Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Should the Masterplan be Rescinded?

Below are details of the original plan. Not only has the timetable gone, in which the sunken road was due to start the project, the original developer - Harcourt - have gone - and where in these times of austerity is anyone going to fund a sunken road to the depth of £45m (and that's 2007 figures, not adjusted for inflation) beggars belief

Karl Popper made a distinction between "piecemeal social planning" and "utopian planning" and the key difference is that utopian planning almost invariably fails because of unexpected consequences not allowed for, and which a large clean slate approach is ill-equipped to address.

In fact, the procedure followed by the Jersey Development Company has largely scrapped the original plans, and is developing the site piecemeal, as can be seen most clearly by the numbering of the buildings in the plans passed, which demonstrate how at odds it is with the original sequence of buildings. Popper notes that "the piecemeal method permits repeated experiments and continuous readjustments” which is exactly what we have seen.

Reading it now, over ten years later, the Masterplan seems like the deranged dream of a madman.

"a temporary dual carriageway through the existing Esplanade Square car park"

"a roundabout would be provided on the underground section"

"The current proposal is for a temporary steel framed structure for 250 car spaces to be erected at Elizabeth terminal."

"Much of this work will not affect the current road network and the periods of disruption should therefore be much shorter."

Quite how the States were ever persuaded that it was ever a good idea seems incredible, until you realise that the plan - as sold to them - was to be entirely the risk of the developer Harcourt, there would be a substantial return to the States, and there would be a bond in place to cover the cost, just in case Harcourt went bust trying to do all this.

It seemed a win-win situation, and was cheerfully promoted by Planning Minister Freddie Cohen, who seemed to have a love affair with any idea that had the word "masterplan" attached to it, as well as "iconic and "world class", both of which surface in the debates in Hansard.

Of course Harcourt were pushed out, the Jersey Development Company took over, and the whole Masterplan was effectively junked, except of course that - rather like the Hospital Plans - this still remains the one passed by the States and on the table. Time for rescindment?

Original Plan (my italics)

The cost to the developers of lowering the road is estimated at £45m.

Sinking the main road is a significant project taking 2-3 years. Traffic management measures during construction will include a temporary dual carriageway through the existing Esplanade Square car park.

The cost of sinking the road is guaranteed and has been ascribed a value of £45 million and the work will be completed at no cost and risk to the States of Jersey

The Hopkins Masterplan proposes to sink La Route de la Liberation, so that traffic would pass through an underground tunnel from a point between Patriotic Street and Gloucester Street to the current eastern end of the existing underpass. This has the significant benefit of removing the above ground dual carriageway and greatly improving pedestrian connectivity between the Waterfront and the original St Helier town area. At the same time it maximizes space available for development.

Firstly, the development proposals assumed that a roundabout would be provided on the underground section of La Route de la Liberation providing direct access to 1420 underground parking spaces. Whilst this would help to keep traffic flowing, Capita Symonds advise that junctions in road tunnels are unusual, because of accident risk and associated mechanical and electrical issues. They believe that it could be made safe, ‘subject to careful attention to geometry, signing and traffic controls’. It is essential that the emergency services are involved in this element of the design process.

An alternative arrangement is now being developed in which there would not be an underground junction in the road. This will offer the opportunity for comparison and requires a new assessment of the impact this would have on the above ground road network. New proposals must also be submitted for access to the underground car park and measures to mitigate the increased volume of traffic above ground.

There will be several stages of temporary traffic management with varying degrees of disruption, but the principal proposal for a temporary dual carriageway through the current Esplanade car park will give similar capacity to the current road network. Detailed analysis of the stages will be required of the developer with restrictions imposed to ensure that disruption is minimised. The below ground works (burying/realigning la Route de la Liberation and car park construction) are likely to take approximately three years. Much of this work will not affect the current road network and the periods of disruption should therefore be much shorter.

Capita Symonds conclude that a satisfactory arrangement can be developed.

Temporary Parking Provision

The existing temporary Esplanade Square car park has 525 public parking spaces and these will be replaced in underground parking once the scheme is completed. During construction, these spaces will be lost. To compensate, the developer will be required to provide 250 temporary spaces. The current proposal is for a temporary steel framed structure for 250 car spaces to be erected at Elizabeth terminal. To supplement this, motorists will be able to use 300 spaces which are currently left empty at Pier Road car park on weekday


The land immediately to the north of the development site has been subject to flooding in the past. Though much less frequent in recent years, overtopping of the sea wall and flooding back along the Esplanade can still occur in certain weather and tide conditions.

