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Summary

  1. Missing Latvian man in Guernsey was licensed shotgun holder
  2. Missed hospital appointments in Jersey an 'ongoing issue'
  3. Jersey blood donation to be suspended because hospital room 'has damp'
  4. Jersey traders could be allowed to not serve same-sex couples
  5. Sark sees fall in peak season tourism
  6. Guernsey education future debate gets under way
  7. Condor Ferries 'disappointed' at being dropped by Tesco Clubcard
  8. More news, sport, travel and weather from 07:00 on Thursday

Live Reporting

By Rob England

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our coverage across the day

Live updates for the Channel Islands have finished for the day, but we'll be back at 07:00 on Thursday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather.

Don't forget Spotlight for the Channel Islands on BBC One later. There will also be news through the night on your BBC Local Radio station.

Watch the Commodore Goodwill brave the waves

Rob England

BBC News Online

Recent stormy weather has taken its toll on marine traffic in the Channel Islands, with services being disrupted in the poor conditions.

Kieran Higgs was aboard the Commodore Goodwill as it made its way across the channel this morning.

The Commodore Goodwill braves huge waves

Weather: Gales expected in exposed spots

BBC Weather

The cold and windy weather will continue this evening with scattered showers. Rain will arrive later in the evening with strengthening winds. Gales are expected in exposed spots.

Minimum Temperature: 7C (45F).

Weather
BBC

Strong winds will ease through Thursday morning. A mixture of sunny spells and blustery showers will continue through the day.

Feeling cold in the wind.

Maximum Temperature: 11C (52F).

Police must prioritise 'vulnerable people'

Naomi Dunning

BBC Radio Jersey, Reporter

Caring for "the most vulnerable people in society" should be a policing priority, the Jersey Police Authority (JPA) has said.

A two year plan has been launched with aims to improve police services for those who need them most.

The main goals of the plan are based on feedback from the community, the JPA says.

Officers have been asked to focus on protecting the most vulnerable children and adults in society from harm - and to keep the community safe.

The independent body also wants to improve access to the police, to make sure everyone from all backgrounds knows how to contact them.

Another priority is to work better with partners and other agencies such as the fire and health services to make sure there is a "coordinated response" to major incidents and community problems.

Lastly, police are being asked to "invest" in its officers and staff, and to improve its technology.

Chair of the JPA, Dr Jason Lane, said the plan is more "focused" and "easier to interpret" than in previous years.

EU tax commissioner: 'Islands have not totally changed'

Rob Byrne

BBC News Online

Jersey and Guernsey have not entirely changed their approach to tax, despite pressure from the European Union, the bloc's commissioner for finance, the economy, tax and customs has said.

Speaking to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), Pierre Moscovici gave a frank assessment of how political influence of member states led to a more "moderate" tax blacklist, published in December.

The first EU-wide list did not include Britain's offshore dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man, a move Channel Island governments said was "fully justified".

Pierre Moscovici with Senator Ian Gorst and Deputy Gavin St Pier
States of Guernsey and Jersey
Pierre Moscovici, centre, met with Channel Island chief ministers ahead of the publication of the blacklist.

"They are in the graylist – Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man, etc. – and they have made some commitments," Mr Moscovici told the ICIJ.

"I myself have met several times with the leaders of Jersey and Guernsey.

"You cannot say that they have totally changed their business model. You cannot say either that they are not changing anything. So there was no veto from the UK."

Jersey and Guernsey will have to address EU concerns over offshore structures which "attract profits without real economic activity" or face tax blacklisting in 2018.

Scheme 'could help islanders avoid large medical bills'

BBC Radio Guernsey

A new form of insurance scheme could be brought in by the States of Guernsey in a bid to help islanders avoid large medical bills if they fall ill while travelling in the UK.

Since the reciprocal health agreement between Guernsey and the UK ended in 2009 anyone travelling from Guernsey to the UK or the reverse has had to meet the full cost of any healthcare needed.

Deputy Michelle Le Clerc, Employment and Social Security President, told the States: "The intention of the scheme will be to target those who would struggle to obtain medical insurance for travel in the UK, due to prohibitively high costs.

"This is not a direct replacement for the former Reciprocal Health Agreement."

If approved by the States the scheme would be trialled with funding from the Guernsey Health Service Fund.

More details are due out in March and it could be available later this year.

Members urge states to support single parent families

BBC Radio Jersey

Jersey's government is being urged to bring back financial support for single parent families who are struggling.

