Constable Len Norman, who died last week, lodged what was his final proposition in April calling for the Jersey Sea Cadets to have a permanent and fit for purpose headquarters.
Deputy Gregory Guida, who introduced the proposal on Mr Norman’s behalf, said the move was very close to Mr Norman’s heart, adding that it was ‘very sad’ he was not there to introduce it himself.
The decision means the old Sea Cadets’ headquarters at Fort Regent will not be released for development or changed for use as part of plans to redevelop the Fort until a permanent base is found for the cadets.
Earlier this year Mr Norman opened a new temporary headquarters for the next two years for the cadets at the former police station at Rouge Bouillon.
However, Deputy Guida said the cadets faced an ‘uncertain future’ without the proposal, and that they were ‘essentially homeless’. The cadets ‘do valuable work with the Island’s young people’, Mr Norman’s proposal stated, and it was ‘unfortunate that the long-standing issue of where they should be housed continues to cause them uncertainty and concern’.
Mr Norman’s proposal also asked Members to bear in mind the government’s commitment to put children first.
During the debate this week, Senator Sarah Ferguson said it was ‘about time the States do something’. She said Members had pledged to put children first ‘and then we kick them to the bottom of the queue’.
Deputy Kevin Lewis said the cadets’ old premises was in a ‘very sorry state’, and said he hoped if the new premises had a large drill hall it would be called the Len Norman hall.
And Deputy John Young said: ‘I think this is an important example of States Members setting priorities.’
Some Members raised concerns over the potential impact the proposal could have on the Fort Regent project. Deputy Hugh Raymond said he was concerned about the timescale, but supported the proposition.
Deputy Guida said they were ‘close to a solution that will be satisfactory’ to the cadets.
A total of 42 Members voted in favour, with one vote against and one abstention. Deputy Louise Doublet voted against the proposition while Senator Tracey Vallois abstained.