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Summary

  1. Bailiff role debate under way
  2. Man tasered by police in St Helier
  3. Vulnerable children's service in Guernsey criticised
  4. St Helier lifeboat dispute: States 'want to help find a solution'
  5. Union calls for local jobs on ferry route
  6. Papers boat makes trawler rescue
  7. Live updates on Wednesday 15 November 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the islands

Rob Byrne

BBC News Online

Our coverage across the Channel Islands has finished for today.

We'll be back on Thursday from 08:00 with the latest news, weather, travel and sport.

Don't forget BBC Channel Islands News on BBC One at 18:30 and 22:30.

Islands' political differences date back to medieval origins

Rob England

BBC News Online

Following the Paradise Papers leaks, which revealed the company Apple asked a law firm whether there were "credible opposition parties" in the Crown Dependencies, the BBC approached a politics expert to find out why the islands operate in a different way to the UK Parliament.

Dr Adrian Lee, an expert on the politics of smaller island nations and former professor at Plymouth University, said the differences between the UK and the Crown Dependencies could be put down to a "strong sense of identity" passed down from the medieval "survivor state" origins of each government.

The States of Jersey and Guernsey claim political heritage from the feudal system of the Normans, whereas the Isle of Man traces the origins of its parliament, the Tynwald, back to the Vikings.

Dr Lee said the islands also lack the "colonial administration" seen in the British Overseas Territories such as Bermuda and Gibraltar, which gave those countries clearer lines for "divided political thought" based on ethnic and cultural differences.

Bailiff debate: Referendum could be held

Chris Rayner

BBC Radio Jersey Political Reporter

In a debate which has taken up the majority of the States sitting in Jersey today, politicians have agreed a proposition to put the decision on whether to move to an elected speaker in the States Assembly to the public.

This means members will have to approve a referendum and then hold one in May on polling day in the General Election, but only if the States agrees in principle to start preparing the change to an elected speaker.

Tomorrow States members could vote down the entire debate, which would annul the need for a referendum.

Guernsey's economy: Are you feeling the pinch?

Rob Byrne

BBC News Online

As the branch of Guernsey's government responsible for economic performance launches its future roadmap for "investment, growth and high value employment" it has provided this frank assessment of the current situation.

Over recent years the Guernsey economy has, at best, appeared to tread water. GDP has only grown by 0.47% in total over the last three years for which full year information is available (subject to potentially significant revision), real median wages have recently fallen, construction is at an historically low level, and all anecdotal evidence is that business confidence remains low. In addition, the States investment in infrastructure has consistently been below international norms and the Island has to address the instability posed by Brexit to its international relationships and customer base."

Guernsey Economic VisionCommittee for Economic Development

Spotted on the tube

If you're travelling on London's underground you might spot one of these, an advert for an exhibition created by historian Dr Gilly Carr, which runs until 9 February at the Wiener Library in London.

The exhibition tells the stories of islanders held at a range of Nazi concentration, forced labour and internment camps.

Channel Islands exhibition advert on the London Underground
Dr Gilly Carr

Home minister 'very concerned' by children's service report

BBC Radio Guernsey

Deputy Mary Lowe says she'll act on the findings of a critical Ofsted report.

It recommended the island's Family Proceedings Advisory Service takes action in a number of areas including a lack of management, poor staff morale, and delays in helping children and their families during the legal process.

We're very concerned, because it is unfair to keep children waiting as part of the court process. They have to be dealt with as speedily as possible."

Deputy Mary LoweHome Affairs Minister

Aurigny staff given bodycams as a 'deterrent'

Aurigny has introduced two bodycams for its duty managers at Guernsey Airport in a bid to address the "extremely rare instances of unacceptable behaviour".

Dave Cox, ground operations manager for the States-owned airline, said they were only used if a passenger was "becoming disruptive and they acted as a great deterrent".

As a community airline, a vast majority of our passengers are very friendly, polite, respectful, and often know our staff personally. However, like with all carriers, you may occasionally encounter individuals who can be rude, and abusive to staff.

These cameras, more than anything are used as a deterrent. The person involved will be informed that the incident is being recorded and this is really effective at diffusing the situation.

We appreciate that travelling can be stressful, but it is important that any frustrations are not taken out on staff who are always trying to do their best for customers."

