Ministers have ignored will of States over park, says Constable

THE Council of Ministers has ignored the will of the States Assembly by including the People’s Park on its shortlist of hospital sites, the Constable of St Helier has said.

The People's Park (29169982)
The People's Park (29169982)

During yesterday’s States sitting, Simon Crowcroft said he felt government officials and ministers no longer paid attention to the Island’s elected representatives, and in the past would have faced tough consequences for disregarding States decisions.

Last year the Assembly approved the Constable’s proposition to prevent the park becoming the site for the new hospital.

It was, however, included in a shortlist of five sites published by the government in July, alongside Millbrook playing field, Five Oaks, Overdale and St Andrew’s Park at First Tower.

The list has since been whittled down to the People’s Park and Overdale.

Mr Crowcroft spoke out shortly before he officially withdrew a proposition calling for St Andrew’s Park to be protected from development, which he had lodged after the publication of the initial shortlist.

‘When I wrote this projet to protect First Tower park, I believed the People’s Park was already protected because the States had taken a decision to do so,’ he said.

‘And that begs the question, if First Tower park hadn’t been removed by the government and if this proposition now was debated, would it actually mean anything at all?

‘Because it’s clear that the government does not pay any attention to decisions made by this Assembly.

‘And this, of course, is a far, far cry from the days, certainly, when I joined the States, when a backbencher or any Member’s proposition once adopted by the States actually meant something and woe betide any committee of the States that sought to unpick or simply ignore a decision of the States. They would very quickly be facing a vote of no confidence.

‘And I have to ask the question, given that the government and the Council of Ministers has simply chosen to ignore a decision of the States, why isn’t the Council of Ministers facing a vote of no confidence for the way it’s behaved?’

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