- Parish Forest
- Experience New Candidate
Hello. My name is Tony Walkington. My hobbies are motorcycling and travelling. I’m a 62 year old successful local businessman but mainly I’m an employer of local people that together all worry about the future of our Island home and what the future will be like for our children and grandchildren. Now as a semi-retired Company Director I have the time to do something about the way our Island finances are being depleted. I offer the experience of running profitable companies and the time to commit to the job of a deputy without being in need of the salary or turning the position into some sort of lifelong career as we see some doing at the moment.
- Help local business rather than hinder
- Be fair and work with everyone not just a few
- Do not hide the truth
- Do your best for the Island that has always been your home
- Ask the people who elected you to represent them
We need as an Island community to expand our income base and while looking after the finance sector we must cease to have all of our eggs in one banking basket. In the past we had growing, manufacturing and tourism all of which are under pressure or have virtually gone. So now more than ever we must support our local business new and old. We must slim down the overall states costs by cutting the top heavy management systems in place. Also needed is to address our transport links with both England and Europe paying particular attention and regard to cost and suitability, of which over the last ten years we have had a dreadful time and a worse reputation amongst travellers, which is not helpful to our struggling tourism industry.
Small businesses need somewhere to operate from both inside offices and workshops or outside with yards and storage that is not prohibitively expensive. I visited a small store and office recently that was asking more than £30K per year rent!! This leaves very little for staff wages, investment or rainy day contingency. There are spaces here dotted around the Island and they need to be put to good use by the States helping and supporting the small business grow which in turn will help the Island economy grow.
We also need to re-invent ourselves in order to progress and survive. For instance we have in the Island brilliant training faculties with the CFE and GTA also we have a superb medical facility that struggles for staff so why can’t we combine the two and create a medical training centre of excellence attracting students from all over the world that would both bring in an income to the Island from foreign students but also supply employment for tutors and staff for our medical and care industry. The unused old hotel in St Martins or the many that litter the Island could be transformed to accommodate the students. The increased presence of people on the Island in the local shops, bars and restaurants would revitalise another suffering sector of our economy.
While I’m on the subject of care why in this day and age of social responsibility and inclusiveness when healthcare is struggling for funds are the biggest earners in the Island even some civil servants getting away with paying less social security percentage from their wages than the average working man and woman, WHY should the few that can best afford it pay the least percentage when the many that are struggling have pay the full amount? Is this the way we treat our most vulnerable versus the most affluent? Why can’t we get rid of the payment cap so everybody pays the same 6.5% of their wages? It all goes toward the health and social security of the Island that we all live in and enjoy.
A good rule of thought is “If it’s not good for the majority of the population don’t do it”.
It’s no longer acceptable for deputies to claim that “it’s good for business”. WHICH BUSINESSES? It seems only the finance sector is smiling. The local small businesses are working extremely hard for the crumbs left behind.
I can promise that if I’m elected to office and I see a proposal that I think is not good for most of the population that live on our precious Island then I’LL VOTE AGAINST IT.
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?
I have spent the last twenty years on the board of various companies.
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 ?
A very difficult question with the current legislation on racism, I think that the States should only employ Guernsey residents if they are available and apply for the position above any off Island candidate as why should the public pay for someone to re-locate here when we have a candidate already local.
What concrete measures would you like to see implemented in Guernsey during the next term to achieve net zero carbon by 2050?
At least a renewable energy system in place so we no longer burn fossil fuel at the power station.
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?
If I can help any local I will try irrespective of which parish they live, I've lived in almost all of the parishes over the 62years of my life and we're all locals of Guernsey.
Are you concerned about the large amount of agricultural land that is being lost for private gardens?
Yes. How the piece of land on the junction at Cobo became part of a garden I don't know but questions need asking about how transparent these applications are.
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?
I think that by the public voting out the Prima Donna's already incumbent we might have a chance of intelligent negotiation.
What are your opinions on climate change and Guernsey's role in tackling it?
I think if we as a tiny community can clean up our own doorstep we will be making a step in the right direction.
What are the attributes and skills you will be looking for in the next President of the Policy & Resources Committee?
Honesty and Integrity are missing at the moment.
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?
No, I think that a viable efficient and cost effective ferry service and harbour is more important to the future of Guernsey economy, Bankers will have virtual meetings in the future.
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?
The personal Tax system needs to be banded, we need PAYE not ETI so everyone earning pays tax and doesn't claim 12 month allowance for 6 month work. None local / resident house owners should pay capital gains tax.
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 Guernsey college of educational excellence with multiple campuses.
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?
Minimal Bus fares and charge for long term private parking like it was on the corner of the Tudor House and subsidise the bus service.
Do you support outsourcing of States services?
Most environmental problems are caused by the love of growth. Would you consider de-growth?
De-growth is in direct relation with de-populating less people less growth.
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?
Minimal Bus fares and charge for long term private parking parking like it was on the corner of the Tudor House and subsidise the bus service.