Dave CoxAurigny's ground operations manager

The story of the bodycams has been reported by the New York Times, which reports that other airlines are expected to follow suit.

Weather update: Cloudy with some patchy rain

BBC Weather

It will remain largely cloudy with hill fog likely in places overnight.

It is going to be dry for many, but some patchy rain will develop later in the night.

Jersey:

Jersey weather forecast
BBC

Guernsey:

Guernsey weather forecast
BBC

Guernsey Electricity pension deficit rises to £40.7m

Ben Chapple

BBC News Online

The firm has introduced a new pension scheme for new joiners in a bid to avoid the current scheme becoming "unaffordable".

In a statement the government-owned company said the deficit rose from £26.1m for the year ending March 2016 to £40.7m for the year ending March 2017.

It blames the increases on the uncertainties caused by Brexit, the UK's exit from the European Union, and predicted rises in life expectancy.

Discussions about the future of the current scheme are ongoing.

We explored options to mitigate the risk of any unacceptable impact on the affordability of electricity prices, as well as assessing the balance between employee benefits against the cost to the business.

By acting now, we reduce the longer term risk while preserving the benefits of members accrued to date."

Alan BatesGuernsey Electricity chief executive officer

Could a Sark customs post generate £5m-a-year?

BBC Radio Guernsey

That's the claim being made by the island's business lobby.

Sark Chamber of Commerce is making the case to the island's government for the post, which would allow visitors to come directly to the island from France, rather than via the other Channel Islands, as they do currently.

What we've talked about here is the possibility of 10,000 people staying for roughly three nights, that would generate something in the region of £2.5m. We've got food and beverage that comes out at about £2.2m, and then all the other ancillaries."

Tony Le LievrePresident, Sark Chamber of Commerce

Apple's scrutiny of politics in crown dependencies revealed

Rob England

BBC News Online

The Paradise Papers have revealed a lack of opposition parties in Britain's Crown Dependencies featured in Apple's decisions on where to hold its offshore cash.

A BBC Panorama investigation showed correspondence from March 2014 between multinational corporation Apple's legal team and the offshore law firm, Appleby.

Apple asked what benefits different offshore jurisdictions - the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Mauritius, the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey - could offer as a destination for its untaxed offshore cash.

Applby survey
BBC
The document relating to the Isle of Man was the only one to be revealed in the leak

Appleby's full response to the question "Is there a credible opposition party of movement that may replace the current government?" has been revealed.

No. Most Isle of Man politicians stand for election independently instead of as representatives of political parties; there is no viable party politics. Political parties do exist but their influence is nominal, currently four members of a representative house of 24 (House of Keys). Governments are formed immediately after an election by nominations made by the chief minister who is himself elected by the members of the House of Keys."

Appleby

The BBC approached party affiliated and independent politicians from both Jersey and Guernsey for their thoughts on whether the question - and the law firm's highlighting of the lack of political parties in the crown dependencies - reflected on the way politics is handled.

Sam Mezec, leader of Reform Jersey, said the way the island was presented by companies as having a "stable government" was "mis-selling", and the lack of periodic change due to the current system of government was "fundamentally undemocratic".

However, Constable Len Norman says the structure of the island's political systems allowed for "built-in opposition" without parties, as the government was always in the minority.

Deputy Matt Fallaize from Guernsey said although the way the States operated reduce the risk of "quick swings in one policy direction or another", this did not imply the government was not held to account, which happened in scrutiny panels and in the island's assembly chamber.

Appeal for witnesses or information relating to collision

BBC Radio Guernsey

Guernsey Police are asking for information after a collision involving a black Hyundai Getz at Les Dicqs, Vale at about 21:15 yesterday.

Officers urged anyone who may have seen the vehicle driving at speed or erratically around this time to contact PC 147 Le Page on 725111 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Independent lifeboat station: 'You'll be amazed who will help'

BBC Radio Jersey

Islanders gathered to protest against the sacking of coxswain Andy Hibbs earlier this year
BBC
Islanders gathered to protest against the sacking of coxswain Andy Hibbs earlier this year

An independent lifeboat station in Scotland says the St Helier crew would be able to run independently if it decides to leave the RNLI.

This week the Jersey crew said it wanted to leave the organisation after a row that included the sacking and the reinstatement of its coxswain.

