Planning for Christmas

This is the time of year when we thank those who are keeping us safe and secure over the festive season.  Whilst we enjoy the company of friends and family receiving thoughtful gifts (and the odd bad cold!), the emergency services are working hard for us during the holidays.  For this I am truly thankful.

But, as well as those at the forefront of our minds, there are those in roles doing good for us all in the Bailiwick that often do not get a mention.  Those people, if asked, would never compare themselves with the emergency services but still they contribute to our way of life and deserve a kind thought at this time.

There are many such deserving people in our community but those I want to mention are the group of people with whom I have had the pleasure of getting to know over the last 20 months – the Planners.

They may not be a group that readily spring to mind but, to illustrate the work they do behind the scenes, since the end of November the Planners have received over 100 applications for planning permission and have made 161 decisions – 16 of which were during the period between Christmas and New Year.  It is their day job you say –  agreed – but it is the way in which it is done that I appreciate.

To understand what their work entails, each political member of the Development & Planning Authority decided to shadow members of the team –  my first stint being in December.  I was shown the stages of a typical application, how to use the wonderful DigiMap and also to see how personal callers receive help and advice with their applications.   Strikingly, throughout the morning, I was constantly reminded of the extent to which the Planners are engaged with the public.

There are a myriad of opportunities for the Planners to hear, and act upon, the views of everyone in Guernsey from the representations on individual applications to the comments that were made during the consultation on the draft Island Development Plan.  There is also opportunity for public engagement on subject plans, local planning briefs and guidance notes and finally draft development frameworks such as the one for Pointes Rocques Allocated Housing site in St Sampson.

By reflecting on the work of the D&PA, it highlighted to me that their work is an example of how to successfully engage with others in a transparent, fair and timely manner.

So I would like to say a thank you to all the hard working Planners for showing us what can be achieved when there is purposeful, respectful engagement between those who have potentially conflicting views – perhaps this is a lesson for us all in 2018?




18 Months and Counting ….. the Work Done by Principal Committees

It is now 18 months since I was elected and this is my third review of my time as a People’s Deputy.  But, instead of looking at what I’ve done in the light of my manifesto, I thought I’d review what the Six Principal Committees had brought to the Assembly.

I started by listing all the Policy Letters each had introduced and I was pleasantly surprised by the variety and work that we have debated.  For example the Committee for Home Affairs has covered trading standards, liquor licensing, data protection and most importantly those relating to the Population Management Law.

The Committee for Economic Development has brought subjects effecting the finance industry such as Image Rights, electronic cheque imaging, insolvency review and a joint Policy Letter with P&R on the introduction of the Beneficial Ownership Register for legal entities and an excellent Digital Strategy which was presented to the Assembly but not debated.  We are informed they will shortly be submitting the eagerly awaited “Green Paper” setting out their Economic Vision for Guernsey – let’s hope it is, indeed, worth the wait.

The Committee for Employment and Social Security has been fairly quiet if you consider that the usual annual Policy Letters for increasing Benefit and Contribution rates and the Minimum Wage is business as usual.  However Same-Sex Marriage legislation would be a major achievement for any Committee and one to be proud of.

The Committee for Education, Sport and Culture has had the most number of contentious items albeit not all brought by themselves to the Chamber. Having resurrected the 11+ debate and discussed the Grant Aided Colleges, they fought off a Motion of No Confidence.  The next stage will, however, be the most fraught for them with the debate between the “3 school, post-16 and training colleges” policy versus “the two schools and tertiary college” proposal.  Over spending aside and despite the fact I supported the Motion of No Confidence, I find it a shame the uncertainty continues not because of the proposals they are supporting but because I don’t believe they are concentrating on the main aim of improving educational outcomes.

However, the least active in the Assembly have been the Committee for the Environment and Infrastructure and Committee for Health and Social Care albeit they are focusing on major pieces of work namely the energy policy including hydrocarbons and the H&SC target operating model respectively.

