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Simon De La Mare

Contacts
07781 131184
  • Parish St Peter Port
  • Experience New Candidate
What do you think?
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Personal Statement

I am standing in the General Election as I wish to make Guernsey a more equal and inclusive place for all Islanders. I am very pleased to call Guernsey my home, but am aware that some Islanders face barriers to fully participating in Island life. If elected, I would seek to improve the life of all members of our society, regardless of whether they were born here or not.

  • Equality and fairness
  • More affordable housing
  • A strong and diverse economy
  • A happy and healthy society
  • A beautiful place to live

Manifesto

Disability

I am pleased to see progress being made in raising the awareness of the skills that disabled islanders have to offer employers, which has been helped by the good work of the Guernsey Employment Trust.

As a member of the GDA I have been pleased to see the level of awareness being raised over the last few years following the successful “We all Matter Eh” and Hidden Disability campaigns. Many people think of white sticks or wheelchairs when they think of disability, but it is important to remember that disability has many forms. There are approximately 14,000 people on the island who have some form of disability, 4,000 of which face significant difficulties on a daily basis. I was therefore pleased that in the last couple of months of the current States term, it was agreed to start drafting anti-discrimination legislation. If elected, I would wish to see this come back before the States as soon as possible. Many disabled islanders would not wish to use the new law, but its introduction would ensure they have the same protection as all other islanders.

Economic policy

The finance industry remains Guernsey’s largest sector, but it is not our only sector. Since the Covid crisis it has become more important than ever for all of us to support local businesses. Our tourism and hospitality industries have been hit hard and will take some time to recover. I was therefore supportive of the recent stay-cation initiative.

Housing

As a young married Islander, I feel that the States should be doing more to help first time buyers get on the property ladder. I believe that more focus should be placed on continuing to work with organisations such as the Guernsey Housing Association, and building affordable first time homes, rather than luxury properties. I would also like to see all parishes having a share of any new developments. Having lived in the north of the island for most of my life, I have seen this already built up area losing more and more of its remaining green spaces.

Health

We have a very good health service on the island, which has helped us cope with the Covid-19 crisis. As with so many areas of island life, we have proved once again that we can punch above our weight on the world stage.

Education

In 2016 I stated that I was in favour of a 4 school model for secondary education. Although unpopular with many, I now believe there are merits with the one school over two sites model. I also support the creation of the Guernsey Institute, to provide further and higher education.

Transport

As we live on an island, there will inevitably be times at which the weather will have an effect on reliability, but with some investment in new equipment, such as Aurigny’s new Clear Vision aircraft, this could be mitigated. I am a regular bus user and I believe the bus service has improved, giving people a viable alternative for their commute.

Environment

As I have stated, we are fortunate to live on such a beautiful island. I am of the belief that it is the responsibility of all islanders to ensure that we protect our environment for future generations. I am therefore supportive of the States aim to become carbon neutral by 2050.

These are just a sample of the issues that the States will be facing over the next four years, however, as a people’s deputy I would always seek to represent the views of the whole community. Therefore, if you have any questions regarding the views I have laid out, or have other issues that are important to you, I would like to hear them. Also, if you require this manifesto in an alternative format, I would be happy to provide it.

I hope that you will consider giving me one of your votes on 07 October, so we can all move towards a more equal society together.

I can be contacted on the following;

Tel: 07781 131184
Address: Maros, Port Vase, St Peter Port, GY1 1HN

Thank you.

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?

Whilst at university, I served on the Students Union committee for 2 years, where I represented the views of Students with Disabilities. I have also spent 5 years as a member of the Guernsey Disability Alliance Executive committee, including a year as treasurer.

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

I would like to see the use of more renewable energy, preferably produced on island.

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 firmly believe that Deputies should focus on issues that affect the whole island and not just the parish where they live.

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

The environment is something that belongs to all of us and therefore, I believe we all need to play a part in looking after it.

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

I would like the next president to be decisive but also someone that has compassion for all members of our society.

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?