Euan Gibson, vice chairman of the St Abbs Independent Lifeboat, says it went independent after the RNLI announced it was to close.

Mr Gibson says the local community rallied to support the Scottish fishing village's service to provide equipment and training.

"We had a doctor approach us, she is an expert in resuscitation and pre-hospital care, so she now takes on the medical care and refreshers.

"So training will take care of itself, you will be amazed at the people who come out of the woodwork to help."

Health professional died after taking mix of alcohol and drugs

Rob Byrne

BBC News Online

A registered nurse died after taking a cocktail of alcohol and prescription drugs, an inquest has heard.

Paula McDaid, 43, died on 6 September 2017 after an evening of taking drugs and drinking with her partner.

Miss McDaid was a registered mental health nurse and had previously worked for Guernsey's community drug and alcohol team.

The inquest heard how Miss McDaid had collected her partner from Guernsey's airport before spending the night drinking with him, consuming around a litre of vodka and coke collectively.

The pair also shared a diazepam tablet before going to sleep.

Miss McDaid's housemate attempted to wake her the following morning, noticing sick on the pillow next to her face. After calling an ambulance, medical staff were unable to resuscitate her on arrival. She was pronounced dead shortly after.

A post-mortem detected high levels of codeine and gabapentin, usually taken as painkillers and prescribed to Miss McDaid by her GP.

The inquest heard the cause of death was "the combination of high alcohol levels in the blood and the presence of multiple drugs that suppress the breathing centre in the brain".

A verdict of accidental death was recorded.

Vulnerable children report recommends changes

Rob Byrne

BBC News Online

A child with his head in his hands
Getty Images

A critical Ofsted report looking into the way Guernsey's family proceedings advisory service is run has made a number of recommendations for the service, which represents children and young person's interests in court.

  • Publish practice guidance for practitioners, setting out clear expectations, roles and responsibilities
  • Hire a subject specialist practice manager to oversee the work of the service
  • The client database should be replaced or upgraded
  • Take steps to avoid delays by; appointing experts only when a case cannot move forward; introducing a system of triage in private law; stop offering a service after proceedings are completed; eradicating the waiting list
  • The service's leadership team works with the children’s convener and other agencies to promote appropriate interpreting of laws and practices
  • A cross-agency forum is established with decision-making powers
  • If the States of Guernsey further inspects the service, it considers looking at how it works with health services

Doggie duel appeal

Rob Byrne

BBC News Online

Guernsey Police are appealing for information after five dogs were involved in an incident at L'Ancresse Common on Saturday.

It occurred about 14:45, when two women walking three "medium-sized" dogs encountered a couple walking three "small sized dogs", police said.

All dogs were off their leads.

Health plans 'lacking in detail'

BBC Radio Guernsey

A spokesman for the British Medical Association in Guernsey says planned changes to the Bailiwick's health system lack detail.

The Committee for Health & Social Care has set out plans to transform the health service in Guernsey and Alderney in the next ten years.

Dr Brian Parkin said: "The proposals are very aspirational, but light on serious detail.

"We're keen to fill in that detail and work cooperatively, but at the moment I don't have a complete vision on how it's actually going to work."

On Airplanes, Considering Fighting Cameras With Cameras

New York Times

Richie McBride is chief executive of Edesix Ltd., a company that produces small wearable cameras used by railway, health care and retail workers in Europe. Lately, he has turned his attention to a new and potentially sizable market: airlines.

Already, Mr. McBride has sold the devices to Aurigny, a small carrier in Guernsey serving Britain, the Channel Islands and France.

Travel: Oatlands traffic lights still being fixed

BBC Radio Guernsey

There's some good news for commuters this afternoon, Les Gigands road in St Sampson has now re-opened.

The traffic lights at the junction near Oatland are, however, still not working.

Drivers are asked to treat the junction as a filter-in-turn while engineers try to fix the lights.

Man tasered by police in St Helier

BBC Radio Jersey

Jersey police tasered a man in St Helier after he refused to hand over a knife.

It happened in Convent Court at about 23:30 on Tuesday.

A taser weapon, which gives off an electric shock, was used to stop the man hurting himself or anyone else.

The man was assessed by paramedics and is in custody.

The police have referred the case to the Jersey Police Complaints Authority, which they have to each time a taser is used.

