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Page last updated at 17:46 GMT, Tuesday, 12 October 2010 18:46 UK
States roundup for 12 October

Christie Tucker
Christie Tucker
BBC Jersey, political reporter

States of Jersey
Members will be debating a number of big issues

Politicians are taking on some big questions this week, including how the States works, and how islanders elect their representatives.

They returned yesterday to the House and started with the usual question time - but there were so many, they ran out of time.

When a former politician dies, it's customary for the head of the States to pay tribute to him or her.

The Deputy Bailiff started the day yesterday by speaking about the former St Clement Constable Len Hamel.

He was described as a no-nonsense politician who passed away last week. William Bailache shared a personal story about their first meeting - before asking the States for a moment of silence.

Mr Bailache said: "I first came across him as a young lawyer shortly after his election, when my wife and I parked our car at Green Island car park in a line with many other cars.

"When we returned ours was the only car parked in the line and there was a parking ticket on it.

"The no parking sign I then looked for was completely obscured by the hedge.

"I wrote at least twice objecting to the fine if the law is to command respect, I remonstrated with him, then it must be applied reasonably.

States Assembly
States members discussed a number of issues

"He was having none of it. I was a lawyer, I should know the law, and besides I could afford to pay."

Education and childcare were on members minds as they went into question time, especially the announcement last week that the Education Sport and Culture minister was considering cutting the grants given to fee-paying schools.

He was urged to reconsider the decision - he didn't say he would, but did say his department would continue to work with the schools, and would support them into the future.

The care of young children came up - with some young children given 30 hours of free care a week, and those using private childcare only receiving 20 hours.

The minister said they would be looking at making the parents taking their children to public childcare centres PAY for their extra ten hours of free care - which would even the playing field.

The report released late last week into the suspension of the former chief officer of police hasn't changed the chief minister's mind about whether it was the right thing to do.

Senator Le Sueur was questioned about the Napier report - why it was late, and whether anyone was being disciplined for it.

He explained that they were still considering the report - but that it didn't, in his mind, prove that the suspension was the wrong thing to do, but Deputy Bob Hill didn't agree.

Then we had a statement from Deputy Collin Egre, the chairman of the scrutiny sub-panel looking into the creation of a new board that would lead redevelopment projects across the island, like the Waterfront Enterprise Board has for the waterfront.

He explained WHY his panel hasn't been able to produce a report about it - because he said they hadn't received enough information.

His fellow scrutiny member Debbie de Sousa tried to get the whole debate deferred - and with a completely split vote - of 24 to 24, the rules dictate that the proposition failed.

So they went ahead to debate the creation of this new Jersey Development Company.

Members wanted clarity about what exactly the new company would be like, and how it was different from WEB.

The chief minister described it as a new set of rules for an old company.

But that's the concern for some members - who are sceptical about the good WEB has done for the island.

WEB director Constable Dan Murphy made a passionate speech in defence of the company - he stepped down from the Corporate Services Scrutiny panel earlier that day.

He said he wasn't happy with the report, which he called a witch hunt. During that debate, the director of WEB - who had some of the information scrutiny was asking for made his way to the States and spoke with Deputy Egre, bringing the details with him.




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