MAJOR capital projects – including building a new Fire and Ambulance headquarters and new sports facilities at Le Rocquier School – have been put on hold with no set date for their completion.
Ministers have recently published their ‘Delivery Plans’ for 2023, which set out the details on what they propose to do this year, and beyond.
They establish firm priorities, turning the high ambitions of the Common Strategic Policies and Ministerial Plans, which cover aims for the whole political term, into concrete decisions in the year ahead.
Many of the projects have been previously announced but the Delivery Plans reveal that some have joined a list of past projects that have been shelved, modified or put on ice by the new government.
The Delivery Plans contain far more projects that are on the table than off it, but some significant schemes have been pushed off the agenda, for the time being at least.
The plans off the table include:
Combined Fire and Ambulance Station – no next stage of project or end date (Justice and Home Affairs Minister Helen Miles)
The States have already decided to name the station after the late Home Affairs Minister Len Norman and allocated £24.4m for the project.
However, Members have not yet decided where it will be built. The former director general of Justice and Home Affairs wanted to build it on the site of the old police headquarters at Rouge Bouillon but Deputy Inna Gardiner successfully ring-fenced the site for use by the next-door primary school.
Le Rocquier Sports Facility – no next stage or end date (Environment Minister Jonathan Renouf)
The previous government’s Inspiring Active Places strategy proposed building new facilities next to the school’s hall, including a purpose-built gymnastics centre, an eight-court sports hall, a full-sized 3G pitch and possibly a swimming pool.
However, where the latest Government Plan has provided £7m to complete the £9.4m redevelopment of Oakfield off Wellington Road, only £1.3m has been allocated for implementing the rest of the strategy.
A Further Education Campus – next stage: ‘planning and design’. Project end date: end of 2028 (Education Minister Inna Gardiner)
In the minister’s delivery plan, the project is given a P6 priority, with P1 being the highest. It adds that ‘feasibility money’ will be available in 2023 ‘to create the requirements specification for a new further education campus’.
It adds: ‘This will incorporate the findings of the current campus condition survey, previous work undertaken on the requirements for a new college and clear pathways for post-16 education.’
There have been calls for the Island to have a new campus, while the idea of a Jersey campus for a UK university to improve existing provision was floated among policy proposals in the Jersey Alliance manifesto ahead of last year’s election, which saw the party decimated in the polls.
New premises for the Jersey Music Service – no next stage or end date (Infrastructure Minister Tom Binet)
Building a new home for the Mont Cantel-based Jersey Music Service has been included in numerous Government Plans. The 2022-25 edition allocated £2m last year and £2.6m this year for ‘Jersey Instrumental Music Service Premises’.
This Government Plan, however, allocates £4.8m over its four years for ‘music development’ as part of ‘upgrading the CYPES Estate’. £200,000 is budgeted for this year.
Fort Regent redevelopment – no next stage or end date (Infrastructure Minister)
Recently, Deputy Binet said that the previous government’s ‘Future Fort’ plans were ‘unfeasible’ and the new administration was ‘committed to developing an affordable and deliverable proposal for the future of Fort Regent, and to securing an appropriate mandate from the States Assembly’.
The previous Government Plan, covering 2022-25, earmarked £5m to progress with the first phase of the past Council of Ministers’ scheme – £2m this year and £3m next year.
However, this year’s plan diverted that money into moving sports such as netball from the Fort into the new Oakfield centre.
Following comments from Deputy Binet, the assistant minister with responsibility for sport, Deputy Lucy Stephenson, said previous plans relied too heavily on a casino to make the Fort sustainable and were rightly dropped.
Deputy Stephenson also vowed to bring sport back to the facility in the future, saying it provided a ‘fresh opportunity for us to get sport back on the agenda for discussions about the facility’s future’.
She confirmed that all existing sports staff would leave the centre when the new Springfield gym opens later this year.
Four projects under the remit of Deputy Ian Gorst have been put on hold in his 2023 Delivery Plan. These are: Integrated Financial and Performance Reporting; a Residency Review, and projects around Debt and Income Collection, and Long-Term Capital Planning.
Legislative changes to the Office of the Superintendent Registrar – no next stage or end date (Home Affairs Minister)
Projects on the table include:
The new Sewage Treatment Works at Bellozanne
Will be finished by the end of this year (Infrastructure Minister)
The extension to Mont à l’Abbé School
This is moving to the ‘building and construction’ phase and should be finished by the end of August (Education Minister).
