Guernsey Press

Consensus in States means nothing if the decisions are wrong

Consensus government is back, as stated by our new, or reintroduced, chief minister, but this does not mean everything is good and our island is in for good times ahead.

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Consensus is just a word that means a group of people are in agreement about something. It does not mean it is necessarily the right decision. I mean, we had a consensus in government to pull down two schools and turn them into housing.

We had a consensus that St Peter Port School was beyond repair and a new school had to be built.

We had a consensus that La Mare de Carteret School was totally unfit for use and it had to be vacated sooner rather than later.

We had a consensus that schools should be closed when the parents and children of those schools were quite happy with them.

Then, lo and behold, the St Peter Port School building was reused and now some years later is no use again and a majority of our deputies are happy to borrow £55m. to sort it out. Then La Mare de Carteret – that was so bad we were informed it was top priority to get the pupils and teachers out of it as soon as possible – is miraculously OK to remain in use for another five or six years.

This consensus of borrowing in government will mean more higher taxes down the line for the people.

It will also cost a shedload more than the £55m. in payback.

So you see, a consensus in government means nothing if the decisions are wrong.

Making repairs to the schools we had, like The Ladies’ College and the Boys Grammar School that were built in granite.

Also repairing the St Peter Port School instead of turning a blind eye – which seems the most consensus we get in the States – would have saved the island millions.

Also, not building places with flat roofs might be better.

All this rubbish about building places with a life span does not work for anyone with common sense either. Take a look around at places like Amherst and Vauvert Schools for example.

If there is a consensus this island needs to take notice of, then listen to the people.

Rod Hamon

5 Rosemount, Mont Arrive, St Peter Port