Monday, 28 April 2014

Harbour Dues

I've had a piece of correspondent from my friend Adam Gardiner, about Rob Duhamel's suggestion to turn the Old Harbour into a communal swimming pool. It rather takes apart the suggestion piece by piece and shows that while the good Deputy is excellent at "blue sky" thinking, when it comes to practical details, and thinking things over a bit, weighing up the "pros" and "cons", he seems sadly deficient.
We do need fresh ideas - and some States members seem bereft of any new ideas at all. I'm still trying to think of any ideas, propositions, or questions asked by Deputy Susie Pinel of St Clement, or for that matter, if she has ever spoken in any debate. St Clement seems to have a tradition of electing "trappist" deputies - her predecessor, Ann Dupre was also taciturn, and I knew a Deputy in the 1970s who never spoke once during his entire time in the States, although he was a very nice chap.
But ideas need testing as well, and preferably by the individual proposing them. If they survive critical scrutiny, then they are worth while. If this has not been done, don't release it to the public.
Remember Tony Blair's humiliating retraction of a "blue sky" and off-the cuff suggestion that offenders could be taken to cash point machines by police, and forced to pay the fine on the spot. He managed to spin out of that, and it is largely forgotten today. But it is a classic example of how not to air ideas before taking them through with other people, who may see gaping flaws.
Adam Gardiner here exposes some in Rob Duhamel's ideas.
Taking the Plunge
By Adam Gardiner
The Old Harbour turned into swimming pool. A realistic idea or total nonsense?
Let us examine it in detail.
The harbour which he is actually talking about is one in front of Normans and Iron Stores. This is one that has the barrage that keeps boats afloat at high water. So is it big enough? Yes.
But is that vision just to shift the boats out and for everyone to take the plunge? Surely not. Harbour water is filthy -  full of all sorts on nasties from fuel oil to stuff that we don't want to talk about. So he must have some other vision
We are again lacking detail here, some clarity of thought about the practicalities let alone the implications. So the questions I would like to put to the Minister:-
Minister - a 6 part question:
1. In your vision is this a fresh water or seawater pool?
2. Whatever the answer to Q1, will it be covered or enclosed in some way?
3. If yes, what are the projected costs of this project?
4. If not, we must surely assume very limited use, so can you justify:
(i) the loss of year round marina space?
(ii) the loss of revenue from those moorings?
5. And if saltwater, how would it be kept clean and fit for swimming?
6. And if freshwater, could you explain why the need to lose a harbour at all?

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