The developer must investigate this problem and ensure sufficient mitigation is included at the detailed design phase to ensure the tunnel and underground car park will be adequately protected. Options must be considered and approved by the Minister for Transport and Technical Services to ensure that the proposed scheme does not adversely affect the current surface water drainage system in the area.

Running the dual carriageway through the basement permits construction costs to be more easily absorbed within the overall development. There will be specific requirements to ensure the safety and stability of the road and the construction over.

There will be environmental issues that will need to be resolved. These include, but are not limited to, air quality within the tunnel and smoke extraction. Also there are technical issues to be resolved, such as noise generated in the tunnel and how to isolate this from the buildings above.
The States Transportation and Technical Services Department has advised that there is an existing flood problem in St Helier. At times of certain high tides coinciding with strong storms, water runs up the beach and overtops the sea wall in the area of Patriotic Street and Kensington Place, to the west of the site. The water then collects in this area, which is low lying, and causes flooding.

The existing underpass is not affected by this flooding because its western end rises to a higher level (see section ‘flood risks’ in this report).

Dealing with flooding The proposed tunnel will rise to ground level at its western end at a location at which ground level is approximately 7.8m and falling within the area subject to flooding. The developer will have to liaise with the States of Jersey to provide a solution to the sea water flooding experienced by St Helier. There are several potential options available and further design development would be required in order to determine the best solution, either for the tunnel in isolation, or alternatively in conjunction with a solution for the wider flooding problem.
These include:

(a) providing an artificial high point in the road alignment at the approach to the tunnel portal, in conjunction with flood control walls along both sides of the road between the artificial high point and the tunnel approach ramp;

(b) provision of flood doors at the western portal or at the top of the western approach ramp; or

(c) provision of a flood control wall along the southern side of the road for the full length between the western tunnel approach ramp and the West Park junction. The ground levels at this location are likely to be at a level sufficient to form a barrier and western protection against flooding.

Some modification of the marine slipway will be required irrespective of whether any of these alternatives are adopted for control of flooding. However if alternatives (a) or (c) are adopted, further modification would be required to accommodate the flood control wall. This impact could be largely mitigated by provision of a flood gate to permit access through the flood wall to/from the slipway at this location.

Car Parking

The Esplanade Quarter will provide parking for 1420 cars. Providing car parking above ground is visually unacceptable, contrary to planning advice and would result in loss of other more beneficial uses for land at ground floor and above. The entire parking provision can be achieved within two basement levels beneath the entire site.

The sea wall will be revealed within the basement areas, creating space for pedestrian access to and from the Esplanade while providing natural daylight and ventilation. The zone also delineates a gateway boundary to the new quarter.

A roundabout beneath the scheme on the lowered La Route de la Liberation provides a means of access for car parking and servicing on either side of the dual carriageway. The headroom requirements for lorry deliveries will inform the layout.

Noise levels

The main road, La Route de la Liberation, will be beneath the site. The design and detailing must acknowledge both the air and structure borne noise sources in the development proposals. Noise from plant will be considered within the planning application

Air quality

As with noise, La Route de la Liberation beneath the site will have air quality issues. The underground car parking will require ventilation to ensure that the air quality is at least of sufficient standard to meet regulation requirements. If possible this should be achieved through natural ventilation

Monday, 18 February 2019

Underpass Pump Costs - FOI response

I understand that rainfall is kept out of accumulating in the underpass at least partly by the use of an electronic pump system. I would like to know for the past three years, by year: 1. The cost of running the pumping system (apart from maintenance) per year 2. The cost of maintenance of the pumping system per year.


1. The electricity bill for the pumping station also includes the street lighting in the area, therefore, it does not accurately reflect the actual pumping station costs. However, an estimate has been calculated based on the number of hours the pumps run in each year.

