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27 November 2014

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You are in: Jersey > My Island > Time > A referendum on time

Eating Outside in St Helier

A referendum on time

You will get the chance to vote in a referendum in October over whether Jersey should be CET or GMT.

After a debate in the States on 18 June, members have decided that the island will be holding its first referendum on 15 October - the date of the Senatorial Elections.

The referendum won't be on government reform or GST. It won't be on energy or waste but will be on whether we should change the clocks and move to Central European Time.

Senator Jimmy Perchard, who proposed the referendum, said it was the ideal subject for a referendum.

He told States Members: "If we give the public a chance to vote on this and if the public were enthusiastic about the idea of moving to Central European Time this could provide the opportunity for us to become more socially aware, more continental in our lifestyles and help us lead healthier and greener lifestyles."

However, the Council of Ministers have set out the advantages and disadvantages of plans to introduce Central European Time.

They say if the public votes for the change, it should be done on an experimental basis for the time being and that the public need to consider two questions when they're deciding if we should move the clocks forward by an hour.

From Leicester's clock to Eiffel Tower

From Leicester's clock to Eiffel Tower

The first is whether the benefits of having an extra hour of daylight in the evening will outweigh the disadvantages of it being darker in the morning.

The second is whether the benefits of any change will outweigh the disadvantages of moving out of the same time zone as the UK, Ireland and Portugal.

They've set out a table explaining how the change could affect road safety, our quality of life and even our television programmes.

The Council say if the States did adopt Central European Time then it should be continually monitored because it's unclear how businesses and industries would be affected.

Have Your Say

What are your thoughts on this? Will you be voting for or against the move to Central European Time in October? Will you bother voting at all?

Will a chance to vote on the time make you more likely to vote in the Senatorial elections?

If we were to move to Central European Time what would be the biggest advantage and the worst disadvantage for you?

If you voted YES in a referendum to change the islands time zone, it would mean moving clocks forward by an hour in line with France.

It's thought the extra time would give islanders longer evenings to enjoy.

However some opponents say as a finance centre, Jersey could be unwise to make its time an hour ahead of UK businesses.

This subject has been talked about many times on our message boards and in the BBC Jersey Time section.

One user, Peter, doesn’t agree that it would affect business. He said “being employed by the Finance Industry, I would say that being on CET would be better for business than being on GMT or BST so sorry Dan, I do not agree with your 'Finance Industry argument. A lot of us work from 8 till 6 anyway!”

Emilie is fed up with all the change. She said “Why is everyone so intent on changing everything? There is no real problem the way things are so what would be the point of changing?”

And Mallouin thinks it would be pretty good all around. He said “Banking/finance surely no longer works so restrictively as it is now a world player, lighter evenings appear to be safer for schoolchildren, farmers work by the natural cycle so who would actually lose out, could it be tv viewers (there you go JEP you would be on to a winner).”

Should Jersey change its clocks to bring it in line with France or should we stay British and leave things as they are now?

last updated: 18/06/2008 at 16:27
created: 29/01/2008

Have Your Say

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

Adam Tuck
Yes i agree on this i think Brtain should adopt this time zone as in the summer the evenings will be a lot lighter and will make us all happier i would prefer it slightly darker on a morning

Ryan (Host)
Graeme - that would be true if it wasn't for the fact that the turnout (number of people voting in) the Senatorial election was actually slightly higher than the number of people voting in the Referendum.

Graeme (Jersey)
Ah now I see why they bought this pointess idea up again. The local elections have been drumming out on the local press this week, if your registered, you could go vote for CET and vote for some new legume's to join the other crusty legume's. Its got every Tom,Dick & Harry hot and bothered, so no wonder they had a "huge" turn out for voting this year, its because EVERYONE made a point to vote NO to CET, I put no X in any new states members on my vote form, just a big X in NO on my yellow referendum CET form. They say its a sign people care as lots voted, but its a blatent lie, high turn-out = the referendum vote for CET, not for ANY new States members, I found nothing in any of the 21 contenders that gave me confidence in their abilities.

yes its nice to see yet again jersey is concentrateing on pure rubbish clearly what time zone we r in is the biggest most important this mean the state find this more important than actual issuses concerning this island and its inhabitants. WAKE UP!sort out the housing problems uu-employment corrupt officials and even totaly insane officials with cleary oputdated vies on how to run an island then worry about what time zone to play in

In theory I love the idea of having lighter evenings and longer daylight. But in practise I dont think the idea is practical. Either way this vote wont affect the outcome of the states final policy anyway, but maybe it will act as a benchmark on any future referendum should they ever take place. Maybe about GST next time?

