Guernsey Press

Show leadership or go, former VP tells P&R

POLICY & RESOURCES has been urged to change its leadership style or resign.

Deputy Heidi Soulsby. (Picture by Luke Le Prevost, 32109422)

Heidi Soulsby, who walked out as the committee’s vice-president late last year, believes the senior committee should go unless it is prepared to sort out division and tribalism which she said was destroying the current States.

In a blistering letter published in today’s Guernsey Press, Deputy Soulsby cited the recent collapse of the States’ landmark tax and spending debate as an example of P&R’s poor leadership and refusal to compromise with other deputies.

‘Unless things change and change quickly, we really will deserve to be called the worst States ever,’ she said.

‘My belief is that, just like me, many deputies have had enough of the “us and them” attitude that has pervaded this particular States.’

Deputy Soulsby said that two members of P&R – president Deputy Peter Ferbrache and Deputy Bob Murray – had seemed willing to compromise during the failed tax debate but some other members of the committee were not interested.

‘We, as an island, cannot afford such an attitude,’ she said.

‘Rather than buck passing and mixed messages, we want to see leadership. True leadership requires bringing people with you, not entrenching partisan divisions or indulging personal grievances, and we urgently need to bring everyone on board to steer the States in the right direction for our community.

‘Now, more than ever before, we as a States must work together. The senior committee must learn the lessons from the last few months, show some humility and set an example from the top.

‘The alternative is that they stand aside and let others lead collegiately because it is blindingly obvious that the current situation is untenable.

‘Tribalism is destructive. Trust and mutual respect need to be re-established or the community will suffer.’

Meanwhile, in another letter published in today’s Guernsey Press, Deputy Sue Aldwell has said the problem comes from people outside the States, including newspaper columnists.

She revealed that she would not encourage other women to enter the States at present because of ‘constant corrosive, undermining, misogynistic comments’ from outside the Assembly.