Constables Hustings Meeting - St Mary
The two candidates for the election for Constable of St Mary were given an easy ride by parishioners at last night's hustings, which lasted only an hour.
The only time they faced tough scrutiny at the meeting, chaired by Procureur David Munns, was when Deputy Juliette Gallichan was quizzed over voting in favour of GST — and when she and the other candidate, Chef de Police Terry Renouf, were asked for their views on a planned £350,000 kart track at the former Crabbé composting site.
Deputy Gallichan was asked by Alan Moulin why she had voted in favour of GST when so many people had been against it. She said that when she had been elected, Members had already adopted the fiscal strategy and a decision had to be made about how to implement it.
'I personally did not want that tax, and knew that it would be unpopular with the electorate, but no one came up with any suitable alternative solution to bringing in the necessary funds to compensate for the decision to change corporate tax rates,' she said, adding in answer to another question that she had voted to remove GST on all food.
Ian Ling wanted to know what the candidates thought about the proposed kart track at the former Crabbé composting site.
As a planning applications panel member, Deputy Gallichan said that she had removed herself from that particular application because of personal interest. However, speaking personally, she said: 'I am supportive of motorsport, but with my work on the applications panel and the way I have applied the principles of the Island Plan, I can't support the turning over of an agricultural site so close to the coastline for motorsport for a very small club. From a parish point of view, I think it would be disastrous. We had enough problems with the roads with the Crabbé composting site there.'
Mr Renouf agreed that a kart track would be a bad idea for St Mary. 'We are fortunate that it is against the Island Plan and coastal protection policies,' he said. 'I think it's completely the wrong place for a kart track.'
But he added that if he was elected and enough parishioners supported it, he would have to put his personal views aside and consider the proposals.
Paul Battrick asked the candidates how they would handle the parish's traffic problems since several accidents had occurred on St Mary's roads.
Mr Renouf said that he had witnessed the problems at first hand through his work in the honorary police and that a chicane should be introduced like the one outside St Martin's School.
'It slows traffic down and creates a safe area for pedestrians,' he said.
But Deputy Gallichan disagreed and said that drivers tended to speed through chicanes to beat oncoming vehicles. She said that lights which flashed the speed of passing vehicles would be more beneficial.
Former Deputy Geoffrey Grime asked whether the Island should move to Central European Time.
Both candidates said that they personally supported the move but would vote against it if the time came because it would not benefit Jersey.
Mr Renouf said that he would embrace changing the Island's clocks to CET because he had a home in France.
However, he added that more Island business was done with the UK than with Europe, so it would be a bad move for Jersey.
Mrs Gallichan said that she too would like to move the clocks forward an hour because Islanders could enjoy more leisure time in the evenings. But she agreed that it would not work with the different markets Jersey had to work with.
Glynn Bower asked how the candidates would support the elderly, and Mrs Gallichan suggested a community network in which volunteers could be on hand to help elderly people with their shopping or picking up prescriptions. She said that the facility could be extended to young mothers.
Mr Renouf agreed that a community group would be helpful and added that public transport in St Mary should be improved to enable the elderly to get around.
Ivor Barette asked if the candidates would still consider standing for Constable if it was an unpaid role.
Mr Renouf said that he was not in a position to become Constable if it was unpaid.
He said that if elected he would be leaving his current job, taking a significant drop in wages, and going without a States pension as a civil servant, which meant a considerable amount to him. 'Such is my commitment to the parish that I am prepared to do that,' he said.
Deputy Gallichan said that she, too, needed a States salary as she was without any other source of income. 'I gave up my job as parish secretary and couldn't get that back. It was a leap of faith and not one I did for the money,' she said, adding that she believed she earned every penny of her States salary.
[ Source : This Is Jersey ]