Peter Roffey

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Time to face up to population issues

If stabilising Guernsey’s population at roughly its current level is firmly in the States’ ‘too difficult’ tray then it will be equally unachievable when the numbers living here increase, says Peter Roffey. Rather than flood the island with young people who will inevitably grow old, wouldn’t it be more useful to work with our ageing demographic and tap into people’s skills whatever their vintage?

Sark must sort out its own problems

Sark has difficulties that need to be resolved, but it’s shameful that when the island has implemented democratic reform, outsiders should try to undermine its autonomy, says Peter Roffey I’VE been giving a lot of thought to the call from 22 individual Channel Islanders for a Royal Commission-type inquiry into the future of Sark.

All about engagement

Instead of imposing an arbitrary limit on speech lengths within the House, Peter Roffey believes that increased self-discipline is the best way to avoid overly-long debates.

Peter Roffey is all in favour of slimming down the rule book for States members. But when it comes to an edict on speech lengths he’s more reticent, suggesting that one deputy’s monotonous two minutes versus another’s scintillating half-hour makes it difficult to rule on the length of engagement

Treasury’s word is not its bond

Treasury and Resources Minister Gavin St Pier, who has indicated that some of the cash raised through the bond could be used to finance new Guernsey Housing Association developments. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 11540556)

He was highly sceptical about creating £330m. of debt by bond and Peter Roffey is less than impressed that the cash has no definite purpose. In a very short space of time the States has racked up a level of debt per capita similar to that of the UK, pre-crash. We – and our children – should be furious, he suggests...

MSG negotiations more complex than we think

If the MSG did push it too far and the States decided to swap to providing their service in-house, then the folk up at Alexander House would lose out big time, says Peter Roffey.

Who should provide the island’s secondary healthcare? As negotiations for the renewal of the MSG’s contract continue, Peter Roffey, who was Health president during the last round, goes through the options

Pre-school debate raises many questions

Peter Roffey believes in funding free pre-school hours, but takes issue with the way the States have gone about debating it. (Sergey Novikov/Shutterstock)

Whether – and how – to fund free pre-school places has raised questions for Peter Roffey about the way the States examines and debates potential policies. And while he believes there is merit in finding the money for this, he suggests several other proposals where the same principles apply

Take it from us*

Peter Roffey suggests gifting the parish rectories to the Church (*but with conditions). (Picture by Steve Sarre, 11237033)

Giving the Church the chance to take on ownership of parish rectories seems like the best solution to a problem that has dragged on for far longer than Peter Roffey thinks necessary. And why wouldn’t it want responsibility for its rectors’ abodes? Surely it’s not just a matter of maintenance…

Waste: our time and money

The Public Services Department has found glass kerbside recycling to be too expensive. So what now? (Picture by Tom Tardif, 11167190)

The strategy for waste and recycling has taken aeons to arrive and the projected costs of every element are steadily rising. Picking his way through the masterplan is causing Peter Roffey a lot of head-scratching – and there are still more questions than answers

Building up to a grand finale

The March 2016 States debate will be a bumper sitting as the Assembly continues to stack up issues to be debated. (Picture By Peter Frankland, 11144980)

With two major issues slated for debate in March next year, this Assembly’s final sitting is going to be an epic one. Peter Roffey looks at the agenda for 2016 as well as a few other issues highlighted by last week’s meeting

Why this Budget is a real stinker

Take shelter: if 2016’s Budget proposals are passed by the States, tax hikes will rain down on us.

We were told that the island’s finances were heading firmly in the right direction, thanks to expenditure restraint. Now the States has changed its tune and 2016’s draft Budget makes shocking reading, says Peter Roffey. Were those claims spin or a gross miscalculation? He’s not sure which is worse...

Late for the bell

The education debate is badly timed, Peter Roffey believes, but vital nonetheless. (Picture by Steve Sarre, 10958250)

As islanders offer their views to the States on the future of Guernsey’s education system, Peter Roffey examines the problems with the timing and suggests it could prove divisive come election time

Scrutinising scrutiny

Deputy Heidi Soulsby has called into question the project to replace the Leopardess, which Peter Roffey argues is a prime case for a ‘one-off, subject-specific PAC review’. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 10832728)

Peter Roffey takes a closer look at the States scrutinising committees and considers the projects that got the treatment, those that didn’t and those that still could

In danger of mis-selling


This year’s uprating report is guaranteed to spark public debate, as it leaves behind the realms of familiarity and heads firmly into the controversial. Peter Roffey considers the options and comes down in favour of the poor and the people who’ve already paid up

Searching for a solution

(Picture by Adrian Miller, 10695359)

How to help first-time buyers in the island without affecting the market... and should the States try? Peter Roffey has a couple of suggestions, including the reintroduction of a loan scheme that helped him onto the ladder back in the day, but which might look like a socialist suggestion in today’s political climate

Let’s have more openness on population

Population for Roffey

What’s the States policy on population? They don’t seem to have one – or if they do, they’re keeping it very quiet. Staying as we are is not an option, so Peter Roffey considers some of the issues a future rise or a fall in the population would create, as well as the problems

Why make things easy?

The controversial road layout at the Quay has taken up a disproportionate amount of States departments’ time, and it was not an issue that Peter Roffey feels should have ended up involving the top brass. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 10284836)

Peter Roffey has plenty of sympathy for the States’ workload – until they choose to take the most difficult route. Here he examines three instances where their choice of path caused unnecessary problems

Christmas is coming...

Competition for seats was fierce in Castel during the 2012 election, as the hustings showed. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 10293642)

States members voting for fewer deputies is like turkeys voting for Yuletide, yet three out of seven in Castel have done just that. Peter Roffey says it is the only sensible plan in the short term – and that some other suggestions are a long way from ideal

Deliver us from imports

It makes economic sense for the dairy to deliver its products direct to shops and businesses. (Picture by Tom Tardif, 10212021)

The death knell for milk rounds has been sounded, and while he believes it is the only economic way forward, Peter Roffey is firmly behind roundsmen receiving some compensation. A thank you for their services would not have gone amiss either, he points out. And then there’s the long-overdue protection against imports...

Money talks


An independent panel has been given just a couple of months to decide on politicians’ pay, and with a new committee structure and fewer deputies in the next Assembly, there is much to consider. Peter Roffey wishes them well and muses on some of the issues the panel should take into consideration

Never mind the ‘strategy’, it’s the waste that gets me...

An exhausted Environment board will be relieved to have ended up with a transport strategy of sorts, says Peter Roffey. (Picture by Steve Sarre, 9983007)

With more twists and turns than Le Val des Terres, it’s taken three years for the States to decide on a limp traffic strategy that is unlikely to please anyone much. And their wanton squandering of time, money and resources has been enough to drive anyone round the bend, says Peter Roffey

Sometimes the ‘Guernsey way’ is right


The year-on-year, real-terms reduction in HSSD’s budget has been like watching a flawed pressure cooker waiting to explode, says Peter Roffey. But that doesn’t mean that just throwing cash at our health service will cure all its ills...