If an independent review shows definite evidence that this would benefit the island, then I would consider voting in favour. However, as this time, I have my doubt whether it will bring the benefits some think it will.

Do you agree that people should be encouraged to use cars less and if so what measures would you like to see introduced to achieve this?

I accept that for some journeys it is necessary to use a car, but I would like to see a reduction in car use where possible. We have a decent bus service, of which I am a regular user. I would also like to see more active travel being encouraged. I accept that this may require further investment in infrastructure to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians.

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

It is difficult not to see that climate change is having a big impact on the world and that the majority is probably caused by humans.

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 can't comment on whether the airline is run efficiently without further information. However, I believe that the States should continue to support Aurigny. Without it, we would have been left without an airline, following the collapse of Flybe.

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?

I would be happy to revisit the corporate tax structure of the island, so long as it does not have an adverse affect on our global reputation, which is currently very good.

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 became aware of this issue during the recent States debate on the proposed anti-discrimination legislation proposals. If elected, it is my desire to see this vital legislation drafted and brought back to the States for approval without delay.

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 have no problem with the idea that all animals, not just dogs, should be microchipped. I also believe that there should be tough penalties for those that fail to clear up after their dogs.

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?

My goal for this next States term is to get the anti-discrimination legislation approved, so that all islanders have the same legal protection no matter which protected characteristic(s) they fall under.

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

Only if provided with a substantial amount of empirical evidence that the long term health risks are minimal.

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?

I have not spent that much time there recently, but in the lead up to the 2016 election and for around half a year afterwards, I spent several days watching the debates that were being held.

In 1945, the generosity of people outside Guernsey enabled the delivery of Red Cross parcels to the island on the SS Vega. What is your view on the statement that ‘charity begins at home but should not end there’? How can we best show our care for people in need in other parts of the world?

I am supportive of the work of the overseas aid commission and would be willing to consider increasing the amount allocated to bring us in line with international standards on overseas aid.

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 would only consider legalising personal use if provided with strong empirical evidence that there are no long term health risks.

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

I would be happy to consider introducing a MOT style of test, to ensure that all vehicles are road worthy. Noise pollution and speeding are not issues that are limited to this specific area of the island.

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 would support further investigation of this issue. I am still to be convinced that extending the runway will bring the level of benefits though.

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?

This is my primary objective if elected.

What criteria do you use for decision making?

I would weigh up the evidence provided and base a decision on what I think is best for the island and allows me to keep a clear conscience.

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 am keen to ensure that our tax system is progressive and strongly believe those with the broadest shoulders should carry the heaviest load.

In light of covid-19 and the hit that the tourist industry has taken what plans (if any) would you try to put in place to make Guernsey more attractive to tourists after travel bans are lifted? And do you feel tourism should play a more crucial role in Guernsey? If not, why?

I would like to think that the way we have handled the current crisis would be attractive to a number of people. Tourism is an important sector in Guernsey and we should do what we can to promote our beautiful island.

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 support the search for efficiency savings in the civil service. The covid crisis has shown how working digitally can produce savings. I would only support this as far as it doesn't impact on front line services. I would like to see these savings being made over the next States term.

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

I am against the introduction of a GST as this is a regressive form of tax that affects the poorest members of society.

How will your religious faith influence your voting decisions?

My faith is as much a part of my life as any other, therefore it will have an equal amount of influence. If elected, my voting will be based on the evidence and having a clear conscience.

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 would not seek to introduce assisted suicide in Guernsey.

How would you as a deputy ensure emotive proposals such as, change to abortion law or assisted dying law would be publicly debated? And allow Islanders to have more of a say in these emotive issues.

States debates are broadcast live, so in this sense they are publicly debated. The public have their say through consultations and by voting for the candidates they believe share their views.

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

When i attended the presentation for the 1 school over two sites model, I could see the merits to this system. I accept there are huge logistical issues and there has been push back from many in the teaching profession. This would still be my preferred model, but could be convinced the 3 sites model may be more practical.

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