Hansard 9th March 2020


STATES OF JERSEY

 

OFFICIAL REPORT

 

TUESDAY, 9th MARCH 2020

COMMUNICATIONS BY THE PRESIDING OFFICER

1.1Welcome to Mr. R. Mason and Ms. E. Cobb, Ministry of Justice U.K.:

QUESTIONS

2.Written Questions

2.1 Deputy L.M.C. Doublet of St. Saviour of the Chair of the States Employment Board regarding baby-changing facilities in States-owned buildings: (WQ.98/2020)

2.2 Deputy K.F. Morel of St. Lawrence of the Minister for Health and Social Services regarding the work of PWC on the Jersey Care Model: (WQ.99/2020)

2.3 Deputy K.F. Morel of St. Lawrence of the Chief Minister regarding the design and construction of the new hospital: (WQ.100/2020)

2.4 Deputy I. Gardiner of St. Helier of H.M. Attorney General regarding legal protections for ethical veganism: (WQ.101/2020)

2.5 Deputy I. Gardiner of St. Helier  of the Chief Minister regarding the roll-out of Office 365 to States of Jersey departments: (WQ.102/2020)

2.6Deputy I. Gardiner of St. Helier of the Minister for Infrastructure regarding the properties left to the States by the bequest of H.E. Le Seelleur: (WQ.103/2020)

2.7 Connétable of St. Martin of the Chief Minister regarding Government strategies in respect of neurodiversity: (WQ.104/2020)

2.8 Connétable of St. Martin of the Chief Minister regarding the development of the 2021 Government Plan: (WQ.106/2020)

2.9 Connétable of St. Martin of the Chief Minister regarding the itinerary of events for Liberation 75: (WQ.107/2020)

2.10 Connétable of St. Martin of the Minister for the Environment regarding his work with the Parishes in respect of the Climate Action Plan: (WQ.108/2020)

2.11 Senator K.L. Moore of the Minister for Children and Housing regarding recruitment to the Children’s Service: (WQ.109/2020)

2.12 Deputy R.J. Ward of St. Helier of the Minister for the Environment regarding the selection of the Carbon Neutral Citizens’ Assembly: (WQ.110/2020)

2.13 Deputy R.J. Ward of St. Helier of the Minister for Social Security regarding the payment of the Income Support housing component: (WQ.111/2020)

2.14 Deputy R.J. Ward of St. Helier of the Minister for Treasury and Resources regarding the costs and benefits of moving to current-year taxation for all taxpayers: (WQ.112/2020)

2.15 Deputy R.J. Ward of St. Helier of the Minister for Treasury and Resources regarding the non-declaration of income received from private rental takings: (WQ.113/2020)

2.16 Deputy C.S. Alves of St. Helier of the Minister for Infrastructure regarding the safety measures implemented in respect of the cycle path next to Le Rocquier School: (WQ.114/2020)

2.17 Deputy C.S. Alves of St. Helier of the Minister for Children and Housing regarding the support available to parents accessing social and children’s services: (WQ.115/2020)

2.18 Deputy C.S. Alves of St. Helier of the Minister for Education regarding the tracking of Island students undertaking degree-level of specialist education: (WQ.116/2020)

2.19 Deputy C.S. Alves of St. Helier of the Minister for Health and Social Services regarding the mitigation of risks involved in cosmetic procedures: (WQ.117/2020)

2.20 Deputy C.S. Alves of St. Helier of the Minister for Social Security regarding the information requested in relation to claims for Income Support: (WQ.118/2020)

2.21 Deputy K.G. Pamplin of St. Saviour of the Minister for Health and Social Services regarding the provision of social workers who are British Sign Language trained: (WQ.119/2020)

2.22 Deputy K.G. Pamplin of St. Saviour of the Minister for Children and Housing regarding the plans for a public memorial for the victims of abuse: (WQ.120/2020)

2.23 Deputy K.G. Pamplin of St. Saviour of the Chief Minister regarding television licences for people aged 75 and over: (WQ.121/2020)

2.24 Deputy K.G. Pamplin of St. Saviour of the Minister for the Environment regarding the impact of the next census on the development of the next Island Plan: (WQ.122/2020)

2.25 Deputy K.G. Pamplin of St. Saviour of the Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture regarding the review of the Licensing (Jersey) Law 1974: (WQ.123/2020)

2.26 Deputy G.P. Southern of St. Helier of the Chief Minister regarding the work of the Government Plan Efficiencies Review Panel: (WQ.124/2020)

2.27 Deputy G.P. Southern of St. Helier of the Minister for Social Security regarding the comparison between Income Support and the Universal Credit scheme in the United Kingdom: (WQ.125/2020)

2.28 Deputy G.P. Southern of St. Helier of the Chief Minister regarding his travel arrangements during the week of 24th February 2020: (WQ.126/2020)

2.29 Deputy M. Tadier of St. Brelade of the Chief Minister regarding access to the Government of Jersey offices in Broad Street: (WQ.127/2020)

2.30 Deputy M. Tadier of St. Brelade of the Minister for Education regarding school exchange programmes: (WQ.128/2020)

2.31 Deputy G.P. Southern of St. Helier of the Minister for Health and Social Services regarding the social value of low-paid workers who are brought to the Island: (WQ.129/2020)

2.32 Deputy G.P. Southern of St. Helier of the Minister for Health and Social Services regarding the cost of wound dressings: (WQ.130/2020)

2.33 Deputy M.R. Higgins of St. Helier of H.M. Attorney General regarding COVID-19. [Please note that a written response was provided to this Oral Question, due to H.M. Attorney General’s absence during Oral Questions] : (OQ:72/2020)

3.Oral Questions

3.1Connétable M.K. Jackson of St. Brelade of the Chief Minister regarding the staffing dedicated to the portfolio of the Minister for the Environment: (OQ.54/2020)

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré (The Chief Minister):

3.1.1The Connétable of St. Brelade:

3.1.2Senator K.L. Moore:

3.1.3Deputy R.J. Ward of St. Helier:

3.1.4Deputy K.F. Morel of St. Lawrence:

3.1.5Deputy K.F. Morel:

3.1.6Deputy J.H. Perchard of St. Saviour:

3.1.7The Connétable of St. Brelade:

3.2Deputy G.J. Truscott of St. Brelade of the Chief Minister regarding the identification of a site for a centralised Government building: (OQ.57/2020)

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré (The Chief Minister):

3.2.1Deputy G.J. Truscott:

3.2.2Deputy S.G. Luce of St. Martin:

3.2.3The Deputy of St. Martin:

3.2.4Deputy S.M. Ahier of St. Helier:

3.2.5Deputy D. Johnson of St. Mary:

3.2.6Deputy M. Tadier of St. Brelade:

3.2.7Deputy M. Tadier:

3.2.8Connétable P.B. Le Sueur of Trinity:

3.2.9Deputy G.J. Truscott:

3.3.Deputy R.J. Ward of the Minister for Infrastructure regarding the income of Liberty Bus: (OQ.70/2020)

Deputy K.C. Lewis of St. Saviour (The Minister for Infrastructure):

3.3.1Deputy R.J. Ward:

3.3.2Deputy G.P. Southern of St. Helier:

3.3.3Deputy M. Tadier:

3.3.4Deputy K.F. Morel:

3.3.5The Deputy of St. Martin:

3.3.6Deputy R.J. Ward:

3.4Deputy M.R. Higgins of St. Helier of the Minister for Children and Housing regarding the administration of personal records held within his portfolio: (OQ.73/2020)

Senator S.Y. Mézec (The Minister for Children and Housing):

3.4.1Deputy M.R. Higgins:

3.4.2Deputy M.R. Higgins:

3.5Deputy C.S. Alves of St. Helier of the Chair of the States Employment Board regarding the process followed when States of Jersey employees resigned: (OQ.63/2020)

Connétable R.A. Buchanan of St. Ouen (Vice-Chair, States Employment Board - rapporteur):

3.5.1Deputy C.S. Alves:

3.5.2Deputy R.J. Ward:

3.5.3Deputy M. Tadier:

3.5.4Deputy C.S. Alves:

3.6Deputy S.M. Ahier of the Minister for Infrastructure regarding the recycling of milk cartons: (OQ.74/2020)

Deputy K.C. Lewis (The Minister for Infrastructure):

3.6.1Deputy S.M. Ahier:

3.6.2Deputy I. Gardiner of St. Helier:

3.6.3Deputy I. Gardiner:

3.6.4Deputy M. Tadier:

3.6.5Deputy M. Tadier:

3.6.6Deputy K.F. Morel:

3.6.7Deputy K.F. Morel:

3.6.8Deputy R. Labey of St. Helier:

3.6.9The Connétable of St. Brelade:

3.6.10Deputy R.J. Ward:

3.6.11Deputy S.M. Ahier:

3.7Deputy K.G. Pamplin of St. Saviour of the Minister for Social Security regarding the process followed when an Islander was informed of the suspension of their Income Support claim: (OQ.79/2020)

Deputy J.A. Martin (The Minister for Social Security):

3.7.1Deputy K.G. Pamplin:

3.7.2Deputy K.G. Pamplin:

3.8Connétable K. Shenton-Stone of St. Martin of the Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture regarding the proposal that all Propositions would be accompanied by an inflation impact assessment: (OQ.65/2020)

Senator L.J. Farnham (The Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture):

3.8.1The Connétable of St. Martin:

3.8.2Deputy K.F. Morel:

3.8.3Deputy K.F. Morel:

3.8.4Deputy G.P. Southern:

3.8.5Deputy R.J. Ward:

3.8.6Deputy R.J. Ward:

3.9Deputy G.P. Southern of the Chief Minister regarding his interaction with the Government Plan Efficiencies Review Panel: (OQ.75/2020)

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré (The Chief Minister):

3.9.1Deputy G.P. Southern:

3.9.2Deputy R.J. Ward:

3.9.3Deputy R.J. Ward:

3.9.4Deputy R.J. Ward:

3.9.5Deputy M. Tadier:

3.9.6Deputy M. Tadier:

3.9.7Deputy G.P. Southern:

3.10Deputy I. Gardiner of the Chief Minister regarding the work undertaken by the Council of Ministers in preparing for, and dealing with, COVID-19: (OQ.68/2020)

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré (The Chief Minister):

3.10.1Deputy I. Gardiner:

3.10.2Deputy K.F. Morel:

3.10.3Deputy K.F. Morel:

3.10.4Deputy J.H. Perchard:

3.10.5Deputy J.H. Perchard:

3.10.6The Deputy of St. Martin:

3.10.7Deputy L.M.C. Doublet of St. Saviour:

3.10.8Deputy K.G. Pamplin:

3.10.9Deputy R.J. Ward:

3.10.10Deputy M.R. Higgins:

3.10.11Deputy G.J. Truscott:

3.10.12Deputy I. Gardiner:

3.11Deputy M.R. Le Hegarat of St. Helier of the Minister for Home Affairs regarding the provision of Probationer Training to States of Jersey Police Officers: (OQ.77/2020)

Connétable L. Norman of St. Clement (The Minister for Home Affairs):

3.11.1Deputy M.R. Le Hegarat:

3.12Deputy K.F. Morel of the Minister for Infrastructure regarding the rate of recycling in Jersey: (OQ.66/2020)

Deputy K.C. Lewis (The Minister for Infrastructure):

3.12.1Deputy K.F. Morel:

3.12.2Deputy M. Tadier:

3.12.3Deputy M. Tadier:

3.12.4Deputy S.M. Ahier:

3.12.5Deputy R.J. Ward:

3.12.6The Connétable of St. Brelade:

3.12.7The Connétable of St. Brelade:

3.12.8Deputy K.F. Morel:

3.13The Deputy of St. Mary of the Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture regarding the preparation of a new Liquor Licensing Law: (OQ.81/2020)

Senator S.W. Pallett (Assistant Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture - rapporteur):

3.13.1The Deputy of St. Mary:

3.13.2The Connétable of St. Brelade:

3.13.3The Deputy of St. Mary:

3.14Deputy I. Gardiner of the Minister for Health and Social Services regarding the steps available to Islanders who had suffered as a result of dental malpractice: (OQ.69/2020)

Deputy R.J. Renouf of St. Ouen (The Minister for Health and Social Services):

3.14.1Deputy I. Gardiner:

3.14.2Deputy M. Tadier:

4.14.3Deputy M. Tadier:

3.14.4Deputy I. Gardiner:

3.15Deputy K.G. Pamplin of the Chair of the Privileges and Procedures Committee regarding the Committee’s contingency proposals for reform of the States Assembly: (OQ.80/2020)

Deputy R. Labey (Chair, Privileges and Procedures Committee):

3.15.1Deputy K.G. Pamplin:

3.16Deputy K.F. Morel of the Minister for Infrastructure regarding the refurbishment of Fliquet Tower and Bunker: (OQ.67/2020)

Deputy K.C. Lewis (The Minister for Infrastructure):

3.16.1Deputy K.F. Morel:

3.16.2Deputy K.F. Morel:

3.17Deputy M.R. Le Hegarat of the Minister for Home Affairs regarding the provision of Police Driver Training: (OQ.78/2020)

The Connétable of St. Clement (The Minister for Home Affairs):

3.17.1Deputy M.R. Le Hegarat:

3.18Deputy R.J. Ward of the Minister for Social Security regarding the access to healthcare and sickness benefit by those people who had self-isolated as a consequence of the outbreak of Coronavirus: (OQ.71/2020)

Deputy J.A. Martin (The Minister for Social Security):

3.18.1Deputy M. Tadier:

3.19Deputy C.S. Alves of the Minister for Children and Housing regarding the prospect of introducing direct payments for respite care for carers of children with complex needs: (OQ.64/2020)

Senator S.Y. Mézec (The Minister for Children and Housing):

3.19.1Deputy C.S. Alves:

3.20Deputy G.P. Southern of the Minister for Health and Social Services regarding the integration of the People Directory within Jersey Care Record solutions: (OQ.76/2020)

The Deputy of St. Ouen (The Minister for Health and Social Services):

3.20.1Deputy G.P. Southern:

4.Questions to Ministers without notice - The Minister for Education

4.1Deputy S.M. Ahier:

Senator T.A. Vallois (The Minister for Education):

4.2Deputy R.J. Ward:

4.2.1Deputy R.J. Ward:

4.3Connétable D.W. Mezbourian of St. Lawrence:

4.3.1The Connétable of St. Lawrence:

4.4Connétable J.E. Le Maistre of Grouville:

4.5Deputy M. Tadier:

4.5.1Deputy M. Tadier:

4.6Senator K.L. Moore:

4.7Deputy M.R. Higgins:

4.8The Deputy of St. Martin:

5.Questions to Minister without notice - The Minister for Children and Housing

5.1Deputy S.M. Ahier:

Senator S.Y. Mézec (The Minister for Children and Housing):

5.2Senator K.L. Moore:

5.2.1Senator K.L. Moore:

5.3Deputy R.E. Huelin of St. Peter:

5.4Deputy J.H. Perchard:

5.4.1Deputy J.H. Perchard:

5.5Deputy M.R. Higgins:

5.6Deputy J.M. Maçon of St. Saviour:

5.6.1Deputy J.M. Maçon:

5.7Deputy K.F. Morel:

5.8Deputy G.J. Truscott:

5.9Connétable C.H. Taylor of St. John:

5.10Deputy M.R. Higgins:

6.Urgent Oral Question

6.1Deputy K.G. Pamplin of the Chief Minister regarding the airline Flybe:

Senator L.J. Farnham (Assistant Chief Minister - rapporteur):

6.1.1Deputy K.G. Pamplin:

STATEMENTS ON A MATTER OF OFFICIAL RESPONSIBILITY

7.The Assistant Chief Minister made a statement regarding the “Our Hospital” project

7.1Senator L.J. Farnham (Assistant Chief Minister):

7.1.1The Connétable of St. Brelade:

7.1.2The Connétable of St. Lawrence:

7.1.3The Connétable of St. Lawrence:

7.1.4Deputy M.R. Le Hegarat:

7.1.5Deputy K.F. Morel:

7.1.6Deputy K.F. Morel:

7.1.7Deputy G.P. Southern:

7.1.8Deputy G.P. Southern:

7.1.9The Deputy of St. Martin:

7.1.10The Deputy of St. Martin:

7.1.11Deputy K.G. Pamplin:

7.1.12Deputy K.G. Pamplin:

7.1.13Deputy G.J. Truscott:

7.1.14Deputy K.F. Morel:

7.1.15Senator K.L. Moore:

8.The Assistant Minister for Health and Social Services made a statement regarding the Health and Well-being Framework.

8.1Senator S.W. Pallett (Assistant Minister for Health and Social Services):

8.1.1Deputy K.F. Morel:

8.1.2Deputy R.J. Ward:

8.1.3Deputy R.J. Ward:

8.1.4Deputy K.G. Pamplin:

8.1.5Deputy R.J. Ward:

ADJOURNMENT


[14:44]

The Roll was called and the Dean led the Assembly in Prayer.

Deputy J.A. Martin of St. Helier:

Sorry, Sir, the Deputy of St. Peter cannot be malade because he was not sworn in.

The Deputy Bailiff:

Yes, you are correct, Deputy Hilton.  [Laughter] Sorry.

Deputy J.A. Martin:

Deputy Hilton cannot do much either.

The Deputy Bailiff:

A very poor start, is it not?  Deputy Martin, you are absolutely correct and thank you for correcting me.  I was proposing to overlook that.

Deputy J.A. Martin:

You can overlook me, I can be Deputy Hilton for the afternoon, and I am off.

The Deputy Bailiff:

Thank you, Deputy Martin.  I blame my head cold.

 

COMMUNICATIONS BY THE PRESIDING OFFICER

The Deputy Bailiff:

1.1Welcome to Mr. R. Mason and Ms. E. Cobb, Ministry of Justice U.K.:

Turning to the Consolidated Order Paper, the first item on the list is Communications by the Presiding Officer and I would like to welcome to the public gallery 2 guests from the Ministry of Justice, who are here today: Richard Mason, Deputy Director of the U.K. (United Kingdom) and C.D. (Crown Dependencies Division at the M.O.J. (Ministry of Justice) and Elaine Cobb, head of the C.D. team.  [Approbation]

 

QUESTIONS

2.Written Questions

2.1 Deputy L.M.C. Doublet of St. Saviour of the Chair of the States Employment Board regarding baby-changing facilities in States-owned buildings: (WQ.98/2020)

Question

Further to the response to Written Question 172/2018, will the Chair provide an updated list stating which publicly-accessible, States-owned buildings have baby-changing facilities, indicating where these facilities are located (including whether they are contained in male / female / disabled toilets or another category)?

Answer

Baby changing facilities are available in the publicly accessible States-owned buildings identified in the table below. Some buildings which are used by the public regularly offer baby-changing facilities which are available to all parents. These include the Hospital (various locations), the Customer and Local Services building in La Motte Street, Sports and Leisure Facilities at Fort Regent, Springfield and Les Quennevais, and Jersey Library. Baby changing facilities are also available at the Broad Street offices. Suitable arrangements are available on request at other locations.

Building

Baby changing facilities available

Location of facilities

General Hospital

 

Yes

Outpatients Dept Reception – Male & Female toilets

A&E Reception – Male & Female toilets

X-Ray department toilets

Customer & Local services

 

Yes

Disabled toilet on ground floor of La Motte Street

Fort Regent sports centre

 

Yes

All male / female / disabled toilets

Springfield sports centre

 

Yes

Disabled toilet in cafe

Les Quennevais sports centre

 

Yes

Dedicated facility - Swimming pool changing room

Jersey Library

 

Yes

Dedicated facility - Ground floor next door to library desk

Overdale Hospital

Yes

Ground Floor, Westmount building – dedicated facility

Langford Sports Facility

No

 

Oakfield Sports Facility

No

 

Jersey Arts Centre

Yes

Separate use toilet for wheelchair users and baby changing area

Jersey Museum

Yes

Disabled toilet – ground floor

Grainville Sports Facility

No

 

Jersey Opera House

Yes

Disabled toilet – ground floor

Primary Schools

No

 

Secondary Schools

No

 

Liberté House

Yes

Disabled toilet – ground floor

The Bridge Child & Family Centre

Yes

Disabled and Female toilet – ground floor

Hollies Day Care Centre

Yes

Disabled toilet – ground floor

 

2.2 Deputy K.F. Morel of St. Lawrence of the Minister for Health and Social Services regarding the work of PWC on the Jersey Care Model: (WQ.99/2020)

Question

What ‘Terms of Reference’ have been provided to PWC for its work on the Jersey Care Model?

Answer

The contract we have with PWC contains the scope of services, timelines (for the role it is fulfilling) and all terms and conditions of service. The contract in its entirety serves as the terms of reference. We have jointly developed the attached terms of reference for each working group.

 

2.3 Deputy K.F. Morel of St. Lawrence of the Chief Minister regarding the design and construction of the new hospital: (WQ.100/2020)

Question

Will the Chief Minister advise how many, and which, companies came forward with an expression of interest for the design and construction of the new hospital before the closing date for such expressions of interest to be made? 

Answer

Three consortia submitted expressions of interest by the closing date and all were taken forward into detailed discussions and negotiations.  However, as the process to procure a Design and Delivery Partner is ongoing, the names of potential suppliers remains commercially sensitive information and therefore we are unable to release them at this point in time.

Once a partner has been appointed, we will be in the position to release details of the tender and selection process.

 

2.4 Deputy I. Gardiner of St. Helier of H.M. Attorney General regarding legal protections for ethical veganism: (WQ.101/2020)

Question

Further to an employment tribunal ruling in the U.K. that ethical veganism is a philosophical belief that is protected by law against discrimination, will H.M. Attorney General advise whether similar protection for ethical veganism exists within Jersey’s legislation and, if so, will he state under which Laws such protection exists?

Answer

A preliminary hearing to determine whether ethical veganism amounted to a philosophical belief, and thus a protected characteristic within the meaning of section 10 of the Equality Act 2010 (the “2010 Act”), was heard by an employment tribunal in the U.K in January 2020: Casamitjana Costa v The League Against Cruel Sports 3331129/2018.

The Tribunal considered the principles set out in the case of Granger Plc v Nicholson [2010] ICR 360 EAT and the Equality and Human Rights Commission Code of Practice on Employment 2011, particularly paragraph 2.59 which sets out when a philosophical belief is to be protected under the 2010 Act.

Section 10 of the 2010 Act provides:

…(2) Belief means any religious or philosophical belief and a reference to the belief includes a reference to the lack of a belief.

(3) In relation to the protected characteristic of religion or belief –

(a) a reference to a person who has a particular protected characteristic is a reference to a person of a particular religion or belief;

(b) a reference to persons who share a protected characteristic is a reference to persons who are of the same religion or belief.

The Tribunal noted that it appears that section 10 of the 2010 Act consciously mirrors Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

1. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or in private to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.

2. Freedom to manifest one’s religion or belief shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedom of others.

Pursuant to the Convention, the freedom to hold and manifest belief is to be enjoyed without discrimination as defined by Article 14 of the ECHR:

The enjoyment of the rights and freedom set forth in the Convention shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as… religion, political or other opinion...

The Tribunal concluded that ethical veganism is capable of being a philosophical belief and thus a protected characteristic under the 2010 Act.

In Jersey, the Discrimination (Jersey) Law 2013 (the “2013 Law”), does not include an equivalent to section 10 of the 2010 Act. The ‘protected characteristics’ under the 2013 Law are limited to discrimination on grounds of race, sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, age and disability only.

Article 9 and Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights are reflected in the Human Rights (Jersey) Law 2000 which means that it would be unlawful for a public authority to act in a way which is incompatible with those Convention rights, but they do not provide members of the public with a statutory right to protection from discrimination committed in Jersey (including in the employment context) on the grounds of the protected characteristic ‘religion or belief’.

A ‘public authority’ includes a Court or Tribunal.  A Court or Tribunal must take into account Convention rights insofar as they are relevant to proceedings before them.

 

2.5 Deputy I. Gardiner of St. Helier  of the Chief Minister regarding the roll-out of Office 365 to States of Jersey departments: (WQ.102/2020)

Question

Will the Chief Minister advise –

(a)   whether Office 365 has been rolled out to all departments within the States and Government of Jersey and, if not all, why not and to which departments it has been rolled out;

(b)   what agreement was made with Microsoft in relation to the roll-out, what provision was made in any such agreement with respect to the anticipated cost and expected outcomes of the roll-out, and how many consultants from Microsoft, if any, were engaged in respect of the roll-out; and

(c)   what future investment is anticipated to ensure either completion of the roll-out to all departments or, if Office 365 cannot subsequently be rolled out to all departments, that all departments are nevertheless operating on a single system? 

Answer

(a)    Office 365 has not been rolled out to all departments within the States and Government of Jersey.  In 2019 a pilot roll out was undertaken with the objective of proving our ability to deploy Office 365 across Government, and to learn vital lessons that will support a wider roll out.  In total 700  employees and States Members (14% of the applicable workforce) are using Office 365.  The table below shows the departments and number of users:

Area

Number migrated

Still to do

Percentage complete

States Members

49

0

100%

Greffe

40

0

100%

Office of the Chief Executive

105

0

100%

Chief Operating Office

288

0

100%

Strategic Policy, Planning & Performance

83

0

100%

Customer & Local Services

35

185

19%

Treasury & Exchequer

27

181

15%

Growth, Housing & Environment

27

365

7%

Children, Young People Education & Skills

25

835

3%

Health & Community Services

21

2947

1%

Justice & Home Affairs

0

123

0%

Non-Executive & Legislature

0

291

0%

TOTAL

700

4,927

14%

(b)    In July 2018 GoJ signed a Fixed Price Agreement with Microsoft Consultancy Services for them to assist with the rollout of Office 365 to the pilot users.  The basis of the agreement was that Microsoft would work alongside GoJ in providing the expertise and knowledge in the design and deployment of the pilot in order to upskill GoJ staff.  The Microsoft assignment was delivered across five statements of work, and was resourced with relevant subject matter experts in the areas of Project Management, Consultancy, Architects and Change Managers, with resources working on site 4 days a week over a 16 week period.  The engagement was fixed for the pilot, with no provision made for subsequent roll out.  If Microsoft services or expertise is required then this will be contracted under a new agreement.

(c)    The further rollout of Office 365 will be delivered through the MS Foundation Programme which runs over 2020 and 2021.  The funding for the programme was agreed in the Government Plan with £3.3m capital in 2020 and £5.7m capital in 2021.  Revenue costs of £2.5m for 2020 and then £2.3m recurring per annum from 2021 are also included.  It is not anticipated that any GoJ departments will be excluded from Office 365 rollout, however, should this be discovered through the planning and design phase of the programme then a solution will be identified that facilitates effective working in that department and across functions.

It is estimated that cashable savings of up to £800,000, in addition to non-cashable productivity gains, could be made through the move to Office 365, due to the changes in both working habits and the savings made on previous licence agreements

 

2.6Deputy I. Gardiner of St. Helier of the Minister for Infrastructure regarding the properties left to the States by the bequest of H.E. Le Seelleur: (WQ.103/2020)

Question

Further to the response to Written Question 34/2017, tabled on 17th January 2017, will the Minister provide an update on what has happened to the properties left to the States as part of the bequest by H.E. Le Seelleur and on what plans, if any, exist for the future use of these properties? 

Answer

A number of the properties bequeathed to the States in the Will of the late H.E. Le Seelleur have been sold since the bequest as follows:

  • Beau Sejour, Mont Millais (Sold 18/05/2018)
  • Oxford Road Workshop (Sold 03/03/2017)
  • Le Boulevard Flats, La Rocque (Sold 13/10/2017)
  • Sous L’Eglise, St Peter (Sold 01/10/2015)
  • Claremont, Bagatelle Road (Sold 22/01/2016)
  • 9 Chevalier Road (Sold 03/03/2017)
  • La Pouclee Lodge (Sold 04/12/2015)

The residential properties retained by the Public comprise:

  • 1-3 The Denes, Greve d’Azette -  currently being let to tenants.
  • Stonecot, Mont Millais - currently awaiting repairs to the roof.
  • No 4 The Denes, Greve d’Azette - currently undergoing refurbishment.

