Wednesday 10 June 2020
The first steps in setting out how Guernsey will not only recover economically within the next three years, but improve on where it would have been, are today set out in the newly published 'Revive and Thrive' Recovery Strategy.
In setting out its vision, the Strategy states: "We will work in partnership to recover our economic prosperity, build on our inclusive community values and capitalise on our many strengths to make Guernsey a safe haven based on sustaining health, wealth and community."
This Strategy will also seek to build a more sustainable economy, growing new sectors and whilst also addressing pressing social and environmental issues. It will deliver improved infrastructure through major investment, in turn supporting local industry. And it will look to improve our health, wellbeing and build on the strong sense of community already present and shown over the last few months.
The Strategy sets the highest-level framework for how these aims are achieved. From here, Government will need to work with the community, business and third sector groups, to develop three action plans which together will form the core of the overall strategy. These will be:
- The Sustainable Economy Plan
- The Health and Care Plan
- The Community Plan
Deputy Gavin St Pier, President of the Policy & Resources Committee said:
"We've come so far as a community during the COVID-19 pandemic. It's changed everything in many ways - economically we're in a completely different situation, our public finances are under enormous strain - and yet, the GuernseyTogether spirit has demonstrated the strength of community, a recognition that we are in it together and together we can achieve so much. I hope the whole Bailiwick will hold on to that as we get ready to deal with the complex challenge of our recovery, and support our aim not just to revive our economy and community, but to help it thrive going forward.
"This Strategy is just a first step, and it needs a lot of thinking and a lot of work to make our aims real. I am conscious that it cannot become like other big Government plans of the past and lose its way as we bounce between day-to-day issues in politics and in our lives, it must be focused and deliverable. I hope the time is right to do things differently, that coming through the pandemic successfully has changed our culture and given us the sense of perspective so we can pull together towards a better future.
"We must keep the pace of decision-making. We also mustn't lose the dialogue we've had between Government and the community, and communication must be at the heart of our recovery. And, to make sure this doesn't become 'just another plan', we are setting out some immediate actions to make sure things start happening quickly and momentum isn't lost."
The short term actions laid out in the Recovery Strategy include:
- completing the review of air and sea links and resolving precisely what Aurigny's role will be as an economic enabler.
- investment in the regeneration of the seafront enhancement area, our built infrastructure and critical national infrastructure.
- reviewing the population management regime to ensuring businesses can easily secure the people and skills they need.
- overhauling the Bailiwick's existing telecoms infrastructure and reviewing the use and licensing of 5G.
Deputy Lyndon Trott, Vice President of the Policy & Resources Committee leading the States' response to the economic issues arising from the crisis, said:
"There are some enormous strategic opportunities arising for us from this crisis to reshape our economy and how we provide public services. If we are not to waste those opportunities, we are going to need to be willing to be bold and brave and back our plans with investment. And that investment is undoubtedly going to require us to be willing to borrow but the time is right to do so.
"In many ways, the Strategy is something of a 'green paper' at this stage, and I'm hopeful we'll see constructive and positive debate when it's put before States Members next week so we can then take it to Islanders across the community and invite them to build on it to create a blueprint for taking our Bailiwick forward."
Deputy Charles Parkinson, President of the Committee forEconomic Development, said:
"Transport links, digital and physical infrastructure and supporting businesses with the right people and the right skills - these are the fundamentals that we need to address immediately in order to be better and to grow our economy faster. But sorting out our problems in these areas isn't just good for business, it's good for the whole community. Everyone will benefit from improved transport links, better digital connectivity, and an enhanced seafront that makes best use of public spaces."
Deputy Heidi Soulsby, President of the Committee forHealth & Social Care said:
"I'm really encouraged that we have a plan that looks to deliver an economic recovery, but also recognises the importance of ensuring that this is complemented by consideration of the wider determinants of health. We need to learn from our experiences over the last few months, about what is important to us as a community, and build on that. It's not about the economy versus social and environmental issues, it's not left versus right, it's about bringing us together so we work to support each other and come out stronger from this public health emergency than we were going in."