Nick Mann

Liz Truss arrives in Downing Street to meet new Prime Minister Theresa May, who has appointed her Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice. This has led to the island’s ‘man in Westminster’, Lord Faulks, resigning in protest. (Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire)

Now is the time for the island to make itself heard

As the aftershocks of Brexit and the change at 10 Downing Street rumble on, Guernsey needs to make sure that it forges good relationships with Theresa May’s new government. But at the same time as making new political connections with political departments, it will also want to add its voice to those of other ‘microstates’ in similar situations

Long-term strategy needed to encourage sporting take-up


With a debate tomorrow regarding the hosting of the 2021 Island Games and a Sport and Activity Strategy being produced by Education, Sport & Culture due next year, the stage is set to provide a perfect platform to focus minds on the type of active legacy the States wants to achieve

The period of calm will not last long for new Assembly

‘There’s no money left’: David Cameron holds up Labour MP Liam Byrne’s ill-thought-out handover letter following the UK General Election in 2010.

With presidents and committee members being decided with barely a murmur of disquiet, the new States Assembly may now be entering a period of relative calm, says Nick Mann. Now is a time quite different to the ‘policy-making whirlwind’ of the end of the last term – it is now the time for committees to get a shared vision in place before drawing up new policies in a hurry

P&R yet to plot a course for four-year journey


It’s nearly three weeks since the general election and the States is still sorting out internal matters such as committee presidents and members. But even this early in its four-year lifespan, Nick Mann can see tensions arising and wonders how some big political names will fit into the new landscape

Stepping into the jaws of a politically-charged beast

14825305 cropped_900

It has been an eventful week on the island’s political stage, with Gavin St Pier elected as the president of Policy & Resources, followed by the subsequent vote for his team. But compared to the previous term, the newly-structured government with a reduced number of deputies will see any imbalance or weakness much more readily exposed, says Nick Mann

Big decisions that brought four years to a conclusion


In the final part of the round-up series looking at the key votes taken by this States, Nick Mann looks at an almost frenetic period for the government – deputies revisited and said ‘yes’ to island-wide voting, rejected the introduction of a reciprocal health agreement with the UK and approved the scrapping of the 11-plus and closing a secondary school

The big issues tackled before the end of term


As the States started moving into its final few months there was a noticeable upturn both in the number and importance of the issues that were being debated. In the penultimate article looking at key States votes of this term, Nick Mann goes through a period which included same-sex marriage

The ‘boomerang’ issues and what was decided


In this instalment of the key votes from this term of government, Nick Mann finds a few ‘boomerang issues’ that kept coming back: rebuilding La Mare, the transport strategy and Sunday trading

From debt to La Mare via paid parking and car duty


Nick Mann continues his guide to the key votes in the last States. Here he takes a look at a period where borrowing is approved, the transport strategy begins to hit the rocks, the story of La Mare and the future of secondary education begins and the Assembly debates the future of tax, pensions and benefits system, including a GST

Public dissatisfaction starts to rear its head...

Primary school closures, paid parking and first registration duty were some of the first issues to galvanise islanders into protests against this Assembly.

In the second part of a series looking at the key votes taken by this States, Nick Mann looks at a period where public campaigning came to the fore. He also considers some previous votes on the hot topics of education – in this case the closure of two primary schools – and the transport strategy, when the Assembly approved proposals for paid parking...

At-a-glance guide to key votes of this Assembly

Back in October 2012 members rejected a requete that called for a trial period of Sunday trading. But the debate did lead to a promise from Commerce and Employment that it would prepare a full report into the issue, which subsequently saw the Assembly discussing it again at the end of 2015 and voting for full deregulation.

As nominations open in the 2016 General Election, Nick Mann begins a series looking back on the key votes of this term. This week he looks at the 2012 vote on States members’ pay, an early (failed) attempt to move towards Sunday trading, the Strategic Plan, residential qualifications and managing the States’ property portfolio

PSD and the whole sorry saga of a wasted strategy

Picture By Peter Frankland. 15-01-16 Generic Mont Cuet pictures.

Deadlines missed and key elements dropped, coupled with soaring capital costs – the Public Services Department’s waste strategy has seen so many twists and turns over this political term, resulting in people struggling to believe in the ever-changing plans that set out to deal with the island’s waste and whether they will ever be good value for money

Answers needed on the ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ deal

13846685 cropped_900

There remain many questions about the bond of £330m. which the States took out in 2014. Not least of these involves the absence of predicted costs. Efforts by Deputy Laurie Queripel to get some answers have not led to anything more than broad-brush responses, but the public deserves to know more – if only to convince them that this was a good deal

The puzzle of engagement


With the electoral roll now closed it has emerged that about 20,000 people have not signed up. How could these people be more engaged? While island-wide voting is seen by many as a ‘magic bullet’ that could see disenchanted islanders returning to the roll, is there perhaps another way to get people interested in local politics?

The £400,000 question

Island wide voting graphic for politics.

In the 13 years since the States passed a policy to instigate referendum legislation it has failed to do so. Why can’t government just be brave enough to do what it has been tasked with and make a decision on island-wide voting, having all the information before it already?

Education needs to do a lot of convincing over its plans


The Education Department is again under fire as its proposals to abolish the 11-plus and create a single secondary school over four sites have been criticised from several angles. If it wants to push them through in the life of this Assembly, there are some things it needs to do in order to show everyone that what it is proposing is better than what the island has...

Comments undermine sensible discussion of refugee decision


Use of the word ‘Islamophobia’ by the chief minister last week has instigated a slew of coverage in the national media and attracted the attention of a few far-right groups. But if there are sound reasons for the island not to take in Syrian refugees any debate on the issue is now going to be difficult following his ill-thought-out comments...

Misplaced secrecy a stumbling block to effective government


Two critical, if dissimilar, issues were propelled into States debate last week – the matter of herbicide glyphosate in local streams and the reciprocal health agreement, both topics where greater clarity would have led to a far quicker and better-understood conclusion

Lack of scrutiny only adds to housing policy failure


With the average property costing 15 times the average salary and a housing market that has all but completely stalled, Nick Mann says a body independent of the Treasury and Housing departments is needed to scrutinise the issue of housing and what has become a failed States policy

Spending scrutiny should extend to States partners

Politics. Scrutiny.Generic money under the magnifying glass.

Public spending is always under the taxpayers’ magnifier, but scrutiny of expenditure can hit a wall when money is paid out to government partners which do not publish public accounts. Nick Mann argues that if money is going to be spent outside States departments, taxpayers should still be able to know their contribution is being used in the right way