Twelve months ago today, I was preparing to go to Beau Sejour to find out if the electorate of St Peter Port South thought I was a good enough candidate to become their People’s Deputy. That evening was the most edifying event of my life – I was and remain honoured to be elected to this office.
As I did six months ago, I thought I’d take another look at my manifesto and compare what I said I’d do with what I’ve done.
There have been several occasions where I have followed my first promise – to push ahead with the best plans for Guernsey. One such example was the Population Management Regime. I listened to many and read a lot, I got involved with helping parishioners understand their rights – both employers and employees – and I spoke to many Deputies. I decided I couldn’t procrastinate and delay its introduction because of one new form of discrimination when, to retain the Housing Control Law, would leave us with so many more examples of unjust treatment.
I believe in equality and diversity and I was pleased to play a small part in the introduction of same-sex marriages which can take place as soon as next week. I am also trying to bring in a written policy for the States to use gender neutral terms as a matter of course. It is voluntary at the moment and generally followed but I would like it to be a policy which is not just on the wish list but followed universally. However, this is something which I am finding more difficult than I thought – not because there isn’t the will but apparently there isn’t the resources. Personally I believe avoiding such discrimination is a state of mind not something you need to pay for!
The most work I have done, however, is on promoting Guernsey and our Democracy. I have stood up, even when others wanted to go home, to speak about the positives of our finance sector and business services industries and the work being done by the States to support them. I believe that by doing do so, we can increase revenue which enables us to maintain and, hopefully, improve the services to Islanders. I have also spoken in support of the Island Wide Voting Referendum and the importance of getting on the Electoral Role so you can have a say. Here’s the link if you haven’t registered yet – https://www.gov.gg/elections.
One thing that I would like to do more of is spend time listening to our young people. I enjoyed some really informative chats with a group of school pupils during the 11+ debate and also at the College of Further Education and Le Mare de Carteret. I hope to follow this up in the next 12 months with an opportunity to hear views on all subjects as they effect the whole population.