I have had the privilege of being an observer on four of the Principal Committees so far and this has proven most helpful to understand each of their mandates and the work being undertaken: something which is not apparent from my analysis of just the Policy Letters.  I hope to follow up next year by attending meetings of the Committee for Education, Sport and Culture and the Committee for Economic Development and so gain a greater understanding of the obstacles they face.

However, I have to return to the two Committees I started with – Home Affairs and Economic Development.  Despite the importance of the legislation and the strategy we have seen from EconDev, it is still most disappointing that there has been nothing yet on the transport links which was the number one priority for most during the election.   Also, what is going on between these two Committees regarding their Policy Letters on Population Management?

As this is not a subject strictly speaking within EconDev’s mandate and considering the review Home Affairs are undertaking with Policy & Resources, it is a most strange turn of events.  Some may say EconDev’s Policy Letter is necessary because there is only a review and there is a need for urgent action.  But shortly afterwards Home Affairs issue their own Policy Letter which clearly has been in the making way before the issuance of EconDev’s version.

And today we have another small but important change in policy by Home Affairs. I think, after reading both Policy Letters, it is appears to me that this is an illustration of two Committees working in “silos” and an indication of poor communication within government.  It will, therefore, be interesting to hear what the Committees say about how this has been handled.

With the uncertainty of Brexit and the slow pace of growth in our economy, we need to all be optimistic whilst working collaboratively over the next six months and more.  So I hope that the silo mentality can finally be put aside and positivity abound as otherwise Guernsey will not be the place we all hope it will be if we don’t.




Another Successful Alderney Week


Alderney enjoyed good weather for their special week this year enabling the many events around the Island to provide fun and frolics for all.  One of many highlights of my few days there was the charity night “Rock the Rock” – my absolute favourite being the magnificent Blues Brothers tribute band.

The Alderney Week Team worked tirelessly to provide super entertainment for the many visitors.  I am also pleased to say we were able to get there with only a minimum of disruption albeit the door to our plane got a bit temperamental and the pilot had to show her strength to close it!

I was joined this year by a Guernsey-born friend on her first visit to the northern Isle – she so thoroughly enjoyed herself she was checking out the dates for next year even before we left!  To show her around Alderney, we hired pushbikes (not electric ones I add) and did the scavenger hunt.  It was hard work, with sun burn and sore bottoms being the result.

And to top it all we were given medals as we were the only ones mad enough to do the scavenger hunt by pushbike!  Thank you Alderney Week team – and for the ladies at the Cycle and Surf shop for coming up to the airport to present them to us – it was very much appreciated.

So back to work and a quick review of the latest Guernsey politics.  This week seems to be dominated by the Members of Education, Sport & Culture.  The consultation continues on the future of Secondary and Post -16 Education and we have had the Policy Letter on the funding of the Colleges.  Whilst I have read the paperwork and comments by others, I do encourage you to get involved either through the consultation or by e-mailing all the Deputies to let us know what you think – I cannot stress how valuable it is to hear your views.

Deputy Meerveld, having been removed from the research for the Colleges’ policy letter together with Deputy Dudley-Owen, has raised some good points regarding the conflicts of interest rules.  I agree with him that it is bizarre that we are restricted from doing our jobs because of a rule which prevents those with a “direct and special interest” getting involved.  Conflicts must be managed but first they must be properly identified.  In my experience so far, the interpretation of this rule varies from situation to situation and is reducing our ability to do our job.

Deputy Inder has brought a Requête in relation to L’Ancresse East which has led to all Deputies investigating the various options for the anti-tank wall.  On paper, I have to say it looks like a sensible approach being taken by E&I to allow the beach to return to what it was before the Germans built the wall but, again, we all need to hear your views to ensure we see the whole picture.

So whilst Summer is slipping by, it is good to look back on my few days of rest, great food and super company and look forward to my next visit to Alderney.  Naturally, as we have so many beautiful islands in the Bailiwick, I have no absolute favourite and I hope you will join with me to thank our lucky (shooting) stars that we live in such a lovely place!

