Making Sense of the States

I would like everyone in Guernsey to feel that each of us can make a positive difference, in our own way, to our Bailiwick. I believe that being engaged citizens, and contributing to the thriving of our democracy, is a vital part of that. So I’m trying to do what I can, in an open and fair way, to give people tools and insights to help make sense of Guernsey’s political system and its broader context, and how to make constructive change.

I’m an island politician, a member of the States of Guernsey, for the political term 2016 to 2020. It is really important to me that people understand how our government works: so that I and my colleagues can be held to account for our choices, and so that ordinary islanders have the confidence and courage to stand for election next time.

The blog part of this site is most often updated. It includes updates about what the States is doing, and about projects that are especially dear to my heart. You can also find me on Twitter or Facebook or email me directly if you want to get in touch.

The resources page is a new initiative. I am trying to build up a library of useful resources for people who want to get more involved in our democracy. That’s you if you’re a citizen who wants to organise a campaign or make your voice heard in a consultation, or if you want to take a more active role by seeking public office as a States Member, non-States Member or member of the judiciary.

I strongly believe that, in our small community, the States should be like jury duty: that each of us should be willing to put our talents and experience to the service of our community for at least one four-year term. Vibrant democracy will help our island to flourish – but, to be effective, it needs a strong foundation of knowledge and understanding. That’s why I continually try to explain and demystify the work of the States.

The resources here are freely available to anyone who wants to use them, whatever your political beliefs or priorities. To the best of my ability, I have tried to ensure that they are accurate, fair and non-partisan. The only agenda is to make Guernsey politics more accessible to more people of all ages and all backgrounds. I would welcome your feedback about what’s helpful, what’s missing, and what could be improved.

Finally, this site is also an attempt to be personally accountable. That’s why you can still read my 2016 election manifesto here, as well as a summary of my work on States Committees. The official record of my parliamentary speeches and votes (and those of my colleagues) is in Hansard; while my blog contains more personal reflections. I hope you find something here to assist, inform or inspire you – please don’t forget that you can contact me directly at any time, too.

MANIFESTO SUMMARY

INCLUSIVE

No One Left Behind
• Secure & dignified older age; investment in long-term care; decent pensions & financial support.
• Support for carers; improved information; timely access to support.
• Challenging disadvantage; tackling poverty & hardship; the best start in life for all children.

SUSTAINABLE

Strong Economic Foundations
• Sustainable economic development; confidence & stability; innovation & diversification.
• Sustainable taxation; avoidance of regressive taxes; continued low-tax status.
• Prudent spending; public sector efficiencies; public dialogue on tax & service provision.

ASPIRATIONAL

Opportunity & Ambition for All
• High quality, inclusive education;  valuing young people’s wellbeing; internationally competitive.
• An attractive place to live & work; affordable housing; support for  young families.
• Equality of opportunity, greater workforce participation; flexible & inclusive employment.