Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Jersey Election May 2018 - Comment by Darius Pearce

Darius Pearce sells jewels and gold things from his shop in the Central Market of St Helier....
but he generously gives away his political views and opinions.
Here are some - recorded during the current election campaign....

If you want to record YOUR views here please make contact.....

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Pierre Horsfall and Roy Le Herissier discussion 22 March 2018

Two "ex Jersey politicians" discuss Jersey politics past, present and future.

Part One intro about 7 minutes

Part Two about 33 minutes

40 years of Jersey political experience in 40 minutes....

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

St Peter Jersey - Green Zone Housing Inquiry - Concluding addresses - 6 March 2018

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.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

What to do with Haut de la Garenne ?

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.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Senator Ozouf's Housing Commissioner for Jersey brainwave....


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’s  scheme nor in any plans produced by the Environment  Department  under 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.

Indirect regulation 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?

The “deposit 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.

Unfortunately, it 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….

Monday, January 22, 2018

Trevor and Shona Pitman - Press Release

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;




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 be finished.”

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’ institutions.

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!