Monday, 25 July 2011

Deputies Elections - St Brelade No 1 1993

In this posting, I'm looking particularly at St Brelade No 1, where there were two candidates for one positions. Except for one election recently, this end of the Parish tends to attract only a few candidates, and is often just a "two horse race".

I'm not wholly convinced the split of the Parish into two districts is viable, at least not in its present state, as most of the new housing estates seem to have been in the St Brelade No 2 area, and it could well be the case that St Brelade No 1 is over-represented, and the district boundaries need to be redrawn, or merged with St Brelade No 2. Where there are electoral districts within a Parish, and they've stayed the same over the years, there is certainly a need to look at this within any Committee looking at Electoral Reform.

The sitting Deputy Margaret Beadle was to be unseated by Alastair Layzell, who had become, of course, a very familiar figure on the screens of Channel Report for many years.

Mrs Beadle displays the customary list of States committees that she has served on, without, as in St Clement, stating what she did on any of them. I once looked up minutes of various meetings from a much later Deputy in St Brelade No 2 (when such minutes were available online for many committees) and it turned out he had been responsible on one committee for obtaining sandwiches and refreshments for the committee while they deliberated, and that was it!

It is interesting that she wanted a new swimming pool in the West, and now, of course, despite her losing the election, this has come about, and there is a pool and sport's centre at Les Quennevais.

However, Mr Layzell's proposal for residents having designated areas - which I suppose would have been similar to Simon Crowcroft's resident's parking scheme in St Helier - never came to fruition. He also failed in his attempt to stop the approval of the plans for the Portelet Hotel, but the collapse of the tourism market, and recessionary pressures meant that the Seymour Group dropped the plans themselves, despite getting them passed. One of histories little ironies!

Land reclamation was clearly a proposal even back in 1993, and has come back ever since, rather like a Yo-Yo, and rejected for pretty much the same reasons - the West of Albert Waterfront development gave a clear view of all the mistakes that had happened once the developers had come in. Of course, it has been argued that St Aubin can learn from those mistakes, but as the States themselves seem incapable of doing so, and approve ever more fantastical schemes - such as the sunken road - it is hardly likely to inspire any great confidence. The latest to try at St Aubin was former Deputy Guy de Faye, who seemed to think it could be valuable land-fill - and then reclaimed and built on. During the land-fill period, of course, it would have been extremely ugly, and there would be no certainty that would not be the case for a number of years. Moreover, the experience of the new Marina at the Harbour shows the failure of plans to model tidal currents well, which is yet another cause of concern in an area prone to flooding (and which would have underground parking with automatic sealed doors, on the de Faye fantasy).

Mr Layzell also tapped into the heritage and environmental concerns, and unlike Mrs Beadle, he had not just memberships of groups, worthy though they might be, but also experience as a campaigner to preserve St Aubin against despoiling by development; and he had also penned as co-author, a document outlining an environmental and architectural strategy for Jersey. Given such a formidable and eloquent opponent, it was perhaps not surprising that she lost the election.

Mr Layzell would, however, lose in a later election to newcomer Sarah Ferguson, perhaps largely because - as he himself observed - he had taken his eye rather too much off Parish matters as President of the Home Affairs committee.

St Brelade No 1

Margaret Beadle
Occupation: Deputy/housewife
Age: 53

DEPUTY Margaret Beadle has been a States Member for 12 years, and has been president of the Cottage Homes Committee since 1986. She sits on Public Health, Broadcasting, Gambling Control and the Occupation and Liberation Committees.

Deputy Beadle believes that Jersey needs to maintain its unique constitution. She supports the honorary police, who she believes play a vital role in parish life. 'There should he support for the training of residentially qualified people to enable them to take on responsible positions in the Island.' she says. She also advocates the building of a new swimming pool for the west of the Island.

A supporter of the Battle of Flowers for many years. Deputy Beadle is a former president and the current vice-president of the Battle of Flowers Association.

She is also the president of the St Brelade senior citizens group. St Brelade's Battle of Flowers Committee. and the St Martin division of St John Ambulance.

She is the patron of St Brelade's social club and a supporter of the parish agricultural society. 'I do not believe in change for the sake of change. Electors have placed their trust in me and I ask them to support me again.'  she says.

Alastair Layzell
Occupation: TV broadcaster
Age: 35

ALASTAIR Layzell is challenging sitting Deputy Margaret Beadle in the district in which he lives and works.

The chairman of Save Jerseys Heritage, Mr Layzell has campaigned to preserve St Paul's School, Colomberie House, St James's Church and dilapidated 18th and 19th century cottages in Hue Street.

A former CTV journalist and political commentator, father-of-two Mr Layzell is a co-author of the long-term strategy for Jersey called 'Notre Ile' which he wrote with Senator Nigel Queree and Senator-elect Stuart Syvret.

He is against the proposed reclamation of land at St Aubin - 'the jewel in St Brelade's crown' - to build a car park. 'We have seen what land
reclamation looks like at West Park and we must not make the same mistake here. If elected, however, I shall be supporting the idea of designated parking spaces for the residents of St Aubin,' he said.

Mr Layzell, while not against proposals to upgrade the Portelet Hotel, believes that the plans were 'completely out of scale with the area'.

As one of the people who argued for a 30 mph speed limit on Route du Noirmont, Mr Layzell is to campaign for a footpath along the 'dangerous' road.

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