We are entering a period of historic change unlike anything our generation has had to deal with as we cope with and recover from Covid. There are challenging times ahead but also great opportunities to do things differently and better.
Guernsey-born and educated at Capelles Junior School and Elizabeth College I grew up in a traditional Guernsey family of growers and fishermen. I value our past and am a bit of a traditionalist at heart but also believe we need to progress and change even whilst keeping hold of those values which make us such a strong and vibrant community. My career in IT has taken me through the finance industry and manufacturing and on to the UK and Europe where I was impressed in many instances by some progressive attitudes to law and order and society. I co-founded the Trainstation Fitness Centre and ran a busy bar in town.
It’s important for a Deputy to have a breadth of life experience in order to understand and empathise with those they are representing and be able to make valuable, experienced and informed contributions in developing policy and in debate.
Having already served twelve years in the Assembly I take a balanced view between financial security for the island and social progress.
- Invest in the economy wisely and prudently to ensure we stay strong post-covid
- Ensure any investment is targeted, effective and measured
- Share tax burden fairly, not on lowest income families or squeezing the middle
- No to GST
- Yes to investing in mental health services
- Yes to more support in community health and social care services
- Yes to prescribing medicinal cannabis locally for all patients whose symptoms would be alleviated by its use
- Continue to protect local environment and bio-diversity
- Increase recycling and re-use rate for Commercial and Industrial sectors
- Reduce island carbon use
- Review current Education direction and take islanders’ views on board
- Maintain working population size but no significant increases
Moving forward together
If the pandemic teaches us anything, it is that we are an adaptable, caring and cohesive society. Energised by our renewed sense of community and solidarity, we have a chance to do better. I hope Guernsey will rejuvenate, stronger and more receptive to change.
I’ve always said that I will not support policies which put the burden of taxation indiscriminately on islanders and I voted accordingly against GST in 2013 and will continue to do so. Our task will be to develop a sustainable tax system which ensures we remain competitive whilst sharing the tax burden fairly and not putting an undue load on the lowest income members of our community, or squeezing the middle.
The States of Guernsey’s Revive and Thrive initiative aims to make some focused investments in the local economy to ensure Guernsey’s finances bounce back quickly from Covid. We are in the grip of the greatest health and economic crisis in decades and I do believe that Guernsey needs to invest in its recovery as recommended in Revive and Thrive, for it is a vibrant and successful economy which funds public services such as education, health, roads, and infrastructure requirements – the alternative is to leave things to recover under their own steam which means higher unemployment, tax rises, austerity spending cuts and lower household incomes which Guernsey could take a decade to recover from.
The detail on how to invest wisely will be in the upcoming Recovery Strategy which will inform us how to prioritise investment which supports the recovery. We should bring forward planned construction projects earlier, and direct fiscal stimulus for certain sectors which would reduce financial pressures, keep our economy buoyant and increase household incomes.
They say you can’t cross a chasm in two jumps but we do need to be cautious with our investment. We will need to ensure any stimulus is affordable, appropriate, measured and properly targeted.
In a society which is changing and evolving quickly, we need representatives with the ability to spot developing trends and opportunities and adapt rapidly to meet them. I have a proven track record in policy development which meets those challenges.
The worldwide population is ageing and this is no different in Guernsey, where we have about 11,000 people aged over 65. Whilst we are all living longer, the span of life during which we remain healthy is not extending; effectively we are now older and unwell for longer.
There are significant benefits for the individual and for society in prolonging the duration of our good health. Extending our healthspan by maintaining our physical and mental well-being through good diet and regular exercise is helpful and we should continue investment in Guernsey’s proud sporting heritage.
I would prioritise improving health-monitoring by testing and screening to identify illness earlier. By investing here in a timely manner we can reduce the costs and hardship for individuals and carers in managing advanced illness later on.
I support continued and increased investment in community health and social care services; in supporting individuals with enduring illness in their own homes we can maintain the well-being and independence of individuals, avoiding costly admissions to acute hospital beds and premature moves into long term residential and nursing care homes.