End of Term Report

At the end of a busy week in the Assembly, Deputies head for a two month break from attending States meetings – not, I hasten to add, a break from their homework.   As I am sure you all know, we continue to have Committee meetings and presentations, we deal with parishioners’ queries and there is always a lot to read.

As the holidays begin, I thought I’d just do a summing up of what I see as the important decisions and discussions since January.

We started the year with a bang and the Motion of No Confidence in the Committee for Education Sport & Culture which they survived.  We will find out this week if the confidence they were shown by the majority of my colleagues was well-founded when we see their plans for the three school model.

February saw a debate on whether or not to allow people to burn their dry garden waste at any time.  The debate masked the introduction of some excellent new measures to prohibit emissions of dark smoke, to set standards for local air quality and prohibit uncontrolled burning of non-garden waste.

The culmination of the long running Waste Strategy also came to a head when confirmation was given for the tender process to be completed just in time before Mont Cuet fills up.  Since then, the Douzaines have got together to see if they can agree on streamlining the collection of the different types of rubbish and how parishioners will receive their bills.

The Finance and Business Support sectors have been much in our thoughts with the introduction of various bits of legislation to keep us at the forefront of international regulation.  One such piece was the introduction of the  Beneficial Ownership Register for legal entities from the 1st July this year.  This is a mighty piece of work, completed quickly, and setting the standard for all offshore finance centres.  It creates a secure database containing information which will greatly help law enforcement in their work to prevent financial crime.

Two commencement Ordinances were passed with different reactions.  The Same Sex Marriages legislation was heralded with great joy whilst the clamour against the Population Management Law was audible amongst businesses across the Island.  As with most changes, the PML has taken a lot more time and resources than initially forecast but the cries continue for more lax treatment for foreign workers.  BREXIT will clearly dictate what we need to do but at least the PML is a better foundation to deal with these unknowns than the previous housing licence regime ever was.

The work to enable the introduction of the new data protection regulation from the EU and Document Duty ant-avoidance legislation were also agreed upon.  New rules for the statements by Presidents of all committees was also introduced.  Two of the projects given to us on the Development & Planning Authority by the Island Development Plan debate last November came to fruition.  One more step was taken in the Fontaine Vinery saga and also towards having that cup of tea at Stan Brouard.

Lastly, this month, we had debates on the States Accounts and the P&R Plan Phase Two.  Whilst the discussion on the facts and figures of what happened in 2016 was illuminating, my frustration in respect of the Plan was profound.  Having spent weeks trying to find out what aspects of the many projects, plans and resource requests we were being asked to approve – high level or full detail – I was told in the dying moments that there will be a 6 page summary document produced.  Once seen, I will find out what of the 200 page document remains and, hopefully, I can endorse the refined document without fear of unforeseen consequences.

So to the summer and the continuation of the heated argument over what to do about the anti-tank wall at L’Ancresse.  I hope that we can find a sensible compromise taking into account both the views of local people and the cost to the taxpayers of Guernsey.

Wishing you all happy holidays.

Island Wide Voting – Yes or No?

After another heated debate this week, the States have confirmed there will be a referendum on whether to introduce Island wide voting.

Whilst any referendum would never have been 100% binding on any future States, a declaration by the 40 members who would implement it of their intent to make it politically binding was not made.  More importantly, as we have a multi choice on the ballot paper, we have no threshold.

Personally, I think that was wrong.  I voted against Proposition 2 (the multi-choice ballot paper) but, once passed, I voted for the threshold and for it to be politically binding.  Apparently, I was the only Deputy to do so.

I did so simply because I wanted a binary choice but appreciated that, once the multi-choice referendum was agreed upon, the other Propositions were necessary.  We needed a threshold and a pledge that it would be binding to make sense of the outcome of the multi choice question using the Alternative Vote system.

But what do I think on the multi choice options?  Well, I laid an amendment to try to make the question to be asked at the referendum a binary one.  Not because it was too difficult for the electorate to understand – far from it – but because some people would just switch off when faced with the task of getting to grips with what each option meant.

For those interested this is the text of my speech in support of a Yes/No question:

Sir, in my manifesto I said “I believe we should encourage democracy, discourage apathy and introduce the means to do both such as the introduction of Island wide voting.”