The States is debating the removal two years ago of payments under the income support system.

Scrutiny chairman, Deputy Richard Renouf, says it has hit some of the most vulnerable people in Jersey and wants it reinstated.

They struggle more than other groups, they have the deepest need. We are suggesting we return to them the support that this assembly recognises they should have."

Effects of beach cleans 'could take years' to see

BBC Radio Guernsey

It could be many years before the Channel Islands see the positive impact of the efforts to reduce waste getting into our oceans, a member of the Alderney Wildlife Trust has said.

Claire Thorpe said there was a "substantial increase" in the number of volunteers helping in a huge beach clean across the Channel Islands, and a lot more waste was collected.

She said the islands were not big culprits, but should not get "complacent" about rubbish.

I would say, compared with some of the pictures I've seen after the big storms, our beaches definitely here on Alderney - and photos I've seen on Jersey and Guernsey - they're not as bad. But we still feel the effects."

Claire Thorpe

Jersey Water prices rise by 2.75%

Freddie Miller

Broadcast Journalist BBC Radio Jersey

Water bills in Jersey are to increase by an average of £10.95 a year from April.

water
Getty Images

Jersey Water said prices for water and standing charges were to rise by 2.75%, which is equivalent to an increase of 3p per day for the average household.

Company chief Helier Smith said it had plans to spend more than £3m in 2018 on projects, including an extension of the mains water network, water quality improvements and improved IT systems.

He added the price rise was "below inflation", and, over the last 10 years, there had been a real-terms reduction in the price of water of about 9%, taking this into account.

States to look into 'cost of citizenship'

Chris Rayner

BBC Radio Jersey Political Reporter

The fees for becoming a British citizen could be reduced in Jersey.

British passport
Getty Images

The Department for Home Affairs is looking at whether the £1,300 cost is appropriate or putting people off becoming British nationals.

During a debate about whether constables should hold a British passport, Assistant Minister Deidre Mezbourian confirmed her department was reviewing the fees.

Senator Philip Bailhache was among those urging Home Affairs to take action.

He said: "I see no reason at all why we have to follow the United Kingdom in setting exactly the same fee for an application for citizenship."

Condor Ferries 'disappointed' at being dropped by Tesco Clubcard

Condor Ferries has said it will offer discounted crossings to Tesco Clubcard holders, following the supermarket's decision to drop the carrier as a partner on its loyalty card scheme.

Shoppers collect points for money spent with the supermarket giant and these then become vouchers which can be used for things including Condor Ferry crossings to the Channel Islands.

Some could be used for four times or two times their value, but to "make things easier" Tesco said most are changing to three times their value. More than 50 partners were also dropped from the scheme.

However, Tesco defended its move. "The vast majority of Clubcard customers redeem their vouchers at face value, rather than use the rewards scheme, so this change will only affect a small minority of total Clubcard customers," a spokesman told the BBC.

Condor Ferries
BBC

We have had some customers contact us who save their points just so they can take a day trip to Guernsey. It's disappointing that Tesco has decided to stop working with us without explanation or warning. We hope by providing this day trip offer, we will help to ease any disappointment caused by the move.”

Guernsey sees 'record number' of bus journeys

Simon Fairclough

Political Reporter

A record number of people used Guernsey's bus service in 2017, it has been revealed.

Sitting in the States Assembly, Deputy Barry Brehaut said 1,778,577 journeys were made across the network - an 8% increase on 2016.

Crashing waves at Corbiere

Rob England

BBC News Online

Alan Moss sent us this view of the choppy seas at Corbiere Lighthouse this morning.

New retail tax in Jersey 'not likely to be reversed'

BBC Radio Jersey

The decision to tax larger shops in Jersey is "not likely to be reversed", according to the treasury minister.

Senator Alan Maclean brought the proposal - to introduce a 20% corporation on tax retailers who make profits over £500,000 - during the island's 2018 budget debate last year.

Yesterday, Jersey's Chamber of Commerce urged the government not to bring in the new tax until States members have been given "all the facts".

The chamber, which represents some of the larger retailers to be affected by the tax, said its members were "not consulted" on the changes, as had been claimed during the budget debate.

But Senator Maclean said the move was the result of a "year-long programme" of analysis and research on how the tax might affect the island.

He added the Treasury had "discussed draft proposals with affected retailers" and "listened to their views" before publishing its plans.

