Jersey Reform Day.
This site is dedicated to the day, now officially recognised annually by the States of Jersey, to mark the anniversary of the events of 28 September 1769.
Jersey's own Independence or Bastille Day.
This video records the concluding addresses from John Nicholson for the Jersey Planning & Environment Department and Carl Mavity for Andium Homes the applicant.
As always there was no sound system at the St Peter's Parish Hall so the quality of audio is not good.
It seems that our government and Parish departments are incapable of providing adequate audio facilities for such public "hearings" and the UK Planning Inspector Nigel McGurk must have allowed it to proceed on this inadequate basis.
Presumably he would not have been allowed to do so in the UK....
Following these addresses the parties visited the site of the proposed housing development in fields 632 and 559 just across the road and the Inspector's decision will be issued in due course.
The Inquiry in public commenced at 9.30am on 5 March and concluded at about 4 pm on 6 March 2018.
There were about 20 males and 2 females of the public present besides the parties.
The former Haut de la Garenne children's home has been used since 2011 as an Accommodation and Activity Centre.
The building can accommodate about 100 people and is registered under the Hostel category of the Jersey Tourism Law.
The building is listed as a Grade 4 example of a residential institution for its external appearance only. The interior has been extensively altered and modernised to suit its current purpose which is run by a local business for the owners - the States of Jersey Property Services Department - on a lease that currently expires in April 2019.
The building is within the Green Zone.
The business has spent a considerable amount of money improving the building and facilities.
Since 2012 the centre has provided accommodations and facilities for more than 35,500 bed nights. Many of the users are children with school groups from the UK and abroad but accommodation is available to small groups and families too.
Haut de la Garenne featured prominently in the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry which investigated extensive child abuse in Jersey since 1945 and Reported in July 2017.
That Inquiry recommended that Haut de la Garenne should be demolished among many other reforms..
This video was recorded on Sunday 18 February 2018 when the building was opened to the public over two afternoons.
It is intended to show something of the existing hostel facilities only without comment.
About 90 people visited over the two days.
The business owners have written to 47 States Members. 30 did not reply at all. Only a handful accepted their invitation to visit the building.
CM Gorst has not responded.
The question of what should be done with Haut de la Garenne has now been put out for public consultation from 8 February until 22 April 2018 through the Community and Constitutional Affairs Department. This can be contacted via HDLG@gov.je
It seems that the adjacent building "Aviemore" does not form part of this consultation for reasons which are not clear.
Just a few weeks
ago Senator Ozouf was calling for more help for private housing developers.
Now he has called
for a “Housing Commissioner with responsibility for ensuring that enough
affordable housing is available for Islanders to be established.”
This new interest
in “affordable housing” is somewhat contrary to his farm development at St
Saviour where the family Green Zone farm has been extended and altered to
create 18 dwellings for sale. These include 1, 2, 3 and 4 bed flats and houses
at prices from £295,000 to £715,000 and already 14 have been sold.
The 4 currently
remaining for sale are 2 beds priced from £485,000 to £525,000 and the total sale
price amounts to about £9 millions.
How come the
Planners did not demand at least a % of “first time buyers” accommodation or
units to let?
Of course, one
wonders too why the Senator did not simply turn the whole development over to
one of the several Housing Trusts if he feels so strongly about the shortage of
“social housing” ….
But of course, the
real causes of Jersey’s everlasting “affordable housing shortage” are the
13,000 working adults who do not have housing quals and the fact that they
cannot rent or buy proper living accommodation.
Yet they pay very
high rents for their often mediocre housing - but what happens to their £40 million
plus annual rental payment?
There is no mention
of them in Senator Ozouf’sscheme nor in
any plans produced by the EnvironmentDepartmentunder Deputy Luce or
the so called “Housing Department” led by Deputy Pryke.
In fact, Jersey’s
“housing” provision is already controlled and managed by a multitude of individuals
and organization with very little co-ordination.
ANDIUM HOMES was
created as an “Arms Length Management Organisation” (ALMO) - on the UK model -
similar to that which has so visibly failed in Kensington & Chelsea with
the loss of 71 lives in the Grenfell fire.
Andium was supposed
originally to be the great provider of “social housing” and the regulator too
but that plan has long been largely abandoned.
Now it operates
much like any developer and aims to build new houses for sale and to charge
full market rents in the fullness of time. And it has still not spent the
entire £250 million loan that Senator Ozouf obtained for them – and wants more!