£138.19 in 2016
£104.18 in 2017
£133.45 in 2018

2. The maintenance costs for the underpass pumping station for the last three years are:

£173.80 in 2016
£957.75 in 2017
£1,485.18 in 2018

Sunday, 17 February 2019

St Andrew’s Absence from Luke

St Andrew’s Absence from Luke

The “Miraculous Catch of Fish” only occurs in Luke 5:1–11, and not in the other synoptic or John – although there is a post-Resurrection story of a miraculous catch of fish in John which is quite remarkably similar – indeed some scholars have suggested there may be an underlying common source..

This has the calling of Peter, but not Andrew, his brother. Indeed Andrew does not appear until Luke 6, the calling of the Twelve.

In these days he went out to the mountain to pray; and all night he continued in prayer to God. And when it was day, he called his disciples, and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles; Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

So when does Andrew appear?

Andrew appears first in a different calling story in Mark 1:6, and in a similar form in Matthew.

And passing along by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, "Follow me and I will make you become fishers of men." And immediately they left their nets and followed him.

This story does not feature in Luke, although the “catchers of men” pun exists. Luke’s story could be seen as an imaginative expansion of the “casting a net in the sea”, which puts the focus strongly on Peter.

Before that, Luke has healing of Simon’s Mother in Law (4.38), which is before the calling story in Mark.

And he arose and left the synagogue, and entered Simon's house.

Contrast with Mark 1.29 (which comes after the calling story in Mark)

And immediately he left the synagogue, and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.

So Andrew vanishes a second time in Luke’s redaction! And also is missing in Matthew’s redaction of the same story in Mark.

Andrew features very lightly in Mark, and only once in Luke – the calling of the Twelve. By way of contrast, John places Andrew at a number  of significant events – Baptism of Jesus, Feeding of the Five Thousand.

It is noteworthy that in the Acts of the Apostles, the Pentecost  list of disciples is the same as in Luke 6.14–16. However, as James Dunn observes: “the two brothers, James and John, are now grouped with Peter, leaving Andrew, Peter’s brother, separated from Peter”. Dunn suggests that “The implication is that Peter, James and John formed a central or leadership group.”

Andrew in Luke features simply as a name in the lists, whereas in John, he plays almost as significant a part as the “Beloved Disciple” and Jesus. Indeed, he is the one who singles out Jesus at his baptism to his brother Peter.

My conclusion – if we apply form critical methods, and assume the four gospels largely reflect four different early geographical centres of Christianity  – is that Andrew was part of the early Johannine community, and hence features heavily in John, where he is sometimes seen as nearly as close to Jesus sometimes as “the Beloved Disciple”, and is close to his brother Peter. But elsewhere, in other communities, he was not a significant figure.

Andrew resurfaces in the 2nd century Greek “Acts of Andrew”. This text is dated between 150 and 200, “it relates the success of the preaching of Andrew before Maximilla, the wife of the proconsul Aegeates, who subsequently refuses her husband's attentions. Full of grief and anger, Aegeates throws the apostle into prison; Andrew will die as a martyr on a cross.” (Daniel Marguerat).

It is clear that this has little historical value, although it adds a hagiographic element which will be used to flesh out the story of Andrew, and the design of the St Andrew’s Cross comes from this tale.

And even later, he plays a part in the “Acts of Andrew and Matthias among the cannibals” – a title which sounds like a straight to DVD movie - where Matthias has been preaching in a strange country of  anthropophagi (literally man-eaters, i.e. cannibals) and has been imprisoned, presumably to be eaten. Everyone in this prison is given a ticket tied on his hand to show the date when his thirty days would be fulfilled, and he would be for the pot. He is rescued by Andrew and Jesus; during which seven guards fall dead at the command of Jesus.  It is no longer considered to be a portion of the text of Acta Andrew.

Andrew is one of the  'fringe' characters, of the New Testament, which is why he pops up elsewhere. J.K. Elliot in “The Apocryphal Jesus: Legends of the Early Church” notes that:

“Jesus, his parents, and the disciples are the usual dramatis personae of many apocryphal texts, but others like Nicodemus, the good and bad thieves, Pilate's wife, Thomas, Andrew, John, and other apostles gain prominence. The stories betray an insatiable interest in these characters' miracles, and pronouncements, their travels and, increasingly, their deaths. Believers' curiosity about these persons fuelled a creative literary urge.”

