Tuesday, November 20, 2012

VOTING PATTERNS OF THE STATES OF JERSEY - THE PURCHASE OF PLÉMONT -4










TREASURY MINISTER, SENATOR PHILIP OZOUF




THE VOTING PATTERNS OF THE "STATES OF JERSEY"


THE PURCHASE OF PLÉMONT


WE CONTINUE OUR LOOK AT THE ALMIGHTY U-TURN OF THE TREASURY MINISTER, SENATOR, PHILIP OZOUF.


In the real world Senator Philip Ozouf would not be giving the proposition by  Chief Minister Gorst a second glance. Now that planning permission has been granted this is even more apparent.  Just what is going on with Senator Ozouf? My guess, for what its worth, is that Senator Philip Bailhache is the puppet master. 


Again, I must remind readers of the speech by Senator Ozouf in 2010 when voting against the purchase of the Plémont headland.



7.1.8 Senator P.F.C. Ozouf:

I have been involved, I should say, in a number of the previous planning decisions in respect of this site back in the days of the Environment and Public Services Committee and I recognise, for that reason alone, the difficulty that the Planning Department and the Minister for Planning and Environment has with this whole site and this whole proposition.  I did say to him earlier - before the Connétable used his opening remarks to criticise the Treasury - that I thought it was important… and we are still good friends, I am sure.  It was important to have this debate.  I think it is important for us to have this debate and for us to be realistic.  To be realistic and honest with people about expectations, because I do not think we have been entirely realistic with expectations in the past.  As I said, the Connétable did criticise me, he criticised the Council of Ministers and I will say to him that it is very easy to criticise on this issue when you do not have to do the difficult thing of priorities.  It is very easy to stand up and to promise and to say that there will be a solution to this issue and that somehow we can wash away the existing buildings, we can find a planning solution, we can find alternatives.  It is easy to say those things, it is much more difficult to come up with them.  In fact, both the Chief Minister and myself are in an almost impossible position.  We of course - and I, of course, do, I will not speak for the Chief Minister - but I of course do have a reasonable understanding of the planning process and I have a reasonable understanding of what the site is worth.  I understand what the likely probable outcome of a reasonable planning decision, whether it be contested in court, or otherwise, will be.  At the same time, I have to be extremely guarded and careful in what I say in relation to value and relation to the planning process, because anything that we say - anything that I say - could influence, potentially, the outcome of discussions - potentially.  The only realistic thing, I think, that we can say on the issue of value is that we are talking probably in excess of £5 million of taxpayers’ money and probably a lot more.  I do not really want to go into the detail of what we think but we are talking and for the purposes of my remarks I would ask Members to consider the issue as it was an issue of £5 million or more.  It is about priorities and I will not bore Members again, as I am going to have to a lot in the next few months, about the difficulties of public finances, the difficulties that we face in terms of balancing the books.  But we have to be realistic about would we allocate that £5 million or more to this project, set against other priorities that we have?  Whether it be town improvements, whether it be hospital… it is easy to trot out all of the options.  Would we do that?  I do not believe that, on my conscience, that that is a realistic allocation of £5 million or more of taxpayers’ money.  I think that there are going to be other priorities and other more important issues for us to deal with.  I do think that the latest plans represent an improvement on previous ones.  I will not go any further than that.  They do give back, some sites, they do allow public access.  This is not a site which is on the escarpment, that is, I think, the other coastal developments which people have spoken about.  I think that a reasonable solution can be made and a compromise in terms of some sort of development without pulling on public funds to the extent that which inevitably will be.  We cannot even ... if some Members do hold out the hope of purchasing the site, I think the worst of all situations would be to embark upon the unknown process of compulsory purchase.  That would be a massive risk, it would be at a massive uncertainty for all parties concerned, for a very significant period of time.  With regret, it would be lovely to be able to do these things, it would be lovely to be able to find a compromise or solution or a trade-off.  It would be nice to find £5 million or more.  But we have to be realistic, we have to be managing expectations realistically.  I think now is the time to make that reasonable decision and to allow the planning process and the process for this site to conclude and to be honest with the public and say that we do have other things to spend - urgent issues to spend money on - but to deal with this site.  I urge Members to close this issue now, as difficult as it is, manage public expectations, and to reject the proposition.......


Senator Ozouf is not happy about spending 5 million -  or compulsory purchase.


So, how does the Treasury Minister go about doing a massive U-Turn to accommodate the wishes of Senator Bailhace?


Let us look at what the Treasury Minister said in the States on the 6th November 2012 during questions without notice. Let us see if what the Treasury Minister says stacks up. Or, is the Bailhache folly making Senator Ozouf look simply stupid.


