Behind-the-scenes of a Jersey Cold War bunker

A German Bunker that could have played a pivotal role during the Cold War has been opened to some members of the public in Jersey.

The bunker which is situated at Springfield, was built by German forces during The Occupation.

It was reused in 1979 to make sure Jersey could be connected to the outside world if nuclear war broke out between the USA and the Soviet Union.

Jersey Heritage has decided to give a limited number of tours of the bunker to show how it was modified to protect people from a new type of threat.

People will be able to see how it was equipped with blast-proof doors, emergency rations, protective clothing and radiation equipment.

ITV Channel’s Annie Knowlson has been to have a look round and see what life would have been like in the event of a catastrophic attack.

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Shakespeare's Globe Theatre Company in Guernsey

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre Company is in Guernsey as part of their 2019 tour.

They are stopping off at St James Concert Hall from 17-20 July and will feature three of the Bard’s famous plays: A Comedy of Errors, Pericles and Twelfth Night.

The performances on 17, 18 and 19 July will see the company perform to a seated audience.

On Saturday evening, St James’ concert Hall will become much more like the Globe Theatre in London with a standing audience.

The play performed on the final night will be selected by public vote, decided by those in the audience who can shout the loudest.

The world renowned touring company will perform with an international cast with the three plays exploring the themes of refuge and displacement.

Sanne fined £381,000 by Jersey Financial Services Commission

A finance company in Jersey has been fined £381,000 by the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) for breaking its Code of Practice.

According to the Commission, Sanne Fiduciary Services Limited (SFSL) failed to ‘organise and control its affairs effectively for the proper performance of its business activities.’

It is the first time the JFCS has issued a civil financial penalty against a regulated business for breaking its Code of Practice.

There have been ongoing compliance issues with the company since 2014 but it did offer a remediation plan to the JFSC a year later.

That lead Sanne to conduct its own internal audit to review how well the plan was being put in place.

The resulting report from that in July 2017, identified a number of problems in compliance monitoring, planning and timely risk escalation.

It also said that staff training, particularly in relation to anti-money laundering, was needed as well as greater awareness of risk and the importance of record keeping.

The penalty would have been significantly greater had it not been for the work of SFSL’s current compliance function, highlighting areas for improvement, and the proactive approach of SFSL’s Board and senior management team in promptly acknowledging the shortcomings and making the necessary changes to the business.

– The penalty would have been significantly greater had it not been for the work of SFSL’s current compliance function, highlighting areas for

In response to the fine, the company have put a comprehensive learning and development strategy in place for its staff.

Click here for the full public statement from the Jersey Financial Services Commission.

Consultant Reports To Be Released

The government will have to publish reports every six months on its use of consultants who are paid £20,000 or more.

The information, broken down by department, will include:

  • The projects/engagements they have been working on
  • A description of what they’re here to do
  • The cost of bringing the consultant here
  • The final cost after the consultant’s work is completed
  • The daily or monthly rate and total cost
  • Confirmation of whether they were employed following a tender process or quote-selection process
  • Confirmation of whether an assessment has taken place on why they’re needed and how successful they’ve been.
  • A date on when the consultant’s work is due to end
  • Confirmation on whether the contract has been, or is expected to be, extended
  • The title of the officer responsible for hiring the consultant

Deputy Kirsten Morel  – who pushed for the regular data – says more clarity is important.

“Whether the Government of Jersey likes it or not, the tax-paying public is concerned that consultants are being appointed without appropriate process, without fair comparison with similarly competent islanders or island-based businesses and without the government having a true understanding of whether it is getting best value for the taxes that we all pay from our incomes and spending.”

He originally wanted details on all employed or engaged with contracts of £1,000 or greater, but the Chief Minister lodged an amendment to have the spend increased to £25,000.

Deputy Morel then lodged a compromise of £20,000 – which was unanimously supported.

There’s been heavy criticism of the large sums of money paid to consultants, amid the long-running row over public sector pay and the amount written off in trying to build a new hospital.

Senator John Le Fondre passionately defended the use of consultants, arguing that they will help the government to save money in the long-run as part of the overhaul of the public sector.

More from Jersey News

Income Support To Rise

Families on Income Support are due to get an extra £260 a year from October, after the States Assembly approved a proposition from the Social Security Minister.

Politicians agreed to increase the family supplement and boost other components of the benefit by up to 1.9%, including the income disregard, which is the amount a household can earn without it affecting their financial support.

It means workers and pensioners will be able to keep more of the money they earn.

Deputy Judy Martin hopes this will have a wide-ranging impact.

“We have £2.6 million to spend. I want to help everybody – children, people working and increasing all components.”

