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Summary

  1. All-weather lifeboat to return to Jersey this afternoon
  2. Islands not on tax blacklist - EU officials
  3. Jersey ports performance to be checked
  4. Loss-making Alderney routes 'should be preserved'
  5. Sark football boss 'fancies his chances' against YouTubers
  6. Updates on Tuesday 5 December 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our coverage across the day

Our coverage across the Channel Islands has finished for today.

We'll be back on Wednesday from 07:00 with the latest news, weather, travel and sport.

Don't forget BBC Channel Islands News on BBC One at 18:30 and 22:30 and get the latest news for your area from the BBC.

Lifeboat return brought forward 'due to weather'

Rob England

BBC News Online

All-weather lifeboat returns to Jersey

The return of the RNLI all-weather lifeboat George Sullivan to St Helier was brought forward due to deteriorating weather conditions over the week, a spokesman for the charity has said.

The Tamar class vessel was originally due to return to the island by the end of the week.

Crew from the Jersey’s other RNLI lifeboat station at St Catherine were at the harbour to welcome the boat on to the pontoon.

Gatwick staff move aims to improve communication

BBC Radio Guernsey

States-owned airline Aurigny has started using its own ground handling team at Gatwick Airport.

It means check in, baggage handling, boarding and aircraft preparation will all be handled by Aurigny employees, rather than contracted staff.

Staff and plane
Aurigny

This should help us to improve the way we handle disruption and improve the way we can communicate with passengers. Of course, it is a big step and it’s going to be incredibly busy in the first few weeks, but I’m confident this is the right move for the airline and Guernsey as a whole."

Dave CoxAurigny’s Ground Operations Manager

All-weather lifeboat safely moored in St Helier

Rob England

BBC News Online

George Sullivan in port
BBC

The RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat the George Sullivan has returned to harbour in St Helier.

The Tamar class vessel successfully arrived from Poole at about 17:00.

A spokesman said the return of the vessel was an “important milestone” in returning a full lifesaving service to Jersey.

George Sullivan in port
RNLI

Senator Sir Philip Bailhache in first official visit to India

BBC Radio Jersey

Senator Sir Philip Bailhache, Jersey's Minister for External Relations, will make his first official visit to Mumbai and New Delhi.

Senator Sir Philip Bailhache
BBC

Meetings with government ministers, senior officials and business representatives on Wednesday to Friday are aimed at developing closer ties.

Jersey has seen an increasing use of island investment vehicles to channel money into India for infrastructure projects and the island hosts a number of Indian firms.

Senator Bailhache said there was a "strong potential" to further relations amid a "growing demand for secure and efficient cross-border transactions".

Residential builds on green zones 'significant departure from Island Plan'

Plans to build on two sections of green zone land in Jersey will be the subject of planning inquiries.

The Minister for the Environment, Deputy Steve Luce, has called for the inquiries on both proposals because if approved, they would be a significant departure from the island plan.

This is because there is a presumption against development in the green zone.

An inquiry about proposals for a four-bedroom home and a new holiday village of 27 two and three-bedroom self-catering units, at Tamba Park, St Lawrence will start on 19 February and last five days.

A second public inquiry will examine plans to build 65 homes on La Route du Manoir, St Peter will start on Monday, 5 March and is expected to last three days.

'Your chance to shape health services'

Simon Fairclough

Guernsey Political Reporter

The chairman of a group set up to get feedback on the island's health service says it is up to islanders to shape the future of their health service.

Carewatch was set up six months ago to act as the voice of the community during a time of transition to a new model of healthcare.

Martin Gavet and Roger Allsopp
BBC

Retired surgeon Roger Allsopp (right) says the group is in a strong position because it will speak directly to the Committee for Health and Social Care.

"It's up to everyone in Guernsey to participate to keep this island healthy.

"If we can listen to people, we can see what's needed, we can talk to the board and we've got a real opportunity of people being involved in changes that will effect us all," he says.

