MANIFESTO

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ABOUT ME

MY PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND

I am:

  • an Oxford law graduate qualified in English and Jersey law,
  • a former tax lawyer in the City of London;
  • a former partner and director of major local law firm and administrative services provider, Mourant, specialising in corporate structures and finance and publicly described as ‘top notch in finance’
  • a trainer in leadership and communication skills, who has worked with people from all backgrounds and, voluntarily, with a number of local charities, and
  • a good listener who cares about community.

MY PERSONAL BACKGROUND

I have lived in Jersey for over 25 years in the Parishes of St Ouen, St Clement and, with my partner of ten years, Philip, more lately in the Parish of St Brelade. I have worked mainly in St Helier.

In my recent role as Chairman of the St Brelade’s Bay Association, I have campaigned for improved enforcement of States Assembly measures to protect public enjoyment of one of the Island’s best known recreation areas. That activity has taught me that all areas of government need clearer vision and joined-up thinking.

WHY I AM STANDING

‘Silo mentality’ and short-term thinking have led to the Island’s limited resources and some of its public finances being spectacularly mis-managed. Hard-working States employees, who have been neglected by top-heavy management, now fear for their jobs.

To add to the Island’s problems:

  • The cost of living and housing keeps rising while the Island’s democracy and natural environment is disintegrating.
  • Local businesses are being saddled with stealth taxes, random tax hikes and an overload of regulation while essential States workers fear for their jobs.
  • Immigration has been inadequately controlled while alternative ways of supporting the Island’s aging population have not been explored sufficiently.
  • Insufficient investment is being made in building career paths for the Island’s younger people to maximise their ability to contribute towards the Island’s future.

The Council of Ministers and the Island’s public sector have been too keen on:

  • seeking English solutions to Island problems, even when those solutions have been shown to create their own problems
  • engaging UK consultants at great public expense rather than more effectively and cheaply using local knowledge, resources and skills — much of which is available voluntarily.

JERSEY NEEDS TO BELIEVE IN ITSELF AGAIN

Our greatest resources are our people, scenic beauty, heritage and community spirit. We have what we need to prosper but only if we have good leadership.

I support helping those who need it and being proactive in breaking the poverty cycle. I also am aware of the need to handle finances responsibly, avoiding unnecessary duplication of resources.

Changes need to be made to ensure community support where it is really needed, with user-friendly service and the pockets of taxpayers firmly in mind.

I believe my ability to understand complex issues and the value of teamwork can help get our Island back on track.

I am standing as a Senator because I wish to do what’s best for the whole Island rather than be conflicted as a Deputy or Constable serving my home Parish.

 

HOW I WILL WORK FOR YOU

YOUR VOTE

In order to improve efficiency, accountability, responsiveness and reduce costs without cutting valued services or overloading States workers, government needs to be improved at all levels.

The necessary leadership of the States Assembly requires courage and competence and a change in its divisive culture.

The new Chief Executive of Jersey’s project to reform government departments is a step in the right direction. However, he needs real leadership and support from the next Council of Ministers to succeed in his task.

The current political structure of the States Assembly has led to an imbalance of government power and reduced the value of your vote.

  • Constables and Deputies have assumed roles as Assistant Ministers or Ministers that have conflicted with, or led to disinterest in, the concerns of the Parish communities that elected them
  • Some Ministers and Assistant Ministers have acted little more than spokesmen of government departments that need reform
  • Scrutiny Panels are being automatically regarded as ‘opposition’ to the Council of Ministers rather than as useful critics
  • Ministers and members of the States Assembly are engaging in behaviours that the Council of Ministers is expecting the new Chief Executive to change in the Island’s civil service

There is no value to the public in having any elected States representative as a Minister or Assistant Minister unless that person is informed and courageous enough to properly oversee, work with and, at times, challenge the civil service departments and public sector agencies under his or her so-called administration.

