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Summary

  1. UK fisherman fined for fishing inside Bailiwick waters
  2. £15m in unpaid tax still to be collected
  3. Flamanville staff evacuated 'as a precaution'
  4. All-weather lifeboat 'could be in service by March'
  5. 'Death knell' warning for Guernsey college
  6. Public inquiries into green zone developments
  7. Guernsey 'not surprised' to be left off tax blacklist
  8. Updates on Wednesday 6 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 Thursday 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.

Jersey Taxes Office says £15m still to be collected

Sarah Gosling

BBC News Online

With just two days until outstanding taxes need to be paid Jersey's Taxes Office says about 2,000 tax payers still owe a total of close to £15m.

For those who miss the 18:00 deadline on Friday, 8 December, a 10% surcharge may be added.

Over the past year, the Taxes Office has issued nearly 8,000 notifications of unpaid balances.

The majority of islanders pay their taxes and long term care contribution in good time. However, each year a number of people face paying a fine as we near the end of the year."

Chris Le BretonAssistant Comptroller of Taxes

RNLI split: Former lifeboat crew 'welcome' to return

Sarah Gosling

BBC News Online

The RNLI has said that the former crew of the George Sullivan lifeboat would be "welcome" to return, if "collaborative working practices" are kept to.

The lifeboat was removed to Poole by the RNLI following a dispute between former lifeboat staff and the RNLI in November.

RNLI lifeboat
BBC

Following the vessel's return, the former crew have said: "We would like to publicly and openly repeat our offer to the RNLI that we will continue to be ready and able to man the George Sullivan should our services be needed."

The RNLI has responded saying it is "committed to restoring Jersey’s all-weather capabilities as soon as possible".

A spokesman said: "We have already had over 40 people show an interest in volunteering. Former crew are welcome to apply and will follow the same recruitment process as any new candidate."

The charity have said that the all-weather lifeboat could be back in service in the spring.

The former crew members still intend to set up an independent station.

Probe will bring education situation 'into the public domain'

Rob Byrne

BBC News Online

The politician behind a scrutiny committee hearing on Friday hopes to bring clarity around how £10,000 was spent on a Facebook campaign to promote a three-school model of secondary education in Guernsey.

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.

This snap public hearing is our opportunity to examine the key issues that are not currently in the public domain and need to be explored further. It is clear that there are questions to pursue about good corporate governance, financial matters and the clarity of States' communications."

Deputy Chris GreenPresident, Scrutiny Management Committee

UK fisherman fined for breaking Bailiwick limit

James Rabey

BBC Radio Guernsey

A UK fisherman has been fined £3,500 for fishing within the Bailiwick's six nautical mile limit.

Gary Roberts, 36, from Scotland was on his boat Emulate, when he was met by Guernsey's Puma Vessel at about 09:10 yesterday for an inspection.

Emulate fishing vessel in St Peter Port Harbour
BBC

Under the island's Sea Fish Licensing Law. only eight fishing dredges may be used on a vessel, however, Mr Roberts was found to have 12.

The fisherman, who has been working in the industry for 20 years, told Guernsey's Magistrates Court he was in the three to six mile limit because his radar plotter malfunctioned and he miscalculated his course.

He apologised for what he called a genuine mistake, however, in sentencing the presiding judge said it was an error someone of his experience should not have made.

Weather update: Mild evening with gales later

BBC Weather

Tonight will remain mild, with gales developing around the coast as outbreaks of rain spread steadily southeastwards.

Some of the rain will turn heavy and persistent towards dawn.

Jersey:

Jersey weather forecast
BBC

Guernsey:

Guernsey weather forecast
BBC

Buoy damaged by luxury yacht recovered from seabed

Rob Byrne

BBC News Online

Part of a buoy damaged by a £1.8m yacht that sunk in the collision has been recovered from the seabed.

A Jersey Harbours crew recovered the buoy near the Ruaudière earlier this week, bringing it safely into port.

There's been no progress yet in attempts to remove the 20m (66ft) yacht submerged at the bottom of St Aubin's Bay.

The six-berth yacht involved in the collision sank last month, with two men rescued by Jersey Fire and Rescue Service responding to a mayday call out.