There are of course
several other “Housing Trusts” whose properties to let are included in the
“Gateway” scheme but they do not all operate under the same guidelines and the
12 Parish Constables also like to play at providers of housing accommodation
too but have opted out of the “Gateway”scheme.
Lodging Houses too
make a contribution to the provision of accommodation – mostly in the “non
quals” - sector and are vaguely “regulated” by the Chief Minister’s Department.
of minimal housing standards for rent is to be provided by an “Environment”
unit and all private accommodation to let is supposed to be included - but the
task of identifying and policing all the accommodation currently occupied seems
to be an impossible one.
Not least is the problem
that much of the accommodation does not comply with planning or safety
requirements and is often let illegally. Shall it be condemned?
protection” scheme is an example of a failed attempt at regulation where many
units are now offered without a deposit being required by the “landlord.” The
scheme proving inflexible and unpopular.
The operation of
the Rent Control Tribunal has similarly been allowed to fall into mis-use by
the ineffective Housing Department so the suggestion by Senator Ozouf that a
“Commissioner” might be appointed to step in with the appropriate powers and
staff to remedy the housing neglect of decades is laughable.
is the Social Security Department under Deputy Pinel that now sets “fair rents”
though the indirect application of the Housing Component of Income Support and
the payment of “rent rebates” to public and private landlords for tenants who
have low incomes and more than 5 years residence.
How such “fair
rents” are actually determined is a mystery.
Quite how Senator
Ozouf proposes to create a “Commissioner” with the complex and far-reaching
powers to rationalize Jersey’s housing mess has not so far been explained and
the office of Housing Minister – already virtually useless – must inevitably be
scrapped along with the pseudo housing control powers of other departments.
To add to the
complexities of Jersey housing the looming BREXIT restrictions must also be
factored into any reform proposals along with the recently announced
“Migration/Population” policies which will add all sorts of discriminatory
limitations on the access to housing by many.
Finally I would
mention that Senator Farnham has expressed his support for an Air B’n B short
let system to be permitted in Jersey and it is already evident that private
accommodation is already being widely advertised as available to let under this
system. A “Commissioner” could hardly ignore this….
Former States Deputies Trevor and Shona Pitman were discharged from Bankruptcy in the Royal Court of Jersey on 19 January 2018 with immediate effect.
The Bailiff Sir William Bailhache presided with two Jurats in attendance.
The Viscount presented details of the application - although she was virtually inaudible from the public seats even when using the hearing aids provided - and had no grounds to object and did not claim costs.
Trevor appeared for his wife and himself and addressed the court but the Bailiff said he would not allow him to make certain allegations about the role of Jurat Le Breton in the proceedings that led up to the couple's bankruptcy.
Trevor Pitman persisted and said that he would be issuing a Press Release following this hearing.
This is the Press Release issued for publication today;
PRESS RELEASE: THE UNCLEAN HANDS OF THE ROYAL COURT
- THE JERSEY WAY ROLLS ON?
FROM: FORMER DEPUTIES TREVOR & SHONA
DATE: 19 JANUARY 2018.EMBARGOED:UNTIL 22 JANUARY 6.00AM
Extract from the sworn testimony of former Investigating
Police Officer Anton Cornelissen: Day 102 October 2015, of the Jersey
Independent Care Inquiry:
‘John Le Breton was clearly responsible for covering up abuse
at Victoria College, and, as yet, he has not faced public scrutiny. Clearly
questions must be asked as why this is, and how he was allowed to continue as a
Royal Court Jurat. What message does this send out?’
It is with reluctance that we find ourselves obliged to issue
this press release today. The truth is, as the following facts make clear, we
should never have been put in this position.We nevertheless make this statement now, simply to turn mainstream media
attention away from the smokescreen irrelevance of whether or not we were right
to bring our defamation action against the Broadlands Estate Agents and the
Jersey Evening Post, to court.
Instead, having taken legal advice, it is as a consequence of
damning evidence provided to the Island’s Independent Care Inquiry (ICI), that
we now turn the spotlight on to the real issue underlying our manipulated
bankruptcy: the dishonesty of the Royal Court, in keeping the stark truth of
the serious question marks regarding the past actions of the senior of the two
Jurats allowed to preside on the case, from our knowledge.The Royal Court thus subjected us to a
‘legal’ process that can now be seen to be at the very best wholly unsafe. And
one which by any standards, is in clear breach of Article 6 – the right to a fair
trial – of the European Convention on Human Rights.
