15th November 2020
AN OPINION - BY NEVILLE BENBOW
15th November 2020
Dear Connétable, Senator and Deputy
I write in relation to the above key propositions that come before the States Assembly on 17 November 2020.
For a number of years, I have watched with incredulity and a sense of disbelief at the manner in which the new Hospital project has been undertaken and the magnitude of the costs that have been wasted as the project has lurched from one inept decision to another.
That a new hospital, or at least an improved primary healthcare provision, is needed, is not in doubt. However, it is evident that little has been learned from the mistakes of the past, as evidenced by the site selection that is now being advanced and the extraordinarily complex and destructive access route for that site that is being proposed.
As the Future Hospital Review Panel has now confirmed, the selection process for the new hospital was flawed, with a number of highly suitable sites being inexplicably overlooked. This finding alone is of sufficient gravity to stop the project in its tracks, with the site selection going back to the drawing board.
Having discounted potentially suitable locations, which could be delivered quicker and at lower cost, the ‘short list’ was limited to People’s Park and Overdale. However, given that People’s Park had already been discounted by the States Assembly, it was no surprise that Overdale miraculously became the site of choice.
As a consequence, I urge you to vote against P.123.
If P.123 is defeated and Overdale is not selected, P.129 consequently falls away.
However, if the States Assembly selects Overdale as the site for the new hospital, further consideration needs to be given to the proposals for the acquisition of land at Overdale, as detailed in P.129.
As proposed, the proposition spectacularly fails to analyse the impact of the proposed access route on the environment and on local residents.
Before supporting this proposition, States members should understand these impacts, which include the following:
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