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Contested election for E&I seat sees narrow win for Deputy Matthews

Contested election for E&I seat sees narrow win for Deputy Matthews

Wednesday 29 March 2023

Contested election for E&I seat sees narrow win for Deputy Matthews

Wednesday 29 March 2023

Deputy Chris Le Tissier remains without any committee responsibilities within the States, eight months after he returned to his government role, after Deputy Aidan Matthews beat him for a spot on the Committee for Environment & Infrastructure.

Having been suspended from the States for anonymously trolling other people on Twitter he lost his seat on Home Affairs and the Development and Planning Authority.

After serving out his year in suspension Deputy Le Tissier returned to the States in July last summer. Since then he has not had any committee responsibility in the States, although he did stand for re-election to the DPA earlier this year, which he did not get.

Deputy Chris Le Tissier States clash

Pictured: Deputy Chris Le Tissier has been back in the States for eight months but has no committee responsibilities.

Today he was nominated for election to the vacant role on E&I. Deputy Peter Ferbrache proposed him, saying he was impressed by his "depth of thought" during the recent Tax Review debate. 

"...he was one of those people that just didn't say I disagree. He came up with alternatives. And he is a person that is underused. And I don't think that's in itself, a reason to vote for somebody but he's underused. And that's a great waste of his considerable talents in relation committee."

Deputy Le Tissier agreed that he is currently available for additional States work, saying "I'm under utilised" adding, "I don't have any other tasks or committees to take priority and I could devote 100% of my time to E&I".

However, when it came to the vote he lost out by just 18 votes to 17 with Deputy Aidan Matthews being elected with the support of the E&I President.

Deputy Lindsay De Sausmarez

Pictured: E&I President, Deputy Lindsey de Sausmarez.

Deputy Lindsey de Sausmarez said she had carefully considered nominated Deputy Matthews before formally proposing him for the role and she had decided that he was the best person for the job.

"Deputy Matthews has been an active member of the assembly for the last two and a half years. So we're all aware of what he contributes and what he is capable of," she said.

"We know that he has integrity, intelligence and independent thinking. His analytical skills are strong and with his professional background in software development, he's particularly good at understanding the complexities of systems and thinking creatively about novel solutions, a very useful set of skills when considering infrastructure projects and environmental issues.

"Deputy Matthews is of course a diligent member of the Committee for Health and Social Care, and this is one of the ways in which we think you will bring additional value to Environment and Infrastructure's work.

"One of the strengths of our committee system is cross pollination between them, bringing more joined up thinking across the states, which can only be a good thing. The mandates of HSC and E&I dovetail in some important respects, such as an environmental health and pollution regulation public health, health promotion, and extra care housing. The two committees also share responsibility for a joint project on the must do list of capital projects around animal and clinical waste and which Deputy Matthews dual understanding will be very useful."


Pictured: Deputy Aiden Matthews.

Deputy Matthews told his colleagues that he was keen to work on E&I's mandate and that he intends to challenge some of the committee's work streams.

"We live on a small island and balancing the needs of development and progress and population growth against the desire to preserve the islands natural environment is one of our biggest challenges.

"The island faces the housing prices at the same time we'd like to preserve green spaces and the traditional village atmosphere Guernsey has been known for and our biodiversity. The demographic challenge is real, but there's a real need to ensure that our land use and infrastructure supports everyone and importantly making transport work efficiently and keeping traffic flowing along our tiny roads is increasingly difficult.

"I will bring some challenge because I'd like to see our road network perform better for all road users. I walk a lot myself and I cycle but I also drive a car...I think some balance is needed. People need to get around by car effectively, vehicles are needed for work I don't want to see people shamed for driving a car. The carrot is always more effective than the stick."

When it came to the vote, 18 States Members supported Deputy Aiden Matthews, with 17 voting for Deputy Chris Le Tissier.

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