Digital 'age of consent' planned

Naomi Dunning

BBC Radio Jersey, Reporter

Thirteen-year-olds in Jersey could legally be allowed to go on social media sites without the consent of their parents under new data protection laws due to be debated by the States next month.

The draft law suggests a new digital age of consent, at 13, when children can legally use social media sites, for example. It's already law in the UK, the US and the European Union.

Below that age, parents and guardians have to give their consent.

Call to probe £10k Facebook campaign

BBC Radio Guernsey

The president of Guernsey's Education, Sport and Culture Committee has hit back at critics in the wake of a PR campaign that backfired.

Deputy Paul Le Pelley is calling for an immediate investigation by the States Internal Audit.

It follows the resignation of committee Vice President Carl Meerveld, who said he took full responsibility for spending public money on a Facebook page promoting his committee's preferred option for a three-school model of secondary education.

Then followed intervention from the top table in the form of a statement from Deputy Gavin St Pier saying investigations appeared to show other members of education were involved as well as Carl Meerveld.

Mr Le Pelley has returned with a strongly worded request to Gavin St Pier to initiate an audit immediately.

Avoiding EU blacklisting: Future tax changes required

Rob Byrne

BBC News Online

Jersey and Guernsey's government still face the prospect of finding themselves on the EU's tax blacklist if they don't address concerns about their tax systems.

The Channel Islands and the Isle of Man were not on a list of 17 non-cooperative jurisdictions agreed by EU finance ministers today.

However, as developed countries, they have a year to address concerns centered on their tax regimes facilitating offshore structures which "attract profits without real economic activity".

Guernsey Chief Minister Gavin St Pier says his government will engage directly to "further strengthen our approach to economic substance".

Senator Ian Gorst
States of Jersey
Jersey Chief Minister Senator Ian Gorst

Jersey's Chief Minister Senator Ian Gorst says discussions could include creating enhanced reporting obligations or "changes to our legislation on economic substance".

Senator Gorst hinted at law changes after the Paradise Papers revealed Apple became tax resident in Jersey after a law change in Ireland.

'Political' tax blacklist a 'missed opportunity'

Rob Byrne

BBC News Online

A group that campaigns for tax transparency has labelled today's EU blacklist - which has omitted Jersey and Guernsey - as "politically led".

EU finance ministers approved a list of 17 non-cooperative jurisdictions, or tax havens, earlier today.

Tax Justice Network CEO Alex Cobham says the list appears to be a "political fix" with members picking their "least favourite countries" rather than producing an objective list.

“While EU members like the Netherlands, Ireland and Luxembourg are the greatest procurers of global profit shifting but are excluded; and while the UK has sought to frustrate the blacklisting of its Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories at every turn, the list is hard to take seriously," he says.

Both Jersey and Guernsey's governments said their omission was the result of their commitment to tax transparency.

They will have to report back to the EU by the end of next year after concerns were raised over the role their offshore industries played in attracting profits without real economic activity.

Guernsey tax blacklist omission 'fully justified'

Rob Byrne

BBC News Online

Guernsey's chief minister has welcomed the EU's decision not to blacklist the island as a non-cooperative jurisdiction, or tax haven.

Seventeen jurisdictions, including Panama, Barbados and Bahrain are on the blacklist, but all three of Britain's Crown Dependencies are not on it.

Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man, are, however committed to reporting back by the end of 2018 on what they are doing to address facilitating offshore structures attracting profits without real economic activity, or "substance".

Gavin St Pier
BBC

This clear reaffirmation from the EU that Guernsey is a cooperative jurisdiction is very welcome, fully justified and should be of no surprise to anyone who knows us."

Deputy Gavin St PierGuernsey Chief Minister

BreakingGovernments welcome EU tax decision

Rob Byrne

BBC News Online

Jersey and Guernsey's governments have welcomed the decision of EU finance ministers not to include the islands on a list of non-cooperative jurisdictions, or tax havens.

