Monday, January 15, 2018

Another hearing before Scrutiny with CM Gorst re the New Hospital, Migration policies and the Transformation Scheme




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 attended hundreds.

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.

Deputy Wickenden’s 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 it through.

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 was rejected.

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 needed.

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

Nevertheless, the 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 rejected.

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 Treasury Guidelines.

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 hoped so.

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.

Senator Green 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 proposals followed.  

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 CEO   Charlie 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.

 

 

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Jersey Youth Service - "Link" - Official Opening on 12 January 2018

The public was invited to the official opening by CM Gorst of the new "Link" an information and advice "Drop In Centre" at Eagle House, La Colomberie, St Helier on 12 January 2018.

This is intended to assist young people in the 14 - 25 age group but younger children are also catered for. Parents or other adults can also attend for information.

"The Link" is open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from midday until 6pm and can be contacted on 01534 280530 or by email on yes@jys.js

This was formerly a shop and the Social Security "Back to Work" scheme operates from upper floors of this multi-occupancy building.

I recorded a video of my visit and this follows in two parts.
I have substantial concerns about the poor facilities and safety of this building and am researching the recent history with the Planning Office, Building Inspectorate and Fire Department. I have outlined my concerns in the second video below but start here with this introduction and words mainly from CM Gorst;
Part One


Part Two video
looks behind the scenes of this "drop in shop," at the lack of accessible toilets and the tatty state of those that are provided, the potentially dangerous escape route which has a sink and cooking facility within it - besides other access issues such as narrow doorways and a step at the entrance (inward opening) front door, lack of hearing loops and  small interview rooms.
Curiously, a Change of Use permission was granted for this former (clothes) shop and a Planning (Charity rate) fee of £507 paid but it is not clear what Class the facility is now and it is also not yet clear why there is no requirement to provide "disability standard" toilets and how the escape routes and fire safety have not been improved in this multi-occupation building.
I am researching these matters further but in the meantime would urge that this facility remains closed until proper safety and access audits have been undertaken and any necessary improvements carried for the better protection of all persons - including "Link" staff or young clients - who might use this building.



,

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

DISABILITY AWARENESS & ACTION for Jersey 2018 - Post 2

This is the second blog posting  looking at Andium Homes "Decent Homes Standards" in Jersey with specific regard to the design of housing accommodation for people with "disabilities."

Sandra kindly agreed to allow this video to be recorded and posted.

Video one looks at the entrance to her flat and the design of the kitchen/living area ;


Video two looks at the bath/shower room, her expenses and other difficulties including safety, condensation and parking provision ;

DISABILITY AWARENESS & ACTION for Jersey 2018 - Post 1

Jersey is supposed to be planning a "Disability Strategy" which will include anti- discrimination laws specific to disability and to ratify the appropriate UN convention.

If such proposals are ever to be implemented must be very doubtful because the whole topic of "disability" is not adequately understood, supported or funded in Jersey.

When I post blogs on the subject there is usually very little interest which is odd since up to 30,000 people in Jersey are calculated to be directly or indirectly affected by disability.

So this year, I have decided to probe the whole subject more resolutely.
I note that Guernsey has very active campaigning and some very well organised lobbying and some States members in that Island take the matter seriously. Yet I note too that although Guernsey has officially adopted a "strategy" its implementation is delayed through lack of funding.

There is a great deal to be done and I have started with a look at some of the so called "social housing" provided by Andium Homes in Jersey.

Andium manages about 3,500 units of housing accommodation on behalf of the public and is supposed to achieve basic minimum standards - aka "Decent Homes Standards."
These are standards borrowed from the UK and are far from perfect as the Grenfell Tower tragedy has demonstrated. But of course Andium only administers a small part of the entire housing stock in Jersey and the "private sector" needs to be looked at critically too.

This  initial two part video looks at the problem of providing housing which is suitable for the tenant. Very often - as in this example - the property has been altered to suit the needs of a particular "disabled" person but is not suitable for use by others.
Universal Design standards are not easy to achieve. One design does not "fit all."

Video one looks at a bathroom/shower room as built.


Video two looks at the kitchen in the same flat.



Tuesday, December 19, 2017

"Apple - the Symbol of Sin" in Jersey aka the Paradise Island

Apple has been the forbidden fruit - the "symbol of sin" ever since Adam & Eve emerged from the Garden of Eden.....
Yet the search for the modern-day £millions of the Apple Corporation  continues and on  the very same day ( 16 December 2017) that ATTAC France  came to Jersey looking for the modern Apple £millions in the Island (that some call the Garden of Eden aka Paradise)....

...yet another "major hoard" of ancient buried treasure was front-page news in the Jersey Evening Post.

So ATTAC were in Jersey looking for the Apple millions in this little Island but this has been the hiding place for thousands of years for "secret treasure" because other similar burials have been found over many years.

Already the local Jersey museum has been cleaning the huge bag of buried gold coins and jewellery discovered just five years ago and now reckoned to be worth many £millions.

