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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 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.
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.
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....?
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.
The Jersey proposed New Hospital – Submission to the Planning
From Michael DunSeptember
is my written submission by e-mail to email@example.com
and should be considered in conjunction with the attached video links.
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.”
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
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
8) The extra
patient costs to be imposed through consulting GPs, physiotherapists, dentists
and many more“primary care”
providersand engaging home care
services is a deceitful part of thewhole covert “user pays” strategy.
The range of
services to be, or not to be provided within the new hospital, is not
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
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.
Most accommodation is inadequate for “caring” purposes. It’s not just an “aging
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 accommodationand so are the least enabled to care for
themselveswhen 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.
is vague for patients, visitors, staff, emergency, delivery and maintenance
21) The existing
road patterns are seriously inadequate and will not be improved.
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.
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
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 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
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