The Council of Ministers needs to accept that it is unlikely that any future elected States representatives will have the necessary skills to manage and oversee States Departments as a Minister acting alone.

If elected, I would seek the following changes to the political system to improve government and add more value to your vote:

  • A reduction in the number of States representatives with those elected by Parishes representing their Parishes and a smaller number of Ministers and Assistant Ministers – acting on an Islandwide mandate as Senators.
  • Ministers being supported and supervised in the performance of their duties by panels including:
    • representatives of Scrutiny panels.
    • respected lay people appointed by the States Assembly who can contribute expertise in leadership and intelligent buying.
    • senior civil servants who have the proven respect of the staff that they manage.
  • A Chief Minister who respects opposition rather than shows contempt for it and who proposes Ministers on the basis of merit rather than cronyism.
  • Measures to ensure more professionalism in the States Assembly.

YOU THE TAX PAYER

TAX COLLECTION

The zero-ten system allows some businesses not to pay income tax while requiring others to pay more than banks.

If elected, I would seek a strategic review of our whole tax system, to make it simpler and fairer while supporting our local economy.

REDUCING PUBLIC SPENDING

Short-term thinking has led to insufficient attention being given to the prevention of social problems. Public funds have been spent on speculative and ill-thought ventures and unnecessary expenses and the Island’s voluntary sector has not been valued or utilised enough. If elected, I would

  • aim to help achieve optimum community support where it is really needed, with user-friendly service and the pockets of taxpayers firmly in mind.
  • seek that the Island’s government engage more constructively with the Island’s volunteers and encourage volunteering to:
    • assist Islanders in staying active and empower them and reduce social isolation.
    • harness the talents that already are available in our community while controlling the costs of engaging expensive UK consultants.

IMMIGRATION AND EDUCATION

With Jersey’s population having jumped 10% in the last ten years, the Island’s government needs to take a hard look at its impact on the Island’s infrastructure and public expenses overall.

Businesses who make excessive demands on the Island’s infrastructure through immigration need to take some responsibility for this cost. However, the public sector has brought a large number of employees from outside the Island too. More focus needs to be made on encouraging a future economy in Jersey that allows businesses to prosper and the community to be served without relentless growth in our population.

The new proposals regarding work permits for registered workers are little more than a nod to having a more orderly immigration policy. Far more work needs to be done on forming a clearer vision of the Island’s employment needs and likely job opportunities to inform future immigration and education strategy so that one can be responsive to the other.

If elected, I would seek:

  • greater consideration being given to succession planning, external mentoring and training in all sectors to enable Jersey residents to fill top jobs.
  • that university grants reflect the Island’s needs and incentivise students in receipt of them to return to the Island within a fixed number of years.
  • more consistency in the Island’s schools in assisting children in learning how to manage stress, emotions and money, without putting a greater burden on teachers who, like the finance industry, need less paperwork.
  • the carrying over of the local training initiative and facilitation aims of Digital Jersey into other areas such as hospitality and healthcare, while revitalising Highlands College for such purposes.
  • the forging of a closer partnership between the Island’s education department and the business sector to involve young Islanders in the workplace more actively and to foster more private investment in individual career paths.

MARRIED WOMEN AND SPOUSE EQUALITY

A high percentage of married women manage their family’s finances. If elected, I would support the removal of the requirement that married women obtain their husband’s permission to discuss their own tax affairs with the Income Tax Department and seek similar equality in all married and civil partnerships.

THE ASPIRING HOME OWNER

The Island Plan needs clearer direction on areas to be developed for affordable housing as opposed to luxury housing. Discouraging ownership of unoccupied houses that are not primary residences could help free up the Island’s limited housing stock. Affordable housing trusts, that enable occupiers to buy equity in their homes, need to be encouraged.

USERS OF GOVERNMENT AND COMMUNITY SERVICES

The moves towards making States Departments more focussed on the consumer should be encouraged but not at the expense of service, accountability and transparency. Some States Departments already are not enforcing laws and policies adequately, regarding themselves as under-resourced.

