Deputy catches white van men using car park as yard

WHAT was labelled ‘a brazen abuse of our island, hospitality and planning rules and regulations’ saw a non-local roofing contractor receiving a visit from the police and has led to renewed calls for such companies to be subject to paid work permits.

Picture By Neil Inder. 09-01-17 White van men at Grand Rocques.

Vale deputy Neil Inder made the comments after he became aware of a visiting firm using Grandes Rocques car park ‘as a glorified yard’ on Sunday.

On visiting the area Deputy Inder said he found ‘a couple of Irish lads’, vehicles and building materials.

He took several photos which he later posted on his Facebook page and set about contacting the police and States bodies to see what could be done.

As a result, police officers went to the site.

‘Workers, who were transferring items from one vehicle to another, were spoken to,’ said a police spokesman.

‘They assured the officer that no mess would be left. An officer returned to the area today [Monday] and no issues were identified.’

Comments for: "Deputy catches white van men using car park as yard"


All good , El President of E &I and chief antagonist Brehaut has been to see the young culprits and wished them well. Seems he is more interested in demeaning Deputy Inder than protecting Guernsey. Really GSP are you happy that Barry Brehaut is hell bent on winding everyone up, is that your vision of Guernsey's future? Show some respect for Guernsey people and show some strength by getting rid of him, that would show us that incompetence will not be tolerated in the States.

Ross Le Brun

I don't know what goes through Barrys head sometimes. Always just trolling and antagonising. He's supposed to be a president of a committee with a busy work load yet finds the time to troll social media and post under alias's in here. He's just a wind up merchant. No other politician in any other part of the world would go on social media and say this about a business exploiting loopholes like using a coastal car park to sort waste (only Neil Inders actions stopping them from leaving it in a ton bag). Barrys committee and past departments have hounded local businesses out of land without the right use yet we have to be tolerant in his words of off island firms doing the same? Pathetic!

Barry Brehaut


I have avoided this site for months, and for the record I never have used an alias. Your comments are, well, harsh. For the record, I saw the Supalite vehicle parked on a pavement and asked them to move it, they did, and promptly. The two lads were in their 20's I should imagine, not company owners, or bosses, but young employees doing what they are paid to do. They were genuinely surprised at the amount of public interest, they were also amazed they had been reported to the police. They, as individuals have broken no laws, they made the mistake of unloading from one vehicle to another in an very open and public manner.

Your issue is a policy matter a licence or permit which is for their employees and us as politicians to resolve. I have nephews their age, I don't think I need to apologise for showing a bit of an understanding towards young employees in the thick of it at the moment. The rest of your post is disappointing, if you want politicians to engage dont just type what you like in the hope it's never read by them, on this occasion it has been, and I'm glad I was sent the link.

Trevor Hockey


As a States member, you and many of your fellow Deputies are very quick to bring in off island firms to work for the States when local companies are struggling, often putting up difficulties in tendering and very often the work done is below standard and leaving local subcontractors and suppliers not being paid.

Who was it, Charles Le Quesne if my memory serves me, who then reappeared as Harbour View Construction that got the mental health contract.?


Avoided this site really? That was a pretty quick response for someone who doesn't visit the site ! What about engaging with the public and explain why you think it is ok to say things like "it will cost what it costs" or why safety audits are commissioned AFTER a small project starts. As Trevor states your dept, perhaps more than any other, employs U.K. Companies all the time. So is your choice to man up and explain the various questions around what you choose to do as E&I president or dive for cover to protect your salary.

Ross Le Brun

Also Barry, I don't post things in the hope people don't see them! I post under my own name where the more politically aware people engage. I know yourself and other politicians are in here also. I'm not just a keyboard warrior! I stood in the election for my beliefs. The media are happy to ring me and ask my opinion to fill space and I'll gladly do it as long as gets a point that is rarely heard across!


It was not changing from one van to another but as the photos shows. Using it as a yard by loading on the road and grass verge.

Would the police not prosecute local traders for this kind of act.


Ross Sadly this is all we can expect from Brehaut. No doubt Burford is still pulling his strings. The man is an embarrassment quite frankly. Should NEVER have been given a lead job of any committee. He shouldn't even be a deputy.

Barry Brehaut

Ross, Paul et al

I only posted yesterday as I was forwarded the link, and in fairness the comments were on the margins and broadly derogatory. I keep making this point, I have no issue in engaging and exchanging views, but it's a bit draining just responding to negative remarks and, well, insults. And I do not use an alias, I just happen to prefer Twitter.

The big picture stuff is, should we have a permits system for visiting workers? yes! Can we do that with a light touch and make it work, yes, probably.

Barry Brehaut

Your comments are exactly why so few Deputies contribute, why would they opt in only to be met with such contributions.

Barry Brehaut


Your lack of tolerance is disappointing, I can't help but find it ironic that an effort to speak to the employees to get an understanding of what they do is antagonistic. Far from it, there is more than one perspective, and I was interested in getting theirs.

In all of this we tend to forget its local families who buy in these services in, I am still left wondering why that aspect hasn't had any real media scrutiny.


Tolerance for what? This isn't about 2 lads doing their job and wether they are nice lads or not, it's your, antagonistic approach when engaging with islanders. Your I know best attitude and your constant spats with fellow deputies and islanders reveals all about your unsuitability to lead a dept. Your time at E&I this term and last is proof enough of how not to be a politician in a small island community. Oh one other thing, your belief that every time you rise in the States an attempt at adolescent humour is in order, it's not!



Thanks for responding to Paul's post. Having read the Press article it is a bit of a non-story, but certain people seem to be trying to whip it up into a media frenzy. Yes, there are issues surrounding off-island contractors that need to be looked at, but this was a simple error by the company concerned, who have very quickly and publicly apologised for their actions.

It seems there are a just a minority of keyboard warriors who are moaning about this incident and taking the chance to have a cheap pop at Environment on here.

Very sad.


Seems like someone is having a conversation with themselves. However no keyboard warrior here just a local businessman fed up with low quality politicians making multiple poor decisions which adversely effect the future of Guernsey.

Ross Le Brun

Yes Paul looks like that doesn't it.

I'll probably get another nice private message from Barry about how he doesn't post under alias's (it's this that's prompted him to post under his own name in here after months) but there is a recent story on this site where I commented that TheLocal2 wrote very similar to and mainly on subjects that seem to be dear to Barry. Coincidence? Maybe. Have a look and see what you think. Just search "TheLocal2 your shout" in Google.

Similar to the recent ghost written pavement surfing letter in the press.

He said on Twitter months ago after complaining that this place is full of "bar stool bullies" that if he were to post on here, to look out for Heather Trockey.

Now though, in his message to me, that doesn't mean he posted as Heather Trockey, just that it was an obvious joke.... I didn't think it was obvious. If you state to look out for Heather Trockey if you post here, that to me is clearly implying that's you.

Its interesting that this is the only point (posting under alias's) that Barry wants to respond to. Why not my comparison between what would have happened to a local tax paying business like myself abusing the environment like they did? Would Barry be defending me on SM that everyone should be more tolerant towards me? I doubt it!

Good on Neil! He's not just a keyboard warrior! He got off his ass went out and got proof. Working for the Gsy person, not sympathising with a business that's abusing our weak systems to protect the environment and economy.

I also don't understand the housing responding on the front of the press yesterday with "it has been pointed out under the relevant ordinance, an offence would be committed only if someone was exercising a trade or business in a place of recreation, whereas the men at Grandes Rocques were only moving items from one vehicle to another."

Since when is sorting your business waste not excercising their trade or business? So what housing are saying is that all the ton bag and skip companies will be fine down Grandes Rocques car park doing exactly the same? So their you go boys and girls, go and fill your boots! Don't worry about getting a yard, or hiding in a vinery! At least your paying in to the system!

If your going to respond Barry, to each point please and on here since your out of retirement on your shout.


No Paul not at all, I've never even spoken to Dep Brehaut, just an observation when reading the Press Article then the comments on here. The police spokesman even said that no issues were identified.

Another reason why so few people put themselves forward to stand when election time comes around. Agree that the whole area of non-local traders is worth investigating but this is clearly a simple mistake quickly and efficiently dealt with.

Barry Brehaut

Hi TL2

ESS (social security) know the company and understood the circumstances that led to the impromptu van change and consequent negative publicity. Working within the law shouldn't be so troublesome. I was trying to imagine what it must be like working away from home and having your picture taken and circulated, having negative press, and a Deputy on the BBC saying "they are abusing our island, our people, our goodwill, our hospitality" end quote. The issue is real, the reaction unreal.