Deputy Geoff Southern’s attempts for a lower rise to the supplement (£2 a week instead of £5), to scrap the income disregard and boost other components by up to 3% were thrown out.

He argued that the Minister’s proposition failed to protect the worst off from falling further into relative poverty, but his amendment was defeated by 40 votes to 9.

Fellow Reform member Deputy Montfort Tadier reacted badly to the defeat.

“What we’ve done, we’ve had the opportunity to say that those who are worst off in our society and who in many cases can’t work will be treated differently and will be penalised financially. There’s no point shaking heads, that’s exactly what we’ve voted for.

“We’ve created an extra level of two tiers at the very bottom of our society. This is the kind of (States) assembly that we have.”

That prompted this response from Deputy Kirsten Morel, who was one of the members to support Deputy Southern’s amendment.

“There was no right answer and to try and characterise people here as being against equality or for equality is just wrong.”

The other components to go up include adult, household, child component (second and subsequent), carer, personal care, clinical cost, mobility and accommodation (owners and private sector rental). The single parent component will remain the same.

The regulations will now be processed over the summer, in order for them to be implemented before 1st October 2019.

More setbacks for Victor Hugo Centre in Guernsey

Plans to create a Victor Hugo Centre in Guernsey have had another setback.

The Cornet Street location was initially allocated by the Economic Development Committee as a location to develop a centre to celebrate the famous French author.

However, it is now understood that the States’ Trading Supervisory Board (STSB) has agreed to sell the building.

Politician, Deputy Charles Parkinson, who is part of the campaign to establish the tourist attraction has said he is “furious” about it.

I am furious that the STSB, who knew full well of our interest in this site, did not have the courtesy to consult with us before entering into these negotiations.

Our connection with Victor Hugo, a global literary icon, is one that could be incredibly helpful in putting Guernsey on the map and boosting our tourism industry.

It would be extremely important in the French market, but Les Miserables is the world’s most popular musical, and most people have heard of the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

– Deputy Charles Parkinson, President: Committee for Economic Development

Deputy Parkinson has submitted some questions to the STSB to ask if the wider economic benefits of having a Victor Hugo centre in Guernsey were considered, and if there were any other States-owned properties in the vicinity of Hauteville House that would be suitable for the project.

These are to be answered in the States this week.

Guernsey States says the contracts on the property deal have not yet been signed.

Earlier this year, a plan to turn the Guernsey Information Centre into a Victor Hugo interpretation centre was rejected by the Seafront Steering Group.

A panel says companies should not be forced to publish gender pay gap in Jersey

A year long investigation into the Gender Pay Gap in Jersey has revealed there are pay differences between male and female employees carrying out comparable jobs.

Unlike the UK, there is currently no requirement for employers in the island to report any pay differences, and the panel does not recommend one is introduced.

Instead it has a number of recommendations to change the culture in Jersey’s business and economy.

It says there should be a Gender Pay Gap Report published once a year, starting in 2020.

It has identified the following factors which are believed to contribute to the current gender pay gap in the island:

The report suggests statistical evidence is required in order to assess the extent of the pay gap in Jersey’s economy.

The Government of Jersey should lead the way on this because it will give us the opportunity to investigate where the issues are and what they mean.

We have made a number of recommendations which focus on creating that cultural shift needed to remove the barriers to women progressing in their careers. We believe that the public sector should set an example to all employers in Jersey in order to shift the balance more equally across the workforce.

If we see that the Government of Jersey is not taking the necessary steps to close the gender pay gap, we will explore the possibility of introducing statutory measures to initiate the change required.

– Deputy Louise Doublet, The Chair of the Panel

In Guernsey there are calls for the government to force companies to publish their gender pay gaps.

Islanders in Jersey will meet to discuss the Island Plan

Islanders will be able to have their say on Jersey’s future at a meeting this evening.

The Island Plan Public Interest Panel will host the meeting where members of the public will have the opportunity to hear from professionals.

Rob Duhamel, the former Planning Minister, and Chris McCarthy, an International Architect, will give talks and presentations.

People will be able to ask questions and share their views relating to the 2021 – 2030 Island Plan.

The forum will take place at the Town Hall from 6pm.

Teen Rescued Off Rocks

Jersey Fire & Rescue assisted in the rescue of a teenage boy who had injured his leg on rocks east of Greve de Lecq.

RNLI lifeguards made contact with the teenager.

Information as to his exact location and nature of his injuries was exchanged and the FRS Inshore Rescue Boat was launched.

Throughout the incident the RNLI St Catherine’s life boat was on scene standing by in the event any further assistance was required.