But of course the question is who buried these treasures in the first place 2,000 years ago and who do they belong to now?

Obviously Jersey has been a hiding-place for "hidden treasure" for a very long time and the "Tax haven" business is very long established.
Perhaps these treasures are the true "pommes de terre" for which Jersey likes to be famous?
Maybe this ancient Breton gold was the profit from some historic apple cyder-making business 2,000 years ago - who knows - but maybe ATTAC must dig in the farmyards of Jersey rather than knocking on the doors of the Jersey lawyers and banks...

If ATTAC does find the Apple Corporation loot - or the buried treasure from thousands of other businesses and individuals here or around the word in the hundreds of other little "finance centres" - what will they do with it?

Who does it all really belong to and how might the wealth be more properly shared....?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Guardians of the Jersey Constitution - big prize competition

 


Can you identify the Jersey Bailiffs above?
If so your name can be entered in the Referendum next year.
Please Note this competition is only open to persons whose families have been in Jersey since 1066.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Submission of MIchael Dun to the Planning Inspector's examination of the Proposed new hospital scheme for Jersey in November 2017



 

The Jersey proposed New Hospital – Submission to the Planning Inquiry                                   Page 1

From Michael Dun                                                                                                                   September 2017.

 

This is my written submission by e-mail to planning@gov.je and should be considered in conjunction with the attached video links.

The video links are my recordings made of the inadequate so called public consultation process over the past 2 years – including my interviews with the Minister for Health and others on the “design team.”

These are prepared and submitted in accordance with the Jersey Government’s e-gov policy to encourage improved communications.

 

 

1) “Let’s just get on with it” sums up the current thinking behind the proposed new hospital. Although this is the most important and costly building project ever known in Jersey – the discussions have been so prolonged and contradictory that the general public and many in government are just “sick” of the whole thing.

 

2) The public is so reluctant to comment for this Planning Review that extra time has been allowed by the Minister to try to draw out public opinion.

 

3) The lack of independent professional comment by architects, designers and medical practitioners since 2012 has been deplorable. The general public has received little or no learned alternative guidance because of a professional “omerta.”

 

4) It is evident that a few individuals in government have exercised their own capricious and personal preferences behind the scenes to influence and change the budget, financing, timescale, location and design of this project throughout its progress.

 

5) The history of the official discussions is set out adequately in the Scrutiny Sub Panel Report from November 2016 (SR 7/2016) and I do not propose to repeat that.

 

6) The Scrutiny Report refers to the failure of this project to include for the “whole design programme for health and services” in Jersey.

This is a fundamental omission that must not be ignored.

 

7) The substantial reforms that are proposed in the provision of primary care and the needs of the aging population and suchlike have been much talked about but there are minimal plans only for their funding or implementation.

Without such plans being known, costed and agreed, the design proposal for the new hospital is virtually useless.

 

8) The extra patient costs to be imposed through consulting GPs, physiotherapists, dentists and many more  “primary care” providers  and engaging home care services is a deceitful part of the  whole covert “user pays” strategy.

The range of services to be, or not to be provided within the new hospital, is not explained.

Some existing services and staffing are already inadequate and underfunded.

Many people already try to use A & E facilities because they cannot afford to consult GPs or others for so called “primary care” but which should be provided within a hospital facility.

 

9) The majority of Jersey’s population does not own the accommodation they live in and are not empowered to make alteration to suit their disabilities or illnesses.

                                                                                                                                                               Page 2

10) Most accommodation is inadequate for “caring” purposes. It’s not just an “aging problem”.

11) 12,000 working adults (and their children) – about one fifth of the working population – do not have “housing qualifications” and must live in the worst accommodation  and so are the least enabled to care for themselves  when injured or ill. They tend to work in the most hazardous and low paid jobs and are already liable to the extra stresses of poverty and poor housing. This is a matter identified in the recent Report of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry.

 

12) “Function dictates form” is especially true for a hospital but the functions to be provided with this project have not been adequately quantified or determined.

 

13) There is no provision at all for so called “mental health” treatment.

 

14) The future uses of major parts of the existing structures are not resolved.  The Granite Block is to be kept supposedly because it is listed but its future purpose is not determined.

The future uses of Overdale and St Saviour’s Hospital are not defined.

 

15) Existing staff accommodation at Westaway Court is to be converted to form a remote and inadequate “out patients” department.

 

16) There is no certain plan for future provision of staff accommodation or staff recruitment although these two are integrally linked factors.

 

17) Since 2012 there has been endless discussion about the choice of the site but the alternative options have never been fully explored in public and the hospital needs of Islanders remain uncertain and undetermined.

 

18) The current choice of location seems to be motivated primarily by the fact that the hospital already occupies this town site and an absurd belief that most people who will use the hospital live within “walking distance.”

 

19) No Access Strategy has been prepared that I am aware of.

This is especially strange for such an important facility which caters primarily for people with disabilities and illnesses.

 

20) Access to and within the site is not clearly determined.