I enjoy my role at E&I and actually I like to talk about the issues we deal with. I just hope some can get get beyond the rumour, speculation and just exchange views in a non confrontational manner.



Instead of the poor me glib comments why don't you just reflect on why you are so unpopular with a large portion of the island. Instead of I know best and attacking fellow deputies on social media ( what me I hear) why not listen to what islanders want not what you decide we need. Salarie corner is a good example of that, allowing a simple projects cost to spiral is irresponsible in the extreme whilst allowing your aborted attempt at changing the layout at the town church to still be a safety issue with lines still visible....the list is long and lingering. Indulging so much of a budget on one small area while many arterial roads are far more dangerous with no pavements does little to show you have a handle on safety for all road users.



Ha! That is the most amusing comment I've read in a while. I am definitely not BB in disguise, and am a long-time reader but newly signed up contributor, appalled by the negative sniping around the Salerie Corner upgrades and constant moaning by posters who obviously have very little understanding on the perils of that particular junction and the benefits the new layout now brings (still working seamlessly by the way!)

For the record I was like many, appalled at the no confidence vote yesterday, and Dep Brehaut was one of the 13 who supported it.

I never said Neil was a keyboard warrior, he is one of the few sitting Deputies who engages on here and I respect those who do, but totally understand why most don't given the toxic nature of many discussions.


If you say it's true it must be true!

Ross Le Brun

Thats that cleared up then.....


Just what ARE the rules on such contractors coming to the island and fulfilling a contract?

Whilst it undoubtedly puts certain local contractors' noses out, surely there isn't anything to stop this happening?? If contractors can afford to come over (bearing in mind the travel costs etc.) and still be cheaper than local tradesmen, then surely this highlights the serious problem the island has with certain trades charging way over the odds....

Yes - I appreciate that any 'snagging' problems after completion could be problematical for non-local tradesmen but.......


Mange tout

They are desperate for work in their own location, not that we aren't. I understand they are from Ireland and their cost of living is way out of kilter with our own so they seek work elsewhere to be making possibly twice or three times the amount. They are probably on their own EU and Government grants on their low pay. And you wonder why the local companies don't seem to be able to compete. We live in Guernsey and pay the cost of running a business I.e ever increasing taxes, social insurance contributions. By their actions of using a public car park they give the impression of being chancers with absolutely no overheads rather than an organised bonifide company, rather like Gypsies of old wherever they lay their hat is their home. I haven't got that luxury I'm afraid. Let me enlighten you on what a bonifide company is on the basis of where I live. I have, and still do run a local business which has been going for over 30 years. I have paid local taxes for this time, my own and my men's contributions. I pay rent for my premises, I pay well over wage rates to my local highly qualified men for them to afford to have a life in the island I Bought a Guernsey priced house with a Guernsey price tag and mortgage to boot. I pay the highest price for fuel for my fleet of vehicles anywhere in Europe. I have sleepless nights with non payers which is becoming more frequent. My only crime is that I have played by the book and for the good of the islands future, and would hope to be able to have a level playing field

Laurie Queripel

Mange Tout

There is way more to it than that.

Without a point of entry registration/permit system we don't know who is here, why they are here, how long they are here for and so on.

I am not against a free market but it also has to be a fair and legally sound one. At the moment there is no way to monitor whether off island traders are complying with all the laws/rules/regulations that local traders have to (so housing laws, waste laws, health and safety, whether they are paying tax/contributions or just driving back onto the boat with thousands of pounds in their pockets, all the things that add cost to local businesses). In my opinion there is enough evidence to show that without a compulsory registration/permit system none of these obligations can be policed or enforced effectively. A point of entry system would provide all the necessary information.

We have to think at a higher economic and strategic level. Currently the Guernsey economy and the public purse is losing out and I hate to think of the amount that has been lost to the island over these many years. Jersey recognised these issues years ago and acted.

Ross Le Brun

Proof that a registration system is required.

This firm worked for two years on a states site and social security had to chase in petty debts twice for them the total came to £22,519.67!!

If they can do it on such a big states job under the various departments noses without being noticed imagine how much is leaving the island from the hundreds of others, under the radar each year!

100% Donkey

Well done Neil Inder.

We are a democracy but what were SPP South voters thinking when they voted for Barry Brehaut.....

Barry Brehaut

The other candidates perhaps.

Don Tramp

MMmm is transferring items from one vehicle to another illegal if no rubbish is left and no one obstructed from parking their vehicle ?

Barry Brehaut

I am acutely aware of the white van man issue and it does impact on the local economy, and that's a study in itself. But if Private Eye ran a front page on this is would read "Visting workforce operate within the law, exclusive"

The law, the policy may be at fault, so let's put the hours in on that and not denigrate the staff who are working for a client/customer legitimately.

Ross Le Brun

To my knowledge no one has directly accused the staff it's all been to the business and the useless, toothless system.

Barry Brehaut


With regard to your longer earlier post. Deputies cannot publish a letter under name and address withheld, anyway we don't need to, for obvious reasons. Can we keep the conversation on track and please not allege, or, imply, or speculate as to whether I post under an alias or not, it's not my style.

There is clearly a mood to deal with the work permit issue, and as I said in an earlier post that's where the focus should be, not on the employees who are just doing what they are told and paid to do. BB


Obviously this is totally unacceptable.

However as someone who is not prepared to pay the ridiculously high prices that many of our tradesman charge on this island I have used, will continue to use, off island quality tradesmen within the boundaries of the law. Basically I understand that I can employ an off island worker to decorate or double glaze my house for a short period of time, 10 days rings a bell out of any 30 day period. I know I did check with the States before I brought them across a few years ago and they confirmed I was able to and was not breaking the law.

Why did I do it? Over 65% cheaper than any Guernsey company quoted at - simple as that - who were given first chance. They were a reputable UK company and did a great job and we should remember that not every white van man from the UK is a cowboy. Properly invoiced and recommended by UK friends. It is difficult as I would prefer to use locals but I have a limited budget and needed new windows. What else am I supposed to do ? Freeze to death ?


Who did you use out of interest?


Local Guern. You and your self serving actions are one of the biggest reasons why this island is in the crap. If or when you sell your property would you please sell to a young local couple with a couple of kids for the same price they could buy a like for like property in the North of U.K. After all you must have saved an absolute fortune in hiring outside labour you can be one of those rare philanthropists . Selfish doesn't even describe you.


Well said to these greedy self serving people who clearly set themselves apart from the community they live in


And look at the name?!!! Who is this person trying to kid - themselves?


Jasperino - Thanks for the support. I am by no means selfish and not wealthy. I have to make sure that every penny I have gives me maximum value. When you live on an income of less than £18,000 per annum in pensions I feel no guilt whatsoever in being frugal and shopping around. I dont complain I simply get on with life and make it as good as possible for my wife and family. I have holidays and travel but live modestly on island.

Perhaps the really selfish people are those who have so much more and a government who refuses to tax the wealthy at a higher rate, tax capital gains on investments or introduce inheritance tax. My meagre income and savings are a drop in the ocean compared to the vastly wealthy on this island who avoid paying realistic amounts of tax.

As for my house. Firstly, if either my wife or I need care it will be sold and we will pay for our old accommodation from the proceeds and what is left if anything will go to the kids, They have been brought up to know an inheritance may not becoming their way.

I will pay my way.

Don't preach to me about being selfish. I am realistic, a taxpayer and smart guy who has learned that you shouldn't make sweeping statements about people you know nothing about. I assume you would have preferred me not to have my house double glazed by cheap UK craftsman but freeze, become ill and a burden on our struggling health service at your expense.

I suggest you think a little more before commenting and insulting people.



Do you only buy from local shops? You never buy online from Amazon etc?


LocalGuern 1066 - yes it's you're name your having a laugh with!

Do you think you're the only islander struggling with a limited budget? Thanks to "locals" like you so are lots of tradesmen.

Good luck on calling one out when you've got an emergency


Rokayne - You caught me out - you are right I am not local - I was two when I arrived and have only been on island for 70 plus years. When do I qualify as a local?


A small York based family company


Local Guern - like you, most local builders, tradesmen etc. have mortgages to pay, and you must agree living here is expensive, even more so with Gavin and crews constant tax rises and "Spend it like Brehaut's" extravagant spending sprees on junctions .... so in reality its all relevant.

With people like yourself going off island, will only increase the costs on island .


Mark B -Are you really being serious?

I choose what I do with my money, which after paying my taxes is mine to spend as I please. Local tradesman were given first chance at the work and the prices were way out of line. If I remember rightly I was not overly impressed with their attitude and smart up market four by fours when they quoted, They certainly appeared to be doing very nicely.