Johnny Boy
I do not support the change at all. No sir ree! No i don't! 100% against it!Jersey don't wanna be european. We isn't european! We is our own nation! Don't be sheep! Don't follow the crowd! Let's stay with our national heritage - british time!jersey pride for life!

The Falklands are not part of the UK, Sam, and neither is Jersey, although it isn't a colony.The US, Canada, Australia, and even European countries like Spain and Portugal are split into different time zones, so why not Jersey, which isn't part of the UK at all? England, however, is part of the UK, and part of the same time zone as the rest of the UK, unless the UK Parliament makes special arrangements for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

chris wood
anything with the word european as to mean bad news a nit like the word Gordon Brown this really means rotton egg

Richard Y
CET would not affect the finance sector as many people deal with Europe and Asia and if some had to be by their desks earlier it would help the traffic in the peak periods - Please adopt CET

peter rogers
I have written to the UK government as well on this issue of CET the avantages far out strip the disadvantages.I hope the states will adopt change so the hope and pressure would be on the UK to change as well

Peter R
There are dozens of reasons not to adopt CET, such as losing the temporal link with the UK, important for synchronising our business activities with the part of the world we have the most to do with, but also from the perspective of contacting friends and relatives who live in the UK (are they an hour in front or behind will be the frequent cry?), TV schedules, the consequences for ferry and flight schedules etc etc. On the other hand, the primary benefit of a move to CET seems to be that we’d be able to sit outside and enjoy those long balmy Summer evenings….errrr well I think it’s an open and shut case then!! p.s. could someone please explain how adopting CET could possibly help tourism, I don’t get it.

I wish Jersey would just decide yes because then hopefully the rest of the UK will follow! For me being a full time college student i'd rather travel to college in the dark and come home in the light and as for summer who really wants it to be light at 4am when most of us are still asleep, especially in the school summer holidays... kids are still in bed too so it would be better to save the light for evenings!

Whats all this talk about the UK considering adopting CET? As a UK resident, thats the first I've heard of it. I certainly think, as some have suggested to the contrary, that it is not inevitable we will adopt such a time change. Please do not base your voting preference on such a basis.

JulianR, yeah england always takes policies from Jersey as the island is far superior and well ahead of the UK in leading the way in the 21st century

chris of #St Saviour
I think this would be a fantastic ting for Jersey. An aid to Tourism. It will make no difference to the finance industry they work 24 hours now and flexi time is already in use in many offices. It would be an advantage to be an hour ahead of London. We would all get used to adding an hour for the TC & radio schedules, the same as we do with the tide tables. We are not morons and would adapt very quickly. Christopher Lakeman just likes to be in the limelight, ignor him!

turn the clocks back a hundred years! we can eat bean crock and hang people in the royal square.

Freda Ruderham
This was tried before,everyone thought it was a good idea, till the novelty wore off, we endured it for three years,I think, and oh my goodness,we all breathed a sigh of relief, when we went back to Greenwich meantime;no more gettting up in the dark,taking the children to school in the dark,etc.etc. Awful!! the winter was almost six months long, instead of the paltry 12 week, after which the days were already getting longer; and spring was just around the corner, some of us have already been there,and have the T Shirt as well! This crackpot idea crawls out of the wood every now and again, I for one, wish it could be put to bed forever.Just wait till the novelty wears off, if CET, God forbid,does happen, then perhaps when they have had their turn it , getting back to normality,will for them too,be a relief.

Will this effect the UK or will the UK stay GMT / BST if the change happends.does it only effect gernsey ?

Go ahead, Jersey - please vote yes and lead the way. It is much more likely then that England will follow by adopting CET

Who the heck is that idiot Ed? mate- we are definitely not part of the continent - look it up in a dictionary...idiot!

'more continental in our lifestyles and help us lead healthier and greener lifestyles' - what is all this about - why what would a one hour change make other than disrupt business with UK and travel to and from the UK?

John H
I really cannot see any down side especially as the main argument against from some of my colleagues at work is having to wait an hour to watch Eastenders!!

sammi last
Leave things as they are!Its a nightmare getting babies and kids to bed in the summer as it is let alone an extra hour of light.Some of us actually like the winter months!

The Falklands don't use GMT and they're as much a part of the UK as we are. CET ftw.

Why not, I think it's a good idea. I travel from the UK to Jersey often, being at university, one hour isn't going to cause that much trouble. Seeing as we are closer to France than the UK it has always seemed strange that we are on UK time, not CET anyway.

Clive Pearce
Hey J. who said 'it isn't broken' Why stick in the mud when you can accept a change for the better and benefit for all, finance industry included.