3.4 Deputy J.H. Young:
In a few weeks’ time, the Assembly will be debating the Council of Ministers’ proposition to acquire Plémont using compulsory purchase powers.  Can the Minister advise the Assembly whether he has arranged for expert chartered surveyors’ assessments of value and will he be making sure that the Assembly receives before the debate his assessment or their advice on the range of values and the basis for those valuations, and finally will he also publish his suggestions for land swap as alternatives to the cash settlement? 

Senator P.F.C. Ozouf:

I think I can answer the first part of those questions by saying yes, I think there is already work being done and my Assistant Minister, working with the Chief Minister and the Assistant Chief Minister, has done a lot in terms of valuation.  Of course, we will be further instructed about that when the Minister for Planning and Environment announces his own conclusion in relation to the application when clearly, as the Deputy will know - I almost called him the Chief Officer there because he and I of course worked with this at that stage a number of years ago - of course he will know what the value is at the crystallisation of the planning application.  In terms of the land swap, this of course is a difficult issue.  My own view is that we should purchase Plémont but I have made my position perfectly clear, subject to an appropriate valuation, that we should effectively be earmarking a sale of other States property but potentially a sale by S.o.J.D.C. (States of Jersey Development Company) or dividend receivable in order to fund it.  It should be paid for and then repaid. 

3.4.1 Deputy J.H. Young:

Sometimes it feels as if the clocks have gone back 10 years and obviously the Minister remembers those days very fondly.  [Laughter]  The comments from the Council of Ministers thus far have put the figure of £8 million into the arena, which has been taken to be the price we have to pay.  Is the Minister for Treasury and Resources able to give us any guidance?  Is this the upper range of value that he currently puts on that or what is it?

Senator P.F.C. Ozouf:

I am pleased the Deputy enjoyed our time working together.  I did too but in relation to the value, I have to say that there is nothing further that I think I can add at this stage.  When we know what effectively the Minister for Planning and Environment’s conclusion is, we will be able to confirm on that value, and I share the Deputy’s view that we do not want to effectively write an open-ended cheque, we want to know what that value is.  But my position is I think that there is now a strongly publicly supported case for purchasing Plémont, and that we should pay for it by effectively a de facto land swap and pay off it by selling off other States land.  

3.7 Deputy S. Power:

Could the Minister give his own view on the proposed Plémont acquisition and perhaps whether he might be minded to support the proposition?

Senator P.F.C. Ozouf:

I have indicated that I am supportive but the condition of that (and of course it is not me that has put a condition but it is what I will represent to the Assembly) is the fact that we need to be long term.  I think the public has made a very clear indication about protecting the important coastal areas of Jersey.  My view is that development should happen in the brown and white field areas of Jersey where there is development potential and there is huge value in States-owned land that can be taken for that.  Overall we are in a better position to protect Plémont but focus development in the areas of Jersey where it should happen: in St. Helier in our commercial land, and particularly if a dividend from S.o.J.D.C. could be made in order to repay that, then I think that is a win-win situation and better overall for the Island.


LET US LOOK AT WHAT SENATOR OZOUF IS SAYING:

"In terms of the land swap, this of course is a difficult issue.  My own view is that we should purchase Plémont but I have made my position perfectly clear, subject to an appropriate valuation, that we should effectively be earmarking a sale of other States property but potentially a sale by S.o.J.D.C. (States of Jersey Development Company) or dividend receivable in order to fund it.  It should be paid for and then repaid."

Now we can see that the Senator is saying that "we should purchase Plémont" And that we should be earmarking a sale of other States property. Is the Senator saying that Plémont  should be purchased and then paid for later by selling of some States property? He is doing so many U-Turns.

What has changed  since 2010?

This is what Senator Ozouf says:

"But my position is I think that there is now a strongly publicly supported case for purchasing Plémont, and that we should pay for it by effectively a de facto land swap and pay it off by selling off other States land."

Does the above statement really stack up? How do we know what the public want? I hear you all screaming at me  about 7,000 people joining the "Line  in the Sand" Well, does that stack up?. 

Its a very good argument - or is it?

The Line in the Sand was on the 4th October 2009. You see, 7,000 people came out in 2009, and yet, it wasn't enough to get the Treasury Ministers support for purchasing Plémont in 2010. 

What I'm showing you here, is the debacle that is the States of Jersey, and the ones who really hold the power. Senator Ozouf doesn't want to purchase Plemont, he made that quite clear in 2010. He is now wilting because of the pressure asserted by Senator Bailhache. Senator Bailhache knows the proposition is dead in the water without the backing of the Treasury Minister. 