These properties will continue to be let and the income received invested in The Le Seelleur Fund. The Fund is overseen by a government wide “charitable fund oversight board” which provides an independent assurance function for all charitable trust funds (including those under Health and Community Services).

 

2.7 Connétable of St. Martin of the Chief Minister regarding Government strategies in respect of neurodiversity: (WQ.104/2020)

Question

What strategies, if any, are used by the Government of Jersey regarding neurodiversity, both internally with the public sector workforce and externally with Islanders; how are any such strategies factored into the development of Key Performance Indicators and workplace engagement; and are there any plans to introduce initiatives in this area similar to those found in the United Kingdom, such as the U.K. Civil Service Dyslexia and Dyspraxia Network? 

Answer

Neurodiversity refers to the different ways the brain can work and interpret information. It highlights that people think about things differently, have different interests and motivations, and are naturally better at some things and poorer at others.

Most people are neurotypical, meaning that the brain functions and processes information in the way society expects. Others are neurodivergent, meaning that the brain functions, learns and processes information differently.[1] These differences can include those labelled with Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Neurodiversity has its roots in the social model of disability.[2]

This notion is encapsulated by the Disability Strategy for Jersey which adheres to the social model of disability. This is in line with Article 1 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: “Persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.”[3]  That is to say, what makes someone disabled is not their medical condition, or neurodivergence, but the attitudes and structures of society.

Furthermore, Discrimination law in Jersey also recognises “neurodiversity” as it affects people’s everyday lives: “A person has the protected characteristic [of disability] if the person has one or more long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which can adversely affect a person’s ability to engage or participate in any activity in respect of which an act of discrimination is prohibited under this Law.”[4]

Progress on the Disability Strategy for Jersey at a population level, can be measured through Jersey’s Performance Framework on sustainable wellbeing.

People and Corporate Services are currently in the process of recruiting a Diversity and Inclusion consultant. The Disability Inclusion Officer (also in the process of recruitment) will work with them to explore issues relating to diversity in the public sector workforce in terms of disability and neurodiversity.

 

2.8 Connétable of St. Martin of the Chief Minister regarding the development of the 2021 Government Plan: (WQ.106/2020)

Question

Does the Chief Minister intend to organise workshops, symposiums, or similar initiatives, to allow States Members and members of the public to contribute ideas towards the 2021 Government Plan and to provide the Government with a developed understanding of their respective priorities? 

Answer

The Government Plan 2020-23 was debated and approved by the States Assembly in December 2019.  It sets out income and expenditure for 2020 with forecasts for 2021-23 and describes in detail what the Government will do in 2020 and at a strategic level what it will work towards in 2021 to 2023.

The Government is committed to meaningful consultation and engagement with the public and States Members on policy matters. This is amply evidenced in recent and planned processes such as the Big Education Conversation, Island Plan Review, Let’s Talk Trade, Jersey Care Model and (upcoming) the Climate Assembly and citizens’ jury on assisted dying – amongst many others. Individual engagement exercises run parallel to, and inform the development of proposals for, future Government Plans.

In addition to consultation and engagement on policy matters, the Government is also committed to working closely with States Members in developing proposals for the Government Plan and does so in various forms, including:

  • ongoing individual Ministerial dialogue with States Members and scrutiny panels;
  • Policy Development Boards;
  • consideration of the findings and recommendations of Scrutiny Panels and others; and
  • engaging with Propositions brought to the States Assembly by States Members and others.

Briefings are being arranged for Scrutiny on the proposed process leading-up to the lodging of the Government Plan at the beginning of September and we look forward to discussing the best ways in which to seek further input from States Members and the public.

 

2.9 Connétable of St. Martin of the Chief Minister regarding the itinerary of events for Liberation 75: (WQ.107/2020)

Question

Further to the response to Written Question 369/2019, will the Chief Minister inform the Assembly whether the full itinerary of events for Liberation 75 has been shared with the Government and, if so, when the itinerary (and details of said events) will be made publicly available? 

Answer

Further to the response to Written Question 369/2019, the Bailiff’s Chambers distributed a Lib75 pen-drive to all States Members, including Ministers, senior Government officers and the media on the 8th of January 2020. This included a full itinerary of events for Liberation 75 and detailed the extensive consultation conducted by the Bailiff’s Chambers.

The full list of events currently planned for Liberation 75 has also been made available by the Lib75 team on gov.je: https://www.gov.je/leisure/liberation75/events/Pages/home.aspx

This itinerary is being routinely updated as external groups and organisations inform the Lib75 team of their own respective plans.

Details of the Liberation Day events will be provided by the Bailiff’s Chambers as the final programme is approved. The itinerary of events for Liberation Day 2020 will be available at the following link from the beginning of April:

https://www.gov.je/Leisure/Liberation75/LiberationWeekend/Pages/LiberationDay.aspx

 

2.10 Connétable of St. Martin of the Minister for the Environment regarding his work with the Parishes in respect of the Climate Action Plan: (WQ.108/2020)

Question

What work will the Minister undertake with the Parishes on additional strategies to develop environmentally-friendly behaviours as part of the forthcoming Climate Action Plan?  

Answer

Chapter 4 of the Carbon Neutral Strategy describes a ‘people-powered’ approach to responding to the climate emergency and outlines the key role of parishes within this and the development of the long-term climate action plan.

The strategy recognises the importance of the honorary tradition, and reiterates the parish assembly as an institution rooted in direct democracy. Therefore, the people-powered frames and enhanced opportunity to catalyse local community planning and action, to give islanders a clear role and to begin to address climate change from the grassroots.

“Parishes will be invited to build on their early action to lead community climate action networks involving local people and businesses. Eco active will continue to provide support and advice to these networks, and strong ideas that emerge from this work will be considered for future investment from the climate emergency fund”

Parishes are, and have always been, invited to become members of the eco active business programme which would enable them to set actions to increase environmental performance and awareness through a continuous improvement programme. Eco active support includes access to training, information as well as the benefits of being part of a network. To date St Helier is the only parish that has sign up to the programme and has been an active member for several years.

In terms of supporting parishes as part of the Carbon Neutral Strategy, officers are already offering support to parishes who have requested it and this will not just be continued, but increased.

This support for parishes will continue to be available through eco active to build an infrastructure of local delivery and, where they wish, to agree community action plans so that people across the island can play their part in tackling the climate emergency. 

Parishes who have declared their own climate emergencies have had officers attend working groups and this is something we are keen to further engage other parishes in and develop other structures to support such action.  This might include developing tools such as toolkits for parishes.  Before Christmas officers held a workshop that was offered to all parishes to help them calculate Scope 1 & 2 emissions of the Parish entity.  The ‘carbon monitoring spreadsheet’ is readily available and has been bespoked for Parishes with specific needs.  This support was made reference to during the recent debate and Members complimented this service.

 

2.11 Senator K.L. Moore of the Minister for Children and Housing regarding recruitment to the Children’s Service: (WQ.109/2020)

Question

Will the Minister –

(a)   outline how many appointments have been made in the Children’s Service over the past 2 years, dividing the numbers into newly qualified staff and those with more than 2 years, 5 years and 10 years Post-Qualified Experience (P.Q.E.) respectively;

(b)   identify how many people in each of these brackets have left the Service during that period of time and

(c)   state what the average period of time is that a person works within the Children’s Service?

Answer

a)      In the two years to 1st March 2020, the Children’s Service appointed 89 social workers, from newly qualified to Director level. 35 of the appointments were permanent and 54 were agency staff. We don’t routinely capture PQE experience, but we currently have 9 newly qualified social workers in their Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYEs).

 

b)     During the same period, 92 social work staff left the Children’s Service. 28 of these were permanent staff, and 64 were agency workers.

c)      On average, staff leaving the service over the last 2 years had been employed for 23 months. As would be expected, there are differences between permanent and agency staff, with the average length of service being 50 months, and 11 and a half months respectively.

The current staff group includes individuals who have recently started, to those who have worked for Children’s Service for 20 or more years.

 

2.12 Deputy R.J. Ward of St. Helier of the Minister for the Environment regarding the selection of the Carbon Neutral Citizens’ Assembly: (WQ.110/2020)

Question

Will the Minister outline the selection process for the members of the climate change citizens’ panel, including how sortition will be used, if at all? 

Answer

The Carbon Neutral Strategy establishes a people-powered approach to get all Islanders involved in discussing, informing and creating Jersey’s carbon neutral future. One part of this approach is the creation of a citizens’ assembly that will make recommendations about how we should work together to become carbon neutral.

The mandate for a citizens’ assembly on climate change, which was agreed unanimously by the States Assembly, sets out that the Assembly will consist of:

  • A Chairperson appointed by the Government; and
  • At least 49 citizens, randomly selected to be broadly representative of Jersey society.

Recruiting citizens in an anonymous and random way is vital to ensure the validity of the citizens assembly and to safeguard its integrity. To achieve this we will use an independently administered service provided Sortition Foundation.  Sortition Foundation are a not for profit organisation that have supported the recruitment of citizens’ assemblies for the UK Parliament and Scottish Parliament, amongst others (see www.sortitionfoundation.org).

The fine details of how the sortition process will be implemented in Jersey will be agreed in the coming weeks, but are likely to include:

  • An invitation, sent in late March to all Jersey households, inviting expressions of interest.  The invitation will be provided in a range of languages and will be accompanied by information about  what the citizens’ assembly is an the expected role of participants.
  • The stratification of anonymous responses into groups that reflect the age, gender and other characteristics of the population of Jersey.
  • The random selection of participants from these groups in order to produce a representative assembly. It is likely that there will be an over-recruitment in order to maintain the total number of citizens that participate in the full citizens’ assembly process at 49 or more.

States Members on the Environment, Housing and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel will have the opportunity to scrutinise this, as agreed by the States Assembly.

Sortition Foundation will also support the recruitment of participants for the citizens’ jury on assisted dying, which has been established by the Minister for Health and Community Services. Both the citizens’ assembly on climate change and the citizens’ jury on assisted Dying are also supported by, and will be facilitated by, independent experts from the New Citizenship Project (www.newcitizenship.org.uk) and Involve (www.involve.org.uk) as part of an approach that will strengthen the in-house capability of the Government of Jersey to make use of participatory policy making approaches in the future.

 

2.13 Deputy R.J. Ward of St. Helier of the Minister for Social Security regarding the payment of the Income Support housing component: (WQ.111/2020)

Question

How much was paid in housing benefit to tenants in private rented dwellings in 2019; and how many of these tenants were paying rent above Social Security housing benefits levels? 

Answer

Preliminary figures for 2019 indicate that £9.2 million of Income Support expenditure was provided as housing benefit support for private rented dwelling costs.   The final expenditure figure will be confirmed following completion of the external audit and formal approval of the Government Accounts for 2019.

48% of private sector tenants in 2019 had rental levels above the maximum rate of Income Support accommodation component available.

In some cases, the additional rent reflects the tenant occupying a dwelling larger than required for the household size.  Excluding these tenants, 40% of private sector tenants had rental levels above the maximum rate of Income Support accommodation component available.

 

2.14 Deputy R.J. Ward of St. Helier of the Minister for Treasury and Resources regarding the costs and benefits of moving to current-year taxation for all taxpayers: (WQ.112/2020)

Question

What will be the costs of moving all taxpayers to being taxed on a current-year basis; and, in particular, what will be the cost-benefits arising from this process, if any, in terms of the amount of tax collected from those people who leave the Island and in respect of tax administrative costs? 

Answer

In the 2020 Government Plan, Ministers signalled their intention to review the case for moving all taxpayers onto the “current-year basis of accounting” (CYB) from the prior-year basis (PYB).  The work will be conducted within the Personal Tax Review and will consider whether the move would be advisable and – if it were – how best to manage the transition for existing PYB taxpayers so that they do not have to pay two years’ tax in one year. 

The work will commence before Easter, with questions being posed to islanders in the next phase of consultation on the issue of Independent Taxation.

Until this work is completed, it is not possible easily to quantify the costs and benefits of making such a change on a hypothetical basis.  The perceived benefits identified in the Government Plan hang on the removal of the complexity arising from having two different ways of paying taxes and the problems that can be caused for islanders when their circumstances materially change, for example on retirement.

 

2.15 Deputy R.J. Ward of St. Helier of the Minister for Treasury and Resources regarding the non-declaration of income received from private rental takings: (WQ.113/2020)

Question

How many taxpayers, if any, have either been investigated, had to pay extra tax that they owed or been prosecuted due to a non-declaration of income received from private rental takings?   

Answer

During the period 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2019, tax officers completed 195 compliance enquiries which included the omission of rental or lodger income.  These cases in total generated additional revenue approaching £1.25 million. 

It is Revenue Jersey’s policy, wherever practical, to employ civil approaches in favour of criminal prosecutions (which are reserved for the most egregious cases).  All enquiries over this period were settled using civil approaches.

Revenue Jersey regards property-related income as one of the higher-risk sources of income for mis-declaration and will continue to gather sources of information to improve its ability to ensure this income is taxed. 

 

2.16 Deputy C.S. Alves of St. Helier of the Minister for Infrastructure regarding the safety measures implemented in respect of the cycle path next to Le Rocquier School: (WQ.114/2020)

Question

Further to the response to Written Question 92/2020, will the Minister advise what measures have been put in place to ensure the day-to-day personal safety of students and staff at Le Rocquier School, given that any member of the public can use the part of Eastern Cycle Network path that passes through school property during school operating hours, when students and staff are in the vicinity?

Answer

To respond directly to the question, I refer the Deputy to my previous response which sets out the measures taken and in what context when the path was constructed:

“The Le Rocquier field path was constructed in 2017 formalising an existing walking route being used by the local community through the area.

The public path was developed with Le Rocquier school as part of the Safer Routes to School programme, to encourage walking and cycling to school. Surveys undertaken at the time indicated that students were keen to take up active travel. Consultation showed there was parish and community support.

It was agreed with the (then) Education Department, as the landowner, that the path would form part of the emerging Eastern Cycle Network without any management concerns from the school. There was a joint initiative to develop signage and fencing to ensure potential safeguarding issues for the school were appropriately addressed. [Emphasis added]

While not directly associated with the public path or my ministerial work, I am advised that the CYPES Department, as part of a recent Jersey secondary schools safeguarding and security review, will be installing fencing and gates around the perimeter of the Le Rocquier School, to provide controlled and monitored access and egress to the site on all routes.

 

2.17 Deputy C.S. Alves of St. Helier of the Minister for Children and Housing regarding the support available to parents accessing social and children’s services: (WQ.115/2020)

Question

Will the Minister state what support, if any, is given to parents who need help with understanding, and access to, information (whether this is due to English being their second language or other difficulties) during encounters or meetings with professionals from social and children’s services?

Answer

The Minister utilises a range of tools and methods in order to ensure that meetings and encounters with parents who need help with understanding or accessible information is available in a way that maximises their ability to participate, contribute and understand.

In order to ensure that information is accessible we use the approved Island Language and Communication Service, which provides face to face qualified interpreters proficient in a number of languages. The service has a manager, one full time interpreter and several bank staff, three of whom speak Polish, two and French speaking and thirteen speak Portuguese. All are signed up to confidentiality agreements and are fully aware of the need to declare any conflict of interests in regard to people within their own communities with whom they may have personal contact. Ninety-Three requests for an interpreter were made by Children’s Social Care to this service last year.

In addition to this, when documents need translating or telephone translation is required, Children’s Services use the services of the “Big Word” which is a professional organisation providing services on an international level with the ability to use multi-media technology. This service also supports individual requirements to be met, for example, someone who speaks Thai, which is not a commonly used language on the Island can, have their individual and unique needs met via “Big Word".

A range of more specialised services are also available locally including the new interpretation service for those who use British Sign Language via an on-line video services called SignVideo which is a Government sponsored trial for 12 months.

Examples of materials used to promote accessible services include the Independent Safeguarding and Standards services translating Child Protection Conference information into Polish and Portuguese as well as a recently ordered acetate sheets for parents with dyslexia. The Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub have their correspondence available in both Polish and Portuguese languages and an example is attached.

Children’s Services commit resources to ensuring that these accessible services are used to benefit families with up to £44,000 annually.

There is also a range of options available to support parents who for their own unique reasons may need support to fully understand the content or process of meetings. The support that is put in place varies on a case by case basis depending on their individual needs. Parents who have cognitive learning issues can be offered a support worker from adult services or a can bring a legal advocate or amicus friend to meetings if they agree to this support. Parents who have literacy issues will have letters or reports verbalised to them and they are provided with a written copy should they wish to review reports with trusted friends or supporters at a later date. For parents with more complex needs, Children’s Social Care will also work across agencies to ensure that the support that is needed to help them attend or understand meetings is provided, for example using specialist adult safeguarding services such as mental health support workers or professionals from MENCAP

http://www.jerseymencap.org/about-us/projects-2/self-advocacy/ 

or the My Voice service https://myvoice.org.je/

Suitable venues for meetings are also identified for parents with physical disabilities in order to support attendance.

The Children’s Service is committed to further developing our services to ensure effective communication with service users.  This includes producing more information leaflets about our services in multiple languages, recruiting bi-lingual staff, working more proactively with our local diverse communities and developing our management information.

 

2.18 Deputy C.S. Alves of St. Helier of the Minister for Education regarding the tracking of Island students undertaking degree-level of specialist education: (WQ.116/2020)

Question

What tracking, if any, is there of students undertaking degree-level or specialist education, both in the Island and off-Island; and if students are tracked, are they contacted by the Government following completion of their courses in order to be informed of possible career opportunities in the Island or of further post-graduate courses that would benefit Jersey? 

Answer

Skills Jersey have e-mail addresses for all undergraduates and recent graduates and they use these to get in contact with students with specific subject or more general opportunities.

Once a graduate no longer has the e-mail address that they used at university, Skills Jersey cannot keep in touch with them. Graduates would need to give permission and new contact details to keep in touch, much along the same lines as we have for undergraduates.

The post-16 strategy is considering how graduates can be attracted back to the island, and part of this could be some form of annual return from all registered students for a period of time.

 

2.19 Deputy C.S. Alves of St. Helier of the Minister for Health and Social Services regarding the mitigation of risks involved in cosmetic procedures: (WQ.117/2020)

Question

What measures or Regulations, if any, are either currently in place, or have been considered, to ensure that those people who provide cosmetic procedures which involve injecting are adequately qualified to treat patients and that patients have adequate protection should any such procedure go wrong? 

Answer

The Jersey Care Commission (‘the Commission’) is responsible for the regulation of the practices of acupuncture, body and ear piercing, electrolysis and tattooing and the premises on which those practices are conducted.  These responsibilities are set out in the Piercing and Tattooing (Jersey) Law 2002.  These practices do not include cosmetic procedures which involve injecting people.

However, it is the Commission’s expectation that any medical or nursing professional providing cosmetic procedures which involve injecting people are registered with the Jersey Care Commission (in accordance with the Health Care (Registration) Law 1995 and the Medical Practitioners (Registration) (Jersey) Law 1960).   These individuals are registered with the Commission by virtue of their registration with a UK professional regulatory body (i.e. the Nursing and Midwifery Council or the General Medical Council).

The Commission has no jurisdiction over the regulation of the practice of individuals who are not on a professional register or those who hold no qualification.  However, the Commission may consider it an offence for any person who is not registered to engage in a registrable occupation or to hold himself or herself out as being entitled to engage in that occupation. 

Trading Standards has legislation in place to address false claims of qualifications, association with approved bodies or membership of organisations. In the event of a procedure going wrong, the consumer has access to civil routes to redress.

The Minister is aware of the risks raised by the questioner, but at the current time there are no plans to legislate on the issue.  

 

2.20 Deputy C.S. Alves of St. Helier of the Minister for Social Security regarding the information requested in relation to claims for Income Support: (WQ.118/2020)

Question

Will the Minister –

(a)   advise whether information dating back to 2014 is currently being requested when Income Support claims are reviewed;

(b)   if that is the case, state why and explain whether this process includes asking questions that were answered at the time that the claims in question were set up; and

(c)   explain what, if anything, is being done to prevent those people for whom there may be errors in the claim that is being reviewed, but through no fault of their own, from falling into poverty whilst Customer and Local Services awaits the requested information and their claims are suspended?

Answer

Income Support is designed to make regular adjustments to claims to ensure that households are getting the right level of benefit payments. This process requires supporting information to ensure any adjustments are accurate. In most cases the information requested is current information, proving a household’s current income and other important factors such as up-to-date rent or household composition. It is not standard practice for information to be requested in 2020 for the periods as long as ago as 2014, because one of the conditions of Income Support is that households are legally obliged to provide current information and notify Income Support immediately of any change of circumstances.

Determining Officers have the power to request older information if it is necessary to ensure the accuracy of a claim. This could be for several reasons but one of these is the investigation of potential fraud. The obligation is always on the claimant to provide good, accurate information when claiming Income Support, and if officers think this may not be the case they are required to investigate errors as far back as is needed.

Income Support literature is, and always has been, very clear that the obligation is on the claimant to ensure that information supplied is accurate and up to date. Anybody who fails to do this might be overpaid benefit which must be paid back, and leaves themselves liable to criminal prosecution.

When a determining officer adjusts a claim, this may involve the temporary withholding of payments to ensure that a household is not overpaid. Before any payment is withheld it will be reviewed for possible safeguarding concerns. Where these exist, further investigations will be completed.

Wherever possible this will be dealt with as quickly as possible, but the consequences of supplying incorrect information may include the possibility that benefit is not paid during periods where a claim is being investigated for possible fraud.

 

2.21 Deputy K.G. Pamplin of St. Saviour of the Minister for Health and Social Services regarding the provision of social workers who are British Sign Language trained: (WQ.119/2020)

Question

Further to his response to Oral Question 180/2019, will the Minister provide an update on the provision of social workers who are British Sign Language (B.S.L.) trained? 

Answer

Currently there is one social work assistant trained to level 2 BSL who supports adult referrals to social care.

Customer and Local Services (CLS) has now introduced SignVideo to support people who use BSL. This can be used across government departments. Details can be found at:

https://www.gov.je/pages/signvideo.aspx

 

2.22 Deputy K.G. Pamplin of St. Saviour of the Minister for Children and Housing regarding the plans for a public memorial for the victims of abuse: (WQ.120/2020)

Question

Will the Minister provide a timeline of the work that was undertaken that led to the announcement of a public memorial for the victims of abuse? 

Answer

The announcement, on 14 February 2020, of the opportunity to submit designs for the Jersey Care Memorial, followed over two and a half years of thorough work to develop an approach to deliver Recommendation 8b of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry.  The creation and ongoing facilitation of a Citizens Panel has ensured that the views of survivors have been taken into account and enabled them to guide the process of implementing their recommendations.

The timeline for Jersey Care Memorial project is as follows:

3 July 2017: Publication of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry which recommends, “some form of tangible public acknowledgement of those that have been ill served by the care system over many decades.”

31 October 2017: P.108/2017 - Independent Jersey Care Inquiry Report: Implementation of Recommendations lodged by the Council of Ministers. Ministers proposed that,
“a Citizen Panel is commissioned to develop preferred options for a memorial, which will ensure survivors can be respected and honoured in decades to come.”

November –Research undertaken regarding memorialisation of victims and survivors of

December 2017abuse. Brief developed for independent, expert facilitation of a Citizens Panel.

18 December 2017:Invitation to Tender for the design and delivery of a Citizens Panel launched on Channel Island Tender Portal

13 February 2018:Preferred supplier confirmed following tender evaluation and presentation

4 April 2018:Recruitment of Panel members commences via Jersey Post random letter drop and approaches to survivors via intermediaries

24 April 2018: Second phase recruitment of Panel members via media campaign and advertising

13 May 2018 -The Citizens Panel meets for five days to consider: ‘How can the people of Jersey best remember the past abuse of children while in the Island’s care system?’ before developing recommendations

24 June 2018: Citizens Panel present their four-part Legacy Project recommendations to the Chief Minister (private briefing)

4 July 2018:Legacy Project presented to Council of Ministers, which is accepted in principle.

July to October 2018:Means of implementing the Legacy Project scoped

3 & 4 November 2018:Citizens Panel reconvened to consider the proposals for implementing the Legacy Project. Weighbridge Place is identified as the preferred location for the memorial, following exploration of planning and heritage issues.

28 November 2018: Legacy Project implementation paper presented to Council of Ministers. Part A (public) minutes recorded: “The Council was content to note the progress made towards realisation of the Citizens Panel recommendations and approved the next steps proposed in the Report. … Officers were directed to take the necessary action.”

December 2018 – Liaison to progress confirmation of a site for the memorial

May 2019:

January 2019:Treasury Minister agrees to allocate funds (from the balance of the £23m allocation for the Care Inquiry process), for the realisation of the memorial

March 2019: Design brief and evaluation criteria developed for the memorial tender process

14 & 22 May 2019: Citizens Panel meet privately with the returning Care Inquiry Panel before also attending a public round table discussion about Legacy Issues.

August 2019:The Citizens Panel responds to a request from the Care of Children in Jersey Review Panel, regarding progress towards implementing their recommendations, noting that: “There have been constant obstacles to agreeing a site for the memorial” and suggesting: “a) priority should be given at a senior level to confirming the site for the memorial as soon as possible; b) commit resources and take action.”

23 September 2019: In their Two-Year Review, the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry Panel stated:
“We heard from the Citizens Panel, which was set up following the publication of our report, and from the officers who have worked alongside the members of the Panel. Their work has been commendable and we understand that there is a commitment to taking their recommendations forward, with funding having been set aside. The creation of a memorial, of an emblem and the establishment of an annual Children’s day, will be very visible features of remembrance. It will be important that the commitments made are seen through. We hope that there will be widespread respect amongst islanders for what is planned. … we would recommend that the memorial commissioned is a high-quality piece of public art, which attracts interaction with both islanders and the many visitors to the island.” 

December 2019: Jersey Development Company confirm the memorial can be located at Weighbridge Place

12 January 2020: Agreement to proceed with a choice of two potential sites for the Care Memorial within Weighbridge Place             

14 February 2020: Invitation to Tender for the Design and Realisation of the Care Memorial launched on Channel Island Tender Portal

 

Looking Ahead

30 April 2020: Care Memorial tender closes

18 to 20 June 2020:Public exhibition of shortlisted entries

3 July 2020: Announcement of final design

July 2020 –Planning process, fabrication and installation of memorial

June 2022:

3 July 2022:Care Memorial to be unveiled in Weighbridge Place

 

2.23 Deputy K.G. Pamplin of St. Saviour of the Chief Minister regarding television licences for people aged 75 and over: (WQ.121/2020)

Question

Further to the lodging of ‘The Communications (Jersey) Order 2020: extension to Jersey by Order in Council’ (P.14/2020), will the Chief Minister advise whether the B.B.C. began in 2018 to contribute towards the cost of Jersey’s means-tested concession to the television licence for over 75s, as was envisaged in the Comments to ‘Television Licence Fee: exemption for Jersey residents aged 75 and over’ (P.117/2016), and, if so, how much was saved by the States of Jersey as a result; and will he further state what reassurances, if any, have been received by the Government that Islanders will be treated the same as residents of the U.K. in any further developments regarding the payment of the television licence?

Answer

I would like to reassure the Assembly and the public, that regardless of any changes or decisions made by the BBC, Jersey’s existing over 75’s TV Licence Benefit Scheme will continue, unaffected.

In approving the Government Plan 2020/23 the Assembly has already put aside the necessary annual funding to continue Jersey’s existing scheme for Islanders.