Are you seriously saying I should pay 65% more - thousands of pounds more - when I dont have to?

You may be wealthy enough to do that I am certainly not.

I will guarantee that any astute Guernsey tradesman will shop around with wholesalers on and off island for his stock - windows or whatever - for the best deal. Why should I not do the same ?

I don't owe a living to any business on or off island. I plan and spend my hard earned money astutely and nobody can say that I am wrong in doing that.


All I am saying is everything is expensive here, not only for you and I but tradesmen too, food, clothing, building materials etc. Do we support local or don,t we? I dont want to waste my money either but I will buy local As much as I can.

Please tell us who you used at 65% less than local so we can al use them.


Mark B - If you are silly enough to buy your clothes on island in this day and age you are being rather extravagant ! - On line is the way the UK is going and we will follow in time.

Get yourself to Waitrose or some of our Local stores and buy food from the 'out of date soon fridges' and you will save a fortune ! Waitrose - last week leg of lamb from £28.00 to £8.50 and straight into the freezer for the Spring. Food does not have to be expensive here. I eat well and healthy for not a lot

Do I support local - yes - but only when the price is right but I very rarely pay full prices on Guernsey for food.

Do your own research - which will be up to date - if you want to find a company mine was about four years ago.

St Sampson's ressie

What an inflammatory headline.

I saw this, rushed down to the carpark and was hoping to buy some timber as B&Q are now closed on Sundays and I cant get it from anywhere else, just to find a few lads moving their rubbish from one vehicle to another…not exactly a yard now is it?

Thank god we have people’s representatives that can, at the drop of a hat deal with this non story. What about using your time for other, more pressing matters?

The firm issued an apology and explanation and to top that there is a quote from the States themselves:

Commenting on the matter, Esther Ingrouille, the States of Guernsey’s Director of Housing Control, said:

“We are aware of this firm, who first contacted us before they undertook any work in the island so that they could understand their Housing Control obligations. While it would be inappropriate for us to comment on the details of a specific case, we can confirm the rules that apply under the Housing Control system. For an individual whose employer is not resident in Guernsey, no housing licence or right to work document is needed if the person is in employment in Guernsey for no more than 10 days in a 30 day period, and in total for no more than 90 days in a 12-month period. In this particular area, those same rules will apply under the Population Management system when it comes into force in April.”

This headline is about as good as a Daily Sport one – “Monkey on 40k benefits”.

Looks like the company is reputable, has been in contact with the States to make sure they are not breaking the Law or Regulations and it appears, done everything they needed too.

Sure as always, I will be slated by others, but come on GP, surely there are better stories out there for journalists to be covering?


We pay taxes for protection - in many different ways. What everyone is cross about is the fact we are paying taxes (protection money) to a group of deputies who are not protecting on this particular issue.

The complaint is that the LAW needs to change.


They have been on about this for years, is it not about time the "Crazy gang" started to earn their pay and do something about this. They are very good at winkling more money out of us, but these "grey imports" seem to get away scot free.


I am surprised Deputy Barry Brehaut did not get the white van workers in to do the new cycle path at the Salerie. The cost would have only been a third of £120.000 and he would have become a closer friend with Deputy Gavin St Pier and maybe receive an electric bike from him for saving from his overspending embarrassment.

Where the heck do we get these brainless Politian's From? Must be something wrong with our voting system and island law makers.

Everybody who comes to Guernsey to do work needs a right to work document, a police check record and a local insurance contribution card and income tax ETI. and an address of residency while on island.

Barry Brehaut

As amusing as that may be..

Cost of built works on cycle path 80k, as our QS estimated.

Request for cameras and lights 22k.

Railings, tactile paving, signage and numerous circa 14k

Report will be published this month hopefully.

Gavin already has a bike btw. B.


I look forward to reading the report, hopefully there will be a break down of all said costs, especially the 2 little cameras.

So you are saying the crossing building works was on budget even with later changes?

Barry Brehaut


The report will have all costs, in fact they have already been detailed in the GP by Nick Mann. Cameras, poles, lights and associated trenching for CTV took the cost to 22k. The report also has to discover why 50k was given as an estimate in a press release when the figure was known to be in excess of that for some time. BB


It only needed the railings and signage 14k to stop the odd idiot with hear phones,head down cycling at speed though this juntion

Since there has only been 1 cycle incident in 3 years. The police if they wanted it should have paid for the CCTV.

Since they have one 500k tank that does not work or needed. They have the budget.



Sorry but that post sums up the naivety of many over Salerie Corner and the lack of experience in trying to traverse it safely as a pedestrian or cyclist. The new layout is very good, and your oversimplified idea above would not have made a difference.

Donkey Boiler

Without an official registration and permit process, there is no mechanism to ensure that income tax and states insurance tax (you know, as we all have to pay), is paid by off island tradesmen and labourers. GSP and Idiot Brehaut just want to tax the locals, and proportionally they want to hit the lower earners most.

Barry Brehaut

Blimey, harsh!

Donkey Boiler

Not harsh, true.


I am not disagreeing with you but it works two ways for Guerns who go to the UK. I know paying tax when you work between two countries is not straight forward. You pay tax, as I understand it, to the jurisdiction, that you are classed as being ordinarily or permanently resident in for most of the year. Our Guernsey tax return for instance requires you to declare and pay taxes on your world wide income to Guernsey even if the money was not earned here and you had already paid tax on it another country. To stop you paying tax twice there are 'double taxation agreements' between most countries that allow yo to reclaim one lot of the tax you have paid to one of the countries.

The problem is that many Guernsey residents and UK residents don't declare the income and both tax offices have no real way of knowing what was earned where although the two tax authorities are trying to keep each other informed but it is easy to avoid.

Perhaps many of our tax and banker friends could clarify and correct me ?

Jack Toff

No doubt Ms Cameron has ensured that these guys have one of her oh so essential licences permitting them to transport waste around the Island. Given that a one man band plumber has to have one in order to be able to put a cardboard box from site into his van I'm sure that the playing field is being kept level. No?


Good firm this high quality work for a good price. I used them. Mr Inder typifies the little Guern mentality that pervades here. Mr Inders sensational comments are staggering perhaps he should consider his position. I spent 23000£ with this firm the best Guernsey based quote was way over 40,000£. Before I contracted this firm i personally checked there right to do this work and they are acting within the law. Mr Inder (a Government official) has made himself look very silly really. Imagine all those Guernsey people who go to Britain stealing jobs form all those nasty british people....perish the thought.


Galland - Well said. You have every right to employ who you want from wherever you want just as a Guernsey tradesman can pack his van and sell his services in the UK or elsewhere if he wants. Guernsey tradesmen have no god given right to to the exclusive rights for work on Guernsey. If they did their prices would be even higher as they would have a complete monopoly and hold over islanders.


Inder is just another band wagon jumper, a so called successful businessman who drives a taxi.


For the attention of Mr Inder in case he wonders why I will not take the word of local traders

Below is a posting that I placed on this site on 14th December in the Sunday Trading thread. It clearly shows why I shop around and not go automatically local:-

' I am no mechanic but when my car starting coughing and spluttering I had a look on the internet and You Tube soon indicated that it was likely to be the MAF air sensor. Off I go to a local garage who confirm it was the MAF sensor and as it is a 'big' job it will cost around £550 and will take a week for the part to arrive on island.

Something made me think thats' pricey so back to You Tube and the tutorial for my car shows it is a maximum of 30 minutes to fit and is really easy. So being the trustworthy guy I am, I assume the part itself must be expensive but decide to check on the Internet and see that it costs £16.50 with free delivery.

Order on Sunday and delivered on Tuesday with 45 minutes to fit by myself who is a pretty incompetent old man !'

A £500 mark up - yer having a laugh.


Thats why I choose to shop around and dont 'buy local' unless I am convinced it is a very good deal.'




Would you also contemplate fixing your Gas leak or wiring fault in your house

How do you come up with the figure of a £500 mark up

If you have a fault with your car and you manage to be able to fix this yourself then good on you as long as it is safe

Would you like to think of all people taking this attitude and repairing faults on their cars and Truck's May bee fixing faults on the steering or braking system or the fuel lines.

Do you think the garage just sites there without overheads, as well as the obvious building and infrastructure costs or running a business including staff who pay to keep this Island running

You Pay Mechanics for their knowledge gained after many years training and with this knowledge you will also have insurance that if a fault occurred with the work carried out you will not be personally liable

Life is not black and white

We are as Islanders trying to keep this Island afloat and the best way to do that is by working together


Mash - I am a little confused. If the part was under £20 to purchase and took around 45 minutes to fit do you really think it acceptable that a garage would want £550 to supply and fit the part?