Parking provision is vague for patients, visitors, staff, emergency, delivery and maintenance vehicles.

 

21) The existing road patterns are seriously inadequate and will not be improved. 

Gloucester Street especially is a noisy main road which is busy day and night and is devoid of any desirable design characteristics. This development will ensure its preservation for many future decades.

 

22) It is difficult to predict future medical and technological changes so any new hospital design has to allow for this. To a large extent the current buildings need to be replaced because they do not accommodate change easily - but it is not just about technological advances.

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                     Page 3

 

23) Attempting to build this new hospital within the same cartilage as the existing whilst it remains in business will surely create totally predictable problems for the users of the facilities and the design and construction teams. The new hospital should evidently be built somewhere else.

 

24) The French Connection was much talked about 5 years ago and how Jersey patients could be treated in that country. But already, even before the outcome of BREXIT is known, French providers are refusing to submit tenders for the provision of treatments.

 

25) The most favoured Oxford hospital recently closed its trauma unit because of design defects revealed following the Grenfell fire. Thus, for many reasons “off Island” referrals are not to be relied upon for such a major long term provision.

 

26) The reliance upon inadequate transport links for “off island” treatment is wholly optimistic. The sea and air carriers do not provide a sufficiently reliable or affordable service and are susceptible to weather extremes.  They are often not user friendly, especially for disabled travellers.

 

27) The air-lines serving Jersey tend to be financially precarious using smaller aircraft which have inadequate access or toilet provision – if any.

 

28) It is sometimes necessary to close Victoria Avenue or nearby parks for emergency helicopter access.

Such emergency access should be included within a new hospital.

 

29) If a disaster of Grenfell proportions did occur in Jersey it is doubtful if adequate hospital facilities could be provided “on Island.” 

But, it is realistic to design for major outbreaks of illness or a serious accident and this proposal seems to be “downsizing” rather than enhancing space, capacity and skills.

 

30) The “WOW FACTOR.”

The Minister for the Environment has today declared that the whole Waterfront area lacks an architectural “wow factor” and is boring.

I do not disagree but I wonder how he has belatedly arrived at this conclusion but more particularly how the New Hospital might achieve the highest standards of design that it warrants.

 

31) There is certainly no evidence so far of any desire to produce an “Iconic” building.

Rather the whole process so far has been centred upon squeezing almost anything into a location which is totally unsuitable, already congested and without attempting to improve the amenities of the area.

 

32) The prevailing “let’s just get on with it” attitude is guaranteed to produce yet another massive development failure.

 

 

My video links can be accessed on a separate page.                                                            END 3 of 3


 

 

Jersey proposed New Hospital  -  Compilation August 2017

VIDEOS by Mike Dun 2016 and 2017.

 

1 - REVISED SCHEME (Current project )

Environmental Impact Assessment

2017 - 18 May   https://youtu.be/hx5cYluiXSU

 

2 - Interview with Minister (Current project)

2016 – 3 August   https://youtu.be/L4RpZP0qQcM

 

3 - Current Project – overview including computer animation (Current project)

2016 – 3 August   https://youtu.be/BZ211s_DSSQ

 

4 - Interview with Minister following States decision – Now 3 sites (Part 1)

2016 – 23 February    https://youtu.be/tun0p2JDLV8

 

5 - Interview with Minister following States decision – Now 3 sites (Part 2)

2016 – 23 February   https://youtu.be/0zib_CPs34w

 

6 - Demo in Royal Square and defeat of People’s Park project (Part 1)

2016 – 23 February   https://youtu.be/FiFqmsxw9hY

 

7 - Demo in Royal Square and defeat of People’s Park project (Part 2)

2016 – 23 February  https://youtu.be/yVGM6ZJs-lw

 

8 - Demo in the mud at People’s Park

2016 – 22 February   https://youtu.be/UZPoC-9l9s4

 

9 - Proposed hospital in People’s Park – “Why?” in two Parts (Part 1)

2016 – 8 February   https://youtu.be/Gm1OC_UG52c

 

10 - Proposed hospital in People’s Park – “Why?” in two parts (Part 2)

2016 – 8 February   https://youtu.be/TOMvxYc6OQc

 

11 - Proposed hospital in People’s Park – “Where?” in three parts (Part A)

2016 – 8 February   https://youtu.be/G1pEuEy9t9k

 

12 - Proposed hospital in People’s Park – “Where?” in three parts (Part B)

2016 – 8 February   https://youtu.be/DMfSBq43Th4

 

13 - Proposed hospital in People’s Park – “Where?” in three parts (Part C)

2016 – 8 February   https://youtu.be/gpcPkbVLfSY

 

14 - FOOTNOTE Why Architectural Competitions?  

A discussion recorded at the Association of Jersey Architects Design Awards

And UK Stirling Prize in Jersey

2015 – 15 September 2015   https://youtu.be/MdXvaPEkmsA

 NB the Planning Inspector declined to include the videos as part of my submission.