I see this amendment as a step in that direction.  In accordance with the February 2016 Resolutions, a referendum should be held with a question requiring a Yes or No answer as I sincerely believe the simpler the question, the greater the participation by the people of Guernsey in the decision making.

I want to stress that this is not questioning the intelligence of the electorate or whether Option A to E are too difficult to understand.  It is about encouraging people to get engaged, to get involved.

Whilst I listened intently to the debate over the Ferbrache/Kuttelwascher Amendment especially to the well-argued reasons put forward by Deputy Fallaize.  Arguments which I believe also support my Amendment.

Sir, I believe that a referendum on this important subject is necessary. A Referendum should get more people engaged in politics – especially younger generation – and it would encourage a healthy interest in our electoral system and the vast number of variations on the Island Wide Voting theme.

I hope it will encourage people to want to register on the electoral Roll and then to vote so that they can help shape the way in which their Island is run.

I believe to achieve this to the max, we need just one question.

To state the obvious, this Amendment asks a question which requires either a yes or a no response.  An approach which has been criticised by some because of a potential “Yes bias” but I would like to remind Members that, unlike the Amendment put forward by Deputies Brouard and Lowe, Proposition 3 appears also to be phrased as a Yes/No question or will Deputy Fallaize be doing a David Cameron and changing the question after the decision is made.

This was also the type of question asked in the Scottish Independence referendum – Indie 1 – and the question was: “Should Scotland be an independent country?” and voters were asked to choose yes or no.  The “No” side won, with 55.3% voting against independence but, more importantly, the turnout was 84.6% which was the highest recorded for an election or referendum in the United Kingdom since the introduction of universal suffrage.

I am not saying we will get such involvement here but I see no reason why we can’t aim high.  Although in the 2016 General Election 72.5% of those eligible to vote did so, I don’t think that will increase but we could aim to get more people on the electoral roll.  If the Deputies in this Assembly Sir were all engaged in the process and encouraged participation by the people of Guernsey, I believe we could increase the numbers interested in politics and voting at elections.  And it isn’t just those interested in Island wide voting but those wishing the electoral system remain as it is.

So why this question and not Proposition 3, or indeed, the Deputies Brouard and Lowe Amendment?  I would like to see the populace be asked to identify with one or other type of voting system ( Island wide voting or the current version) and then, if Island wide voting is the preference, the details should be decided by the States.

Sir, whilst I do not wish to stray into general debate, I would also like it to be clear on what I mean by Island Wide Voting.  It means voting Island Wide.  How can splitting the Island into more than one electoral district be Island Wide?

I did also consider other options such as a gateway question which I now understand was used in the New Zealand referendum.  In 2011, New Zealand voters were asked two questions: to keep their present system or not and, if not, what, of four types, would they choose.  So my first thought was to ask – do you want Island wide voting and, if so, what of the four types do you want?

Obviously, I changed my mind.  After I attended a meeting of the States Assembly Constitution Committee (SACC) earlier this year, I discussed this idea of a gateway option for the referendum but, when arguing my point, I realised I just wanted the Yes/No question.  For those of you who want to know the result of the New Zealand Referendum, 56.17% of voters choose to keep their current system.

It seems to me, Sir, that the main argument against this simple question is that the States have been trying to make a decision themselves for many decades and failed and they want closure.  Well I’m sorry but I agree with Deputy Ferbrache.  I think we should be the ones making the final decision, and make a decision we must if we are directed to do so in a referendum.

Some call me unrealistic or even over optimistic – I disagree.  I believe that, as People’s Deputies, it is our job to make decisions and we should.  I believe that, after a Yes vote, we will choose an Island wide voting system and implement it.

For the reasons argued by Deputy Fallaize, I may not be advocating a legally binding referendum but it will be politically binding.

If this amendment is successful, then it will be the same forty Members, Sir, God willing, that will have to make the decision and I have every confidence we will, once the electorate has told us in a referendum that Island wide voting is what they want.  And that, Sir, will be the difference from previous attempts by the States to bring in Island wide voting.

