Nick Mann

A lack of political will hinders States savings

Politics fire engine and ambulance

There is a lack of openness, transparency or detailed explanations regarding States economies. As the people who pick up the bill, taxpayers deserve informed answers to questions on where money could be saved

Have your say – but we don’t have to listen


Last week’s decision to hold a referendum on island-wide voting was already fraught with difficulties without the States further muddying the waters by giving itself the right to ignore the result

Deputies drove deal onto rocks through meekness

Ferries 2017

An unwillingness by the States to be seen publicly in disagreement backfired when it came to a possible deal with Condor to run an inter-island passenger service, says Nick Mann. That ship has sailed until next summer, but if a proposal had gone before the Assembly there is a good chance that the combined economic and social case would have won the day

Policy plan an unwieldy and disjointed beast

Leadership for politics

Having waited more than a year to find out what this States wants to do, the Policy & Resource plan leaves much to be desired and appears to be more of a work in progress, rather than a definitive article, says Nick Mann. Lacking consistency, the aims of the Assembly are hard to fathom, leaving the reader with the impossible exercise of working out what the States wants to achieve

The renewables answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind

Summer weather July 2nd 2015

Bob Dylan has been singing about it since the 1960s, and the technology has been around for more than a quarter of a century, but as Nick Mann explains, Guernsey’s caution could mean it is missing out on a great renewable energy opportunity 

Emergency: just how bad are Jescc’s finances?


It has busted budgets by close to £500,000 since March 2015, but given the lack of any accessible information it is hard to know just how the Joint Emergency Services Control Centre is performing

Strategy to attract visitors has no clear plan of action


With no noticeable response by the States to the reduction in the number of people holidaying in the island, golden opportunities to capitalise on promotion, such as the Literary Festival and film adaptation of the Guernsey Potato Literary and Potato Peel Society, should be acted upon

Economic changes prove a mixed bag for islanders


With the contribution of wages to economic growth below 50% and the island so reliant on personal income tax and social security contributions to keep the government machine rolling, Nick Mann says the States needs to come up with long-term solutions to redress the over-reliance on such a narrow income stream

Public expects more from the States of Inaction

Generic bonfire image.

A year after they were elected, and weighed down by the need to show financial restraint, Guernsey’s deputies have yet to make any major decisions. But they did decide what we could burn on our bonfires. A lot of store is being put by the Policy and Resource Plan, but Nick Mann wonders if this will be enough to steer a drifting States onto some sort of course of action

Avoid voter fatigue, take heed of Brenda from Bristol

Brenda from Bristol reacts to news of another election.

She’s the most unlikely of political commentators, but Nick Mann believes the words of Brenda from Bristol, whose reaction to the snap UK general election caught the attention of the media, should be in the minds of States members when they debate the island-wide voting referendum. He says that many islanders believe the States should be concentrating on more important issues and the decision on IWV risks ballot box fatigue with elections every two years

It’s no use hiding under the covers over island-wide voting

Man hiding under bed for politics.

Nick Mann asks why have we ended up with variant options of island-wide voting on the table, after the States decided in 2015 for ‘full island-wide voting in one election if approved in a referendum’. Maybe it’s time the members crawled out from under the duvet of indecision and face the cold light of day

Transparency on the cheap sidelines code’s principles

Freedom of infomation

In July of 2013 the States voted on an access to information policy that was meant to signal a cultural shift in the way government goes about its business. But now, nearly four years on, Policy & Resources has set out its stall against reform and it is poor record management that has provided a major stumbling block for effective change

Access to information code is inadequate and toothless


Having had four years to bed in, the mechanism for openness and transparency is anything but. Data that should be freely available is not. A States too busy to be frank with the population about its work has surfaced and it will be islanders who suffer in the long term because incorrect decisions will remain unchallenged and unresolved

If not the population law, what is the alternative?


Tomorrow the States will debate, and vote on, the implementation of a new law to control the island’s population. There are deputies attempting to tweak it, but none brave enough yet to suggest its implementation should be delayed, despite a high-profile advertising campaign in the Guernsey Press and belated complaints from business groups. Nick Mann argues that the law draws a line in the sand and gives something concrete and understandable in the face of the unknown threat of Brexit

Scrutiny’s investigation into States charges timely

pols resized

After 10 years of unchecked dipping into the public’s pockets, a fresh look into the impact of increases in States fees as part of a review of in-work poverty will take place – a welcome move that will hopefully prove to be the catalyst for informed debate and highlight whether the States is achieving a fair balance

Dim twinklings of an economic recovery shouldn’t mean spend


The first financial surplus since the creation of zero-10 in 2008 has led several politicians to consider veering off the course of restraint. That the States has done all it must to make the public sector as lean as it can is questionable. Will the Assembly think long term and stay on track to maintain cost-cutting initiatives, or run away with this first year of economic positivity?

Swift action missing from conduct complaint debacle


The Policy & Resources Committee’s investigation into the events that followed Deputy Marc Leadbeater’s resignation from Education, Sport & Culture has revealed some of the political engineering that typically happens out of the public eye

Use technology correctly to enhance States debate

For politics - social media in the states chambers.

Electronic screens can be the curse of modern deliberation. Members’ attention often wanes in the wake of speeches that are too long or are constantly repetitive. However, employed in the right way, modern-day gadgetry has the ability to obtain answers, augment important issues and bring focus to wandering minds

Consequence of indecision is unsatisfactory results


An independent report ordered at the beginning of December into the Salerie Corner overspend is one example of the glacial pace at which work proceeds in the States as opportunities are lost and bills rack up, the waste strategy topping the problematical pile