I am standing for this election in response to the many of you who have asked me to stand. Through the opinions which you have expressed to me, it is clear that the main concerns continue to be immigration, population, taxes and charges and housing. And, therefore, indirectly, the. Economy.
The policy underpinning all other policies is the immigration policy. The essence of the proposal made by the outgoing Council of Ministers is that immigration should not exceed the average of the immigration since 2001 or 700 people per year.
The projections by Statistics Jersey are that at 700 a year, by 2035 we shall require 185 Le Marais blocks and 6 new Primary Schools.
One of the reasons I brought an amendment to the MTFP in September 2016, after the by election, was to get a better profile of the taxpaying public and to improve the picture of the demographics of immigration. The Assembly did not support this although the tax department have started to investigate the information which we need urgently if we are to plan realistically for the future. There are trends affecting the future, there are preferences expressed by Islanders but without accurate information it is difficult realistically to combine these and make achievable plans.
If elected I will bring an urgent proposition to obtain this tax information before the new strategic plan is crystallised.
Without sound information it is difficult to coordinate the underlying policies and strategies. If we carry on at 700 people a year, where will we house people? The rate at which we are building, 1261 houses over the past 4 years compares with immigration of 1400 over the same period? Andium and the Housing Trusts are making solid attempts to provide more housing but it is difficult to build reasonably sized dwellings because they are mainly being squeezed into the urban areas. This must be addressed in the 2020 Island Plan as must the long term development plan for St Brelades Bay. This was voted for twice by the States, and is an important policy to maintain the Bay as a Tourist destination.
The overlap between the Health and Social Services and Social Security Departments, is demonstrated by the current reviews for Social Security on capacity to work and the assessment of incapacity. These emphasise the necessity for more coordination and cooperation between departments, a practice which should flourish under the plans put forward by the new Chief Executive.
Having been fortunate enough to attend university, I am keen that those of our students who are qualified should not be prevented because of funding. I will set out more detailed funding plans on my website and during hustings. I also want those who have practical talents not to be overlooked.
I will continue to work a number of projects which I have initiated recently. You can read more about my ideas in my manifesto and comments on
But most importantly your vote is your voice so please use it.