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Inside the States


Question Time

Question Time for 28/02/2006

Read Questions put to Ministers as part of Question Time and listen to the sessions.


Under the new system of Ministerial government there is a 30 minute session at the start of every sitting where members have the opportunity to ask questions, without notice, to ministers.

The session is split into two periods, with one Minister in each half taking questions. The Chief Minister has to take questions during the second period at every other meeting.

We will write up the questions asked in each half along with the full audio from each session so that you can hear the Ministers response.

The sittings take place every two weeks. You will also be able to read the written and pre-submitted oral questions on the Hansard section of the States Assembly website.

QUESTION TIME – HOUSING

Terry le Main

In the first half of the Question Time sitting, members had the opportunity to ask the Minister for Housing, Senator Terry le Main questions without notice.

Some of the subjects included states rent, maintenance, the sale of housing stock, Maufont Village and the Le Coie development.

Click on the audio link below to listen to the questions as well as Senator le Main’s response. You will need the free Real Player to listen to any audio clip on this site.

audio Listen to the full first half of Question Time >
Audio and Video links on this page require Realplayer

Deputy Shona Pitman

“Could the Minister explain how the cost of maintenance for States Housing has accumulated to an astronomical £90 million?”

Deputy Judy Martin

“In a written question to Deputy Southern on the structure of the new banding system under the rents, the Minister states that 2,640 properties would increase.

“Could the Minister inform the house whether he has had close discussions with Employment and Social Security, given that this will obviously increase the rent abatement which is being passed across to that Ministry under the new low income support?

“Could he also inform the house, under the banding system for housing rents, who will control the private sector rent setting with the private rent rebate being attached to the maximum rent set in housing at the moment?”

Deputy Geoff Southern

“Will the Minister confirm that having built 95 flats on Le Coie site for a total cost of £20.3 million he proposes to sell them off to the Jersey Homes Trust for £12 million leaving an £8.3 million subsidy, and that further, over the next 21 years, he will further add to that cost the sum of £2 million guarantee on interest rate and a further £16 million in rent rebate that will be paid out to the Jersey Homes Trust over the 21 year period of their loan, leaving a total of £26.3 million paid out for those flats that will then be owned by the Jersey Homes Trust.

“Does he think this really represents value for money?”

Deputy Geoff Southern

“Can I refer him [Terry le Main] then to his own document, P161 of 2003 in which he outlines that the starting point for rent rebate will be £415,000, his own document, which will rise over the next 21 years by 3.5% a year, as agreed by his committee, as was, and does he accept that this totals £16 million?”

Deputy Roy le Herrisier

“Would the Minister having implicitly accepted explicit responsibility for the total brake down of maintenance over the past several years, would he tell the house how the new system will avoid the problems that have bedevilled him for the last several years?”

Deputy Andrew Lewis

“Could the Minister advise whether the proceeds from the sale of any states housing will be re-invested in continuing to improve the housing stock and funding on going maintenance programmes?”

Deputy Bob Hill

“Almost 12 months ago the States agreed to transfer the ownership of the roads, footpaths and lighting at Maufont Village from the housing department to the parishes of St. Martin and St. Saviours, could I ask the Minister what steps he’s taken, could I also say that the grass verges were not transferred, could I ask the Minister what steps he’s taken to ensure the transfer of the grass verges do go ahead to the parishes or as they have not done so already, is he minded to keep the grass verges?”

Deputy Judy Martin

“In a statement made a few weeks ago now the Minister said they would be freezing housing rents this year and in the same statement he said he did understand with the contract with housing trust the States have agreed they will allow them to raise their rents by at least 3.5% each year.

“So can the Minister assure this house that a pensioner living in a States flat, a one bedroom of £140 and a pensioner living in a trust of £140 will not be worse off by at least £5 a week because the rents are not going up and the fair rent is probably going up by at least 3.5% in the trust sector?

“He did not answer my question on the new banding system, who will set the private rent rebates for the private sector when housing rents are not going to be the same as they are now in the future?”

Senator James Perchard

“Is the Minister aware that P161 on La Coie quite clearly outlines the approval of drawings, the sale once completed to the Jersey Homes Trust and the level of subsidy, which is actually in excess of the level that is actually being used to subsidise and perhaps Deputy Southern who was part of the assembly who passed this projet is mischief making against it, who voted against it?”

Deputy Geoff Southern

“Three parter if I may sir, firstly, has the Minister read the Jersey Homes Trust 9th annual report dated 1st January 2005 and b does he recognise the opposition stated in there to a form of regulation of housing trusts which he is investigating at the moment and does he believe that opposition to regulation is appropriate given that all the work of the trust is out sourced and under a code that specifically permits the awarding of contacts for remunerated services to firms having a connection to the trustees, to the trust, i.e. they are paying out money to their relations, to the tune of £625,000 a year in maintenance and administration costs in that trust.