The boat is completely submerged off Portelet at a depth of about 20m and will be retrieved by a specialist salvage company, Ports of Jersey said.

Buoy being recovered
Jersey Harbours
Buoy being recovered
Jersey Harbours

Construction projects ‘should contribute to Island’s community’

Jersey Evening Post

Building developments that have an impact on Jersey’s landscape and affect Islanders’ lives should contribute towards community benefits, planning’s head has told the construction industry.

Gale warning issued for the islands

Twitter

Gale force southwest to southerly winds are expected across the islands in the next six to 12 hours.

Jersey Met Department is advising islanders to remain vigilant and to check the latest forecast.

View more on twitter

'Snap' probe into £10k Facebook campaign

BBC Radio Guernsey

A "snap" public hearing will take place on Friday looking into how Guernsey's education committee sanctioned a PR company to run a £10,000 facebook campaign.

The Facebook page in question promoted the committee's preferred three-school model for secondary education. In January, politicians are expected to decide on the model, or a two-school alternative.

Members of the public can attend the scrutiny hearing at St Martin's Community Centre, from 09:30 on Friday, 8 December.

You will be able to observe but are not allowed to comment or ask questions.

Last orders later this Christmas

Twitter

Publicans in Guernsey will be calling last orders later than in previous years this Christmas.

Longer licensing hours come into effect on Christmas and Boxing Day.

You will be able to buy alcohol in licensed premises from 11:00 on Christmas Day until 12:45 on Boxing Day morning.

View more on twitter

Battle of Flowers 'incredibly tired'

BBC Radio Jersey

A former cultural leader in Jersey has described the Battle of Flowers as "incredibly tired".

A float in the 2016 Battle of Flowers
BBC
A float in the 2016 Battle of Flowers

Chris Clifford, who chaired the Arts Trust, says the island needs to revise the way it looks at some major events.

He was speaking as the Council of Ministers announced a consultation on forming a new cultural strategy for the island.

"Community projects I think are really important but I went to the Battle of Flowers this year and felt it was incredibly tired.

"I'm sorry to all those people who put all that huge amount of effort in.

"I think it's a wonderful resource in lots of ways and it's a huge community project but the final delivery of that particular event leaves me kind of cold," he said.

Same-sex marriage hearings begin

Chris Rayner

BBC Radio Jersey Political Reporter

Public hearings into Jersey's same-sex marriage law begin this afternoon.

The island's government has already agreed to change the law which could see the first gay marriages in 2018, but details are being checked before it is brought in.

The Jersey Evangelical Alliance wrote to scrutiny about its concerns over those in the wedding trade with strong religious views being legally obliged to serve gay couples.

But others have said that would send out a message of intolerance.

The Corporate Services Panel called the law in, not because of the changes, but because it feels it has been rushed.

This afternoon it will hear from parish representatives.

Organ donation: Half want 'presumed consent'

BBC Radio Jersey

Changes could be made to Jersey's organ donation scheme after more than half of people in a survey, published today, agreed to the idea of an opt-out scheme.

More than 50% of the 1,300 Jersey respondents said they thought the island should use a system where everyone would be a donor, unless they chose not to be and took themselves off the donor register.

States of Jersey infographic on organ donation
States of Jersey

Earlier this week a BBC freedom of information request revealed only 14% of adults in Jersey are registered as organ donors compared to 36% in the UK.

Economic development vacancy: Parkinson steps up

BBC Radio Guernsey

Former Treasury Minister Charles Parkinson is putting himself forward to be president of Guernsey's Committee for Economic Development.

He has the backing of the States senior Policy and Resources Committee, according to its president.

The vacancy arose after the resignation of Deputy Peter Ferbrache after a probe into how £300,000 was paid to a law firm carrying his name.

Deputy Parkinson initially served in the States from 2004-2012 and was the minister of Treasury of Resources from 2008-2012, before returning in a by-election in 2015.

View more on twitter

Jersey opinions survey: Employment

Rob Byrne

BBC News Online

Today's opinions and lifestyles survey has also accumulated data on employment. If you're a Jersey senior manager you're working on average eight hours longer than contracted, according to the survey findings.

