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Please consider using one of your votes
for a Greener Guernsey
I grew up in St Martins and have lived in Guernsey for 37 years of my life. I went to school in Guernsey, studied Maths at university, then pursued a career in marketing and IT, working abroad for several years for multinational IT companies. I now work in data and Business Intelligence.
I am a member of Living Streets and the Guernsey Bicycle Group. I have ties to education and I am a supporter of the arts. I have a car but I am a regular cyclist, pedestrian and bus user.
I am 52 years old and have an 13 year old son and a daughter at university.
I am taking the opportunity presented by Island-Wide Voting to offer voters the possibility of a green voice in the State.
Revive and Thrive
We are justifiably proud of our response to Covid but let’s not forget that we have half a billion pounds to repay. It won’t be easy but we must tackle this fairly. The less well off have already suffered disproportionately. Sales tax is regressive and is not fair.
Guernsey’s finance industry is mature and there are higher level jobs. However, AI and automation still threatens many finance jobs - not just in Guernsey. We should diversify our economy. Guernsey has always been entrepreneurial - we must encourage small businesses. The high street is changing as traditional retail declines. We must re-imagine our towns and village centres to encompass something other than retail as their central purpose. We should support and invest in Mill Street and St Sampsons.
“Where there’s muck, there’s brass” - but where there’s muck there might be the green grass of recovery. We are a wealthy community and we waste more than we should. We should encourage businesses in recycling, up-cycling and re-use. Green tech like electric transport, energy efficiency and renewable energy are other areas in which we could get ahead of the game - and create jobs doing so!
We need to stay connected to the world - we need air transport but to take responsibility for our carbon footprint. We should also foster our sea links - to the UK, Jersey, Alderney and France. We should be ready for a future in which air transport is less attractive. Regular, dependable sea transport will need investment but will pay off.
Roads can be the building blocks of local community but there are too many cars on our roads - and we have become over-reliant upon them. Transport is also the area in which Guernsey has the greatest scope for reducing its carbon emissions. Guernsey needs a greener traffic strategy - giving people more transport choices.
We should build a network of access-only quiet roads across Guernsey which give priority to pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders. Along these quiet lanes, people and animals can move freely and safely, children and the elderly will no longer be disenfranchised, kids can play and everyone will be safe to meet, to keep fit and to enjoy the newly peaceful environment. Local “ownership” of roads could show us what residents want - rat runs or community spaces?
As is proposed in the UK, Guernsey should introduce a hierarchy of road users in which road users who can do the greatest harm have the greatest responsibility.
We should do more to encourage e-bikes and smaller, cleaner, quieter vehicles. Electric bikes make the use of scooters by 14-16 year olds unnecessary and accident statistics tell us that it’s not safe anyway. We shouldn’t be turning our children into motorists - they should be keeping fit walking, cycling or using public transport.
The buses are better but we must improve information to make it a viable, attractive option.
Car clubs could reduce car numbers - use a car when you need to but no worry about storing it.
Our young people are facing an uncertain future - let us give them the best start we can. Education should be a priority and should be used to balance out social inequality. A decision about the 11+ has been made - let’s not allow a rearguard action to bring it back destabilise schools any further. Children, parents and teachers need certainty.
From a green transport viewpoint, more, local schools means that schools are more accessible to its students by walking or cycling.
Climate, ecology and environment
It may not be apparent in beautiful Guernsey but we are in a double emergency. We must take immediate action to reduce global carbon emissions and to halt species loss. The Climate Change Action Plan commits us to making climate central to all decisions. We must implement the plan but it would be far better if we could accelerate into a green future. There is much to be done but the future could be bright - and green - if we embrace our responsibilities rather than ignoring or trying to deny them.
We should listen to the young people who are demanding meaningful change so that they have a future! They must ultimately build that future but we must be the architects of its foundations.
We should encourage local food production, protect our marine environment and rebuild local ecosystems/life support systems by rewilding and encouraging land owners to foster biodiversity.
Our recycling rate is great but we could do even better! We should have an iterative process which will bring us toward Zero Waste! We should immediately ban the use of polystyrene food containers.
Justice and community
Restorative justice reduces repeat offending, brings more people to justice, costs much less and rebuilds communities by giving satisfaction to victims.
Criminalising the possession of substances which are less harmful than alcohol and tobacco has caused more harm than it has prevented. We should adopt a mature, evidence-based policy regarding drug harm and legalise medicinal cannabis and consider decriminalising and taxing the recreational use of cannabis.
When the election is over, politicians can retreat into their own bubble. If elected, I will press for more transparency and accountability in government and better communication.
The States web site is comprehensive but it needs renovation and improving, especially search.