Listening to the Assembly conduct it’s business yesterday (22 April) and indeed this morning, it is clearly obvious that although a small number of Deputies are awakening to the reality of our new Covid world, most have not comprehended that bickering over issues such as the IDP or the anti-tank wall have no relevance in the new context.
The upcoming 5 year review of the IDP brought about some sensible thinking from Peter Ferbrache who declared it was no longer fit for purpose, which it clearly wasn’t even before the crisis and at the other end of the scale, Lester Queripel stating that his committtee (Planning), really, really did not want to change course or suspend the review. Karl Meerveld regailed everyone with a ridiculous list of what he was growing in his home garden despite the opposition from the planners to permit formal change of use. Why bother – nobody is interested and in this regard he is no better than Deputy Dawn Tyndall, who, when she is not posting pictures of herself on the occasion of her birthday on social media, is parading her obsession with legal minutiae for the umpteenth time in the Chamber as if that gives her any credence whatsoever. Lester Queripel further admitted that the IDP rules permit no scope for compassion or common sense when coming to decisions – and not seemingly ashamed of such an admission.
The CCA got the assembly to back their further erosion of our democratic rights to bring into law, the emergency powers which permits things like a £10,000 penalty for transgressions of the ‘lockdown’ rules, or (if they so decree), 65 year olds and over, not being permitted to leave their homes. Deputy Laurie Queripel was the only one to abstain in an otherwise unanimous vote.
The old chestnut of the anti-tank wall removal at L’Ancresse gave them almost 2 half days to squabble over the Requete to prevent it happening. Unbelievably, even with the announcement of P&Rs intention to seek permission to borrow half a billion pounds to cope with their disastrous decision to pursue economic annihilation in Guernsey, the diehards in the Environment committee, grimly held on to their original arguments to spend huge amounts on returning this area to the ravages of the sea with sand dune defences instead. In a neck and neck finish, Deputy John Gollop, could not be contacted during the actual vote and it came out at 18-18. This meant it was lost until it transpired that Deputy Gollop was actually there and couldn’t get his phone to work to vote. On the re-run (almost unheard of), his ‘pour’ vote swung it in favour of the Requete – and we won’t be spending squillions unnecessarily after all. Never mind, the Deputies still have a list a mile long that no doubt they will fight tooth and nail to defend spending – with money we don’t have – or will have to borrow to pay for.
You couldn’t make this stuff up.
How they voted on the Requete to pause the proposed demolition:
In favour (of saving the unnecessary expenditure)
Alderney rep Steve Roberts, Peter Ferbrache, John Gollop, Marc Leadbeater, Joe Mooney, Paul Le Pelley, Jane Stephens, Carl Meerveld, Neil Inder, Mary Lowe, Laurie Queripel, Jeremy Smithies, Chris Green, Barry Paint, Al Brouard, Andrea Dudley-Owen, David de Lisle, Rob Prow, Victoria Oliver.
Against (and for spending more money we no longer have)
Dawn Tindall, Barry Brehaut, Rhian Tooley, Charles Parkinson, Michelle Le Clerc, Lyndon Trott, Jennifer Merrett, Gavin St Pier, Matt Fallaize, Sarah Hansmann-Rouxel, Richard Graham, Mark Dorey, Jonathan Le Tocq, Emilie Mc Swiggan, Shane Langlois, Heidi Soulsby, Lindsay de Sausmarez, Peter Roffey.