Principles and Objectives

The 2020 Association has formulated general principles and objectives which it intends to expand into a core manifesto to be presented before the 2020 Election.  We will lend our support to candidates for the States who subscribe to our approach and aims.

We aim to:

  • Bring into the States a cohesive group of politicians, who are both of demonstrated capability, and willing to act sensibly but decisively and to avoid procrastination and habitual recourse to expensive consultants, drawing on on-island expertise wherever practicable.
  • Invest in the infrastructure of the island to support economic growth, and establish a framework of reliable and reasonably affordable transport links to meet the needs and wishes of islanders, of business and of tourism.
  • Encourage and support the finance industry, especially world-beating green finance, and encourage new businesses, with a culture of positivity towards initiatives.
  • Promote “small” government, by reducing red tape, and regulation, and promoting “joined up thinking” across the States and the Civil Service.
  • Acknowledge the value of Open Market residents and use their skills; cautiously  relax, and if necessary suspend, over-rigid Population Management rules.
  • Cut waste and pollution, in particular by reducing non-degradable plastics.
  • Promote greater use of public transport, reduce transport dependency on hydrocarbons, and move firmly towards environmentally sustainable energy sources.
  • Strive to ensure a decent and uniformly available standard of primary and secondary health care, and a basic sufficient standard of living, for all.
  • Pursue the alleviation of real in-work poverty, and recognise the priority that should be given to the well-being of our poorer islanders.
  • Review the conduct of States Assembly business, promoting focus and efficiency by limiting speeches and timing meetings so as to enable participation, as Deputies, by persons in full time employment.
  • Respect broad public opinion, considering pressure from single issue groups with caution and objectivity.
  • Introduce a Freedom of Information Law.
  • Restore more local functions to the Douzaines, including enabling their input as to decisions on planning control, whilst enhancing their accountability.
  • Support the Colleges in providing further and adult education, and monitor the secondary education system to ensure that it best provides the skills, academic and technical training to equip all our young people for success in adult life.  
  • Ensure that tax is imposed fairly and reasonably as regards all strata of society, and that Guernsey retains its attractive and enterprise-encouraging character as a low tax regime, with no introduction of stealth taxes.

Briefing note 6

The briefing note below is the latest in our series summarising prospective business at States Meetings, to enable 2020 Association Members to be informed. It is largely self explanatory. It is regretted that this States Meeting has come closer on the heels of the previous one, such that it has not been possible to send out this note in time for member comments, but it will nonetheless at least keep members informed, in particular about the matter which seems to us to be the most concerning.

Future States Business brief (6) – Meeting of 12 June 2019

Apart from routine matters such as elections of members to committee places, and the usual array of statutory instruments on such routine matters such as animal and plant health measures and formalities for import duties, there are only three items of substantive business which really merit note or comment. (We therefore mention only in passing measures to coordinate the timing of meetings of certain States Committees with budget dates, and to make minor amendments to anti-money-laundering legislation as a result of practical experience. )

The three items which deserve actual note are, first, the approval of a measure to formalise the constitutional position that Westminster cannot impose legislation into Guernsey’s domestic law without the specific approval of the States of Deliberation. This is obviously to be welcomed in the light of the well-known hostility to the Island on the part of certain grandstanding politicians in the UK.

The second such item is approval being sought to bring forward legislation to re-organise the provision of health care funding in Guernsey by bringing all aspects of this (including associated aspects such as medical benefits, medical travel funding, and suchlike) under the umbrella of the Committee for Health and Social Care,rather than with the current split between that Committee and the Committee for Employment and Social Security. This is an obviously sensible measure of efficient rationalisation, but apparently (if unsurprisingly) requires a good deal of legislation to provide for the mechanics of budgeting and of setting up and controlling the appropriate funds, including the destination of existing funds. It is not expected to make any very obvious difference to islanders in everyday practice. It is to be noted, though, that, within this legislation, the way appears to be being paved for the relaxation of, or the introduction of flexibility into, the present rules specifically limiting what medicines or drugs will be provided at States expense, and also that the proposals include the giving of authority to press ahead with a complete review and overhaul of the present system for levying social security contributions, in pursuance of a resolution passed at the time of the Personal Tax Pensions and Benefits Review of 2015. So watch this space.

This brings us to the third item, which is that of the most concern on this States Meeting Agenda which is the Policy and Resources Future Digital Services document, which can be found here. In essence it asks the States to decide:

 

  • To enter into a ten-year contract with Agilisys Guernsey Limited following P&R’s approval of the Full Business Case.
  • To transfer States staff to this new entity of which the States would have a ‘golden shareholding’, thereby providing the States with a degree of control
  • To approve or acknowledge various funding amounts of: £1.4m, £2.0m, £26.9m, £16.7m in the short term, with total costs over 10 year span of £200m+.

After careful analysis of the 63 page policy document we believe that the The Future Digital Services policy, in its current form, is too vague on the transformation it is seeking to achieve.

For the States to enter into a partnership with Agilysis for the purpose of achieving vague, aspirational goals has all the appearance of a commercial disaster waiting to happen. We feel that it is premature, highly risky and almost certainly doomed to failure. It is disturbing that the States are seeking to have their hands held without specifying accurately what they want or where they will be led.

