Letter of the day

Thank you for your clarity, GFA

I THANK the GFA for at last (in these pages on 11 February) producing a clear statement as to what it thinks its responsibilities for local football are, stating that as the governing body for affiliated football in the Bailiwick, it has an extensive remit to oversee the development and administration of the game.

States need to take Flamanville seriously

I AM grateful that there was no nuclear fallout at the recent Flamanville explosion but I am concerned at the response of States officer, Kevin Murphy, who said there should be no concern as this was not a nuclear explosion. If there was a nuclear explosion and the wind was in the right direction then the islands could be covered by clouds of nuclear fallout in an hour or two.

GFA ruined women’s football fottball

SO THE Guernsey Football Association are saddened to have to announce the Ladies Muratti will not be taking place this year because of the lack of availability of suitable qualified players. The players have to be affiliated to the GFA and signed to play for a local club. The GFA have forgotten to mention the fact that it is because of their incompetence and wish to destroy ladies football in the first place that has led these people, who only wanted to enjoy and play the game, to walk away from them.

Don’t clutter our capital with truck-loads of expensive waste

IN THE Press in the past week one of our esteemed deputies was quoted as saying ‘any sensible person’, meaning that anyone not agreeing with the States is not sensible. Another deputy deplored the low attendance at a deputy and douzaine surgery [on the waste strategy]. And a third commented that douzaines do not want to lose their raison d’être – which would be the effect of handing over rubbish collections to the States. Three comments from men who are paid to do the will of the people, but who are hell-bent on spending millions on projects that, in many people’s opinion, are nonsensical. We are told that we have no alternative but to accept the plan devised piecemeal by the last States, which, let us remind them, was voted the worst in the history of Guernsey. Of course, this States is making a bid for the title – almost a year in and they have rubber-stamped decisions made that the electorate wanted reversed.

‘Myths’ of climate change

I WAS pleased to see that my recent letter regarding waste recycling, in which I mentioned the myth of human-made global warming, has received a response (from guernseyevi@gmail). (Open Lines, 26 January and 3 February).

Out of pocket thanks to GE’s not-so-smart meter

WITH reference to the leaflet produced by Guernsey Electricity. It states objectives ‘to continually strive for more efficient and effective ways of working to give our customers a better service’. Well, Guernsey Electricity, your objective is not being reached. The smart meter which you installed has never been read by yourselves as apparently you cannot get a signal.

Jersey unemployment figures no help to us

IN REFERENCE to the letter which was printed in the Guernsey Press from Graham Guille and Gloria Dudley-Owen. In this letter statistics were given in regards to the unemployment rate in the island of Jersey as a way of fulfilling a point of view about the overpopulation in Guernsey. However, if you look at these figures they give you nothing whatsoever to base any form of forward planning upon.

Market abuse: we have right to know

IT WAS interesting to listen to the chief executive of the Channel Islands Competition and Regulatory Authorities on BBC Guernsey radio on 2 February when he explained their function. He said that their purpose was to look out for consumers, to be an economic regulator and to have a reactive role towards the competition laws. He said they are an independent authority but answerable to the Economic Development committee. But I continue to be concerned since, on 29 March 2016, the Guernsey Press referred to Cicra’s involvement in an investigation into ‘significant market abuse’ in relation to a States contract, a potential breach in competition laws and material implications for islanders. It was later reported that this referred to a multimillion-pound States contract.

Smaller incinerator the way forward

AFTER many frustrating years reading, listening and viewing the Guernsey debate on the island waste problem, I thought I would add to the many letters you have received over this problem. I would like to write this with very little spent on investigating my thoughts (leave that to the island leaders). First, I would bring in an incinerator of a much smaller scale than the one that was first introduced and continue to recycle, which Guernsey people are very conscious about with a good recycling rate.

Long-term goal needed on population total

THANK you to Gloria Dudley-Owen and Graham Guille for continuing to care about the island’s population, and for their communication skills, which I would love to have. They are in a small minority who care about our future generations. There have been a small number of occasions when the States has decided to limit the population, only to forget it when it immediately rose higher (they hardly could be described of the quality of Winston Churchill). Whatever figure would be chosen, it doesn’t matter if it goes temporarily higher or lower, as long as that number is a long-term goal. Personally, I would choose a number with which the island could feed and look after itself (bearing in mind that in 1944/5, many of the 35,000 people living on the island would have died without outside assistance). Others would choose a number close to that existing today.

Last chance to rethink waste disposal strategy - on-island waste-to-energy solution offers best way forward

UPON retirement from the States last year I planned never to publicly inflict my opinion of the proposed waste strategy on the public ever again. However, I find it impossible to let these waste strategy proposals go forward without all new States members being made aware of the history and background to this issue. Hopefully the below facts will enable them to support Deputy Roffey’s amendment. My long-term criticism of the strategy had been based on four years’ detailed knowledge of waste issues and the previous Suez waste-to-energy contract during my term as a Public Services Department board member, and also my last four years’ service as a Treasury and Resources board member. To summarise further, way back in 2010 a coordinated public misinformation campaign denigrating the benefits of the proposed Suez waste-to-energy plant was raging. The basis of the campaign was that incineration was morally wrong and the proposed household costs were too high.

A march against Trump would be a ‘hypocritical’ act

I’M writing about the proposed march against President Trump. I would like to know what they are protesting about. If they are protesting about the travel ban and not letting in refugees that’s all well and good, but let’s not forget that when they wanted refugees to come over here, and Jersey for that matter, there was a massive outcry against it and it never happened. So that strikes me as hypocritical.

Plans for kitchen caddies stink: Could waste disposal units be a solution?