New Emergency Services Control Centre
Current stage is ‘defining the programme’ with the project to be completed by the end of June 2026 (Home Affairs Minister).
Free Period Products – Community Scheme Pilot
Current stage is ‘business justification’ with the project due to be completed by the end of August (Social Security Minister Elaine Millar).
Amending the Rates (Jersey) Law 2005 to introduce a statutory basis to collect information about residential property occupancy status through the rates process
To be completed in the last quarter of this year (Housing Minister David Warr).
Decarbonising private vehicles as part of the Carbon Neutral Roadmap
The project is in the ‘planning and design’ stage with the next one being ‘delivery’. It will be completed by the end of 2025 (Infrastructure Department).
Mental Health Improvements at Orchard House
The delayed project is at the ‘building and construction’ stage with its completion due at the end of June (Health Minister Karen Wilson).
As part of their Delivery Plans, ministers have also listed their priorities for 2023.
In their own words, the P1s – their very top priorities – are:
Chief Minister Kristina Moore – Leading and co-ordinating the work of the Council of Ministers, including improving recruitment and retention, especially across health, social care and schools, and so creating a more stable workforce that is supported and can deliver good public services; supporting the Housing Minister to address the causes and effects of the housing crisis; and helping Islanders to cope with the rising cost of living.
Education Minister – Ensuring that education is shaped around children, their needs and their human rights and that children and young people are listened to at every level of the education system and where possible their views are taken into account.
Economic Development Minister Kirsten Morel – Building on the ‘Future Economy Vision’, we will develop a more detailed economy strategy of the need for growth and setting out the conditions needed to achieve that growth.
Infrastructure Minister – Delivering and implementing a review of the current Our Hospital project, in conjunction with ministerial colleagues, to assess the appropriateness and affordability of the current proposals.
Environment Minister – Delivering the first phase of the Carbon Neutral Roadmap, including a focus on the decarbonisation of heating buildings and road transport through a ‘just transition’.
External Relations Minister Philip Ozouf – Proactive and extensive programme of engagement with the UK, EU and global stakeholders across full range of policy portfolios as outlined within the Common Policy on External Relations.
Health Minister – Establishing, by the end of March, an independent board, consisting of experts in health and social care practice, leadership and governance, who will collectively:
• Provide stewardship to Health and Community Services placing a greater emphasis on the relationship between governance and quality of care.
• Oversee the delivery of high-quality and safe outcomes for patients and users of HCS’s services ensuring they are good value for the taxpayer and comply with statutory duties.
• Hold HCS to account for the delivery of safe, effective and patient-centred care.
• Reform HCS’s internal care governance structures, ensuring evidence-based standards for governing the quality and safety of healthcare are embedded in clinical practice and the organisational systems and processes that drive quality, safety, learning and continuous improvement.
• Create the conditions which champion development of a healthy and a positive working culture in which HCS staff feel they are valued team members working together to meet patients’ needs and that they are free to speak up about any concerns they have.
• Promote greater integration between HCS and the health and social care system.lInvolve patients and the public in the drive for improving quality and performance.
• Oversee and account for the performance of the service and publish audit and information, data and evidence necessary to understanding and driving up standards of care.
• Oversee delivery of the improvement framework developed in response to the Mascie-Taylor report.
Home Affairs Minister – Invest in the Ambulance Service, and Fire and Rescue Service to address pressing issues in relation to demand and capacity, risk and compliance with modern professional standards.
Housing Minister – Continuing to model open and accessible political leadership with respect to the housing crisis, listening to learn from Islanders about the challenges they face and their hopes for the future.
International Development Minister Carolyn Labey – Implementing the 15 specific objectives of the Strategic Plan (published 2022) for Jersey Overseas Aid, and develop detailed, sector-specific strategies for conservation livelihoods and financial inclusion, as have been produced for dairy.
Social Security Minister – Revising the community cost bonus scheme in 2023.
Treasury Minister – Ensuring that there are sufficient resources and effective processes in place within Revenue Jersey and the Finance Hub (including answering telephone calls within 8.5 minutes and responding to written requests for help via a suite of online forms within five working days).