I also support provision for mental health services and I was part of the team which agreed funding for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy at Primary Care level. This initiative led to significant improvements in our ability to identify and respond to mental health issues in a timely manner. Currently the team still receives well over 100 referrals from GPs every month and it is important that people continue to be able to access the support they need
The research and scientific evidence is overwhelming that extracts of Cannabis and Cannabis itself can have a positive effect on people suffering a variety of health issues. Guernsey and the UK have been dragging their heels on making a full range of Cannabis products available to patients and it is not acceptable while people are needlessly suffering. Trained prescribers need to be available locally.
Not only do I support the use of medicinal cannabis I would actively work towards making it affordable and easier to prescribe on-island for patients whose symptoms would be alleviated by its use.
As the pace of change in society accelerates and technology advances, States Members will need to update their world views, absorb new information and incorporate new views from multiple fields like never before. Modern life calls for a politician able to recognise the best ideas and apply them wisely with the best of the past.
I have consistently and repeatedly stressed the importance of supporting the Education Plan to rebuild the three secondary schools. I supported the rebuilding of Les Beaucamps and St Sampsons and was expecting La Mare de Carteret to be next. During the last term this progression has been overturned and Education’s new one school on two sites model has caused significant upset in the community.
Currently there is a review underway on the future educational needs of our children which will inform the decision of the next assembly, I would use that as part of the evidence needed to chart the way forward and it is essential the views of islanders are considered as part of this. We will need public engagement to break the policy deadlock.
Perhaps we focus too much on exam results for all children instead of a more individual preparation for each child’s future which could include more apprenticeships, technical and vocational courses and work experience rather than focusing on achieving certain grades in subjects they will never use again. It is important to get the best educational outcomes for individual children.
It is time for us to acknowledge that current models of education are not always the best option for all children. I’d like to see an expansion of online courses and material. New education technology can transform how education is delivered, including where it is delivered and when, giving a greater degree of flexibility for those who want to ‘educate otherwise’. Lockdown has shown us a glimpse of delivering education in a new way and Edtech can play its part.
Perhaps it is time to dream boldly about additional ways of educating our children.
I encourage you all to make your pick of the best of this year’s candidates not on popularity, nor on how well they are known but on high ethical standards, integrity, policies and the ability to function well in a team of people with differing views.
In 2012 I said that the years of ideological differences on waste would end and we would have in place a modern high recycling solution and that has proved to be the case. Ensuring we deal with our waste in a sustainable, responsible way is something I spent 12 years in government determinedly driving through numerous debates filled with doom and gloom and ‘rubbish will pile up in the streets’ warnings. It was a challenge and it required some radical thinking but the result is our household waste recycling rate is up from 19% to 73% and I am proud to have led the team which developed the strategy.
We now have one of the highest (if not the highest) recycling rates on the planet, something for all of us to be proud of whichever side of the debate you were on and this is a testament to everybody pitching in and doing their bit.
Guernsey already plays a significant role in the development and promotion of green and sustainable finance especially with the creation of the Guernsey Green Fund initiative. Guernsey must live up to its reputation as a responsible global citizen with regard to Climate Change and continue to lower its carbon use and take account of our environment in all States decisions. I welcome the recently adopted Climate Change Policy and Action Plan which will guide government’s response to the emergency over the coming decade and beyond.
I will continue to champion the environment both locally and further afield with my firm commitment to recycling, renewable energy and conservation.
I will always think of the welfare of Guernsey people, the beautiful island we live on and preserving our way of life.
As a firm believer in maintaining our way of life I have always resisted population growth. I do understand that left to its own devices our population will shrink due to our declining birth rate and as such we do need to bring key workers to our island to maintain population levels and I welcome law-abiding individuals coming to the island and playing their part.
One of the steps I took in my previous term was to amend the population policy so that family-friendly policies could be adopted which could further assist local families having children, potentially slowing the decline in our population.
