Constable wants taskforce to tackle forgotten St Helier

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ST Helier could see its neglected residential areas upgraded if a new urban renewal taskforce is established, according to the head of the parish.

Next week Constable Simon Crowcroft will present the Chief Minister with proposals to establish a new body that would bring together ministers and parish representatives to address what he described as ‘the other side of the regeneration coin’, focusing on some of the less fashionable parts of town.

‘It will be about looking at town streets where people live and there just hasn’t been enough investment by the government and by the parish,’ he said, adding that he had already spoken to parish officials about applying any surplus from St Helier’s rates to the regeneration agenda.

Mr Crowcroft said that he had been lobbying for some time for the creation of a body which would perform a distinctively different role from the existing regeneration steering committee chaired by the Chief Minister which the Constable said had concerned itself with ‘grandiose flagship projects’.

‘If they want my support over Fort Regent, then I have to have their support for a backstreet in St Helier which needs some tender loving care. I’ve said I want [a taskforce] set up which will be about Clairvale Road, Clearview Street, Pomona Road and Roseville Street. The purpose is to work with residents and say “what improvements do you want made in your street?”,’ he said.

According to the Constable, the partnership between central government and the parish is required both because of shared responsibilities – some streets are parish roads while others are administered by the government, for example – but also because it might result in new funding initiatives to kick-start projects.

‘I’d be quite happy to go to parishioners and say we need to go in on a pound-for-pound basis with government,’ Mr Crowcroft said.

Next month he will present parishioners with formal proposals to establish a town council – or conseil municipal – following a trial of the body which would seek to take over some responsibilities for St Helier which are currently the responsibility of central government or, in the case of some licensing matters, the judiciary.

Mr Crowcroft, who has confirmed that he will stand again in June for re-election for his seventh term as Constable, said he was ‘enormously confident and optimistic about St Helier’ which he described as ‘a town to watch’. ‘I sometimes walk through town with my mouth open, just agog at what is happening,’ he said.

  • Mr Crowcroft is the subject of today’s Saturday Interview on pages 10 and 11.

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