Whilst a detailed analysis is beyond the scope of this briefing note, we suggest that further work to identify the need and a specific plan to address the States’ requirements is needed before entering into a 10 year contract, especially where £200m of tax payer’s money is at stake.

For example, there appear to be no specifications for each major area/project (for example: Revenue Services, HSSD, Education, Planning, Cadastre and general document storage inter alia) and there is no clear indication of how such new projects (if they are indeed created) will interoperate, what platforms they will use, and little detail of how they will be provided (except that they may be ‘cloud based’). Indeed we would expect such areas to have been the subject of detailed analysis before seeking any tender bids or entering into any partnership.

One might well ask how it is possible to make the jump from deciding to enter into this partnership and drafting contracts to ensure adequate performance? Where are the fully formed terms of reference? How will it be enforced? What happens if it goes wrong?

Some parts of the document appear to seek to have a ‘feel good’ factor instead of substance, and appear to be deviating into joint venture areas instead of concentrating on core States IT systems.

IT projects are infamous for going over budget and failing to deliver the benefits promised. This is in no small part due to their complexity and the lack of specific IT knowledge in decision makers. Consequently, we believe the appropriate response is a detailed scoping and planning exercise by experts that can help reduce the risk before committing to such a vast project. We welcome the work done thus far but feel there is still a further stage of planning before awarding such a large contract.

The perils of vague IT projects: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/sep/18/nhs-records-system-10bn

This article highlights the financial risks of lofty & vague IT projects. The Institute for Government also offers some sound advice on how best to approach them: https://amp.theguardian.com/technology/2014/aug/19/costly-trail-british-government-it-disasters-universal-credit
 

Tom Gash, the Director of Research at the Institute for Government: “There are some patterns here we’ve seen in a lot of other failed projects,” he says. “The one that stands out is doing a ‘big bang’, announcing it all at once.”

(Further information regarding future States Business can be found on www.gov.gg under “Search States Meetings Information.”)

Airport Runway (Part B) information response from P&R

On the 2nd May 2019, we demanded to see PwC Part B Tender docs under the States of Guernsey Code of Practice for Access to Public Information (2014).

We asked because the figure of up to £700,000 was given in P&R’s policy letter relating to the review of strategic air and sea links infrastructure.. but by the States meeting of 26 April it had become of £700,000.

We wanted to know how many tender submissions there were, what the scope of the the tenders was and what was their breakdown.

On the 24th May 2019, P&R declined to provide any further details on the airlinks tender.

This response is exactly why a proportionate freedom of information law is a necessity.

P&R must conduct business in a transparent and accountable manner.

Briefing note 5

The briefing note below is the latest in our series summarising prospective business at States Meetings, to enable 2020 Association Members to be informed. It is largely self explanatory; as usual, Members’ comments are welcome.

 

Future States Business brief (5) – Meeting of 22 May 2019

As usual, there is routine business as well as some more interesting topics. The routine business comprises, first, certain elections, namely (i) the President of the States Development and Planning Authority (to replace Deputy Gollop following his recent resignation), (ii) certain Governors of the Ladies College and (iii) the re-election of the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Panel for the Administrative Decisions (Review) Board, Deputy Green and Mr Richard Heaume) for a further term.

 

(A list of complaints received by this Panel since 2015 and their outcomes is appended to the Billet for the 22 May meeting. Very few appear to go anywhere, mostly dividing between those which were declined on the grounds that the complainant had a legal remedy which ought to be pursued, and those which were not pursued after unspecified “discussions” with the relevant authority or committee.)

 

Second, there is a total of 23 Ordinances, Regulations and Orders laid before the Assembly effectively for confirmation. Most of these are contingency preparations for Brexit. They therefore range through a hugely diverse set of matters. at one extreme regarding the implementation of international trade agreements, the regulation of customs and tariffs, of company acquisitions of animal health and of medicines, and at the other extreme, down to the registration of trailers, the importation of bees, exemptions to seat belt requirements, and paving the way for a code of regulation for the crewing of small merchant vessels.

 

There is one proposed piece of primary legislation for which States approval is sought, being a very short measure to allow an individual to receive a carer’s allowance under the Severe Disability and Carer’s Allowance (Guernsey) Law 1984 at the same time as receiving any benefit under the Social Insurance (Guernsey) Law, 1978.

 

The more interesting topics appear under the “Other Business” before the States.

 

The first is probably not controversial in all the circumstances. It is approval being requested to proposed amendments to the Public Servants’ Pension Scheme Rules 2016. The background is that general and universal changes to the terms of public service pensions were proposed in 2015, to make the expense of these pensions more sustainable, as people lived longer. The proposals were accepted by a majority of the Association of States Employees Organisations, and the Policy Council approved this as being therefore representative of approval generally, and the new scheme and its Rules were therefore implemented in 2016. However, certain sections of public servants, represented by the Unite union, did not accept the new scheme and instituted a legal challenge. This dispute went to mediation and was settled, to avoid the expense (and bad feeling) of a trial. The agreement reached at mediation was approved by a majority of those represented by Unite, and therefore became binding. The effect of the agreement, however, is to introduce further options with regard to the new scheme, different from those contained in the 2016 Rules. The effect of the amendments being proposed is therefore to make these further alternatives available generally to all States employees, for fairness.