"It is important to remember", Senator Maclean said "that this measure only affects retailers whose annual profits exceed £500,000 - most of which are owned outside Jersey.”

Jersey constables 'must be British citizens'

Rob England

BBC News Online

Anyone standing for election as a constable in Jersey will have to be a British citizen.

States members voted by 32-7 in favour of making the requirements for candidates standing in an election for deputy, constable and senator the same.

A full list of requirements, excluding the new changes, can be found here.

'Damp in walls and cupboards' of blood donation clinic

Rob England

BBC News Online

Jersey's blood donation service would not be licensed again at its current home and needs to be moved, hospital staff say.

blood donation
Getty Images

The service is being suspended for three months whilst a new base is found.

A spokesman for Jersey's Health and Social Care Department said "damp" had been found at the facilities.

Adrian O'Keefe, the General Hospital's pathology manager said the service was due to be re-licenced, but inspectors would "not be impressed" with its current home.

He said: "We've got damp in the walls, we've got damp in the cupboards, the floor is peeling up, the windows let the wind and dirt in. So, really, we need to do something about our accommodation."

"As part of the new hospital plan, we were going to have to move at some point in the future anyway. We're just looking to move sooner rather than later."

Latvian man was licensed shotgun holder

Rob England

BBC News Online

A man whose car was found burnt out on Guernsey's south coast was a licensed shotgun holder, police have said.

Mikus Alps
Guernsey Police

Mikus Alps, 33, was last seen in the early hours of 8 January, the same day emergency services were called to tackle the car fire.

Officers later said a shotgun and "other items" were found in the vehicle, along with human remains.

Guernsey Police Chief Officer Patrick Rice said further work to identify the remains of the weapon were being carried out.

Police previously said they "were aware" Mr Alps had some connection with a pro-Ukrainian and anti-Russian movement

Post-mortem on human remains to begin on Thursday

Rob England

BBC News Online

A pathologist from the Home Office is due in Guernsey tomorrow to conduct a post-mortem examination on "human remains" found in a burnt out car in Petit Bot on 8 January.

Petit Bot car burnt out
Colin Dodd
Police say it could take two weeks to identify the human remains

Officers said the "small and large fragments of bones" were found in the car registered to Latvian national Mikus Alps.

The 33-year-old was last seen in the early hours of 8 January, the same day emergency services were called to the car on fire.

Guernsey Police Chief Officer Patrick Rice said "exhaustive work" had been carried out to examine all of the burnt debris from the vehicle.

"Please note that the post-mortem will not confirm identity, but may help us better understand the potential cause of death," he said.

Further tests are due to be carried out for identification after the post-mortem.

Police said it could take two weeks to identify the human remains.

More on this story:

Missing Latvian national 'ran war effort campaign'

Guernsey Press

Missing man Mikus Alps was running a campaign to collect items to take to the war effort against pro-Russian forces in Ukraine.

States committee elections held after four resignations

BBC Radio Guernsey

In the States of Deliberation, Deputy David de Lisle and Deputy Dawn Tindall have been elected onto the Economic Development Committee to replace Deputies Jan Kuttelwascher and Jennifer Merrett.

Deputy Lester Queripel became a member of the Committee for Education Sport and Culture and Dawn Tindall was also elected as a member of the Committee for Health and Social Care.

Earlier, the States of Election sat and David Robilliard was elected as a jurat of the Royal Court and he will be officially sworn in at a later date.

'A dream come true' - if Alderney tapestry could join Bayeux

Ben Chapple

BBC News Online

The Bayeux Tapestry is set to be displayed in the UK after France agreed it could leave its shores for the first time in 950 years, the BBC understands.

Kate Russell, from the Alderney group behind the 'ending' of the tapestry completed in 2013, said if their tapestry could also be displayed alongside it in the UK, it would be a "dream come true".

She said the group was looking to approach those involved in the display, which would not happen before 2020, to see if the Alderney Bayeux Tapestry could be included.

Scenes from the Alderney Bayeux Tapestry
Alderney Bayeux Tapestry

I didn't think the day could get any better than when we had our tapestry in the Bayeux Tapestry museum. This might just prove me wrong. This could be even bigger to have it back in its home in England with our tapestry at the end."

Kate Russell

First time buyers should 'get a barge instead'

BBC Radio Guernsey

Beaucette Marina
BBC
Beaucette Marina

Islanders trying to get their foot on the property ladder in Guernsey are being encouraged to "buy a barge" rather than a house by a local businessman.