If elected, I would seek the following support of remaining essential staff in meeting corporate service delivery standards and the public in the form of:

  • adequate investment in training and objective reviews.
  • the cutting of red tape and the simplification of the tax system, laws and social security contributions.
  • a review of the e-gov programme strategy and costs allocation with the aim of ensuring its fastest and most effective delivery.

I also would support:

  • Improved engagement by States Departments and Parish authorities with charities and volunteers to assist in areas such as social care, policing of beaches for litter and the enforcement of water safety measures.
  • More active engagement by government departments with local specialists in community projects, service reviews and the management of intelligent buying and outsourcing.
  • More government focus on mental health care, including an adult secure unit.

WORKERS IN GOVERNMENT

With a reform being undertaken of the public sector, it is important that the many dedicated people who serve the Island’s community are consulted with respect to the reforms.

If elected, I would support:

  • managerial changes that improve general teamwork without sacrificing support and which take into account the needs of employees to adjust to such changes.
  • greater consideration being given to succession planning, external mentoring and training to enable full career progression.
  • changes to the prison service to ensure that prisoners with mental illnesses are properly accommodated in a secure unit.

THE START UP BUSINESS

Start-ups need clearer regulatory advice. This might be achieved through a voluntary project between the business and public sector.

I would support the government assisting innovators by facilitating access to private funding for new ventures.

THE FINANCE INDUSTRY

The value of this industry to the Island and the different ways it which it supports the community and other Island industries should continue to be recognised.

I would support the finance industry and the public sector exploring the cutting of red tape including possible lobbying by the Island’s politicians for a simpler client vetting regime.

THE TOURIST AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY

The hospitality industry helps to attract quality finance and health professionals and supports the retail industry. It also is compatible with preserving the Island’s scenic beauty.

More strategic focus needs to be given to this industry, particularly with respect to tourist infrastructure and improved transport links. It is struggling to employ staff and needs help.

If elected, I would support:

  • A proper dialogue being held with the Island’s hoteliers on how parts of the Island might serve as high quality tourist resorts without sacrificing its scenic beauty.
  • The provision by the Island’s government of strictly-enforced tourist development planning designations, with the aim of keeping the Island’s favourite leisure areas vibrant and accessible to Islanders rather than dominated by more luxury housing.
  • A programme being developed for sufficient infrastructure support that serves all Islanders as well as the tourist industry.
  • The promotion of tourism as a career choice in Jersey’s schools, the encouragement of the use of part-timers locally to help fill jobs and adequate consultation with the industry regarding the proposed work permit measures.

AGRICULTURE

The preservation of this industry needs to be encouraged to reduce importation and keep the Island relatively green.

If elected, I would support:

  • the regulation being developed in consultation with the Island’s farming industry and enforced to counter the pollution of our reservoirs.
  • a longer-term plan to move gradually towards organic farming, with appropriate economic support and the encouragement of local support.
  • the encouragement of the use of part-timers locally to help fill jobs and adequate consultation with the industry regarding the proposed work permit measures.

RETAIL

The recent tax imposition on larger supermarkets lacked proper engagement with the industry. If elected, I would seek a strategic review of our whole tax system, to make it simpler and fairer while supporting our local economy.

THE PARENT

With Jersey’s high cost of living, more mothers work in Jersey than in other jurisdictions yet many struggle with the costs of childcare. Jersey increasingly needs parents working to support its economy. More active childcare support is needed not only to help working parents but the children themselves.

Ways of increasing education standards in Jersey’s schools need to be investigated with the help of both the business and voluntary community. I would support the assistance of teachers through:

  • government encouragement of the attendance of parenting skill and resilience courses and, where appropriate, by the provision of family counselling
  • increased focus on early learning
  • the fairer distribution of both free nursery education and the requirement for means testing, and
  • the publication of more information on the strengths and developmental needs of the Island’s nurseries with a view to ensuring that they are consistent in standard and truly teach children how to learn.