Captain Fantastic
I can vote no and against those currently in the States ~ a win win situation. Re time ~ we are where we are. If you want an extra hour in the day get out of your pit in the morning. The current daylight situation is perfect and safe, I see a health and saftey issue if we change it.

Lighter evenings - that is worth moving the clocks for a start. I can spend more time walking and dining outside - more time exercising and chilling after working all day. I will even be able to get out and about before coming home and watching the odd football match - an extra hour to do things for myself.I work in Finance - it will not make a bit of difference - we deal with clients all around the world. As someone else has said - the UK will change soon anyway. It will help tourism - I and my friends love mainland Europe partly because of the lighter evenings.The only real negative I have heard is tv listings - and if people are going to use that as an excuse against all the positives, then...It should be a social and health issue - I will listen to both sides, but so far not one reason for staying as we are seems really valid.

John Phillips
I don’t believe it !There are more pressing matters for this government to tackle. If the people of Jersey want more time in the evening, simple organize our work and institutions to start 1 hour earlier.However, now that that the States in their wisdom have called a referendum – lets have a few more important question on the paper.1. Do you still want GST ?2. Do you believe ministerial government is working ?3. Which of the Council of Ministers should be Chief Minister ?4. Should the Bailiff keep a dual role in the States ?5. How long should the police be allowed to lock up a person without charge ?The list could go on !!!!!

Geographically we are not part of the continent, don't be stupid - we're an island full of idiots that think joining CET would have any sort of benefits at all. Why fix something that isn't broken?

Geographically we are part of of the Continent and not the British mainland and so I for one would agree with the time change. We all love the extra light in the evenings don't we?

Clive Pearce
I would vote yes to change to CET. Why when I fly north to Cherbourg do I become an hour ahead? As for the finance industry I would suggest that it would not cause a problem, if anything we would be up and running an hour before the UK.

Crying With Laughter.
im just pleased we're focusing on important things, as theres clearly nothing else like child abuse scandals and corrupt property developers to sort out. The states certainly arent trying to distract us from real matters at hand.perhaps we should have a referendum to bring another MacDonalds onto the island? A drive thru could be useful. Or perhaps we can decide what colour we would like railings on the esplanade to be? seriously. this is ridiculous.


No i think Jersey should stay the same because i have many firneds from Jersey..and im sure they would agree it would really mess with their heads...also, whats the point because when its nice to think that somewhere else in the world had the same time as us. Change wont do anything to help.

Cyril Georges (Nantes)
Actually there is the GMT meridian line crossing France allready ... therefore there is one hour difference between Brest and Strasbourg.... ShouldEurope (and European decide) switch to a West Atlantique time zone)?It could include: mostly Celtic speaking countries likeBritanny,Wales,Ireland,Corwall ,the UK western counties and the Channel islands...ect The other idea is to set the islands parishes bells in accordance with Mont st Michel tide clock .... (due to Normandy connection)..ectWell, it will be cool for alfresco late dinners but as a catering manager,i go to bed at sunrise anyway.... Let the fishermen and the late jetsetters decide !!...Gooday (bonjour)Bay friends for the referendum !!

david hughes
i think that shifting the clocks on one hour to central eurpean is an extremely good idea and, also i think it will work out quite fine too, as well

Nita and Rick
Move the clock that far forward until GST and the establishment have dissapeared

Change to CET makes sense - finance industry has great links to the continent. IT makes sense, and realistically is not that big a change overall that anyone else would be inconvenienced. I'm happy to move away from ing-er-land as much as possible frankly.As for people wittering on about the chief minister....Why on earth should they be directly elected? Why? You elect all the other states members to run the island. IF you can't trust them to make a decision about who should lead from amongst their own body then why vote for any of them at all?Frankly, if it had been a directly elected position first time round we might well have had syvret as cm.*shudder*

Cheesey, relax! My question is, how much time, effort and expenditure would this cost? I assume it's not simply a case of changing the clocks, but it can't take too much time, aside from the finance discussions our beloved (and I mean that) politicians would have to endure. Lets have longer evenings in the summer, why not?? I'm block booking the summer for a long session of protracted staring out to sea either way. That and drinking. j

so it's the government trying to show 'openess' and democracy to its public, with what topic..? BST or CET, that's real progression. This circus continues to get more pathetic as each week passes. A politics student in his/her 1st year of a degree would have more of an idea than these old planks. Glad i left the island

Why do we pay polititians like Senator Perchard good salaries !!!!!!!!!!He is part of a system which appears able to decide on major issues like GST and are able to waste money on Steam clocks, bronze trees, toads on pedestalswithout any reference to the a trivial thing like changing the clock one hour and he wants a referendumI would have thought Senator Perchard should have enough to do looking after his part of Health Why is he wasting his and many others peoples time with this Take it to the States - YOU ARE ELECTED TO RUN THE ISLAND - TO DO THAT YOU MUST MAKE DECISIONS

KevinI am British as well but I see no problem with this. We already have our own coins, banknotes and stamps so what diference does the time make?Aren't the Gibraltarians British? I think that they have CET.

