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Summary

  1. Heroin worth £400k seized by Jersey police
  2. Vale Road to remain closed over Christmas
  3. Tourist centre moving to bus station - Liberty boss
  4. Alderney to look into assisted dying
  5. Guernsey waste charges will 'hit the poor the hardest'
  6. Guernsey charity shop's cash stolen
  7. Updates on Thursday 7 December 2017

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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 Friday 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.

Man jailed for 13 years for sexual abuse of two girls

BBC Radio Jersey

A 50-year-old man has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for historical sexual abuse of two girls.

Martin James Jegou
Jersey Police

Martin Jegou had previously been found guilty at the Royal Court of eight counts of indecent assault, two counts of procuring an act of gross indecency and one count of rape.

Deputy Bailiff Tim Le Cocq heard the majority of offences were against an unnamed girl between 1997 and 2003 and the abuse started when she was nine years old.

Crown Advocate Conrad Yates said Jegou groomed the girl over a long period of time. She didn’t understand what was happening. As she grew older she knew it was wrong, but was groomed to accept it.

A separate sexual offence against another girl happened between 1998 and 2001.

Watch: Jersey girl presents posy to the Queen

Free contraception move aims to reduce teenage pregnancies

Rob Byrne

BBC News Online

Guernsey's government has launched a scheme to try to reduce the number of under-18s giving birth.

The conception rate among 15-17 year olds in Guernsey and Alderney is double that of Jersey, where free contraception is provided to under 21s.

Between 2013 and 2015 there were just under 17 births per 1,000 women in Guernsey and Alderney aged 15-17.

Woman with pregnancy test
Getty Images

A £116,000 annual pilot scheme has now been launched in Guernsey offering free contraception to women under the age of 21.

It will provide a range of options such as long acting reversible contraceptive options such as implants, as well as oral contraceptive options and injections.

All services will be provided free of charge at the point of access, the Committee for Employment and Social Security said.

Parking tickets can no longer be paid at Frossard House

Twitter

HMS Queen Elizabeth: Jersey girl presents posy to monarch

BBC Channel Islands News

Molly Smith, 7, from Jersey, was picked to present the Queen with a posy during the commissioning of HMS Queen Elizabeth this morning.

Her father, Mark Smith, has been in Royal Navy for 18 years and will serve on the new aircraft carrier.

Molly has been practicing her curtsy all week and has also made a Christmas card for the Queen.

Queen being presented with flowers
Emma Smith

States grants system ‘has weaknesses’

Jersey Evening Post

Tens of millions of pounds worth of grants and subsidies given out by the States annually are being administered through a system that is plagued with "significant weaknesses", according to the island’s independent spending watchdog.

Weather: Blustery and cold overnight

BBC Weather

Blustery sleet showers could be possible later through the evening and overnight.

Clear skies will develop across the islands for a while, though.

It means there could be a widespread frost by dawn.

Jersey:

Jersey weather forecast
BBC

Guernsey:

Guernsey weather forecast
BBC

GDP: How have the figures changed?

Rob Byrne

BBC News Online

As well as a showing marginal growth in Guernsey's economy in 2016, gross domestic product figures from previous years have been revised significantly.

The States of Guernsey has changed the way it measures the size of the economy for the first time this year.

2015 GDP data
States of Guernsey
2015 GDP data

The figures show the total value of the economy has been underestimated historically, however, there are significant differences in annual growth estimates.

For example, under the old data the economy was thought to have grown 4.5% in 2012, but today's data suggests it contracted by 3.7%.

2016 GDP data
States of Guernsey
2016 GDP data

It's important to highlight that the economy hasn't changed, it is the data that has changed. The economy is as strong today as it was yesterday. The island's GDP data is now calculated using a methodology comparable to other similar jurisdictions and as a result has risen from £38,000 to £46,000 per person."

Deputy Gavin St PierPresident of the Policy and Resources Committee

Jersey Registrar blocking one sham marriage a month

Jersey Evening Post

Jersey's authorities are blocking at least one sham marriage per month and are planning to toughen up laws to clamp down on the practice.

Police want to speak to this man

BBC Radio Guernsey

Image from Guernsey Police
Guernsey Police

Guernsey Police want to talk with the pictured man in relation to an assault which took place on Sunday 29 October 2017.

It occurred about 00:55 on Crown Pier, St Peter Port.

Anyone with information is being asked to contact the force.

