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2022 in Review: January and February

2022 in Review: January and February

Monday 26 December 2022

2022 in Review: January and February

Monday 26 December 2022

January started with the sad news of the loss of Channel Island broadcaster Gary Burgess, who died on New Year's Day.

His death was keenly felt by those who had worked with and forged friendships with him, and those who had listened to, watched, or read his reports on island life over the past 20 years.

Many people from Guernsey travelled to Jersey for his funeral, while many hundreds more watched the service online.

Gary is missed by all who knew him, in whatever capacity and is among those Channel Island characters who will never be forgotten.

Gary Burgess

Pictured: Gary Burgess with (inset bottom left) Susie Campanella, Daniel the Donkey and James Bentley of Island FM (top right) and husband Alan Burgess and friend Carolyn Le Maitre (bottom right).


In the political world we started the year with a warning from the Committee for Education, Sport and Culture that "local management of schools may not necessarily work well here".

Replying to questions at a States' meeting, ESC President, Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen, had declined to commit to establishing any form of ‘local management of schools’ during the current States’ term - saying that her Committee was still considering “whether centralised services – for a population of 60,000 people – is going to work better in our context”.


Pictured: Schools dominated political debate from the start of this year, again.


Early in 2022 covid still controlled a lot of island life, with Health and Social Care claiming the benefit of booster vaccinations was showing in the fall in positive cases.

After spiking over Christmas and the New Year period, cases fell by more than 500 people during the second week in January and continued to decline.

A covid outbreak in Les Nicolles Prison was contained during the month, while one Deputy had to close his business as a staff member tested positive and another had to isolate.

Deputy Andy Taylor publicly questioned the "ridiculous rules" we all had to live by but he did adhere to those rules by keeping his coffee shop closed for a short while.

As the weeks went past opposition did grow to the plans for managing covid across the islands, with some deputies trying to stop the Civil Contingencies Authority from maintaining emergency powers for any longer.

Mums behind bars...

When a young mum was sent to prison the previous summer it sparked outrage, which rolled in to 2022.

Dr Rebecca Tidy, a journalist and researcher focusing on drug legislation, called on Guernsey to look at non-punitive options such as rehabilitation, restorative justice and support with issues such as employment and family life, instead of separating mums and babies.

She said "we need to turn the tables and talk about the human rights of the child, who deserves a fair chance at life".


Pictured: Les Nicolles Prison.


Many industries have been short staffed throughout this year, with the hospitality sector asking for support as early as February.

Some facilities said they could already see problems with recruiting enough staff to work across the island's hotels and other locations this year.

Jon Bisson, who runs St James, said the States need to realise that hospitality is not just about hotels too.

He said the restrictions they had faced during 2021 were still having a knock on effect in 2022.

“I think the States are in a very tough position with the hospitality sector, but I think they need to see the hospitality sector as more than just hotels," he told Express.

“There’s a lot of us getting impacted out here. In December we put on events, but because consumers were so scared no-one came to them.”


Pictured: Grow Ltd.


Grow Ltd has been our charity partner of the year.

It started 2022 with an aspirational fund-raising target of £3million in sight. The plan to raise the money to pay for the redevelopment of the charity's site at Les Coutanchez. 

Various events were planned for the year.

Drive safely...

Changes to the national Highway Code came in in February and meant changes for local road users too.

The Code now places greater emphasis on protecting more vulnerable road users, including pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders. 

Drivers are told they should always leave at least 1.5 metres between their cars and cyclists when overtaking at any speed. 

And a new 'hierarchy of road users' gives cyclists priority over vehicle drivers and gives pedestrians right of way at junctions. 

Some people may not have liked this but the Guernsey Bicycle Group said the changes to the Code try to find "a more mutually respectful and considerate culture of safe and effective road use that benefits all users".


In a warning of what was to come, in February Policy and Resources announced plans to meet members of the public at different locations to discuss plans for changing our tax systems.

One suggestion was to introduce a Goods and Services Tax.

Even then P&R was suggesting that it would be part of a package of measures, but the details would not be revealed until November.


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