In the summer of 2012, after the brief window of opportunity
to appeal the decision of the two Jurats who decided on our case, with
allegations regarding Jurat Le Breton’s past actions reaching both us and our
then lawyers via members of the public (not least in regard to the never
publically released Sharp Report (1999)), we had consequently approached the
Bailiff who’s Office had appointed Le Breton to judge on our case.
As set out in Mr Pitman’s own sworn statement to the ICI, in
the course of both written correspondence and a face-to-face meeting with the
then Bailiff Sir Michael Birt, he subsequently opined that all who had worked
with Jurat Le Breton would state him to be scrupulously fair and conscientious
in his work; further still, that he himself could not recall there having ever
been any complaint about either Jurat Le Breton’s judgement or integrity.The sworn, in depth testimony of former
Investigating Police Officer Mr Cornelissen before the ICI, in our opinion now
shows these 2012 claims to be without merit.
Indeed, amidst extensive ‘on Oath’ evidence, this brave
former Police Officer stated how the then College Vice-Principle John Le
Breton, ‘bullied’ one pupil who
complained to him of being abused by Maths teacher Andrew Jervis-Dykes into
silence. In describing what the child said within his disclosure to the police,
Mr Cornelissen told the ICI the abused pupil, who was apparently from a poor
background and on a scholarship, had stated, he was told:
‘Don’t go down this route. We don’t like your sort here. If
you want to progress, if you fail your exams your scholarship will effectively
According to Mr Cornelissen’s testimony what the abused pupil
disclosed he was told by Le Breton left him feeling threatened; and in the
former Police Officer’s words had ‘Put the fear of God’ in him.Incredibly, in his evidence Mr Cornelissen
also goes on to state how once made a Jurat, Le Breton also attempted to ‘obstruct
the arrest’ of his colleague and alleged friend Jervis-Dykes, by ‘disputing
the facts of the warrant’.Yet
perhaps most disturbing of all, to our mind, the former Officer told the ICI
how the police were ‘not allowed to put any pressure’ on Jurat Le Breton regarding
any of this. Further still, how it was conveyed to the police that ‘a
Jurat had never been prosecuted before’.
While the Bailiff at the time of the Victoria College child
abuse scandal was Sir Philip Bailhache; the Attorney General with
responsibility for prosecutions was Sir Michael Birt – the very Crown Officer
who as Bailiff, later evidently saw fit to let his Office place Jurat John Le
Breton to judge on the defamation case of two States Members, who were amongst
the handful who consistently championed the cause of securing justice for the
multitude of victims of Haut de la Garenne and other Jersey ‘care’
In the course of our discharge hearing today, the basis of
the evidence within this press release was put to the current Bailiff, William
Bailhache by Mr Pitman.Incredibly, in light
of Recommendation 7 arising from the ICI’s report (the need to put an end to
‘The Jersey Way’) in response, having first asked the Viscount if there was any
way by which the Court had ‘discretion’ to refuse our discharge (there wasn’t –
we had complied with everything despite the injustice) Bailiff Bailhache then
made the truly shocking claim below.
The ‘word of one man’ he stated – never
mind that this was the Police Officer charged with identifying child victims at
Victoria College – ‘carried little weight’.A
Chief Judge dismissing sworn testimony from a police officer regarding
disclosure from an abused child!Of course, we do recall that in
early 2015, shortly after becoming Bailiff, Bailhache’s Office brought Jurat Le
Breton out of retirement to sit on a child abuse case. Finally, in what was
passed off as advice, but which was certainly taken as a veiled threat, it was
then stated that we should ‘be very careful’ about putting this
sworn evidence out within a press release.
We firmly believe that the reason for those at the helm of
the Jersey ‘justice’ system refusing to remedy a court process that was
demonstrably unsafe remains that, as strong critics of the Jersey
Establishment, they saw our court case as a convenient means by which to force
us out of politics and, hopefully, silence us.After all, contrary to what has been spun to the public, we have been
barred from standing for election for a period of nine years – quite an irony
given that had one of us been a Constable and the other a Deputy, in 2014 only
the Deputy would have lost his/her seat.
