October 6, 2022

First with the Alderney News

MANIFESTO 2020: BILL ABEL

4 min read

MOVING ALDERNEY FORWARDS

I am an engineer and a businessman, and believe that I can add value to the Island based on my ability for hard work and the experience I have gained over the years. My strengths are: good process, financial controls, working with people, and project management.

I was born in South Africa, but brought up and schooled in England, graduating as a mining engineer and later from business school. I began my career in the South African Mines, working through the ranks into operations and project management where I had responsibility for running mining operations, technical teams and projects in various countries in Africa, South America, and in Australia. A key part of this industry being to minimize its environmental and social impacts.

My wife (Sue) and I moved to Alderney in 2006 from Australia and found more than we had hoped for, with its friendly and supportive people and the extent of all the island has to offer. Although this was our base, my work took me on/off the island until 2013 when I semi-retired becoming an AEL director until 2019, and until early this year, a director for the European Bank (EBRD) in companies developing projects/operations in North Macedonia and Armenia.

The Economies of the Bailiwick, have been severely impacted by the current pandemic and any recovery needs to be driven by input from across the Bailiwick. Alderney, although a small part of the Bailiwick, must focus on its own needs and responsibilities, and play its part in the Bailiwick’s future success.

The States Members and the Civil Service teams continue to keep the Island running to ensure that we have a functioning economy, and it would be easy for me to repeat what everyone wants to hear about good governance, reducing states member numbers, reform, air and sea transport, tourism, economy and so on, and although I agree these are priorities, something more needs to be done.

I believe that we need to step back and more broadly consider where the Island economy is now, where it should be, and how we sustain and grow it into the future.

This is not a new concept, but to achieve this, I believe that we need to have, and work continuously to deliver on, an ISLAND VISION with stated objectives (policies), implementable strategies, and action plans with clear responsibilities(timelines), and resources (people and budgets) to provide and continue to deliver functional infrastructure and services to support (enable) the economy and preserve the Island’s character and the things that attract people to live, work and visit the island (ROAD MAP).

The processes to develop and deliver the ISLAND VISION will outlive changes of States and the Civil Service Members, but will require continual reshaping as both the internal and external environment changes.

The ISLAND VISION and ROAD MAP will allow us to clearly understand what Civil Service (roles, organisation and people) is needed; and the roles and numbers of States Members. The process will guide Annual Budgets and Funding requirements; align these with income from rates and taxes; and allow us to effectively engage with Guernsey and support the Bailiwick’s “Revive and Thrive” initiatives.

Delivery of the ISLAND VISION and ROAD MAP

  1. To be effective the States Members and the Civil Service (the STATES TEAM) need to work together on:
  • Evaluating the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of/to the Island, with input from its business groups, the community, all its home owners, and outside supporters (Stakeholders).
  • Developing a clear “ISLAND VISION and ROAD MAP” based on measurable objectives (policies),implementable Strategies and Action Plans, which are not only island focused, but align with and build on Guernsey’s Revive and Thrive strategies (the Road Map).
  • The ISLAND VISION:
    • where the Economy of the Island is now;
    • where it needs to be in the next 5 years;
    • where it needs to be in the long term;
    • what “fit for purpose” Infrastructure and Services are required. and
    • what Civil Service and States organisation (numbers, roles, responsibilities) is needed for the continued delivery of effective and efficient Infrastructure and Services (Fit-for-Purpose States Team).
  • The ROAD MAP:
    • what needs to be done to get us there (strategies, action plans, budgets, timelines);
    • how the States Team, Business Groups, the Community and Guernsey collectively engage to deliver;
    • Understanding the impacts of climate change and the need for the Island to take its part in reducing emissions and continuing to sustain its unique environment.
  • The Community and all Stakeholders need to be kept informed through periodic forums, where the States Members and the Civil Service report back on progress, expenditures vs budgets, condition and maintenance of infrastructure, the level and quality of Services, and projects/action plans.
  1. The fit-for-purpose States Team will not necessarily have the resources or the expertise to deliver all areas of the ISLAND’S VISION, and hence it will need to draw on the expertise and knowledge that exists within its Stakeholders, and there will be a need for:
  • Working groups/forums (such as the Marine Forum group) in developing and delivering appropriate parts of the Action Plans;
  • Expert Advisory Groups (drawing on the broad experience in the community) such as Tidal, Energy, Economic/Business Development, Tourism, Sea and Air Transport, Infrastructure, Education, Health, Reform and Good Governance and so on.

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