Nothing the Treasury Minister says stacks up. I can't wait for the debate. It going to show up the debacle that is the States of Jersey. This sits alongside  "Lime Grove & Green Street" mess. 

Your views please on this simple issue concerning the almighty U-Turn of the Treasury Minister.

He will not be alone.

We will look at them closer to the debate. Our Media should be nailing him on this. Are we in financial bliss in 2012? 

Rico Sorda

Part Time Investigative Journalist

21 comments:

Sam Mézec said...

Rico,

Good on you for doing these posts. You're completely right that nothing has really changed since Senator Ozouf voted against it in 2010 to now.

The States is still having to cut spending, it's still having to freeze wages, it's still having to squeeze more out of us all.

The only thing that's changed is the introduction of a certain new Senator who seems to be pulling a lot of strings behind the scenes.

It's totally right to be scrutinising Senator Ozouf like you have done.


Sam

Anonymous said...

Senator P.F.C. Ozouf:

I have indicated that I am supportive but the condition of that (and of course it is not me that has put a condition but it is what I will represent to the Assembly) is the fact that we need to be long term. I think the public has made a very clear indication about protecting the important coastal areas of Jersey. My view is that development should happen in the brown and white field areas of Jersey where there is development potential and there is huge value in States-owned land that can be taken for that. Overall we are in a better position to protect Plémont but focus development in the areas of Jersey where it should happen: in St. Helier in our commercial land, and particularly if a dividend from S.o.J.D.C. could be made in order to repay that, then I think that is a win-win situation and better overall for the Island.

Unbelievable. And no doubt said with a straight face.

rico sorda said...

Gordon Bennett

4.6 Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Could the Chief Minister clarify why the Plémont proposal is now in his name as Chief Minister and not his Assistant Minister’s, which I think was very much his personal - I will not say “hobby-horse” - but I think you know the gist. If the Minister has changed his mind since the vote last time, what changed his mind as to now supporting this decision? Maybe he did not; I cannot remember, to be honest.

Senator I.J. Gorst:

May I be absolutely clear, on every single previous occasion while I have been sitting in this Assembly that the issue of Plémont has come to this Assembly for a decision, I have voted - and I am proud of my voting record - to return it to public ownership and to remove the eyesore that is there now at the headland. I know that the Deputy does not like my consensual form of government. I believe that I am supported and I work with 2 very effective Assistant Ministers. When I was newly-elected to this office and they were newly-appointed as Assistant Ministers just under a year ago, we had a conversation in one of our normal meetings.

[11:45]

I asked, and we agreed, that my Assistant Minister would go away and try and give effect to what it was that this Assembly had asked the previous Chief Minister to achieve. Therefore, we are absolutely united; there is no surprise that this proposition should be in my name. In the proposition I say that I am grateful to my Assistant Minister who, I fully admit, has done a lot of the work and a lot of the negotiation, but it has always been undertaken with my blessing, with my approval. I hope that this Assembly will decide to vote to return that headland to nature once and for all for the benefit of future generations. [Approbation]

4.6.1 Deputy T.M. Pitman:

The Chief Minister says he has always supported the move for Plémont and I respect that. However, does he not think anything has changed given that we cannot even give public sector workers adequate pay, et cetera; things show no sign of getting better? Is there not money that needs to be spent on other things, as much as I supported Plémont last time myself?

Senator I.J. Gorst:

I have stood in and sat in this Assembly and heard Members of this Assembly say that we could not possibly purchase the headland via a compulsory mechanism because market values were so high. It would cost us so much we could not possibly warrant the expenditure and that was in good times when we were not facing the difficulties that we do today. Now when I believe that that piece of land can be purchased for a smaller cost, and no doubt we are going to debate that in due course, I am being told that now is not the right time because we cannot even afford that reduced amount. There will always be, as we know, some pressing opportunity today, some issue that we feel we should spend the money on today which might give short-term benefit. This is a decision that we can make later this year that I believe when look at in 5 or 10 years’ time we will not even be asking ourselves was it worthwhile. It will be absolutely accepted that it was the right thing to do because we will have safeguarded part of our heritage, part of our nature and part of our culture. It is absolutely the right thing to do, to be making decisions in the long-term best interests, not only of this generation, but future generations.

rico sorda said...