 

The only further points which need noting are, first, that there is a separate section explaining the application of the new form of the scheme to judicial officers (ie the full time judges and the senior Crown Officers), who are not States Employees, but who participate in the pension scheme. It is explained that the provisions in relation to those office holders are designed to bring the scheme into line with changes to the judicial pension schemes implemented in the UK. The second further point is that the opportunity is also being taken to provide for certain unintended consequences and omissions in the 2016 Rules, such as unintentional discrimination against same sex marriage partners.

 

The precise terms of these pension provisions are are very complex, as one would expect, and a full and accurate review is beyond the scope of this briefing note. An introduction, for those interested further, can be found in the explanatory letter to this item of States Business on the gov.gg website.

 

The next piece of “other business” is a Requete by seven States Members with regard to the policy for disposal of inert waste. This asks the States to alter the present policy to dispose of inert waste (once the present landfill site at Longue Hougue is full) by further land reclamation at that site, and instead to direct the States Trading and Supervisory Board to prefer, and to investigate and pursue, the option to use such inert waste for the purpose of redeveloping St Peter Port Harbour. An illustrative phased proposal suggests the creation, over four years, of a block extension out from the current Eastern Breakwater beyond the QEII Marina, followed by the creation, over a further period of 10-15 years, of a further pier or piers from this, southwards, parallel to the White Rock pier, and the enlargement northwards of the original area of extension. The economic case and possibilities for such a proposal are argued, and its consistency with previous States’ approach to considering an alternative to further land reclamation at Longue Hougue as well as the objective of harbour redevelopment is pressed, whilst stressing that the proposals put forward are illustrative only, the principle behind them being to make economic use of inert waste towards the accepted desirable objective of harbour redevelopment.

 

Once again, it is beyond the scope of this briefing note to set out more detail of the Requete proposals and it is understood that proposed amendments may well be laid, although this Association has no knowledge of what these might be. Whilst there is obvious sense behind such a proposal – far better to make good economic use of inert waste for something rather than simply looking for where it can be dumped – the concern must surely be that this is too narrow a proposal to be pursued alone. The sensitive and economically effective redevelopment of St Peter Port harbour requires a broad visionary scheme on a much wider general basis. Recently Richard Digard referred, in an article in the Guernsey Press, to one such wide scheme proposal, including the generation of tidal power, the accommodation of cruise ships, and associated economic and “green” benefits, which has not been widely publicised despite having potential financial backing, and which has seemingly been either dismissed, or suppressed, by the States. Surely, though, it cannot be sensible to pursue one particular aspect of harbour redevelopment without ensuring that it will at least fit with, and not interfere with or limit, any wider and more all-inclusive harbour redevelopment strategy which it may be desirable to pursue?

 

That really concludes the States Business agenda. The only further point to note is the appending to this agenda of the Annual Report for 2018 of the States Scrutiny Management Committee. This Committee operates as both a panel scrutinising key areas of government policies and spending, and also considering law reform. Its report makes interesting reading, and the overall impression is that the committee has been doing a good and energetic job at holding States departments to account, sometimes in the face of indignant objection.

 

A tone of some frustration can be detected in the report. The Committee points out that its scrutiny function is, inevitably, retrospective, and that it is for the Deputies and others who sit on Committees and Authorities to carry out oversight functions on a current basis as business is conducted. Perhaps, though, the most interesting sign of frustration is revealed by the following quotation.

 

    “The Scrutiny Management Committee believes through its experience gained to date that the new system of government is failing to allow sufficient scrutiny of financial matters. It is our collective opinion that the States of Guernsey must provide greater financial transparency and we continue to monitor developments closely. We believe additional access to information and the ability to influence policy, as enjoyed by other jurisdictions, would significantly improve the current position.”

 

A review of the activities of the Committee suggests that it takes its mandate seriously and its efforts are to be applauded.

 

(Further information regarding future States Business can be found on www.gov.gg under “Search States Meetings Information.”)

 

Fund PwC Airlinks Part B – vote Option 1(b)!

At its States Meeting to be held this week, the States are to consider a proposal to fund Part B of the PwC Strategic options review – Part A of their work.

Part B entails producing a cost benefit analysis relating to a runway extension as recommended by PwC. It is Option 1(b) of the Proposition to be voted upon.

In our survey, which concluded yesterday, 2020 members voted overwhelmingly to perform Part B, as follows:

Over 90% of respondents wanted Part B to be funded in one form or another. More than half respondents wanted the States to perform Part B in relation to a 1700 – 1799m extension, a little under half, Part B for all options. Only a very few wanted the other options, including doing nothing.

Option 1(b) of P&R’s Review of Strategic Air and Sea Link Infrastructure(P.2019/21) provides for completing Part B, the consideration of the technical, regulatory, environmental and economic aspects of extending the airport runway.

To recapitulate, we asked our members to choose between the following options:

Do nothing – don’t fund Part B. (The Chamber of Commerce and Institute of Directors made a joint submission which P&R received on or shortly after the 14/09/2018. In the section relating to economic impact due to the weakness in the island’s connectivity:

the impact would approach £100m per annum in lost GDP to the island”).