Papers boat makes trawler rescue

Rob Byrne

BBC News Online

Channel Chieftain in rough seas
David Nuth

The boat carrying Guernsey's national newspapers made an unscheduled stop yesterday morning.

Skipper of the Channel Chieftain V David Nuth received a call at 05:15 to help a Guernsey trawler which had broken down about four miles south-east of St Martin’s Point.

Mr Nuth said it was "an instant decision" to help tow the vessel back to St Peter Port after a call went out from port control.

"There's an unwritten code of practice, if I had ignored the call then the lifeboat might have had to come out."

As a result, the national newspapers arrived 40 minutes late.

Staff new ferry route with local seafarers - union

Rob Byrne

BBC News Online

The companies tendering for the new inter-island ferry route should demonstrate they will employ Guernsey and Jersey seafarers, an industry union says.

Mark Dickinson, the general secretary for Nautilus, believes local crews would have a better knowledge of local waters and could give cover at short notice.

"The UK industry has witnessed the increasingly damaging effects of unfair competition caused by ‘lowest common denominator’ crewing policies in the ferry sector and we believe it is important to prevent globalised labour conditions in essentially domestic services.

“Setting such safeguards in the tender would enhance the economic objectives of the support and would also deliver long-term benefits for the safe and efficient operation of the services and the wider local maritime infrastructure,” he said.

Former Bailiff thinks islanders should have their say on ending traditional role

Chris Rayner

BBC Radio Jersey Political Reporter

During the discussions about whether the Bailiff's role in the States of Jersey should be replaced by an elected or appointed speaker a former Bailiff has called for islanders to decide.

Sir Philip Bailhache, now a senator in the island's government, proposed the move.

Supporter Deputy John Le Fondre said: "Surely the very point of democracy is taking account of the views of the people on important matters.

"It is clearly a matter of huge importance when one erases 700 plus years of history.

"Islanders should have a say and islanders have said they want a say on this type of matter.

"We will bring this assembly further into disrepute if we do not ask them."

But others, including the Constable of St Helier Simon Crowcroft believes it's just a move to wreck any chance of the change going ahead.

"It won't be a high turnout, people aren't concerned about this, this is a wrecking motion to try and just put it off or change it or try and affect the outcome in a different way."

British and Irish Cup to be scrapped

Brent Pilnick

BBC Sport

The British and Irish Cup will be scrapped at the end of the season after the 12 clubs from England's second tier Championship, including Jersey Reds, decided to withdraw at the end of the season.

'A' sides from the four Irish Pro 14 sides and 'Premiership Select' teams from the four Welsh regions face England's second tier teams in pool stages and subsequent knockout rounds.

Scottish sides pulled out of the event in 2014 and Championship sides tend to rest their best players in the cup.

British and Irish Cup final
Rex Features

An RFU spokesperson told BBC Sport that Championship sides were "looking into alternatives" for cup competition next season.

Clubs play at least three homes games in the tournament, with each side in a pool of four playing their opponents home and away.

The event was set up in 2009 as part of changes which saw the Championship replace the old National One as English rugby's second tier.

Munster 'A' beat Jersey 29-28 in last season's final after the island side had gone into an 18-0 lead in Ireland.

Members reject attempt to change possible referendum wording

Ryan Morrison

BBC News Online

Politicians in Jersey have rejected an attempt to change the rules of a possible referendum.

Members are debating whether the centuries old tradition of having the Bailiff as both chief judge and speaker of the States should come to an end.

Senator Sir Philip Bailhache, former Bailiff and brother of current Bailiff Sir William Bailhache, wants that decision to be taken by the people of Jersey.

Sir William Bailhache
BBC

Senator Philip Ozouf’s failed amendment would have required a majority of registered voters to vote in favour of the Bailiff remaining speaker.

Members are now voting on whether to hold a referendum or vote on changing the role themselves.

Voting under way in parish election

BBC Radio Guernsey

Polling stations in St Peter Port are open for today's parish elections.

There are two candidates vying for one position as constable, while eight are seeking election to the seven douzenier seats available.

Anyone currently on the electoral roll for the St Peter Port districts can vote.

Stations are at Beau Sejour and the Constables Office in Lefebvre Street will be open until 20:00.