I would have paid a reasonable amount to the garage for 60 minutes labour say £100 plus the part which I think is generous. The reality is that garage have shot themselves in the foot as I will never take my car to them as i feel I cannot trust them. In the long run they have lost out by trying to make a fast buck.

I know my own limitations when it comes to car repairs, gas leaks, electrics or whatever and accept that there will be times I need their services. However that is no reason whatsoever for a tradesman to 'pull a fast one' on me. I will negotiate and shop around as best I can having researched what and how things need to be repaired.



I do not know why you are confused you state that the company you approached wanted £550 and you ooh to state that this was a £500 mark up

The point I was making was that the cost of the item was not where the cost was it was labour

How many Quotes did you get as assuming the part would have been charged out with a mark up making this £50.00 it would look like you were quoted £500.00 for labour for a job that you an unqualified mechanic manager to fit without a problem in under 1hr

Even with the swankiest workshop an a reception area where you can sit and have a free coffee and a lobster salad yes this is outrageous

If a local trader has tried to con you then for the benefit of all it Is best to name and shame otherwise all traders are tarred with the same brush

I could tell you some stories about Doctors and Lawyers that would curl your hair but that does not make them all bad


"We are as Islanders trying to keep this Island afloat and the best way to do that is by ripping people off. "

Fixed that for you.

£500 labour (and that is being generous by pricing the part at £50) for 45mins work?



Is your first language English


@ Mash

Yes, it is. And you?


I fitted rear parking sensors to my car .Time? 45 minutes. cost ? £14 on E-bay.

A close friend decided to have them fitted to his 'new' Audi by the local supplier

cost? £500 These days you have to do your research before attempting to do anything.

Common sense!


Well if it's a "New" Audi then its probably best to have the local supplier fit genuine parts, especially if he decides to sell the car. You see your cheep Chinese parking sensors for £14 will probably let you down pretty soon, then you'll have a £500 accident repair bill.

Common sense?? only get what you pay for!!


18 months later and still going strong

Who do you think made the 'Audi' parts?


Move along please. Nothing to see here....


I think that if young local firms had suitable long term premises to work from we would have more choice and more competition locally for Island work.

Cost cutting and competition go hand in hand

Thank goodness we have a majority of our deputies who have acknowledge the need for suitable sites for our up and coming trades people to operate from

Now they need to pull the civil servants who manage our property portfolio in to line


Greed has gripped all sectors of Guernsey.

Well done for people refusing to be held to ransom


To the guy becrying having to live on £18k per annum; try living on that money when you don't already have a house to fit nice windows in. For the local lads fitting windows, house ownership can be only a dream.

We charge more because the cost of doing business and living here is more.


Qwerty - from the guy on £18000. I fully accept that an island company will charge more and I would be willing to pay more than the UK company. However when you get to 65% more things are getting out of hand.

Please don't have a go at an ordinary guy for owning his house having had an ordinary job for 50 years. I am on your side as it's the wealthy on this island who exploit you by paying low taxes and avoiding tax and not wanting you or me to treated well. It is not me.

I can't change house prices on island but if the rich paid their fair share and the States were more supportive of low earners then you might be better off.

Rupert Walthumstow

"The wealthy" pay the same rate of income tax as you do?


Rupert - that is the problem the wealthy should not be paying 20% tax which is also capped. They should be paying a higher scaled rate of tax so the more they earn the higher percentage they pay as their income increases. Almost every Western country has different rates of tax increasing as income increases. Higher rate tax should be paid by higher earners perhaps 25% or 30% rather than the capped 20%.

I know that there is no chance of this happening and perhaps they should NOT be entitled to the tax free allowance of £10,000 that we all have. Interestingly in the UK the low earner is much better off than here because they have a higher tax free allowance but the rich are worse off because they have to pay 40% tax.

Guernsey chooses to penalize the poorer and support the rich.


Local Guern

I agree with many of your points, but please note that from this year the tax fee allowance is reduced for those earning over 130K per year. Please also note you need to earn 1mio locally for the tax cap to have any impact, and the number of people this applies to is very low. Removing the cap might mean one or two of these people leave, which would put us in a worse position fiscally.

I am not defending these arrangements, but I think too much is made of the impact the cap does/doesn't have. If the States didn't waste so much money, we would be all better off.

Rupert Walthumstow

I fully agree on the tax free allowance, and frankly I'm fully in favour of most "benefits" (e.g. those for children) being means tested, however the amount of difference those changes would make is probably insignificant.

As jj says, if you remove caps it is likely a few of those people will leave and take that £200k in tax with them. I seem to recall Deputy St Pier (I think) once saying it was ~30 people who hit the cap each year. Of course we don't know how far above that they may be, but I think it's safe to assume the further above it they are, the more likely they are to leave if rates were suddenly hiked.


Local Guern - surly they are paying more, if you earn £1000 a month you'll pay

£200 tax, if you earn £4000 a month you pay £800 tax etc. etc. so the more you earn the more you pay. Also the richer people are the less likely they will be a burden on social security, even though they still have to pay it.

None local,local

So everyone on here saying back the local traders!! have never bought off the internet?


If you have a curtain trailer based in a car park and are transferring building waste from one van to another in between cups of tea that's an adhoc yard by any measure.

And I'm not clear if they are complying with Waste Transport Licencing. The provisions of the law regarding waste transport licences apply to any business or public service that carries waste in Guernsey.

Any business that transports waste on the island should hold a waste transport licence, or an exemption from licensing.

Abide by our laws and customs or don't come here. It's really not that hard a concept is it?

Neil Inder

Don Tramp

Our Island is going bankrupt due to the loss of our Banking sector is this the best you can do to divert attention ?


'Our Island is going bankrupt due to the loss of our Banking sector…'

Please quantify that comments with some proper facts and figures, Don love, and whilst you're at it, pray tell us when YOU plan to stand for office and provide our island with an alternative financial nipple to suckle from, when the Cash Cow's teat has finally dried…?


look out for more 'builder's waste' on our beaches!


Deputy Inder was right to handle this situation however the key issue wasn't off island traders so much as people using a car park as a yard and the potential risk of fly tipping.

I have to say though, for those criticising people like LOCALGUERN1066 for using off island traders, might I point out the roaring trade Mayside did sorting out Amazon parcels after Christmas.

I'm struggling to see the moral / ethical difference between shopping online at Amazon and using off island traders for building work. Both are done by people who want to get the same product / service at a cheaper cost and ultimately both affect local businesses.

If Guernsey wants to go down the protectionist route to keep local traders in work then by all means do so - but don't complain afterwards about high costs. You can't have it both ways.


I'm afraid my experience with the 'good old Guernsey tradesman' has been very poor indeed. Their estimates are shocking and often have 'extras' lumped on that were not anticipated. That's when they can be bothered to put in an estimate, usually its "I'll do you an estimate at the weekend" which never turns up. Most of the work I have had done has needed to be re-done, sometimes more than once. Virtually every 'cement job' I have had done has failed because they can't even mix it properly. So I would have no compunction about using off-island labour, the costs and results could hardly be worse.

And it's not just tradesmen, what about the retailers. In addition to the scandalous prices the lack of service is appalling. Nobody will ever mend anything either. From shoes and vacuum cleaners to phones, I have fixed them all myself because the 'specialists' here either say stuff is 'not repairable' or want to charge so much it is not worth doing. Usually for tiny costs I have bought parts via eBay and fixed things myself rather than get mugged by the local sharks. As LOCALGUERN1066 says, instruction videos are available for just about everything from Youtube. In all honesty, I have surprised myself. I'm not a very 'hands on' person, I never thought I'd buy a set of tiny screwdrivers for about £4, parts for usually around £2 and replace them in mobile phones. Believe me, if I can do it, anybody can. And on Guernsey we pretty much have to.

Le Goubert

Totally agree Beanjar.

I always try and use local tradesmen but the impression I get is they are doing me a huge favour by just turning up.

And like you getting parts off eBay for vacuum cleaners, washing machines is the only way to repair anything. Local trades people aren't interested.

Competion from the UK is the only way to shake up the building sector.


Agree completely.

The tone, prices, working behaviours and quality of work of c.75% of the local trades we've used in the last decade has been appalling. The best I tend to hope for these days is 10% overspend, work delivered 2-4 months late and 'only' a few faults in the months afterwards.

That said, there are some great companies, and some skilled individuals, all of which have to face the same eye-watering house prices as anyone else, so I don't begrudge paying fairly when the tone & work are good.

