Senators Hustings Meeting - St Helier
The Senatorial hustings roadshow came to a colourful end at the Town Hall last night.
Amid heckling, booing and cheering the candidates just about managed to reply to questions on issues including whether the States should pay rates, the Island Plan and whether the Attorney General should be involved in the inquiry into former deputy police chief Lenny Harper.
Parishioner Daren O’Toole asked whether the States should pay rates on its St Helier properties and whether there should be a contribution to the parks and toilets in the parish, which are used by the whole Island.
The States do not have to pay rates on public property, but the liability to St Helier was calculated at around £1m in 2006. St Helier Constable Simon Crowcroft has tried several times to get the States to pay for its properties.
Daniel Wimberley said that the States should pay, adding that there should also be a contribution for parks.
Montfort Tadier agreed. He said there would be an element of ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’ but that the Island benefited from St Helier and should make a contribution.
Cliff Le Clercq said that St Helier took a hammering as the main commerce centre and that the States should contribute more.
Mick Pashley said that the States should pay rates, adding that with £531m in the bank, some should be given back.
Jeremy Maçon said he agreed completely that there should be money for St Helier.
Ian Le Marquand said that whatever the parish gained in rates would be taken back by the States in another way.
Deputy Alan Maclean said he would support the Constable, who had recently lodged a proposition to force the States to pay their rates bill.
Deputy Peter Troy did not have time to answer the question.
Senator Paul Routier said that the States should pay, and that the whole Island should contribute.
Mike Higgins said the central government should pay for both the parish rates and the toilets and parks.
Senator Philip Ozouf said that the problem of the unfair rates bill had been solved, and that the rates burden on St Helier would be solved as well.
Deputy Geoff Southern said that the States should pay and, in principle, he thought they should contribute for park upkeep too.
Chris Perkins said that he supported the States paying rates, but noted that Mr Crowcroft had tried several times to make them do so without success.
Nick Palmer said that the States should ‘absolutely’ pay rates, but was not sure about the lavatories.
Senator Mike Vibert agreed that the States should pay rates.
Deputy Sarah Ferguson said that the extra spending could not be delivered without the efficiency savings that she wanted to achieve.
Adrian Walsh said the States paying rates would be a fairer system – and told the audience not to worry about toilets, as they would all soon be cafés.
Nick Le Cornu said that the States should pay.
Trevor Pitman agreed that the States should ‘absolutely’ pay its rates bill.
Deputy Alan Breckon said that the central government should contribute more to the running of St Helier.
Mark Forskitt said the proposal seemed reasonable – but said if the States paid for the parks, they should also pay for the parks in other parishes.
[ Source : This Is Jersey ]