Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Redundacy packages of £300,000 and £500,000 for two senior civil servants

Today a scrutiny panel of the States of Jersey revealed that two departing senior civil servants had received pay-offs of £300,000 and half a million pounds respectively. One of those was Mr Bill Ogley, the former Chief Officer.  Mr Ogley is believed to be leaving the island by the end of the week, in advance of the official date of termination of his contract.

At a time of Austerity, when government cuts will inevitably lead to loss of jobs, be they teachers or gardeners, one cannot but feel a sense of shock that such a large sum of money is paid as a redundancy package to senior civil servants, knowing full well that the teachers and gardeners will only receive enough to see them through a few months of mortgage and bills, before poverty looms. It is this sense of indignation that fuels so much current public disquiet about the conduct of affairs at senior levels of government. There is an immediate sense of injustice that cries out. 

The former Woolworths workers may well ponder why the Council of Ministers was so reluctant to make a one off redundancy payment to them, having failed to bring forward redundancy legislation. Perhaps this underlines the old adage that "its one rule for them and another for us". Inequalities are rife.

At a lunchtime meeting I mentioned these facts to my host. I expected an immediate gasp of incredulity. In fact, he remained totally calm and said to me “Mr Ogley; only five hundred thousand; I would have expected more!”.  It seems that at least one member of the Public is never surprised by the conduct of Jersey government.

The figures were preferred by Senator Jim Perchard whilst cross examining the Chief Minister at a corporate services scrutiny panel quarterly meeting with Senator Terry Le Sueur. That they were not immediately contradicted or challenged by the Chief Minister, suggests that the figures are accurate.

The Jersey Evening Post had sent a reporter to attend the meeting, no doubt in the expectation of some sort of revelatory tit-bit. The reporter was not disappointed - expect front page headlines of indignation.

What is less likely to catch the headlines, but is nevertheless noteworthy, was the aside by the Chief Minister that there might be a “..cessation of a need for a Housing Department.”. These cryptic, yet ominous words were a little revelation in themselves as to the way government leaders are thinking.

It has been remarked that a crisis is too good an opportunity to be missed. In fact the government elite is pursuing an ideological agenda to radically prune, if not abolish, the welfare state, through a process of privatization and increased charges to the consumer. Put simply, patients will be paying for their bandages and the fireman will not turn on his hose until he has taken a credit card. My next blog will examine this change in policy and its implication for islanders.

Monday, 9 May 2011


October 2011 is election time again in Jersey, but this year can be different. For the first time ever there will be a general election. This means that most government seats, all over the Island, will be contested.
Make no mistake – this means that change can be achieved.

All your Deputies, Constables and some Senators, must face the voters and that means YOU are especially important this year. YOU will have just one day and one opportunity to choose your government for the next four years. YOU can help to make history and change things for the better, for yourself and your family.

My name is NICK LE CORNU and I will be standing for election in St. Helier - DISTRICT ONE. I care greatly about the island and this district, in which I live. Indeed, in many ways the area we live in is the most important part of our whole Island. It contains the Waterfront, the docks, the business centre; the many shops, restaurants, entertainment facilities, which make St Helier a vibrant place for tourists and locals alike. It also contains the workshops, warehouses, government offices, hospitals, hotels and thousands of homes where YOU and I live.

DISTRICT ONE is the most vibrant part of Jersey and it can be a great place to be. I know. I live here and appreciate how good life can be in the district. But, I also know that the never ceasing traffic, noise, car parking problems and crime, spoil things for many of us.

Social Issues in District No.1:

There is a desperate shortage of decent, affordable housing accommodation in Jersey and there is a need to house the current population properly and adequately. However, this will not happen unless we challenge the root causes of high house prices, namely the profit of developers and the high rents charged by some unscrupulous landlords.

The Government’s decision to grow the population by 30,000 over the next 30 years will only make the housing problem worse – putting even more strain on the infrastructure of the district (and the island). 
I will continue to oppose moves to significantly increase the population and fight for mechanisms to ensure ordinary residents can afford to live in adequate accommodation, without having to pay a premium.

Too many ‘anti-social’ facilities finish up here - such as the incinerator, waste dumps, fuel farm, heavy industrial activities and workshops, the abattoir, car and commercial vehicle parks – which other Parishes don’t want, yet  it is we who pay the price -we shoulder the social burden of facilities for commuters and residents of the affluent country parishes.

The way we are taxed has changed remarkably over the past decade, with the tax burden falling increasing on wage and salary earners and less on corporations. 2008 saw the introduction of GST. This June, it is set to increase, despite promises in the past from the Treasury Minister to the contrary.

In 2000, companies generated 52% of the overall revenue and personal tax - 42%. In 2011, it is estimated that only 12% of revenues will come from companies, compared to 84% from personal taxation (including GST).

This move to fund the public services we all enjoy has not happened by chance. It is a conscious policy being pursued by senior politicians intent on shifting the tax burden from wealthy businesses to ordinary workers.

Consequently, the cost of living for the majority of islanders has increased, without any corresponding increase in wages.

The result? – A reduction in the quality of life for the majority of residents.

In order to reverse this trend, it is important that we elect candidates to the States Assembly who are politically and economically literate and who will challenge this policy and stand up for the interests of ordinary residents and workers.


The elections will be held on Wednesday 19th October 2011.

From the age of 16, you are entitled to vote in Jersey, whether or not you were born or brought up here. It does not matter what nationality you are, you just need to have lived in Jersey for 2 years or more. If you are 16 on, or before, 5th September 2011 you can get your name put on the electoral register.

To vote, make sure you are registered well in advance. To get your name on the St Helier electoral register, fill out a voter registration form available from me, the Town Hall or on line ( [application forms]), and return it to the Town Hall before 5th September.

The election will be held on Wednesday 19th October 2011. The polling station for District No1 will be the Town Hall. It will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Bring photo identification.

If you know you are going to be out of the island or not free on 19th October, you can get a postal vote. Alternatively, vote in person, using a pre-poll vote, by attending the Judicial Greffe office (Tel 441300), States Building, Royal Square, during the six week period between the nomination of Deputies, on 7th September, and election day. 

If you are sick on election day, call the Town Hall and they will send someone to take your vote.

I am a Jerseyman and I live in Havre des Pas, with a great view of the Swimming Pool, and the less great smell of the incinerator! I have been politically active for many years, having campaigned in the past on many issues ranging from women’s rights to environmental issues (two issues which still need addressing today).

More recently, I was involved in helping the Woolworth’s workers who lost their jobs in December 2008.  I worked successfully with others to get the States to adopt redundancy legislation to protect workers in the future.

In 2008, I successfully campaigned to make wheel-clamping illegal.

I am also a founding member of the pressure group Time4Change and I work closely with co-founder Deputy Montfort Tadier to promote greater political awareness in the island and campaign on issues such as anti-discrimination, child welfare, workers’ rights, fair taxation and greater governmental transparency.

Since 2008, I have helped organise several public meetings to discuss Political Reform and GST. I will continue to campaign on these and other issues into the future.

I am also a Secretary for the Jersey Human Rights Group, which was formed last year and is chaired by Deputy Bob Hill.

I am a lawyer by profession and have many years experience working in London and locally in the finance industry.