It is getting harder and harder to park and too often the States and the Parish resort to the stick rather than the carrot. We should use space for small car parks like the one at First Tower so that there is less pressure. We should also recognise that visitor parking is a vital amenity – especially for the elderly and vulnerable. The first step in this is to tighten our planning regulations – every time that a new residential unit is agreed without parking, it gets a little bit harder for everyone.
Cost of living
Life is getting more and more expensive for more and more of us. We don’t need a review or another report – we need to remove GST from food as a first step, and then to look at what more can be done. The utilities should be praised for keeping price increases low, but given that they are all entirely or majority States-owned, they should be limited by statute to the RPI for any price increases.
The failure by the States to deal with this issue makes us a laughing stock. We have nothing to show for an estimated 38 million pounds worth of expenditure. The priorities should be a) to find a site, b) to build the hospital and c) to establish who is accountable for this expensive failure. It is not good enough to talk about “lessons being learned” – this is wasted money that could have been spent on our schools, on sustainable homes, or taken from our tax bills entirely.
We are making progress, and I hope that initiatives like Beresford Street Kitchen are changing, in a subtle and slow way, how we as a society feel about disability. I still feel a stigma, but less so than I would have done many years ago. Technology is having an impact here, but ultimately this is about hearts and minds. I hope that by standing, I am helping to show that disabled people can play a full role in our society.
We all know that the population is too high, and that ministers have ignored this problem because they don’t want to face the facts. Of course we need people to come in and do jobs, and of course we benefit from having different people from different countries here. But the numbers are just too high. We need a return to sensible controls – and that means a cap on the number of people who can enter Jersey to live and work.
It is appalling that the Attorney General declined to prosecute politicians for breaking the law over election expenses, and I have no sympathy with those who failed to follow the rules. Politicians should be held to the same rules as all of us – and the idea that they are excused breaking the law is another reason why they are held in such low regard. I do not believe that politicians should be involved in decisions about prosecutions (especially not where those decisions concern other politicians) but a clear message should be sent to the Attorney General that politicians should get no favours,