Another argument against this Yes/No question is that there will be confusion over what type of Island wide voting we should introduce.  It is true no one option will be identified but I am not asking States members to decide now from the options, some three years from implementation.  I believe the referendum debate both here this week and in the coming months will inform us.  If Island wide voting is what the people want, we will not only have the work already done by SACC over the years but also a better knowledge of the advancements in technology available: all of which together will shape our views.

I have to say at this point Sir, I was a little disappointed that the recommendations highlighted in the previous Registrar-General of Electors’ Review of the 2016 General Elections were not expanded upon in SACC’s Policy Letter.  These include an automated electoral roll, anonymous registration on the roll, electronic distribution of manifestos hustings including use of technology and online application for postal votes to name a few. All of which will greatly assist with the implementation of Island wide voting.

There may also be the argument that we will not have sufficient time to agree on the type of Island wide voting if that is our direction.  However, I would point out that the Policy Letter already envisages the need for SACC to return to the States with a further Policy Letter to propose the details if Island wide voting is chosen.

So why do I prefer this binary choice?  Because firstly the question proposed by SACC is disingenuous because it asks for the voter to choose between only two variations of Island wide voting because two of the Options aren’t even Island wide voting and one is the status quo.  Secondly, the argument that a binary choice will disenfranchise people is wholly wrong – actually I believe SACC’s version does just that, some would say, by removing the many variations of Island wide voting from the ballot paper or, as I would say, by unnecessarily complicating the question.

Let’s not beat around the bush – every person sees Island wide voting differently – different elements and different ways of doing it.  Those who want Island wide voting do not agree with each other as we all know that there are more variations of Island wide voting than I’ve had hot dinners.

Talking about hot dinners, Deputy de Sausmarez at the public meeting last week compared choosing what order to place the five Options was akin to choosing a meal from a menu.

I have to say when I choose from a menu I choose what I know I like to eat.  I agree that sometimes my first choice is not available but I do find it very difficult to choose again when it is not.

But Sir, I don’t have to understand what each choice means as I do for the SACC ballot paper.  I don’t have to understand the niceties of preferential voting, what is Instant Runoff Voting or Alternative Vote which is also known as Ranked Choice Voting or Hare (Single-Winner) voting.  The party list system has also been mentioned although whether that is open or closed I’m not sure.

And that, Sir, is just the starter!  What on earth are we to make of the main course!

As to the threshold Sir, the Explanatory Note states that the purpose of this amendment is to ensure one question is asked at the referendum so obviating the need to set a threshold or the effects of not meeting such a threshold.  Sir, I have to point out that removing the need for a threshold is not the reason for the laying of this amendment but just one effect of it.

I thought long and hard about whether to include a threshold and Deputy Meerveld and I decided not to do so.  It is, of course, not as important to consider a threshold with a binary choice but I still think it worth arguing through why we came to that decision.  With a Yes/No there will be two groups of opinion, two camps and I think that, whatever the turnout, provided you have informed the people equally on the choice available, you will have a representative view of the populace.  I also believe we should strive to get as many people to get involved, to understand what an Island wide voting electoral system could be, including how our present system works, through presentations, the media, through drop-ins and especially to the future voters of this Bailiwick.  With one aim, Sir, that they want to be registered on the electoral roll and, once done, vote.

Deputies Tooley, Yerby and Merrett have also laid amendments regarding threshold and I understand that it is their intention to lay their amendments even if this Amendment is successful.  So if threshold is a concern to any Member then I believe there will be an opportunity to introduce one by supporting at least the Tolley/Yerby Amendment.

Another positive to this amendment is in respect to cost.  There will not need to be five Campaign groups nor equivalent officer time supervising their selection.

There are those who say that a binary choice for the UK EU referendum led to a lack of clarity.  That a binary question will lead to endless further debate on whether to have a ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ Island wide voting system – or indeed somewhere in between.  I disagree – it is not the debate that has been the problem it is the fact we don’t stick to decisions – let’s trust in ourselves to do so for a change – we’ll have been given a strict timetable by the electorate to do just that.