Another successful amendment I brought to Guernsey’s population policy was to stipulate that licenses could be withdrawn from persistently offending licence holders even if the crimes were ‘low level’ and that they be asked to leave the island. We don’t need to be home to repeat offenders who undermine the peace and harmony of our island.
We do still need workers coming to the island to keep our economy buoyant and to ensure that all the jobs which need to get done, get done as our population ages and our numbers dwindle but what I do not support is a deliberate policy to grow our population in order to have a greater workforce to be able to sustain greater levels of economic growth. We have to think smarter and be more innovative than merely throwing more people at the economy in order to grow. We should bring in only those that our community can’t provide.
Guernsey has always thrived on innovation, in this world of increasingly widespread technology there are huge opportunities for individuals and companies to reap the benefits of Guernsey’s stability, governmental speed of response, industry agility, proximity to the EU and offshore status, without needing to grow the population with all the extra infrastructure this would require such as extra schools, houses, roads and social care.
I support maintaining our working population size, not deliberately increasing it.
Homes with lower TRP values used to be protected for locals – residence permit holders were not permitted to purchase these lower priced houses. That protection was removed as part of the Population policy. This means that locals, many of them first time buyers, our children, must now compete with those relocating to the island who are often in receipt of generous housing allowances or relocation packages not available to local people. I voted against this as in my view it is unfair and affects the ability of Guernsey people to buy homes on their own island. This needs to be revisited.
Key workers are able to bring immediate family with them if they relocate and this is fair and equitable. However, they are also able to bring their parents, parents-in-law and grandchildren with them, requiring housing, potentially social care and ultimately residential care. I think this has the potential to be too unbalanced and one-sided. This needs to be changed.
Funding for the Guernsey Housing Association is drying up and they are desperately looking for new locations. This means that the amount of new partial ownership homes is also drying up. This is or was a very popular scheme and helped many locals get their first step on to the property ladder. This needs to be reinvigorated.
If like me you think these issues are important for our island please take time to vote for
St Sampsons High School on 3rd & 4th October
Performing Arts Centre 3rd, 4th, 6th & 7th October
Parish Polling stations 6th and 7th October
This time around we have political parties to contend with but you still vote for individual candidates and individual candidates still have their own manifestos.
I decided to join the Partnership of Independents as it is a group of talented individuals with a wealth of diverse experience who vow to work together for the good of the island in a constructive manner even though they are free to disagree with each other in debate.
You may ask what’s the point of such a partnership and it’s a good question. We value independence but also realise that the States needs to function effectively and efficiently. The last four years have been a particularly turbulent time in politics with some unprofessional behaviour and too many personal attacks instead of concentrating on suitable and appropriate policy development. We need to progress some vital policy development next term which calls for capable and competent States Members able to function well as a collective even while disagreeing with each other on occasion.
We need to be more efficient and work better as a team but we also do not want to follow the UK party political model. The Guernsey Partnership resolves those two issues as you’ll get a party of independents who may well differ with each other’s views on the floor of the assembly, as we always have done which is healthy democracy, but afterwards will move on to the next agenda item without rancour. We need to behave civilly and with integrity toward each other, which we have not always seen this term. The Guernsey Partnership of Independents is a group who are resolved to bring back competency to Guernsey politics. Not left or right, just forward.
We will work together effectively and decisively with respect for democratic decisions.
That way, maybe we have the best of both worlds: our Guernsey tradition of independent representatives and more effective, collaborative government.
We make the following pledge
Scott’s fact file
- Elected in 2012
- Minister – Public Services Department
- Scrutiny Committee
- Elected in 2008
- Deputy Minister – Public Services Department
- Social Security Department
- Education Department
- Policy Council’s Energy Policy Group
- Public Sector Remuneration committee
- First elected in 2004
- Social Security Department
- Public Services Department
- Public Accounts Committee
- Public Sector Remuneration Committee
My attendance was in the top 5 for recorded meetings