Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A scaffold erected in the Royal Square! - but just the usual discriminatory incompetence....

The "States Building" in the Royal Square is Jersey's most important public building.
It is not only the seat of government but also houses the offices of the Bailiff and the Royal Courts, Judicial Greffe and Scrutiny Offices and their administration....but of course it is not really a "public" building at all because we - the paying public - are only admitted "under sufferance".

Moves are afoot to make public access even more restricted soon with  stricter surveillance at the entrances with body and baggage searches following some organisation or other's "Report".
Of course this will inevitably be another excuse to employ yet more "private" security officers who are not answerable to us and will cost a great deal of money - although they will probably be employed on minimal wages under Zero hours "contracts."

How much better it would be to spend the money to address the ancient problem of poor acoustics within the Courts for most people - especially in the museum piece that is Royal Court No 1 - or to improve the ridiculous and restrictive circular stairs that are the public's only means of access to the "Gallery" of the States Chamber.

If the same "organisation" that reported on the security of States Members etc was equally concerned about the welfare of the public, that "Gallery" would have been closed years ago on safety grounds. Never mind that it is totally inaccessible to those with mobility impairments or who experience "vertigo" and there are no public toilets of course.

It may be appropriate that the well named "Cock and Bottle" pub in the Royal Square is generally happy to provide the "necessary" that our government is not...for those that can face the descent and climb back up the stairs....

Meanwhile from now until mid- May this most important public building is shrouded in scaffolding for the purposes of redecoration.
Usually this activity precedes a Royal Visit or some other jolly occasion but, once again the money would probably be better spent on improving facilities for the paying public...

As it is, the scaffolding serves to further reduce access to the building for many - as the interview with newly elected Deputy Le Cornu here explains...

Yours truly spoke with about half a dozen others from our elected reps in the Royal Square and none would agree to be recorded but it is truly amazing, that on the very same day that the feeble Anti-Discrimination Regulations were being debated,  none of our States Members  or the Law Officers, or  Bailiff or Dean or any others in authority had even noticed that the scaffolding was a barrier to access  for so many members of the public who might want to engage with the government, or the courts etc etc

The ramp upon which the scaffolding is erected is the only means of access for many and there is no attempt to give information about alternatives or assistance.
The Minister with responsibility for this building through TTS is Deputy Lewis. We were not able to find him to ask about this although he did appear before a Scrutiny Panel yesterday but no questions or concerns were raised about this matter there...

Several States Members today promised to raise the matter when prompted in the Square....we will report again in due course.


  1. 3 States Members have been in touch to advise that Deputy Eddie Noel will now undertake to amend the scaffold in his role as Property Services supremo....

  2. Deputy Noel has now circulated all his States' colleagues to promise that a temporary timber ramp will now be provided this week...ok that's good - but when will he address all the other outstanding defects referred to in this blog such as no public toilets to the States public gallery or lack of public sound systems in the Courts...?