Perform analysis in relation to a 1,570m extension only. (PwC Report, Pg 20: “The 1,570m extension appears to be the best runway option if it is feasible from a commercial and operational perspective for more than one airline.” (However there is a caveat on  page 14 relating to payload restrictions)).

Perform analysis in relation to a 1,700 to 1799m extension only. (PwC Report, Pg. 20: “A 1,700 -1,800m extension should be taken forward as the primary alternative to the 1,570m option. There are clear additional benefits and it is lower risk in the longer term, although there may be a substantial cost difference”).

Perform analysis for all options.

They could also add their own preferences.

P&R’s 12/12/18 statement was strongly against performing Part B, but it did not appear based in fact.

 

Lower fares NOT an option to longer runway

A front page article in the Guernsey Press headed ‘Lower fares option to longer runway’ states that ‘A STATES-FUNDED reduction in air fares could be introduced rather than a runway extension, but it could cost around £8m. a year.

The suggestion is that there could be direct subsidy for airlines instead of a runway extension. It quotes a £10 reduction per ticket costing £8m a year. This pronouncement is quite extraordinary!

It would be more expensive than an extension in less than a decade. It would be less impactful (a £10 saving is scarcely going to make a game changing difference and turn Guernsey into a vibrant economy to which tourists and business would flock. And it would be less sustainable – surely Guernsey wouldn’t commit to spending £8m a year in perpetuity. Perhaps most importantly, it would probably be illegal – certainly if applied only to Aurigny.

This surely also raises other issues:

Aurigny Group is perpetually ‘recapitalized’ and not ‘subsidised’, but:

  1. do Aurigny ever pay these loans back?
  2. if the loans are written off, does this not constitute a subsidy through the back door? (in practical terms it would appear to)?
  3. if this is so, does it not fall foul of UK competition laws?

Public sector operator subsidies are allowed on PSO/lifeline routes which could never make a profit, but this cannot really be claimed for Guernsey. Route support is allowed to start up new routes for a while until routes are profitable or abandoned, usually scaled over three years, but that is not this case. Subsidies can also be given as ‘route support’ i.e. reduced landing fees, but these have to be available to every airline.

It may be because of the above that Alastair Ford, Head of Shareholder Executive of States’ Trading Assets, was quoted by the Press as saying “That could conceivably include States funding to reduce fares on any service, not just those offered by Aurigny”.

Examining more of the proposals as quoted in the Guernsey press creates little confidence in the depth or soundness of any reasoning behind them.

There is a comparison between “infrastructure options” and “market based options” when “addressing concerns about airlinks” and this is a preference for the latter. This, though, suggests a belief that you can improve things just by improving routes, or increasing publicity, to attract traffic – and that this is actually viable. But you won’t get routes unless you can land the planes and this approach has surely already been tried with the existing runway length, and has not worked – eg, London City and other regional UK airports, and the reduction of passenger numbers in the face of all the marketing efforts of VisitGuernsey.

Just offering holiday routes to Norwich (or wherever else Aurigny’s marketing people think they can offer for a weekly service in the summer as a gimmick) is not going either to make Aurigny profitable or increase the tourist and business traffic to Guernsey.

This suggestion of knocking £10 off air fares, rather than build a runway extension and move Guernsey at least some way towards the 21st century, is either populist or pathetically naive thinking, and just calculated to bring about another kick of the can down the road, as usual.

This suggestion has been given front page coverage by the Guernsey Press. It is sad that the 2020 Association’s “Fact Check”, in which it compared the PwC Report on extending the runway, with the P&R statement made to the States in regard to this report before it was made public, has not been thought to be worth similar reporting.

© 2019 The 2020 Association

Briefing note 4

The briefing note below is the latest in our series summarising prospective business at States Meetings, to enable 2020 Association Members to be informed. It is largely self explanatory; as usual, Members’ comments are welcome.

Future States Business brief (4) – Meeting of 24 April 2019.

Let us go straight to the big issue for the States Debate at this meeting, which is item 4 on the Agenda, the Review of Air and Sea Links Infrastructure.

With regard to air links, P&R are going to ask the States to support the extension of the airport runway from 1463m to 1570m, which can be carried out within existing boundaries, and to rule out further investigation of the case for extending the runway to 1700/1800m, which would require some extension of the airport boundary towards the East, although only into land already reserved, in planning terms, for such purpose. This latter is acknowledged to be a more “future proofed” long term solution, but would, obviously, take longer to implement, cause more physical disruption, and be more expensive (although the logic behind the stated objection that there would be increased costs in “servicing an airport scaled towards greater payload capacity” seems odd, bearing in mind that increasing capacity seems to be the very advantage being sought). Whilst the arguments presented in P&R’s policy letter are all, accordingly, tailored in favour of the former as their preferred option, they do propose that if the States are not satisfied with this minimum extension project (which was so shortsightedly not carried out in the course of the last round of airport improvements in 2011/12 – another example of Guernsey moving little and late), then they invite the States to approve a capital vote of up to £700,000  for studying the economic business case for the longer extension (This surprisingly high figure appears to arise from its unnecessarily covering the costs of all possible studies.)