I also would support consideration being given to schemes that enable school premises to accommodate supervised play areas during school holidays.

THE ELDERLY CITIZEN

Reports produced by Jersey’s government tend to frame older people as a burden to the Island’s economy while failing to acknowledge that the government’s excessive spending has made life difficult for everyone. If elected, I would support:

  • older people being involved more in their own management and as willing participants in some of the experiments that have been conducted by other governments to reduce social isolation and integrate the older generation more with the younger generation
  • more tax breaks for personal pension provision
  • more government help in accessing free transport for those unable to use buses, assistance with deliveries and wellbeing checks.

THE YOUNGER VOTER

You as a younger voter hopefully will be living in the Island longer than older voters and should have a say in its future. You also should have a future in the Island.

If elected, I would work to support:

  •  environmental measures to help preserve the Island’s natural beauty and keep it free from pollution.
  •  the carrying over of the local training initiative and facilitation aims of Digital Jersey into other areas such as hospitality and healthcare, while revitalising Highlands College for such purposes.
  • the forging of a closer partnership between the Island’s education department and the business sector to involve young Islanders in the workplace more actively and to foster more private investment in individual career paths.
  • immigration and education strategies that work together to encourage jobs being kept for those schooled in the Island.

THE CARER

Carers need to be supported too. They may be sacrificing their needs to help others.

If elected, I would support:

  • a proper review of the needs of carers in the Island.
  • the government being more proactive in ensuring both carers are receiving adequate support.
  • the provision of more respite facilities.

THE LOVER OF JERSEY’S NATURAL ENVIRONMENT

The Minister for the Environment has stated that 70% of the Island’s land is protected from development but green belt land around villages has been developed for housing despite its designation while some land designated as farmland isn’t farmed.

The Island’s scenic beauty can be supported by the tourist industry if it is treated as an Island asset that can support its revitalisation with the encouragement of improvement in our tourist infrastructure.

The Island Plan needs to be made meaningful again. Its conflicting policies are enforced inconsistently, if at all. Planning officers are overly reliant on developers who succeed too often in arguing that their development should be regarded as an exception to the rules. With the new proposed immigration policy emphasising the need for more housing, there is a danger that the problems with the current Island Plan, which emphasises the need for housing without clearly reserving land for affordable housing and tourist resort areas, will be repeated.

If elected, I would support:

  • a tourist development strategy that takes into account the Island’s capacity to accommodate tourists without destroying the Island’s attractions.
  • regulation being developed in consultation with the Island’s farming industry and enforced to counter the pollution of our reservoirs
  • a long term plan to gradually move to organic farming, in consultation with farmers and with the help of the expertise of established organic farmers needs, along with encouragement of farm shops and supply of local produce by local restaurants and supermarkets.
  • the improvement of tree protection in scenic areas through clear designation of tree preservation and protection areas in the next Island plan.
  • planning becoming proper planning again with clearer zone designations that are strictly enforced and development zones that take into account current land use.
  • the full implementation of the 2014 Planning Officers’ Society recommendations to improve Planning, particularly to provide the Planning Committee with proper guidance on where the balance of interpretation should lie.

TOWN DWELLERS

Despite the aim of the Council of Ministers to regenerate St Helier, more needs to be done to prevent St Helier from losing its vibrancy.

If elected, I would support:

  • proper enforcement of policies in the Island Plan to ensure that retail areas are kept for business purposes.
  • discouraging the ownership of commercial properties that have been unoccupied for a long period.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

If you keep doing the same thing, you will get the same result.

Please vote for me as Senator on 16th May 2018 to help the changes we need happen.

 

MOZ SCOTT FOR SENATOR

COMPETENCE, COMPASSION AND COMMON SENSE