In accordance with the commitment offered in 2016, the BBC has contributed £87,000 towards the cost of Jersey’s 2018/2019 benefit scheme. The BBC has undertaken to continue this commitment and the Government expects to receive £180,000 towards the cost of the benefit for 2019/2020.

In 2019 (after consultation) the BBC announced plans to alter their current UK over 75’s licence concession to a means-tested scheme. Because of this policy change, and as a result of Jersey progressing the extension by Order in Council, the BBC will be consulting with Jersey (and the other Crown Dependencies) during the summer of 2020 on the future funding of the over 75’s concession.

The extension by Order in Council and the summer consultation are about whether (and how) the BBC could fund a licence concession for over 75’s in Jersey. The BBC board have agreed to this consultation and have expressed a wish for the Crown Dependencies to be treated the same as UK residents.

 

2.24 Deputy K.G. Pamplin of St. Saviour of the Minister for the Environment regarding the impact of the next census on the development of the next Island Plan: (WQ.122/2020)

Question

What assessment has the Minister made of the likely consequences of holding the Island census after the completion of the next Island Plan; and by what means does he propose to incorporate information which comes to light in that census in the Island Plan?

Answer

The preparation of an Island Plan involves the development and adoption of a planning assumption which seeks to set out the anticipated change to the scale and nature of the island’s population over the ten year plan period. The planning assumption is important because it informs the level and type of provision that the Island Plan seeks to make for different types of development, mostly significantly housing. The planning assumption used to inform the Island Plan is developed with assistance from Statistics Jersey using locally relevant data and modelling: this work is based on the last Census but is updated using other sources of local data derived annually since the Census was undertaken. Significantly, the planning assumption will be in line with the Government’s policy objectives related to population and the management of in-migration which is due to be debated before publication of the draft island plan.

It is not unusual for an Island Plan to be adopted soon after the undertaking or outcome of the Island Census, as has happened previously in 2002 and 2011. Whilst an Island Plan is a statutory ten year plan, the law makes provision for the Environment Minister to review on an interim basis, in whole or in part, to address any issues of specific need that may arise during the plan period; it is intended to amend the Planning Law to clarify this provision. In such circumstances, there is potential for a revision to the plan to be made within a ten year plan period, should the need arise, as a result of new information derived from the Census or any other material factor.

 

2.25 Deputy K.G. Pamplin of St. Saviour of the Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture regarding the review of the Licensing (Jersey) Law 1974: (WQ.123/2020)

Question

Will the Minister provide an update on the work to review and replace the Licensing (Jersey) Law 1974? 

Answer

This issue is being led by Senator Steve Pallett, the Assistant Minister with responsibility for liquor licensing matters. On 5th February 2020 he, I and the Chief Minister met the Bailiff and other Crown Officers to discuss the next steps.

It was agreed that a joint working party will be formed to consider options to update the Licensing (Jersey) Law 1974 and the associated system of licensing administration. It is envisaged that the group will be chaired by Senator Pallett with membership including representatives of the Licensing Bench.

In addition to the legislative issues, the group will consider preparing a licensing policy statement for the Government. It is intended that this will sit alongside the law and will set out the policies the Government wishes to pursue in relation to alcohol licensing. A paper will be prepared for consideration by the Council of Ministers to this effect. The proposal is subject to their support and is conditional on the identification of the necessary policy officer resource, which will enable it to proceed.

The ultimate aim is to update and streamline existing practices and policies to better reflect the needs of Islanders and the industry.

 

2.26 Deputy G.P. Southern of St. Helier of the Chief Minister regarding the work of the Government Plan Efficiencies Review Panel: (WQ.124/2020)

Question

Further to his correspondence dated 25th February 2020 to me as Chair of the Government Plan Efficiencies Review Panel, will the Chief Minister –

(a)   explain how, if background material to the 29 efficiencies listed in R.130/2019 “is largely in the public domain”, suggesting that there is no further such material of relevance, there exists a meaningful audit trail for the decisions underpinning these efficiencies;

(b)   explain how his statement that the obligations arising from the adoption of P.88/2019 require him to publish a 6-monthly assessment of the efficiencies is consistent with the wording of the Proposition to request the “the Scrutiny Liaison Committee […] to undertake, commission or oversee detailed 6-monthly assessments”;

(c)   explain what is intended with the development of “a sustainable wellbeing impact assessment” that may be applied to existing efficiencies and those for 2021 to 2024; 

(d)   explain what assessment he has made of how meaningful scrutiny could be undertaken by the Review Panel in light of his response to the Panel’s Terms of Reference; and

(e)   reconsider the position he has set out in that letter? 

Answer

(a)   Besides the details provided to Members and the public in R.130/2019, internal governance is provided through the One Government Political Oversight Board, the Council of Ministers (CoM), and through the Assembly and Scrutiny (who are able to request papers from CoM meetings).

(b)   It is a reasonable interpretation of the requirements set out in P88/2019 that, to enable the assessments detailed in part (a), the government should publish a six-monthly report which includes impact assessments of the current efficiencies plan.

(c)   Following the passing of the Public Finances (Jersey) Law 2019, we are developing our thinking on the process and tools that might be used to support the Council of Ministers to ‘take into account the sustainable well-being (including the economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being) of the inhabitants of Jersey over successive generations’ (para 9a).

During 2020, we will develop and trial an integrated sustainable wellbeing impact assessment tool for use in a number of areas including policy development, spend proposals and efficiencies. This affords an easy-to-use summary assessment tool, which upon completion highlights where further consideration, and more detailed impact assessment work is required.

The development of this approach is still at early stages and we will share progress with Scrutiny during the course of the year.

(d)   Reference has been made to both the Panel’s Terms of Reference and the key issues set out on the Panel’s website. These have been considered alongside the plan to publish a six-monthly update on efficiencies covering certain impact assessments and the current assumptions on how this will be completed. I consider that the published report should address the requirements set out by the Panel and enable meaningful scrutiny to be undertaken.

The background material referred to in the Panel’s letter of 7 February 2020 is as referred to in my response of 25 February. However, I have requested officers to engage with the Panel to identify what supporting material might be of assistance.

(e)   The position, as set out in correspondence with the Panel dated 25th February 2020, remains as proposed. We have not had a response from the Panel to my letter, however if there are any specific concerns the Panel would like to raise, I would be happy to discuss them more fully. 

 

2.27 Deputy G.P. Southern of St. Helier of the Minister for Social Security regarding the comparison between Income Support and the Universal Credit scheme in the United Kingdom: (WQ.125/2020)

Question

Will the Minister commit to provide a comparison of Jersey’s Income Support benefit with the U.K.’s Universal Credit scheme, including how in each case the benefits that existed prior to each scheme’s introduction were rolled into the single benefit when it was created, and highlighting how each scheme works (including exemplars) for claimants of working age, both in and out of work and those with and without children; pensioners; and people with a disability? 

Answer

No, I cannot give such a commitment.

Officers across government are developing and delivering a wide range of projects under the agreed strategic priority of “We will reduce income inequality and improve the standard of living by improving the quality and affordability of housing, improving social inclusion, and by removing barriers to and at work.”   Resources were agreed in the Government Plan to deliver these projects and this is my current priority.

 

2.28 Deputy G.P. Southern of St. Helier of the Chief Minister regarding his travel arrangements during the week of 24th February 2020: (WQ.126/2020)

Question

Will the Chief Minister advise whether any prospective flights back to the Island were offered to him, or investigated, by Government of Jersey officers in order that he might be able to attend the States Meeting on Tuesday 25th and / or Wednesday 26th February 2020; and if such flights were offered or investigated, will he advise why he did not take up any such options? 

Answer

The Chief Minister was on a family holiday, due to return on Sunday 23rd February. As this was personal travel, Government of Jersey officers were not asked by the Chief Minister to assist.

 

2.29 Deputy M. Tadier of St. Brelade of the Chief Minister regarding access to the Government of Jersey offices in Broad Street: (WQ.127/2020)

Question

When a Minister or Assistant Minister either steps aside from their Ministerial duties or is suspended from those duties, do they still have access to the Government of Jersey offices in Broad Street; if so, will the Chief Minster explain why; and will he state whether any such policy has been applied consistently in all cases? 

Answer

Under the current Government and since the move to the Broad Street Offices in Q1 2019, there have been two cases where Ministers have either stepped-aside or suspended. In the first instance, an Assistant Minister copied a Government of Jersey employee in to an email chain in which he called upon the individual to be sacked. The second case is ongoing and where an Assistant Minister voluntarily stepped-aside from his duties until a court verdict is reached on a charge brought against him.

In the first instance, as confirmed to the Assistant Minister, the Council of Ministers, and the Chairman of PCC by letter on 29 March 2019, the Assistant Minister was suspended as an Assistant Minister and from any duties. As such, his access to Broad Street was removed.

In the second case, the Assistant Minister has voluntarily stepped-aside from his duties, until a verdict is reached in a charge brought against him. Whilst he is not discharging any responsibilities as an Assistant Minister, he has not been suspended from the post. As such, he continues to have access to Broad Street.

The policy has therefore been applied consistently.

Since the introduction of Ministerial Government, any decision to suspend a Minister or Assistant Minister has been taken outside of a formal statutory framework. During 2020, the Chief Minister intends to bring forward an Amendment to the States of Jersey Law which will address this lacuna and provide a statutory basis for the suspension of Ministers and Assistant Ministers, and thereby bringing greater clarity to this area.

 

2.30 Deputy M. Tadier of St. Brelade of the Minister for Education regarding school exchange programmes: (WQ.128/2020)

Question

Will the Minister detail the exchange programmes that exist between Jersey schools and schools abroad (indicating the Jersey schools to which they relate); and will she state how long these links have each existed, what the nature of each one is, and what assessment is undertaken of how successful they all are?

Answer

Victoria College (VC)

To date, VC have only offered this facility where the parents of an existing Victoria College pupil have initiated the exchange and only where those parents have been able to provide the appropriate host care and responsibility for the exchange student in question during their stay.  Previously, we have also offered short trips for groups of our Modern Foreign Language students to schools in France, and have hosted groups on site at Victoria College, but this is very much on an ad hoc basis and not part of a formalised exchange programme.  The school will soon be meeting with representatives of Caen University to explore the possibility of a future exchange programme with the university for A level French students.

Grouville

No formal exchange programme although a link has been formed with L’Ecole Portbail, which is our Parish twinned town in France. L’Ecole Portbail usually bring students over to visit for a day which is either based at school or the zoo or a heritage site. The children take part in various activities to practice their French skills and usually write letters to each other in advance.

St Martin’s

No formal exchange programme although a link with a French School has arisen through the St Martin’s Jumelage Committee as they are from the town St Martin’s twin with. This has been in place for around 9 years. The Year 6 class write and receive letters to their ‘pen pals’. Once a year, the French School come over to Jersey for two nights and they stay at The Jersey Activity Centre. As well as activities they plan themselves, they spend a day at school with the children from Year 6, where they practise their French/English, share a breakfast and see what a Jersey school is like and play games (e.g. cricket, football, boules etc). The St Martin’s Jumelage Committee organise and resource a lunch for both schools on the last day along with members of the Parish dignitaries.  There is no formal review of the link, but from informal evidence, it is an important part of our French curriculum which allows children a ‘real’ context for their French and links in with our Parish community. St Martin’s pupils have not yet visited the school in France, but it is hoped this can happen in the future.

Jersey College for Girls

​Approximately a 7 year arrangement of reciprocal visits with a school in Granville. Last year a group of Year 9 students went to Granville with the aim of developing their spoken French and raising motivation. The exchange has proved successful, with students communicating prior to, and interacting well, during the visits. ​Feedback from our students and from teachers in the French school has been very positive. During the two-day visits, students spend a day experiencing life in the host school and a day exploring the local area.

Communication between students has not continued long-term. The future of this exchange is uncertain, due to budget cuts for the French school. It will not be possible for the visits to take place in 2020 due to financial constraints and the challenge of finding dates which are suitable for both schools, but we hope to be able to organise further visits in 2021.​

Two exchanges have taken place with Shanghai No.3 Girls Middle School, Shanghai, China in 2017 and 2019. We were planning the next for 2021 but have postponed due to the Coronavirus. The exchanges combine homestay with cultural and in school activities. ~15 - 20 students each time. We have also had 4 students from this school attend both LEAP summer programmes in 2018 and 2019, and 1 full time student attends JCG. Taipei Municipal Zhong Shan Girls High School, Taipei, Taiwan

We have had 3 students attend LEAP in 2019 and we are planning to visit them during the next China trip (postponed for now)

Victoria College Preparatory (VCP)

No defined exchange programme, in the sense that our students are hosted, however there is a link with Bedford school in England. VCP footballers travel there for a weekend of sport and then this is reciprocated when Bedford visit VCP. The exchange stems from the Occupation of Jersey where boys from VC were evacuated to continue their studies in Bedford school.

Hautlieu

Bayi School, Beijing, China – joint learning/cultural exchanges, assessment of impact through levels of student engagement, student voice, sign up to study Mandarin.  Exchange started 2011.  Monteverde School, Costa Rica – partnership with this eco-school in Costa Rican’ rainforest who like Hautlieu are an IB World School.  Hautlieu has run trips to Costa Rica, including to this school, since 2016.  These trips have had a volunteering focus, supporting Monteverde School with their conservation work and helping to build the school’s own resources.  Assessment of impact through International Baccalaureate (IB) students successful completion of the CAS strand of the IB, development of cultural awareness etc.  Salvadore Allende Lycee in Caen, France – 6th form mathematics students and staff visit Hautlieu once per year.  Students work with IB Maths classes on joint learning projects with teachers also meeting to share practical teaching strategies.  Assessment of impact through student engagement in maths, cultural awareness and teacher professional development.  This exchange has been occurring for 4 years.  Lycee Providence in St Malo, France – annual exchange visits each October (to and from) for our students studying French and their students studying English. This exchange has been running for over 10 years.  Impact is through the student’s oral and written development in French and cultural awareness. 

Plat Douet

Pen pal exchanges with a school in France.

St Lawrence

Building on establishing a link with a French School.

Le Rocquier

Exchange with College Pierre Perrin in Tremblay, Brittany which has been established for about 13 years. Reciprocal visits but no home stay. Students will be surveyed on their return, but generally success is measured from student voice. There is a cultural and linguistic impact for our learners - especially Jersey Premium students. Year 10 students will be visiting a link school, College Andre Malraux, in Granville, and will exchange posters with them. There is a also a planned visit to Caen University. Annually in October a small group from Cancale school visit for a day, however this is only 5 or 6 students.

Future plans include maintaining links and keeping the French experience going for students.

 

2.31 Deputy G.P. Southern of St. Helier of the Minister for Health and Social Services regarding the social value of low-paid workers who are brought to the Island: (WQ.129/2020)

Question

Will the Minister release to members the submission made to the Migration Policy Development Board regarding the social value of some low-paid workers who may need to be brought to the Island to meet the demand for care?

Answer

The submission from Health and Community Services to the Migration Policy Development Board is attached below.

 

Migration Policy

Response from Health and Community Services   

1.Introduction

The following is a response to the Migration Policy Development Board (MPDB) Interim Report. It also takes into account the information which has been previously presented to the Migration Policy Board, as published on the gov.je website.

This high-level response sets out the changes in demand for care, the national workforce pressures experienced in health and social care, the current impact on Jersey recruitment and retention, and the local picture in relation to pressures across both the ‘registered’ and ‘trained’ health and social care workforce in Jersey. It also examines what is currently being done to address these pressures and provides the MPDB with context to ensure that any changes made to the CWH legislation does not create unintended consequences for a labour market sector which is already under pressure and   which will need to grow to meet the predicted demand for care in Jersey.

2.Key factors to consider in relation to the sustainability of the health and social care workforce in Jersey.

Health and Social Care in Jersey faces a number of challenges now and in the future, particularly relating to an increase in demand for care with the number of islanders over the age of 65 predicted to double by 2040. At the same time, the ratio of working adults to older adult ratio is expected to fall from 3.9. to 1 to 1.8. to 1 by 2040 (extract from the Health and Social Services White Paper – Caring for Each other Caring for Ourselves Public Consultation Document). 

This is clearly understood and is referenced in the draft document - Section 3.5 Jersey resident population estimate which states: 

The number of people over 65 will increase steadily over the next 30 years whatever migration controls are in place. With no inward migration this will lead to a reduction in the number of working age people as more older people leave the workforce compared to the number of younger people joining

This increase in the over-65 population will increase the demand on health and social care services and care needs. It is estimated that 75% of 75-year olds in the UK have more than one long-term condition, rising to 82% of 85-year olds (Barnett et al 2012). This increase in demand will be a challenge for health and social care systems if there is not an appropriately skilled workforce available to meet the demand. The delivery of health and social care throughout the island is dependent on the availability of a workforce – both at the registered professional level (such as doctors, nurses, social workers, pharmacists etc) and at a trained level (such as healthcare assistants, support workers, home care support workers). The issues of availability and sustainability were concerns shared and expressed by members of the public during the public events on the Jersey Care Model, which took place during Nov/Dec 2019. At every parish event, there were questions about growing, attracting and retaining the workforce. 

3. Current position regarding recruitment of registered professional staff and factors affecting recruitment

3.1 General UK labour market context 

The majority of our registered health workforce is recruited via the UK labour market. 

The current workforce position across the UK health and social care labour market is challenging with an estimated 1 in 12 or 8% of posts vacant in hospital and community services. The highest percentages of vacancies exist in the Thames Valley, near London, where the vacancy rate is c.12%. The lowest rates, at c.4%, are in the North East.

40,000 vacancies exist in nursing and midwifery in the UK. Concern about nursing workforce numbers has been evident since 2015, when nurses were added to the list of shortage occupations by the UK Migration Advisory Committee. This list was refreshed as recently as October 2019 and nursing still features.

In terms of medical staff, whilst there has been inward investment in the UK directed at medical staff and hospital consultants between the years of 2004 to 2019, it is estimated that 1 in 10 speciality postgraduate medical training posts go unfilled resulting in demand outstripping supply.

Mental health staff – in 2015, concern about this specialism was also considered and added to the list of shortage occupations by the Migration Advisory Committee.  In 2019 when the list was refreshed, it cited all mental health medical practitioners as a profession experiencing workforce gaps.

Community Health Nurses – this sector has experienced significant pressure and since 2009 there has been a steady decline in the number of district nurses, health visitors and school nurses. This decline relates to loss of posts and a lack of people entering the sector.

When the Migration Advisory Committee (Migration Advisory Committee Full Review of the Shortage Occupation List May 2019) invited a response from the health and social care sector about the reasons for the workforce gaps, the following points were made: 

- a low number of people available with the required skills

-  too much competition from other employers and 

-  the offputting nature of shift work and unsociable hours. 

4. Impact of these gaps

Across the NHS it is estimated that 80% of the nursing vacancies and 90% of the medical staff vacancies are being filled by locum/agency staff. Whilst this is costly, it also leaves gaps in staffing levels.

It is estimated that the NHS is looking at a workforce gap of 250,000 by 2030.

EU nationals and the restriction of movement has already impacted on the number of nurses registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and therefore available to work in the UK or Channel Islands. The latest report from the Health Foundation indicates that the number of nurses from overseas registering has fallen in 2018 from 8,800 to 3,500; this has particularly been driven by the fall in the number of EU nurse registrants – a fall of 87% from 6,400 to 800.

The Interim Report states: “The UK Government intends to remove the right of EU nationals to live and work freely in the UK and requires EU nationals to apply to get immigration permissions to do the same. These changes will be mirrored in Jersey. The impact of these changes upon the full flow of EU migrants to Jersey is not yet clear however they will be treated the same as 3rd country nationals and will require immigration permissions to enter Jersey and be able to work”.

Whilst Jersey has not been part of the EU, in health and social care labour market terms this change will have an impact on Jersey’s recruitment of  registered health and social care professionals as all of the staff working in roles such as adult social work, nursing, physio, midwifery, pharmacy, medicine, biomedical scientists etc are registered through the UK professional regulators (NMC, GMC, HCPC). This is the professional regulation requirement to work and practice in the UK and Jersey. When the UK leaves the EU, it is predicted that the number of professionals registered on the UK register, and therefore eligible to apply for roles in Jersey as well as the UK, will continue to fall. 

5. Jersey position re-registered workforce 

Jersey typically experiences the same health and social care workforce pressures as elsewhere. Whilst we have had some relative success in some areas of service through developing different roles and sponsoring training ourselves, there are undoubtedly areas experiencing similar pressures to that of the UK.

Mental health nursing in HCS – this is an area of focus for Jersey and a priority in the recently published Government Plan. Whilst we are currently developing an on-island mental health nurse training programme, we will continue to look outside Jersey for experienced staff in this field. At the moment, this area of service is very reliant on temporary staff and in some areas up to 48% of the substantive posts in nursing are filled with agency staff. Whilst the geographical position of Jersey means that agency staff in Jersey do not move around as they do in the UK and they do become a part of the substantive team for a period of time, this is an expensive way of staffing. 

Adult nursing in HCS – approximately 75% of registered nurse and midwifery vacancies are filled with agency nurses and midwives. Additional staffing needs are topped up by the local nurse bank, run through HCS.

Pressures experienced in other parts of the sector – last year, HCS supported two provider organisations to source temporary registered staff as they had experienced difficulties in attracting registered nurses to Jersey. HCS has been able to assist by sourcing agency nurses and providing HCS temporary staff accommodation. Without this support, capacity within the sector would have reduced, as beds would have had to close due to lack of staff and this would have impacted across the whole health and social system.

Community Nursing – this is an area which requires expansion within Jersey as part of our ambition – as set out in the Jersey Care Model – to offer islanders more choice about their place of care, and to keep people well and cared for at home for longer. This is also a sector under pressure in the NHS for reasons cited above and, again, while Jersey will be able to grow some of its own community nurses through our UK university provider, we will also need to supplement this by bringing in experienced staff from elsewhere.

6. The trained workforce – these are typically roles such as Healthcare Assistants, Support Workers and Home Care Support. This workforce is generally recruited from within the island, and is recruited on variable rates of pay, terms and conditions. Many in the private sector are recruited onto zero hour or part-time contracts and in many instances are paid only for the time in which hands on care is delivered, ie not between visits when they are driving from one client to another.  It is of concern that other jobs in Jersey, such as admin and clerical work, attract better pay and terms and conditions than these roles involving the most intimate caring work supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our island.

This workforce is key to the current and future delivery of health and social care in the island and is a sector that is expected to, and needs to, expand. This sector is experiencing difficulties now with demand outstripping supply. The impact of this on the whole island healthcare system means that more people are being cared for in places that do not best meet their care needs. So, for example, within the general hospital the number of patients aged 65 and over who get stranded in hospital beds whilst waiting for their ongoing care needs to be met is increasing. At any one point in time, this can affect up to 35 patients, which is the equivalent of the capacity of two wards.  The impact of this increased demand and issues with workforce supply in the home care market sector means that the residential sector becomes the default discharge destination. As a result, capacity within this sector is now becoming challenging.

Discussions with the sector during the engagement events for the Jersey Care Model revealed a number of factors that are impacting on this sector, namely the increased regulatory requirements linked to the Regulation of Care, such as the increased workforce training requirements.  In the Board’s Interim Report, reference is made to Bermuda, but Jersey has no central ie “national” training resource for this sector. This means training needs to be sourced from a variety of providers which range in cost and quality. Time staff spend in training needs to be backfilled by other colleagues to ensure care continues, which puts double running cost pressures on the organisations. 

Providers can and do apply for work permits under the current system. However, even with permits there are limits as to what they are able to do. One care agency explained that although they have five permits they do not use these as being the only agency recruiting staff from outside the island would mean they would have to source accommodation for this workforce on a temporary basis and possibly contribute to the cost of rentals. Short-term leases in Jersey are expensive and are not in huge supply, particularly for those without housing permits.

We also heard from carers, ie family members about the difficulties they are experiencing as a result of pressures in this sector. For example, a family was told at the last minute that there were no staff available for the forthcoming weekend and the family was left to make alternative arrangements.

7. Jersey’s recruitment sourcing position for health and social care professional staff

Currently, Jersey recruits from three main sources:

• From outside Jersey – experienced qualified registered professionals. All of these staff have to be registered via the UK regulatory body in order to legally practice as a locally registered professional in Jersey. The UK regulators are the General Medical Council (GMC), Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

• Home grown in Jersey – from the local population – this currently happens for nursing, midwifery and social work.  The programme is a degree programme delivered in Jersey and awarded by a UK university. It has an annual intake. The programme takes three years and ‘we train to employ’. There are consistently around 54 students in total on the nursing and midwifery programmes who will qualify over the next few years. The first intake for the social work programme commenced in September 2019.

• Return to practice – in nursing and midwifery we are able to offer an opportunity for those who have left the profession to pursue other opportunities to return to nursing and get back onto the register and enter the local labour market. Some six people have taken up the opportunity so far. 

Recruited from outside of Jersey – In the case of registered nurses and midwives, doctors, and those professions registered with the HCPC, all staff are currently recruited onto permanent contracts. This was not always the case, specifically in relation to nursing and some of the allied health professional posts (employed on civil servant contracts). For them, employment used to be offered on a nonpermanent basis, typically under five-year contracts. 

However, as attracting staff became more difficult, barriers to recruitment were removed and permanent contracts have been offered for a number of years along with an improved relocation package. This has had a positive impact and undoubtedly assists in retaining this valuable workforce.

The average age of nurses and midwives on qualifying has changed with 60% being above the age of 27 when they enter the workforce. This means we would typically be looking to recruit those with experience in post before appointing to Jersey (as we have our own supply of newly-qualified nurses). In our experience, this has meant that many nurses and midwives are 30+ and have family commitments by the time they consider relocating to Jersey for work. 

The interim report suggests four types of work permits. In summary they are:

1. Low skilled employees – permission for 9 months in any 12. Must leave island for at least 3 months before reapplying. Will never achieve settled status.

2. Skills shortage at medium level – permits to be granted for no more than 4 years. Must leave island for at least 1 year before reapplying. A limited number only will be granted settled status after 4 years on grounds of significant work record.

It isn’t exactly clear which of the categories above would apply to the trained workforce who provide homecare, healthcare assistant and support roles – however, clearly there is a need for a co-ordinated island-wide response to the growing demand in this sector to ensure that Jersey is able to deliver and sustain as much as it can in relation to this workforce. There needs to be a strategic needs analysis and a labour market strategy to address this issue and to fully understand the risk and options to address gaps in the workforce. This includes addressing the skills gap, addressing terms and conditions, and pay. 

Finally, if we are to make health and social care an attractive career choice and recruit into this labour market from outside Jersey then it is not an attractive prospect to be able to offer only four years of work and then expect employees to leave for a year before returning. This is not a viable and cost effective approach, given the knowledge, skills and experience developed by those individuals during the time they have lived and worked in Jersey. It does little for continuity of care and would mean a revolving door that is unlikely to meet need or sustain services.

3. Skills shortage at high income/critical skills level – permits to be granted for no more than 4 years but employee would gain settled status at the end of 4 years subject to remaining in employment.

If this category is applied to the registered workforce then, bearing in mind the national context, there is a risk that this will have a negative impact on recruitment and retention.

At present, registered professionals recruited from outside Jersey are appointed to permanent posts. This has had a positive impact and actually puts Jersey in a stronger and more attractive position than our counterparts in the other islands. Discussions recently with colleagues in Guernsey about recruitment revealed that it has extended the permit time on appointment for nurses to 8 years, with permanency at this point.  Guernsey is currently considering a further review of its rules with a view to extending it further for this workforce.

The proposed impact of offering a permit for four years with the promise of permanent status after four years will impact on our recruitment as it creates another barrier for registered professionals relocating to Jersey and does not recognise that they are bringing valuable much needed skills to the island.

4. Demonstrable significant contribution to the island since arrival on permit in 3 above or (more strictly controlled), 2 above. Permanent settled status.