Tide alert issued for this evening

Twitter

Tonight's 9m high tide at 21:23 in Guernsey combines with strong north-to-northwesterly winds.

There may be some spillage over sea walls on the island's west coast, Guernsey Met Department says.

Another west coast alert has been issued for 09:41 tomorrow morning.

View more on twitter

Northern skies clearing

BBC Weather Watchers

It's a bit more pleasant here in the north of Guernsey this afternoon after a wet, blustery morning.

Thanks to Weather Watcher Chris Cumulus for sending this photo in this afternoon of the Vale area.

Vale skies in Guernsey
BBC

Cross-examinations by accused 'to stop'

Alexandra Spiceley

BBC Radio Jersey, Reporter

People accused of crimes in Jersey won't be able to cross-examine victims in court in planned changes to the island's criminal justice system.

Under proposals from the Home Affairs minister, defendants would have to arrange a legal representative or lawyer to question witnesses.

It aims to reduce the risk of witnesses and jurors feeling intimidated or at risk of harm.

Deputy Kristina Moore says this is part of a wide project to modernise and improve the criminal justice process in Jersey, making it safer and fairer for both victims and accused people.

Discussion with Seigneur expected next week

Rob Byrne

BBC News Online

Sark's Seigneur Major Christopher Beaumont will be discussing island matters at an event next Tuesday, 12 December.

Mr Beaumont inherited the title from his father, Michael, who died in July 2016.

Major Christoper Beaumont
BBC

He will discuss his vision for the future of Sark and plans for La Seigneurie at the event hosted by Sark's Chamber of Commerce at the Sark Sanctuary Centre at 19:00.

The event is open to all.

Concerns raised over grant payments

Sarah Bailey

Broadcast Journalist, BBC Radio Jersey

There are concerns Jersey's government grants system is failing to provide good value for money for taxpayers.

A report by the Jersey Audit Office has highlighted a number of weaknesses in the system of issuing grants, which are amounts given to a group or organisation for a specific project or purpose.

Last year, the States spent more than £5m on grants, including payments for the International Air Display and Nursery Education Fund.

But Auditor General Karen McConnel has raised concerns about weaknesses in their management.

Her review found ambiguity about what constitutes a grant, resulting in some typical contractual payments wrongly being treated as grants.

She also found there was insufficient oversight and weaknesses were allowed to continue despite concerns previously being raised.

Ice rink back at leisure centre

BBC Radio Jersey

Jersey's Christmas ice rink will return to Fort Regent this evening, after controversially not opening in 2016.

A two-time ice dancing gold medallist will cut the ribbon at the leisure centre as part of the festive celebrations.

Last year the States of Jersey Development Company was criticised on social media for renting the Weighbridge to a private company to run the winter wonderland, which included an ice rink.

This led to the rink at Fort Regent having to pull out because it was thought there wasn't the demand for two.

The rink will be open until 14 January 2018.

BreakingGuernsey economy 'grew in 2016'

Rob Byrne

BBC News Online

Guernsey's long-awaited gross domestic product (GDP) statistics, released today, show the economy grew by 0.6% in 2016.

The measure is the total amount of income generated by individuals and companies in the island, and has been calculated using a new methodology for the first time.

2016 data shows the economy was worth £2.9bn in total, meaning GDP per head stood at £45,913.

States of Guernsey GDP data
States of Guernsey

Delay to Vale Road work caused by 'need to relocate sewer'

Ben Chapple

BBC News Online

Plans to reopen Guernsey's Vale Road over Christmas have been put on hold as the sewer work will take about four weeks longer than planned.

The road is now expected to reopen at the end of February.

Cyclists dismount sign on Vale Road
BBC

"The extension to this road closure is extremely regrettable and we apologise to both residents and businesses in the area as well as other road users," said Mark Walker, capital delivery manager for Guernsey Water.

"Our initial investigations involved substantial desk top studies of existing utility records and also excavations on site to locate these services.

"However, when we opened up our trench we found that the services deviated from what was expected, so we need to relocate our sewer.

"This requires substantial additional engineering work in order to maintain existing sewer flows without excessively disrupting residents’ wastewater services."

Vale Road to remain closed over Christmas

Ben Chapple

BBC News Online

Having announced an extension to the road closure for sewer drainage improvement work Guernsey Water has also said it is changing its plan to reopen the road during the Christmas break.

This is in a bid to reduce the time of the overall closure, which is now expected to run until the end of February.

