Nick Mann

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Old habits die hard when it comes to politics game

A new system of government, but nothing much has changed, says Nick Mann. Politics being what it is, the usual issues are surfacing less than four months into the new States with planning, education and the waste strategy showing that April’s new broom hasn’t swept away much of what was there before. But these minor political spats are likely to be forgotten when the States runs into the tough decisions to be taken on the Budget, pensions and benefits and the full debate on the Island Development Plan

‘Taxpayers will not be fooled’ over States cuts

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In light of Home Affairs president Deputy Mary Lowe’s claim that her department has already ‘cut to the bone’ its spending, Nick Mann argues that if the public are to accept such claims and reach further into their pockets there will need to be clear evidence that real change is occurring within the public sector – including an end to the culture of automatic rises through the pay grades

A question of trust

Trust falling people team building for politics

Political history is littered with promises broken and lies spoken, so is it any wonder that politicians can struggle to gain the trust of the people they are supposed to represent? In the UK, campaign pledges made in the run-up to the recent EU referendum have already begun to unravel. And in Guernsey, the last States promised much but delivered comparatively little. So how can our politicians regain the trust of the public? Communication and scrutiny could be the key, says Nick Mann

Island, like the UK, needs clarity in the wake of Brexit

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The vote might be over, but it looks like being a long time before the shock waves from last week’s Brexit referendum result start to abate. As for what this means for Guernsey, Nick Mann says it is important that the island’s position is not weakened during any renegotiation of Protocol 3. But so far, the only certain thing to come out of the vote is a whole lot of uncertainty...

States a long way from delivering on the economy

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It’s been the same every year since 2008 and the introduction of zero-10, when the island started running a deficit. The improving picture of the economy painted in the Budget looks completely different in the reality that is the accounts. Nick Mann says for that to change, the States has to do its bit to end that trend and spend less – and it’s a long way from delivering on that

Long-term strategy needed to encourage sporting take-up

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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...