DEPUTY FOR ST BRELADE
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.
THE STATE OF OUR ECONOMY
Nearly every country in the world fully recovered from an economic downtown 14 years ago. Jersey never did, despite significant increase in immigration that put pressure on our housing supply.
This has led to Islanders being less able to afford cost of local living and housing increases than residents in the UK.
Political decision-making has led to some local business interests having been supported over others without enough attention having been given to long-term public interest. We must break out of this cycle to be able to invest better in social and environmental improvements and to allow future Islanders to thrive.
Sustainability is important not only in respect of our environment but in respect of our economy. Diversity is another buzzword offered as a way of improving our economy, but we need to be realistic about the number and types of businesses government can sustainably support with our limited land and people resources and taxpayers’ money.
Jersey needs to create a business environment that encourages highly productive businesses with a low impact on our immigration requirements and environment.
Businesses throughout the ages have needed to modernise to stay competitive, usually at their own expense. Sometimes technology itself makes businesses redundant. PriceWaterHouseCoopers predicted 30% of local finance workers losing their jobs in the next fifteen years because of automation and artificial intelligence.
The independent Economic Council’s ‘New Perspectives’ Report’ has looked at the opportunity to improve the economy offered by the creation of new technology. This needs to be contrasted with a business seeking to use technology to stay competitive and paying the cost to do so if that business is successful enough to afford it and to compete globally.
Government needs to accept what has not worked in terms of its efforts to boost our economy, and to avoid future uninformed gambles with public land and money. It needs the knowledge capital necessary to earn a slice of the most productive global industries in the world of technology and data. It needs to stop avoiding the cultural, systemic and personnel changes required to modernise itself in the age of Big Data.
I understand complex issues that require objective thinking. I also respect the value of local knowledge, data, evidence and teamwork in providing satisfactory solutions. My ability in these areas can help put our Island’s economy back on track.
THE STATE OF OUR GOVERNMENT
Government has made itself busy producing wish lists and plans to make plans. These often lack thorough research into community needs and areas that are lacking, let alone delivery plans with swift implementation.
This often leads to a new administration making political decisions all over again using the same flawed system.
Too often, the focus is on drawing up policies rather than on making political decisions that can improve that process. Too often the wheels of the ‘machinery of government’ just spin or prove to be square.
We need people in charge who investigate matters deeply and objectively, who look at parts of the world who have produced the best solutions and who know how to get things done swiftly and effectively.
Councils of Ministers and senior civil servants have been too reliant on:
- the Chief Executive of government being tasked to fix things without learning from the premature departures and large payoffs of senior civil servants;
- seeking English solutions to Island problems (even when those solutions are too complex for a small island); and
- engaging UK consultants and senior management at great public expense instead of using local knowledge, resources and skills to identify needs, shortfalls and global best practice.
States Members generally must stop
- avoiding decisions to secure popularity over long-term public interest • relying on civil servants to make political decisions
- becoming snagged up in bureaucracy
- rejecting potential solutions on the grounds of technicalities without offering constructive amendments
- busying themselves with matters that create more work for civil servants and other public sector workers to do, who already lack public funding in essential areas, rather than addressing more complex issues such as flaws in government administration, tax anomalies and government’s management of the economy.
Many areas of Jersey’s government need urgent attention. To bring about positive change, most States Members will need to know not only what to do but how to achieve it and commit to doing so.
HOW I WILL WORK FOR YOU
Wanting and even promising change is not enough to deliver it. Candidates need to know how or want to know how to overcome the pitfalls, hoops and hurdles presented by government’s own bureaucracy. Like too many businesses in the Island, government’s productivity is being choked by red tape.
After extensive research within the public, private and third sector, I have facilitated the How Programme as a resource which informs voters, candidates and future States Members how the States Assembly can use the powers it has to:
- resource itself better and more effectively to make better political decisions without being thwarted by the States Assembly’s own red tape
- improve government, the economy and democratic representation, and • stop those improvements being unnecessarily delayed.