Retail I've found better in recent years, with some notable exceptions. But as you say, if you can't fix it then nor will anyone else.


You're all using the wrong local traders. I'm a single Mum and totally impractical but I've never been ripped off or had bad workmanship and I always use local tradesman. Word of mouth has been the best way of finding these great workers.

Also, it's insurance to use local because if I have an emergency they will help quickly - and of course I know it will be easy to find them if they ever do a rubbish job.

I'm getting a bit fed up with the ability of the ongoing prejudice against locals.

Ross Le Brun

You'll find as I did with those that directly spoke to me against what I stood for in the election, a register, that those who want to keep the door open have moved here from the UK and know how little their old neighbour's can afford to work for (especially when working essentially cash In hand while being put up in their own property as posters on this site have previously gloated about, namely Guernseyguy) or just have the false economy attitude that off island instantly means savings. Maybe they did get work done by locals but where they by reputable locals who have lots of great reviews and happy previous customers? Was that the first concern when looking for a contractor? Or was it just based on price? Unfortunately in Gsy, not only is the border unregulated so is the ability for those who are not qualified or suitably skilled to trade here.

100% Carre.

Well said Rokayne very good post.....


This was an overreaction by Deputy Inder, who seems hellbent on setting up a protectionist state.

Traders from the UK (and anywhere else) should be able to trade freely on the island providing they are legitimately paying their taxes in their own country, just the same as a Guernsey company should be able to freely go and work in the UK and pay their taxes in Guernsey. Just like Deputy Inder used to do in a former business I believe ?

Creating an artificial 'Work Permit' is just another form of tax in order to force up their prices to stop them competing with local tradesmen.

It's free trade and competition helps keep the more avaricious local tradesmen in check.

I'm all for local tradesmen making a living but not driving around in very expensive 4x4's because they can get away with charging high prices.



What is a fair price ?

What type of car should a tradesman drive ?

When you talk about trades people are you talking about one man in a van working from his garage

Or are you talking about a trades person employed by a local company

What is a fair rate for the following person

A cleaner

A Doctor

A Plumber

A Dentist

A lawyer

A block layer

Who works the hardest who will work themselves to death first?

Ross Le Brun

Your talking rubbish!

No one wants protectionism! We want regulation! Everything else is regulated here. Why are some so scared when talk of regulating visiting firms comes up? It's because they know full well the firm can leave without playing by the rules and paying in to the system, therefore can be 32% cheaper!

Why shouldn't a good tradesman who works hard and runs a good business drive a nice car? Would you be happier to see them in old bangers, threadbare clothes, barely able to feed their families and pay their mortgage? Is that what builders should look like?

Don't even mention competition! What competition is there currently when we aren't regulating these firms and allowing them to leave without paying anything!?

If you want competition you must want regulation.


Agree with you Newsreader, this was an overreaction to a minor issue that was quickly sorted. It seems as though Deputy Inder is trying to make a name for himself as this is being trumpeted as his victory rather than a trivial police matter.

An AI Forever

Utter nonsense

Strange how guernsey think its ok to help people avoid taxes in their country,yet when a builder comes with a better price its all wrong

Its a big wide world and guernsey is coming less attractive on all counts

Time to suck eggs

Le Goubert

Any States regulations on so called white van man must be balanced with the introduction of Trading Standards Regulations to stop local tradesmen ripping off local people.

If local householders are going to be subjected to a Protection Racket, at the very least we want to make sure the current lot of cowboys up their game and provide us with the service we pay for.

Ross Le Brun

Its like no one has the ability to understand.

Do you currently enjoy paying increased contributions and watching these firms come here and pay none which is why everything's going up to cover the short fall? These firms have been taken to petty debts by social security for the money they owed. The money they take off the island is in the millions each year! Hundreds of firms who should have registered with social security but haven't. One worked on a states contract for 2 years under all our investigators noses and left without paying a penny! All those other hundreds under the radar are free to come and go, work as long as they like and pay nothing because our pathetic lack of regulation let's them.



Whilst I think your intentions are good you need to step down from your high horse.

I'm an accountant and (with respect) think I have the ability to understand numbers better than a builder.

I'm currently contemplating a development that was costed at £3.2m (lowest of 3 quotes) by a local firm. A London based company quoted £2.1m, which option do you think I'm likely to take if I decide to proceed?

Ross Le Brun

Better than a builder? Good job I'm not a builder then eh!?

Hear that builders? This person who is an accountant and sits in an office knows how to price building jobs better than you. The fact youv been running your own businesses for years and making a profit each year and managing to live with Guernseys high costs in the least assisted industry on the island is just a coincidence.

There are lots of good accountants in Guernsey, probably an over supply given how most of our industries are shrinking, so its in all of your interests that the local companies all have work before accountants are all having to cut their throats to stay busy themselves. This is what I don't love about Guernsey, the general attitude of "I'm all right Jack".

Iv seen accountants try different ventures over here and fail and end up owing people money. Guernsey Live a prime example. Being able to count is only one skill. Builders obviously have that ability and the real world knowledge on how long things should take and how much things should cost in Gsy.

Hopefully you don't have the same kind of issues a site had over here last year with an English contractor on a £3 million job. Under priced on lots of things they needed to source locally that they hadn't investigated properly (like ready mix concrete for example. Under priced by 2/3!!) and ended up cutting corners to make up for shortfalls on their own pricing. Now the same client is using a different builder for further work.

Also, on a job like yours, that big, hopefully they all abide by our housing laws or you could end up falling foul of the laws and being fined thousands for employing workers without a local right to work like some were just last year.

I bet UK accountants are cheaper than local ones too?


Builder, drain monkey, ground worker, whatever, all the same to me i.e. labourers. Local labourers have taken the mickey for years, cost per square foot is 40% cheaper in South East England, and I'm not factoring in land cost, that is pure building costs. Then again in my experience UK labourers labour for 8 hours a day. Guernsey labourers do an hour, White Rock for brekkie, drive around town, back to work for an hour, lunch, another drive, back to work for an hour, home at 4. A 3 hour working day, at a cost of around £200-300. And you wonder why the building trade is struggling, go figure!!

Ross Le Brun

Are you trying to insult me? I'd put a laugh face thingy here if I could because that was pathetic!

What youve just posted is no better than kicking gravel as you walk away mumbling under your breath feebly trying to get the last word.

You can't have much work on in your accounting office if you can follow all these labourers round all day!

It's like you don't even understand economies of scale? You do realise that any local business that only supplies physically in Gsy, only has other islanders as custom, so restricted to a market of 60 odd thousand. Whereas In the UK businesses can trade with 60 odd million!!

If you can't work out that one stick to bean counting.


Nice to see that our sister island takes this matter seriously. Deputies, please note, you have been sitting on your hands for far too long.

Ross Le Brun

Yep! Makes our government look clueless! Well done Jsy. Only problem is these will be the next lot Barry talks to here in Gsy and asks us all to be tolerant to!

This is the problem when we vote based on fairy stories in a manifesto.

If you were recruiting for a manager of your business. You wouldn't ask for a list of things they would like to do. You would want an achievement based CV showing career history, what businesses they have run, why they ended if they ended etc so you can see what management skills they have. Or what problem solving skills. Could they manage their own finances? Did they create a succsefull business? Do they have the required skills and experience for us to trust them with the island to run!?

We end up voting in people who want to play politician, or those who are unemployable, have failed in businesses, are just after a wage for 4 years etc and we never find out because we don't do due diligence checks on them prior to election. You would never run a business like this!


I was thinking the same thing after yesterday's debacle.

In the past, politics tended to be something that you went into later in life as a second career, when you had already built up a lot of experience doing something else and could demonstrate a track record of success in whatever that was. There has been a worldwide trend to move into politics early (think Cameron starting in Conservative HQ or Blair abandoning law aged 30) and in aggregate I think it leads to poorer elected representatives.


McTavish & Ross Le Burn - You are both wrong I think. The whole point of democracy is that you, I or anybody can stand for election and its up to the voter to ask all the appropriate questions and establish their own threshold of what they think makes an appropriate Deputy.

It would be a dangerous to have a certain rules or criteria which would stop anyone standing for election.

The truth is the power and control is the hands of the voter and that is right. We, the electorate get the Deputies we deserve. If we feel there is nobody who meets our expectations we can always put our own necks on the block and stand for election ourselves and let others decide if we are good enough or not.

Personally I would want a mix of age, sex, religious beliefs and ethnic background as well those with academic ability and those with common sense.


Localguern - who said anything about putting rules in place to restrict who can stand? It was an observation that there is a worldwide trend to going into politics earlier these days - which I think accords with your comments about diversity - having people with a wide range of experience (and ideally achievements) prior to entering politics is also a type of diversity which should be encouraged.