What environmental policies would you support to reduce Guernsey’s reliance on the internal combustion engine, in support of International global warming initiatives?
Encourage with subsidies fitting better insulation and solar panels in their houses as in France, once we have a renewable power generation system in place the cost of electricity should stabilise, and we won't need to refit and refuel the huge generators every now and again.
What measures will you put in place during the next term to ensure that environmental biodiversity will be protected and enhanced?
Control the building push by creating designated environmental parks.
Do you agree that there is a climate crisis caused predominantly by the actions of humans?
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?
I will vote against any proposed plan to reclaim further land.
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?
At least a renewable energy system in place so we no longer burn fossil fuel at the power station.
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?
We have new aircraft because Aurigny is over ambitious it should serve the Islands and Southampton not try to compete with Ryanair or Easyjet, it should be downsized and the planes sold off.
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?
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?
No I don't agree with the two school model.
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 it could be 5-10
If elected, what priority will you give to the introduction of the already-drafted consumer protection legislation?
Most consumer purchase protection is covered by your card but local consumers rights need looking at.
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?
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?
What is your attitude towards enhanced and mandatory registration, chipping and DNA recording of dogs and control of their fouling, island-wide?
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?
Cut the spending on non profitable enterprises and projects to reduce the debt
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've negotiated with hundreds of people from all over the world for the last twenty years of being a Company managing Director
Would you support not giving Local Market licenses to those earning above a set level to support both LM and OM?
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?
Review the listing of derelict properties.
Would you support changes in the law to make cannabis for personal use legal?
Yes subject to controls
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've been working, employing people and generating business so I've not had the time to sit in a gallery watching people that I wouldn't employ argue with each other.
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?
By adhering to the statement that "Charity starts at home" we need to look after our locals and then look after others once ours are fine.
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 ?
It needs an independent panel from overseas that can't be pressurised by the politicians and then forced resignation of the transgressors.
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've never seen any ill effects highlighted in the countries that have adopted the legalisation of personal use 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?
Demand that this is prioritised and yes the P&R should be held accountable .
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?
Why do second home investors get relief and yet a primary residence doesn't, it beggars belief.
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 would press for this to be prioritised as a source of the vital funding has been given so I would demand a reason why we can't proceed.
What would you do to address traffic noise pollution from vehicles speeding and backfiring along St Georges Esplanade/Les Banques and towards town?
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?
No I don't have faith in these predictions.
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?
No I don't have faith in these predictions.
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?
Yes I would actively encourage better ties with more countries than just the UK.
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?
I cannot see any understandable argument against the same treatment for all of the people living on the Island in this day and age they shouldn't have to demand to be treated in the same way as others it should be given naturally.
What criteria do you use for decision making?
Costs, fairness, and common sense.
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?
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 feel that like the growing industry Mass Tourism to Guernsey is a thing of the past.Not enough hotels, expensive and bad air and sea links.
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
Protecting and improving the economy involves investing in the infrastructure including better schools, sorting out better more effective transport links which creates the environment of social stability looking forward and creating a better place for all.
List your achievements to date which have been a benefit to Guernsey.
45 years of paying tax, 20 years of employing local people.
Do you support a reduction in the cost of running the civil service? If so, how would you do that and over what timescale?
Yes, a reduction in the costs of the Civil Service are necessary, this can be achieved by outsourcing to the private sector many of the processing tasks like the DVLA. These would be put out to tender and resubmitted over a five year contract.
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?
No, keep Aurigny flying inter Island / Soton. sell back the aircraft and reduce the losses and massive costs to the public purse.
What is your view regarding commercialisation with respect to States owned entities?
I think that their accounts once audited and reviews by the beneficial owner (States) they should be regarded like any other business where if only losses and no profit is made the top team leave.
Should the island be spending tax payers money on maintaining air and sea links?
The Sea links are Vital and should be guarded as everybody eats, the air-links are comfortable and should not funded by all even if you don't travel.
What is your view on future funding for long term care as current funding will be insufficient by 2040?
What is your opinion of introducing a goods and sales tax?
Would you support the ‘listing’ of all remaining historic military structures, as Jersey has done, to ensure their ongoing protection, repair and maintenance?
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.
I think an increase in the personal allowance so the majority are better off and an increase to the main band so the wealthy pay a bit more towards their life in our Island.
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?
Stop the sale of local market houses to non residents forcing up the cost of housing.
How will your religious faith influence your voting decisions?
Not at all.
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?
Have Guernsey Health run by a Trust not by civil servants, doctors that work for the trust not independent practices or the MSG that should save £20 million per year resulting in cheaper fees.
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?
Improve investment in Fibre optic connectivity.
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?
Train our own nurses and healthcare workers to improve staffing levels.
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.
An online referendum is one easy cheap effective way.
How do you see the way forward for secondary education in the island? Do you favour a particular model and if so which one?
Three school and sixth form inline with teachers and professionals.