Road Closed sign at Vale Road
BBC

Opening Vale Road over Christmas and the New Year would have required seven to 10 days of non-productive work backfilling, resurfacing, re-establishing the site working area and then re-excavating the trench.

Vale Road
BBC

In order to get the work done as quickly as possible we will keep the site open and continue working whenever we can during the Christmas and New Year period, we will also be working longer hours on Saturdays - between 08:00-16:00."

Mark WalkerGuernsey Water capital delivery manager

Vale Road closure to be extended into February

Ben Chapple

BBC News Online

The closure of the Vale Road is being extended by a month and is now due to reopen at the end of February.

The extension to this road closure is extremely regrettable and we apologise to both residents and businesses in the area as well as other road users."

Mark WalkerGuernsey Water capital delivery manager

The firm said the delay to making the 235m of the existing sewer bigger is partly due to "difficult ground conditions" but mainly services not being where expected.

This has led to "major changes to the original location of the new sewer".

The work is part of a £3m project to improve wastewater infrastructure.

Festive travel advice: 'Check your black butter in'

Rob Byrne

BBC News Online

As we head into the busy festive season, Jersey air passengers are being reminded of the do's and don'ts at the island's airport.

Jersey speciality jam black butter, dairy products and lotions must be carried as part of checked-in luggage, Ports of Jersey says.

Air passengers wanting to carry Christmas crackers are also being advised to contact their airline before travelling, as policies can differ.

No home-made crackers, party poppers or other types of explosive devices are permitted, Ports of Jersey adds.

Boat owners reminded to secure their vessels

Rob Byrne

BBC News Online

Jersey Coastguard is reminding boat owners to make sure their vessels are secure, after being called out to attend vessels adrift, submerged, and in one case washed up on a beach.

Jersey Met Department has issued a gale warning, with southwesterly winds up to force eight expected today.

"When it is safe to do so, could all boat owners please ensure their vessels are secure on their moorings and water bailed out," the coastguard said.

Education boss continues to back proposals despite pressure

Edward Rowe

Broadcast Journalist, BBC Radio Guernsey

Embattled Guernsey education President Paul Le Pelley says his committee is going nowhere.

It is under increasing pressure as an alternative two-school model of secondary education is being worked on.

Deputy Le Pelley claims his committee's three-school model, at a cost of £110m, is significantly cheaper than the alternative, something disputed by the deputies championing it.

Deputy Pau Le Pelley
BBC

I think an awful lot of this has got very little to do with education and more to do with politics going on. If anybody wants to move us [the committee] they're going to have to move us forcibly."

Deputy Paul Le PelleyPresident, Education, Sport and Culture Committee

Warning to drivers after crash in Les Varines

Tax haven ‘grey list’ claims are dismissed

Jersey Evening Post

Claims Jersey has been placed on a "grey-list" of so-called tax havens along with another 40 jurisdictions have been dismissed by the island’s government.

Scallop boat fine a 'reminder to all fishermen'

Rob Byrne

BBC News Online

A £3,500 fine handed to a UK fisherman should be seen as a warning to all licence holders, Guernsey Sea Fisheries has said.

Emulate boat moored in St Peter Port Harbour
BBC

Gary Roberts, 36, from Scotland, was fined for fishing within the Bailiwick's six nautical mile limit with 12 dredges rather than the eight allowed under licence.

Sea fisheries said the local rules were crucial to managing marine resources in a sustainable way.

"We hope that this swift and successful prosecution will make clear the seriousness with which such breaches are viewed.

"We also hope that it will act as a reminder to all licence holders to stick to the conditions that are set out in their fishing licences,” a spokesman said.

Heroin worth £400k seized by Jersey police

Rob Byrne

BBC News Online

Heroin seized in Jersey
States of Jersey Police

Heroin with an estimated street value of £400,000 has been seized by Jersey police.

Two men, aged 48 and 50, were arrested on Wednesday afternoon in St Helier.

They were arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking offences and remain in custody, the force says.

Jersey sees water nitrate levels fall

BBC Radio Jersey

Nitrate levels in Jersey water have fallen by about a third in the last 23 years, latest figures show.

Levels in streams and other water sources in Jersey dropped from 68 micrograms per litre of water in 1994 to 43 micrograms today.

A Jersey potato farm
BBC

Environment Minister Steve Luce says the Action for Cleaner Water Group has been instrumental in bringing about the reduction, but more progress is needed.