States of Jersey infographic on employment opinions
States of Jersey

Christmas charm illustrated on Guernsey stamps

Sarah Gosling

BBC News Online

Good King Wenceslas illustration
Guernsey Post

The tales of Good King Wenceslas and The Holly and the Ivyhave received a modern makeover in Guernsey Post's festive stamps.

The mail service, which is famed for its creative stamps, hired illustrator Keith Robinson to create the stunning storyboard designs.

Robinson said he was "thrilled and honoured" to be asked to take on the "prestigious" Christmas design, his seventh commission for the company.

The Holly and the Ivy stamp designs
Guernsey Post

Christmas stamps began in the UK in 1966, when the Royal Mail launched a children's art competition to find a design.

Robinson's stamps are in circulation in Guernsey and Alderney.

Good King Wenceslas stamp designs
Guernsey Post

Jersey opinions survey: Islanders feel worse off financially

Rob Byrne

BBC News Online

Today's opinions and lifestyles survey of 1,300 people in Jersey has found, among other things that more households felt their financial situation had got worse, rather than better over the past year.

Jersey opinions on money infographic
States of Jersey

Social housing income drop 'will be offset'

Sue Coryndon

Broadcast Journalist, BBC Radio Guernsey

Anyone living in social housing in Guernsey can expect a slight drop in cash income from next July.

It's down to the merger of social housing rent rebate and supplementary benefit into one income support payment.

Employment and Social Security President Deputy Michelle Le Clerc says social housing tenants are now being contacted about the changes.

"Seventy five percent of our householders will lose between one and 10 pounds a week but that might be offset for them."

Rises in winter fuel allowances and savings on the cost of visiting a GP visits should help those in social housing, she says.

Jersey entrepeneur: 'I'm off to Guernsey'

BBC Radio Jersey

A successful digital entrepreneur says she's "heartbroken" after her Jersey housing qualifications were revoked.

Karen Lewis came to the island on a J category licence and built a business with 10 Jersey employees.

But when she sold that company she lost her licence, and is now moving to Guernsey.

The BBC approached the Population Office for a response, but it said it would not comment on individual cases.

Karen Lewis
BBC

It's not just coming here and paying taxes it's actually bringing on young people and giving them a skills base. There's a whole package that comes together, and I was quite honestly told by the population office that that was a bonus."

Karen Lewis

Jersey opinions: Voting

Rob Byrne

BBC News Online

With an election on the way in May, the States of Jersey has been accumulating thoughts on voting and other areas of island life as part of its opinions and lifestyles survey.

States of Jersey infographic on voting opinions
States of Jersey

Jersey opinions and lifestyles revealed in survey findings

Rob Byrne

BBC News Online

Image of megaphone from States of Jersey report
States of Jersey

A government survey of 1,300 people in Jersey has revealed a number of insights into island life, ranging from eating and travel habits to views on breastfeeding and organ donation.

You can read the report in full, but here's a snapshot of some of the findings:

  • 75% of adults would want an organ transplant if they needed one, but only 14% are on the NHS organ donation register
  • 82% said it was ok for women to breastfeed in public, but three out of five said they should be discreet about it
  • Nine out of 10 adults were very or fairly satisfied with living in Jersey
  • Driving was by far the most popular way of getting to work, with 57% of adults taking a car, 31% walking and 7% cycling
  • Two out of three people said they were likely to vote in the May 2018 General Election
  • 69% of people had eaten less than five fruit and vegetables in the 24 hours before completing the survey

'Sanctions would have affected capital flow and clients'

Rob Byrne

BBC News Online

A decision to keep Guernsey off the latest EU tax blacklist has secured the immediate future of financial services in Guernsey, according to a senior politician.

Deputy Lyndon Trott, also chairman of promotional body Guernsey Finance, hailed the significance of yesterday's decision for the island's finance sector, which along with associated industries employs about 10,000 people.

The tax paid by the sector benefits all islanders, Deputy Trott says, funding two thirds of the Bailiwick's public services.

Despite not making the blacklist, the EU expressed concern over Guernsey's tax regime facilitating offshore structures which "attract profits without real economic activity".

The island will have one year to address those, or could face blacklisting, which would harm the finance sector.