Beaucette Marina owner Stephen Haines has said he intends to sell or rent up to six craft initially.

He said he believes barges "are an awful lot cheaper" than living in St Peter Port, and could be bought with a bank loan, much like a house.

Traders could be allowed to refuse same-sex couples

BBC Radio Jersey

Business owners may be allowed to refuse to serve gay people who are getting married, if changes to Jersey's new marriage law are approved.

States members previously voted to approve in principle a same-sex marriage law, but it is facing a full review before it is introduced.

A scrutiny panel has brought forward extra changes, including the possibility of protection for business owners who do not want to serve same-sex couples.

The chairman of the scrutiny panel looking into the draft law, Deputy John Le Fondre, said the changes were about seeking "respect from all sides".

We are suggesting that the States, at the very least, should consider a narrow clause which would mean that traders would not be compelled to participate if it was against their religious belief, but, if they wanted to, they could."

Deputy John Le Fondre

Drop in Sark tourism 'due to poor weather'

BBC Radio Guernsey

Sark's tourism committee says "poor weather" is responsible for a "blip" in the number of visitors to the island in 2017.

Sark
BBC

A recent report found 2,000 fewer passengers were brought to the island by ferry providers, despite a rise in the number travelling from Jersey.

The chair of the committee, Sandra Williams, said the island was "very weather dependent", but she was not "too downhearted" by the drop.

"The weather here in September and July was pretty atrocious for us," she said. "We were doing really well with the numbers until July."

BreakingGuernsey education debate begins

Simon Fairclough

Guernsey Political Reporter

Political debate has begun on the future of secondary and post-16 education in Guernsey.

In opening, the president of the island's Education Sport and Culture Committee set out the government's proposals.

Deputy Paul Le Pelley said the aim was deliver world class education.

He emphasized the certainty the committee's three-school model would bring and said it was a solution which is designed specifically for the Bailiwick.

Guernsey should 'support successful education plans'

BBC Radio Guernsey

Islanders have been asked to support whichever system of secondary and post-16 education politicians in Guernsey choose.

Debate begins today in the States Assembly to decide whether to have two schools or three schools on the island.

Tabitha Carr, who chairs the Guernsey Youth Forum, said people needed to support the final choice.

Whatever decision is made, the politicians have got to work together and put the next generation at the heart [of the issue]. The uncertainty will end this week, but we have to work together with the politicians to know that they have chosen the right decision. Because we elected them in, we have to put our heart and soul into the decision they make."

Tabitha Carr

The latest from our BBC Weather Watchers

BBC Weather Watchers

Chris Cumulus bring us this overlooking the islands from Guernsey’s east coast this morning.

La Tonelle, Guernsey
BBC
The view from La Tonelle

Jersey 'should follow' Guernsey pension scheme

BBC Radio Jersey

Plans for a new automatic enrolment pension scheme in Guernsey should be adopted by Jersey, according to the chief executive of the island's Citizen's Advice Bureau.

pension fund stock image
Getty Images

Malcolm Ferey said too many people were falling into "pensioner poverty" and a scheme to encourage more saving, starting at younger ages, was needed.

Mr Ferey said saving more could reduce the risk of pensioners realising their circumstances "too late".

The Guernsey scheme was proposed by the island's government yesterday.

If passed, employees would contribute 6.5% of their salary into the new pension, with employers contributing 3.5%, according to the States.

Van bursts into flames

Jersey Evening Post

Firefighters were called out on Wednesday morning after a van burst into flames in a lay-by off Victoria Avenue.

Jersey blood donation room 'has damp'

BBC Radio Jersey

People will not be able to give blood in Jersey from February because the room at the General Hospital has been deemed "unsuitable".

A spokesman for the Health Department said the current room had damp and a new location was yet to be finalised.

He added the donation service needed to move to be in line with "updated EU standards".

However, blood stocks for medical situations such as patients in surgery, women giving birth and serious accidents have been secured using supplies from England, the department said.

LIVE: States of Guernsey

Guernsey States Chamber
BBC

You can listen to live coverage of today's meeting of the States of Guernsey and analysis from BBC Radio Guernsey here.

The key issues to look out for today are elections to the Committee for Education, Sport and Culture; and the debate on the future of secondary and post-16 education.

LIVE: States of Jersey

States Chamber
Ryan Morrison

Listen to live coverage of the States of Jersey from BBC Radio Jersey.