It is of course a truism that every electorate gets the politicians it deserves. When assessing candidates I like to look at what they have achieved in the last term (if a sitting deputy) or in their prior career (if not) as well as what they claim to stand for. Others may apply different criteria, or even the same criteria but come to different conclusions. Part of the problem is that too many manifestos contain meaningless statements about (for example) "protecting our vital transport links" or "seeking a fair deal for all islanders but recognising the important of the finance industry" rather than setting out clear laws or policies that they would seek to implement.

Ross Le Brun

Local guern, OK, don't have restrictions who can stand but make obligatory to declare what your career history is. So many times we hear of deputies who got voted in who ran their own business but for whatever reason packed it in.

Would you not want to know these people have fundamentally sound appreciation of managing finances, staff, risk, changing markets etc?

I'm not happy that a manifesto is just whatever you would want people to see. Any other job you apply for you have to produce a CV because no other employer would accept a manifesto saying "I will do a really good job" over a CV that proves they can do a really good job. Yet we do this for those who are going to be in charge of the public purse!? Doesn't make sense..... Even less sense that this has never been brought up before. Voters conent with this poor system. Look where it's got us! Economy failing, over spends and poor management on various projects. We aren't getting the right skills and experience.


I have just read all the posts on here and there are some really good points.

In particular those who pointed out that the vast majority of us now purchase goods 'off island' via the internet make a very valid point. Books from Amazon, clothes and many, many other things.

There is no difference between buying those goods online and purchasing services from tradesmen not based in the UK. They all have an impact on the business's on this island. When I buy a book from Amazon I assume Guernsey tradesmen are of the opinion that I should purchase one from the local book store probably at an inflated price. The truth is the majority of us do now shop around online.

The problem or the advantage depending on which side of the fence you sit on is that we now have access to a global market via the internet and can purchase goods or services from any where in the world. Guernsey tradesmen now have to complete with that and there is nothing they can do about it.

It's like Canute trying to change the tide and the reality is that it is impossible do that.

So what do they do in order to survive ? Firstly offer an exemplary and skilled service that is delivered when and how I want it at a price that is within a reasonably competitive price when compared to competition.

Perhaps they should pack their vans and compete with those in the UK and do work on the mainland ? Guernsey should not lose out as they are required to declare world wide income earned on their Guernsey tax return.

Instead of having a go at me try to appeal to the likes of me and make me an offer I can't refuse. Stop being hypocritical as many of you traders purchase goods from the internet and are therefore affecting the profits of one of your fellow Guernsey traders or businesses.

Guernsey is a tiny place in a big old world that is increasingly becoming more an more connected and accessible to us all and that is no bad thing and you can't stop it.

For the few who have slated me for not being a true Guernsey local because I arrived here aged 2 some 70 plus years ago I can only say that your racism, lack of tolerance and general ignorance make me wish that my parents had never brought me here.


@ Local Guern

I am sure the people being most critical of you have no issue buying from Amazon rather than a local shop. Will be interested to see how they respond to your post.


How am I likely to find 'services' on line?

Perhaps they can fix my leak over the internet or the telephone?

If you are to criticize something, then criticize like for like


Curly - I can find the 'services' on the internet and research them at my leisure and look for good feedback. Once I am happy with the 'service' - my plastic windows for instance - can be delivered and installed by the 'service provider'.

Naturally if there is a leaking pipe or immediate need I have two choices.

Firstly see what the job is likely to involve by internet research and I can learn to do it myself by using the likes of You Tube.

Or secondly I can use a local tradesman and negotiate a price having learned about the process and the job from the internet so I have a good idea of what is likely to be involved rather than take the word of the local tradesman at face value.

I am the customer, employing that tradesman, and he needs to offer me great service, quality advice and a good price. If he does that he is likely to get the job.But look at the posts above from others who are not happy with what often appears to be poor, overpriced work along with poor customer service alongside a somewhat arrogant attitude towards the person who is paying their wages.


The late great Deputy Dave Jones moved to the island at a far older age than you did; nobody in their right mind would dare question his local credentials and rightly so.

In my humble opinon being "local" is more than just being able to trace your ancestors back to the 9th century. More than anything it's about embracing and respecting the island, it's unique culture and heritage.


I think the problem is the islands economy is in decline. This has lead to a drop in overall business activity. Normally this would lead to a more competitive environment and better prices. However because Guernsey has many factors that lead to a higher cost of living this means that companies find they have to maintain their prices or go out of business. This leads to more people getting products from UK or importing UK staff for work. This leads to a drop in companies market share and the cost of any essential local services/products that cannot be bought in from UK being astronomically high to compensate. Its a bit of a downward spiral for some trades/sectors.

I feel there needs to be a political solution. Jersey and the UK have had a more open door policy with regard to immigration and population growth (not always a good idea if uncontrolled). This has underpinned their economy during the last few years of financial turmoil. Guernsey has chosen a more frugal path but with a much smaller population we are exposed to a greater threat of recession. The politicians need to increase the population and free up restrictive planning laws to allow for an easier path onto property ladder. A big local infrastructure project that would bridge a generation might also be a good way forward. A serious look into investing in renewable tidal energy by Guernsey linked to developments such as deep water birth for cruise ships is needed. Land reclamation in Belle Greve Bay would be a great enabler of cheaper 1st time homes and space for higher population. Many of the local trades and services would run better with a slightly higher population levels as they currently run with excess capacity due to economies of scale.


Le Goubert

Good post CSence.

The Island needs to have a major gear change akin to the Industrial Revolution or we are going to get left behind.

Infrastructure projects always seem to be a winner, like the Val des Terres and the Market Building back in the day and in the short term they will pull us through troubled times.

I still don't know how our overheated property market is still going. I can only guess the tail end of the finance high-fliers has stopped it dropping off the cliff.

There is a link between affordable house prices, a skilled population and a thriving economy. At the moment we cannot retain skilled workers or attract outsiders to move here with our over inflated house prices.

And don't talk about Locate Guernsey who are currently p***ing in the wind trying to attract a handful of willing tax dodgers to move here. They don't seem to understand that without a workforce, and an aging population, we have diddly squat to offer anyone.


Ross Le Brun

Locate Guernsey were advising this firm and helping them advertise here. The same firm threatened sabotage of a local rivals vehicles. They also put pressure on the manufacturer of the product to ask the local supplier not to advertise the fact they can also offer the same product!

The apology was written by Orchard PR. Did Locate Gsy advise this also?

100% Donkey


You make some valid points but then get stuck in the housing/population debate. There is no appetite for Guernsey to increase its population, many consider there are too many living here as it is.

I never understand the constant need of many to get on to this Island's housing ladder. Sure it made sense in the past as it was a one way bet. Now it is the route to possible financial ruin. This Island is going to change but it will be in one direction - down. If there was a simple answer to this I'm sure many would jump at it. The reality is we are a one trick pony - finance.

Your point regarding tidal energy is well made and is a possibility of the future. As for filling in Belle Greve, that horse never made it out of the stable. The economy will dictate where this Island goes forward but the days of big projects are gone. Our tax base could shrink very quickly as Brexit unfolds......

guern abroad

Build more, increase population in one generation to bridge a gap... and then expect the same to have to occur for the next generation and so on. At what point do you stop, or do you keep repeating infinitum.

We shouldn't be scared of an aging population. Aging shouldn't mean an increase in health costs or reduced activity and economic input. We are scared of the aging population because we have got lazy and do not look after the one precious commodity in our control, our health. The bulge in the demographics is just that a bulge, if you pander to increasing population then you are creating an unsustainable approach and a bigger bulge for the next generation.

Ross Le Brun

Construction doesn't just mean building new. There are approx 25,000 properties on this little island! That's a big market of maintenance, renovations, extensions and alterations.


Guern Abroad, the consequences of an ageing population are very much something to be concerned about. Either everyone has to carry on working into their late 60's and even 70's or there will not be enough people earning money, supporting local businesses, paying taxes or even performing necessary services.

The existing housing control system is far from perfect but it has allowed us for decades to bring in people at the prime of their working life, without having to pay for their education or their old age. It would theoretically be possible to expand that system without increasing the "permanent" population, whilst also diluting the number of non-workers (for whatever reason) that we have to support.

IMHO, the problem lies with the whole philosophy behind the planning regulations - the tendency to resist change of use if in theory the land/building could still be used for its current purpose, rather than letting it be used for something more valuable. It might, for example, seem very clever to prevent a hotel being closed "because we need the bed stock" but it discourages others from investing in new hotels.