The Programme lists propositions that can be put forward by States Members or Ministers in the relevant areas to deliver positive change including:
- Better education services
- Better health and wellbeing support
- A more resilient and supportive economy with better job opportunities
- Better government administration, including improved decision-making, improved accountability, and community support
- Improved representation
- Positive progress in protecting the environment and adapting to climate-related changes while improving housing supply.
The Proposition list will need support from the majority of new States Members to produce any impact so please encourage other candidates to be supportive of it.
Detailed information on the How Programme and a copy of the Proposition list (which initially is being posted for public review to invite further contributions of technical content) can be found on how.je.
Voters Islandwide are unhappy the Senatorial role no longer exists. In the 2013 referendum, most voters in St Brelade voted to retain Constables and no option to have Senators was available other than by supporting the status quo of unfair representation between the Parishes.
In the last States Assembly, combining Islandwide representation with district representation in the form of Ministerial and Planning Committee roles compromised the ability of two out of our three of our former St Brelade Deputies to be more active in Parish planning matters.
Fair representation between Parishes or Districts should not be compromised by such random and unnecessary conflicts of interest.
If elected, I would seek:
- a reinstatement of the Senatorial role and clearer delineation of States Members’ roles between Islandwide and district/Parish work
- improved and more balanced Parish representation that is fairer, more transparent, more accountable and involves Parishioners more actively in political decision making with District Deputies in a support role
The Ministerial system has not worked well in the way it is currently set up. Some Ministers and Assistant Ministers have acted little more than spokesmen of government departments that need major reform, while looking for advice from civil servants who are not truly independent.
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, and, at times, challenge the civil service departments and public sector agencies under his or her administration.
States Members need to accept that under our current political system it is unlikely that any future elected States representative will have the necessary skills to manage and oversee States Departments as a Minister acting alone.
We saw during the pandemic how Ministers dodged releasing minutes that could show their influence over political decisions with serious consequences for Islanders by arguing they needed a ‘safe place’.
Political accountability should not be avoided in this way.
If elected, I would seek that Ministers be required to:
- work in committee with two independent specialist advisers/researchers directly appointed by the States Assembly with a role of advising the Minister as first level scrutineers of the civil service
- use Strategic Delivery Panels comprising heads/representatives of significant independent providers of services in the relevant area directly appointed by the States Assembly to lead government in reorganising the use of resources in the relevant areas and coproducing delivery plans
The How Proposition List also includes proposed amendments to make Ministers more accountable and a right of recall of elected States Members. It also contains other detailed changes to improve the running of the States Assembly and the conduct of elections, all to add more value to your vote.
Funding of government and its services is becoming more and more challenging owing to the way our economy and public finances have been managed.
The less money Islanders make, the less government’s tax take and its ability to fund existing services, let alone new services.
Raiding government reserves harms the Island’s ability to borrow money to support existing services. Future taxpayers will be needed to help repay those loans.
Raising more taxes can increase funding in the short term but can adversely affect business productivity and Islanders’ cost of living.
Furthermore, government funding has become increasingly dependent on the income of wealthy residents so targets for tax increases need to be managed wisely as well as fairly.
If elected, I would support an urgent strategic review of our whole tax system, to make it simpler and fairer while supporting our local economy, including:
- rules for new high value resident entrants
- anomalies within certain business sectors
- review of rules that enable locals to pay a reduced rate of tax on investments by use of companies other than private pension companies
- rules that enable locals to avoid income tax on investments by use of companies other than private pension companies.
However, the next States Assembly very much needs to address:
- excessive and wasteful spending by government
- government’s management of economic issues through urgent and direct action. It has been ducking or ignoring the matter for far too long.
In principle I support food and essentials being GST free. I also am aware our public finances may need to support those with lower incomes weather global inflationary increases in the short term in a more targeted way, with income support and tax allowance increases.
