Constable responds to critics over Grouville Common signs

GROUVILLE Constable John Le Maistre has sought to reassure Islanders following the appearance of signage on the common which he admits ‘may seem draconian’.

Constable John Le Maistre with golf signage positioned next to the the Royal Jersey Golf Course..Picture: DAVID FERGUSON. (29707683)
Constable John Le Maistre with golf signage positioned next to the the Royal Jersey Golf Course..Picture: DAVID FERGUSON. (29707683)

The signs – on the part of the common leased to the Royal Jersey Golf Club – outlaw a series of activities, including cycling and using children’s buggies on the course.

They also prohibit ball games – ‘although that obviously doesn’t include golf’, the Constable said in reference to one puzzled comment on social media.

Mr Le Maistre, responding to a flurry of social media posts asking why restrictions were in force on common land, said that signs had been in place for years but new ones had been installed following complaints from the golf club about behaviour on the course.

‘We regularly get complaints about anti-social behaviour on the course, though it was worse during lockdown when there were reports of cyclists in the bunkers and dogs digging up some of the greens. There was one example of a golfer injured by dogs,’ Mr Le Maistre said.

Grouville Common is administered by a group of chef tenants – a committee which looks after the land on behalf of the Crown – and is presided over by the Constable.

Mr Le Maistre added that revenue generated by the golf club’s rental was used by the chef tenants to maintain other public areas of the common and to care for the Grouville Marsh site of special interest.

Mr Le Maistre said that without the involvement of the golf club it was unlikely that the public would have access to such a well-maintained area and that the majority of people would not find it difficult to comply with the restrictions outlined on the signs.

He said that he was aware of a degree of controversy which had been generated on social media but that it was not his policy generally to reply to such postings.

‘I think if most people reflect on the content, they will not find it unreasonable,’ he said.

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