In 2018, I was a newcomer to politics who narrowly missed the chance of being able to serve our Island in the role of Senator.
Owing to electoral changes, I am now standing as an independent Deputy in my home Parish of St Brelade. Many Parishioners know of my work as Chairman of the St Brelade’s Bay Association, which has fought insensitive development of the Island’s best known seaside resort. It would be an honour to represent my Parish as a States Member.
MY PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND
- Oxford law graduate qualified in English and Jersey law, and trained in professional ethics
- Former tax lawyer in the City of London
- Former partner and director of major local law firm and administrative services provider, Mourant, specialising in corporate structures and finance and described by the publication Legal 500 as ‘top notch in finance’.
- A professional trainer in leadership and communication skills, who has worked with people from all backgrounds and, voluntarily, with local charities.
- A writer and contributor to a political column in Jersey’s local online paper the Bailiwick Express.
In addition to acting as Chairman of the St Brelade’s Bay Association, I have been a local volunteer for Beach Ability since 2018, helping to provide beach access to those with mobility issues.
Since 2018, I also have served as an independent member of:
- the States Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee (investigating government spending and organisation) and
- Jersey’s statutory statistics watchdog.
These roles have further highlighted to me how government is failing to serve Islanders well.
Many areas of government need urgent attention, not least because the ever-increasing cost of living and of housing has made life harder for most Islanders.
More recently, I have been working voluntarily to facilitate the How Proposition list.
This collaborative project has been produced through extensive research within our public, private and charitable sectors. It has uncovered how government gets in the way of good government of service delivery through red tape processes and over-complicated organisation.
The How Proposition list identifies reforms that need to be made for government to improve its productivity and value.
The sooner change starts, the sooner it can happen. If elected, I shall promote the How programme within the States Assembly.
MY PERSONAL BACKGROUND
I have lived in St Brelade for the last 20 years. I have spent ten years before that living in the Parishes of St Ouen and St Clement. Philip and I share our home with our two young dogs. Our sixteen-year-old cat helps keep them in order.
MY POLITICAL OUTLOOK
My father left school at the age of 14 to work in a factory because his family could not afford a better education for him. I recognise the value of a good education.
My mother was an immigrant, as was her father and grandfather. While I recognise the value immigrants can bring to an economy, I also am aware of need to manage immigration carefully in a small Island with limited resources.
Immigration should not be used to avoid addressing local economic issues and training needs.
I support helping others break the poverty cycle yet appreciate public finances need to be managed responsibly and the role a healthy economy plays in social reform.
I am good listener who cares about community and the environment. As a former lawyer, I am passionate about fairness and democracy. I am known for not shying away from public engagement and for speaking truth to power.
WHY I AM STANDING
Many of the concerns for our Island that prompted me to run a Senatorial campaign in 2018 have not been resolved. In many ways they have become worse.
Some areas of government have been officially declared unfit for purpose. Its decision-making processes have been found to be defective. It hurts our community even more when its political leadership is unfit for purpose, makes poor political decisions and is not made accountable either.
The Island’s health, democracy and economy have all suffered during the pandemic with many of us losing family members, health, business income and jobs. The cost of food, heating fuel and of housing have all soared.
Political decisions since 2018 have led to:
- Our economy performing worse than Guernsey’s with more pandemic-related deaths
- The government still being top-heavy and wasting public funds that could improve life for Islanders without cash to squander
- Huge public debts that the Island’s children will need to help repay one day (if they can afford to stay)
- A hospital plan that has produced a design regarded as an eyesore by many while failing to resolve:
- how our current hospital became poorly maintained
- hospital management having been declared unfit for purpose by government’s independent spending watchdog
- staff recruitment issues.
- A third government chief executive in a decade stepping down with a hefty payoff funded by taxpayers.
- Our Island community being deprived of electoral choice by the States Assembly.
My years of campaigning to protect public enjoyment of St Brelade’s Bay and its local visitor industry has provided me with a detailed knowledge of the planning system and its flaws. It also has made me acutely aware of the lack of active protection of the Bay’s future visitor economy by the Island’s Economic Development Department.
The Island needs to restore former prosperity in new ways. Failures in managing our economy and public finances stand in the way of social reform. Precious cash reserves are now supporting huge loans government has never needed before.
Public money is being used to prop up businesses that cannot support our tired economy. Our population has a relatively high proportion of Islanders in their late fifties and older and Jersey risks becoming a retirement colony for the wealthy. Assuming Islanders wish to have a different destiny for the Island, we need to change the government economic and financial management that has set us on this course.