Well,well,well.Here we go again!Another crucial topic to discuss along with bridges,anthems,the price of fish and fairies at the bottom of the garden.What on earth is the matter with you lot? Can you really be this stupid and serously think that a referendum on CET is in the slightest bit important.I have just ploughed through some of the gushing nonsense scribbled by some of the below contributors (Bob)and feel ashamed! To give this pap even one seconds thought is saddening.There are so many tragic problems confronting this sad little rock that to afford time to a public referendum just seems so completely inane! You might as well mix up the days of the week or the months of the year,it won't make a jot of difference.Its still 24/7.If only the people of Jersey could put the same levels of enthusiasm into changing our bafoons in the 'big house'! Oh well,you get what you deserve I suppose.

Lets not waste TIME on this issue, have a referendum on how to elect the chief minister now, before the autumn elections! Stop wasting our time and yours. 1. a sex offenders law 2. An elected chief minister. 3. independent judges 4. then any other trivia like CET.

I think changing to CET would be a stupid idea.

What a pathetic attempt at open government, using such a wishy washy subject.How about a referendum on the next Chief Minister or how the public REALLY feel about having 120 KNOWN paedophiles (how many dont we know about?) living and working amongst us? oooh too controversial eh!!!

I am British. Ilike being British and for me, changing time will distant us from this and I feel we would become more European. I am proud of being British and I don't want it to change.

Changing to CET would assist the Finance industry, as it would put us an hour closer to the Middle East and Far East time zones, which are becoming the more important client markets for the future.Also for those travelling to London on business trips, you would get a longer day as the 7.00am flight would arrive an hour earlier at 7.00am GMT/BST.It is only a matter of time before the UK adopt CET, as it has been recently established that having lighter evenings, rather than mornings,reduces traffic related fatalities and is more eco friendly.

tired of all this
yet another pointless argument to distract us all from real issues. Nice job Mr Walker and co.

Mr Time
without a doubt the UK willchange their time band to follow the rest of Europe within the next five years so we would have to follow them anyway so lets do it now and once again here we go wasting money on pointless referendums half the island would not even care to vote just do it,

Keith Lajoie
Leave the clocks alone,referendum pointless!

Joe P
Please, for goodness sake, just leave the clocks alone and spend the time and resources on something worthwhile! This is a lot of fuss on something that isn't even a problem!

Tick Tock
Who cares there's still 24 hours in a day. Put that on your hour hand and time it!!!!

Geraint Jennings
Let's have a referendum. It's a simple choice: CET or GMT? Let the proponents of both put the arguments out - and let the people decide. But it's not a question of whether one is more beholden to France or the UK - it's about what's right for Jersey. And whether it's yeas, or whether it's no, at least we might be spared the annual arguments over the time zone (at least for a few years!)

I would just keep my watch on UK time, make allowances for it, and not get my TV viewing messed up. I really don't want a change, but I fully support a democratic referendum. We could ask the voters a whole load of optional questions on a forum at the polls - it would cost very little to do and would be worth so much in terms of satisfying the electorate that they've had their say. We get ignored too often. Yes we vote for politicians to run the island for us, but look what a mess they make so many times. Our democracy is supposed to be all about what the majority wants, but our democracy-by-proxy system all too often fails us because the politicians ignore us. Referenda are good! It's not about weak government, it takes a STRONG government to trust the public who voted for them in the first place.

Dennis Cruz
I Think, being a British Crown Dependency, it would be best if the state follow the BST. - Philippines

i am not waiting till 9 o clock at night to watch ENGLISH football... We are not french.. there is not need for a referendum.. this is a pointless situation.

I think this is a ridiculous idea and I am completely against it. I work in the finance industry (legal sector) and yes, there are evenings where I work till 6, if not much, much later, with the majority of my work being dependent upon London, where entire deals can hinge upon timing! But despite this, Jersey is part of Great Britain, we are British and therefore, it makes sense for us to be on British time. Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe we separated from France many, many, many years ago?! Most of the people coming in and out of this Island come across from the UK and the majority of Islanders leave the Island to go to the UK -what a silly idea, therefore, to place us on European time. I like the way things are, they have been this way of hundreds of years, please can the States get down to dealing with issues that demand their attention ie. public healthcare instead of interfering in our traditions!

