Introduction

I am a 28 year old local woman living in St Peter Port North with my son and partner. I worked in finance for more than a decade but now run my own holistic therapy business. I'm a trainee psychotherapist and work part time at the hospital.

I believe passionately in equality and opportunity for all. I want to make Guernsey a happier, healthier and greener place. I want to stand up for the ordinary Guernsey man and woman. Too often, the States make decisions that favour business over people and that needs to change.

We need to maintain the Rainy Day Fund and live within our means but we must not lose sight of the fact that the government exists to look after the people.

If elected, my main focus would be improving the lives of Guernsey people: I want to make us all healthier, physically and mentally; I want to make Guernsey more affordable for everyone; I want a fairer society.

Education

Our children need a stable school environment. They need to have faith that what they're learning is what they'll need to secure their future. They need the security of knowing that the school they are in now will still be there in their last year. I believe that the cost of education should be measured by how well it serves the children, not in pounds and pence. Decisions on our education system must be made quickly and based first and foremost on our children's needs, not budgetary constraints. Education is the key ingredient to building a great future for our next generations. We must get it right.

Green Guernsey

I would like to see Guernsey become self sufficient in its energy supply. We have a unique opportunity in Guernsey to explore the benefits of tidal, solar and wind power as alternative sources of energy. At present we rely on the import of electricity from France to supplement what the power station produces, which drives up the cost for everyone.

I am also concerned about our current methods of waste management. The waste strategy agreed in 2012 has gone by the wayside. Now, rather than composting and recycling, Public Services have reverted to landfill and export of our rubbish. The waste management strategy needs to be reviewed and re-thought.

Housing

It has become very difficult for the average islander to afford their own home. Young people in particular are affected by this because of the high cost of renting. Buying a home has become something of a pipe dream for many local people. I am concerned that many young islanders are moving off island, solely because they cannot afford to live here.

While it isn't an easy problem to solve, there are ways in which the States could alleviate this problem. More housing association properties and greater availability of States loans are just two ways to help first time buyers get on the property ladder.

Health and Social Care

I am greatly concerned about mental health care in Guernsey. The new facility at the PEH is wonderful but we need to ensure that we have adequate staffing levels and low staff turnover. It is important that we break down the social stigma of mental health problems and offer legal protection to sufferers. We must tackle the ever-growing levels of depression and stress related illness and do all we can to reduce the incidence of suicide. While the States have voted in favour of the Disability and Inclusion Strategy, legislation has yet to be implemented. This is a priority.

Disability and Inclusion Strategy

Guernsey is in the 1% to not have signed the UN Convention on the ‘Rights of Persons with Disabilities’. What we call, ‘Disability’ is a Social Construct – Disability looks at what is wrong with a person. Rights for Disabled People need to be prioritised and as an island, we should be making sure that Disabled Islanders have the same opportunity and rights as everybody else. Most people assume that a Disabled Person is someone who uses a wheelchair but this is not the case. A great many people have ‘Hidden Impairments’ for example: Communication/Learning difficulties, Sensory Impairment, a Mental Health condition, Autism, Lung disease, Heart issues, even Stroke or Alzheimer’s/Dementia (the list is not exhaustive. This is something I wish to help change if you choose me to be your St Peter Port North deputy. #MakeItReal for everyone affected by Disability. Help me help you towards a more Inclusive and Equitable Bailiwick.

Earnings and Tax

One of the biggest bars to equality is poverty. While our single rate of tax makes Guernsey attractive for very wealthy people and high earners, the vast majority of Guernsey people don't fall into this category. We need to make the island more affordable and fair for everyone.

There are ways within the current system in which this could be achieved. We could, for example, increase personal allowances for Income Tax in order to alleviate the burden on lower earning islanders. By increasing personal allowances, rather than focussing on, for example, increasing minimum wage or introducing tax bands, we can ensure that those who need it most, like young families, benefit most.

Island Wide Voting

The current system of voting relies on personality rather than ideology. Individuals are voted into the States by parish and it can be difficult to determine what sort of government is likely to result from an election. Will there be a majority view? Do more people want to follow the UK in austerity or does the island want to encourage growth by spending? Which direction will the States go?

One of the advantages of Island Wide Voting is that deputies are more likely to be elected based on their politics or how well they did in a previous term. The main disadvantage is for the voter - having to read every manifesto at each election. I would like to see Island Wide Voting introduced as I believe it would result in a more representative government.

Drug Reform

Drugs are a Health Issue, not a Criminal Issue.

Worldwide, drug policies are being reviewed. The UN has agreed that the "war on drugs" has failed. That war has criminalised many otherwise law-abiding citizens, left addicts at the mercy of criminal gangs and allowed those gangs to make easy profits that can then be used to finance further crime. A drug pusher doesn't ask for ID; he tries to sell his drug to as many people as possible. He doesn't care if that person is your child. He doesn't care if the drug he's selling is safe.

We need to stop this damaging trade. With drug law reform we can move drug production and retail into a regulated environment, much as we do with tobacco and alcohol. By de-criminalising the use of drugs we can enable users to tell their doctors when they have a problem, enable friends to call an ambulance when someone overdoses and identify users in danger of addiction. We can offer help.

I believe Guernsey should review its drug policy in light of what has been achieved in Portugal, Columbia, Ecuador, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Uruguay and the US states of Washington and Colorado (to name a few).

It should also be noted that there is significant revenue to be made from a regulated market. It has been estimated that the UK could make £6.7billion a year from the legalisation of cannabis alone (source: Independent Drug Monitoring Unit). This includes potential tax revenues, criminal justice savings and additional costs of regulation.

If we use this estimate as a guide for Guernsey, based on population, we could be generating revenue of £6.7million each year. Import and Excise Duties, at £36.8million in 2014, are the second largest income stream for the States of Guernsey. Only Income Tax receipts are higher.