Both islands are not on the blacklist of 17 jurisdictions, which includes Panama, Barbados and Bahrain.

They have, however, asked to address concerns the EU has on their tax regimes facilitating offshore structures which "attract profits without real economic activity".

Jersey's Chief Minister Senator Ian Gorst said: “This outcome reflects the island’s commitment to the highest standards of tax transparency and information exchange. We cooperated fully with the Code Group throughout the screening process, and have actively pursued a good neighbour policy in our relations with the EU. These positive interactions have borne fruit."

Jersey not on tax blacklist, despite charity calls

BBC Radio Jersey

Jersey hasn't been put on the EU's blacklist of tax havens despite calls from Christian Aid and Oxfam to include it.

The European Union has released a blacklist of 17 countries - which includes Bahrain, Barbados and Grenada.

It says these countries are not doing enough to crack down on offshore avoidance schemes, after 10 months of investigations by officials.

All-weather lifeboat expected in Jersey at 16:00

Rob England

BBC News Online

The RNLI says the St Helier lifeboat station's all-weather vessel is expected to return to port at about 16:00, depending on weather conditions.

The boat was withdrawn by the charity and sent to Poole in November after the lifeboat station closed.

It followed the sacking and subsequent reinstatement of the Jersey station's coxswain Andy Hibbs earlier this year after all the crew walked out.

Analysis: More resignations could follow

Simon Fairclough

Guernsey Political Reporter

Sign
BBC
Gone are the days of the Board of Administration - but are the political problems Guernsey is currently experiencing down to the new system of government?

Two Guernsey politicians have resigned in a fortnight and other resignations could well follow. But does that prove our new system of government isn't fit for purpose, as some have suggested?

Possibly, but only more time will tell.

Last month on a Sunday Phone In I put it to Deputy John Gollop that the first cracks had started appearing in the new system of government after two key committees were at loggerheads over the population management law.

I believe since then the cracks have widened to a similar size to some of those in the L'ancresse anti - tank wall - another issue which remains unresolved by the way.

The key resignations of Deputies Carl Meerveld and Peter Ferbrache come at a time when some of the most important issues facing this assembly are being debated.

Some may simply just see this as the cut and thrust of politics but I think if you're in government you shouldn't underestimate the damage this is doing to the States as a whole.

Voters won't forget the handling of certain issues come the next election, we've seen plenty of previous evidence of that in the past.

BreakingIslands not on tax blacklist - EU officials

Reuters

European Union finance ministers have adopted a blacklist of tax havens which includes 17 non-EU jurisdictions seen as not cooperative on tax matters, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has said.

American Samoa, Bahrain, Barbados, Grenada, Guam, South Korea, Macau, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Panama, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and United Arab Emirates are the countries listed, officials said.

Mr Le Maire said that other 47 jurisdictions are included in a public "grey" list of countries that are currently not compliant with EU standards but have committed to change their tax rules.

The Channel Islands and Isle of Man do not feature on the blacklist.

More to follow.

First stages of all-weather training completed - RNLI

Rob England

BBC News Online

The return of the St Helier lifeboat station's all-weather vessel is an "important milestone" in restoring lifesaving services to the area, the RNLI has said.

The charity says the first stages of training a new crew for the boat are complete.

Volunteers with previous lifeboating experience have already completed the first stages of their all-weather training in Poole and will now return to the island, with the recently serviced lifeboat. We hope to have the boat back in full service with the new crew by the end of March 2018."

Liam KrigeArea Lifesaving Manager, RNLI Channel Islands

The boat was withdrawn last month and the lifeboat station closed by the RNLI after a dispute with the old crew.

Crew sacked and station closed in RNLI St Helier dispute

Prior to the boat's removal, the old crew told the charity they wanted to split from the RNLI after disputes with local management.

BreakingAll-weather lifeboat to return to Jersey this afternoon

Rob England

BBC News Online

The RNLI has announced the all-weather lifeboat "George Sullivan" will return to Jersey this afternoon.