And these follow a set pattern:

“The eponymous hero of all these Acts is, to a large extent, a stock character. He is a fearless champion for Christ, displaying prodigious deeds of courage, performing spectacular miracles, delivering himself of effective speeches, defending in public his faith, withstanding hardship and suffering deprivation (including imprisonments and torture), and dying typically as a martyr.”

The scarcity of information concerning the “fringe” names such as Andrew and Matthias, combined with a curiosity to know what happened to them led to the formation of these texts. This is a very human instinct, and today we avidly devour biography and autobiography, although not looking for religious reasons, but seeking to understand other human beings, and ourselves better as a result, and to enjoy a story.

These stories also played a part in grounding saints in particular locations, as can be seen notably in later legends such as Joseph of Arimathea coming to Glastonbury.  

An associated trend is the linking of the “lost tribes of Israel” with locality, seen in the British Israel movement, and of course in the Book of Mormon.

As early as the third century, the cult of relics also began to take off, although it would not reach its high point until around the Middle Ages. Again there is a need for localism, to possess a link to something holy. It is very human – Thomas Aquinas pointed out that it was natural that people should treasure what is associated with the dead, much like the personal effects of a relative. And where there is not a tale to connect a saint to a locality, a relic can fulfil the same function.

It seems to be a very human instinct, like genealogy research, which provides a grounding of identity. With genealogy, it is answering the question: “Who am I? Where do I come from? What are my roots?” With the apocryphal acts, and the later martyrologies and relics, it is answering the question: “Where does my religious identity come from? How is it connected to the New Testament? Where are my roots?”

These are foundational stories which both legitimise (like “apostolic succession”) and authenticate religious identity, make connections to the past, like tracing back the branches of a vine to its source, and in the end, what they say is simply this - “we are one body”

Jesus and the Sphinx

One day Jesus and his disciples came into a temple of the Gentiles, and the chief priest turned to the twelve disciples and said:

"O wretches, why do you follow this man who says he is the son of God? is riot this man the son of Joseph the Carpenter and his mother Mary? And are not James and Simon his brothers?"

The hearts of the disciples weakened when they heard these words. But Jesus, having looked to the right and to the left of the temple, saw two sculptured sphinxes on each side. And he said to the sphinx on the right:

"Come down from your place and answer the chief priest, that he may know who I am."

The sphinx left the pedestal and said in a human voice: "Do not say that I am a carved stone and that you alone have a name and are called the high priest! For though we are made of stone, it is you who have given us the name of a god. Then you purify yourselves seven days when you have intercourse with women, because of your fear of us. But I say to you that only the holy things can purify your temples."

The disciples turned to the chief priest and said: "Now even the stones have convicted you."

But the priest said: "By magic one can make the stones to speak. I will believe you only if you bring me the testimony of the patriarchs."

Jesus then said to the sphinx: "Go to the land of the Canaanites and to the cave in the field of Mature, and cry out, saying: ' Abraham! Abraham! whose body is in this tomb and whose soul is in paradise, rise up! You and your son Isaac and his son Jacob, rise up, and come to this temple of the Jebusites, and convict the chief priest who does not believe that I am acquainted with you, and you with me!"

The sphinx walked out of the temple and went to the cave of Mamre and cried out to the patriarchs as Jesus had commanded. Straightaway the three patriarchs set out for the temple of the Jebusites, and there they testified to all that Jesus had said, and convicted the chief priests. Then they returned to their resting place to await the time of the resurrection.

And Jesus said to the sphinx: "Return to your place."

The sphinx returned to its pedestal and was stone again. Even so the chief priest did not believe in him.

This legend, which appears in the Acts of Andrew and Matthias, is told by the Apostle Andrew in the first person, long after the Crucifixion; and strangely enough, the story is told to Jesus who, as the pilot of a small boat, is not recognized by Andrew and his disciples.

The Lore of the New Testament. Contributors: Joseph Gaer - Author. Publisher: Little Brown. Place of publication: Boston. Publication year: 1952.