To conclude 

Whilst we can increase efforts to source local staff or reassign existing staff into community work, the health and care sector will always need to recruit off-island for a range of skilled jobs. The direction of travel that the report suggests is not dissimilar to the present arrangements for licenced and entitled workers, but suggests that the grant of permits will be more strictly controlled. Under the proposed arrangements, employers will still assess their skill needs and apply for a certain number of permits to be held by their business. There is a need for an island-wide “workforce strategy” which covers the whole health and social care sector’s total need for off-island staff, with recruitment focused on meeting that need. This would remove the need for individual employers in the sector to recruit offisland staff into specific posts who cannot thereafter work flexibly in other parts of the sector.

 

2.32 Deputy G.P. Southern of St. Helier of the Minister for Health and Social Services regarding the cost of wound dressings: (WQ.130/2020)

Question

Further to his response to Oral Question 61/2020, in which the Minister stated that he “would accept that £25 a week, if you have specialist medical needs and expensive items, may not be an adequate sum in some cases” to be used to cover the cost of wound dressings, will the Minister conduct an investigation into when this level of £25 was last reviewed and whether any hardship has been caused by this level being set at it stands currently; and will he undertake to uprate it accordingly?

Answer

Oral question 61/2020 covered two separate areas.  The original question referred to the financial support available to low-income residents who are living in residential care and receiving a long-term care benefit.  As stated in the answer: “Residents of care homes in receipt of long-term care do retain a proportion of their income, usually pension income for their personal needs.  If that was to prove insufficient, they can request help through the income support scheme for health-related items, such as dressings.  Payments are made as one-off special payments and do not need to be repaid.  Either the resident or the care home can initiate a request for payment.”  Later in the oral question, reference was made by the questioner to these individuals receiving “£25 a week pocket money”.  The LTC benefit provides for a personal allowance to a claimant living in a care home. The figure of £25 is not correct. The current rate is £37.80 per week and the figure was last increased on 1 January 2020.  A low-income resident in a care home is not expected to use their personal allowance to meet specialist medical costs.  As explained in the oral answer, in this situation the resident can apply for additional support through the Income Support scheme.

The answer to the oral question also covered the pilot scheme to support the cost of dressings in the community.  The oral answer noted: “There is a pilot scheme, which is about to become operational to run until December of this year.  Under this scheme, my Department is working with Family Nursing and Home Care to supply medical hosiery to patients with leg ulcers.  These are very specialist stockings, so they are not suitable for all wounds, but those diagnosed with a particular condition will be provided with those hosiery items free of charge, whereas previously there was a charge.  We have budgeted a maximum of £40,000 a year during this pilot scheme.  This is a group of patients with a well-defined need, assessed by a nurse and it is believed this initiative will make a real difference to their condition.”

In some cases, people living in the community with a medical need for specialist dressings will need to meet these costs themselves.  The pilot scheme is investigating this area to determine where and how additional help should be provided.  Low-income patients in the community already have access to Income Support payments to help with these costs.

 

2.33 Deputy M.R. Higgins of St. Helier of H.M. Attorney General regarding COVID-19. [Please note that a written response was provided to this Oral Question, due to H.M. Attorney General’s absence during Oral Questions] : (OQ:72/2020)

Question

Will H.M. Attorney General advise members whether there are any existing legal powers that can be used by the Council of Ministers to restrict the freedom of movement of those people who have contracted, or who are suspected of contracting, COVID-19, or who have been to places where the disease is prevalent?

Answer

I will provide a brief summary of the powers that are presently available for these purposes.  However, it is important that the Deputy does not treat this answer as detailing the plans of the Government of Jersey in relation to these matters.  The Deputy will be aware that the Medical Officer of Health, Ministers and senior officers provided a detailed briefing to all States Members on their preparations for the potential coming pandemic.  Those plans are focussed on providing good quality information to Islanders, advising those who may be affected by the virus to self-isolate and providing treatment.  The Minister will be best placed to speak to those plans, but my Department will of course be providing its full support for Government, the medical staff who are preparing for a potential outbreak and the Assembly in relation to these matters. 

Restrictions overview

There is legislation in Jersey that restricts, and provides powers to restrict, the movements of persons who have contracted or who are suspected of having contracted an infectious disease, such as corona virus.  These powers due to their age some may benefit from further development and revision.  This is a matter that I understand the Government of Jersey is keeping under review having regard to legislative developments in the UK which is also looking to adapt to meet the challenge the virus poses. 

There is separate legislation applicable to a person travelling to or from Jersey and a person who is already present here in the community and I will address each I turn.

1)        Persons travelling to or from Jersey

In relation to persons travelling to or from Jersey (whether or not they are resident in Jersey), the Public Health (Vessels and Aircraft) (Jersey) Law 1950 (the “1950 Law”) contains  Order making powers so that the Minister for Health and Social Services may make provision to manage public health risks arising from travel to and from Jersey.  In exercise of the powers in the 1950 Law, provision was made just under fifty years ago for the carrying out of checks and imposition of controls on incoming passengers on planes or ships to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.  The Public Health (Aircraft) (Jersey) Order 1971 and the Public Health (Ships)(Jersey) Order 1971 contain similar provisions to one another respectively in relation to aircraft or ships arriving in Jersey.  Among other things, these orders give the Medical Officer of Health or a qualified medical practitioner acting under his or her instructions the power to:

a)      at the request of the commander of the plane or master of the ship, examine and detain any person on board, as well as the detention of the plane or ship; and

b)     cause any person leaving a plane or ship who the medical officer suspects is suffering from an infectious disease to be isolated or sent to hospital, or sent to some other suitable place.

Wilfully neglecting or refusing to obey, or obstructing the execution of either of these Orders is punishable with a Level 3 fine (£10,000) and/or up to 3 months imprisonment.  There is also a further daily fine set at Level 2 on the standard scale (£1000) for any continuing breaches of an Order (see Article 4 of the 1950 Law). 

2)   Persons in the community

In relation to the community more widely the relevant legislation is the Loi 1934 sur la Santé Publique (the “1934 Law”). The principal practical powers and restrictions in the 1934 Law that may be applied for present purposes are found in Articles 13, 16, 19, 21 and 23 of the 1934 Law.  These Articles provide that:

a)        The Medical Officer of Health and the health inspectors may visit, at any reasonable time, any house, establishment or other place whatsoever in the Island.  Any person who obstructs the Medical Officer of Health or the health inspectors in the execution of their duties under this Article shall be liable to a fine of Level 3 on the standard scale (Art 13).

b)        Where the Medical Officer of Health is satisfied that it is necessary for public health that the patient be isolated and that this isolation cannot be done at home, the Medical Officer may require the transfer of the patient to a place designated for this purpose by the Minister (Art 16). The Minister has recently designated the General Hospital as the appropriate place for this purpose in relation to corona virus.

c)        It is an offence for any person who is infected with a disease liable to spread by contagion or otherwise, to make use of a public vehicle or to appear, in a road or other public place. This is punishable with a fine of Level 2 on the standard scale (Art 19).

d)        It is an offence for a person caring for a child to send the child to school if he or she knows that such child is infected with a disease liable to spread by contagion or that such child has been in contact with persons so infected.  This is punishable with a fine of Level 2 on the standard scale (Art 21).

e)        The Minister for Health and Social Services may prescribe by Order a notifiable contagious disease (Art 23) and I understand that the relevant Ministerial Order will be or is in the course of being made in respect of COVID-19.

 

3.Oral Questions

3.1Connétable M.K. Jackson of St. Brelade of the Chief Minister regarding the staffing dedicated to the portfolio of the Minister for the Environment: (OQ.54/2020)

Will the Chief Minister commit the Council of Ministers to considering the staffing dedicated to the portfolio of the Minister for the Environment to ensure that it is sufficient for the portfolio’s requirements?

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré (The Chief Minister):

As Members will be aware, the current structure of G.H.E. (Growth, Housing and Environment) is in the process of being reviewed and changed and that process is currently underway.

3.1.1The Connétable of St. Brelade:

Would the Chief Minister consider there is an imbalance in that given the Data Protection Department has the capacity to employ some 16 members of staff, is Government totally focused on the finance industry to the detriment of the environment in our Island?

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré:

No, the Environment, under the Government Plan, is going to receive £15.2 million over 4 years as an increase in funding, that was what was approved in the Plan and that, I think, from my recollection, represented a reasonable increase in previous positions.  What I will say is that we know that where there are current pressures, such as the Island Plan, Brexit, carbon neutral strategy, or the countryside natural environment issues, we have allocated additional funds as a result of that process, which was approved by the Assembly, but of course if there are any future changes and pressures, such as those imposed by the future relationship between the U.K. and Europe and wider jurisdictions, that will be monitored and assessed.  If any decisions are needed they can be made in respect of future Government Plans as to whether any additional resources are required in those areas.

Deputy J.H. Young of St. Brelade:

I think the Minister’s answer requires me to seek a point of clarification in his answer from the Chief Minister.  I know it is contrary to the previous direction, but I think when a question specifically adjoins a Minister’s portfolio and crucial things like resources, I think I should at least be entitled to ask a question.

The Deputy Bailiff:

Deputy, the position at the moment is that there is a ruling by the previous Bailiff to the effect that a Minister cannot question another Minister.  Until that is changed by the Assembly agreeing an Amendment to Standing Orders that is the position. 

Deputy J.H. Young:

Does that include, for example, if a figure was quoted in an answer, which in fact does not reflect, I think, the answer in the question about the revenue expenses and staffing, is there no means of asking that?

The Deputy Bailiff:

No, there is not.

3.1.2Senator K.L. Moore:

The Chief Minister’s answer gave many figures, but did not give the Assembly a timeline as to when this work will finish. 

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré:

Which work?

Senator K.L. Moore:

The work the Chief Minister outlined in terms of reviewing this Department.

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré:

Sorry, because I referred to Brexit, carbon neutral strategy and Island Plan in there as well and I would not like to put a date as to when those will be completed in the next few months.  The G.H.E. restructuring, as the Senator will know from the updates that we provided to the One Gov Review Panel, has taken longer than we expected but is due to hopefully reach its conclusion in the next few months.

3.1.3Deputy R.J. Ward of St. Helier:

Is it the case that of the £15 million he quoted, only £500,000 is going to Environment and the rest is going to the Infrastructure Department in that time?

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré:

I cannot give the split, I said Environment, which is obviously the overall objective from the C.S.P. (Common Strategic Policy) and obviously quite a lot of that is in the Climate Emergency Fund, but some of it is directly going to the Environment and obviously the detail is in the Government Plan.

3.1.4Deputy K.F. Morel of St. Lawrence:

While the Chief Minister has helped clarify a little bit, was it not the case that the original question was about funds for the Minister for the Environment and not the environment in general; therefore the Chief Minister’s answer should have been regarding the funds for the Minister for the Environment and therefore his Department specifically?

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré:

It said: “To consider the staffing dedicated to the portfolio of the Minister for the Environment” and what I said, in reminding Members, that we are putting some more money into the area of the environment, the objective of the environment in the C.S.P.  I think that is all I can say.  We have put some additional funding, we did have discussions with the Minister, the Deputy will recall, which was a specific request he raised, which we accommodated.  This I think is more around the resourcing side, which, as I said, is an ongoing process.

3.1.5Deputy K.F. Morel:

Would the Minister then confirm that is a sum of £500,000 extra which is going into the Environment Department, as asked by Deputy Ward?

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré:

Doing some very rapid maths, there is just over £1 million and a bit over the 4 years that is going into the Environment Department, there is £13 million, I believe, that is going into the Climate Emergency Fund, which is then going to be split across those 2 Departments that the Deputy has been referring to and so do not forget that was a first cut that essentially ... or a first tranche of funding as the climate emergency measures are brought more and back to this Assembly as appropriate.  There will be additional funding going into those measures.  So, that is the initial funding that was agreed in the Government Plan, that was approved about 12 weeks ago.

3.1.6Deputy J.H. Perchard of St. Saviour:

The original question pertains to the consideration of staffing dedicated to the portfolio of the Minister for the Environment.

[15:00]

So I would just like to clarify how many members of staff are currently dedicated to the portfolio for the Minister for the Environment and does the Chief Minister think that that is sufficient and if not, will the money that he has put aside in the Government Plan go towards staffing specifically?

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré:

I do not have the direct numbers to hand for the level of staffing now and partially because the whole of G.H.E. is going through a restructuring process and that level of change.  In terms of what we said is that as part of that assessment and if the Minister does still have concerns he is obviously very welcome to come and talk it through with me.  What we have said is that as demands arise and it might be out of the changes and the relationship between the U.K. and Europe, for example, in fisheries, that that will have to be assessed and if greater resource is needed I am sure greater resource will be forthcoming.  What we must not forget is there is not a bottomless pit, i.e. we have to make sure that within all of our funding we make sure that it is balanced before the other needs that we face, as an Assembly and we have basically had a very extensive debate some 12 weeks ago in which this Assembly vastly approved.  That is about cutting one’s cloth accordingly and meeting the priorities that this Assembly have set.

3.1.7The Connétable of St. Brelade:

Would the Chief Minister confirm that the Minister for the Environment is in fact comfortable with the responses he has made today and if not, agree to discuss the matter further?

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré:

I am always happy to discuss matters with the Ministers.  As has happened in the past, if Ministers do have concerns of particular areas they do come and talk to me.  I do expect that conversation to be taking place.

 

3.2Deputy G.J. Truscott of St. Brelade of the Chief Minister regarding the identification of a site for a centralised Government building: (OQ.57/2020)

Following the Assembly’s effective rejection of Ann Court as a possible site for the new centralised Government building, what progress, if any, has been made in identifying and selecting a new site?

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré (The Chief Minister):

I thank the Deputy for his question.  As the Deputy will be aware, a new Government building could save us around £7 million per annum and that is before taking account of productivity gains.  The Deputy will also be aware of the various announcements that were made just before Christmas and where we are now, is expressions of interest opened in January ... sorry, the requests for expressions of interest was made in January.  I expect the results back in April.  At that point I will be able to give further information, once those have been assessed.

3.2.1Deputy G.J. Truscott:

The temporarily centralising of Government services at Philip Le Feuvre House in La Motte Street has proved quite successful.  The only criticism has been poor access due to lack of parking in the area making it difficult for pedestrians, particularly the elderly pedestrians.  Could the Chief Minister advise the Assembly if Philip Le Feuvre House is still being considered as a viable site for the new Government building?

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré:

My understanding, because we have discussed that, is that essentially the La Motte Street site is not big enough for all employees.  It was originally looked at, because there was a possibility of adjacent buildings, or sites, could have been expanded into but that is no longer the case.

3.2.2Deputy S.G. Luce of St. Martin:

Can the Chief Minister give the Assembly an assurance that any new building to house the States officers will be built on States-owned land?

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré:

My long-term objective is that the States will own the building.  That is obviously subject to States agreement and therefore will ultimately be on States-owned land.  Will it be built on existing Statesowned land, I cannot comment, because it depends what the expressions of interest look like and what the details of that arrangement are.  There will be a variety of factors obviously including the financials.  But, from my perspective, I would anticipate that any long-term position would be that ultimately we would own the building and the land itself.

3.2.3The Deputy of St. Martin:

Was the Chief Minister aware that, in his absence, at the last States sitting, I had an absolute assurance from the Deputy Chief Minister that it will be built on States-owned land?

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré:

I am not disagreeing with that.  What I am trying to imply is I cannot guarantee it will be built on existing States land.  So, in other words, until the expressions of interest have come back that if somebody comes up with a scheme, which makes sense and ultimately means we would then own the building and the land, so it becomes States-owned land, then that would be something we would look at and that will take account of a variety of factors.  What I am saying is I cannot guarantee it will be on existing States land, because it would depend what the assessments look like.

3.2.4Deputy S.M. Ahier of St. Helier:

Has the Chief Minister given due consideration to building the new centralised Government building at the International Finance Centre. I was considering International Finance Centre building 2, which is 2 storeys higher than the others and should be a suitable place to build it?

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré:

I do not know the various parties who are putting forward their bids for any expressions of interest.  I would expect S.o.J.D.C. (States of Jersey Development Company) and my understanding and expectation is S.o.J.D.C. will be one of them.

3.2.5Deputy D. Johnson of St. Mary:

Deputy Truscott referred to the possibility of building a new centre at La Motte Street in respect of which many Members will recall the Assembly spent some time considering the extinguishment of the covenant and the Panel of the day also spent some time, but if the development is not to proceed there will the Chief Minister advise whether he has any plans for that site?

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré:

The whole benefit of the principle around the new office block is that not only will it save us considerable sums of money on an annual basis and, as I said, that is excluding ... so the £7 million I have quoted is essentially cash savings and ignores any productivity savings.  Experience in the past, I do emphasise “in the past”, the productivity savings can be significantly more.  So, there is a significant revenue benefit.  But the other benefits are firstly some capital savings and perhaps as important, if not more importantly, the release of sites for housing.  So, therefore, I would anticipate, but bearing in mind we have to build, we have to decant and move across, that if the La Motte Street site therefore it does get decanted out, which I would expect it would be, that its obvious use would be for residential housing.  That will also be an assessment at the time, but that is the whole point and one of the reasons we want to move this office strategy forward is to release brownfield sites for housing.

3.2.6Deputy M. Tadier of St. Brelade:

Is the preference for a new build, or to use an existing building?

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré:

Again, as I said, expressions of interest have been sought, so if somebody comes back with a scheme that is viable, that uses an existing building, I am not aware of one, then it will be assessed at the time.  General experience to date has been that you get better overall efficiencies.  I will say this is from memory from about 10 years ago, when I was looking at this, so it may have changed, that because of the size of the change one is better looking at a new build.  If that has changed, or somebody produces a viable scheme within the expression of interest, that will be considered.  At this stage, expressions of interest have been sought, we will get them in April and at that point we can assess what the various solutions are that we are being presented with.

3.2.7Deputy M. Tadier:

Is there any consideration being given to combining a States Assembly building with the new Government buildings, wherever that might be?

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré:

No.

3.2.8Connétable P.B. Le Sueur of Trinity:

When will we be likely to see a detailed financial appraisal which underlines, or justifies, the quoted figure of £7 million saving?

The Deputy Bailiff:

[Electronic interruption] Contribution from Deputy Labey.

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré:

Is it an elevated fine, Sir, given his position as moral leader of the Assembly, or something?

The Deputy Bailiff:

I do not think so.

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré:

The reason I paused is I thought we had given a high-level outline, but I may be misremembering on that front.  The detailed side will come back once we have seen the options and once a full business case is put together on the basis of the options we provided.  But, from experience, when I was last involved, many years ago, at Property Holdings the cashable savings at that point and there was a very detailed case that was put behind it, was between £3 million and £4 million in terms of what I will call cashable and then the productivity side was anything up to 3 times as much.  So I used to conservatively reckon on about £10 million a year saving, putting those 2 figures together.  Those figures, that £3 million to £4 million has now become £7 million and therefore the productivity overall goes higher. Therefore, I still think I am being fairly conservative now on reckoning on around £10 million, or between £7 million and £10 million.

3.2.9Deputy G.J. Truscott:

As the Chief Minister has already mentioned, the £7 million savings a year is something really that is so important, by centralising Government under one roof.  Plainly, there will be significant windfalls from developing the vacated sites such as Cyril Le Marquand House, South Hill and Philip Le Feuvre House, et cetera.  This is surely a win-win situation.  Could the Minister advise, just really give us an idea of a timeline once the site has come forward, when does he anticipate building starting and when does he hope for it to finish?

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré:

I cannot give a timeline for when we suspect building commencing.  I believe the intention is that a full business case would be completed during the course of this year and then it will then roll out from that.  I think it depends on the circumstances.  For example, if somebody providing a scheme already had planning permission that would have a change, I suppose, to somebody who is going to put in for planning permission on a site.  I genuinely and deliberately do not know the details as to what potential schemes are out there.  In terms of, as I said, expressions of interest being sought in January, let us wait until we get the details in April.  I remain absolutely satisfied that subject to some blinding new revelation that I am not aware of that this really does represent good value on a whole range of fronts, both in money, revenue terms, both the Deputy is right in terms of release of capital, avoidance of capital expenditure and also the release of brownfield sites.  For me, it is a major win situation, but I do want to see it done.  That is important.

 

3.3.Deputy R.J. Ward of the Minister for Infrastructure regarding the income of Liberty Bus: (OQ.70/2020)

Given that it has been reported that there were 5 million bus journeys taken last year, what information does the Minister have on the income to LibertyBus from bus fares paid and what was the level of subsidy paid to LibertyBus in 2019?

Deputy K.C. Lewis of St. Saviour (The Minister for Infrastructure):

The LibertyBus financial year runs from May to April, so the audited accounts for 2019 are not available.  However, I can confirm that the contract includes an open book accounting agreement that provides a high level of transparency and trust.  I would like to stress that the Government does not subsidise LibertyBus, the commercial cost of running the contract, paying for staff, fuel and buses is the cost.  The subsidy is to the passenger, via the contract payments to the bus operator.  In other words, the public money payments enable the fares, paid by passengers, to be held lower than would be if the operator were fully commercial.  In 2019, the value of payments was approximately £4.6 million, of which just over £1 million was reimbursed for the concessionary travel journeys that are made by senior citizens and persons with prescribed disabilities.  A fundamental tenet of the contract is LibertyBus is free to use its commercial acumen in pricing to encourage uptake.  It has been extremely successful in this with bus ridership having grown 40 per cent between the start of the contract in 2013 and the end of 2019. 

3.3.1Deputy R.J. Ward:

Given that we cannot get a figure as to the income from those 5 million bus journeys, yet again, will there be any difference in the subsidies, should LibertyBus register as a charity?  It is already a non-profit making organisation, which should be channelling its income back into community provision.

Deputy K.C. Lewis:

I certainly have not heard of that, but I am more than happy to keep an eye on that.  As I say, it is an open book policy.  Members will be informed as soon as they are available.

3.3.2Deputy G.P. Southern of St. Helier:

Given the Minister’s inability to give figures for 2019, will he please supply the equivalent figures for 2018, 2017, 2016 or any other year between 2013 and 2019?

Deputy K.C. Lewis:

Yes, the ability is there but they are not ready yet.  But more than happy to provide the figures for the years as requested by the Deputy.[5]

3.3.3Deputy M. Tadier:

Is it the case that the Minister’s officers allow him to go into another question time with notice, without giving any figures to satisfy the valid demands of backbenchers and Scrutiny members to find out whether or not we are getting value for money from LibertyBus?

Deputy K.C. Lewis:

Value for money certainly is there.  For instance ...

Deputy M. Tadier:

Point of order.  The question was not about value for money.  The question was about whether his officers are allowing him to come into this Assembly unarmed with valid figures from any of the preceding 7 years to answer the question.

[15:15]

Deputy K.C. Lewis:

I am more than happy to get that to all States Members later this afternoon.  As I was saying, value for money wise: yearly pass, Jersey would cost you £449; Isle of Man would cost you £800; Isle of Wight £900. 

Deputy M. Tadier:

Point of order ...

Deputy K.C. Lewis:

It is not a point of order.

Deputy M. Tadier:

... the Standing Order says that the Minister should seek to address the question.  The second part was not asked.  He is simply trotting off an answer for which no question has been asked and that has got to be a contravention of Standing Orders, as well as a waste of the Assembly’s time.

The Deputy Bailiff:

He has given an answer. 

Deputy M. Tadier:

But Standing Orders does say that he should seek to address the question and the second part of the answer that he has given addresses a question that has not been asked.  Is he in cloud cuckoo land here?

Deputy K.C. Lewis:

I was asked for value for money.  I was providing it.

The Deputy Bailiff:

Please sit down while I am speaking.  He has attempted to address the answer.  I do not think he has breached Standing Orders in the way that he has responded.

Deputy K.C. Lewis:

May I continue?

The Deputy Bailiff:

Drop your light off please, Minister.

3.3.4Deputy K.F. Morel:

While the Minister mentioned the increase in bus passengers, does the Minister know the quantum of the increase in bus mileage driven?  So, how many more miles are the passengers taking each year?

Deputy K.C. Lewis:

I do not have that, but I am more than happy to get that to Members as soon as I can get hold of it.

3.3.5The Deputy of St. Martin:

A point of clarification: in a previous answer the Minister said very recently he would get back to the States Assembly Members with some figures this afternoon.  Could he clarify what those figures were going to be?

Deputy K.C. Lewis:

I have been just asked for extra mileage year on year and the figures for the last several years.

The Deputy Bailiff:

Could you clarify, Minister, precisely what it is you are promising Members you are going to do today?

Deputy K.C. Lewis:

I believe Deputy Southern asked for all the accounts for the previous 6 or 7 years.

Deputy G.P. Southern:

I referred to the figures requested for 2019 and requested the equivalent figures for 2018, if he did not have 2019 and backwards.

Deputy K.C. Lewis:

Yes and that will be available.

3.3.6Deputy R.J. Ward:

Can the Minister assure the Assembly that income from bus fares for LibertyBus and Jersey buses is spent only on the Jersey bus service by the bus company in Jersey?

Deputy K.C. Lewis:

Income; they are a private company.  There is a profit share arrangement where a percentage comes back to the States of Jersey, which pays for many road improvements, zebra crossings, pelican crossings and other worthwhile projects in the Island, including bus shelters. 

Deputy R.J. Ward:

Point of clarification, it is a social enterprise company.  Is that being considered as a same profit motive company because in their books it says it does not make a profit?

Deputy K.C. Lewis:

There are administrative charges, but the profits are shared between States of Jersey, which come back into other projects and the company itself and those monies go towards other items, such as senior citizens passes, disabled passes and recently introduced carers’ passes.

 

3.4Deputy M.R. Higgins of St. Helier of the Minister for Children and Housing regarding the administration of personal records held within his portfolio: (OQ.73/2020)

Will the Minister explain how he ensures that the personal records held within his portfolio are accurate; and advise whether clients within that portfolio (including children and parents) are given a periodic opportunity to review the records that relate to them, subject to any appropriate redactions required under the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018?

Senator S.Y. Mézec (The Minister for Children and Housing):

Records held within Children’s Services adhere to data security requirements in line with the Government data protection framework and the principles of the Safeguarding Partnership Jersey procedures.  They are held on a secure central platform, called Mosaic, with restricted access to specified users within the Department, in line with their role responsibilities.  All Government workers are required to complete online Government mandatory training, including data protection and security awareness and a record of completion of that is maintained centrally.  All Children’s Services staff complete record-keeping training as part of their induction process, in order for them to be granted access to the Mosaic database recording system.  Every effort is made to ensure records are regularly updated and are factually correct.  The opportunity for parents to review data held occurs when completed records are routinely shared with them and reviewed by them for factual accuracy.  Any factual inaccuracies can be identified and rectified immediately at that point and children and parents can request to view their individual case records via Children’s Services, or they can go down the route of a subject access request, if they prefer.

3.4.1Deputy M.R. Higgins:

I would like to thank the Minister for his long and largely unnecessary answer.  The second part was the relevant bit, about how accurate they are.  As the Minister knows, I have been on at him for some time about the inaccuracy of the records, which has also been highlighted by Ofsted and others who have come in.  The records are appalling and members of the public do not have the knowledge that they can have access to them and, to the best of my knowledge, no one yet has.  I have been campaigning for it for a while.  Will the Minister publicise to all members who use the Children’s Services that they have the right of access to their records and to see if they are accurate, or not?

Senator S.Y. Mézec:

In response to the first part of Deputy Higgins’ question, I will make sure my answers are more brief in future 

Deputy M.R. Higgins:

Accurate.

Senator S.Y. Mézec:

But, of course, I am absolutely content with advertising the fact that users of the service have the right to seek the information that is held on record by them.  In the first instance, I suggest going to Children’s Services and asking, but if they prefer they have the right to a subject access request.  I have no problem saying that in this Assembly and I can ask Children’s Services to make that clear to their clients, so we can proactively ensure that people know they have that right.