"We're looking at not only ways of reducing the amount of fertiliser and chemicals, but replacing those with other chemicals, or other forms of nitrates so that we do a better job of not putting chemicals, generally, into our water courses."

Bus station move 'not about cuts'

BBC Radio Jersey

Visit Jersey claims moving the island's tourism office to the bus station is not about saving money, although it is having negotiations with the staff it employs at the current site.

CEO Keith Beecham wouldn't comment on the nature of those discussions but said Liberty Bus workers would be taking on some of the tourism duties at busy times.

The tourism office was previously moved from Liberation Square to Jersey Museum.

Mr Beecham said: "We're not saving money, I think we're going to be providing an enhanced service.

"This is not about inefficiencies and cuts, this is about improving the service we're able to provide to these 700,000 plus people that will be coming to Jersey next year," he said.

Tax deadline looms in Jersey

BBC Radio Jersey

Jersey's tax office is reminding islanders outstanding taxes need to be paid by Friday at 18:00.

Late payments could face a 10% surcharge, the office says.

Assistant Comptroller Chris Le Breton says each year a number of people face paying a fine at the end of the year.

You can pay online or send a cheque in the post.

Waste charges 'unlikely to change'

Rob Byrne

BBC News Online

The politician responsible for Guernsey's waste strategy has dismissed a political attempt to get rid of the planned flat charge system and instead rely on a pay-as-you-throw system only.

Deputy Peter Roffey believes waste charges in their current form will hit Guernsey's poorest the hardest

Mont Cuet landfill site
BBC

But Deputy Charles Parkinson says the new system - which will cost households £7 per week on average - has already been approved by politicians.

"The States has already seen these numbers, nothing has changed and I can't see any reason for the States to change its stance."

"We're talking about an average household cost of £7 per week and that figure has remained the same for several years."

Weather: Rain clearing and gales

Alex Osborne

BBC Weather

This morning's rain will clear by early afternoon, leaving behind some drier and brighter weather.

It will feel colder, with a strong northwesterly winds, up to gale force.

Alex Osborne presents the Channel Islands weather forecast
BBC

Gale force winds expected across the islands

Twitter

A gale warning has been issued by the Jersey Met Department as southwesterly winds are expected to reach force eight, with strong gusts, later veering west-to-northwest.

You're being asked to remain vigilant and check the latest forecast over the next six hours.

View more on twitter

BreakingBe careful on the coast - Guernsey Police

Rob Byrne

BBC News Online

Police are asking drivers to take care when travelling due to strong winds and this morning's high tide at 08:53.

There is a significant amount of water and spray currently coming over the sea wall along the east coast seafront between St Sampson and St Peter Port.

Same-sex law could provide 'flexibility' for couples

BBC Radio Jersey

The woman who oversees registrations at Jersey weddings will be scrutinising a new same-sex marriage law at a public hearing.

The island's government has already agreed to change the law which could see the first gay marriages in 2018, but it is also being proposed open air weddings, including marriage ceremonies on beaches, in gardens and other places will be allowed.

Superintendent Registrar Claire Follain says the law could bring new options for couples.

"It will allow people to have an enormous amount of flexibility, so if they wish to marry in their garden, if they wish to marry in a field overlooking St Ouen's Bay, they will be entitled to do that.

She will consider the location and all matters to do with the ceremony so couples understand "the importance of the solemnity of the occasion," she says.

Charity shop's cash stolen

Sue Coryndon

Broadcast Journalist, BBC Radio Guernsey

Money has been stolen from a charity in Guernsey.

Guernsey Police are investigating the theft of cash from the shop at the Victorian Walled Kitchen Garden at Saumarez Park.

The Castel shop raises funds for the Guernsey Botanical Trust, a charity working to restore the garden and surrounding buildings.

"Any act of theft is unpleasant however it is particular disheartening to see a charity targeted," the force says.

It is not known how much was taken but police say the charity has raised a "significant amount of money" this year.

The cash was taken last weekend, and anyone with information is being asked to contact Guernsey Police or Crimestoppers.

Alderney to look into assisted dying

BBC Radio Guernsey

Alderney politicians have agreed to look further into voluntary assisted dying.

Head of Policy and Finance James Dent raised the topic to stimulate debate outside the chamber and to find out if it was something the public wanted to see introduced.

The issue was on the agenda at a monthly States meeting last night.

Politicians also passed beneficial ownership and data protection laws at the meeting.