Saturday, 16 February 2019


Sometimes I look at the world and despair. Not all the time, because there are still a myriad small acts of kindness, often unseen, certainly rarely blazed across the headlines in the news. But this poem is a reflection on the wars, the lack of sustainability that our consumer society engenders, and the poverty elsewhere, and how we try to shut out those who come to our castle walls while we remain relatively secure within.There is also history there, of how the great and mighty empires of Britain and France divided up the Middle East after the Great War and set in place a ticking time bomb, which as we know, has gone off in many lands. That's what this poem is all about.


Anger, hate, fear: where will it end?
And consumer society, spend spend:
This is our world, a world in such pains
Like Marley,  burdened by many chains
And most of our own making. Our legacy
To pass on, devouring with such rapacity
All the resources of such a finite planet,
And as thoughtless as a hungry gannet
Soaring high, like Icarus, but then the fall
Can we not listen, hear the warning call
Of climate change, of famine, of war
So rich in things, and yet so very poor
While others starve, in war torn lands
A legacy of empire, from imperial hands
Came the great divides to the Middle East
And now the unleashing of the beast
See the might armies clash by night
Seeking conquest, where might is right
And nature red in tooth and claw
Opening all the terrors of that door
The land laid bare, no food to eat
A black day when there is no wheat
The belly swollen, and children die
Cursed be the fear and migrant lie
The pale rider rides across the world
With death his banner now unfurled
And I see the white horse on the vale
The white rider, come beyond the veil
It is not yet midnight, there is still time
Before the witching hour, fateful chime
Marking an end of all that we hold dear
And that time is drawing very near

Friday, 15 February 2019

Les Quennevais School 1966 - Part 7

Here is the next part of the 1966 booklet produced on Les Quennevais School. If anyone knows the students named in the photos, I'd love to have memories of them for the next post.

Les Quennevais School 1966 - Part 7

A lot of work in the school leads directly into outside activities. The Gnome dingies and canoes seen in our workshop court are used by boys and girls.

Much of this work centres on St. Aubin's Fort, where Mr. Jennett, Organiser of Outdoor Activities, joins forces with school staff.

Mr. Jennett here gives instruction in abseiling on the wall of the Fort.

To round off a morning's work, pupils eat their midday meal in the school dining room.

Dinners are cooked for over a hundred pupils every day.

In the evening senior pupils may join adult activities.

There were fifty-seven classes and club sessions to choose from this session.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

10 Years: Project Fear and the Island Plan

In what has been rightly described by the JEP editorial as "Project Fear", the big guns are out telling us that anything other than the Gloucester Site for the new hospital will not be able to deliver for ten years.

But let's look at what will happen if it goes ahead on Gloucester Street - more plans to be submitted, another Planning Inquiry, and before we know yet another year will have gone by, and the inspector will almost certainly reject the plans, because they simply won't work.

And meantime, the Scrutiny Panel has proposed that the States be the final arbiter of the hospital plans, which while it may be mentioned by the Planning Minister, is a disaster - it leads to ad hoc decision making on the hoof, with no accountability under the Island Plan, and makes you wonder why the States need plans to be submitted for consideration when they have the final say anyway. Just what is the point of a planning inquiry if accepting the conclusions can just be voted on.

Listening to the hustings on the hospital, Geraint Jennings said that all sites - Gloucester Street, Overdale, St Saviours, and Warwick Farm, would fall foul of the Island plan, and what was needed was to define parameters beforehand to allow the Planning Minister to make special exceptions for special projects.

Actually, Geraint didn't seem to spot that there is a provision which would almost certainly be applicable to Warwick Farm, insofar as a structure might impact on the green zone in the Island Plan.

As the Les Quennevais School site showed:

"The main issue is the loss of agricultural fields and open space between Red Houses and the Airport. It is recognised that this is not ideal but there are very few sites of an adequate size in the right location. The site is in the Green Zone in the Island Plan but the policy allows for ‘elements of significant public infrastructure, such as a new secondary school’ provided it can be demonstrated that this is the most appropriate site and any impact is mitigated as far as possible. "

That meant that the Planning Inspector could allow that site within his brief, despite it being Green Zone, and something similar could be developed in respect of other areas such as townscape or impact on the horizon.

But it should be noted that while it allowed plans to go ahead, the Planning Inspector still recommended the first set of plans be rejected. As the JEP reported:

"The public hearings took place in January but following recommendations by the inspector Graham Self, Deputy Luce rejected the application in February over concerns about the building’s design and vehicle access."