The boat was withdrawn by the charity and sent to Poole in November after the lifeboat station closed.

It followed the sacking and subsequent reinstatement of the Jersey station's coxswain Andy Hibbs earlier this year after all the crew walked out.

New levy will raise house prices - building boss

BBC Radio Jersey

Jersey builders are claiming the price of an average house could go up by more than £13,000 if the States introduce a new tax.

The Infrastructure Levy would affect new homes, and is payable by landowners who get their property re-zoned for housing.

Jersey housing being built
BBC

Speaking at the Construction Council's AGM, chairman Martin Holmes said the tax was an inflationary measure.

"It's highly likely that land prices will rise, QED, house prices will rise and that's something the industry is not scaremongering about.

"They are very keen to ensure it doesn't happen because at the end of the day we very much appreciate the need for affordable homes on this island," he said.

Air links delay creates difficulties for Alderney - politician

BBC Radio Guernsey

The decision to delay debate on a future plan for the Bailiwick economy has been treated with disdain by one Alderney politician.

It means certainty over the future of the island's air routes to Southampton and Guernsey won't come until February 2018 at the earliest.

Guernsey's Economic Development Committee says the plan will provide certainty, something Alderney politician Louis Jean disputes.

Louis Jean
BBC

Alderney will be on a hook for two months until February and I think that's a very difficult and sad situation for the security of the business economy and all the people here who make such an effort to drive Alderney forward."

Louis JeanAlderney Representative in the States of Guernsey

States 'sorry' for typo

Twitter

The States of Guernsey says it has replaced a sign at Cornet Street, St Peter Port, which had an error on it.

View more on twitter

'It doesn't take much to become homeless'

BBC Radio Jersey

St Helier High Street
BBC

A Jersey charity is warning hundreds of people are at risk of being homeless in the island.

The Salvation Army says the current high cost of housing coupled with expensive day-to-day living costs make it hard for some people to stay afloat.

A soup kitchen is running in the the Royal Square today to raise money for the Shelter Trust, which offers homeless people help and somewhere to stay.

Lieutenant Richard Nunn says the cost of living is similarly high to many places in Europe, but "it doesn't take much of a crisis for someone to find themselves homeless".

Animals on the loose in St Lawrence

Twitter

Russian Roulette campaign targets drink drivers

BBC Radio Guernsey

Guernsey authorities have released their 2017 Christmas campaign to clamp down on drink-driving, unveiling a Russian Roulette theme.

The idea is to get people thinking about how drinking the same amount of alcohol can have vastly different effects on different individuals, with only one drink having the potential to change your life.

Poster
Guernsey Police

The campaign will be visible in Bailiwick pubs and clubs, and there'll be a number of banners in various public places.

Guernsey Police will be carrying out roadside checks over the Christmas and New Year.

Ex-Jersey rector calls congregation ‘gossips’

Jersey Evening Post

A former rector of St John was last night refusing to comment on reports in a national newspaper that he was leaving his new post in the UK after labelling his congregation ‘arrogant gossips’.

'Certainty coming for Alderney routes'

Rob Byrne

BBC News Online

A Guernsey politician says plans for the future of Alderney's Guernsey and Southampton air routes will provide more certainty for the island.

Deputy Jan Kuttlewascher's committee has suggested the Guernsey route be considered "lifeline" and protected under contract, while the Southampton route could fall under the same category, or considered being of "strategic" importance, meaning it would be open to competition.

The routes lost a combined £3m in 2016.

The future funding of Alderney's air routes will be decided by Guernsey's politicians in February at the earliest.

St Anne by air
BBC

It [the Southampton route] has no status at all at the present time. So if it's lifeline it will have to be maintained and it will have to be subsidised through a public service obligation agreement. What is coming is going to be more certain. At the present time there is no certainty."

Deputy Jan KuttelwascherVice President, Committee for Economic Development

'Our customer service desk has moving'

Facebook

No, your eyes aren't deceiving you.