Let’s have the confidence in ourselves that we can make a decision if that is what we are asked to do.  Because, if it is a vote for Island wide voting, then we will just have to nail our flag to the mast and actually make a decision!

Sir, I believe a binary choice would enable more views to be heard and a clearer direction from the people as to whether they want Island wide voting or not.  I, therefore, ask Members to support this Amendment.

12 Months and Counting …..

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   –

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.


Population Management – the Final Countdown

The population management regime, approved by the previous States and tweaked by this States, finally rolls out today, Monday 3rd April.  However, there are still many questions unanswered regarding the Population Management (Guernsey) Law, 2016.

After four years of preparation and consultation, issues abound, in particular, around the effects for short term licence holders, on Open Market properties and the birthright to name a few.

For those of you who listened to the debate, you may have noticed that I spoke only once and briefly but this was not because I didn’t have a lot to say; quite the contrary.  I could talk for hours about this Law but many Deputies spoke covering all my points and, as the rules state we should not repeat what has already been said in debate, I did not add my views.

So I voted for the Commencement Ordinance mainly because of my manifesto promise not to reinvent the wheel.

Fundamentally, I feel that the legislation, whilst discriminatory by its very nature, is necessary for a small island like Guernsey – at least for now.  I do not agree with discrimination but I cannot throw out a well-crafted, generally beneficial piece of legislation which removes many injustices just because it introduces one – and one that affects so few.  A birthright for some but not others is discrimination but there needs to be a logical way forward which is well considered so that it is, and is seen to be, fair.  Not an eleventh hour amendment.

I also thought of the many who have relied on its implementation and many have moved home because of it.  Uncertainty is a major worry for people as well as businesses but so is change.  The balance between the two affects not only those here but those considering coming here in the future.  I felt that there is a greater need for certainty now rather than have a delay for 6 or 12 months which could possibly achieve very little.

I have spent a great deal of time not only reading the legislation and policies but also helping others understand how it affects them.  I spoke to individuals and businesses and many were satisfied once I had explained the position to them.  Unlike my fellow St Peter Port South Deputies, I was not inundated with people who wished to stop the Law coming in – some started the conversation with that position but after discussion were satisfied with my argument that it should go ahead.  But I ask myself whether, with such a complex subject, people just reflect the answer they hear and not the answer they are seeking.

I can also understand why staff and businesses are concerned about those on the “nine month on, three month off” licence. From those I have spoken to, the people affected have already decided their future being aware of the possibility since the legislation was passed in March last year.  Why wait until the eleventh hour hoping it will change?  There may even be the 200 people mentioned in the States debate who can and will benefit from this change.  I can only repeat that the 9/3 employees support the Island and make a much appreciated contribution to this community but so will the next generation of incomers who will also be made to feel welcome.

As to the thorny issue of the Open Market.  As I own such a property in Part A, I will be affected.  However, I knew that was a possibility when I bought my property, in fact ever since I first visited the Island in 1994 when I first talked about my options.  I am not saying that OM owners did not have valid complaints or, indeed, did OM residents, but I watched those being taken into account over the last few years as changes were made to the legislation and policies introduced which softened the blow. Not completely removing the issues but as much as the policy would allow.

Whilst I supported the commencement of the legislation, I also voted for the review.  I do feel that we should keep this within our sights – and not just on the radar of the Committee for Home Affairs.  I am keen to continue with my watching brief and I will do my best behind the scenes to ensure it does not shy away from the difficult aspects.

So I believe we will see a regime that removes many barriers for economic development and clarifies at last who can and cannot stay on the Island longer than five years.  It reduces the cost of the applications for employers whilst still stressing the importance of recruiting local people.  Its flexibility and certainty is also something I am satisfied will enable us to respond to the mysteries of Brexit.

There will still be those who are not sure of their future under this regime, especially those 9/3 employees, but the information is there – as is the expertise to deal with your concerns.  Expertise we should be very grateful for.