All these voted against purchasing Plémont in 2010:



Senator Paul Francis Routier M.B.E. Contre
Senator Philip Francis Cyril Ozouf Contre
Senator Sarah Craig Ferguson Contre
Senator Alan John Henry Maclean Contre
Senator Bryan Ian Le Marquand Contre

Connétable Daniel Joseph Murphy Contre
Connétable Leonard Norman Contre
Connétable John Martin Refault Contre
Connétable Philip John Rondel Contre

Deputy Robert Charles Duhamel Contre
Deputy Judith Ann Martin Contre
Deputy Geoffrey Peter Southern Contre
Deputy John Alexander Nicholas Le Fondré Contre
Deputy Anne Enid Pryke Contre
Deputy Kevin Charles Lewis Contre
Deputy Edward James Noel Contre
Deputy Tracey Anne Vallois Contre

We can sure bet who will be doing the Ozouf Shuffle
and join him in the Bailhache U-TURN

rico sorda said...

We can still buy Plémont, says St Ouen Constable
Monday 25th January 2010, 2:56PM GMT.



St Ouen Constable Ken Vibert has tried three times to persuade the States to buy the Plémont site
THE door is still open for the States to buy the Plémont site, according to the Constable of St Ouen.

Ken Vibert says that the option to enter into negotiations with the owner of the former Pontin’s camp is still available to the States, but he said that the current system would make it difficult to do so.

Last week Mr Vibert lost his proposition to buy the Plémont Bay Holiday Village site by 23 votes to 19. It was his third attempt to get the States to acquire the site so that it could be returned to nature. His two previous propositions received overwhelming support, but last week his plans to get the States to force site owner Trevor Hemmings to sell the site failed.

The States agreed to split Mr Vibert’s proposition into sections, which meant that the Assembly first voted on whether to buy the site. Because the majority voted against this, part of the proposition – whether the States should compulsory purchase the site – fell away.

Mr Vibert said: ‘The new Finance Law does not really allow for a compulsory purchase proposition, and that’s why I had to split the proposition up. It took us an awfully long time to produce a proposition that the Bailiff would accept.’



The last paragraph is interesting

rs

rico sorda said...

Thanks Sam.

I love getting into Hansard and reminding people what our esteemed leaders said.

rs

Anonymous said...

How very simple you make it Mr Sorda. 100% on the money.

Anonymous said...

Rico, I think you are correct. 30+ will vote for purchase complete with u-turns from certain ministers. When the boss PB says jump they say how high....

Anonymous said...

For PB this is pure politicking. He's been leaned on by his chums at the National Trust and persuaded that the campaign has huge public support. So in order to appear more palatable to the electorate and stung by the criticism of his handling of the electoral commission he has taken up the green mantle. It's a cloak that sits very uncomfortably on his shoulders but now that it's on he cannot be seen to fail publicly. So it will drag on for years until eventually he leaves office and after the lawyers have made another fortune the developer will sell the site on by which time the scheme will no longer be economically viable.

Ian Evans said...

Not for the faint hearted, VERY GRAPHIC

Ian Evans said...

Missing woman in Jersey LISA DE SOUSA

Ian Evans said...

Set Menu of the Day, we have deep fried TAX HAVEN for starters, followed by SLICES OF SUPPRESSION for main course, and a delightful dollop of DECEPTION for afters....

thejerseyway said...

Hi Rico.

I've put up the Audio of Deputy Judy Martin's Debate to stop the Relocation of the Police HQ going to Green Street car park.

I've put it up because I think this debate & the ones to follow "which I will also Record & publish" show's everyone the incompetence of our Ministers to do anything Right.

I just can not Believe they want it there! & they are going to pull every trick in the book, to get there way.

You & your readers can listen to the Debate HERE

I think its a classic already, with a couple of Deputy's Martin straight to the point, no messing Statements. I know its long but if you just do it in parts, you'll get there in the end.

TJW.

Zoompad said...

Rico,

Just wanted to echo the words you have said a few times on this blog.

You said it would be a marathon rather than a sprint.

Just wanted those words reposted, and to encourage everyone, no matter how tired, depressed, defeated, hopeless they feel, that we must never give up, and as Trevor Pitman says, keep the faith.

Ian Evans said...

Us and them, THE JERSEY POLICE.

Ian Evans said...

Jersey is now COMPLETELY LAWLESS!!!

voiceforchildren said...

Rico.

Slight of hand with the TOR'S

Ian Evans said...

Our Establishment is nothing BUT CORRUPT

Ian Evans said...

When swearing is allowed! The comment section is FAR WORSE than the article :(

Buffchests.com said...

When are you going to drop the audio file of Gradwell into the soup of eternal embarrasment?

Carol A. Valentine said...

Hi Rico and friends,

You may be interested in reading the following in order to be encouraged in your good efforts:

http://www.veteranstoday.com/2011/11/30/meth-for-sex-arrest-of-colorado-vip-highlights-power-of-alternative-media/

It shows the power of what can be achieved.

Keep up all the great work.

Carol x