Saturday, September 29, 2012

Constable Murphy of Grouville - some of his views...

Part one video is about 4 minutes - Part two about 22 minutes.

Constable Dan Murphy of Grouville

In this two part interview (the unexpected ‘phone call being the cause for a break) Dan Murphy aka “Spud” joins the discussion on the role of Constables and other things.

An “Old Victorian”, born in Jersey during the war, he tried to become a Deputy in 1993/4 when Imogen “Vera Lynn” Nicholls was elected. So he has primarily served as Constable in a Parish (population about 4,500) which quite often returns candidates unopposed.
Especially interesting here is that Dan is against the States’ purchase of Plemont and the obvious question is whether most of the other Constables will take a similar stance in the Chamber?

Presumably if a majority of the Constables vote one way or the other then they will be accused of being a “party” with a block vote.
Constable Murphy is clearly not too keen on being mandated by his Parishioners – so he will have to defy them if they did call a Parish meeting and express a view in favour of States’ acquisition. What might happen in other Parishes?

In fact, the only Parish really affected by the Plemont issue is St Ouen but it has now been made an “all Island issue”. So it will be especially interesting to see how the various factions within and outside the States play their cards.
Conservatives and ecologists are an unstable alliance at the best of times but with Senator Bailhache carrying the flag for acquisition some of the more progressive elements will have difficult choices to make!

Also revealing is Constable Murphy’s desire to build more affordable housing in his Parish. Of course, he wants to house people – but the underlying agenda is the need to have more suitable young candidates for the Parish Honorary service – currently seriously understaffed.

The traditional farming community is no longer available in Grouville to call upon and similar concerns have been expressed in other “country” Parishes too. Bearing in mind that there used to be 1,100 dairy farms in Jersey after the war and there are now only 26 (and even this number is likely to reduce rapidly soon), the “traditional Jersey future” looks bleak.
The more so since the population has increased from 50,000 to 100,000 over the same period and our leaders are already contemplating 140,000.

Yet although Dan Murphy wants more houses in his Parish – he still want to control their allocation and it seems that Housing Minister Green has already agreed to an opt-out from the common “Gateway” system…

Clearly the whole new housing strategy will be torpedoed even before launching if other Parishes and Housing Trusts are able to allocate “social” houses according to their own priorities and whims…

Thanks to Constable Murphy for his time and sorry if the image gets a bit dark towards the end.

If any other Constables would like to be video-interviewed in this series, please make contact.


  1. And now we know why the Constables block vote with the council of ministers! Because they tell them they won't help them with their constituent issues if they don't vote how they tell them. Great.

  2. Another good Interview, Well done Constable Murphy I will have to go & lie down now, its all getting to much, these Constable sound so nice!


  3. I would just like to say I really appreciate the interviews the public are now able to view, and thank Mr. Murphy and others for the time given to air their views.

    I also agree with the plemont concerns raised by Mr Murphy if the States of Jersey intend to buy it for the people, perhaps those people should be consulted on where this would sit on their priority list.