2020 takes credit for having brought the PwC Report itself into the public domain four weeks ago, so as to do so sufficiently in advance of this debate for the public, and Deputies, to have time to compare the actual terms of that Report with the presentation made to the States in December.  It was then that P&R’s intention to rule out further investigation of the business case for a longer runway was announced, but whilst still keeping secret the PwC Report and preventing the soundness of their reasons from being assessed by outsiders: see 2020 Association demands to see PwC reports on transport links and Air links P&R Statement – Fact check.

There is no room in a briefing note to rehearse the various arguments with regard to this issue,  good, bad or dubious, but 2020 will conduct a survey of members to ascertain their views. P&R’s arguments can be found in the Policy Letter contained in the Billet for this Meeting on the States Website at https://www.gov.gg/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=118448&p=0

As a point of passing interest, Jersey has a runway of 1690m.

With regard to sea links, P&R’s recommendation is simply to allow for another £400,000 to be spent on investigating two of the four “contingency options” identified as possible future courses of action, having regard to stated concerns about the present services, and the possible sale of Condor Ltd, and the fact that Condor’s service agreement terminates in 2024, but with a prior three year period for discussing its continuation or wind down and exit. The preferred options are those of (a) investigating the willingness of other ferry operators to take over the service, and (b) the States of Guernsey itself acquiring its own fleet and providing the service.  The options of the States of Guernsey seeking to acquire Condor Limited, either alone or jointly with the States of Jersey, are not recommended.

The only other matter of States Business of immediate general interest is the Report and proposals regarding the implementation of Island Wide Voting for the 2020 election. These go, in general, to the practical considerations of managing this system. The Report reviews, in chronological terms, the various aspects and implications of an island wide election, such as compiling the electoral roll, the eligibility of candidates, expenditure (both that likely to be incurred by the states and also that to be permitted to candidates), permissible donations, and the practical arrangements for polling day itself and the subsequent installation of Deputies. Nothing of particular moment arises, but this item is a timely reminder to Members that the objectives of the 2020 Association are to gather a sufficient group of candidates for Deputyship, of common sense, ability and like-minded views on core policy issues, so as to enable Association members’ views to carry weight in the next States Assembly.  Members are all asked to help in this direction, both by recruiting more members to our cause, and by identifying suitable candidates.

To be noted in passing is a proposal to modernise the Statutes of Elizabeth College, both to increase the number of Directors on its Board and to detach the governance of the College from close connections with the church through the Dean of Guernsey, and also from the involvement of the States itself, by removing the requirement for Deputies to be Directors of the College. This is in the light of the phasing out of Special Place Holders at the College, and the current trend towards the strict separation of private and public educational opportunities – which some will no doubt find very sad.

The remainder of States Business for this Meeting is either esoteric or mundane.    In the former category there is the final text of a lengthy Ordinance, previously authorised by the States, to apply the Nairobi International Convention for the Removal of Wrecks to Guernsey. [Shipwrecks of course – Ed].    In the latter category come the legislative instruments laid before the Assembly simply for approval.  These cover regulations on such topics as fees for foreign aircraft and for liquor licensing, and the destruction of electoral ballot papers, and they require no further comment.

We are having our first public meeting at Les Cotils on the 2nd May 2019 at 7pm where we will discuss much of the above. It’s free. Please click on the link to confirm your attendance. Bring friends and family.

Membership of The 2020 Association is free – we’re not trying to get your money but your support! Please join.

Information regarding future States Business can be found on www.gov.gg under “Search States Meetings Information.”

Air links P&R Statement – Fact check

The 2020 Association considers air links to be a top priority for Guernsey’s economic development.

We were disappointed by the 12 December 2018 statement by the Vice-President of the Policy & Resources Committee renouncing further investigation into a runway extension.

As part of our assessment of the rationale behind P&R’s announcement, we demanded publication of the PwC Air Links report.

Following our success we have been able to review the PwC report and feel obliged to point out that the P&R statement is at odds with many of the detailed findings in the PwC report and its overall conclusion.

Whilst these are numerous, we have outlined three critical contradictions at the start of this article (labelled Claims A, B and C) which are with regard to fundamental matters in informing our ongoing support of producing a cost benefit analysis relating to a runway extension (i.e.  Part B of the exercise as recommended by PwC).

We then continue with a more detailed examination of the comparison of the contents of the PwC Report, other sources and the statements made to the States as recorded in Hansard and the account of these statements as they now appear on the government website (labelled Claims 1 – 7).

We welcome views from the public and media on the runway extension. Please contact us via Facebook, email or a direct comment at the bottom of this article.

We are having our first public meeting at Les Cotils on the 2nd May 2019 at 7pm in relation to this. Please click on the link to confirm your attendance.

The three critical contradictions:

Claim A
Policy and Resources Statement

“The Policy & Resources Committee has reached the conclusion that the option of extending the airport runway will not be a game changer in respect of our connectivity”.

PwC Report

“The 1,570m extension appears to be the best runway option if it is feasible from a commercial and operational perspective for more than one airline”.

“A 1,700 -1,800m extension should be taken forward as the primary alternative to the 1,570m option. There are clear additional benefits and it is lower risk in the longer term, although there may be a substantial cost difference”.