We should be much more open to redeveloping underused sites, including putting on medium-density housing (with plenty of parking provision obviously) to ensure enough accommodation whilst avoiding building on the remaining green spaces. Unfortunately I think we are about 20 years too late for this to be viable as you need a strong housing market to reduce the financial risk to the developer.


Ross, Paul & Trevor

I to have been on the receiving end of a Deputy Brehaut email having a go at a letter of mine that was printed in the press and they decided not to print my name and address but put my email only.

Goose and gander, pot and kettle etc come to mind.

He should have employed an English firm to do the Salerie then at least it may have been on budget.

Let's face it if we quoted a job and then tried to add another 150% I know what the answer would be.

What does confuse me is why no other deputy has done a vote of no confidence against him for this, just like they have ganged up on the education committee.


People need to look at the bigger picture here.

Comments in the GP yesterday from one lady saying that she & her husband had saved 60+% form using a father and son from the UK to work at their house.

All very well, but as a retired Civil Servant maybe she should have given more thought as to who is actually paying for her gold-plated pension, certainly not the father & son working at her property!


Johno - It's her money to spend and not yours. Nobody has the right to tell her or anyone how they spend their income.

I am sure you would be unhappy if you were told that you can only shop at Store A when next door Store B is offering a better deal for the same goods.

It is likely that you or members of your family have bought goods on the internet that could have been bought on island, therefore in exactly the same way, you are taking business away from a local business.

The fact she is a retired civil servant is of no relevance - she worked - paid her tax and had a contract with her employer. Good luck to her and don't be jealous.



Obviously a civil servant! You just don't get it do you.

If nobody used local tradesmen, then no tax gets paid therefore no money ion the pot to pay your gold plated pensions. Get it?


Jonjo - definitely never been a Civil Servant when I was working.

I certainly do get it - freedom of choice -is what it is called. Would you take that choice away from the public?

We don't live in some old Eastern Block country. The fundamentals are that you have no right whatsoever to think that you should dictate how someones taxed income should be spent. Do you not get it is THERE money, not yours , not mine. You can't dictate.

What a tradesman can do is try to appeal to the customer and sell their services and products in a professional manner.


You should be asking your deputies why you and I (working folk) pay more tax than multi-millionaire business owners in Guernsey, not trying to fix a market to increase the cost of living for fellow working folk!


Mark B Apologies trying to reply to the post you made above re tax. but having problems linking it. You said :-

'Local Guern - surly they are paying more, if you earn £1000 a month you'll pay

£200 tax, if you earn £4000 a month you pay £800 tax etc. etc. so the more you earn the more you pay. Also the richer people are the less likely they will be a burden on social security, even though they still have to pay it.'

My reply - You are right and that's the problem. In nearly all Western countries and using your figures, although I stress realistically it would be someone earning far more than your £4000 figure, the higher earner would not pay 20% but a higher rate % say, 40%, of his income which would be £1600.

Why? Because countries accept, as do most voters, in those countries that the more you earn the higher PERCENTAGE RATE you should pay to contribute to society as a whole. The burden of tax should be on the rich and not the low paid.

Why do you the wealthy have established themselves here - low tax ?

Here we prefer to protect the interests of the rich.


Honestly this is absolutely absurd, a company put a bit of building material on the side of the road for a short while then cleared it up.

We live in a free market economy, shall we close our borders to free economic trade, really? Kiss goodbye to schools and hospitals when we stop trading with non-islanders!

If we do ever decide to stop services and trades coming into Guernsey to provide our local families with affordable services then I'll set up my own TV broadcasting service from St Andrews and charge a £20K TV license to each household. Shall we stop ICI supplying States Water with the chemicals needed to make our drinking water safe whilst we're at it?


Statisaying - they are using a public facility for their own personal gain. Surely there is a problem right there? Why don't they use their customer's premises?

It's unsurprising that many people here are totally OK with importing services at the expense of their neighbours. I wonder how you'd all feel if I suggested a total deregulation of the housing market? No need to go cap in hand to the property cartel - just buy up a bit of land and plonk down your bungalow.


So the editor has finally put poem to paper in the Opinion column...

Something about the non local white van man not spending much with local suppliers. I'm not sure if it was this company, but not that long back there was a run of full page adverts from off island conservatory builders.

Would the press care to comment about how much income they get from advertising for off island companies?

While we're at it, how about some sort of explanation add to why they accept these adverts in the first place, and then go on to criticise them when they come here!

Ross Le Brun

Im glad the press has made comment and kept the issue hot so to speak but the only thing I would say about the opinion today is that local consumers would still have ability to use visiting firms but registering them would enable social security to collect SS which these firms frequently leave without registering or paying.

What is mind boggling is that locate Gsy which is a tax payer funded initiative by economic developement, the committee that is supposed to help and enable local business. They have been advising the crowd care of Grandes Rocques car park how to set up here and advertise even though the same firm assures our naive housing dept that they dont stay here for longer than 10 days so will never have to register or pay anything! What a waste of time and tax payers money by locate Gsy to help bang nails in to the construction industry!


Hi Ross

Do you have any proof of the involvement of Locate Gsy? It would be very interesting to see this.

Ross Le Brun

Not personally but the MD of the Irish firm told his local competitor who also supplies and fits these systems.


I would suggest you get firmer evidence before making such accusations, especially if you still have political aspirations.

It would be good to see some sort of response from Locate Guernsey.

Ross Le Brun

Well I don't know how firmer I can get other than from the horses mouth!?

You do realise Locate Guernsey exist to do this job and this job alone? It's clearly counter productive to the economy though if assisting firms who assure housing that they stick to the 10 day rule therefore never register or pay anything!

No states entity will tell you anything about any individuals or organisations due to data protection, or at least this is the line I always get when asking questions of the various departments.


Caveat Emptor, did you not do Latin at school? You're starting to sound like Trev, "so and so told me this, I've heard this on the grapevine etc". Best stay underground.


"Well I don't know how firmer I can get other than from the horses mouth!?"

Ha, how about something concrete? Making allegations based on something that was said to someone who then said it to you is about as firm as a omer flavoured jelly.

Ross Le Brun

What is so hard to believe that an initiative created by gov and funded by the tax payer to invite and assist visiting businesses to set up here has actually assisted an off island business to set up here?

Ross Le Brun

Maverick, no I didn't go to a school that taught Latin. I went to La Mare De Carteret. I await your next insulting, condescending, pompous reply.

Ross Le Brun

Right JJlehto, if you want to ask Ben Sparrow of Gsy Trade Windows what the MD of the Irish firm told him about Locate Gsy helping them give him a call on 07781400900. Iv just asked him if he'd mind me mentioning it and he says he's fine for you to call him up if you want so fill yer boots!

Oh, they can also offer better prices on lightweight conservatory roofing systems than any visiting firms, with the double whammy benefit of his earnings going back in to the system...


+1 GSY trade windows, Ben did an excellent job providing windows and doors at my parents house, very professional, not overpriced, nice chap and did a very good job. Definitely a local company I would use!



Thanks, hopefully Locate will respond too. Would be good to hear their side of the story.

Donkey Boiler

Surely there is a Health and Safety issue here. Just take a look at the picture, this activity should not take place in a public area. H&S are all over other aspects of our lives, including building sites, yet this transferring of builder's waste in a public car park in a scenic area is OK? Only Idiot Brehaut would think so. Well done Deputy Inder, between you and Brehaut I have no doubt who the majority of the public support.


@ Ross

This post is slightly off topic, but I heard you on the 'moan in' this morning, and I was shouting at the radio when one of the elected leaders said that 25 acres designated for housing at the Belle Greve site had been removed. The obvious question would have been, so when can 'Fred in the Shed' expect this parcel of 25 acres be divided up into useful secure parcels of land for industry to trade from???

Keep at it.

BTW, I concur with your assertion that people (mainly indigenous Guernsey folk) are leaving in their droves. Of course, now that the census method has been changed, another short sighted measure (is there nothing the Political class touch which doesn't end up a fiasco? That's rhetorical), it will be difficult to prove one way or the other. (my Christmas card list tells another story and the address book has been decimated in recent years by scribblings out and changes).

Ross Le Brun

Anyone else wants a listen from 1.12.40 mins in here

There was more I wanted to say but forgot and got cut off! I have no intention of becoming the next Gordon Young either! Just so happened that 2 deputies who I had emailed who hadn't acknowledged my email from 2 relevant committees to my concerns were on.

Joe said its a cost issue for yards. It's not! It's a lack of suitable use class sites available that's the issue! I'm sure Mash will confirm this...