Deputy Lyndon Trott
BBC

There could have been some sort of sanctions against us which would have affected the flow of capital, and secondly, we could have had clients saying, 'look, in these days of the highest possible levels of governance and tax transparency, you fall short, we're not going to put our business with you.'"

Deputy Lyndon TrottVice President, Policy and Resources Committee

'Unknowns ahead of hospital vote'

BBC Radio Jersey

The chairman of a group scrutinising plans for Jersey's future hospital says planning issues need to be addressed before politicians can give the £400m project the green light.

The Future Hospital Review Panel found three short-term risks, including the possibility that planning permissions could be refused and a main contractor might not be found.

Impression of new Jersey hospital
States of Jersey

Deputy Simon Bree says the question of planning needs to be resolved before any further long-term, binding decisions are made.

"We're being asked to vote a huge amount of money to spend on a hospital, that we don't yet know whether or not it can be put there."

Former crew welcomes lifeboat return

Rob Byrne

BBC News Online

St Helier lifeboat the George Sullivan
BBC

The former crew of the St Helier lifeboat says it is pleased the RNLI has returned the lifeboat, the George Sullivan, back to its home port.

Former lifeboat staff met with the public last night to discuss plans to set up an independent station, after a dispute with the RNLI.

"It should never have left Jersey waters and been taken away," the committee representing the crew said in a statement.

"It was paid for by the Jersey public to be used in local waters where it’s use was designed to save lives at sea."

The RNLI said the all-weather lifeboat could be back in service in the spring.

Snow alert issued for Jersey

Twitter

A cold snap expected on Friday in Jersey could see scattered sleet or snow showers.

Don't get too excited though, as Jersey Met Department's snow alert suggests any accumulations will be small, temporary and soon melt.

View more on twitter

Weather: Cloudy with winds picking up

Alex Osborne

BBC Weather

It's a rather cloudy day with the risk of a shower.

There will be some bright intervals at times, and strengthening southwesterly winds, particularly overnight.

Highs of 11C (52F).

Alex Osborne presents the Channel Islands weather forecast
BBC

Marina storm gate to close

BBC Radio Jersey

Force eight winds from a south-southwesterly direction mean Ports of Jersey has decided to close Elizabeth Marina's storm gate at 12:00.

Jersey Coastguard will review the forecast tomorrow morning, the ports said.

Should conditions permit, the gate is expected to re-open at 12:00 on Thursday at the earliest.

New £400m Jersey hospital: Timeline

Rob Byrne

BBC News Online

Plans for Jersey's hospital
States of Jersey

Major risks have been identified in a report considering Jersey's future hospital, due to be built in 2025. But what's the planned timeline for the work?

  • 29 June 2017: Outline plans submitted for the hospital
  • 14 November 2017: Debate on the funding of the hospital project
  • 2018: Final planning application to go in for approval
  • December 2018: Work starts clearing the site ready for demolition
  • January 2019: Demolition work begins on existing buildings
  • January 2020: Building work starts on the new hospital
  • 2025: New hospital opens

Crew 'ready and able' to man lifeboat

Rob England

BBC News Online

All-weather lifeboat returns to Jersey

The former St Helier lifeboat crew that split from the RNLI after a dispute say they are ready to man the island's lifeboat, should an emergency arise.

The George Sullivan arrived back in Jersey last night, two weeks after it was taken to Poole by the RNLI.

"We would like to publicly and openly repeat our offer to the RNLI that we will continue to be ready and able to man the George Sullivan should our services be needed in a situation at sea," the Jersey Independent Lifeboat Service Committee said.

The charity is looking to re-establish its full lifesaving service to Jersey without the former crew.

"This situation has never changed from our side. We merely have had the boat we are so familiar with withdrawn to Poole for the past two weeks," the committee said.

"However, we continue to strive to form an independent lifeboat association for the people of Jersey and for those who find themselves at peril in our seas."

The RNLI is yet to respond to the offer.

Public inquiries into green zone developments

Josephine Baker

BBC Radio Jersey, Reporter

Jersey by air
BBC

There will be two public inquires into plans to build on protected Jersey land in St Lawrence and St Peter.