2020 Conclusion – FALSE

The P&R statement contradicts the commissioned PwC report.

Claim B

Policy and Resources Statement

“The truth of the matter is that if [sic] were to extend the runway to the length that PwC indicate it would be a game changer, we would need a huge and complex planning inquiry, probably to bulldoze part of St. Peter’s…”

PwC Report

“Because of the geographical characteristics of the airport, an extension of the runway that goes beyond the existing boundary is likely to require filling in a ‘valley’ to the east, which would have an associated cost”.

2020 Conclusion – FALSE

The P&R statement contradicts the commissioned PwC report.

We also note the P&R statement contradicts Island Development Plan Policy IP4 “Airport Related Development Proposals relating to the operation or safety of the airport will be supported”.

Claim C

Policy and Resources Statement

“…enormous investment on which there may never be a return”.

PwC Report

“ASM have estimated that the extension plans would bring additional value to the Guernsey economy.”

On the 1700m extension: “We recommend that this is taken forward as the other runway reference case and subjected to detailed cost-benefit analysis to determine if the greater cost of this option justifies the tangible benefits”.

2020 Conclusion – FALSE

The P&R statement contradicts a previously commissioned report from ASM and concludes on a cost benefit analysis that has not yet been completed and that the recently commissioned PwC report actually recommends. They call it ‘Part B’.

A more detailed examination:

The following is a more detailed examination of the P&R Statement.

Our work became more complicated than it at first appeared: the statement as issued on the gov.gg website is manifestly different to the official Hansard in critical areas. Gov.gg statement quotations in green, Hansard quotations in orange, black where they both agree.

Claim 1

Gov.gg Para 25: The Policy & Resources Committee has reached the conclusion that the option of extending the airport runway will not be a game changer in respect of our connectivity”

Hansard Line 871: “..the Policy & Resources Committee has reached the conclusion – and we are unanimous in everything I am telling you this morning – that the option of extending the airport runway will not be a game-changer in respect of our connectivity.”

Gov.gg Para 43: “Sir, the Policy & Resources committee does not believe a case has been made to extend the runway, so we do not propose undertaking further work.”

Hansard Line 917: “Sir, the Policy & Resources Committee does not believe a value for money case has been made to extend the runway, so we do not propose undertaking further work.”

PwC Report, Pg. 20: “A 1,700 -1,800m extension should be taken forward as the primary alternative to the 1,570m option. There are clear additional benefits and it is lower risk in the longer term, although there may be a substantial cost difference”

PwC Report, Pg 20: “The 1,570m extension appears to be the best runway option if it is feasible from a commercial and operational perspective for more than one airline.” (However there is a caveat on  page 14 relating to payload restrictions.)

2003 BAE SYSTEMS Infrastructure Solutions: Guernsey Airport Runway extension, JAC Report1/Issue3/27.01.03: Pg 15

“5.6 Conclusion

For the purpose of runway length, therefore, the new generation of regional jets have been selected as the design aircraft, as these are likely to form the majority of scheduled jet aircraft movements towards the end of the 25 year planning period.

This results in a required runway length not less than 1700m as being a minimum requirement to allow satisfactory payload range performance for these types of aircraft.”

2003 November 26 Billet, Para 6.4 (Pg 2391) ends: “..A runway length of 1,700 metres is the minimum to enable, “satisfactory payload range performance for these types of aircraft.” (page 15, BAE SYSTEMS Infrastructure Solutions’ Guernsey Airport – Runway Extension Report 1 – Runway and Taxiways, January 2003).”

2020 Conclusion – NO BASIS IN FACT

1700m was a solution 15 years ago to future proof us for the next 25 years.

Claim 2

Gov.gg Para 26: “The truth of the matter is that if [sic] were to extend the runway to the length that PwC indicate it would be a game changer, we would need a huge and complex planning inquiry, probably to bulldoze part of St. Peter’s, and enormous investment on which there may never be a return.”

Hansard Line 875: “What we do know is that if we were to extend the runway to the length that PwC indicate it would be a game-changer. We would need a huge and complex planning inquiry, probably to raze to the ground part of St Peter’s and enormous investment on which there may never be a return. The truth, Members of the States, that so far at least, there is no compelling or even marginal business case for an extension of that magnitude.”

We break this down:
Claim 2.1
Gov.gg and Hansard: “..we would need a huge and complex planning inquiry..”

Island Development Plan section 20.5, pg 21 states:

“Policy IP4: Airport Related Development
Proposals relating to the operation or safety of the airport will be supported where it would ensure the continued effective, efficient and safe operation of the airport.”

2020 Conclusion – FALSE

The 2016 IDP effectively reserves the land for airport use.

 Claim 2.2

Gov.gg: “..probably to bulldoze part of St. Peter’s..”

Hansard: “..probably to raze to the ground part of St Peter’s..”

2020 Conclusion – FALSE

St Peter’s in Guernsey lies to the west of the runway. Recommended 1700 – 1799m development examined in PwC report on page 20 lies to the east; there is nothing in the report that suggests that any work needs done beyond the existing western boundary.