I remain in favour of removing GST from local agricultural produce sold locally. This could be presented as an option to retailers whose systems only favour GST uniformity.
IMPROVING GOVERNMENT SERVICES
Some government departments are not providing great service with unacceptable consequences for the public and government staff.
Some areas regard themselves as inadequately resourced. This is despite recent growth in the public sector workforce that the outgoing interim Chief Executive of government described as “unsustainable”. He himself said a larger size does not automatically produce better service.
The more Islanders government employs, the fewer available for the industries that contribute to the Island’s economy. The more immigrants called upon to take up the slack, the more pressure on our housing stock, increasing the cost of housing.
Government management needs to be improved at all levels to improve efficiency, accountability, responsiveness and reduce costs, without cutting valued services or overloading States workers. Government needs to harness the talents that already are available in our community and stop unnecessarily resorting to engaging expensive UK consultants to provide ‘evidence’ as a tick box exercise.
Government also needs to learn massively more from the private sector how: • to make better decisions with better information
- to deliver services more productively and without further inflating recruitment costs in the private sector
- to counter abuse of personal position and to improve accountability and transparency; and
- to improve HR management, public property management and the awarding of public contracts.
It needs a radical reboot to abandon or change the processes that get in the way of good government and to rapidly compensate for falling backwards in training staff in up-to-date management and administration methods, including IT expertise.
The How Proposition list seeks to build on the way in which the Treasury partnered with Ernst and Young to improve its capability. It proposes the transfer of senior management of certain areas of government administration to the private sector (or specially constituted local trusts) to:
- help organise service delivery, staffing and training more effectively and recruit more transparently and more locally
- review the contracts of senior civil servants to ensure they are of private sector professional standard
- organise health and education facilities more effectively
- improve employment culture with independent handling of bullying claims
- release procurement of services and goods from current red tape and lack of transparency
in all cases with government acting as a watchdog with less overload.
Lack of accountability and transparency also are a problem in government.
The How Proposition list sets out specific measures to counter this, including giving the public a right to good administration supported by:
- requirements for officials to record reasons for decisions in writing
- the fast tracking of the establishment of a Public Ombudsman (a recommendation by the independent government watchdog that stalled by the former government) to enable administrative decisions to be reviewed without resorting to the expense of court actions
- measures requiring the publication of minutes with fewer redactions
- and amendments to the law to clarify the meaning of accountability
IMPROVING OUR ECONOMY
We need radical changes in the way government manages the economy. The local finance industry has been supporting less successful industries, but automation and artificial intelligence threatens a third of its jobs. Global political and economic factors make it vulnerable in other ways.
Homeworking saves commercial rental costs for finance businesses and could free office sites for much-needed housing. As we saw during the pandemic, that creates a problem for those hospitality businesses that are unable to cater for homeworkers. Some of them have already adapted, others have not. Some are tied to premises by leases and struggled to find alternative business tenants to replace them during the pandemic.
Change is inevitable as the global economy changes, driven by changes in technology. For more successful businesses to grow and acquire staff and premises, less productive enterprises need to be allowed to fail rather than be propped up with public money, except where that support can be justified in the greater public interest.
Earlier this year, States Members responded to anecdotal evidence alone to reject a proposal supported by consultants engaged by government to prevent hotels on the seafront of St Brelade’s Bay from being converted into flats without further planning permission.
This highlighted the need for the Minister for Economic Development to investigate economic hardship cases better and to become more actively involved in planning matters. Furthermore, it was revealed during the pandemic that government economists did no economic modelling.
The How Proposition list proposes the following to improve the economy.
- Reform of Economic Development Department (EDD) to focus on:
- needs and gap analysis
- implementation plan
- transition plan,
to advance New Perspectives report, all to be co-produced with Economic Council under its direction.