3.4.2Deputy M.R. Higgins:

Will the Minister be prepared to go to the media and advertise the fact that they can do this?  As he knows, there are many people who have got records which are saying that they have been involved in sexual child abuse, they have had children they have never had and various other inaccuracies and we are not going to have any confidence in the Children’s Service until everyone has the right to see their records and have them amended.

Senator S.Y. Mézec:

I am happy to have a conversation with Deputy Higgins about the most effective and appropriate ways of making sure that progress can be made on this issue.  If that involves the media, fine.  If that involves other ways, fine.  But I am more than happy to have that discussion.

 

3.5Deputy C.S. Alves of St. Helier of the Chair of the States Employment Board regarding the process followed when States of Jersey employees resigned: (OQ.63/2020)

Further to the response to Written Question 90/2020, in which the Chair stated that, since December 2019: “an online link is included within the electronic letter that is sent to the employee to acknowledge their resignation, removing the requirement for the line manager to notify the employee, although this remains our request of line managers.”  Will the Chair advise whether this is an automatic process for all Government Departments?”

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré (Chair, States Employment Board):

The Connétable of St. Ouen is taking this.

Connétable R.A. Buchanan of St. Ouen (Vice-Chair, States Employment Board - rapporteur):

I thank the Deputy for her question and also for her consideration in allowing me to answer it.  The leaver survey went live in December 2019 and the automatic link was sent out to all employees who left during January 2020.  This is administered by the People Hub and is across all Government Departments.  However, we discovered that this does not cover doctors and we have since improved the system, such that doctors are now picked up on this, as well.  It does not cover those people who are not employed directly by the Government, such as agency, or self-employed, but the survey is available on the website and they are going to be encouraged to use it.

3.5.1Deputy C.S. Alves:

I have also had a constituent, who works in Education, who left approximately 4 weeks ago, who also did not receive this electronic acknowledgement, so will the Chair endeavour to ensure that this also applies to the Education Department and support staff within the Education Department, not just teachers?

The Connétable of St. Ouen:

Yes, I thank the Deputy for her question.  I was discussing this with my staff at lunchtime and Education are a bit of a problem, because they do not necessarily have access to a dedicated P.C. (personal computer) so what is happening is that a link, or a notification, will appear in their payslip as an aide-memoire to assist them further to try and remember to complete the survey.  We will be talking to the Education Department about trying to improve that even further.  But the link is an electronic link and will be received in a letter they received.  But, unfortunately, we have discovered that some education staff do not necessarily have access to a P.C. to complete the survey. 

3.5.2Deputy R.J. Ward:

Given the electronic link to resignations, should there be some sort of electronic link to ensuring that exit interviews are conducted thoroughly, so that information can be gathered as to why people may be leaving States employment?

The Connétable of St. Ouen:

I thank the Deputy for his question.  I have a copy of the survey here and it is very comprehensive and covers a whole variety of topics related to their employment with the States, including reasons why they are leaving. 

3.5.3Deputy M. Tadier:

The individual that Deputy Alves spoke about at Education did have access to a P.C., so a blanket answer, saying that it would not necessarily be included in an email, because some States employees do not have access to emails, seems a bit of a strange position for the Deputy Chairman to maintain.  Could he clarify that position?

The Connétable of St. Ouen:

It is difficult for me to clarify the situation behind the Deputy’s question.  All I can say is if the other Deputy would like to let me have details of that particular individual, all I can do is promise to look into the circumstances and find out why they did not receive an automatic link.  I am assured that, as of the beginning of January, everyone was getting this link.  So, if there has been an exception, I would like to know about it.

3.5.4Deputy C.S. Alves:

Is there a possibility that for those that do not have access to email, or a computer, that it could just be sent in a physical letter as the automatic process that myself and other colleagues have been through, we have received various letters through the post from People Hub regarding our pension, but no mention of exit interviews, or surveys, or anything like that.  So, could the Chair look into this please?

The Connétable of St. Ouen:

Yes, of course.

 

3.6Deputy S.M. Ahier of the Minister for Infrastructure regarding the recycling of milk cartons: (OQ.74/2020)

Will the Minister advise the Assembly whether he will consider arranging the despatch of used milk cartons to facilities such as the Halifax Recycling Centre, where they can be recycled, so that they are not otherwise burnt in the incinerator?

Deputy K.C. Lewis (The Minister for Infrastructure):

Recycling cartons may be looked at in the future, but it is not currently a priority for the Department.  Our work will continue to evolve and we will most certainly investigate the feasibility of recycling new materials, high grade uPVC (unplasticised polyvinyl chloride) such as windows and doorframes is an example that the Department is keen to move forward.  Officers were visiting potential recycling partners last week.  Before starting any new recycling initiative, we will assess the environmental benefit of the separate collection export and recycling, compared with local energy recovery and our efforts will be prioritised on those that generate the greatest impact.

3.6.1Deputy S.M. Ahier:

These cartons are 100 per cent recyclable.  We only need to transport them to have a beneficial effect on our carbon footprint.  Does the Minister believe that £20 per tonne to recycle them is deemed too expensive?

Deputy K.C. Lewis:

Liquid cartons cannot be recycled using the current recycling bins available in Jersey, as they are made up from a composite material containing paper board and plastic.  Long-life cartons also commonly contain a thin layer of aluminium.  If cartons were collected for recycling, they would need to be collected separately and exported to a specialist carton recycling facility.  The Halifax Recycling Centre, referenced in the question, refers to a beverage carton recycling facility.  The facility is the only current recycling plant in the U.K. and is capable of recycling up to 40 per cent of the U.K.’s cartons.  Our understanding is that the cartons collected by U.K. local councils are not delivered to the Halifax facility and are sent overseas.

3.6.2Deputy I. Gardiner of St. Helier:

I would like to check with the Minister if he was aware about undergoing work by Jersey Dairy to replace the cartons. As the Scrutiny Report last year indicated the willingness to recycle the milk cartons, it seems strange that after a year we introduce new cartons that cannot be recycled.  Has the Minister had any conversations with Jersey Dairy about recycled cartons?

Deputy K.C. Lewis:

I believe our officers have, but the new cartons, they may look like cardboard, but they are, in fact, plastic covered, so it is difficult separating the various components.

3.6.3Deputy I. Gardiner:

The question was that following Scrutiny recommendation that we would like to see milk cartons recycled on the Island my question was: have Jersey Dairy engaged with the Department when they developed their new cartons, that these cartons will be able to recycle on the Island?

[15:30]

Deputy K.C. Lewis:

I was not aware of that.  I believe my officers are in regular contact with all the various firms on Island.  I will need to check up on that and get back to the Deputy.

3.6.4Deputy M. Tadier:

Could the Minister state whether the production of Jersey Milk produces more of a carbon footprint than the packaging of Jersey Milk?

Deputy K.C. Lewis:

I would need to research that.  I could not honestly say whether Jersey Milk has an increased footprint on the Island.  That is something I would need to look into.

3.6.5Deputy M. Tadier:

There seems to be a lot of talk about the packaging of Jersey Milk and the environmentally friendliness of it, but are there not a couple of things that come into the issue which are more prescient, more salient, one is that we have got an Energy from Waste plant that burns recyclables and as long as we have that, there is going to be very little incentive for people to recycle properly.  The second point is that the whole of the farming industry in Jersey needs to take steps to try and ... I will leave it to one question, so I think we should have ...

The Deputy Bailiff:

What is your question, Deputy Tadier?

Deputy M. Tadier:

The one is about the Energy from Waste plant and is that not the real issue?  If we continue to want to feed an Energy from Waste plant, then any recycling strategy is going to be hampered before we even start.

Deputy K.C. Lewis:

I thank the Deputy for the eventual question.  It was regarding the farmers and obviously everybody, including farmers, we need to up our game when it comes to recycling.  We try to recycle as much as possible.  Obviously, we send cans away for recycling.  We send metals away for recycling.  We have got huge plants down at La Collette collecting plastic bottles and they are sent away for recycling, but there are some composite materials that are very difficult to separate.  As I mentioned earlier, a combination of cardboard and plastics with metal film inside.  A lot of drinks cartons have like an aluminium type liner inside, again difficult to separate.  But this is work in progress.  The Department would like to recycle as much as possible and only incinerating that which we cannot recycle.

3.6.6Deputy K.F. Morel:

I am slightly concerned by some of the assertions made in the Minister’s answer.  Will the Minister please endeavour to contact this plant in Halifax, because they do indeed recycle the plastic and the aluminium, making roofing tiles and construction panels out of them.  In light of that, would the Minister endeavour to contact the recycling plant in Halifax to ensure that his facts are correct?

Deputy K.C. Lewis:

Yes, the team have been in contact with the Centre and, as I pointed out, that it is a beverage carton recycling facility, so there are certain cartons that even they do not recycle.  But, as I say, it is a work in progress.  We would like to recycle as much as possible and if we can recycle it we will do so.

3.6.7Deputy K.F. Morel:

While looking at the Government of Jersey website, it does say at the moment that we do not currently collect food and drink cartons for recycling.  It says because they would have to be sent for specialist recycling in Europe; because not all component parts are recycled they then incinerate them.  This statement on the States of Jersey website appears to be incorrect, because they do not have to send them to Europe and it also appears incorrect because all the component parts of drinks cartons can be recycled.  Will the Minister commit to ensuring that the Government of Jersey website is updated to show the correct picture?

Deputy K.C. Lewis:

I am more than happy to check out the Government website, to make sure that is up to date.  But, as I say, if lots of debris is put in with everything else, eggshells, teabags in with the rubbish, we do not have anybody there physically separating them out, so they would have to be collected separately and deposited for so to do.  If something enters the incineration stream, or the Energy Recovery Unit, as we call it now, which is a much higher grade, then it goes for incineration.  We do not have hundreds of people with rubber gloves going through the rubbish to take out what needs to be recycled.  We rely on people using the bring back system.  We have many collection points down at La Collette and about 7 or 8 points around the Island where things can be deposited.  But I will bring it to the attention of the Department.

3.6.8Deputy R. Labey of St. Helier:

Is it just me, or do these new cartons leak? [Laughter] And to bring the question in order, does that have any effect on the recyclability?

Deputy K.C. Lewis:

I think, under Standing Orders, a Minister can be asked any question for which he has political responsibility; leaky cartons is not one of them.  But more than happy to bring that to the attention of Jersey Milk.

3.6.9The Connétable of St. Brelade:

On a recent visit to Guernsey, my Panel noted that milk cartons are recycled over there by the same company that deals with the cardboard and the plastic over here.  Would the Minister please agree to speak to the company and make arrangements to recycle our milk cartons?

Deputy K.C. Lewis:

More than happy to speak to the company, but officers in the Department have already spoken to them.  My officers have come to the conclusion it is not viable, as yet.  But talks will be ongoing.

3.6.10Deputy R.J. Ward:

Would the Minister not agree that the recycling issues that he talked about shows a lack of a culture of recycling, which has not been developed by the Government of this Island and therefore it has to start with the Government.  So, perhaps, the first thing to do is to encourage cartons that can be recycled and then encourage the recycling, rather than the incineration.  Is that not the way forward, Minister?

Deputy K.C. Lewis:

Yes, we do not encourage incineration.  Incineration is a by-product.  I say, more than happy to recycle as much as possible.  But, at the moment, as I say, we have 12 Parishes, 8 are recycling, 2 are in the process of switching over to recycling and collections and negotiations are ongoing with the other 2.  But it is something that the Department is working on.  A lot of Parishes now, who deal with collections on a door to door basis are very keen to promote and I congratulate them for their efforts in recycling and we are the recipients of that and we will despatch as much to the U.K. for recycling as possible.

3.6.11Deputy S.M. Ahier:

Every small step we take contributes to our carbon neutrality.  Has the Minister undertaken a feasibility study, to see what the full costings are of recycling milk cartons and, if not, will he commit to undertake such a study?

Deputy K.C. Lewis:

As I stated, I am more than happy for the officers to work on that and to see the feasibility of recycling cartons.

 

3.7Deputy K.G. Pamplin of St. Saviour of the Minister for Social Security regarding the process followed when an Islander was informed of the suspension of their Income Support claim: (OQ.79/2020)

Will the Minister advise what information is gathered and what process is followed, before an Islander is provided with notice that their income support claim is being suspended?

Deputy J.A. Martin (The Minister for Social Security):

Income support is designed to make adjustments to claims as household circumstances change.  This ensures that households continue to get the right level of benefit payments.  At each change, supporting information is needed to ensure that the adjustment is accurate.  Most adjustments are made when claimants notify Income Support with information.  However, if an officer has reason to suspect that a claim is being paid at an incorrect rate, they will contact the claimant by letter to review the claim and request information.  As soon as the information is received, the claim is adjusted and if any payments are being withheld they are released.  The claimant will also receive a full amount they are entitled to.  The temporary withholding helps to maintain any other payments that also may be building up.

3.7.1Deputy K.G. Pamplin:

I thank the Minister for her answer.  Does the Minister have access to and then could provide some data on how many appeals against claimed suspensions have been had and the outcomes of the nature, for whatever their reasons, for making those suspensions from the last 24 months?

Deputy J.A. Martin:

I do have a figure, it is about one per cent of total claims over about the last year have been withheld, some only for a couple of days.  I will listen to what the Deputy says if he wants to know exactly for what, which and why reason.  I had someone contact me the other day, who was concerned that they could not get bank statements going back 6 months.  I said: “You do know there is a machine?”  It was just an off the cuff phone call.  I said: “You do know there is a machine in your bank that will give you it?”  “I did not know that.”  If they had have spoken properly to the officers down there, they may have known that.  So, it is all about trading information and getting the right information as soon as possible.

3.7.2Deputy K.G. Pamplin:

Again, thank you to the Minister for answering.  I would appreciate that information and we can discuss further.  Just lastly, are there any plans to review the communicating process of notification, especially with the work going on with digital improvements in Government?

Deputy J.A. Martin:

Absolutely.  We do now, we are absolutely allowing anybody to make a claim online and adjust online.  I never want to get to the point where you have got the little old lady, or little man, who cannot use the computer, that cannot pick up the phone and cannot go into the Department.  But for anyone who is really computer savvy, online is great and you can justify anything.  Take your copy, put it through to the Department.  It does not need physical, it just needs to be seen.  So, we are getting there, but we have to be still maintaining it for people who are just not quite there in the I.T. (information technology) department.

Deputy K.G. Pamplin:

Just a supplementary on that.

The Deputy Bailiff:

No, you have had your supplementary, sorry.

Deputy K.G. Pamplin:

Clarification?  [Laughter]

The Deputy Bailiff:

No, that is obviously an attempt to ask another question by another means.

Deputy K.G. Pamplin:

God loves a trier.

 

3.8Connétable K. Shenton-Stone of St. Martin of the Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture regarding the proposal that all Propositions would be accompanied by an inflation impact assessment: (OQ.65/2020)

Given that Action 4 of the Report of the Inflation Strategy Group (R.16/2020) states that: “All relevant Propositions presented to the Assembly will include a brief ‘inflation impact assessment’”, will the Minister state what specific resources and advice he will make available to States Members and Scrutiny to ensure that any Amendments or Propositions that they bring to the Assembly include such an assessment?”

Senator L.J. Farnham (The Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture):

[Electronic interruption] That was not me, Sir.

The Deputy Bailiff:

I do not know who it was.

Senator L.J. Farnham:

The requirement for an inflation impact assessment applies to Ministers and Members Propositions where there is a proposal for a new charge, or fee, or an increase above 2.5 per cent.  Estimating this impact requires an expert understanding of how the statistics on inflation are compiled and may also require access to data that is confidential.  So, in the first instance, Statistics Jersey will support officers, Members and Scrutiny who are working on relevant Propositions and have agreed to provide the inflation impact assessment.  The Head of Statistics Jersey has agreed to this, with the assistance of his team and will be working closely with the Economic Adviser and his team where necessary too.

3.8.1The Connétable of St. Martin:

What penalties would States Members face if they do not include an inflation calculation?  For example, would the Government reject an Amendment if it did not calculate the inflationary impact?

Senator L.J. Farnham:

I was sort of thinking of a jail term in the first instance followed by ... or a large fine. [Laughter] The Report of the Inflation Strategy Group suggests that the States will have to agree a new Standing Order and we can deal with that issue as we put the Proposition for that together.

3.8.2Deputy K.F. Morel:

As we wait for this new Standing Order, will the Minister be asking his colleagues around the Council of Ministers’ table to be addressing this, the issue of inflation now and making it a part of their reports from now?

Senator L.J. Farnham:

The short answer to that is yes.  Prior to lodging the report we have discussed this at the Council of Ministers. The report, Members that have received the report and read it, will understand that there is not a huge amount we can do to influence inflation, because the majority of it is dictated by external terms, but there is something we can do and the Council of Ministers is committed to doing its bit.

3.8.3Deputy K.F. Morel:

With that in mind, will the Deputy Chief Minister be speaking to the Head of Statistics Jersey to ask him to offer support to the Minister for the Environment as he works through the reference back from the Registration of Rented Dwellings Law where an inflation impact report was requested?

[15:45]

Senator L.J. Farnham:

I am not sure I understood the question fully.  I think I want to say yes, but I also think the Minister for the Environment is capable of asking that question himself.

3.8.4Deputy G.P. Southern:

Is it not the case that estimates of the impact on inflation can be so vague as to be defined not as fact, but as speculation?

Senator L.J. Farnham:

Of course, when we look to inflation estimates, of course, we draw on advice from the Fiscal Policy Panel and the very good work and the detailed work Statistics Jersey do.  But, yes, inflation estimations are exactly that.  They are estimations but based on actual economic data.

3.8.5Deputy R.J. Ward:

Does this inflationary impact mean every single aspect of our community and, also, is this not purely in large part a political lever being controlled by the Council of Ministers on Propositions from across the Assembly is given that ... it is a very vague science, the definition of inflation?  Look at what is happening in the world economy at the moment.

Senator L.J. Farnham:

It could be argued that financial and manpower implications are also a vague science at times.  But the idea of this anti-inflation strategy is to start to change the culture of thinking, not only with this Assembly, but with the Government, with Government States taxpayer owned organisations and arm’s length bodies and Government charges.  To think about the impact and to understand the impact of inflation of sometimes the very quick decisions we take in allowing charges to increase without, in my opinion, proper consideration.  I can refer to recent decisions of the States, which in my opinion were taken largely on the hoof, such as the introduction of the retail tax at 20 per cent and certain large duty increases.

3.8.6Deputy R.J. Ward:

Does this not simply mean that every single Proposition brought to this Assembly could simply be referred back, due to its impact on inflation and then to do a full-time long-term assessment of that and we will come to an even greater grinding halt than we are now in any change and in any impact on the lives of Islanders?

Senator L.J. Farnham:

No, it does not mean that at all.  I refer to the answer I gave a little bit earlier, which the Deputy clearly missed.  It said the requirement for an inflation impact assessment applies to Ministers and Members’ Propositions where there is a proposal for a new charge or fee or an increase above 2.5 per cent

 

3.9Deputy G.P. Southern of the Chief Minister regarding his interaction with the Government Plan Efficiencies Review Panel: (OQ.75/2020)

Further to the indications in his recent letter to me as Chair of the Government Plan Efficiencies Review Panel that there is little background material for planned efficiencies beyond what is already in the public domain and that a sustainable well-being impact assessment is still in development, will the Chief Minister explain how he will assist meaningful and public scrutiny of planned efficiencies by the Panel?

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré (The Chief Minister):

I think there has been some slight confusion arising in the correspondence between background material, which is what was requested and supporting material.  But, anyway, trying to move matters forward, what I have understood is that a meeting of officers is being arranged to meet Scrutiny officials on Thursday and that is with a view to trying to resolve matters.

3.9.1Deputy G.P. Southern:

So, peace of mind, can the Minister assure me that there are supporting papers that lie beneath the cost-cutting efficiencies, for example, £10 million on one side of A4 and (b) that work that is ongoing will not be used as a pretext as policy under development to prevent me from exploring other parts of what he proposes in the coming research?

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré:

In terms of the efficiencies that are presently being implemented and have been previously approved, as far as I am concerned there is ... [Electronic interruption] sorry, Sir, that is definitely not me.  I think that is a second incursion by Senator Moore’s P.C. 

The Deputy Bailiff:

Could someone find Senator Moore and tell her that her computer is making a noise?  Thank you.

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré:

In relation to the efficiencies that have been approved, there will be supporting documentation, which various groups considered when they were being put together.  There will be somewhere, they have made very clear, that there have been summary business cases and there are more detailed business cases being put together, depending on what the circumstances are.  In terms of things being developed, it will depend on the circumstances as to when Scrutiny can get access to it, but they will have access to it in terms of it will probably be a case of once they have been approved, or considered, by either the relevant political oversight group, or when it goes out to Council of Ministers, but we can have a discussion around the access on that.  It will always follow the normal rules for Scrutiny and access to information.

3.9.2Deputy R.J. Ward:

Is it the case that if efficiencies are unable to be implemented, or unwilling to be implemented, that agreed growth from this Assembly voted on in the Government Plan may well be withheld?

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré:

What we have said is that there were 3 levels and it was identified in the efficiency plan that the intention would be to try and achieve the efficiencies identified.  If there was an issue one looks for alternative efficiencies and if not it would be a reprofiling of the growth expenditure.  At the end of those, the focus is very much we have got to achieve the target in some shape, or form, to meet the funding commitments, because, as we keep saying, there is not an unlimited pot of money.

3.9.3Deputy R.J. Ward:

Does that not mean that the democratically agreed growth funding of the Government Plan we debated and voted on in this Assembly could therefore not happen?  So we have lost the primacy of this Assembly in the allocation of funds.

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré:

No, we made it very clear in the efficiencies plan, which was part of the whole principles, as to what the principles were behind identifying the efficiencies and so that is not a case of primacy, we were very clear as to the way the efficiencies would be triaged, for want of a better expression, in terms of them being achieved.  It is not about the primacy.  That is about delivering what we said we would do and that the £100 million of efficiencies that we have to identify over the course of the Government Plan - and the £40 million particularly - are basically funding some of the growth.

3.9.4Deputy R.J. Ward:

Point of clarification, if we voted on a growth bid in the Government Plan and that is withheld, should there not be specific reasons given to this Assembly, seeing as we voted on that?  Is that not the issue, that was the question I asked?

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré:

I have not said that any growth will be withheld, I said it could be reprofiled.  That does not mean it does not happen.  It might mean it might start slightly later, for example.  That was an example I gave in the Assembly and in Scrutiny at the various times, which means that if one recruits a month later than one might have originally budgeted for, then that is one twelfth less of expenditure in that year.  That is not a recurring saving, but it is enough to get over the line.  That is not about use, one will still get the growth and the new resource, or the new work in place, it just does not start as quickly as it might happen.  That has always been the case.  Some Departments budget for everything starting on 1st January, but generally, even if the Department has been given the go ahead one month before, one cannot recruit people in for 1st January and, therefore, the expenditure that has been approved by the Assembly - and I am going back for years - is not always what is spent.  That was the principle being applied.  That was what I called about reprofiling.  I thought I was very clear into many Members at briefings and to Scrutiny, so that was the approach.  But the crucial thing is trying to achieve the efficiencies in the first place.

3.9.5Deputy M. Tadier:

To use a specific example, then, when the Assembly says we want to provide £375,000 of spending this year to employ new Jèrriais teachers to start this year at some point and then hypothetically a Minister says: “Actually, I cannot find that money and therefore I am not going to do that”, which takes precedence?  The desire of a Minister, who has not been able to find savings to cut growth, or of the Assembly to charge a Minister to deliver a particular growth aspect?

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré:

Using the very hypothetical scenario that the Deputy is hypothetically referring to, hypothetically there may well have been some conversations with the Deputy hypothetically to consider that very hypothetical situation how we might hypothetically resolve it.

3.9.6Deputy M. Tadier:

I know we are not supposed to ask hypothetical questions and that was not entirely hypothetical, the first part is certainly fact.  Could I ask: would the Chief Minister give an assurance that there will be Jèrriais teachers employed this year at some point, which has already been delayed and that money will be released in sufficiently good time in order for the employment process to take place for those teachers to start by September?

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré:

The Deputy knows my full support for the teaching of Jèrriais and I give as much assurance as I can possibly give on that matter.  I am waiting for some further updates on that matter in less than 10 days.

3.9.7Deputy G.P. Southern:

I thank the Minister for agreeing to meet with officers on Thursday and for his clarity today about an assurance, we will not see anything untoward.  But, can I just trouble him about the last statement he was making about reprofiling and other such magic management speak words, which mean if you do not reappoint a post for 3 months, 6 months, you end up with 6 months’ worth of unpaid salary to spend elsewhere.  Is he going to clamp down on that as a simple efficiency in the first place?

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré:

It is not going to be spent elsewhere.  The objective here is if there are difficulties in making the original planned efficiencies.  But, as I said, that was laid out in the reports that accompanied the Government Plan.  It is not new in the last few days.  It was made very clear in the run up to the debate.

 

3.10Deputy I. Gardiner of the Chief Minister regarding the work undertaken by the Council of Ministers in preparing for, and dealing with, COVID-19: (OQ.68/2020)

Will the Chief Minister provide an update on what the Council of Ministers is doing with regard to the current situation with COVID-19 (i.e. Coronavirus)?

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré (The Chief Minister):

I thank the Deputy for her very current and appropriate question.  The position has been escalating over the last few weeks.  Ministers have been actively involved and leading in preparations throughout this time.  Ministers have also been liaising with their Departments’ officers and informed of all key measures being taken in their respective areas.  All States Members had the opportunity to attend a briefing last Tuesday and should be receiving an email update later today.  Key business organisations were also updated last Thursday.  The Emergencies Council has been on standby to meet when required and is meeting on this Thursday.  Six Ministers attend the Council and are responsible for making its decisions.  Given the Island’s previous preparations for Brexit, as well as the planning team’s overall preparedness for events of these types, the Island is in a strong position to respond to this challenge.  Today we announced a widespread media campaign promoting basic hygiene practices and reassuring Islanders and reinforcing the messages that the Minister for Health and Social Services and I gave to the media last week.  I would also take the opportunity to remind Members [background interruption] on cue, Sir - of the importance of frequently washing hands with soap and of appropriate respiratory hygiene, as demonstrated very ably by the Chairman of P.P.C. (Privileges and Procedures Committee).  But I do encourage Members to check gov.je for the latest updates or to phone the hotline, which is 445566, if they have any concerns.

3.10.1Deputy I. Gardiner:

I do appreciate the media campaign has started and it will work.  We are all aware about the hygiene and will continue to spread the message.  We do receive the update about the health situation. I would like to ask the Chief Minister if he can advise what plans are in place to help the small businesses and hospitality sector, which might face significant financial difficulties, which could lead to insolvency and job losses?

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré:

Quite a wide-ranging answer there.  Starting point: we have been preparing for a Brexit day one no deal for the past 4 years and, therefore, although this is a different challenge, it is of the same type of challenge and, therefore, there have been plans being put in place for quite a long time around things like continuity of supplies and those types of areas.

[16:00]

Secondly, particularly if one looks on the gov.je website, there are already things in place for, for example, people who are self-employed; there is some reference to that on the website, or people who might be in difficulties because they have to self-isolate.  Thirdly, Senator Farnham is establishing what is being called a Coronavirus Business Liaison Group and that is having its first meeting tomorrow and he met a number of the representative business organisations last Thursday to discuss areas of concern around the Coronavirus challenge.  Hopefully, that gives a flavour that we are escalating the preparedness, we are building and refreshing plans that have been around for quite some time and we believe, as the situation continues to evolve on a daily basis, as of to date we believe we are in a good position.

