JUST how many sets of goalposts have to be moved in the current débâcle that is the hospital project before somebody stands up and says what most people are thinking – that ‘enough is enough’?
No more upwardly revised costs, no more opacity of process and no more spin. And no more throwing good money after bad. The apparently unforeseen (how so?) upswing in the amount of land that now requires compulsory acquisition is just one more bad joke, at which no one is laughing. So, they suddenly need another 12 parcels of land that are currently owned by the parish of St Helier, which will require sanctioning by a parish assembly that feels, at best, dubious about the whole thing. What could possibly go wrong?
It is obvious that the entire process from the very outset has been, to put it politely, flawed, especially the final list that included one doubtful site and four impossible sites, while totally ignoring a number of more viable alternatives. It would also seem that nobody involved realised that the Crematorium was so close. More add-ons needed to sort out that particular ‘unforeseen’.
Apparently, the change-of-use application for the old Les Quennevais School site has now been submitted. It will be interesting to see if this includes viable traffic management. Many people I know who live in the area seem to be totally nonplussed by this and there seem to be an awful lot of very loose ends that remain unconnected. Again, all of this is a cost brought about by the current choice of site.
It is still not too late and the financial, environmental and operational disaster that is looming could well be significantly larger than the cost of slowing down and getting it right.
The large majority of people I speak to are, at best, unconvinced that the correct course of action is being followed. If our States Assembly is truly representative, then, statistically, a significant number of them must be unconvinced as well. The big question is will one of them have the political courage to stand up and say what many electors think. If not, then the next election will be an opportunity to demonstrate public opinion. Any odds on ‘none of the above’ finishing top of the poll?