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"We must be bold - we cannot be afraid to change"

Wednesday 29 July 2020

"We must be bold - we cannot be afraid to change"

Chief Minister Gavin St Pier has outlined four key areas that he feels the island must focus on if the Bailiwick is to truly 'Revive and Thrive'.

At the first Chamber of Commerce lunch since before lockdown, the Civil Contingencies Authority Chairman spoke with cautious optimism about the Island’s ability to recover from the impact of Covid-19.

“By working together we have faced Covid-19, and we’ve proven that if we can maintain Guernsey Together, we can solve all those problems too,” said Deputy St Pier.

He spoke about the Revive and Thrive strategy, a plan which is being drawn up to ensure Guernsey’s economic success over the next three years. 

One area that he argued was necessary to our recovery was competitiveness in the local economy.

“We have long been a good place to do business. In order to recover, we must now become a great place to do business,” he said. 

“There are four bedrocks for competitiveness that we know we must work at pace to put in place: connectivity, data resilience, investment and skills.”

While detailed plans were still being drawn up, these four ‘bedrocks’ were highlighted as needing immediate attention. ‘Connectivity’ would involve recommendations for the "future of Aurigny", the provision of "lifeline sea links", investment in ports and consideration of the network of destinations Guernsey is connected to.

For Deputy St. Pier, the ‘Digital’ bedrock will involve a complete reinvention of how Guernsey manages data.

“The review of the use and licensing of 5G technology will now include an overhaul of our existing telecoms strategy, with clear recommendations for future investment for business, home and government users,” said Deputy St Pier.

Deputy Gavin St Pier

Pictured: Speaking at a Chamber of Commerce Lunch, Deputy Gavin St Pier spoke about the key areas he feels the island's recovery strategy must focus on.

“We will build a data infrastructure that is resilient, secure and world-class.”

The ‘Investment’ part of the strategy will involve a plan for investment in Guernsey’s critical national infrastructure, which according to the Deputy will include "regeneration" of the island’s seafront and work with the Development & Planning Authority.

As for the ‘Skills’ bedrock, Deputy St Pier spoke of a strategy that encourages people with desired skills to come to the island, while training the island’s current population to "meet the challenges of recovery."

“The strategic review of population management will be restarted with a revised scope to identify the people and skills our economy needs to recover and grow, and to set out the changes needed to ensure we can do that quickly,” said Deputy St Pier.

With an election looming on the horizon, the Deputy felt that it was important to maintain a fast pace in implementing these changes.

“We can go around the roundabout and head back down the familiar road we’ve been on for year – mediocrity accompanied by slow, comfortable but incremental change,” said Deputy St Pier.

“Or we can power down the road ahead with new community cohesion and confidence; with determination to seize the strategic opportunities presented by the Covid-19 crisis,”

“If we can agree that we need to be bold, if we can agree that we need to take big steps, if we can agree we cannot be afraid of change – then we will make our recovery a huge success."

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