COMMENT: Why was pizza takeaway allowed in that location?

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IT’S sometimes said about the Big House that its Members and their hired help occupy a few square yards surrounded by the reality of the real world and rarely has that been more apparent than in the case of the pizza place that’s opened recently in St Saviour’s Road.

After all, even a simple country boy like me, with O-levels in metalwork and embroidery and a third-prize certificate for raffia work, has enough up top keeping his ears apart to realise that allowing a takeaway outlet which is extremely popular elsewhere in the British Isles – and further afield, perhaps, for all I know – was going to cause parking and general traffic problems on such a major, relatively narrow and extremely busy thoroughfare.

It’s not rocket science, although to the States police and the Infrastructure Department – both of which have more than a passing interest in breaches of the law in the case of the police and keeping traffic moving in the case of
the latter – you’d think someone had locked their upper echelons in a room, tied their hands behind their collective back and blindfolded them, and told them they couldn’t emerge until they’d put together a nuclear reactor with
their teeth.

I find it quite extraordinary that neither entity saw the need to comment on the takeaway’s location, despite it being blindingly obvious – well, at least to anyone brighter than a moron in a hurry – that parking in the road and on the footpath was going to be a problem.

Still, the occupants of the new Kremlin (a descriptive phrase coined not by this bolshie little crapaud but by one of the boys and girls in blue) can at least put their minds to creating yet another specialist investigative unit – last week’s was something to do with desktop crime – and Eddie Noel’s minions can reflect on their successful operation to turn the Rue des Prés trading estate into a weekend ghost town while managing to make parking for the residents of housing estates all over the Island even more difficult because of the proliferation of white vans and other commercial vehicles.

While the parish of St Helier did at least forecast the problems that inevitably were going to be caused, they haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory by not slapping parking tickets on cars parked illegally. Nothing concentrates the mind more than being punished for offences and lightening wallets by a few quid when parking is available a few hundred yards away does concentrate the mind, that’s for sure.

NOT that anyone is holding their breath – a crescendo of indifference might be a better description – but I get the impression that it might well be closer to Easter than Christmas before the fact that we have the opportunity to elect a new Big House in about six months really starts to take hold.

Mind you, the public can be forgiven for that indifference on a number of counts, not least the abysmal image many people have of more than a few of the current occupants of the Big House, and the fact that those who tread the corridors of power seem unable or unwilling to do anything but try (not always successfully) to manage crisis after crisis.

Yet despite that perception of indifference, the subject of what may happen in May next year did raise its important head when the thinkers and drinkers met down at the pub last week. There were eight of us and the principal topic was the criticism of those (perhaps fortunate) elected representatives who didn’t fight an election last time round because they were elected unopposed.

Invariably, this leads to claims that somehow these States Members have not been elected – an absolute nonsense, in my view, simply because going through the nomination process and not knowing for certain until the statutory 20 minutes allowed for public nominations has elapsed that one is, in fact, unopposed, means to me that all candidates are quite prepared to fight an election.

So, it really is a bit unfair to blame unopposed candidates for the fact that no one had the bottle to get together a nomination paper’s signatories and
stand themselves. Among those I criticise are those who keep bleating in the comment sections of the online JEP that somehow or other certain States Members are ‘unelected’.

AND finally…It’s comforting to know that Ian Gorst’s hand is being tightly held by a spin doctor – at £875 a day.

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