3.10.2Deputy K.F. Morel:

While I agree that there are similarities with Brexit preparations, Coronavirus can unfortunately also affect things like ships’ crews, or warehouse staff in the U.K.  Given the threat to Jersey’s very thin supply line, which is one company, would the Minister be able to provide reassurance that he is working with these companies to ensure that, in the event of illness or quarantine, et cetera, our supplies will not be affected?

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré:

The short answer is yes.  That was part of the discussion that was taking place last week around supply lines and about additional warehousing and those types of facilities, so those discussions are taking place under the auspices of Senator Farnham as Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture.

3.10.3Deputy K.F. Morel:

Would the Minister be able to give us a bit more detail about the results of those discussions?  What is being put in place?  Because there is no warehousing in Jersey and we do only have one shipping firm supplying in any notable bulk to the Island.

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré:

I cannot give specific details today.  I can arrange, if the Deputy or perhaps Members, I can make sure that is included or perhaps added in an email that is sent around shortly, but, as I said, my understanding, it was very specifically around our supply lines and just ensuring that the business continuity plans of the organisation affected were being refreshed to cope with potential scenarios.  What I will just say, and the Deputy will no doubt remind me, it is not just about us but what we have to remember, as of today, even though it is getting closer as Members probably know, we do not have any positive tests for Coronavirus on this Island.  That may well change; it could change imminently, it could change over the next 2 weeks, we do not know, but the business continuity plans, businesses are being encouraged to just refresh their business continuity plans and that should all be part of it.  Most people, the advice to date, are likely to be affected relatively mildly from this and so therefore one is dealing with a manageable scenario and that is about reassurance and, in fact, we are pretty well placed to deal with this particular challenge.

3.10.4Deputy J.H. Perchard:

Given the briefing that Members were given on this recently, would the Chief Minister not agree that the Government has responsibility to plan for realistic worst-case scenario, irrespective of the fact that it is likely not to be less extreme than that scenario and could he clarify what support the Government is giving businesses to cope with the kind of scenarios that were outlined to Members in that private briefing?

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré:

One must remember that much of the matter to date has been on a medical basis and therefore it has been running under the Minister for Health and Social Services in his auspices.  What I would say on that front is that Members may, or may not, recall that before Christmas there was a desktop exercise for pandemic flu, which was held at the Town Hall, as a day exercise.  So the point is there has been contingency planning being carried out and that this is just a variation on that contingency planning - that was really the point that was being made by the relevant officer at the briefing for States Members about this - is another issue around contingency and continuity planning.  In terms of the support for businesses, what we have to say is we must not underplay the risks, but we must not over-exaggerate them either, because sometimes the over-exaggeration, the consequences of that over-exaggeration can sometimes be worse than the incident you are trying to prepare for.  But, as of this stage, there is some support identified on the website for small businesses; when I say that, I talk about self-employed and about employees.  The reference has been made about making it a notifiable disease that does, depending on the circumstances, mean that it then becomes applicable for certain insurance purposes.  So, there are various pieces of advice that are coming out on that.  In terms of the exact detail, that is the purpose of the conversations that Senator Farnham was having with business last week and that is the reason he is setting up this Business Liaison Group to just identify where the key issues are going to be coming through and hospitality will, no doubt, be one of those areas.  We do have contingencies available for scenarios; we must not jump to those until we know what impact we are going to be having on-Island.

3.10.5Deputy J.H. Perchard:

Is the Chief Minister saying that preparing for the realistic worst-case scenario, like outlined to Members, would be an overreaction?

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré:

No, but what I am saying is I believe that we are well prepared for the contingencies that were outlined in that briefing.

3.10.6The Deputy of St. Martin:

The Chief Minister talks of messages and reassurances, but does he not agree with me that waiting until Thursday for the Emergencies Council is just too long?

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré:

No.  What I have to say - because there have been some comments around this and I am not directing this at the Deputy of St. Martin - this is the time for us to be looking after the Island and Islanders, for us to be coming together and not for any shape or form of political point scoring and I am not directing that at the Deputy.  What I was going to say though is we have been planning for this, we have been escalating that planning for a number of weeks and that is why the Minister for Health and Social Services and myself were making various public comments during the course of last week.  We have been actively involved as matters have escalated prior to that time.  That is why States Members were given their first update last week and there will be an update coming through.  So, plans are being refreshed and they are being refreshed in time for the Emergencies Council on Thursday.  To date, we have no positive cases and, therefore, there is no need for an earlier Emergencies Council and that is based, not only on a political view, but on the professional advice we are being given.  We have also emphasised this is a rapidly changing scenario.  If we need to pull the Emergencies Council forward we will do so, but at this stage there is no need to, we carry on with the plans, we allow those plans to be refreshed and we then will be considering them properly and formally at the Emergencies Council.  But do not forget, as I said, key Ministers have been actively involved in these plans, in these discussions, in these preparations, for days and weeks.

3.10.7Deputy L.M.C. Doublet of St. Saviour:

Given a significant number of the population may be affected, including States Members, has the Chief Minister given any consideration to installing a system of proxy, or remote, voting?

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré:

Oddly enough, that is not something that comes under my remit; it comes under the Chairman of P.P.C.  I will not say around proxy voting, but there are some continuity discussions either taking place, or about to take place, as to what would happen if it did impact on either States Members, or personnel supporting States Members.  But, to this date, that is going to be the very matter for the Chairman of P.P.C., but I will very happily be working and supporting him.

3.10.8Deputy K.G. Pamplin:

Given the news that the U.K. Government has stated that the N.H.S. (National Health Service) will get whatever resources it needs to cope with the current situation, would that be the same situation if our health service needed extra funding at this time, would that money be available quickly?

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré:

The short answer to that is yes.  It always depends on what the circumstances are and by that I mean that at the moment the health service is preparing itself accordingly; it has measures in place already and, as we were briefed last week, the relevant pieces of kit that are needed that are relevant to a population of this size on the Island are available.  As we have also said, within the Government Plan there is flexibility on funding and that is according to what contingency measures come through.  But I go back to the point, we are refreshing plans, this is a daily evolving matter; I believe, on the basis of all information we have been given to date, that we are well prepared for this.  I reemphasise the point - and that is a role we all have - it is all about re-emphasising the hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene and putting that message out absolutely, from Deputy of St. Peter - because that is the best defence against this virus; it is a fragile fatty virus and soap kills it.  That was an attempt at the virus and not at the Deputy of St. Peter.  [Laughter]

3.10.9Deputy R.J. Ward:

Can I ask the Minister what advice he would give to those residents of the Island who may not qualify for sick leave, or health care, if the need - and I say “if” because I support the calm that we need - to self-isolate does increase?

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré:

I believe that support has already been put in place and it might be worth having a discussion with the Minister for Social Security. There are references on the website to it and I believe measures have already been put in place that will address some of the issues he has identified.

3.10.10Deputy M.R. Higgins:

Again, it is not being alarmist, but the World Health Organization has produced figures, which shows the age profile, the people most at risk and it is people who are above 60.  Those who are 70, for example, it is 8.9 per cent mortality rate and higher when you get to 80.  Can the Minister assure me that the Health Service has sufficient acute beds to deal with that 20 per cent, probably the elderly people, that we have sufficient resources in that area to deal with them, whereas the vast majority of people in the Island will get a mild form of the Coronavirus.

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré:

Yes, in fact I was being updated with the Minister for Health and Social Services by the Head of the Health Department and vulnerable people will be well catered for on this Island in respect to the Coronavirus.

3.10.11Deputy G.J. Truscott:

It is at times like this we should be grateful that, due to prudent and forward-thinking, we have a Strategic Reserve.  It would have been recently affected by the stock market plunge.  I was just curious, Chief Minister, how much is currently in the Strategic Reserve?

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré:

I am just looking at the figures I did have.  The Strategic Reserve was forecast at the end of 2019 to be £848 million.  I have not had the updates in the last few weeks as to what the impact has been and there are 2 things that come out of that.  One is we did build flexibility into the Government Plan and that is important and that is at various levels and I will not go into all those details, but we have certain reserves if we needed to, because we were talking about Brexit.  This is a different challenge, but from a financial and economic challenge we have those measures in place.  We also need to break this down between the short to medium term and long term.  At the moment, we are in the short-term impact.  We have time to prepare if we needed to and we will be in a position of assessing what that impact is later on.  We are also waiting for some advice from the F.P.P. (Fiscal Policy Panel), which is due fairly shortly.  But again we are financially in a good place.  We do have, as he has alluded to, money has been put aside in the past and we did make it very clear in the Government Plan that we do have certain levels of flexibility if we need them.

3.10.12Deputy I. Gardiner:

As the Chief Minister indicated that the situation is rapidly changing and escalating, I would like to check what measures might the Government implement in the event of World Health Organization declaring COVID-19 as a pandemic?

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré:

At this stage that is a hypothetical scenario and we will just address that as it comes through.  It is a discussion that will be taking place.  The point again, there is what the external impact is of how it is declared and what the position is on the Island at any point in time.  To date, reiterate - and it may change - to date we have no cases, we are making sure we want that campaign still going out about decent hand-washing, cover your coughs, all that type of stuff and that is the best defence.  If we can go through that and making sure that, both within Government and also within the private sector, that the business continuity plans are in place and refreshed, then we will continue to be in a good place to deal with the challenges that come through.  As I said, we will deal with each of these escalations as we go through, we will do them in a considered way, with professional advice, as they come through.  Obviously, the impacts the Deputy refers to could have a wider scenario and that could cover quite a wide spectrum.  Let us deal with that if and when they declare that.  At this stage we are not in that position.

 

[16:15]

3.11Deputy M.R. Le Hegarat of St. Helier of the Minister for Home Affairs regarding the provision of Probationer Training to States of Jersey Police Officers: (OQ.77/2020)

What selection process was followed for the provider of probationer training for States of Jersey Police officers?

Connétable L. Norman of St. Clement (The Minister for Home Affairs):

Probationer training is provided by the Joint Norfolk and Suffolk Learning and Development Department.  The States of Jersey Police’s relationship with this organisation was established a good few years ago and provides an efficient and cost-effective package of training for new Jersey recruits.  It was the States of Jersey Police who selected this particular organisation for probationer training.

3.11.1Deputy M.R. Le Hegarat:

How do we know that we are getting best value for money, if we do not review the process on each occasion that we recruit police officers?

The Connétable of St. Clement:

The Police assure me that they are getting excellent value for money, because the Learning and Development Department of the Norfolk and Suffolk Police is a specialist police training college, which trains police officers towards a Diploma in Policing and is a non-profit-making organisation.  They provide us with excellent service and good training and they provide us with the sort of training that our Police consider that our probationers need.  It would also be unwise at the moment to try to undermine that relationship, to try to look for providers elsewhere, particularly as the United Kingdom police forces are recruiting some 20,000 new officers, compared to our about 30 and it would be very difficult to find another organisation who could do as well as the training college that we currently use.

The Deputy Bailiff:

Final supplementary?

Deputy M.R. Le Hegarat:

No, thank you.

 

3.12Deputy K.F. Morel of the Minister for Infrastructure regarding the rate of recycling in Jersey: (OQ.66/2020)

Does the Minister assess the current rate of recycling of waste material in Jersey as satisfactory; and what policies is he championing to encourage more recycling?

Deputy K.C. Lewis (The Minister for Infrastructure):

This is an interesting question; it depends how you assess the current situation.  Jersey currently separates approximately a third of its waste for recycling.  This is achieved with generally no financial incentives attached to recycling and without every home receiving a recycling collection.  When you consider these points, the recycling rate of a third does not seem as low as it might at first glance, but Jersey’s recycling rate does not compare well with other jurisdictions that have charges in place for general waste.  Mature recycling collections are more advanced tools to calculate their recycling rates.  In the absence of various measures, that have a direct influence on the recycling rate, Jersey’s recycling rate is fair, but I cannot say it is satisfactory as we are always working towards recycling more.  In regard to policies to encourage more recycling - we have mentioned the Parishes previously - working with the remaining 4 Parishes to bring recycling collections to the doorstep of every home continues to be a priority, and I am pleased that my officers are in discussions with 2 Parishes on this very matter.  I also champion the ongoing community engagement that my Department delivers changing everyday behaviours to more sustainable practices.  It takes time and I believe we are making positive progress in the long term.

3.12.1Deputy K.F. Morel:

Earlier, we had questions about milk carton recycling and I am intrigued by the Minister’s reference to the Parishes because, while that is out of his control, it would be interesting to know what the Minister is doing about matters, which are under his control and how to improve recycling.  This is with particular regard to plastic bottle recycling, which has barely moved in years in terms of the amount of plastic bottles being recycled and other areas.  We still see no mixed-waste sorting bins in public areas and things like this, so I would be very intrigued for the Minister to enlighten the Department on matters under his control that he is seeking to improve.

Deputy K.C. Lewis:

Yes, the plastics’ recycling is going well.  I am always keen to improve that.  Jersey’s recycling rate is quite good.  Behind the headline lie many successes, such as the recycling of batteries with over 25 tonnes of batteries being received in 2019.  That is a lot of AA batteries.  This ongoing success does not impact on the overall recycling rate, as the tonnage was too small.  I am very keen to expand recycling into all 12 Parishes as much as possible, so we can ship it away for recycling.  I have mentioned previously more than happy to get my officers to look again at milk cartons.

3.12.2Deputy M. Tadier:

The Minister knows that while we all try to aspire to be good citizens, that often life gets the better of us and some people think that if it burns, just stick it in the bin, might as well, we have a big Energy from Waste plant to feed and that gets converted into free electricity.  Of course, it is not quite that rosy.  Does the Minister agree that until we start charging by weight for conventional refuse and it is weighed, there is going to be no disincentive for people to not put recyclables in the ordinary bin, especially if they do not have kerbside recycling in their Parish?

Deputy K.C. Lewis:

I would agree that there are some difficulties with kerbside recycling, especially if one lives in possibly a block of apartments and to get all of the separation sorted, but it is possible.  I am not in favour of charging for domestic waste and I believe the Chief Minister is of the same opinion.  It is more of an education than anything else.  We do not want undesirable objects going into the Energy from Waste plant, we are trying to keep as much glass out as we can, we are trying to keep as much metals as we can out of the Energy from Waste plant, as it does cause a lot of damage.  We want to recycle as much plastics as possible.

3.12.3Deputy M. Tadier:

Again, the Minister starts his answer by saying he would agree that kerbside recycling has its problems, when that was not the question that I asked.  I asked what we can do to get numbers of people recycling up and getting less recyclables in the main waste stream.  One example, what do you do if you have an old jam jar full of jam, like I had and you cannot get the lid off it because it is rusted onto it, do you put that in the glass bin?  What does one do with that and what does one do with a glass bottle that one finds in Town on the street when there is no glass recycling bins?  Is it responsible for somebody to leave it on the street potentially for that to get run over by a car with shards and children getting hurt by it, or do you put it in the ordinary bin, or do you just leave it?  What does a responsible citizen do in the face of all of these challenges?

The Deputy Bailiff:

Minister, you have a glass jar question to resolve.

Deputy K.C. Lewis:

What should Deputy Tadier do with his glass jar?

Deputy G.P. Southern:

Do not go there.  [Laughter]

Deputy K.C. Lewis:

I will take Deputy Southern’s advice on that one.  But there is always a way around it.  We do not want it going into the waste as normal, of course it will go into the ground, or there are always ways of getting the top off.  If he has a problem, I will come around and help him with it, because I have a senior citizen’s top remover, which I will more than likely let him have to get the top off his jars for his jam.  I know it is a hypothetical question; there will always be items that must not go into the waste stream and we will deal with those on an ad hoc basis.

3.12.4Deputy S.M. Ahier:

Can the Minister assure the Assembly that all of the cardboard is being recycled and it is not being burned in the incinerator?

Deputy K.C. Lewis:

Interesting question; there was a time when cardboard was recycled, it was being exported at about £75 a tonne at one point, but then there was the slump and it went down to £15 a tonne and at one point, if it was marked in any way, it was put into the incinerator.  But prices have come up again, they have remained stable and, as far as I know, cardboard is exported to be recycled.

3.12.5Deputy R.J. Ward:

If we are successful at recycling and it really does increase and renders our incinerator redundant, is he happy to scrap it because of its environmental impact, or would he just seek rubbish from elsewhere to keep it running?

Deputy K.C. Lewis:

There is always enough rubbish that cannot be recycled.  We are more than happy for the Deputy to come down and have a guided tour of the Energy Recovery Unit, it is such a high grade now that it is not called Energy from Waste plant; it is officially a European standard Energy Recovery Unit.  There are egg shells, there are teabags, there are all sorts of domestic waste that go into the incinerator that cannot be recycled.  We try to minimise that, which is good, because it prolongs the life of the Energy Recovery Unit and, as I say, it does generate electricity, which goes into the grid, and I believe we generate up to 7 per cent of the Island’s electricity from the Energy Recovery Unit, which is quite good.

3.12.6The Connétable of St. Brelade:

Two Parishes in the Island collect recyclables in a different way.  Would the Minister confirm whether he has access to the figures those Parishes will have as a result of their exports and the receipts from their distribution of the recycling in his grand total?

Deputy K.C. Lewis:

No, I do not have those figures.

3.12.7The Connétable of St. Brelade:

Would the Minister not consider that would be very useful information and agree to work with particularly the Connétable of St. Helier and perhaps St. Saviour to get those figures?

Deputy K.C. Lewis:

I do not have those figures.  I am not sure if the Department does.  I will check.

3.12.8Deputy K.F. Morel:

In his response to Deputy Ahier, I believe it was, the Minister mentioned the prices of cardboard and, indeed, when it comes to recycling the price of recycled materials features heavily in the Department’s thinking.  Would the Minister confirm whether, or not, the Department operates a policy of only recycling materials where it is economically viable from the perspective of very low or no cost to the public purse and, if so, does he consider that this policy in itself is an obstacle to the Island recycling more?

Deputy K.C. Lewis:

No, it is not the only factor.  I am not sure where we are with, for instance I mentioned AA batteries, et cetera, batteries are quite expensive, because they have to be removed and isolated from all goods down at La Collette prior to being deposited and, as we have newer battery systems coming on the Island now with the new battery systems, which cannot be crushed and must be separated, they have to be stored and sent off separately.  But it is not the main factor, but zero charge is good.

Deputy K.F. Morel:

If I may, just for clarification, I asked whether it was the Minister’s policy, the Department’s policy, would the Minister clarify whether that is the case or not?

Deputy K.C. Lewis:

Sorry, I thought I just did.  I said it is not the policy.  We would have no objection to paying for certain items, but preferably at zero cost.

 

3.13The Deputy of St. Mary of the Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture regarding the preparation of a new Liquor Licensing Law: (OQ.81/2020)

Will the Minister advise what progress, if any, has been made in the preparation of a new draft Liquor Licensing Law and, given that it is now 2 years since the Minister withdrew P.103/2017, which itself was intended to replace the existing law of 1974, what does he consider are the fundamental issues causing any delay in bringing forward a new Proposition?

Senator L.J. Farnham (The Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture):

Senator Pallett has delegated responsibility for licensing and so will be taking this question.

Senator S.W. Pallett (Assistant Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture - rapporteur):

I thank the Deputy for his question on an issue that I have had political responsibility for, for some time.  The Deputy of St. Mary and many other States Members will be aware of my frustration over the lack of progress in updating the 1974 Liquor Licensing Law.  He is aware that a new draft Law, lodged in the previous political term, would have included a modern fit-for-purpose administration process and a fee structure that better reflected the nature of the licensing trade in Jersey, among other improvements, but unfortunately it never reached the States debate.  This issue has simply not been a policy priority in this political term and although I have pressed for work to continue, at no point has the necessary policy resource, or funding, been made available to restart the process.  A paper was produced for the Council of Ministers late last year, looking to form a task and finish working group to move matters forward.  This was prompted by the Licensing Bench decision to implement a minimum pricing policy for off-licences.  Unfortunately, the paper was not progressed to the Council of Ministers.

[16:30]

Last month I was asked by the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister to accompany them to a meeting with the Bailiff and newly appointed Attorney General to discuss a way forward.  At that meeting, it was agreed to form a joint working party to consider options.

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Before I raise my supplementary, can I say it of necessity involves the role of the Licensing Bench and so I hope it does not cause you any problems as Presiding Officer.

The Deputy Bailiff:

It depends on what the question is.

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Shall I just fire away with my question?

The Deputy Bailiff:

I think so, yes.

3.13.1The Deputy of St. Mary:

In view of the Assistant Minister’s response just now and the Minister’s response to Written Question 123, raised today by Deputy Pamplin, referring to the establishment of a joint working party, which will include representatives of the Licensing Bench, will the Assistant Minister confirm that the involvement of the Bench in that exercise will be limited to the system of administration only and, in particular, that such Bench will not have any input as to policy considerations, which must remain the sole responsibility of this Assembly?

Senator S.W. Pallett:

As the working group has not met and there has been no in-depth discussion with it from a Government perspective, I am going to give my own view on what I think the answer to this question is.  My own view is in terms of the administration process and what that might look like in future, there definitely is a role within the working party involving the Licensing Bench as to what that might look like.  But my own view is that in terms of ongoing policy and in producing a Statement of Licensing Policy, which was very much part of a new draft Law, I very much see that as a role for Government and the Executive.  In saying that, there does need to be a consultative process with the Licensing Bench, because they will have to work with any policy that is put in place or Statement of Licensing Policy.  But I very much see policy as being part of the Executive and Government’s role.

3.13.2The Connétable of St. Brelade:

Would the Assistant Minister agree that there would be considerable advantage in the Parishes having more influence over licensing matters?

Senator S.W. Pallett:

The Parishes currently have a degree of authority over, or say in, how applications are taken forward.  There is an opportunity to discuss with Parishes about how that could be enhanced and what their role could be in future.  I know in the Parish of St. Helier and I spoke very briefly to the Constable about whether licensing applications could, for example, be done within Parishes themselves.  But that is at a very early stage, but I agree with my Constable that there is a role for Constables and it is an enhanced role for Constables and their role was protected within the new draft Law.  There was no intention to take away any of the current Parish Assembly decision-making process, for example.  So, yes, I can see an opportunity, as part of future discussions, to speak more in depth with Parishes about how they see their role in the future.

3.13.3The Deputy of St. Mary:

I thank the Assistant Minister for his response and I fully accept that the Licensing Bench has an enormous part to play in the administration process and the Scrutiny Panel of the last Assembly had meetings with some members.  The basic point I do make is that I appreciate the Assistant Minister has worked very hard on this matter, as did the Scrutiny Panel, the draft law P.103 runs to 52 Articles, basically only one: that relating to the policy statement, caused difficulty and I do question, therefore, if there is difficulty bringing forward the whole Proposition in total, could he not bring forward the remainder of the Proposition, which would benefit many parties, including the Police, and leaving the offending, or the controversial aspect, that is the policy statement to be dealt with elsewhere, maybe even through the Health Department?

Senator S.W. Pallett:

Just very briefly, in terms of P.103 and whether that could be brought back as a whole, the only area of contention - and it came up at a very late stage in the last political term - was around what the determining authority would look like.  Would it be remaining with the current Licensing Bench, or would it be a licensing authority, an independent licensing authority.  There was clearly some disagreement, or uncertainty, over the trade, for example and what they felt was the right way forward and that is a key element at a very early stage as to whether we can bring the law back at quite an early stage.  But that is something we do need to discuss at length with the Licensing Bench and I very much thank the Bailiff for his offer to be part of that working party with the Attorney General, because it is important that whatever we put in place, if it was to include the Licensing Bench, that they have a full understanding of the thinking behind policy decisions, for example and how they may work with an independent judiciary and how they would understand those decisions and work with that policy setting.

 

3.14Deputy I. Gardiner of the Minister for Health and Social Services regarding the steps available to Islanders who had suffered as a result of dental malpractice: (OQ.69/2020)

Will the Minister advise what steps are available for Islanders who believe their health has suffered as a result of dental malpractice and who wish the level of care they have received to be investigated and regulated?

Deputy R.J. Renouf of St. Ouen (The Minister for Health and Social Services):

Dentists are regulated by the General Dental Council in the same way that doctors are regulated by the General Medical Council.  Both those bodies are responsible for upholding professional standards.  Any person can refer a dentist to the General Dental Council.  Any concerns, or complaints, about the conduct, or practice, of any dental professional should be brought to their attention.  If a dentist is employed in Health and Community Services there is, in addition, the Departmental complaints process available.  I would also expect each private dental practice to have a complaints procedure available to its clients, which should be followed initially, of course.  In addition, some dentists in the Island, but not all, are members of the Jersey Dental Association.  Looking at its website, it is clear that it is prepared to act as a mediator in disputes, but it does not hold any remit to regulate dentists.

3.14.1Deputy I. Gardiner:

I would just like to double check, if I understood it correctly, that we do not have a body in Jersey who oversees private dental practice and if somebody would like to submit the complaint we cannot know how many complaints on dental services on the Island were submitted?

The Deputy of St. Ouen:

The Deputy is broadly correct.  We have oversight over the registration of dentists in the Island, because any dentist wishing to come to the Island to practice needs to present evidence of their registration by the Jersey Dental Council to the Royal Court and they are registered then on the local register.  Any complaint that is made to the General Dental Council will be examined and the outcome of that complaint, if there is a detrimental outcome to the dentist, will be published on the General Dental Council website.  So, the Council can issue a reprimand, it can place conditions on registration, it can suspend a dentist for a period of time, or it can strike them off the register entirely, so that would be apparent to Islanders from looking at the website.  But it is true we have no local regulation, apart from the initial registration around dentists.

3.14.2Deputy M. Tadier:

Does the Minister think it is desirable that there should be further regulation, or rather, regulation of the dental industry and a mechanism for recording complaints, which have been lodged against dentists?

The Deputy of St. Ouen:

I would like to involve the dental profession to a greater degree in provision for Islanders.  We are in discussions with them around taking on some of the work around children’s checks and doing some perhaps low-level dental work.  Those discussions have started and I hope that the dentists, and the signs are that some are responding well and will seek to involve themselves with that programme of work.  With it I foresee that we would need - and I have no reason to believe the dentists would not agree - we would need some sort of service level agreement, or some way of ensuring that we get proper and reliable outcomes from the dentists.

4.14.3Deputy M. Tadier:

Presumably the establishment of regulation for the dental industry and a mechanism to record complaints about the industry should not be dependent on the Minister for Health and Social Services working closely on a separate policy area with some dentists.  Does he either agree, or disagree, that regulation is de facto a good thing and will he pursue it?

The Deputy of St. Ouen:

Yes, as a matter of principle I would agree with the Deputy that it is a good thing.  We do not have, in the Island, that means of ensuring the quality control, let us say, that other medical practices, for example doctors, have agreed to and this Assembly has enforced.  We are in discussions with the dental profession around all this.

3.14.4Deputy I. Gardiner:

Would the Minister look into how local dental services can be monitored, to ensure that Islanders receive up to date practices equal to services offered in other countries?  Also, how we can protect our Islanders, because this question was prompted by a parishioner who retired and spent in excess of £15,000 and is still not right.  I have heard more than one story around this and retired people cannot go outside and complain and try to find how they can be supported.  So, would the Minister again think how we can monitor and support Islanders on the Island?

The Deputy of St. Ouen:

I am certainly prepared to consider and try to pursue that.  I do not think that it would be a function within my Department because, of course, my Department employs some dentists and my Department is also a regulated body.  So, it is probably the Care Commission that would take up such a role, but it is not within the remit of the Care Commission at the present time.  Interestingly, the Care Commission does register and regulate dental nurses, hygienists and dental technicians, so those staff members, they are often staff members within dental practices, are regulated by the Care Commission, but the dentists themselves are not.  That could be seen as a lacuna, which should be addressed.

The Deputy Bailiff:

Now we do only have 10 minutes left and we have 6 questions left, obviously the question on COVID-19 took some time to deal with, so I do invite Members for the remainder of question time to, if they can, keep their questions and answers short and to consider if they really need to ask supplementaries to ensure we get through as many as we can of those questions that remain. 

