Graham Bisson - Pour ou Contre

17th November 2022

I will always remember Tuesday 17th November 2020 as the day when the States of Jersey made the worst decision it has ever made since the end of the Occupation.

I want to thank Senators Moore and Pallett, Deputies Perchard, Luce, Higgins, and Constable Le Maistre for having the courage to stand up and vote for what I and many people believe was the right decision.

The Future Hospital Review Panel chaired by Senator Moore, produced a good report with an excellent amendment. When it came to voting on the proposition, only Senator Moore voted against it, and the rest of her Panel, Senator Ferguson, Constable Jackson, Deputies Le Hegarat, Morel, and Ward all voted for the Proposition.

That is just unbelievable.

The Assembly was not faced with a Site Selection. By virtue of its definition, a selection is something with more than one option. They were faced with an orchestrated “Fait a Compli, Pour ou Contre.”

To all those who voted for Overdale with its many problems and no fixed cost, except with a starting figure of £804m, please remember that the electorate are not fools and many have very good memories. I for one will find it very difficult to vote again for anybody who voted “Pour.”

We have got two viable options, St Saviours Hospital and Warwick Farm. All we ever wanted was to have them assessed and costed on an equal footing with Overdale and brought to the Assembly for a final debate. That would have been democratic.

I did listen to the whole debate but was not impressed with the speeches made by Senator Farnham, Constable Crowcroft and Deputy Lewis. The amount of hot air talking about cycling and pedestrians was unbelievable.

One would think that the focus of the debate should have been on delivering a hospital at the correct location where accessibility was available to everyone that needed treatment. Unless the Hospital is built in town, the amount of people who will walk to it is insignificant, especially if it is built on the top of a hill overlooking the town.

We no longer live in the horse and cart era when our existing Hospital was built. We live in the motorcar era when most families have several cars, with family members and friends able to take people to Hospital or visiting people in Hospital. So the authorities had better get used to the idea that the motorcar is not going to disappear or diminish in popularity and although the idea of walking and cycling in theory is a great idea, in practice it’s a non starter. I am sure that when Hospitals are built elsewhere the Anonymous Citizens Panel’s criteria number 15. Can the site be accessed by dedicated cycle routes? does not apply.

Tuesday 17th November 2020 will be remembered by many as black Tuesday. 

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