- Future Economic Planning and Economy Modernisation to include:
- proactive Islandwide economic land management and oversight
- identification and support of
- robust planning protection measures
- related infrastructure and sustainable energy supply
- for the most economically valuable sites for tourism, international trade and Island interconnectivity
- collection of objective evidence and work with Treasury to ensure taxpayer funds are not supporting commercially unproductive enterprises with exception of specific community support operations such as:
- farmers supporting food security/environmental protection
- hospitality premises in strategic areas
- international supply chain improvement/inclusion on global indices used by New Economy businesses and global product commercialisation support
- exploration of joint ventures to support interconnectivity and goods carriage (including with Guernsey for ferry services); and
- economic modelling and development of New Economy Growth Business Models (with relatively low domestic footprint) following best known methods globally and related training plans (transformation of local work-force to one knowledgeable of global best-known practice)
- business red tape review and blitz.
- Transfer of sports and culture management to joint management of
- Education Strategic Delivery Panel and Economic Department in case of Culture and Health/Wellbeing
- Strategic Panel and Economic Department in case of Sport
- Require living wage to be paid by all business establishments other than:
- Farming establishments supporting food security/environmental protection strategy and strategic visitor economy establishments if providing employees adequate accommodation plus minimum wage
- Charitable establishments, farming and visitor economy establishments paying minimum wage or more to those receiving States or public sector pension or in full time grant-funded education.
- Visa scheme for seasonal hospitality staff to be relaxed to enable immediate employment
HEALTH, CARE AND WELLBEING
The massive and costly infrastructure project for the new hospital is unlikely to boost the economy without increasing staffing and construction worker accommodation problems. Meanwhile, health management problems continue and need to be addressed.
The How Proposition List seeks:
- The reinstatement of a modular plan for the hospital, as supported by the original Atkins report, before the location became a political football. This would entail building a new building (casualty and in patients) ideally using undeveloped land (the Waterfront remains access friendly and should be re-considered in the first instance with alternative land found for housing).
- Hospital services including recruitment and procurement to be run by an independent trust formed in Jersey and independent health provider. This would lead to government acting as watchdog. Government also to provide administrative support to, as opposed to management of, clinicians.
- Establishment of a strategic delivery panel led by:
- Local clinicians
- Local representatives of primary care
- Local third sector organisations delivering health care
- appointed by the States Assembly to
- reframe Jersey Care Model to maximise collaboration between stakeholders
- apply best known global practices/research and innovation in a manner most suitable for a small island
with a focus on creating an open learning environment throughout the health sector.
- Health to be combined with Wellbeing (Sports and Leisure Facilities) and Environmental Management
CHILDREN AND EDUCATION
Jersey increasingly needs parents to work to support its economy and keep down immigration pressure.
With Jersey’s high cost of living, more mothers work in Jersey than in other jurisdictions. Yet many parents struggle with the costs of childcare and Jersey is lagging behind the UK and other jurisdictions in providing free or subsidised childcare for 1-3 year olds.
More childcare support is needed not only to help working parents but to provide better safeguarding and potential family support for children.
Most parents are good parents. Some unfortunately struggle with parenting. Poor parenting leads long-term to a far greater cost to the public than the education of children. As a community, we need to improve the support of all children in their journey towards adulthood.
The How Proposition list proposes
- Free childcare for parents of 1-3 year olds
- to enable educational/wellbeing problems for children to be identified earlier o accompanied by extension of Parish nursery facility buildings
- placed under management/control of child care professionals led by strategic Child Care delivery Panel with independent child care provider representation.
- Parenting classes to be compulsory at strategic life stages.
- Strategic delivery panel to:
- produce delivery plan for children’s therapeutic centres including secure units that can also provide accommodation for UK children when surplus capacity
- review performance of Jersey Care Commission and outcome in context of Greenfields, to enable lessons to be learned and identify delivery gaps
- address inequality between regulation of private childcare and government childcare.
