I have lived in St Saviour for most of my life and brought up my family in the district.
For the last 21 years I have had the honour to be a local Deputy and many parishioners have asked me to continue to represent them.
My previous experience covers a wide range of States Committees including Housing, Public Services, Agriculture and Fisheries and Social Security. My main interest has always been the environment and since 2005 I have chaired the Environment Scrutiny Panel and then served as Assistant Planning Minister. From July 2011 I have been privileged to serve as the Minister for Planning and Environment. If re-elected, I will put my name forward to continue in this role.
Environment and Planning
Balancing the protection of the countryside against providing new homes is always difficult. I have kept the Island Plan up-to-date to ensure that we can build much needed new homes. These must always be built to a high standard and include good quality open spaces and play areas. I will continue to campaign for affordable housing policies that give young families the opportunity to buy, as well as rent.
I have published a long-term energy plan for Jersey and worked with the Health Minister to improve air quality. I have encouraged local organisations to help protect the environment through the innovative Eco-Active scheme. Pensioners continue to receive insulation grants which reduce their heating costs and I have expanded the scheme to include charities.
Over the last three years, I have made significant progress in improving the service the Department provides to the public. Following the results of a public consultation, I have gained approval for a new simpler system of planning appeals.
Looking forward, one of our biggest challenges is the continuing growth in the population. We must take firm action to limit the number of people living in Jersey. I am committed to improving education and training opportunities so that we are less reliant on imported workers.
Public spending must be controlled. We will need to take difficult decisions over the next few years as we recover from recession. Jersey’s prosperity is based on low tax rates and we must concentrate public spending on key areas such as health where costs are growing. Local businesses should be encouraged to provide services such as leisure facilities and car parking.
Since 2011, the Environment Department has helped to limit public spending by achieving a significant budget cut. We must keep the pressure up – all departments will need to work more efficiently in the future.
I support moves to diversify the economy, including developing digital businesses, harnessing renewable energy, strengthening the rural economy and encouraging innovative building techniques.
I have always expressed my views directly and taken an independent line on policy issues. If re-elected, I will continue to use my position to ensure that the long-term future of Jersey is secure and that the needs of local parishioners are fully represented.