Also, Joe said something along the lines of "what shall we do? Go to the airport and ask people in white coats (what white coats has to do with it I don't know!) what they a re doing here?"

Well, why not? In other countries, visitors have to declare what they are doing while in that country. We don't keep tabs and then we are left chasing our tails and trying to recover the contributions (yes Joe they are supposed to pay SS here which is why SS went in petty debts for a firm that was working right under their nose for 2 years on a states project). It's all just a joke!



Yards that are legal to use are not available I have personally contacted several Commercial Estate Agents and given a figure on £1M available for a Heavy Industrial site not one is available this is a fact

I have been informed that perhaps we should purchase a warehouse at say £6M and split it up in to smaller units this is a non starter

If Guernsey want to provide competition an with this lower labour rates that land has to be available for new company's to become established

The white Van man may be a lone trader contributing nothing either in Guernsey or in the UK

Or as the latest one to hit the news part of a bigger UK company that will be able to operate from a factory with much lower overheads than local traders

Without competition those remaining traders in Guernsey will be able to charge what they like.


Right, enough of this sort of thing.

Here it is.

Two words.


When purchasing services, goods or whatever the hell it is you're purchasing, the onus is on YOU, the PURCHASER / client / /customer, to ensure that you are not being ripped off / overcharged or whatever the hell, regardless of who/what/where you buy from.

YES, local tradies can be expensive, and YES, they've been living high on the hog in a restricted market for donkey's years, and yes yes yes, you can get get taken to the cleaners, and receive poor service, and wish you'd never employed them or got an extension built for granny, but that is the story of tradies the WORLD OVER, and it is our' job', as the purchasers of the aforementioned services / products, whether we like it or not, to engage our brain, be savvy, shop around, do our homework and take some damned responsibility to ensure we are NOT ripped off, because the world and everyone in it, whether we like it or not, is not all rainbows and bloney lollipops.

The alternative to 'rip off local tradies' is some chancers from somewhere in Europe / Ireland or wherever who will come in, do 'excellent work' for eff all (because they aren't encumbered with local rents / mortgages / taxes / Soc Soc), then bugger off in their white van they've been living in, having contributed NOTHING to the economy that we are all affected by and dependant on, and when it all goes t*ts up, find that the mobile no and company name they gave you doesn't actually exist, and they have absolutely no interest that granny has just disappeared down a massive hole that's appeared in her granny wing kitchen floor because they don't have to, they're gone, they have your money, so SEE YA!

It's all about choices, people, you want 'over priced' local tradies whose door you can turn up at 6am and demand some responsibility from for their actions? Great. You want a bunch of nice lads from Address Unknown do a fantastic job for peanuts and find their UK mobile disconnected when you call them to sort some snagging? Fine. But for goodness sakes, stop whining about the choices you've made, and take some bl**dy responsibility.

On a final note, well done Neil, keep up the good work.


I am currently dealing with a nice one. A white van man did some plumbing work because he was cheaper than a local. Unfortunately the work did not comply with Building Regulations and it was not notified to Building Control to comply with the law. The customer was unaware of this until they were flooded.

Legally, the customer is responsible to ensure that the work was notified and signed off. This has meant that his insurance are refusing to pay for the damage which is in excess of £10,000. Naturally, the white van man has not been traceable.

Ross Le Brun

Would be nice if these naive customers came forward to tell of the problems they have but they won't as they don't want to lose face and admit they made a mistake.


Yep, you pays your money, you takes your chance, unfortunately, the commercial world is a tough one.

I personally want a good local company/tradie with a local presence, but at a good price. If it takes a bit longer to find one, and it's a tad more than White Van Man, then that's fine by me, as long as I know I am using someone I can call and get to come and sort it out any snagging issues.

The old adage applies ref bargain tradies, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.


Having spent 10 years on site and the past 10 years working for a Structural Engineering practice i have worked with many good local and off island contractors, that said I have also worked with some really appalling local and off island contractors too.

I am currently in the process of designing/detailing/building my own house and am more than happy to say that I will be importing materials etc from off island as I can get far higher quality products at a much lower cost. A quick Google will provide reviews and company information so finding a good reputable contractor/manufacturer/supplier shouldn't be too difficult.

I too would prefer to use local resources where possible but I struggle with the local builder attitude (obviously there are exceptions) rude, delays, poor workmanship, over priced and this is assuming that they even bother returning quotes!

I work under the principle that if you cannot deliver a simple quotation, you certainly will not be working on my house!

The industry in general has a lot to answer for but I won't be held to ransom by a sub standard 'tradesmen' regardless if I am helping our economy or not...........after all its my money which I have worked hard for, therefore I will do with it as I see fit.

Ross Le Brun

A few here missing the point. No one has said anyone wants to stop consumers having a choice!

The current laws being actually and robustly enforced would be a start. The investigators have been going off word of mouth for the length of stays. Even when working on states contracts for 2 years firms can avoid the system!

I was told by an electrical contractor friend of mine that a site just last year had visiting contractors on and when the investigator turned up and asked details a contractor just refused to give them. The investigator had to just walk away and did. They have no powers to demand information and because of this, even when caught working ilegally, or over the 10 days with no right to work and not having registered with social security that it shows how toothless and exploitable this "system" is.

So stop bringing choice or buying off amazon in to it because its only a simple register of whos on Gsy at any given time. Just like lots of other countries operate now. Even our fellow Channel Islands Jersey and Alderney do this!


Ross, whilst you might not have said you wanted to stop consumers having a choice, others have insinuated that it is wrong to employ non-Guernsey businesses over Guernsey businesses. Which is very similar to the Amazon argument. It would be rather hypocritical to slate others for saving money by using non-Guernsey tradesman whilst at the same time not using Guernsey shops and instead buying from Amazon.

Personally I always use Guernsey builders etc, but have found it takes a bit of trial and error to get to the good ones. I have experienced some shocking/clueless tradesman over the past few years.

guern abroad

Seems a relevant thread to post this reminder that came up on my feed. I would hate to think it got missed by those desperate for business accommodation, the extended the deadline to Wednesday 25 January 2017 .

Ross Le Brun

Yes didn't just get missed but not even sent out! I'm a Fontaine tenant, I didn't get it and neither did others even though we all had one on one consultations with them. Mine with Joe Mooney also!!


Quite right too, Ross, as I have already said, you pays your money you takes your chance.

I would defend anyone's right to choose who they give their hard earned to, what I won't defend is the fact that in the majority of the Western world workers and businesses have to have the relevant permits and licences, which go some way (at least) to protecting the customer, but that here, we don't have that process.

Here, we have a plethora of tradies (so called) who can just turn up on the ferry, live in their van, and go pitching for jobs, that don't bother paying Soc Sec or tax, don't have the relevant insurance, Police checks, or, in some cases, the proper experience to ensure the job is completed properly and safely, and it would appear that there is absolutely nothing to stop them from doing it, and that no one is authority gives a toss.

St Kev thought it was a storm in a teacup and it's still not being taken seriously by the likes of Barry B and his merry band, and the beat goes on, Guernsey is SO damned open for business you can just pitch up and do as you like, no consequences, no fines, no rules, just (in a lot of cases) earn a tonne of cash then disappear, never to be seen (or heard from) again.

THAT is the real problem here.


I am all for regulation of outside trades coming into the island but can we also have some regulation that all trades, local or non-local, are fit to do the job and have skills beyond average DIY skills that justify their charges?

Ross Le Brun

It's up to the customer to ask these questions. They don't ask the visiting firms though... I'd like the same system for election candidates. What credentials do you have?


Sorry Ross, but you think Guernsey residents ask for the credentials of Guernsey tradesmen but they don't ask visiting firms? That doesn't make any sense!

Ross Le Brun

I didn't say they do. I said its up to them to ask. If they do ask visiting firms they must be happy to use them without qualifications because many don't have any.

Ross Le Brun

Just to be clear, my "what credentials do you have?" Line wasn't directed at you but as a voter asking election candidates.

An AI Forever


But you are quite happy to let the finance industry assist people to avoid tax in their place of domicile

One boot fits all

If you cant take it, dont give it out

Ross Le Brun

I'm sorry, the finance industry isn't my realm but they are another industry that is regulated here.

Gsy wouldn't allow "White Van Hedge Fund Man" to turn up trade and take people's money, then leave without having something to say. Wouldn't want the UK getting upset we are allowing anything dodgy.

But yet without enforcing current laws, or having any system to register these businesses and individuals arriving here, to share info with their home jurisdiction, Gsy is actively assisting UK firms from all sectors to have the ability to evade tax on earnings here.