If the original ideas had
been allowed to go ahead then we may have a ended up with a Waterfront
to be proud of. Unfortunately the waterfront is just another States
overspend in a long list of them. To date, the waterfront has cost
the tax payer £40 million pounds which it may never see returned
to the public purse.
Somewhere along the road of development everything
changed on the waterfronts design. It changed from being low lying,
to a high flying metropolis.
Our once beautiful St Aubins Bay with its view
of the old harbour has now been replaced by a gargantuan monolith.
The building of a 10 screen cinema was totally
unnecessary and out of character with the surrounding area, the
buildings themselves are not in keeping with Jersey's unique architecture,
they quite frankly resemble a kids lego set.
The building of it was an appalling piece of environmental
vandalism unprecedented in Jersey's history. Not to mention the
controversy over toxic ash being dumped in the landfill on which
housing was then built, and the Les Pas land deal, the waterfront
has done anything but live up to expectations.
Millions of pounds of tax payers money, and legal
wrangles later, the waterfront is only 25% finished, how much tax
money will be spent to finish this ill-conceived project? It is
neither finished or even close to it. Sadly it is the tax payer
paying for this, so who were the politicians responsible for this?
The Waterfront was supposed to be a vibrant place that would be
a valuable addition to our tourism industry. The building of an
"Aqua Splash" pool was supposed to encourage tourist's
to book holiday's based on the amenities available at the Waterfront.
The cost however to the tax payer was to be in
the millions, £10.9 million to be exact. This was split between
the original pool £8.4 million and the competition pool £2.5
million. This money came from the Tourism Investment Fund, and was
part of a £25 million fund available to the Tourism Committee.
What is astounding is that the Fort Regent pool
was closed so as not to give the new pool any financial competition.
It closed 6 months after the waterfront pool opened. How on earth
is this value for money to the tax payer? It is you the taxpayer
who are footing the bill for this.
The cost to totally refurbish the pool at Fort
Regent was put at £4.5 million. So why have we seen this vast
amount of public money spent on the waterfront pool? We could have
had 2 new pools for the same price, or the remainder of the money
returned to the public purse to offset this years forecast deficit
of £6 million.
On top of this, in the first 18 months of its
operation the waterfront pool lost £249,000. This was much
higher than expected and questions have been asked why the loss
was so great.
WEB who were supposed to be the development agency
of the States for the waterfront, have now handed the management
of the pool back to the States. This will effectively put any future
loss wholly on the public to pay. I find this to be a wholly unsatisfactory
situation. The mistakes that have been made on the waterfront should
be learned from, and should not be repeated as part of policy making
I wish to see the Waterfront developed but in
real consultation with the public of Jersey not just a select group.
Yes it should be developed but with the height of any development
keeping to our present planning laws. Yes to develop it, but No
to high rise on it.