Continuing on from yesterday's sitting, the States will be debating changes to the laws for electing and holding the office of constable.

Guernsey pension plans 'will affect small business'

BBC Radio Guernsey

Small businesses in Guernsey would have to rethink how they operated if an automatic pension enrolment scheme was introduced, a shop owner says.

St Peter Port High Street
BBC

Kevin Buckley, who runs the sandwich shop Metro Deli, said the proposed move from the States would be "difficult" for small businesses to fund.

It would mean employees would pay 6.5% of their wage every month to the scheme, with an additional 3.5% contribution from an employer.

Mr Buckley said that, if the plans went ahead, he would not be reducing his staff's salaries to cover the costs, but he might have to look at other areas of his business to make up the difference.

"For me to give them more money, or give the state more money, I would then have to try and find that 3.5% from somewhere else," he said.

"Would that mean I have to put my prices up? Would that mean I need to look at future employment of staff? Do I have to expand? Do I have to retract?

"It may not sound like a lot", he added, "but any small business with one to 10 employees, it's going to have an effect on their business."

'Ongoing issues' with missed health appointments

Josephine Baker

BBC Radio Jersey, Reporter

Missed hospital appointments are an "ongoing issue" in Jersey, the Health Department has said..

A Freedom of Information request revealed 16,616 people missed appointments in 2017.

The areas where the highest number of people failed to attend appointments were dental, infectious diseases, diabetes and dietitian consultations.

dentist examining patient
Getty Images

A spokesman for the department said it had a "reminder system" in place and it tried to be flexible, even resorting to over-booking appointments to compensate for those not attending. But it added that this could cause delays.

Missed dental appointment figures were "much higher" than the department would like, the spokesman said, and this had had a "significant impact" on the department's ability to manage waiting lists.

If adults fail to attend two appointments, patients are now discharged, according to the department, and further work on reducing missed appointments is continuing this year.

"This may result in further measures to cut waiting times." a spokesman said.

Weather: Cold and windy with showers

BBC Weather

It will be a cold and windy day across the Channel Islands, with sunny spells and occasional showers.

Showers will gradually ease, with cloud thickening from the west during the afternoon.

Maximum temperature: 8C (46F)

Jersey:

weather
BBC

Guernsey:

weather
BBC

Cannabis drug to help multiple sclerosis welcomed

BBC Radio Jersey

A Jersey man who has multiple sclerosis (MS) says any new drug that can help alleviate pain "will be welcomed".

Paul Cobden, who is a member of the Jersey Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre, was speaking after the health minister announced a drug containing cannabis would be available free on prescription from next week.

He said that he and his fellow members had been aware of the drug Sativex for some time, and he was hopeful that it would treat the pain he had everyday.

He said: "I think it's a good thing. Anything that can help pain for those suffering from MS, as well as chronic disease; anything like that is beneficial."

Multiple sclerosis stick shot. Pic: Getty Images
Getty Images

The incurable disease causes the immune system to attack the protective coating of nerves in the brain and spinal cord, which can create problems with a person's vision, walking and balance.

Sark sees fall in peak season tourism

Phillippa Guillou

BBC Radio Guernsey reporter

Fewer people travelled to Sark from Guernsey in peak season last year according to latest figures.

Sark Chief Pleas
BBC

A new report shows more than 2,000 fewer people travelled using Isle of Sark Shipping in 2017.

The figures, from Sark's Tourism Committee, show a 4.3% in the number of people travelling with Isle of Sark Shipping in 2017 compared to 2016.

However, more visitors travelled from Jersey using Manche Iles Express, which saw a 7.5% increase in passenger numbers compared to 2016 - an extra 675 people.

The report, which is due to be debated in the Chief Pleas later, said bad weather in July and September and a cloudy August put people off travelling to the island for a day trip.

Committee Chairman Conseiller Sandra Williams said the island was "remaining positive" and would continue to work to attract more visitors in 2018.

Sailings from Guernsey to Sark cancelled

Twitter

Storm warning remains in place

Rob England

BBC News Online

A red storm warning remains in place today for the Channel Islands after advice issued by Jersey's Met Department.

Gusts of up to 65 knots (74 mph) are expected.

View more on twitter

Guernsey Airport has also issued a tide alert for today and tomorrow, which warns there may be some spillages over sea walls.

Drivers are advised to look out for debris on coastal roads.