A Code 3 (1200- 1799m) paved runway will remain within the current airport boundaries. However a RESA would have to be accommodated to the east of the existing boundary, presumably over the La Villaize Rd. or by infilling it.

 Claim 2.3

Gov.gg and Hansard: “..and enormous investment on which there may never be a return”

1700m extension costed at £23M in 2003, (at least) £23M in 2009,

option C2 in Billet XXIV 2009 volume2 p.1857 gives indicative cost.

The Chamber of Commerce and Institute of Directors made a joint submission which P&R received on or shortly after the 14/09/2018. In the section relating to economic impact due to the weakness in the island’s connectivity:

“the impact would approach £100m per annum in lost GDP to the island”

2020 Conclusion – SPIN

Recuperation period for Guernsey economy seems short.

Has the cost of not doing anything been calculated?

Air visitors are at their lowest since 1998. Economy suffering.

Claim 2.4

Gov.gg Para 25: “The Policy & Resources Committee has reached the conclusion that the option of extending the airport runway will not be a game changer in respect of our connectivity”

2020 Conclusion – SPIN

This seems in contradiction with Hansard Line 875:  What we do know is that if we were to extend the runway to the length that PwC indicate it would be a game-changer.

 Claim 2.5

Missing from Gov.gg version

Hansard Line 878: “The truth, Members of the States, that so far at least, there is no compelling or even marginal business case for an extension of that magnitude.”

2020 Conclusion – MISLEADING

PwC proposed a professional, fact-based cost/benefit evaluation (business case) of a runway extension as Part B of the process, but this has not yet been undertaken. P&R have established their position before the facts, and it appears that they do not want them to be evaluated.

Note: The 2018 PwC Report, 2003 BAE SYSTEMS Infrastructure Solutions JAC Report and the generally accepted development would be a 1700 – 1799m runway. The pavement could be contained within the current airport boundary. A RESA (runway end safety area) would need to be created to the east of the current airport boundary. 

The PwC Report does not recommend the 2000m option.

In order for the Aurigny jet to autoland in fog a minimum runway length of 1650 m is required as the landing distance is increased when a E195 is autolanding even if the radio aids and runway lighting was improved to CAT 3. The current Guernsey runway length is limiting even for the E195.

Claim 3

Gov.gg Para 27: “The Policy & Resources Committee does not believe that the community nor the political body has the appetite for that. Therefore spending hundreds of thousands of pounds of tax payers’ money on listing the pros and cons of a set of runway extensions that are unlikely to be built in our lifetime will not be a worthwhile exercise”

Hansard Line 880: same with qualifier “.. a set of runway extensions that in our view are unlikely to be built in our lifetime will not be a worthwhile exercise”

Gov.gg Para 31: “So if the States does not agree with P&R’s recommendation, if States Members believe that their parishioners want us to spend upwards of half a million pounds investigating the runways further, then they will have the opportunity to direct the Policy & Resources Committee otherwise.”

(Hansard Line 890 substituted ‘parishioners’ with ‘constituents’)

The PwC Report, Pg 20, states ..“A 1700 – 1800m runway extension should be taken forward as the primary alternative to the 1570m option. There are clear additional benefits and it is lower risk in the longer term” they go on to say that this “..would be likely to provide benefits in terms of opening up Guernsey to a wider range of fleet and airline options, including British Airways and European charter operations” and they continue “We recommend that this is taken forward as the other runway reference case and subjected to detailed cost – benefit analysis to determine if the greater cost of this option justifies the tangible benefits.”

2020 Conclusion – MISSING BASIS IN FACT

That analysis would form Part B of the Report (the business case) which must be completed for at least a 1700 – 1799m extension before an opinion such as P&R’s above can be reached. A proper decision making process is obligatory for all major investments; policy must not be formed on a whim. It must be made in an objective, evidence based manner.

Where does P&R’s ‘belief’ come from?

Claim 4

Gov.gg Para 39 – 43: “Let me be clear then, on the Policy & Resources Committee’s position as it concludes its review:

What islanders consistently tell us is that they want frequency; what a longer runway offers is potentially less frequency as larger aeroplanes rotate routes less frequently.

What Economic Development wants is choice; a longer runway does not guarantee choice – airlines could start flying in on the current runway if they see a business case.

What our island wants is an island airline with the right fleet and a commitment to the island – not a procession of so-called brand airlines cherry picking routes every summer.

Sir, the Policy & Resources committee does not believe a case has been made to extend the runway, so we do not propose undertaking further work.”

Hansard Line 913 substitutes “..What Economic
Development, completely understandably, wants is choice. ..”

and Line 917: “Policy & Resources Committee does not believe a value for money case has been made to extend the runway..”

PwC Report, Pg 34: “The importance of each indicator varies by passenger group. Reliability is a key issue for all passengers”

In the split between ‘Business’, Leisure’ and ‘Visiting Friends and Relatives’, affordability is in all groups, and top of two.

Frequency is not mentioned on this page.

The CofC/IOD’s press release states that competitive fares are most important (80% of respondents) and frequency is 5th (28%). We quote:

“The IoD and Chamber are concerned that the States are failing to address the concerns of the business community in respect of the evaluation of the islands air and sea links.