To this regard, we further suggest the public should also ask
themselves why we were made bankrupt, when though not having an income as high
as before Mr Pitman entered politics, we were still earning a joint salary of
£90,000. We thus conclude this press release with the paraphrased words of
Jersey’s former Police Chief Graham Power – suspended on the back of a ‘damning
report’ we now know to have been a lie whilst he and his Deputy Lenny Harper had
fought to shine a light on decades of ‘Jersey Way’ cover up:
‘If they can do this to two high profile politicians and get
away with it then think what they can do to you…’
Make no mistake – ‘the Jersey Way’ is just as prevalent today
as it ever was.
We nevertheless now
request, for the second time, that the Chief Minister, whom claims he is
committed to tackling ‘the Jersey way’, investigates this!
There was a
remarkable Corporate Services Scrutiny Hearing today (15 January 2018).
In Island terms it
was probably the most important hearing I have ever attended – and I have
This was just billed
as a Quarterly Hearing with the Chief Minister but Senator Gorst was supported
by Senators Green and Routier besides Deputy Wickenden plus the new CEO of the
States - Charlie Parker - and Paul Bradbury. It was evidently special.
participation was limited to declaring his name. He did not utter another word so
we have no reason to know why he was present for the hearing that lasted from
10 am to 11.30am.
The general public
was absent. That was another reason why it was a remarkable event.
Just one member of
the assumed “accredited press” plus me and a clerk from the CM’s office
occupied the public gallery seats.
Deputies Le Fondre,
Bree, K. Lewis and Senator Ferguson formed the “panel.”
Much of the hearing
was concerned with the “New Hospital” project.
The CM was
disappointed that it had been refused “planning permission” but not surprised.
That was the process – these things happen.
Would it proceed?
Yes said the CM and he supports Minister Green.
He will not be
calling for his resignation. He had put three years of his life into the
project at the risk of his health and is the person we want to support to get
The CM said he had
not had a long list of people knocking on my door saying Green should resign.
The public will
have their say at the May elections.
Who was responsible
for the failure of the PE application? Senator Green responded “I am” but Senator
Routier volunteered that “We are all responsible”
Minister Green confirmed
that he intends to proceed with this “site” the design for which needs further
mitigation. But the meaning of the words “site” and location” could not be
clarified or agreed. The States had agreed to this as the preferred “site” but
this may have to change.
It is the ”location”
that is fine explained the CM – there is a “site” issue but that does not mean
the “location” is wrong. The Planning Minister also decided it is the correct “location.”
Although the Inspector
had decided that the “site” was far too small it was not the “location” that
The CM’s Ministers
will now go away and study the Planning Inspector’s Report and the PE refusal
and advise on the way forward.
The development might
need a new “footprint.”The proposed building was too large.
But Green confirmed
that clever design alone won’t be enough and the ”Rochdale guidelines” on
outline planning applications won’t be adequate either. More detail will be
The existing design
proposal could not be just “finessed” to make it acceptable.
Was the States and
the public misled with incorrect information about the development’s size,
height and the Architectural Commission role? No
CM also confirmed that the public may need to have the opportunity to look at the
other sites so that they will understand how they would all fail the planning
test of suitability. There is no easier site. Senator Green claimed that at
least 50 other “sites” or “locations” had been previously considered but
With regard to
acquisitions of adjacent properties Senator Green confirmed that one flat had
so far been purchased and negotiations with other owners were proceeding with
Eddie Noel’s department.
Although no PE permission
had yet been obtained discussions with a possible building contractor had
commenced and this process was not premature – it being in accordance with UK
The St Peter
catering leases had been signed. Cost? That is a question to ask Eddie Noel
Could the process
be completed before the May elections? Nobody knows for certain but the CM
The Ministers had
to consider with their professionals, the public consulted on other “sites or
locations,” new plans prepared, the States would have to debate it, submission
to PE made and there would almost certainly have to be another Planning Inquiry
and it took from July to November to establish the previous Inquiry.
rejected the suggestion that hospital senior practitioners only had been
consulted on this project.
Had there been test
drilling on the “site”? Yes and it was continuing yesterday.
How much has been
spent so far? £24 millions.
Will the redesign
incur extra costs and will the contingency fund be drawn upon?The footprint will change but not the size so
the cost to build may not increase.
This part of the
hearing ended at 11am and a very interesting discussion of the Immigration/Migration
Then a short look
at progress on the “Transformation Scheme” which was ”not a failure” but had led
to the recruitment of the newly appointed CEOCharlie Parker, who said a few words……
Further details of
the whole hearing will be posted on the Podcasts section of the Scrutiny
Website in due course for those who are interested.
But on the evidence
of today’s lack of public interest that won’t be many.