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St Pier attacks Assembly over seafront ideas delay

News | Published:

THE Assembly has been blasted for showing a ‘pathetic lack of understanding’ and being ‘backward thinking’ for not supporting plans to speed up the east coast seafront redevelopment.

Deputy Gavin St Pier. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 28621780)

Policy & Resources wanted to set up a new corporation to oversee the plans and cut through States bureaucracy.

However, the majority of deputies voted instead that an ‘investigation and advisory committee’ should be established.

It means that the vision to re-define the coast as a place for a boutique hotel, seafront cafes, modern marinas, marine-based renewable energy, bike paths and art works, will be subjected to the usual States procedures.

The project was a lynchpin of the ‘revive and thrive’ strategy, and the island’s most senior politician, Deputy Gavin St Pier, did not hold back on his views on how the Assembly had collectively acted.

‘We have failed to do the one thing, the one thing, that the commercial property forum asked us to do, which was to show good intent. We’ve shown, by failing to consider the amendment, frankly a pathetic lack of understanding of the scale and complexity and ambition of this project which does require a development and regeneration corporation.

‘It shows a lack of confidence in this Assembly’s ability to scrutinise and control and set the policy for a project of this scale and its normal ambition to micromanage projects of this nature. So it’s more of the same and it’s extraordinarily disappointing.’

Deputy St Pier added that he was ‘incredulous’ that the States had declined to even debate the idea of a corporation body, and he said it showed a ‘rigid determination’ to move at normal States speed rather than the new Covid speed.

Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen took umbrage at Deputy St Pier’s words.

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‘The chief minister has enjoyed a lot of support from this Assembly, and to be repaid again and again with accusations of being arthritic, pathetic and not understanding, I think is rather mean and patronising.

‘We need an olive branch for the rest of the Assembly so that we may leave this term on an amicable basis, but so far, with divisive comments from our chief minister I think that this term is going to end on a sour note.’

Deputy Neil Inder commented that the seafront enhancement area steering group, established in 2017, had not even agreed on where to put some flowerpots.

In summing up, Deputy Lyndon Trott sounded frustrated with the Assembly’s decisions.

He said it was the perfect time to be planning major infrastructure projects, and he recalled similar resistance to the QE2 marina.

‘That’s what success looks like, if you get infrastructure right.’

Helen Bowditch

By Helen Bowditch
News reporter

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