 

3.15Deputy K.G. Pamplin of the Chair of the Privileges and Procedures Committee regarding the Committee’s contingency proposals for reform of the States Assembly: (OQ.80/2020)

What preparations, if any, has the Committee made for circumstances in which the States reject all options for reform of the Assembly due to be debated tomorrow; and what work, if any, is it planned will be undertaken in this eventuality?

Deputy R. Labey (Chair, Privileges and Procedures Committee):

None.

3.15.1Deputy K.G. Pamplin:

What is the endgame cut-off point, before it would be putting too much pressure, or lack of time, to make changes ahead of the next election?

[16:45]

Deputy R. Labey:

Tomorrow is the best opportunity to serve our people, by giving each and every elector a vote of equal weight and power and that is what P.126 does.  [Approbation]  There is about 2 or 3 months after that.

 

3.16Deputy K.F. Morel of the Minister for Infrastructure regarding the refurbishment of Fliquet Tower and Bunker: (OQ.67/2020)

Before authorising Ministerial Decision MD-PH-2020-0005, what due diligence did the Minister undertake to ensure that the Families in Recovery Trust has sufficient funding and sufficient expertise in heritage renovation to refurbish Fliquet Tower and Bunker effectively and in a manner befitting an important historical site?

Deputy K.C. Lewis (The Minister for Infrastructure):

The Families in Recovery Trust is part of the Silkworth Charity Group and, as such, has access to significant funding resources and also the financial backing of its Chairman.  The Chairman has local and national history in the building and construction sector, including working on historic buildings.  With regard to the proposed works to be undertaken to the Tower, the agreed heads of terms for the lease state that: “In advance of a commencement date, the lessee will apply for planning consent for those aspects of the use requiring such consent, it being agreed and understood that the lease shall be subject to the granting of such consent.”  An architect has been employed, who has experience of working on projects of historical importance.

3.16.1Deputy K.F. Morel:

The terms of the lease take this building away from the public, essentially for up to 50 years.  Has the Minister included break clauses that are shorter than the 25 year option that does exist in there?  Has the Minister included break clauses in the lease contract, so that the Island may take repossession of the site, in the event that the Families in Recovery Trust is not maintaining this historic site to the level that the public would expect, or using it sufficiently in the public interest to maintain its lease?  If not, please could he explain why not?

Deputy K.C. Lewis:

Yes.

The Deputy Bailiff:

That was his answer.

3.16.2Deputy K.F. Morel:

So, there are break clauses before the 25-year period; is that correct?

The Deputy Bailiff:

Minister, there are break clauses?

Deputy K.C. Lewis:

Indeed, Sir.

 

3.17Deputy M.R. Le Hegarat of the Minister for Home Affairs regarding the provision of Police Driver Training: (OQ.78/2020)

What selection process was followed for the provider of police driver training for the States of Jersey Police?

The Connétable of St. Clement (The Minister for Home Affairs):

The contract with the current provider of police driver training is about to come to an end.  In advance of this change, the States of Jersey Police sought quotes from several providers.  Based on the quotes received, it has decided to go with the most economical quote received.

3.17.1Deputy M.R. Le Hegarat:

How many local providers of this training were part of the tender process?

The Connétable of St. Clement:

My understanding is that one local provider put in a price for this work.

 

3.18Deputy R.J. Ward of the Minister for Social Security regarding the access to healthcare and sickness benefit by those people who had self-isolated as a consequence of the outbreak of Coronavirus: (OQ.71/2020)

May I ask the Minister what assessment has the Minister made of the effects of the 6 month qualifying period for access to health care and social security, sickness benefits on the potential need for sections of the Island’s population to self-isolate in the event of an outbreak of coronavirus?

Deputy J.A. Martin (The Minister for Social Security):

I am very grateful to the Deputy for raising this issue and I am sorry it is not really out there as it should be.  I can confirm that, from 12th February, anyone who needed to miss work because they are self-isolating on current health advice is able to claim sickness benefit.  People are already doing this.  A claim is provided to cover the 2 weeks of self-isolation at the standard rate of £222.53 per week.  Recently I can also confirm the same level of financial support is available to any worker who does not qualify under the normal rules of contributory benefits.  In both cases, they should contact C.L.S. (Customer and Local Services) on 444444 and they will be advised of what they need to do.  They will be asked to provide copies of their travel documents by email and to confirm they are not able to work from home.  They do not need a medical certificate and they should not go to their G.P. (general practitioner).  Re the hospital, if an individual does contract coronavirus, or is feeling very unwell and needs hospital treatment, they will be treated free of charge regardless of how long they have lived in Jersey.  Phone 999 if you are very unwell.  I must emphasise again: do not go to your G.P.

Deputy R.J. Ward:

That seems clear.  It seems that everybody is entitled to their sickness benefit and can self-isolate.

3.18.1Deputy M. Tadier:

What is the difference between somebody who catches an equally contagious virus or illness and has to stay at home for 2 weeks to self-isolate, who has not been here for 6 months and somebody who might have caught a virus that has not yet had any cases confirmed in the Island?  Why should somebody be treated differently in the former context?  I am sorry if it displeases the Minister, because I can hear her sighs already.

Deputy J.A. Martin:

No, I absolutely appreciate where the Deputy is coming from.  At the moment, it is one crisis at a time, one virus at a time.  The health advice is on coronavirus worldwide.  We are ahead of the game.  I have been doing this since 12th February, because we said to officers: “Why would you need to go to a G.P. and get a certificate, when what can we do?  We can do this.  There are a few things you have to tick the box.  This might get worse, there might be other viruses and we want to be ahead of the game.  This covers this question and I will listen to the World Health Organization and what the current advice is.  It is changing daily.  Remember the number 444444, so it is C.L.S.; 445566 for Coronavirus.  Please all remember that and I hope the media are listening.  Front page tomorrow, please.  I really mean that.  People need to know.  Ring up; do not go to your surgery.

Deputy R.J. Ward:

Just a final supplementary, could I just say I was not aware of …

The Deputy Bailiff:

I was hoping to move on to questions 19 and 20, that is Deputy Alves and you.  But it must be you if you want to ask another question.

Deputy R.J. Ward:

How long have we got, Sir?

The Deputy Bailiff:

About 2 or 3 minutes.

Deputy M. Tadier:

On a point of order, is there any scope to extend question time?

The Deputy Bailiff:

No, there is not, unfortunately.  It is not possible.  I have looked into it quite carefully, but it is not possible.

 

3.19Deputy C.S. Alves of the Minister for Children and Housing regarding the prospect of introducing direct payments for respite care for carers of children with complex needs: (OQ.64/2020)

Will the Minister advise whether he will introduce direct payments for respite care for carers of children with complex needs, given that a system for such payments has been running in the U.K. for more than a decade and, if not, why not?

Senator S.Y. Mézec (The Minister for Children and Housing):

Consideration of how Jersey might develop self-directed support as a means of promoting choice and greater independence and control is being explored as part of planning how we might provide a wider range of services available to all in our community.  Consideration is ongoing and options are being considered at an early stage about how we might move from the present system in which we either provide or commission services for individuals or their carers to one which enables greater selfdirected support.  If we were to make that change, though, it would require a law change and so that would come to this Assembly.

3.19.1Deputy C.S. Alves:

What is being done, then, to find new short-break providers, since Les Amis and New Horizons no longer support under-18s and did not renew their contracts?

Senator S.Y. Mézec:

When those providers left, the service adapted very quickly and is now providing in-house support for those people.  The numbers of children and their families who are able to benefit from a shortbreak service has increased and there are fewer people on the waiting list as a result of that change, which was made in quite a dramatic fashion when those providers pulled out.

 

3.20Deputy G.P. Southern of the Minister for Health and Social Services regarding the integration of the People Directory within Jersey Care Record solutions: (OQ.76/2020)

Further to the publication of the Digital Strategy for Health and Care in Jersey, will the Minister advise whether pilots were undertaken by the People Directory in 2017, as this report suggested and, if so, whether they were successful and whether services were subsequently introduced into the Jersey Care Records solutions and whether the JY number was promoted as the key identifier in all health and care interactions?

The Deputy of St. Ouen (The Minister for Health and Social Services):

Pilots were not performed, due to technical limitations in the design of the People Directory, which prevented H.C.S. (Health and Community Services) from using the service.  The JY number, that is the social security number, has been promoted and is being used as the key identifier in primary and community care settings.  Within secondary care, that is the hospital system, it is used as an auxiliary identifier, the main identifier being a unique reference number.  But where it is used, management of the identifier is performed manually, as there is no digital integration to the People Directory from H.C.S.  That digital integration into the People Directory will be delivered as part of the Jersey care record as that functionality is developed over the next few years.

3.20.1Deputy G.P. Southern:

What tests were run on the JY system and how accurate has it proved to be?

The Deputy of St. Ouen:

The limitations were around data quality issues and the design and usefulness to H.C.S.  For example, children under 16 were not allocated their own JY number, but instead shared the number of their mother.  That has changed since, but legacy issues still persist.  Limitations are being addressed and, once overcome, H.C.S. will be able to integrate with the JY number.

The Deputy Bailiff:

I am afraid that brings the time for oral questions with notice to an end.  We now move to questions to Ministers without notice and the first question period is to the Minister for Education.

 

4.Questions to Ministers without notice - The Minister for Education

4.1Deputy S.M. Ahier:

In the event of coronavirus closing the Island’s schools, or if students need to self-isolate, what plans has the Minister for their education to continue at home?

Senator T.A. Vallois (The Minister for Education):

Thank you to the Deputy for the question.  As he can appreciate, I am sure, it is an ongoing piece at the moment, progressing day in, day out.  My officers are on top of this, but if there is a decision to close a whole school, or schools, for a 14 day isolation period, as an example, leaders will need to be ready to provide a summary of work expectations that will be provided in terms of work expectations from home.  The main focus would be on, of course, the exam year pupils, so years 13, 12, 11, because they have their G.C.S.E.s (General Certificate of Secondary Education) and A-levels coming up.  Unfortunately, the not so wonderful I.C.T. (information and communications technology) system we have, it may not be sufficient in terms of the type of proactiveness we could do, but we are looking at how we can do that better in terms of provision of education at home.  I have got a whole list of things here, so I do apologise to the Deputy.  Primary schools can be advised to prepare key stage, or year-specific, booklets, paper version and digital version, that can be circulated via email and SIMS and parent mail, which we have on offer and it would be handed to the pupils prior to closure.  We are also investigating levels of access to appropriate systems and can confirm with each school this week, but overall secondary schools seem to have a sufficient capacity available.  That is in a very short timeframe, but I can send out further information to the Deputy if he wishes.

4.2Deputy R.J. Ward:

May I ask the Minister whether the Education Department track the use of support plans in schools for teachers and whether there is a quality tracking of those support plans and the demographic of the teaching staff that are on those, for example years of experience and age?

Senator T.A. Vallois:

Can I just qualify, it is the tracking of support plans?

Deputy R.J. Ward:

Yes, the use of support plans, who is on them and in particular the age of those members of staff who might be placed upon support plans.

Senator T.A. Vallois:

I believe this would be something to do with the recruitment and the performance in terms of staff.  I do not have direct access to that information, as you would expect.  As the Minister, I would expect my officers to ensure any such tracking of support plans.  I can identify further what support plans are in place, if any.  Of course, we can feed that back to the Deputy, identifying themes rather than individuals.  I am sure you will appreciate the value of G.D.P.R. (General Data Protection Regulations).  Also, if he has further questions with regard to the particular Scrutiny review that he is currently carrying out, we are happy to also extend that invitation in terms of a briefing if he needs it.

4.2.1Deputy R.J. Ward:

The question arises due to real concerns arising in other jurisdictions, such as the U.K., of older and more expensive members of staff being forced out of the profession through unreasonable support plans and it would be a very poor situation if that arose in Jersey, just so that the Minister is aware.

[17:00]

Senator T.A. Vallois:

I thank the Deputy for making me aware.  I was aware of the particular issue he is referring to in the U.K.  I do not believe it is an issue here, but I will keep sight of it and make sure that my officers are ensuring that we are using the expertise of our older members within our staffing and our teaching and learning and development, rather than trying to exclude them from what can be sometimes a tricky subject area of teaching and some particularly demanding days.

4.3Connétable D.W. Mezbourian of St. Lawrence:

Is the Minister satisfied that excluded children are being educated to the same standards as those that receive mainstream schooling?

Senator T.A. Vallois:

In a very simple phrase, I would suggest no, but I think I have to give context to that, because it is extremely important.  The demands in our schools, at the moment, are extremely high and I am not trying to overestimate this, or try to make out that I am making something up.  But the demands in our schools as regards to special educational needs and behavioural and social and emotional mental health are probably the highest demand we have seen in an extremely long time.  We do not have the resources, the capacity, in order to support our students in the most appropriate way that we should.  We also, I do not believe, have the fundamentals in terms of frameworks to drive this forward in a way that meet each individual’s needs.  We are soon to be embarking on an inclusion review, which terms of reference are due to be drawn up by my officers, which will be looking at engagement with stakeholders and relevant people that have experience and been involved, particularly with exclusions, but also third-sector groups that have helped to support those individuals and we hope to try to make sure that the findings and the information from that review can not only be implemented, but also supported in the legislation that is due to come forward next year.

The Connétable of Lawrence:

Sir, are we entitled to …

The Deputy Bailiff:

Supplementaries?

The Connétable of St. Lawrence:

Sorry, supplementary questions, or not?

The Deputy Bailiff:

It depends on the Chair’s discretion, but I have only got another 4 or 5 names so, yes, you could ask a supplementary.

4.3.1The Connétable of St. Lawrence:

Well, I forgot that word.  I hope I do not forget any more, although I do feel it has been a long afternoon. The Minister said that she does not have enough resources to deal with the problem of … well, I do not want to call it a problem, the issue of excluded children. I would like to ask her how she intends to acquire those resources.  The second part of my question is for her to give an undertaking that, in the inclusion review that she has just mentioned, she reaches out to those who are excluded.

Senator T.A. Vallois:

There were 2 questions. I think I have just forgotten the first part of the question. I do apologise. I will make an undertaking to reach those who have been excluded.  I did state what we will try to do is an engagement with stakeholders, particularly those that have been included.  In terms of the resources, this dovetails what is currently being carried called the School Funding Review.  The iterations, in terms of drafts that we have seen so far, have suggested that the inclusion review needs to go ahead, because there is significantly more that needs to be done in that area and that is why we are getting on and doing that straightaway, but it does recommend some support within what we need in terms of special educational needs.  It is sufficient, in my view, but also because we need to do that piece of work on the inclusion review.  That will be fed into the Government Plan.  There is a commitment, a hopefully continued commitment, from my fellow Council of Ministers members under the Government Plan that we should see further funding and resources as from this September.

4.4Connétable J.E. Le Maistre of Grouville:

Could the Minister tell us how many primary schools in Jersey take part in the Daily Mile initiative and is it something the Minister encourages?

Senator T.A. Vallois:

I do not have the number to hand, but I am happy to find out and share that with the Constable.  I am supportive of the initiative.  Of course, it is important for children to have that time to exercise and it helps them to start the day, especially I have seen it first hand in terms of Grainville School.  They offer it in the mornings.  Of course, this comes down to the willingness of volunteers and people to support and whether we have got the correct P.E. (physical education) teachers in the right spaces in order to find the time to provide that and supporting children, making sure the safeguarding is in place, as well, when it is taking place on school grounds.

4.5Deputy M. Tadier:

The question follows on from my Written Question 30 about an exchange programme.  There are 9 schools listed as having exchange programmes of some kind with schools abroad.  Would the Minister confirm whether this is an exhaustive list, or only a list of the schools which have responded in time to submit a response to the written question?

Senator T.A. Vallois:

My understanding is that is the number of schools that provide the exchange programme.  That is the advice that has been provided.

4.5.1Deputy M. Tadier:

The supplementary then, if I may, is that there seems to be something of a postcode lottery.  If only 9 schools out of all of the secondary and primary schools in Jersey in all sectors have some kind of exchange programme, that would tend to suggest the vast majority of schools do not have any exchange programme, which are recognised, I think, in the answer as being both culturally and linguistically important.  Does the Minister agree that this is the case, that the programmes where they do exist are very important and would she seek to try and make sure there is a more holistic approach taken by all of the schools to extend this, especially in the context of a post-Brexit Island?

Senator T.A. Vallois:

I am absolutely supportive of programmes such as this, whereby the headteachers and the school leadership team are able to support such exchange programmes.  I would rather make sure the practicalities and the ability of our children to do these types of exchange programmes are able to be done, rather than making rhetoric around that.  There is concern where there are children who may not be able to go on specific trips, may have to miss out because of their position, their status in terms of low socio-economic areas.  It would not be fair for them to lose out on some of the offerings that come in behind this but, ultimately, I believe in the headteacher and the school leadership knowing what is absolutely right for the school and for their children and, at the moment, there are significant demands that they are trying to meet before they get on to the point of exchange programmes.  Some of these are long-lasting exchange programmes and if we can move this forward, I would be supportive of it, but in my first instance it is making sure the schools have sufficient support resources and help with the demographics and the needs of the children in their school at the right time.

4.6Senator K.L. Moore:

During a hearing last week, the Corporate Services Panel heard from the Chief Minister that he had held a private meeting with the Minister for Education and that they had together reached an agreement in relation to the efficiencies that the Minister had been refusing to meet, due to her concerns about the impact that would have on her resources.  Does the Minister have the same recollection of this meeting?

Senator T.A. Vallois:

I do have a recollection of the meeting on 28th February with the Chief Minister, the Chief Executive and the Director General for Children, Young People, Education and Skills.  The information, I think it is important that I make it clear, £3.576 million was requested of savings, or should I say efficiencies, from the said Department.  I disputed £1.78 million of those.  The Government Plan agreed a profile of growth for that said Department.  It also agreed an efficiency of that target.  The requirements of the efficiencies plan is these are the efficiencies to make.  If you cannot make those, you have to find other efficiencies and if you cannot find any other efficiencies, then you have to reprofile your growth.  The position at the moment is we agreed that we would await the necessary information from officers in 2 weeks’ time from 28th February and to meet again with the Chief Minister, because the update that I have had is there is significantly more that are in the red, rather than in the green and that is more than what I have disputed.

4.7Deputy M.R. Higgins:

Can the Minister give us an update on the current situation to do with photocopying?  As she knows, many schools have major deficits on the photocopying that they do due to what I, personally, think is excessive pricing.  Has anything been done about that to reduce those deficits and to get value for money from this area of school operations?

Senator T.A. Vallois:

Thank you, Deputy, for the question.  I cannot remember exactly which line of the efficiencies that it was looking at.  I think it was procurement.  Yes, managed print is being looked at under the efficiencies programme.  I cannot give you the exact result at the moment, because that is an ongoing piece of work, but we believe there is potential to make efficiencies in that area.

4.8The Deputy of St. Martin:

Outside of China, the country with the highest number of cases of coronavirus is Italy. Can I ask the Minister whether she was consulted in the decision to send a party of schoolchildren from Jersey to Italy last week and, if not, can I ask her who was responsible for taking that decision?

Senator T.A. Vallois:

I was not directly consulted.  As I am sure the Deputy will appreciate, I do not get directly consulted on every decision that is made in terms of schools taking children on school trips.  However, they did seek advice from the Deputy Medical Officer of Health.  The region that they were attending was not one on the list; therefore, the advice was that it was OK for them to go.  Italy was not described as a whole until Friday and the school class returned on Saturday evening.  I was not directly asked about this.  There are plenty of protocols in place.  The medical advice was sought.  They went on that trip and they have come back and the advice was any symptoms like we have had with all the rest, that they are to self-isolate, but at the moment the recent advice that I have had is that there is no need for them to self-isolate.

 

5.Questions to Minister without notice - The Minister for Children and Housing

5.1Deputy S.M. Ahier:

Will the Minister advise the Assembly, as he wishes Members to be corporate parents, whether he might consider, instead of employing 7 personal advisers for 49 care leavers, that States Members could mentor one each, thereby saving the taxpayer £1.6 million?  [Approbation]

Senator S.Y. Mézec (The Minister for Children and Housing):

No, I would not wish that upon the care leavers.  [Laughter]

5.2Senator K.L. Moore:

Following on from the Minister’s answer to Written Question 11, is the Minister content with the level of resourcing within Children’s Services and the turnover of staff?

Senator S.Y Mézec:

I am certainly comfortable with the resourcing that we now have in place as a result of the Government Plan being passed and, of course, that is due to increase.  It has certainly been the case that in terms of staffing in Children’s Services there have been big challenges for many years.  I think we have made some really important bits of progress on that front over the last year, for example the fact that our senior leadership team are now all permanent, local, people recruited to those roles, the first time we have had a stable permanent senior leadership team in a very long time.  A drive to recruit social workers on a permanent basis has been successful and we are aiming to reduce our dependency on agency staff.  There is still some way to go to a situation where I would be completely satisfied, but I am very satisfied with the journey that we are on and how that is going.

5.2.1Senator K.L. Moore:

I do have to ask the Minister for qualification when he says that his tier 1 and 2 staff are local appointments; it is common knowledge, I think, that a tier 1 member of staff returns home every weekend.  Would he confirm that, please?

Senator S.Y. Mézec:

Quite honestly, I do not know.  I am not sure which staff member she is referring to, so I would have to double check that.

5.3Deputy R.E. Huelin of St. Peter:

In his capacity as Minister for Children and Housing, what policies is the Minister considering to assist the economy?

[17:15]

Senator S.Y. Mézec:

Indirectly, I presume.  Where to start?  The Housing Policy Development Board meets at the end of this month to finalise its report and that will make recommendations that I hope will have traction, not just in the Government, but in the Assembly as well, that I think will ease the burden that the cost of housing is to many Islanders and, of course, the more money left over in their pockets, the more they can spend in the local economy.  This Assembly approved the Government Plan to give me next year a substantial amount of money to support first-time buyers.  Again, putting people on that stable footing, enabling them to live their lives and focus on everything else, not worrying about their accommodation needs, is obviously good for the economy as well.

The Deputy of St. Peter:

The question was what is he considering to assist the economy, not what is already underway.

Senator S.Y. Mézec:

I think that was what we are considering.  I referred to the Housing Policy Development Board, which at this point is a group of people meeting to consider things and the action required to implement those once our considering is finished has not happened yet and then that will be the point.  So, I think I did answer his question.

5.4Deputy J.H. Perchard:

What role does a migration policy have in tackling issues pertaining to staffing in Children’s Services, housing demand and supply?  What can we expect to see from this Government next month to tackle those issues when it comes forward with its migration policy?

Senator S.Y. Mézec:

It is, of course, of the utmost importance that to provide decent public services to the people of Jersey, not just in Children’s, but across all Departments, that we have to be able to benefit from talents which may from time to time have to be brought in from outside the Island.  We have to know, firstly, we have the right to do that and so what licensing arrangements.  We have the current basis.  The Migration Board has come up with alternatives that we will have to think about and also what access to housing they will have when they come here.  We have been working on a key worker accommodation strategy.  Again, at the end of this month, the Housing Policy Development Board will get the next stage of its report on that topic in isolation from the other issues that we are looking at.  I have been working with Andium Homes to deliver key worker accommodation for those areas of public service that are of particular high need and I have found that very difficult, but we are getting there slowly.

5.4.1Deputy J.H. Perchard:

When the Minister refers to needing certain talents, a comment with which I agree, is he suggesting that when it comes to issuing licences, or implementing a migration policy, that we should be targeting certain skillsets?  Should we have a system where we are targeting the skills that are most needed in the Island?

Senator S.Y. Mézec:

I guess I am slightly unsure how to answer that question.  In my role as Minister for Children and Housing, when we have been deliberately trying to get people to move to the Island to work in our services, so far we have not struggled with the processes that we currently have.  We have been able to entice people to come to the Island to work on that basis and that has happened and I have not found that particularly difficult.  I look at the proposed changes of the Migration Policy Development Board and I do not have reason to think that, as Minister for Children and Housing, I would struggle under that particular system.  Obviously, there are economic considerations to be made for all other sectors of our economy, as well, which do not necessarily fall within my ministerial portfolio, but I have been fine under the current system and I do not have any reason to doubt that recruitment in Children’s Services will continue to be fine under the alternatives that are being suggested.

5.5Deputy M.R. Higgins:

The Minister, when he was being asked about housing, was not terribly forthcoming to the Deputy of St. Peter can I ask him how he is going to achieve his aim of providing enough housing for everyone, 7,000 homes, et cetera, when the economy is already at capacity, or near capacity, with building already?  We are going to be building a new hospital.  There is lots of office projects still planned.  How are you going to achieve the house building when you are competing for the same resources and it will have an inflationary impact?  What talks have you had with your fellow Ministers on how you are going to deal with this problem?

Senator S.Y. Mézec:

That is an extremely good question and that is why, on the Housing Policy Development Board, we have deliberately included the Minister for the Environment, who is obviously overseeing the Island Plan process that is going to be a fundamental part of this, not just in terms of delivering sites, but also trying to work out the best timeline, so we do not overheat things and do know that we have got capacity to pursue particular projects.  The Minister for Infrastructure also serves on that and the Assistant Minister for Treasury and Resources who, along with me, has a relationship with Andium.  I should say that it is not purely about building new homes.  There also has got to be a better management of the homes we already have on the Island.  There are very large rates of underoccupation in the private ownership sector of the market and if we can do more to help those people downsize, where it is what they want to do, but to make it worth their while in doing that, then we free up homes that already exist to be used to a greater capacity, potentially by families who want to move up into a bigger home.  But, as a whole, Government have to find ways of making that worthwhile, because, right now, there just are not the financial incentives.

5.6Deputy J.M. Maçon of St. Saviour:

The Children’s Strategic Partnership Board, can the Minister explain its remit and whether they are transparent with their minutes and their work development?

Senator S.Y. Mézec:

In terms of its minutes, I would have to double check whether they have been published, or not.  I can look into that for the Deputy.  The Board itself is, I think, probably about to enter a period of transformation in terms of changing its makeup and how it operates.  It has been fine for the first year-and-a-bit of its existence, but it is quite a large Board and we have broken up into working parties, focusing on the different subject areas of the Children’s Plan.  At our last meeting on Friday last week, we discussed how we could change how the Board works to make it more effective and if the Deputy wants a discussion on that, so he can have faith that that process is being done properly, then I am more than happy to have that discussion with him.

5.6.1Deputy J.M. Maçon:

I thank that, but I would ask the Minister how then does all this work and all these other streams of work going on feed into other Ministers’ portfolios?

Senator S.Y. Mézec:

The Board itself brings together Directors from across the Government as an organisation and from the voluntary sector as well.  I would have to chase up with particular Directors on how they are feeding that back to their Ministers.

5.7Deputy K.F. Morel:

Given that the Migration Policy Development Board, by its own admission, has not brought forward a population policy, or anything resembling a population policy, how is the failure of this Government to produce a population policy injuring your work as Minister for Children and Housing to develop a proper plan for housing and understanding how many people we do need to have, given that the objective assessment of housing needs is running out of date very quickly?

Senator S.Y. Mézec:

That objective assessment of housing needs provided us with projections based on different potential population growth scenarios, which gave me an idea of the work that I need to be doing, irrespective of what future migration policy this Assembly adopts.  There are things that I need to push for that are not affected by the work of that Board and what this Assembly decides to do with that, like what I just said in response to Deputy Higgins’s question about downsizing, like what we need to do to improve conditions in the private and the social rental sector, as well, to make life easier for those people there.  There are plenty of workstreams that I can get on with that will, I hope, eventually have a tangible effect on improving people’s lives and getting them into the homes that they can live the happiest lives in.  That is not dependent on what happens with the population policy.  I suspect the Minister, who will probably have the hardest time, is the one sat next to him who is in charge of the Island Plan process.