The owner of Tamba Park has applied to knock down a glasshouse and build a four-bedroom home along with a new holiday village of 27 self-catering homes at the family attraction in St Lawrence.

The inquiry into those plans will be in February 2018 and is due to last five days.

Andium Homes has also applied to build 65 homes in St Peter, with the inquiry starting in March 2018.

Both plans are to build in the green zone, where construction is not usually allowed to develop unless there are special circumstances.

Environment Minister Steve Luce has called public inquiries because he says both proposals, if approved, would be a significant departure from existing policy.

Three schools will be 'demise of college'

BBC Radio Guernsey

Guernsey's business lobby has issued a stark warning about what a three secondary school model will mean for Guernsey's College of Further Education.

Kay Leslie from the Chamber of Commerce claims proposed plans to split vocational education across two institutions will prove disastrous for many students.

A group of four politicians is currently proposing an alternative two school model to be debated in the new year, which is favoured by the chamber.

We believe the higher number of schools, the smaller schools, will become hideously expensive and actually because you'll be in a sense cherry-picking the students from Guernsey College [of Further Education] it will inevitably lead to the demise of Guernsey college - we can't see any other interpretation than that."

Kay LeslieGuernsey Chamber of Commerce

Risks identified in hospital plans

BBC Radio Jersey

Planned hospital Atrium
States of Jersey

There are major risks and issues with the plan for Jersey's new hospital, a report by the Future Hospital Review Panel has claimed.

The panel found three short-term risks including the possibility the preferred scheme and funding proposal could be rejected by States members, planning permissions could be refused, and a main contractor might not be found.

Chairman of the panel, Simon Bree, says to have the full backing of both the States Assembly and the public, the question of planning needs to be resolved before any further long-term, binding decisions are made.

Tide warning, alerts issued

Twitter

Drivers using Guernsey's east and west coasts today should take care as there is a tide warning in place for this morning and again for this evening.

A 32ft (9.8m) high tide at 08:08 combines with south-southwesterly winds up to force six, meaning it's likely waves will break over sea walls and there'll be debris on the roads.

Tide alerts have also been issued for this evening and tomorrow morning's high tides.

View more on twitter

All-weather lifeboat 'could be in service by March'

BBC Radio Jersey

St Helier's all-weather lifeboat returned to Jersey last night but it is not likely to be in service before the spring, the RNLI says.

The George Sullivan was taken to Poole by the RNLI two weeks' ago following a dispute with the crew.

Liam Krige
BBC

Liam Krige from the RNLI says the boat will initially be used to train the new crew.

"We're hoping to get it back in service, although we cannot commit to this, by March. But that all depends on the number of applicants coming forward on our open day," he says.

Guernsey 'not surprised' to be left off tax blacklist

BBC Radio Guernsey

The head of the agency which promotes Guernsey's finance industry says engagement with the EU is paying off as the island avoided being named on a tax haven blacklist.

Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance, Dominic Wheatley, says the decision by the European Council to keep the island off the list came as no surprise.

“It is important that this engagement continues with the EU to ensure our high standards of economic substance, are aligned with those being developed by the EU to safeguard Guernsey’s continued and fair market access, and maintain a good trading relationship with the EU and its member states," he said.

Some of the countries and jurisdictions to feature in the latest EU blacklist include South Korea, Barbados, Panama, and the United Arab Emirates.

Flamanville evacuation: The background

Rob Byrne

BBC News Online

Smoke prompted the evacuation of about 200 staff at the Flamanville nuclear plant yesterday, which sits 18 miles from Alderney, the closest Channel Island to the site on the French coast.

The AFP news agency reported the evacuation was a precaution and no-one was hurt.

Flamnville map
BBC

It is the second incident at the site this year. In February, owner EDF said a minor explosion in the non-nuclear part of the plant presented no danger to the public or the environment.

The European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) under construction alongside two existing reactors at the site is a third-generation design touted as the world's biggest and most advanced nuclear reactor, AFP has reported.

In England, two EPR reactors are scheduled to be built at Hinkley Point in Somerset under a Chinese-backed deal announced last year.

But the Flamanville project, along with another EPR contract in Finland, has been plagued by delays and technical problems.

Construction began in December 2007, with an operational start initially scheduled for the end of 2012.