy for a Chief Pharmacist. I recognise and share the frustration.

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?

Housing costs are high and many families and young people simply cannot afford to get a foot on the property ladder. This may have serious consequences for Guernsey’s long term future, forcing some of our brightest and best to leave the island as they cannot afford to buy their own homes locally. I am in favour of moves to support people entering the housing market but I have reservations about  “Help to Buy” schemes, which, while appearing attractive can serve to inflate prices making it even harder for the next generation to buy and increase the burden of debt on young people. The most reliable way for governments to help first time buyers onto the property ladder is through partial ownership schemes, Guernsey’s has proved both popular and effective and I would like to see it expanded.

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?

HSC has not said there will be a delay of at least a year. The HSC budget has been put together to enable this to begin in 2021. Covid has obviously impacted on the ability of the hospital to make the changes necessary for the delivery of some treatments.

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

Utilise existing legislation and work with the community to reduce anti-social behaviour.

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?

Yes, we need to make the changes necessary to the infrastructure at the PEH and prioritise the employment of a new Chief Pharmacist.

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?

Yes if there is evidence that the pros will out weigh the cons.

Have you been made aware that every report that the SOG has commissioned for 20 years has flagged the need to extend the runway to circa 1700m+ and the commercial benefits it will bring for the island as a whole?

I have heard this said but I do not believe it to be the case. I think numerous reports have given various answers.

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 am always enthusiastic about strengthening our global links.

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?

Absolutely and with Deputy Parkinson I brought the amendment which will speed up the process.

What criteria do you use for decision making?

Read, research, listen, consider, balance.

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?

I led on the changed to the abortion law and voted in favour of assisted dying. I do not expect either to return to the States for debate in this term. I am in favour of allowing people the chance to make decisions about their own lives.

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, There is a review under way which will need careful consideration.

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?

Health and Wellbeing tourism is a growth area we are ideally placed to take advantage of. We also need to look closely at our offer to more traditional tourist groups. The success of the "British Isles Staycation" may mean some return to an enhanced version of the "Bucket and Spade" Holiday and we need to be ready to benefit from that.

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

Implementing Revive and Thrive and Building back Better means many of these things are amongst the first priorities - we don't need to choose beteween them: ensuring the best possible education is part and parcel of addressing social needs etc.

Do you support a reduction in the cost of running the civil service? If so, how would you do that and over what timescale?

I will prioritise efficiency through the term.

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?

There is an ongoing review. We will need to resolve the issue of whatis to be Aurigny's main purpose.

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

We need to balance the requirement on these entities to be community services and also commercial operations.

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

Yes, because the community needs these links, but we need to balance what is a "need" and what is a "nice to have" and ensure that the hardworking ordinary tax payer isn't subsidising the holidays of the wealthy.

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

Funding long-term care is a growing problem with no easy answers. The demand for long term care is only going to increase as our population ages. We need to consider all possible solutions with an understanding, not just of how they affect the individuals needing long term care at present and in the near future, but also how younger generations, who are likely to bear the greatest share of the costs, will be affected.

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

GST is a regressive tax which is an administrative burden on businesses and hits the less well off disproportionately hard.

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

We need to ensure that we preserve our history while enabling the island to thrive as a a living community.

Do you believe that the rates of income support are a) too low b) about right or c) too high? Explain your answer in some detail.

There is an ongoing review into taxation, any changes must be proportionate and fair.

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 little doubt in my mind that the prohibitively high cost of housing is a barrier to young people and families choosing to live and work here. This affects our overall demographic and must be addresses.

How will your religious faith influence your voting decisions?

My faith is a part of me, like life experience it is bound to affect decisions that we make. But I make decisions based on evidence and not "gut" feeling as I believe my record shows.

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 am not convinced the current evidence supports this but in a post covid world we should re evaluate.

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?

Primary Care is expensive and this can cause a barrier to accessing timely help and advice. The work we are undertaking via the Partnership of Purpose will lead to a better fairer system.

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 enhancing and developing end of life care but this is not necessarily as an alternative to assisted dying. Assisted dying was debated in the last states term and while I voted in favour of it I do not at present see a benefit in repoening the debate, particularly as any changes we voted to make would inevitably have to await the UK making a similar decision.

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

Yes I know what T levels are. Yes I'd be enthusiastic about seeing them in Guernsey. At the moment they are available only in England as part of a pilot and the pandemic situation has made them hard to deliver there as they require workplace experience and many workplaces are shut down. The two areas where we are most likely to see these brought in soon are ChildCare/ Early Years education and Digital Technology. The current ESC have directed that we petition to have these available in Guernsey ASAP.

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?

We need to look at supporting new businesses better.

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 committed to the provision of a dedicated Mental Health and Wellbeing Centre.

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.

Some debates provoke more interest than others and therse were two which did just that. I believe the engagement was right on both. The abortion law debate was not about whether or not abortion should be lawful but about what limits medical advice suggested we should impose upon it.

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

My view remain what they were when I led on the changes for HSC this term.

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

My aim has always been to ensure all of our students have access to the best quality education the island can provide.

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?

Maintenance of this vital infrastructure should be an obvious priority for Revive and Thrive.

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"?

I voted for the reform.

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.