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Philip Clyde-Smith: Five things I would CHANGE about Jersey

Philip Clyde-Smith: Five things I would CHANGE about Jersey

Friday 11 June 2021

Philip Clyde-Smith: Five things I would CHANGE about Jersey


A film maker, Philip Clyde-Smith recently applied his creative thinking to helping find ways for Jersey to become carbon-neutral as part of the island's first Citizens' Assembly.

Philip moved back to the island, where he grew up surfing and boating around Les Minquiers, two years ago with his family after 26 years living and working in London because they spent "every holiday travelling back to Jersey".

Despite not being a "climate change warrior”, Philip he didn't hesitate in registering to take part in the Citizen's Assembly on Climate Change when he received one of the 9,000 invitations sent out to local households, d

As a father-of-two, Philip said he was inspired to take part by a desire to influence the future of his children’s generation and make the island “a better place to live”. 

The experience, he says, has awoken his interest in politics and environmental causes. For Express, he has now written about the five things he would change in the island...

1. Encourage renewable energy

I worry about over reliance on France for low carbon energy especially with our contract coming up in 2026/7. What if we can’t buy low carbon energy? Where does that leave us?

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Pictured: "We need to start thinking about producing more of our own energy especially with the abundance of renewable sources around us," Philip said.

We need to start thinking about producing more of our own energy especially with the abundance of renewable sources around us. We are a majority owner of the JEC and we should seriously use that control to push them to be more forward-thinking in this area. From micro domestic generation; community/parish renewable projects and landowners using their roofs for solar.

In the long run demand for low carbon energy is going to rise greatly and if we become a net low carbon energy exporter we could make money; be more secure and help diversify our finance heavy economy.

Perhaps use partnerships with major energy companies like Alderney has done.

2. Tax rebate for creative industries

I work in film and the main reason people do not film in Jersey is that there is no real tax rebate. For example in the UK, they have a 20% rebate so for every £1 a production spends they get 20p back from the government. The UK more than recuperate that rebate by the fact the production is spending that money in the UK and being taxed on salaries etc...

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Pictured: Tax rebates could help build a film industry in the island.

We could add in that if you get a rebate you have to train local people and therefore slowly we will build a film industry. We have a lot of varied locations in a small area and we have fantastic infrastructure with our fibre internet for post production. Obviously there’s more to it than that but a rebate is a great start. Money talks.

3. Put cycling and walking at the heart of our Transport policy

If you build it they will use it. With the advent of electric bikes and the fact we live in a very small island, bikes and walking should be given priority. Create a dedicated cycle network reprioritising certain main roads like they have in London.

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Pictured: "If you build it they will use it," Philip said.

Currently there are some excellent walks and cycle routes but they are very disjointed. For example, there’s that great new cycle path from Gorey that just ends. I have got so much fitter by just cycling when I can instead of driving and ok, I admit there’s also great satisfaction when overtaking queues of cars!

4. Ban plastic bags

My wife pointed out to me countries like our neighbour France have banned them for quite some time. So perhaps we should do the same?

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Pictured: Banning plastic bags would help reduce littering, Philip said.

It would help with overall littering and also we have had a tax on them now for quite some time. So perhaps we’re ready to go the next step.

5. Tackle inequality

I am very privileged and I am very aware there is real inequality in this island. I always think you judge a country on how it treats it’s poorest. I know we have welfare but I think it goes beyond that.

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Pictured: "It’s just about maximising the potential of our population, how much better off will we all be?" Philip said.

How do you make the bottom end of society have a vested interest in our island, if you are struggling to find a house, pay the bills and surrounded by people with serious wealth? I don’t pretend to have the answers but I know we need to address it. 

It involves education, investment, youth services, dealing with immigration and a sense of civic duty. I want someone who is born in a low income family to have the same opportunity as someone like me. I know we are not all equal and some will always earn more than others.

It’s just about maximising the potential of our population, how much better off will we all be?

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