That is why it is extremely important that the States do not remove the ability of the Planning Minister to accept or reject an application. They can widen the parameters so that as far as the "big picture" is concerned "elements of significant public infrastructure" can override the basic principles of the Island plan, but the first Les Quennevais plans showed that this is not enough - the detailed plans must also not have serious flaws, or if it does, they must be remedied.

It is well to remember that as the planning inspector noted, the plans rejected were "outline" only:

"The application is submitted in ‘Outline’ with all matters of details, except for ‘means of access’, being ‘reserved matters’. This form of planning application is intended to establish that the proposal is broadly acceptable in Planning terms and allows for detailed design matters to be addressed later."

It should be noted that Les Quennevais School site was not an "Outline" plan but a detailed plan, and despite the "in principle" acceptance of the Green Zone build for "significant public infrastructure", still had problems. So even if the "Outline" plan is accepted, there is a further gauntlet, with further time, on the detailed plans, something which the Planning Inspector warned about:

" It does enable the broad acceptability of the proposal to be assessed in Planning terms. However, the limited detail of the submission does inevitably create some complications and issues and the extent to which certain impacts and ‘design’ related matters can be assessed is limited."

There are some limits to this - as he noted "The set of parameter plans, elevations and sections seek to define the maximum ‘envelope’ of the new buildings in terms of their siting, size and heights." There are also a set of principles. The Planning Inspector sees this as legitimate, but notes that it does mean
further work would need to be done on the detailed planning application.

As the application itself states: "The Applicant respectfully requests the Inspector to recommend, on the basis of the objective and independent expert evidence presented, that conditional outline planning permission be granted."

Other comments on this from the Inspector which are significant:

"An outline planning application essentially splits the planning process into two parts. Whilst this will ultimately take longer than a single, detailed planning application, it can be useful when the principle of a proposed development is uncertain. Outline applications can be used to establish whether a scheme is broadly acceptable before a fully detailed proposal is prepared and more substantial costs are incurred."

In other words, the broad outline might be acceptable, but the plans with details could still be rejected as needing revision  - as with the Les Quennevais School plans.

And he comments:

"Most notably, the ‘design’ is not fixed and remains fluid, its only limitations being set by the maximum parameters, should permission be granted. Environmental effects such as overlooking, massing and impacts on the setting of Listed Buildings have to be assessed on the basis of the 24 EIA Chapter 3 – Paragraph 3.3 25 EIA Chapter 3 - Table 3.1 42 maximum parameters and likely assumed effects, taking into account any mediation that may accrue from the application of the ‘design principles’."

"This is some way removed from the a more precise appraisal of a settled design. 146. In addition to the challenges for the decision maker, it must also be recognised that the approach taken carries some risks for the Applicant. This is because the parameters (such as building siting and heights) are set as maxima and may, for good Planning reasons, not be achievable at the ‘reserved matters’ stage. This could have some operational floorspace implications."

So while Outline Planning is a good way to curb initial costs, it lengthens the planning process which then has to jump through another hoop, and in this case, as the Inspector warns, the lack of details could cause problems in terms of the final design being viable.

In order to circumvent the Island plan, either the matter must be resolved to the States, which is is terrible as it circumvents principles with the Island plan, or the plan must be modified to allow exceptions for "elements of significant public infrastructure", as with Les Quennevais School, and as suggested by Geraint Jennings, and as with Les Quennevais, that comes with caveats and does not completely ignore the rest of the planned design. That way provides a solid ground for decision making, rather than just making up the planning decision dependent on the whim of the States of the day.

All this will require extra time, set against the time already wasted, and assumes that the States can actually decide matters!

And as John Henwood comments:

"The only thing more astonishing than the Heath Minister failing to say, unequivocally, that the plan to build a new hospital on the current site is dead, was to hear the Infrastructure Minister saying that the plan should be further progressed. Are they both completely insensitive to public opinion? Do they both live in some other dimension? The new hospital issue has been running seven years. Two Health Ministers have tried to get plans passed, both have failed. Another attempt at getting similar proposals approved will result in further procrastination and additional unnecessary cost. Stop this now. Draw a line under the failed plan to shoe-horn a new facility into an inappropriate site and move on with choosing a more appropriate location without further delay."