Ofsted report: 'Too much delay is evident for children in Guernsey'

Rob Byrne

BBC News Online

A critical Ofsted report has recommended a service which represents vulnerable young people and children in Guernsey's courts takes steps to tackle delays in the service.

The report says children and families not getting timely help is proving "detrimental to children’s interests".

The Family Proceedings Advisory Service should take the following steps, the reports says:

  • Experts to be appointed only when the case cannot otherwise move forward
  • Introducing a system of triage in private law, including improving assessment for mediation
  • Stopping offering a service after proceedings are completed
  • Eradication of the waiting list

'This is not a revolution'

BBC Radio Jersey

Jersey's most senior politician Ian Gorst has said it's time for the dual role of the Bailiff in the island to change.

Whatever the result of this debate today it will not go away. We must continue to reform and enhance our public institutions so that they meet democratically international standards, so that they work and perform for the benefit for the whole of our community. This is not a revolution, this is meeting current standards today and into the future."

Ian GorstJersey's Chief Minister

Decline in electricity use during 2016/2017

Ben Chapple

BBC News Online

There was a 2.6% drop in electricity usage in Guernsey between April 2016 and the end of March 2017 compared to the previous 12 months.

The mild winter and a decline in use during the summer months saw a £1.3m fall in supply sales by Guernsey Electricity.

Alan Bates, chief executive officer, said: "2016 was again one of the mildest years on record.

"There were no particularly cold spells and the winter was once again very warm, although slightly colder than the previous winter."

Bailiff role debate begins

BBC Radio Jersey

Jersey's States chamber
BBC

Jersey's States has begun debating whether to end the Bailiff's historic role in the assembly.

Politicians are considering whether to have an elected or appointed speaker instead of the Bailiff, who is also chief judge.

There's a challenge from a former Bailiff who wants the public to vote in a referendum.

Poorly gannet back in the wild

Mist the gannet
GSPCA

An unwell and weak seabird has been nursed back to health after being rescued by conservationists.

The GSPCA says the gannet, named Mist, was fed and rehabilitated over a number of weeks after being found in late September on Lihou island.

GSPCA manager Steve Byrne said they see more than 1,000 sick and injured birds every year, but relatively few gannets.

When they do, the animals are "often extremely weak or even caught in fishing waste or plastic rubbish,” he said.

Mist was recently released back into the wild.

Travel: Les Gigands traffic lights off

BBC Radio Guernsey

The traffic lights near Oatlands at the junction of Les Gigands and Grand Fort Road are currently off after one was damaged in a crash.

Signs are requesting drivers treat the junction as a filter-in-turn.

An update on the repairs is expected later today.

Rugby fan’s visit ends in the cells

Jersey Evening Post

The managing director of an engineering business who came to watch a rugby match between Jersey Reds and London Scottish spent the weekend in custody after he punched a nightclub doorman.

Vulnerable children's service criticised

Rob Byrne

BBC News Online

A service representing vulnerable children and young people in Guernsey has been criticised in an Oftsed report.

Guernsey's Family Proceedings Advisory Service represent children and young people's interests in court proceedings. The report praises the work of dedicated staff "who are unafraid to be the lone voice for children" but criticises the way the service is managed.

"Too much delay is evident for children in Guernsey," the report says, highlighting a lack of planning when taking on new cases, staff spending too much time in court, and young people waiting for assessment for too long.

Demands on staff and management changes have also contributed to delays for children and families who need help, the report says, recommending a specialist practice manager appointed by the Home Affairs Committee to oversee the work of advisors.

The committee responsible for the service is yet to comment on the report.

Police exercise on west coast

'Investment, growth and high value employment'

BBC Radio Guernsey

Plans for Guernsey's economy have been released by a government committee.

The economic development committee looks to improve seven key areas including transport links, digital connectivity and the island's non-finance economy.

Committee president Deputy Peter Ferbrache says he wants backing from the States to start working on the objectives.

Weather: Sunny but breezy day across the islands

Alina Jenkins

BBC Weather

It will be a fine autumn day across the Channel Islands.

Plenty of sunshine, with 13C (55F) the top temperature.

There'll be a brisk south or southeasterly wind.

Jersey:

Jersey weather forecast
BBC

Guernsey:

Guernsey weather forecast
BBC