“Does he believe that sort of practice should be regulated?”

Deputy Geoff Southern

“He didn’t answer my first question, has he read the report?”

QUESTION TIME – PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT

Senator Freddy Cohen

In the first half of the Question Time sitting, members had the opportunity to ask the Minister for Planning & Environment, Senator Freddy Cohen questions without notice.

Some of the subjects included the town park, high rise on the Waterfront, agricultural buildings, recycling and more on the Waterfront.

Click on the audio link below to listen to the questions as well as Senator Cohen’s response. You will need the free Real Player to listen to any audio clip on this site.

audio Listen to the full second half of Question Time >
Audio and Video links on this page require Realplayer

Deputy Roy Le Herrisier

“Would the Minister inform the house of the policy he wishes to take in respect of disused agricultural buildings?”

Deputy Carolyn Labey

“Would the Minister confirm what priority he gives for the percentage for art policy set out in the island plan and if he would consider making it a non-voluntary scheme for buildings over a certain square footage of building cost?”

Deputy Alan Breckon

“Is the Minister aware of the content of the financial impact survey that was done into the Waterfront and what planning implications does he see in reference to St. Helier?”

Deputy Andrew Lewis

“Could the Minister advise the house whether the call from certain quarters that we are over consulting on the Waterfront is justified or should we simply let WEB and it’s partners get on with the project?”

Deputy Roy le Herrisier

“Could the Minister define what he means by Jerseyness in architecture, for example does he see granite clad skyscrapers on the waterfront?”

Deputy Geoff Southern

“Does the Minister consider that the local relevance in the context of overlooking Elizabeth Castle it is appropriate to have High Rise casting their shadow whether granite clad or not?”

Deputy Rob du Hamel

“Have all requests to attend the forthcoming presentation on the Waterfront been accommodated?”

Deputy Roy le Herrisier

“Is the Minister aware that attempts at matching with disused agricultural buildings have for the most part got nowhere sadly because there have been few incentives available to the department?

“So given that has been the experiences thus far, what other ideas does he have in order to deal with empty sheds?”

Deputy Judy Martin

“Would the Minister confirm if he has any concerns now that all the waste of the island is going down to La Collete, that the recycling plant is going to be at least a year late in coming on stream, does he feel that this will not affect the target that has been set for the next ten years for recycling?”

Constable of St. Brelade

“The Minister will no doubt be aware of the burgeoning fulfilment industry over here, the [...] report on this indicated there would be an enormous demand for large warehousing, has he got any plans to accommodate this in any way?”

Deputy Rob du Hamel

“Has a specific budget been set in order to provide assistance to the urban task group and if so how much?”

Deputy Geoff Southern

“In the last meeting I asked the Minister whether he had seen the report on the contamination at Gas Place and whether he would release that. Can he tell us how much progress has been made with that particular report?”

Deputy Jacqui Hilton

“The Minister for planning made much during his election campaign of shared equity housing. Could he inform the house whether he has considered using his planning powers to rezone land to achieve that outcome?”

Deputy Jacqui Hilton

“I directed this question to the Minister of Transport a couple of weeks ago and was told it was probably best put to the Minister of Planning.

“In light of the report that he’s informed the house today that will be released on the contamination of the Gas Place site, can the Minister inform members whether he has considered any sites away from the Gas Place site for the car parking side of the Town Park?”

Constable of Grouville

“I am grateful for the statement made by the Minister this morning with regards to third party applications for property development, I note his answers and am very grateful for them.

“Could he give me any idea on the timing in which he envisages in proposing a change in the law?”

Deputy Roy le Herrisier

“What is the most difficult issue that the Minister faces at present?”

Senator Philip Ozouf

“Would the Minister be pleased to know that the Urban Task Force was funded to the tune of £200,00 from £100,000 from the car park trading account by the former Environment and Public Services Committee and the balance of it from the Millennium Fund from the Chief Ministers department, would he pleased to know that the Urban Task Force is well funded and well on its way with its work."

Next time

The next sitting is on March 14 2006 and Home Affairs Minister Senator Wendy Kinnard will take questions in the first period and then the second period will feature the Minister for Treasury and Resources Senator Terry le Sueur.

The full text of the questions and answers from this session, along with the written questions and questions with warning will be available on the Hansard section of the States Assembly website in about two weeks.

last updated: 28/02/06
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