The statement made by Deputy Lyndon Trott on behalf of P&R issued to the States on 12th December suggests conclusions have already been drawn in the evaluation of the current status and assessment for the development of the air links and sea links infrastructure. Whilst we agree with the opening statements regarding the criticality of the impact of our transport links, we disagree with the recommendation to terminate the evaluation of air links without having completed the evaluation process.

With regards to the Policy and Resources Statement the IoD and Chamber would like to clarify the following specific points: 

(1)   The business groups undertook the survey and submission at the ‘specific request’ of the Economic Development/ Policy and Resources committees in support of the work undertaken by PWC. 

(2)   The joint member survey clearly identified “Competitive Fares” as the top priority for Guernsey’s connections with London, highlighted by 80% of respondents. The need for “6 flights per day to Gatwick though out the year” was 5th, highlighted by 28% respondents.  Given P&R’s statement it would be helpful to understand evidential basis on which they identified frequency as the leading consideration in the development of air links. 

(3)   It is apparent that Policy and Resources have focused on an extension to 2000m, which is inconsistent with our prior understanding that the PWC review was recommending investigations of two much more modest options, 1550m and 1750m. It would be helpful to understand why such an extreme position which would clearly cause a lot of distress in the local Parish has been proposed as the solution against which to judge viability. 

The survey clearly expressed the concern of the business community with the current situation, the lack of progress and the lack of a cohesive plan to evolve our air and sea links leading to a lack of confidence to make investment in the business environment.”

2020 Conclusion – NO BASIS IN FACT

The CofC/IOD drew their conclusions from material in circulation prior to this P&R statement and indeed that statement referred to those surveys. (Para 21)

Claim 5

Gov.gg Para 41: “What Economic Development wants is choice; a longer runway does not guarantee choice – airlines could start flying in on the current runway if they see a business case.”

Hansard line 910: What Economic Development, completely understandably, wants is choice. A longer runway does not guarantee choice – airlines could start flying in on the current runway if they see a business case.

2020 Conclusion – UNCLEAR OR MISLEADING

What was inferred by ‘choice’? Implication is choice of airlines.

If so, this is not true in sense they can only fly in restricted aircraft and or reduced payloads. No low cost Easyjet / Ryanair. So selective airlines only. Aurigny.

Claim 6
Both Paras 11 – 13: “Back in 2016, the-then new Committee for Economic Development told us it would be bold and brave. But there was little progress on air and sea links… (and ending) …That was why the President of the Policy and Resources Committee and I submitted an amendment to take forward a review of air and sea links infrastructure which was wholeheartedly supported and agreed by the Assembly.”

The sequence of events was as follows:

The States’ meeting of 27th June 2017 on the P&R Plan had the following submission from the CfED:

On p.147 second bullet point it stated “Examine the viability of extending the runway in order to facilitate additional connections with the UK and Europe by Q4 2017 and report the findings to the States.”

Deputies Roffey and Soulsby drafted an amendment to remove this work stream.

Following the brouhaha that followed P&R suggested the following amendment which was passed by the assembly. The Roffey/Soulsby amendment was withdrawn.

Amendment 29 was – “To insert at the end of the words in Proposition 6 b): “, but subject to deleting the “Guernsey Runway Extension (Pipeline) from table 27 and replacing it with “Strategic Air and Sea Links Infrastructure (Pipeline)”.”

The time frame for delivery therefore became the responsibility of P&R.

P&R were aware of this and the sequence of events is recorded in Hansard for the appropriate meeting & particularly so as P&R laid the amendment to do the work:

 
and the final amendment was:
 
 
2020 Conclusion – FALSE
 
The Committee for Economic Development work stream was stopped and taken over by P&R.
Claim 7

Gov.gg Para 30: “We should also remember that [sic]he States’ Trading Supervisory Board is looking at extending the RESA, as directed by the States, and is reporting back in the first quarter of 2019, and the requerants have said that this might be the solution needed.” 

Hansard Line 885: “We should also remember that the States’ Trading Supervisory Board is looking at extending the runway end safety areas (RESAs), as directed by the States, and is reporting back in the first quarter of 2019, and the requérants have said that this might be the solution needed.”

Both: Para 72 /  Line 970:  Repeated in summary: “Work on the extension of the RESA”

Deputy Kuttelwascher’s Requete on the length of Guernsey’s runway does not seek to extend the RESA, it suggests  reducing the RESA at the eastern end of the runway to 90m, and the potential use of EMAS and other measures, if required. It does not discuss the RESAs in the plural, and that is significant.

In spite of Deputy Kuttelwasher’s challenges to the P&R spokesman in the question time (Hansard line 1010), and a nonsensical response being offered (Hansard line 1019), no correction was made.

All members of P&R including the spokesman voted for the above requête on the 24th Oct 18.

Using existing runway.

2020 Conclusion – FALSE

The spokesman did not understand the subject.

Deputy Trott, Hansard, line 1043: “We have an obligation in Government to be open and transparent. We have an obligation to be honest with our community.”

The following is a comparison between part of the the published version of the statement on the gov.gg website, and the Hansard, where the Hansard version is the struck out text, and the underlined that on the gov.gg website.

© 2019 The 2020 Association