IN GUERNSEY we are shortly going to be required to have special food waste bags and later, after being picked up, the waste will be processed and somehow disposed of. This comes at considerable cost that will continue forever. This rotting food, in a special bin, will sit under the sink and will stink; indeed my friends in the UK call them ‘stinky bins’. All my friends in the US have a waste food (garbage) grinder in the sink of their kitchens and it grinds the food waste into little pieces which can then be washed away down the drain. A couple of years ago I rented a posh apartment and it came with such a grinder in the sink; in fact all the kitchens had grinders. I also know that many posh homes in Guernsey have them. They are excellent.

Let parents decide if children ride to school

IT CAN only be good news that the Vale School is seeking to encourage pupils to cycle to school. Of course only a few years ago all the primary schools had a school ‘rule’ which stated that children were not permitted to ride to school unless they had passed their cycling proficiency test. Unfortunately many parents actually believed that head teachers had some sort of say on how their children travelled to school. Rather than perhaps even cycling with their children, they resigned themselves to other travel arrangements such as the car. I was told by a retired head teacher that although the rule was totally unenforceable, it was common amongst the island schools and was therefore promoted because – well, just because it was.

Population growth is a balancing act

IN NOVEMBER 2015 we wrote to the Guernsey Press outlining our concerns regarding calls from the IOD for the island’s population to be permitted to increase to around 70,000 people. Now we see the same arguments being made by the Chamber of Commerce, only now they want it to rise to perhaps 90,000. As the arguments remain the same, perhaps we might be forgiven if we remind members of both organisations of a few simple truths. We said then that trying to resolve the demographic ‘riddle’ by increasing population would be a mistake. We offered the view that this was comparable with those on a sinking ship inviting yet more passengers on board to make bailing that bit easier. We said we should not make the mistake of thinking one can alter part of the economic puzzle in isolation without creating a domino effect elsewhere.

Policies on drug use have fallen behind the times

I AM writing to you from the Guernsey Drug Strategy Campaign in response to the news article which featured on the front page of the Guernsey Press on 21 January (‘Drug importer nearly died after swallowing cannabis’). First off, we would like to address the headline itself. We would argue that it has led some readers to believe that cannabis was the deciding factor in this person’s near demise. There have never been any recorded deaths caused by cannabis. We hope the Guernsey Press will consider their responsibility to publish more concise headlines when such important health issues are being addressed. Our second point is the ludicrous sentencing. When we look at all the facts, it is clear that drug prohibition has failed. Late last year we saw evidence of this in a release from the government’s drug strategy group saying that drug use is increasing in our schools.

No low-cost solution to our waste problem

YOU recently published a letter from Gerry Tattersall in which he described a perfect world as one where Guernsey had its own incinerator. Many of your readers may agree, but history has shown not all islanders share that view. In the absence of such a facility he implored the States to do a deal with Jersey to ship our waste there, instead of the current proposal to send it elsewhere. That was preceded by a letter from a different correspondent a few days earlier, proposing we ‘recycle’ our waste by filling former quarries, and another since suggests reclaiming land from the sea. All of which is a good illustration of why the issue of how we deal with our waste has dominated so much time and effort over so many years. There are lots of opinions as to why we should not be going down a particular route, but far less agreement on what the right path should be. A perfect recipe for going nowhere.

Has GFA absolved itself of running its leagues?

I COULD choose many examples of how society these days seems to be based on dumbing down the people and encouraging them to accept a ‘look after the strong and it will help us all’ ethos (aka ‘Big Society’) without question, while the reality is that small communities’ supposed protectors are becoming their executioners. I’ll continue with local football though because barely had the ink dried on my letter ‘Development of Guernsey FC has wrecked domestic football’ which you published, albeit in slightly edited fashion, on 10 January, you ran a story which revealed that St Martin’s had requested the postponement of a Priaulx League game because of a shortage of players, chiefly on the grounds of ‘Christmas social commitments’.

Party politics is way overdue

I WAS interested to read your article headed ‘Personality government is not fit for purpose’ in Wednesday’s Guernsey Press. Deputies Sam Mezec of Jersey and Deputy Chris Green of Guernsey present a similar view of the core governments of the two islands.

Could reclaiming land solve waste disposal issues?

A RECENT report in the Guernsey Press warns that we all face a 225% increase in our waste collection costs (from £2.15 to £7 per week) to meet ‘recycling targets’. (‘Kerbside recycling cost projected to be £39.9m’, 18 January) How can such a vast increase be justified? There seem to be two issues: 1, to meet some arbitrary recycling target ‘consistent with those in the UK and EU’ and 2, that our existing landfill site will become full in the coming years.

UK figures show grammar schools work

OFFICIAL data released by the department for Education show that 94 per cent of children at Grammar Schools have made good progress by the time they are 16, compared with less than half (49 per cent) of students at non-selective schools. These figures are a boost for Theresa May’s plans to overturn the ban on grammar schools imposed by Labour some 20 years ago.

What a waste of resources to renew licence

BECAUSE I insist on retaining my category C driving licence at my advanced age, I must renew it every year after presenting myself for a medical examination, so that my doctor can fill in the form certifying that I am still fit to drive. Having already presented the doctor with a letter from the optician confirming that my eyesight was still adequate, I went to the surgery, had the examination, paid the £120 fee and agreed to return the next day to collect the completed form. When I did so, I was told that my doctor had accidentally filled in a form relating to a different class of driving licence and that she would have to transfer the information to the correct form, which I could collect the following day.

Let’s co-operate with our sister isle on waste strategy

YOU kindly published a letter from me recently in which I was pleading with our politicians to get together with Jersey and thrash out an agreement concerning the disposal of our island’s waste. My pleading fell on fertile ground in our sister isle but very stony ground over here.