Difficulties in staffing and government bureaucracy are preventing optimal education for the Island’s children while placing unreasonable demands on teaching staff.
The How Proposition list proposes a reorganisation of the education sector to improve its independence from government. This would lead to government providing a watchdog role. Government also to provide administrative support to, as opposed to management of, teachers.
Maintenance costs are increasingly expensive. They need to be considered with respect to proposals for shared equity schemes and rent regulation. Unless the social housing supply is increased, a failure to consider maintenance costs in rent regulation could reduce rental accommodation supply or trigger sales that lead to rent increases.
The proposals in the How Proposition List therefore focus on how to:
- remove obstacles to increasing the social housing and general housing supply in a way that can be sensitive to historic and natural environment
- decouple Andium rents from rents in the private sector.
The How Proposition list includes proposals to:
- Provide more independence to Andium by reconstituting as a housing trust and manager of partially owned government housing
- Treasury to adjust terms of loan provision to Andium so that margin over interest can be reinvested in social housing and to investigate use of States/public sector pension funds to invest in local social housing
- Dissolve States of Jersey Development Company to enable development of suitable land by Andium for public housing at no additional cost to Andium
- Amend competition law to allow collaboration between Andium and housing trusts to produce plan for additional social housing (retaining provisions that target prejudicial cartel arrangements)
- Have designated conservation areas in St Helier coupled with selective property delisting plans in St Helier to help preserve character areas while enabling new social housing development.
- Establish an independent strategic delivery panel for improved public transport provision (which could help support removal of requirement for new housing in St Helier to include parking provision)
- Affordable housing sites to be compulsorily purchased by government before on selling with agreed pricing/development concept plan. To include pod housing for those just leaving home. Affordable gateway to be less restrictive.
- Implement tax disincentive (administered through Parishes) on second homes/abandoned accommodation if not rented out with allowances for reasonable renovation breaks or absence for health reasons
- Reduce stamp duty by removal costs for downsizers.
In addition, How Proposition list proposals in other areas should help to alleviate the crisis as follows:
- Improved supply chain should reduce construction costs (see EDD reform)
- Improved mental health care and addiction treatment should assist in addressing many homeless.
- Improved economy/job opportunities and increased social housing supply (and reduced building supply costs) should increase ability to afford housing.
- Improved public property management and improved economic planning should release more sites for housing
Planning needs to be made meaningful again and its processes more transparent. Conflicting policies in the Island Plan argued to support flexibility also support inconsistency and uncertainty.
A decision by elected States Members on the Planning Committee regarding the Wayside restaurant was overturned by the former Minister for the Environment on the advice of a single planning officer from the UK.
Planning inspectors who came to the Island to review the recent revision of planning policies did not regard the many concerns raised by Islanders regarding the revision process as within their remit.
The How Proposition list includes proposals to reform the planning process, to enhance tree protection and to improve sustainability and environmental safeguarding in farming methods. These include the following:
- Bring the planning back into planning with Code to replace conflicting policy in Island Plan format. Parishes to consult with Parishioners for supporting areas development visions
- Resourcing the Planning Committee with independent planning inspector presence or legal adviser
- Making the Planning Committee the ultimate planning appeal body consistent with democratic principles, with Omsbudsman or courts able to review decision reasoning.
- Creation of an independent planning commission to oversee Planning Department.
- Support tree planting and the new tree strategy by changing Planning Law to require Minister to exercise tree replanting order powers under current Planning Law with ability to approve adequate substitution of trees taken down without planning permission unless Minister provides reasoned retrospective approval.
- An independent environmental strategic delivery panel to
- co-produce a new Rural Economy Strategy with emphasis on contribution to
- crops/produce supporting local food security/diversity
- environmental protection/climate change measures with grants/subsidies reorganised accordingly
- co-produce a new Rural Economy Strategy with emphasis on contribution to
- Technology Fund funding restoration of greenhouse areas to help produce crops as efficiently as in the Netherlands.
