THE Island’s skaters celebrated a momentous day when their long-overdue £125,000 skate park was finally opened.
It took seven years of campaigning, but the skate park on the New North Quay has finally been delivered and, though it was not exactly the facility that was first requested, the skateboarders have said that they are delighted with the end result. The project was initially gong to cost £250,000, but a compromise was reached and the park was built as an open-air facility without a roof. 22 sites had been proposed before organisers settled on the New North Quay, just next to the Sailor’s Rest café. The park is free to all skateboarders and BMX riders. Jake Hipwell, the president of the Channel Islands Skateboard Association, said that it was great to see the result of many years of effort and said that he now wanted to organise some competitions.
JERSEY’S newest and youngest Deputy learned a sharp lesson in politics as ‘Nelliegate’ threatened to undermine his fledgling political career. Deputy Jeremy Maçon had stood for election on a campaign of family values, but when leaked e-mails between his mother, Nellie Maçon, and Deputy Geoff Southern surfaced, questions were asked about exactly which family member had been elected by the voters of St Saviour No 1. Deputy Southern, who was frustrated in his efforts to communicate directly with Deputy Maçon and instead received replies from his mother, told him in a final e-mail: ‘GROW UP JEREMY – DITCH THE MOTHER’ He also advised Mrs Maçon that if she wanted access to States Members e-mails, then she should stand for election herself. Deputy Maçon later issued a statement saying that the e-mail address he had been using was not his official States e-mail.
AFTER 450 years of feudal rule, Sark finally embraced democracy in their December elections, but the two largest supporters of the move were the first to oppose the outcome because it went against their plans to modernise the island. The billionaire Barclay brothers attracted widespread criticism after the elections when they promptly closed several of their businesses, leaving over 100 Sarkees unemployed just before Christmas. Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay are the largest investors in the island and are based on the small island of Brecqhou, just off the coast of Sark. They had encouraged the elections because they disagreed with the island’s former law that allowed all landowners to serve as unelected politicians. However, when many of those tenants were successful in the elections, the Barclays acted quickly to show their displeasure at the outcome and announced the closure of several hotels and shops.
Senator Terry Le Sueur was elected as the new Chief Minister at the beginning of the month, defeating Senator Alan Breckon. And, when the dust had settled on the election of his ministerial colleagues, it seemed that party politics were becoming ever more evident. The proposed formation of a ‘shadow cabinet’ by 11 Members, disgruntled at the lack of change within the new Council of Ministers, suggested that, like it or not, politicians are beginning to be divided by much clearer lines. The group, who issued a statement, included Senator Stuart Syvret, the four Jersey Democratic Alliance members in the States, the Chamber’s only ‘green’ politician, Deputy Daniel Wimberley, and the youngest-ever Deputy, Jeremy Maçon. They accused the ‘establishment’ of shunning reform and co-operation and of creating a ‘one-dimensional co-operative’. The members behind the statement are Senator Syvret and Deputies Judy Martin, Geoff Southern, Shona Pitman, Mike Higgins, Tracey Vallois, Deborah de Sousa, Montfort Tadier, Trevor Pitman, Jeremy Maçon and Daniel Wimberley.
THE public disputes continued among the high-profile characters in the Haut de la Garenne investigation.
Suspended police chief Graham Power hit back at a ‘blatant abuse of political power’ and threatened to take the Home Affairs Minister to court over his suspension. He claimed that the States broke formal procedure in the manner in which he was suspended, the details of which are still unknown. Later in the month, former deputy police chief Lenny Harper made a formal complaint to the police against former Chief Minister Frank Walker and Senator Jimmy Perchard, alleging that they leaked confidential e-mails about the investigation. Mr Walker has since strongly denied the claims. The police, along with members of the Jersey Care Leavers Association, made a final appeal for witnesses to come forward. Detective Superintendent Mick Gradwell said that it was important that the high-profile nature of the inquiry should not deter people from speaking to the police.