Manifesto 2008

Scott Ogier     St. Sampsons

Proposed by : Mrs. Sheila Elmy          Seconded by: Mr. Albert Perrio

 Dear Elector,

Firstly I am sorry I am unable to meet you face to face, due to a bad knee I am unable to walk the parish as I did in 2004. However, I welcome your phone calls or e-mails to discuss any issues you feel are important.

In 2004 I was elected as a Deputy for St. Sampsons and have spent the last four years working on your behalf in the States.

What did I say?

I said in 2004 I had strong environmental and social concerns. I told you I was against the incineration of all of our waste unless it had been comprehensively sorted to remove everything which could be of use. I said I would work towards recycling and alternative energy such as wind and tidal power sources. I wanted to see new schools being built and old schools renovated. I was also in favour of halting the flow of raw untreated sewage into the waters which surround our island.

So what have I done?

In 2004 I put myself forward for and was successfully elected onto the Social Security Department, Public Accounts Committee and later the Public Services Department. My work was varied and included strengthening pensions (work which needs to continue), main drain provision (I signed the Main Drain Requete for Les Effards main drain extension), the investigation of over-spends and overseeing the Clinical Block review.  My busy workload put me in the top 5 for States members meetings in 2007.

Solid Waste

My first action as a Deputy was to bring a requete asking for an investigation into the proposed 70,000 tonne mass burn incinerator. It was successful and the resulting review recommended not proceeding with the Incinerator. The States agreed with the recommendations of this review.

When a vacancy arose, the States voted me onto the Public Services Department which is responsible for waste. The Department has been working hard and the amount of waste we send to land fill has been brought down. We are now composting our green waste for reuse and our recycling rate has increased from 19% to 31% with a 50% target.

The various methods of Doorstep recycling are currently being modeled by Public Services Department with a view to implementing this across the island – something I argued for very strongly in 2004. We are about to go out again to tender for a solution to our waste. More importantly, this time, as well as an Incinerator, we are also able to seek out different solutions.

This different approach could include mechanical separation of waste resulting in a much smaller heat treatment plant to process the residual wastes after sorting – something I also argued for very strongly in 2004. This change in strategy could mean a heat treatment plant of around 40,000 tonnes instead of the 100 foot high 70,000 tonne plant that we were due to build 4 years ago.

People warned me things wouldn’t change overnight and they were right. I have been dismayed at the slow pace of change; there is still resistance to environmental matters in many quarters but I have high hopes that in the next sitting of the house this will not be the case.

Sewage

As a member of Public Services I worked very hard in bringing a report on sewage treatment to the States. Due to the current financial climate the States did not support the building of a Sewage treatment plant at this time. I will work towards bringing this issue before the house again should I be a successful candidate.

Zero/10

I did not support the Zero/10 taxation strategy. I felt it was unfair for Islanders to bear the brunt of the loss of corporation tax. I was supportive of the Charles Parkinson Zero/20 strategy which would have resulted in the burden of taxation being shared more equally by the business community.

Population

I am resistant to increasing the population above current levels. I recognize that due to a declining birth rate (our population is predicted to fall over the next 40 years) the shortfall must be made up in order for business to find enough workers but I would like to see more incentives and tax breaks for local families to raise children to fill those gaps rather than just bringing in workers to fill the vacancies here on island.

St. Sampsons School.

Whilst a decision on the fate of the school has yet to be made, it seems that any closure would be for financial reasons rather than for the educational advantage of the pupils. My general belief is that smaller schools make better schools and I do not believe that 4 year-olds should be carrying the burden of a zero taxation product.

Economy

The Finance Industry has changed the social and physical landscape of the island. In return for this, islanders were promised and expected to reap the benefits of a buoyant and booming economy. However, not all islanders have benefited equally. The cost of living is high, our children find it difficult to afford their own homes and not everyone enjoys the advantages which the Finance Industry brings. There is no doubt it has made Guernsey a pleasant place to live for many; we need to ensure that all the people of Guernsey derive benefit from inviting the Finance Industry here.

 Energy

I pushed hard for the setup of a group to look at the energy use of the island. I was keen to ensure that Guernsey was able to use its natural renewable resources rather than rely solely on the importation of oil or nuclear power. The Policy Council set up the Energy Policy Steering Group 2 years ago and invited me to become a member. As well as investigating methods to promote a reduction in energy and fossil fuel use, this group is working hard to ensure the opportunity to harness the renewable resources we could enjoy is grasped.

 Climate change

In the years to come I believe Climate Change concerns will play a more centre stage position than they have done and rightly so. The recent flooding at high tides reminded us how vulnerable we are as an island. We must ensure we play our part in preparing for the effects locally as well as joining in the international drive to prevent the situation worsening. There are indications our oil supply is weakening, exacerbated by the growing economies of India and China. It would be wise and prudent to take steps to prepare ourselves for a world where oil is less readily available than we take for granted.


 


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