5.8Deputy G.J. Truscott:

I wonder if the Minister could update the Assembly on what progress is being made with regard to the appointment of a local agent to administer the Mydeposit scheme?

Senator S.Y. Mézec:

The tender process is open and that is, I guess, all I can say on that.  We will have to see who applies for it and there is a process that the Government has to go through when it puts things out for tender.  That is open now and any agency that is interested in doing that can, of course, apply for it and they will be treated according to the rules that we do for these things.

5.9Connétable C.H. Taylor of St. John:

In view of the current figures that show approximately 7,000 new homes will need to be built on the Island, a significant number will have to be provided by the private sector in the form of landlords.  What encouragement is the Minister looking at to encourage landlords to invest in additional housing?

Senator S.Y. Mézec:

I will give him an honest answer, which he may not like, but my view and we will see more of this from the Housing Policy Development Board, but I think that the greatest provider of the homes that are going to be needed over the next coming years will be the Government and the agencies of the Government.  So, my focus is more likely to work on what financing options there are for agencies, the social housing trusts for one, Andium, S.o.J.D.C.  I think that those are likely to be the biggest players in providing homes, not just for the whole market, but particularly for those who are finding it hardest to afford their homes at the moment.

5.10Deputy M.R. Higgins:

The Minister has been told over the last 2 weeks, or so, by myself and another Deputy that some of the clients of Children’s Services have been lied to by their officers and also at the same time they have lied to the Deputies concerned.  What action has he taken on that and what action will he propose to take to make sure this does not happen again?

Senator S.Y. Mézec:

The last time that I had that discussion face to face with Deputy Higgins, I asked him to provide me with the specific examples that he is referring to and then I can take action as a result of that.  I cannot do that until he gives me that.  Having words is good, but what I need is something tangible on paper that I can act upon.

Deputy M.R. Higgins:

Your officers do have the names.

Senator S.Y. Mézec:

OK, but if the Deputy can direct me to that as well, then I can include him in that process.

The Deputy Bailiff:

That brings the time for questions to this Minister without notice to an end.  We do have an urgent question approved by the Bailiff, which Deputy Pamplin will ask of the Chief Minister, but I note that, at least by the clock in front of me, not that one, it is 5.30 p.m. or thereabouts.  Under Standing Orders, I shall invite Members of the States to decide whether they wish to continue or adjourn immediately.

Senator L.J. Farnham:

May I propose, Sir, that the interests of getting the not inconsiderable business achieved that we deal this evening, over the next 20 minutes or so, with the urgent oral question and the 2 short statements that have to be made?

The Deputy Bailiff:

Is that seconded? [Seconded]  All those in favour kindly show.  Thank you very much.  We will proceed as suggested.  Deputy Pamplin, will you please ask your question of the Chief Minister?

 

6.Urgent Oral Question

6.1Deputy K.G. Pamplin of the Chief Minister regarding the airline Flybe:

Will the Minister outline what measures the Government is undertaking to support the effects of Flybe collapsing and the knock-on effects, if any, to passengers, or those whose jobs are at risk locally?

Senator J.A.N. Le Fondré:

The Assistant Minister, Senator Farnham, is taking this question.

Senator L.J. Farnham (Assistant Chief Minister - rapporteur):

Members will have received an email from me over the weekend, detailing the steps that have already been taken to maintain and replace the services that will be affected by the closure of Flybe and the advice to affected passengers and staff.  We are working closely with Blue Islands, a privately-owned Channel Islands-based airline, operated on behalf of Flybe under a franchise arrangement and will continue to work closely with them in the weeks and months ahead.  Within 24 hours of the Flybe announcement, the Inverness and Aberdeen routes were taken up by Loganair and, over the weekend, Blue Islands have confirmed that it will be taking on Flybe’s Birmingham and Exeter routes.  They have launched a new website and online booking system and are operating their schedule as planned.  Hospital patients using the Southampton route have been contacted and rebooked if necessary and Customer and Local Services stand ready to help any affected staff.

6.1.1Deputy K.G. Pamplin:

Thank you, Minister, for his answer and his helpful emails over the weekend.  My thoughts turn to the situation that he alluded to with Islanders’ with links to treatment in Southampton and their frequent visits.  Does he agree with me that part of the future work, when the dust settles, is to find a sustainable way of achieving sustainable prices for people to make sure they go to Southampton on a regular basis than the situation is at present?

[17:30]

Senator L.J. Farnham:

Yes, I do agree with that and that is at the heart of conversations and negotiations that are being had with potential airlines that might be interested in filling that route.  I would also add that under the franchise agreement with Flybe and Blue Islands, Blue Islands did operate 4 of the 5 flights a day to Southampton at this time of the year and in the summer they operated 5 of the 6 flights, so the vast majority of Southampton flights are operated by Blue Islands and those schedules are being maintained.

The Deputy Bailiff:

Thank you.  Moving back to the Consolidated Order Paper, there is nothing under J.  Under K, Statements on a Matter of Official Responsibility, there are 2 statements and the makers of the statements have asked to change the order.  So, the first statement is the statement in relation to the Our Hospital project to be made by Senator Farnham.

 

STATEMENTS ON A MATTER OF OFFICIAL RESPONSIBILITY

7.The Assistant Chief Minister made a statement regarding the Our Hospital project

7.1Senator L.J. Farnham (Assistant Chief Minister):

Since I provided Members with an update 6 weeks ago, there has been considerable progress and a great deal of work has come to fruition.  In short, this means that we now have a confirmed plan validated by our project managers, Mace, which will deliver the new hospital.  Identifying the hospital site remains the highest priority and the public call for sites was completed at the end of January.  This final sweep of the Island delivered more than 300 submissions, resulting in a total of 81 sites being proposed, including 41 sites that were previously listed.  This kind of engagement with the community is essential to the development of the project and I would like to thank the public for their important contributions.  The newly formed Panel of Citizens has now met on 3 occasions.  The team of 17 Islanders are working on the criteria and the sequence of questions that will ensure an impartial selection process for the hospital site.  The site selection process is guided by clinical priorities, patient priorities, Panel of Citizens priorities, the draft planning guidance and, of course, the overarching public interest.  The Minister for the Environment has provided the draft planning guidance and this give clarity about the issues that must be considered from a planning perspective in determining a site and eventual full detailed planning application.  This is now out to consultation.  We are fully engaged with the process of preparing the new Island Plan and the proposed hospital site will be included in any final report.  The design brief is taking shape.  A health planner has been appointed and crucially the project’s Clinical Director has been engaging with clinical and professional leads, so that we can very clearly identify the must haves and what are called the clinical adjacencies, which is a technical term for the most efficient placement of treatments and medical services in, or around, the building.  We are approaching one of the most important milestones of the project, the appointment of the design and delivery partner.  Officers from the team have visited hospitals in the U.K., Spain and Sweden, that have been built by the potential partners, all of whom are part of the selection process.  The team have done this to scrutinise the standard of their work and to ensure that they really can deliver for Jersey and the team have seen some very impressive results.  The rigorous procurement process is now in its very final stages and, as a result, the Political Oversight Group will be taking a recommendation to the Council of Ministers and we will know in the next 4 weeks who is going to design and build our new hospital.  From this point, the project will accelerate further.  The concentrated preparation work undertaken means the key milestones are now set in place.  By early April we will have appointed the design and delivery partner and we will have a shortlist of 2, possibly 3, sites.  Between April and June we will be working on a range of detailed technical assessments for the shortlisted sites, including an environmental impact assessment.  In early July we will announce the preferred site and lodge a Proposition for States debate.  At the States sitting on 8th September the States will debate and hopefully approve the preferred site.  Following this key decision, we will be preparing and submitting the detailed design and planning application and finalising the business case for the financing of the hospital, to enable the Minister for Treasury and Resources to bring this forward to the States for a debate in 2021.  The overwhelming sentiment we all hear on social media, on the streets and from our friends, family and fellow Islanders is that we should get on with it.  We all completely agree.  It is essential, of course, that we continue to work collaboratively with our Scrutiny Panel, so that they can carry out their role in parallel to this process in a way that enables the project to maintain its momentum.  There may not yet be a hospital to show, but the work that has been taking place is significant.  Earlier today, Members will have received an invitation to a detailed briefing next week, where they will be able to view the full project details and timeline and ask any questions of the new project team and we have a strong team.  On behalf of the team and the Political Oversight Group members, we want to share with you our commitment and enthusiasm to getting this done.  The key to success will be meeting the milestones in our timeline without any delay and, as I said previously, it is an ambitious timescale and we are constantly pushing to drive the project to completion ahead of schedule.  In conclusion, I do not need to tell Members how important our new hospital is to the Island and I am sure that we are all united by the need to get on with it and deliver the hospital to the people of Jersey.  [Approbation]

The Deputy Bailiff:

We now have up to 15 minutes for questions.

7.1.1The Connétable of St. Brelade:

The Minister, in his statement, has been silent on the matter of cost.  I wonder if he could advise Members whether the proposals are still within the original cost envelope, or whether there has been any change?

Senator L.J. Farnham:

There has been no change.  The costs expended to the end of December 2019 were £499,000 and that is within budget.  Having said that, as we enter the second phase and the appointment of the design and delivery partner, the costs will begin to increase, but we will ensure that is maintained in line with our budget.

7.1.2The Connétable of St. Lawrence:

The eighth paragraph tells us that the Minister for the Environment has provided the draft planning guidance that gives clarity about the issue.  What is not clear to me is it then goes to say it is now out to consultation.  I would like the Minister to explain what is out to consultation.  Is it the planning guidance and who is being consulted upon what?

Senator L.J. Farnham:

The planning guidance states that a lot of consultation on the guidance is necessary, so it is the planning guidance that is being consulted upon.

7.1.3The Connétable of St. Lawrence:

Who is being consulted?

Senator L.J. Farnham:

That is a matter for the Minister for the Environment.  He might wish to clarify that.

7.1.4Deputy M.R. Le Hegarat:

What impact will the resignation of the D.G. (Director General), G.H.E. have on our hospital project?

Senator L.J. Farnham:

I am sorry, I missed the first part of that question.

Deputy M.R. Le Hegarat:

What impact will the resignation of the D.G. of G.H.E. have on our hospital project?

Senator L.J. Farnham:

With the greatest respect to the current Director General, it will not have a great deal of impact, because although the D.G. was on the project team, he was not leading it and we have a comprehensive team that are carrying this forward.

7.1.5Deputy K.F. Morel:

In the second paragraph of the statement, the Minister said that we now have a confirmed plan validated by our project managers, which will deliver the new hospital.  Would the Minister please explain what is in this confirmed plan and does it include things such as scale of the building, the ground floor service area and suchlike?

Senator L.J. Farnham:

I am remembering our recent Scrutiny briefing, where we had this lively discussion, if I remember correctly.  Project managers, Mace, have quickly produced a detailed plan, which sets out the key milestones and the timelines in the months and the years ahead.  The full detail of that I could not begin to give now, because we are giving a fully detailed extensive briefing for States Members at the end of next week and I hope that as many Members as possible can come to that, because it is an extremely important briefing.  But if Members cannot come, those Members that cannot come, we will arrange another briefing for, because it is important that everybody has seen it.  The square footage of the hospital is a debate that I do not want to get into now, because that, of course, all depends on the site, the location and the design of the hospital.  It is impossible to stipulate the exact square footage of a building before it has been designed.  But I can assure Members that our new hospital will be of a size and a scale and be a very flexible modern type of building that will allow for expansions and the use of future technology.

7.1.6Deputy K.F. Morel:

For clarification purposes, in that second paragraph the Minister states: “We now have a confirmed plan, validated by our project managers.”  While this is somewhat technical, I guess the Minister in his answer suggested that the plan was drawn up by the project managers, as opposed to being validated by them, having been drawn up by someone else.  Would the Minister please clarify who drew up the plan and whether that validation by a project manager is, in fact, correct, because they drew it up rather than validating it?

Senator L.J. Farnham:

It is terminology, we have a confirmed plan created by our project managers, validated, created, these are experts in this sort of planning and they have created the plan.

7.1.7Deputy G.P. Southern:

I look on this page and I do not see the words, I see the equivalent of Edvard Munch’s version of the Scream, because it still looks like it is going on and on.  But what is missing from this particular document, brief though it is, is the interrelation between the hospital size and the hospital and the development of primary care in the community and the one needs the other.  If we cannot get primary care in the community to a sufficient level, then we are likely to build an enormous hospital that is not going to cater properly for our need and it is going to be very expensive.  Where is the liaison between the Jersey Care Model and the hospital?

Senator L.J. Farnham:

It is envisaged, as I have said before, the modern flexible design of the hospital will enable it to be extremely durable over the years ahead.  The care model will inform the hospital project; it will not dictate to it.  It is realistic to expect that, in the years ahead, our care model could change 2, 3, 4, or 5 times over the life of the new hospital and that is why it is important that the new hospital has the scope to deal with that.

7.1.8Deputy G.P. Southern:

Can the Minister point to anywhere on there that says a flexible hospital?  It does not appear to say so.

Senator L.J. Farnham:

Again, I would like to refer Members to the detailed briefing they will be getting at the end of next week, where we will be talking around those issues and the Deputy will be able to ask those questions to our expert team and they will be answered.

7.1.9The Deputy of St. Martin:

I am not sure whether to applaud the Minister, or not, for spending money on things like the appointment imminently of the design and delivery partner.  Is he not putting the cart before the horse because, surely, before he designs and delivers a hospital, he needs a site with which to build it on?

Senator L.J. Farnham:

The people of Jersey want this done.  We could do it by lining everything up in sequence and do it that way.  We could choose a site; when we have chosen a site we then could choose a designer; once we have chosen a designer we could say: “Design the hospital”, and then we could choose a builder, and then the hospital could be built.  But that would not be done until 2030, or beyond.  The Islanders want the hospital done sooner and that is why we are following this course of action.

[17:45]

We are running these processes in parallel, supported and advised by a real new team of experts.  I understand the question and that is why we are choosing a design and delivery partner, we are choosing one group to design and build the hospital; in modern approaches to these sorts of buildings, that practice has worked very well and I have alluded to it in the statement.  Our officers had visited a number of finished hospitals that the proposed design and delivery builders had put together and the results were excellent.  So, in answer to the question, we are doing it this way, running these processes in parallel, so we can get our hospital built and delivered for Islanders as soon as we possibly can, but without compromising the quality, or standard, of the finished product.

7.1.10The Deputy of St. Martin:

But surely the Minister will realise, of course, that he cannot put the design for the hospital on Gloucester Street at Westmount and you cannot put a design for a hospital at Westmount on the People’s Park.  So, is he telling us that he is designing different hospitals for different sites and choosing from one of those?

Senator L.J. Farnham:

No, I am not and, again, this will become apparent in the detailed presentation we make to States Members.  So, the design and delivery partner, by the time they are appointed, we will have a shortlist of 2 or 3 sites.  Between the beginning of April and the end of June, when we will be deciding from those 2 or 3 sites a final site to recommend to the States Assembly, the design and delivery partner will be involved, because they are builders as well as designers, in preliminary works around those sites, which will be an important factor in deciding the final site for proposal to the States.

7.1.11Deputy K.G. Pamplin:

On that subject of the site, so resulting in a total of 81 sites, we are down to 2 or 3 by early April, when will we have an indication of what those sites are and how we got to that process?

Senator L.J. Farnham:

Once we get to the shortlisted sites, we will be able to share the details and the process deployed, which is currently under way.

7.1.12Deputy K.G. Pamplin:

Does that mean, just to clarify, Assembly Members will know the shortlist of the 2 or 3 feasible sites by early April, before the preferred site is lodged?

Senator L.J. Farnham:

Yes, absolutely.

7.1.13Deputy G.J. Truscott:

I look forward to the forthcoming meetings; I will have lots of questions for the Minister upcoming.  Horse and cart, cart and the horse, to me it just all feels a bit muddled and I do not know, currently and I asked the question the other day of the Minister for Health and Social Services, there is a major piece of work that he is conducting, stress testing all future scenarios with regard to what size of hospital we need.  I did mention, hopefully he is going to draw into that stress test the coronavirus, because from nowhere all of a sudden we have this huge virus on our hands that could affect many Islanders in a bad way.  So, before the meeting, just a basic question, are we any nearer knowing how many beds this hospital is going to have?

Senator L.J. Farnham:

Given the recent circumstances and challenging challenges we are facing with coronavirus, it stresses the importance of the flexibility of a new building.  As the Director General of Health explained at the Scrutiny hearing, the hospital will not be built with a fixed number of beds; it will be capable of having a range of beds between, it could be, 300 and 500.  That is absolutely important that this new building, this is a stipulation that the Political Oversight Group has given, it has the flexibility to deal with unforeseen circumstances into the future.

7.1.14Deputy K.F. Morel:

I was going to ask, isn’t it just going to be Overdale? So, let’s cut to the chase but I won’tI just wondered whether the Minister will be providing an inflation impact report, as he suggested earlier [Laughter], when he lodges the Proposition for debate on 8th September, because this project will, of course, be sucking up a great deal of construction labour, as will the Minister for Children and Housing’s housing projects and so we can expect to see a great deal of inflation in that construction sector as a result of these projects.  So, will he be providing an inflation impact report with the Proposition on it for 8th September?

Senator L.J. Farnham:

As we head through the planning process, we head towards the building process, we will analyse that and if it qualifies for an inflation impact statement we will be pleased to provide one, as would, I am sure, the Minister for Children and Housing, because we all know, if the Minister for Children and Housing builds the houses we need, that will help to reduce inflation.

Senator K.L. Moore:

I did have my light on earlier, perhaps you missed it.

The Deputy Bailiff:

Did I?  OK.  We probably have a few seconds left.

7.1.15Senator K.L. Moore:

In answering an earlier question from the Constable of St. Brelade, the Minister spoke about the cost of the project at the moment under the Minister for Treasury and Resources’ recent release of money.  But what the Constable was wanting to know and what the public want to know is whether this project will still remain within the previous estimated budget of £465 million to deliver the hospital.

Senator L.J. Farnham:

The aim is to stay within those budgeted figures; that is what we are aiming to do.  But it’s about at the end of the day… and the States will make the decision on the site, the States will make the decision on ultimately how much we pay for it and how we pay for it.  But technology, medical technology is moving quickly and medical technology comes at a price, so ultimately the costs will work around, not just the building, but how much technology we want to deploy and rely upon for the benefit of our Islanders.

The Deputy Bailiff:

That completes the period of 15 minutes and the second statement is to be made by Senator Pallett, the Assistant Minister for Health and Social Services, on the Health and Well-being Framework.  Senator Pallett.

 

8.The Assistant Minister for Health and Social Services made a statement regarding the Health and Well-being Framework.

8.1Senator S.W. Pallett (Assistant Minister for Health and Social Services):

I thank everybody for giving me the graveyard shift.  The release of the Health and Well-being Framework promotes for the first time principles of working across all Government Departments, and sets out to ensure everything we do takes the health and well-being of Islanders into consideration when making decisions that affect our community.  Over the next 2 decades, the prevalence of serious disease and ill health is due to rise dramatically as our population ages and the number of people living on the Island likely increases.  The framework focuses on methods to prevent illnesses by addressing the root cause of conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer and mental health conditions.  Myself and others, both inside and outside of Government, have been supporting the prevention agenda for some time and highlighting the fact that we need to start thinking more about tackling those avoidable diseases that are associated with our lifestyle choices and often wider circumstances outside of our control.  The Framework commits to putting the prevention of ill health and preventable disease higher on our agenda.  This is among a range of measures designed to improve Islanders’ well-being and mental and physical health, one of 5 commitments set out in our Common Strategic Policy.  The framework is not only aligned to our other key priorities to meet the Common Strategic Policy, but to the new Jersey Care Model, which as I am sure you are all aware, also promises a greater emphasis on prevention, more specifically within health services.  The work of the Framework will be overseen by a Political Oversight Group including a number of Ministers from across Government, who have been provided briefings on the Framework and to whom I am extremely grateful for their support.  The Political Oversight Group also includes local stakeholders, laypeople, to ensure we are making a real difference and moving forward with the most important priorities.  The concept of sustainable well-being has now been included within the Public Finances Law and is at the heart of the recently approved Government Plan.  The Political Oversight Group will provide the necessary oversight to ensure that we deliver the best outcomes for Islanders, based on all the factors that affect our quality of life, be it economic, social, environmental or cultural, or there are others that we could have included.  Our work will be monitored and evaluated in line with the new Jersey Performance Framework, which for the first time sets out how progress towards improved outcomes for Islanders will be measured across Government in a consistent and transparent way.  There can be no doubt that prevention is more cost-effective than cure and we must now pay more than just lip service to the prevention agenda.  Not only we as Government, but all States Members have a responsibility of stewardship, ensuring efforts to address the challenges we face in coming years are sustained, based on need and make a difference.  This first Health and Well-being Framework for Jersey provides the foundations for a collaborative, long-term approach to moving forward into action across the C.S.P. priorities, which will, not just improve quality of life and health and well-being outcomes of Islanders, but also look to reduce inequalities within our community.  I hope I will get your support and that of members in ensuring that this work is expedited and given high priority as it progresses.  Working together in partnership to drive sustainable well-being and addressing health inequalities is not a “nice to have”, or a good thing to say we will do, but rather an urgent priority.  It requires all of us to take bold action now to, not only improve the lives of future generations, but also that of our current community.

The Deputy Bailiff:

We now have up to 15 minutes of questions for the Assistant Minister and the first question is from Deputy Morel.

8.1.1Deputy K.F. Morel:

I was just wondering if the Assistant Minister would explain to us what he understands as the term “sustainable well-being” as it is included in the Finance, or the Revenue Law; so what does he understand as being “sustainable well-being”?

Senator S.W. Pallett:

When you look at sustainable well-being, this is the well-being, physical health and mental health and well-being, it is looking at the wider determinants of health and that could be any one of a number of things.  One of the things that does have a clear impact on people’s lives is housing and good housing.  Others would be education and skills and providing the right opportunities for young people.  Good quality work, family friendly, money and resources.  We take it for granted, a lot of us, that we always have enough money to live, but for many in the Island that is not the case.  So, sustainable well-being for me is when we make any decisions in Government we weigh up all those opportunities and have a good look at whether those decisions are in the best interests of Islanders and those are some of the things that we included in that Framework.

8.1.2Deputy R.J. Ward:

I note that the Jersey Performance Framework talked about air pollution and the protection from it and the World Health Organization talks about how particulates cause both heart disease, respiratory disease and are linked with cancers, as the research develops.  I would ask the Minister, would he accompany me and walk around Rouge Bouillon School and Springfield School about 8.00 a.m. or from 7.30 a.m. onwards and taste the air that we are allowing our small children to play in around that area in the mornings and then what the Health and Well-being Framework is going to do about that quality of air as a matter of absolute urgency for the health of our children?

Senator S.W. Pallett:

I suppose the simple answer to the original question is yes, not only do I have concerns myself about the air quality around schools and the air quality that we are sometimes asking some of our schoolchildren to, with my interest in physical activity, take physical activity in what are extremely poor air conditions.  So the answer is absolutely yes.  Sustainable well-being again must ensure that we are providing the best opportunities for children and if we are not providing decent air quality around schools then clearly that is something that we need to improve.  There is, I believe, a need to ensure that we have a close study of whether we can improve access to and from schools and that may mean more cycle paths, more walking routes and closing roads around schools at certain parts of the day, or even totally, to ensure that schools are better protected from some of the poor air quality that currently exists.  There is an inequality in itself.  In Town, people have poor air quality; you go out into the country, go to St. Martin and places like that, schools will have better air quality, so there is an inequality in itself there.

8.1.3Deputy R.J. Ward:

What we lack, and I would ask the Minister, is yet again a timescale for any of these things, because we have talked about them, the research has been there, we are now nearly 2 years into this Government and I have not seen a single tangible change that is going to address the issue of our pollution and the health of our young children.  Could I ask the Minister whether he would encourage live air pollution monitoring and action, taking the polluting cars away from the vicinity of our schools and what timescale?

[18:00]

Senator S.W. Pallett:

In many ways you are talking to the wrong Minister in terms of trying to improve air quality around schools.  What we can do and what this Political Oversight Group can do, which does not just include Ministers from Government, but also has laypeople and key stakeholders, is whole Government speak to the problem and set out their priorities in terms of what they want to see.  So, the answer to your question is there are opportunities and those opportunities will come along fairly quickly.  The Group has not met yet.  The opportunity to get everybody around the table and see where those from outside Government see their priorities and by all means, as a Deputy who looks after schools in Town areas, if you want to feed that into that Group, that is something that we could possibly look at, at an early stage.

8.1.4Deputy K.G. Pamplin:

It would not surprise the Assistant Minister to say that I am a big champion of this; however, there are issues growing following our review into Mental Health Services where we still do not have an annual mental health quality report that was supposed to be published in 2020.  So the success of this is by collecting the data and making it transparent; does he not agree?

Senator S.W. Pallett:

Obviously I do agree.  The report that the Deputy refers to, as far as I know, is being produced currently and will be produced and has to be produced, because it is part of what we said we would do.  But, yes, no, I totally agree with his comments.

8.1.5Deputy R.J. Ward:

Just on the topic of mental health, there has been a lot of work on mental health first-aiders in organisations, which are very good, but does the Minister believe that one of the key things about that is being able to refer people on, when they obviously need further help.  Does the Minister believe that those facilities are available on this Island, because I have real concerns that they are not?

Senator S.W. Pallett:

There are 2 areas of that I would comment on.  One is I think there are organisations that provide mental health first-aiders and the States themselves provide them.  My concern - and it is a concern I have raised with the Head of Mental Health Services - what is the consistency and the training provided to those mental health first-aiders and whether they are adequately trained to pass those members of staff, or people that they talk to, on to the relevant services.  So there is an issue there that I really want to fully understand and even fully understand within the States service.  The second one is we are going through a transitional time in terms of Adult Mental Health Services.  Do I see improvement?  I do.  There has been an awful lot of commitment from staff to ensure that what we are delivering on the coalface is improving.  It is not easy.  It is going to be a long journey and I will repeat what Head of Mental Health Services said to me, that this is going to take 4 or 5 years to get to where we need to be.  Let us make no bones about that.  But in terms of some of the services like the Listening Lounge, which has been a great success, it has helped, but in terms of others like Jersey Talking Therapies, we do need to try to provide more capacity within that and what we have also tried to do is review the cases that are coming into Jersey Talking Therapies and make sure that we are getting the right cases through Jersey Talking Therapies.  There are certainly some that have been referred to Jersey Talking Therapies that could have had alternative treatment, or could have had other options provided to them and we are just starting to open that social prescribing as something that has a big future in this Island in terms of looking for other options other than clinical help, or help within a specific mental health service.  So, we need to provide various options for people.  We are not there yet.  We are getting there and all I want to do is make sure that it carries on improving.  The other thing I want to ensure is that people in the Island understand where to go and what we are about to provide is a mental health roadmap for Adult Mental Health Services.  That will assist people to find the right place to go at an early stage.

The Deputy Bailiff:

Are there any other questions for the Assistant Chief Minister on the statement he has made today?

Senator S.W. Pallett:

You have elevated me there.

The Deputy Bailiff:

There we are, Assistant Minister.  In accordance with the Consolidated Order Paper, that completes the items on K and the next matter is Public Business and the Order Paper indicates that is to commence at 9.30 a.m. tomorrow morning, so the States stands adjourned until 9.30 a.m. tomorrow morning.

ADJOURNMENT

[18:05]

 

 

1


[5] The Minister for Infrastructure circulated the following figures to Members of the States after the meeting:

2013

£3,488,505.00

2014

£3,498,086.00

2015

£3,572,696.90

2016

£3,440,728.78

2017

£3,316,712.65

2018

£3,421,510.65

2019

£3,556,707.30

2020

£3,644,714.05

 

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