Should the States spend £1.2 million on a new seaside community facility? Here's what the JEP thinks...

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Jersey Sea Cadets, currently at Fort Regent, hope to have a new centre

Comment: What the JEP thinks

 

THE viability and environmental impact of the Jersey International Finance District has tended to eclipse public concern about the Les Galots saga.

But just a few months ago, a storm erupted over plans to build a new home for the Sea Cadets as part of a public-private-partnership development, which included 18 flats, a restaurant and a community ‘maritime hub’.

The fight against the development was spearheaded by Vicky Boarder, whose Fresh Fish Company trades from premises yards to the south of the proposed development site at the base of Mount Bingham.

The fire she lit was fuelled by public anger and frustration over the spending of hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money on failed attempts to build a new headquarters for the cadets.

Today, it is reported that ministers have agreed to give £1.2 million of public funds to pay for a new seaside community centre at the foot of Mount Bingham to include a new home for the Sea Cadets.

Treasury Minister Alan Maclean says that the cash is going to come from ‘underspends’ in the States capital programme and that this will be a one-off cost. No mention is made of who will meet running and maintenance costs.

 

 

The grant has been made when questions remain about the use of public funds in previous attempts to find the Sea Cadets a home – at a time when no one has been held accountable for a deeply unsatisfactory failure to protect taxpayers’ money.

But more than that, against the backdrop of necessary cuts across the public sector and with a budget being debated this week which will clobber pensioners, is a new home for the Sea Cadets a must-have?

The brigade meets twice a week and has around 65 members. That is fewer than a great many sports and activity clubs which provide so many opportunities for young people to learn new skills and about leadership. Many do so on a shoestring, using school halls, classrooms and even other community facilities.

It is argued that the Sea Cadets were promised a new home 20 years ago – and there is no question that their crumbling HQ at Fort Regent is no longer fit for purpose. But at a time of unprecedented budgetary restraint, no one has yet explained why there is such a pressing need to fund this scheme. Is this support for a uniformed organisation an unquestioning adherence to tradition which defies common sense?

 

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Comments for: "Should the States spend £1.2 million on a new seaside community facility? Here's what the JEP thinks..."

constables out

No no no no no when will they ever listen to the PUBLIC!!!!

Henry Amy

Now is the time to provide the Sea Cadets with a purpose built home. Les Galots seems the choice of site, but I feel that it could, and should, be provided as part of a redeveloped La Folie site.

In the case of Les Galots, the building should be unobtrusive, visually in keeping with existing buildings ( old lifeboat shed etc) and not take up too much of the existing open space.

BHB

'Should the States spend £1.2m ...?' In this case, yes, no ifs, no buts.

Scrutineer

But why, when it benefits so few in the community?

Realist

When does no, not mean no? Refurbish and improve the existing facilities at Fort Regent.

Simple Sid

Well we have all been lead to believe that the States pot is empty?? Don't tell me once again we are all being lied too??

The States seem to conjure up money when it suits, when it come to looking after the elderly, healthcare all is going by the wayside!!!

Jersey born

Absolutely no!! The sea cadets have already wasted £600k of taxpayers money so no I feel really angry that more of MY money ( which this is as I pay my taxes) will go on a building for 50 kids that use it twice a week. This is a huge amount of money that would be far better utilized for children's mental health or for the elderly. Wrong wrong and more wrong!

Realist

It's odd that we are faced with a budget deficit and job cuts and yet spending projects seem to go ahead. Quennevais school at £45 million, up from around £6 million, new hospital possibly £500 million and all those small additions, cycle track in St Peters Valley £1.5 million, village improvement schemes around £7 million and a £1.2 million grant for the Sea cadets. Are we spending what we do not have? Who is in charge of our finances?

michel

As a member of the Jersey Rowing club I wish to make it clear(having been berated by a very annoyed individual) that the JRC is not responsible for this transfer of public funds to the Sea Cadets. The proposed building, if constructed at Le Galots would take up over half of the area currently used for the Rowing clubs boats. At present it is purely a sea cadet building, but there is a suggestion that the JRC might have some use of the building. To my knowledge no other groups are currently involved despite constable Chris Taylors statement that other groups will be.

S2

Times are very hard at the moment; I can hardly afford to feed my kids. So when I found £100 in an old coat pocket, I bought myself a second hand Playstation.

And that makes about as much sense

SarahF

The £600k was held by Education and Property Holdings and never got anywhere near the cadets. The amendment was intended to delay the replacement of some of the States vehicles by a year. Amendment 4 of P.127/2015 gives the details. It has been my understanding - which may be erroneous - that the replacement standards of the UK are applied to replacement of vehicles. Given that our use of them is significantly less than the UK, our replacement can be on a longer time scale.