Friday, 9 March 2012

Funny Old World 15

Health Warning: what follows is not news, any more than the middle section of Private Eye is news, or The Impressionist is news, or Spitting Image was news. It is a light hearted spin on the real news, which can be found on genuine news sites, such as BBC Jersey. Other news sites are available. This is not one of them. None of the individuals mentioned have ever said anything quite like the words attributed to them. Which is perhaps a pity.

There were 70,429 vehicles on Jersey's roads in 2011 owned by private households, according to the latest census figures. That included 62,456 cars and vans, and a recently arrived German Tank.

The census figures also showed that more than half of working adults travelled to work by private car, a quarter walked and fewer than 4% used the bus. The rest stayed in St Ouen, St Mary and Trinity and never ventured outside their own Parish, and haven't done so in the last 50 years.

Parking scratch cards should be scrapped to encourage people to visit St Helier, Jersey's town centre manager has said. He said pay cards were too confusing and put both locals and visitors off from spending in the town centre: "With an influx of replica World War II German tanks expected to arrive in Jersey, we have a real problem. Where do you put the scratch card? It is simply too confusing."

However, Transport Minister Deputy Kevin Lewis said he did not think there was a better alternative yet. "I drive a six-wheel drive Alvis Stalwart, which is a giant amphibious vehicle around Jersey roads, and I've never had any trouble with putting a scratch card on the dashboard. Admittedly, I often can't find a wide enough place to park, but it is not a problem."

Deputy Lewis said: "I think there's room for pay cards, people find them convenient and they're easy to use for both local tank commanders and visiting ones alike." He also added that despite criticisms that "the majority of road works were done 'to a high standard' ", a few potholes didn't really affect people who drove around in tanks, or even giant amphibious vehicles like himself.

The president of Jersey's Chamber of Commerce has called on the States to do more to help retailers in St Helier. David Warr said there needed to be an overarching strategy for the island's main shopping centre if the States wanted it to be a vibrant capital. Mr Warr said more needed to be done about parking to make it easier for shoppers. "This situation in town, it's shopper parking. Currently, if I have a replica German tank, there simply isn't anywhere to park it."

Plans to build a police station at Green Street car park will mean the number of available parking spaces drops by 91 to 517, although the new police station will have underground parking for police cars, police motor bikes, and the proposed police tank. Police Chief Mike Bowron said that "The tank is only a small one, but it can be deployed at any trouble spots in town. Most street violence will fade away with the advent of the Bobby on the Battle Tank.

The States need to think radically and provide incentives to help new and existing businesses grow, according to Economic Development Minister Alan Maclean. He told an audience of 800 people at the Jersey Enterprise Awards at the weekend: 'If we want new and our existing businesses to grow, we need to think more radically.' He said the Island needed to learn from places like Israel which invests significantly in research and development and, as a result, have become leaders in hi-tech industries. "They have the best hi-tech tanks in the world," he said, "and we could also become market leaders in tank technology."

Former Bailiff Sir Philip Bailhache is to head up a special panel looking at reforming Jersey's States. The States decided that this was far too important to be given to an independent panel and have ordinary members of the public decide in a referendum. The remit of the commission is as follows:

- A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles.
- The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.
- Make up proposals for the creation of reformed States operated by an incalculable multitude of political parasites, logically active but fortuitously efficient.
- A tank allowance of £44,000 per annum

1 comment:

alane said...

What's next?