- Environmental strategic delivery panel to consider support for local fish processing plant and oyster beds in St Aubin’s Bay
- Continue moratorium on grants of licences for hemp farming while Rural Economic Strategy being revised.
The How Proposition list also includes the following measures to encourage adoption of sustainable energy sources to move away from fossil fuel use.
- Additional Fuel duty from price increase to be diverted to subsidise short-term fuel needs and support conversion to electric boilers of low-income households along with insulation schemes.
- Climate change fund to be applied to fund draft exclusion and insulation for low-income households and conversion to electric boilers (in that order)
- Encourage early adoption of solar energy by those who can afford it and address conflict of JEC being a commercial entity by:
- Creating right for Islanders to receive a fair deal for locally generated power from Jersey Electricity Company
- legally imposing a legal requirement on JEC to
- prioritise supply from locally generated power and to pay a ‘buy-rate’ at least higher than wholesale price for locally generated energy (alternatively rates to be lowered for those providing locally generated energy?);
- paying a higher rate than that for the first 3 years to the first 5,000 adopters of solar energy
- collaborate with local renewable energy hardware suppliers with use of independent facilitator to agree roadmap for increased energy security (bearing in mind French political threats) and transition to meet Island energy demand supply from locally generated renewable energy, including target dates and performance measures, in line with government’s net zero plans
- Compulsory carbon negative schemes with offsetting at local level to be phased in (starting with government itself).
The elderly need support in maintaining as active and independent lifestyle while avoiding isolation. The Jersey Care Model, if developed more transparently and with wider stakeholder involvement, could produce positive outcomes in supporting care in the home and within the community, along with wellbeing checks. However, health needs to remain affordable for the elderly, bearing in mind that pensioner poverty is relatively high in Jersey compared to the UK.
Measures described in this manifesto to improve health delivery, the economy and housing should benefit Islanders of all ages.
I would seek more tax deductions for personal pension provision and a dialogue within the Parish about elderly access to alternative free or subsidised transport for those unable to use buses or who need assistance with deliveries.
The proposed improvement plan for St Brelade’s Bay in the planning policies approved earlier this year remains a proposal. As the former Chairman of a Parish Working Party that tried to advance the proposal for a local development plan in the now superseded Island Plan, I am keenly aware how many formal planning proposals are not implemented owing to a lack of government resources and a decision by the Minister for Environment with more pressing priorities.
During the recent planning policy review, Constable Mike Jackson presented to the States Assembly propositions I drafted to protect St Brelade’s visitor economy and the Island’s wider economy.
This resulted in:
- further restrictions on residential expansion on the Bay’s seafront
- landscaping improvement policies for the Bay’s seafront and parts of Ouaisné.
Disappointingly, only one out of our three Parish Deputies supported additional propositions to support and protect the Bay’s visitor economy.
If elected, and a more sympathetic Minister for Economic Development is appointed and the Bridging Island Plan further revised as planned, I will push for the consultants’ recommendations to be better respected and for the Economic Development Department to conduct a more thorough investigation of any alleged unfair hardship issues.
Vandalism has been an unfortunate problem in St Brelade.
Government initiatives to improve family support may be of future assistance as may police and Jersey Youth Service talks in schools. A dialogue, about whether local youth facilities could be of more service in this area, would also be helpful.
The late former Minister for Home Affairs began investigating the possibility of addressing anti-social behaviour for under-18s through the Parish Hall Enquiry (PHE) system last year.
I would support greater investment in cameras to assist in policing and the imposition of community service orders through the PHE system where there is clear visual evidence of under-18-year-old anti-social behaviour, provided the Children’s Commissioner’s recommendations published in her Youth Justice Report at the end of last year are respected.
If government and States Members keep doing the same thing, we will keep getting get the same result. It’s time to break out of the cycle.
Please vote for me for Deputy on 22nd June 2022 to help the changes we need happen.