GP Opinion - page 2

Community running on people power

IT STARTED with a brief letter in the Press but ended up making a big statement. The King’s Mills joggers are an example of everything that is good about Guernsey. Determined, organised, good-humoured and, above all else, chock-full of community spirit.

No room for passengers in smaller States

THE number of deputies thinking of leaving the States this April is not in itself an indication that major upheaval is on the way. Four years ago it was not the deputies who declined to stand that heralded the ‘Sarnian spring’. What made the difference was the number who stood but failed to get elected.

Information code shrouded in mystery

THE public’s right to know is a key principle underpinning effective government. The more publicly available information about how government is run, the more effective the scrutiny of its actions is, the more efficient it is, the better its decision-making is and the more public money is saved.

Positive need to engage with business

OVER the past three days this newspaper has featured a series of short ‘state-of-the-nation’ reports from business leaders (see page 32). These are very public messages about how confident senior managers in major firms are about the island’s ability to stay relevant and must be treated accordingly, but three themes come through strongly.

Nine years is too long for new gun laws

THERE is a temptation to think that new laws which take an age to grind through the system must be inconsequential, just an exercise in bureaucratic box-ticking.

Finding out the true price of poverty

AT THIS time of festive excess it is easy to forget that there are many in the island for whom Christmas is less a joyous celebration and more a time when finances are strained to breaking point. At the sharp end of that struggle are the 16% of households living in relative poverty and the 19% of children living in a household that earns less than 60% of median incomes.

Legal speed needed to be competitive

ANOTHER key step in the evolution of Guernsey’s relationship with the UK has been outlined in proposals going to the States next month. A long-standing desire exists for more independence in law making and signing international treaties which this report aims to achieve. Guernsey argues it is a mature democracy and there is instability in the current arrangements.

Northern light on horizon

CONNECTIONS, as they say, are everything, so Aurigny’s planned launch of a new service to Leeds is a significant development in the island’s bid to grow profile on the destination map. The recent IoD debate revealed the crucial role tourism will need to play, now and in the future, as the Bailiwick moves towards an increasing reliance on this revenue stream to help drive the economy.

The long wait for freedom

AS THE year marking the 70th anniversary of victory in Europe gradually draws to a close, the memories – which have here included Guernsey’s special Liberation celebrations – are set to become landmark ones.

What will make families grow bigger?

IN COMMON with much of last week’s debate about population it is hard to understand the implications of the successful amendment seeking to increase fertility rates. What limits are there to the ‘family friendly’ policies that two departments are instructed to devise to boost the number of children born in the island?

Toe in water for shoppers and shops

THERE was a surreal atmosphere in Town yesterday – and not just because every third person was wearing a Santa suit. Shops you might expect to be open were closed while the reverse was also true. Big or small, UK-owned or not, there was little rhyme nor reason, only personal choice from retailers, some of whom felt it was worth opening while others did not.

Education’s welcome compromise

COMPROMISE is not always a word with the most positive of connotations. However yesterday’s States vote on a new middle-ground agreement for pre-school education provision represents a significant milestone for education in Guernsey.

Opening door to a new era

SOME deputies argued for a shuffle, but in the end States members backed a step change by backing deregulation of Sunday trading. From this weekend all shops will be able to open their doors if they wish and meet the demand that surveys have consistently shown is there from the majority of islanders.

Brewery taps into potential

A LOCAL brewery’s recently-unveiled plans to breathe new life into Guernsey’s old slaughterhouse are a welcome development for the island. It is the third in a trio of similar positive stories for the South Esplanade-end of Town, joining the Half Moon Café revamp proposals and recent reports that work is getting under way on the former Havelet Brewery site.

Listening to finance challenge

THE fallout from recent comments made by the director-general of our island’s financial watchdog seems to have subsided. But for those outside the finance industry it has been fascinating to follow.