Accountability and Scrutiny are linked, both requiring changes in order to make progress. Currently, the processes in place create inefficiencies which affect the way in which Committees can operate. Bureaucracy has caused problems with recruitment because of this, and the delays in making and implementing decisions within the States have also meant that work is not carried out quickly. Non-States businesses (Construction for example) suffer as a result, as well as the States wasting money. I will make every effort to change that culture. The Scrutiny function has improved, but there are still those who do not answer for their actions, which causes distrust among other Deputies and the electorate. More independence is needed to ensure that concerns are fully dealt with in the public domain, and I would assist in this if on the Committee.
1) Justice - the review lists many areas that require attention, which will take time to resolve. One that I wish to see implemented quickly is restorative justice and more provision of support for the victims of crime, who are not always remembered in the justice process. All our emergency services, (Law Enforcement, Fire and Rescue, Coastguard and Ambulance) plus Probation and the Prison, need our support so that we remain a safe community.
2) Education - the delay caused by the States revisiting decisions, means that the results of Pause and Review are awaited. Whatever is proposed will be such an important step for the future of young people in the Island and it must provide equality of education in a fair and future proof way. Training and up-skilling are a necessity for those who are unemployed or wishing to move on. I also wish to revisit the support provided for pre-school education as it now operates.
The Island Development Plan: although reviews are built into the Plan, I do not believe that it is working in the best interests of the community. Draft Development Frameworks cause consternation, the continuing use of green field sites and the Main Centres for development are real concerns. Consultation about proposed developments does not meet with expectations and in the case of that which took place a while ago about vacant, poorly maintained premises, does not appear to have been progressed. St. Peter Port particularly needs opportunities for action to be taken about such buildings. The Eastern Seaboard Enhancement scheme is moving ahead with the latest proposals before the States. I am very interested in involvement in this area of future action.
Infrastructure: whether it’s the built environment, the effects of climate change and the need to protect our natural world, or the introduction of anti-discrimination laws, the States must ensure that the future looks bright. For me this heading includes capital projects, hospitality and tourism, Social Security, Health Services’ redevelopment, as well as digital connectivity and travel to and from the Island. Progress has been slow and I intend to assert my authority and make things happen!
The Economy is fundamental to Revive and Thrive. The Finance sector has been generally carrying on as normal during the Covid19 pandemic, but other industries and businesses have suffered greatly. Support given has helped, but it must be recognised that new businesses and entrepreneurs will need assistance to provide employment opportunities. Creative thinking is required and the reality of revive and thrive has to be driven home. Locate Guernsey has my support in encouraging business to the Island, as has the Digital Greenhouse as an enabler.
Electronic voting: States’ Members have a duty to the electorate to decide on many issues, including legislation. It is clear from my experience as a Deputy and from sitting in the Public Gallery, that some do not vote at all. We need to prioritise electronic voting so that each Deputy must be accountable and make a decision for the immediate record.
Women make up over 50% of the population and have to be encouraged to put themselves forward to take advantage of their talents and overcome prejudice. I will attempt to bring forward the ‘equal pay for equal work’ section of the anti-discrimination law when it comes back for ratification.