‘It’s important to understand we are deputies of the people’

A PLANNED 10-minute quick chat with Chris Blin soon turns into 50 minutes and it becomes obvious that he loves meeting people and communicating.

Deputy Chris Blin. (29209761)
Deputy Chris Blin. (29209761)

This first-time deputy has a very varied curriculum vitae, starting up his own businesses and also working across different sectors – finance, hospitality and retail.

He said his new role was suiting him well, and he gave kudos to the civil service for bringing all the newcomers up to speed.

‘I’m here now to do a job as a deputy and be involved with the people. My main thing is that I want to make sure that people can talk to me, businesses can talk to me, and as an independent I can work with all the other committees and members.

‘If I could put a message out it would be that I would like to be available to connect, because there are so many issues that the island is dealing with, especially in this time right now, which is the beginning of the difficult times.

‘Our job is to listen, support and understand, and then try and see if we can work with other States members to see what can be done.

‘I think it’s so important to understand that we are deputies of the people.’

The payroll co-funding scheme is one area where he has been helping businesses which are having problems with it.

Despite the many challenges ahead, particularly from Covid and Brexit, Deputy Blin agreed that he was a glass half-full kind of person.

He speaks fast (but not quite as fast as Deputy Peter Ferbrache) and has lots of ideas.

‘Anyone who’s a self-starter or has run their own businesses knows that everything can become an opportunity, and we’ve got to invite those.

‘We have to take some risks, we have to seek and find opportunities from what’s happening.

‘We now have a chance to reinvent ourselves, we’ve got a chance to reinvent tourism. Will it become more regional? Will it need this larger transportation? Will it become more boutique with maybe Festung Guernsey or Victor Hugo?

‘We have these opportunities to slightly change our direction. We need to look at food, we are so dependent on the UK and outside and only 4% of our food is produced over here, so we have an ability to do that.

‘That will lead to jobs, that will create opportunities, and so will all of this new technology, fintech, and the digital work, it’s now an opportunity for us to carpe diem, seize the day.’

Deputy Blin is a member of the Transport Licensing Authority, and the president of the Overseas Aid & Development Commission.

On Overseas Aid, he wants to encourage more match-funding, and also get more children involved in finding out about the projects that the island supports.

He describes his politics as pro-economy with a compassionate side so that no one gets left behind.

An international upbringing fostered a love of languages

(he is fluent in French and Spanish) and travelling, although of course that is now on hold, and as Deputy Blin put it: ‘now starts the true work, there’s a lot in front of us’.

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