Trevor has the following written questions lodged for the 11th May States sitting. Unusually for him he has only three lodged this time around rather than the normal full quota of five. Trevor tells us that this is the direct result of the current exceptionally busy period of constituent work he has on. :
“Unfortunately, with the lodging deadline times having been brought forward due to the holiday weekend, whilst right in the middle of finalising these I was contacted regarding some very urgent constituent issues. As a result I was unable to get my final two questions accepted before the 9.30am deadline - the Greffier’s office being understandably very strict about anything being even a minute late!”
Once again the three questions form a mixture of wider political issues and Trevor’s constituent work, the first question being a follow-up to his question to the Planning & Environment Minister on 20th April. This is in reference to the unsafe ‘listed’ building in La Motte Street in St. Helier No. 1 District, where obtrusive scaffolding and makeshift wooden screening are having a damaging impact on nearby businesses.
The second question Trevor tells us he feels very strongly about. Put to the Chairman of the Privileges and Procedures Committee this asks about the issue of some States Members regularly leaving the Chamber having registered their ‘presence’ at Roll Call to disappear to their day jobs.
‘This shouldn’t be allowed to happen. And what I, and a number of other backbenchers, find particularly galling is that one of the worst offenders is regularly to be heard droning on to the media about ‘States efficiency’ and how much Members cost the public.” Given his strong feelings on the matter Trevor tells us that he will be writing a post specifically about this issue in the very near future.
The third question is another to the Planning & Environment Minister, Senator Freddie Cohen. With the upcoming debate on the Town Park this asks the question on most people’s lips. Will the Council of Ministers, for once, support the wishes of the public and proceed with the development of the Town Park this year? Or attempt to reduce the much-needed ‘green lung’ in the middle of St. Helier to the size of a postage stamp by building expensive town houses all around its parameter under the guise of needing to ‘frame it’? We can only hope that for once commonsense and respect for the wishes of the public sway the day!
*Note. We will have the oral questions for 11th May from Trevor, Shona, Debbie and Geoff up on the website late on Thursday once they have been officially approved.
QUESTION ONE: TO THE MINISTER FOR PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT
“Further to my written question of 20th April 2010, in relation to scaffolding at a building in La Motte Street, when the Minister stated that one of the problems delaying the removal of the scaffolding was the death of the owner, would the Minister state if he has information regarding the ownership of the building and, if so, disclose this to members?
Would the Minister further advise whether the detrimental effect of the scaffolding to other businesses in the vicinity has featured in his department's discussions with the owners of the property and outline what pressures, if any, can be applied to bring ensure that the scaffolding is removed as swiftly as possible?”
QUESTION TWO: TO THE CHAIRMAN OF PRIVILEGES AND PROCEDURES COMMITTEE
“Given growing public concern about various aspects of States efficiency -will the Chairman advise what measures, if any, the Committee has at its disposal to monitor and ensure that those members also having second jobs/careers give adequate commitment to carrying out their public duties? Further still, what sanctions, if any, can be put in place to prevent members simply leaving the Assembly after roll call to go to their second place of work?”
QUESTION THREE: TO THE MINISTER FOR PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT
“Will the Minister confirm whether he intends to allow work to begin on the Talman area of the Town Park, but to oppose the development of a park on the rest of the designated area, if it is to be without buildings, and, if so, does he not consider that this would be contrary to the public’s expectations for the site?”