Don't go ahead with Gloucester Street and it will be ten years, we are told by the advocates of Project Fear. But the sorry history of plans failing to get passed shows at least seven years have passed, and it will be at least another three years before anything can be passed.

Monday, 11 February 2019

Fourteen Reasons Why the Revised Plans for Jersey’s Future Hospital (JFH) will not Work

This isn't mine, it is part of the material from a recent FOI request, but ahead of the debate. Curiously it appears on a Google Search as a PDF dated 22 January 2019 but I've not seen the datat on the list of FOI requests for that date.

Incidentally the Scrutiny panel attacked the past bias of Hospital Board Review members based on what they had said, but had nothing to say about Richard Buchanan or Carina Alves - and yet we are presumably to believe they were led by the nose into not dissenting from Christopher Taylor.

What would be extremely interesting - and far more use - would be to ask why they agreed when Richard Renouf disagreed - I notice they don't go through his record for all his past support for the Gloucester Street site which shows how selective they are in their criticism.

To be really fair, they should have cited any statements they also made so we could see their own bias on choice of hospital site, for instance:

"I am concerned that the argument over the location of the hospital is distracting from the more important issue of how our health care is managed. I want to change this." Kevin Pamplin

So clearly on his own argument on bias, the Chairman of the Scrutiny panel was never going to agree with Chris Taylor's report. The argument from bias can be played all ways! What is more important is the argument from facts, and here Scrutiny seem to have been as selective as those they criticise.

An interesting question: If there are only two really independent members, why did they agree 100% with the review findings?

So what can we see in Richard Buchanan's CV:

"I have had over 40 years’ experience working in the Jersey finance industry most of which has been in a very senior capacity"
"Experience in running large and complex business, employing staff and developing and managing budgets"

In fact, just the kind of independent whose opinion should carry weight, especially as he looks into another large and complex business, that of the new hospital. Yet there is not one single reservation from him in dissenting from the views of the others. Are we really to believe he would not have cast a critical eye on all the findings?

Fourteen Reasons Why the Revised Plans for Jersey’s Future Hospital (JFH) will not Work 

1. The current plans do not meet the States requirement from 2012:  that a new hospital should be on a single site that accommodates all the facilities currently provided by the General Hospital. The current plans will be on 6 sites; will cost too much; does not put patients as the top priority; will take too long to build; has no room for expansion and are not liked by the clinicians who will work there.

2. Site Selection: the ‘Ministerial Advisory Group’ skewed the overall site selection process in favour of the Gloucester Street site without any explanation in the Outline Business Case (OBC) of October 2018 by removing the two green field sites in States ownership (Warwick Farm and St Saviour’s Hospital) from the shortlisted sites.

3. Cost: The cost is budgeted at £466 million. In April 2015 Gleeds assessed the cost at £626 million. The Care Inquiry was budgeted at £6 million with an outturn of £23 million. Will the ultimate cost of the new hospital be any different?

4. Paying for the JFH: Meanwhile, taken together with the Andium bond for new public housing, the annual interest payments will be £16 million for over 40 years.   The OBC estimates the total cost of this bond as £626 bringing the full cost of the JFH to over £1 billion.

5. Lack of Professional Consultation: There has been strong pressure on clinicians and nursing staff not to express doubts about the 'preferred site', but the unanimous view expressed in informal contacts is consistently against the present plans.  A confidential vote by the clinicians should form an element in making a final judgement on the site.

6. The Site is too small: Trying to squeeze a quart into a pint pot will not work. It is impossible to put all the existing facilities and departments into a smaller site, which is compromised by Planning height restrictions in St Helier. As a consequence the revised plans have multiple treatment floors rather than a single 20,000-m2 ground floor, as specified in the 2012 brief, with existing Departments made smaller to fit the site, rather than the clinical need.

7. There is no Room for Future Expansion: The site is constrained by the four roads within which it sits. Hoping that future advances in medical technology and practice will allow expansion and new facilities is naïve. Between 1950 and 1987 the Nurses Home (now Sir Peter Crill House) Gwyneth Huelin and 1980’s blocks were built in order to accommodate necessary expansion as medical advances and the population grew. Why would that requirement not be replicated in the 60-year life of the new JFH?