This is a poster by Guernsey's government announcing that a customer service desk has moved to another location.

This was snapped at the former site at the Albany, St Peter Port, on Monday.

The States is yet to comment.

States of Guernsey poster
Darren Davison

You've been having your say on Facebook:

Natalie: Good to know they is moved.

Lorraine: Maybe Ali G wrote it?? Innit

Andy: Maybe they should use a PR agency?

Dave: Where were the consultants?

Emily: Thems moving is they?

Sark football challenge: Comedians 'not the best side'

Rob Byrne

BBC News Online

The comedians challenging Sark's football team to a match are by their own admission, not the best side.

Although the island side's form in the Island Games prompted some ridicule among the panel of Citation Needed, a topical panel show filmed in front of an audience and broadcast on Youtube, there was mostly sympathy for Sark's footballing endeavours.

In 2003, they lost 19-0 to Gibraltar at the Island Games, now a Uefa nation who play fully-fledged international football.

It seems the panel think Sark might stand a better chance in a one-off fixture against them.

Sark FC's chairman says they haven't played too much football of late, owing to a shrinking population, but they have won two out of three annual friendlies.

Tax blacklist meeting under way

Rob Byrne

BBC News Online

EU finance ministers have begun their meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council in Brussels.

The fifth item on the agenda is something of great interest to the Channel Islands: politicians are being asked to approve an EU blacklist of non-cooperative jurisdictions, or tax havens

It is not yet known if Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man will feature.

Brussels flags
Reuters

Politicians from the Channel Islands met with Economy and Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici last month to discuss their "continued commitment" to meeting EU standards on matters of tax transparency and economic substance, the island governments said in a joint statement.

You can watch the press conference at the end of today's meeting here.

Annual checks planned for commercial vehicles

BBC Radio Jersey

Drivers of large commercial vehicles in Jersey could have their vehicles checked every year from January.

The Department for Infrastructure plans to introduce "annual road worthiness inspections".

The Minister for Infrastructure, Eddie Noel, said road checks have uncovered some commercial vehicles in a very poor and dangerous condition, a situation which cannot be allowed to continue.

Wind warning issued

Twitter

Strong southwest-to-westerly winds are expected across the islands in the next 11 hours.

View more on twitter

Sark football boss 'fancies his chances' against YouTubers

Oscar Pearson

BBC Radio Guernsey

The chairman of Sark FC says they'll give the panelists of an online comedy show "a good day out" after they suggested they wanted to take on the island's only football team in a friendly.

The panelists star on Citation Needed, a topical panel show filmed in front of an audience and broadcast on YouTube, with the latest episode featuring Sark being watched more than 80,000 times.

Cows on a Sark road
Sue Daly
Sark is better known for its tranquil way of life than its football prowess

Chris Drillot says the team is currently struggling to find enough players for fixtures, due to a lack of islanders under the age of 40. But he says they always get a side out if a team is willing to travel to Sark.

"If they make the trip, we will give them a good day out and we fancy our chances every time we step out on that pitch."

His side have won two out of three recent annual charity fixtures, which Mr Drillot says were "very competitive".

"We're quite confident we can give them a good run for their money," he says.

Weather: Cloudy with the risk of showers

Alex Osborne

BBC Weather

A rather cloudy day, with some brightness at times.

The risk of one or two showers and a maximum of 11C (52F).

There will be a gentle southwesterly breeze.

Alex Osborne presents the Channel Islands forecast
BBC

Electricity prices frozen for Jersey customers

BBC Radio Jersey

Jersey Electricity says it is freezing prices for a fourth consecutive winter.

It says the reason is because of the three undersea supply cables to France which is importing lower cost, low carbon electricity.

The firm says customers want affordable electricity so it is pleased it has been able to keep prices the same since April 2014.

WWI decoration found in garage returned to family

Guernsey Press

A medal found in a Guernsey garage has been reunited with its owner’s family.