In 1204, Jersey made a choice to remain loyal to the Crown and be separated from France. Why would we want to be on European time? We have close ties with London and being one hour ahead would mean less of an evening for all those workers in the Finance industry. Anyway, BST gives us the extra light in the summer. I think it is a ridiculous idea. Our latitude dictates our time zone and we are a British island - we should have British time.

no question about it, get on with it and stop um-ing and ah-ing, we should have changed to one hour ahead of the uk years ago

How typical of our Chief Minister to support a referendum on something largely irrelevant - he should have supported the call for a referendum on a public vote for Chief Minister. But that would have ruled him out, of course, not to mention his planned successor Senator Le Sueur.

I agree with those that suggest individuals that want more eveing time can go to work an hour earlier.Otherwise all tv and radio feeds will be wrong. Then there is the evening planes that won't be landing until after 10pm each night.

I say Yes ! It'll give people an extra hour to spend money in bars & restaurants - so ergo sum more tax £ generated via GST ! A cunning move there me thinks from FW !!! I'm just suprised he hasn't asked for it humbly to be called FWT !

Although I find myself arguing with a lot of comments on this website... this one I feel I just want to make a small point.There are plus sides and negative sides to this argumentand a lot of people are possibly blinded to many pros and cons.

Two things that would be worth remembering would be 1. Everyone wil need to change to the new time zone if we go ahead with it. Although it may seem that this is just a case of moving your watch an hour there is a lot of expense and getting used to that would need to take place.

2. Travelling to and from Jersey is mostly done via the UK. Although many people enjoy trips the France the majority of any travel is done via a UK airport. This will mean a whole change to how we deal with travelling to almost anywhere in the world.

If I can point out that I am not necessarily against changing time but people need to realise that this is not something that can be done on a whim. Lets all think carefully before we jump in!

Start schools at 7.30, open shops at 8.00, open banks at 8.30 and there's no need to change the time, just get up earlier, and enjoy the earlier finish to the working day. No fuss, no timetable and travel problems, no TV / radio problems. There are only 24 hours a day, so just shift the times we all do things, Changing to CET does not mean you gain an hour, just an hours light in the evening, this can be gained by going home from work an hour early! My vote would be leave alone, too many problems in changing.

Clive Pearce
Hey Nick, I think you are missing the point. CET is not just for office pen pushers, your term, it is for all to enjoy and the hour at the end of day is more beneficial than at the start. And Martin I worked shifts for 25 years and going to work in the dark was not a problem. I also regularly finished in the dark and I know where I would have preferred the daylight. At the end of the working day of course.

martin bullivant
This needs thinking through-one can argue for advantages and disadvantages. However, there is a seductive temptation about 'being different' and 'European' without any other more concrete it would be light in the evening-but that means its darker in the morning too. Hello....??? Do we REALLY want to go to work in the dark? (Sunrise would be after 9 am in December guys...swings and roundabouts....

Montfort Tadier
Note how Mr Walker is happy to let the public decide on such trivial issues, but when it comes to the big issues such as how the Chief Minister he thinks it is best for the Government to make that decision for us

Oh so the States are prepared to have a referendum? But on time? How ridiculous? They ignore all our pleas to have a referendum on States reform but give us one on this ridiculous topic.

Nick Jouault
Tell the office pen pushers to get out of their pit earlier in the morning then they would get their hour. They get paid enough so why should we change to suit their lazy life style.

Picture This, a place where the beaches are clean, the sea is not polluted, the air is always fresh,even in the winter when you just look out over the scenary we have to offer its amazing.there is very very little crime(in comparison to other places)we still have values about how we treat people espcially visitors. you can always get a smile.our finiance center is looked on as one of the finest and its a jolly nice place to live, where is this you all shout surprise surprise JERSEY. so lets not beat around the bush we all want more time at the end of the day to watch the sun go down and enjoy life after a hard day, so its CET for me come on jersey just do it.

Chris Fairbairn
CETGreat Idea, if its that bad why is Europe doing it?

Why all this talk of referendum. States members are elected to run the Island - they are paid a good salary to do this workGET ON WITH IT AND MAKE DECISIONSAll this dithering wastes timeWHY - are we always hearing 'we seek public consultation' or 'referendum 'GOOD politicians will and should know the thoughts of THEIR public through constant dialogueWhen was the last time a States member held a 'surgery' to gauge publis thoughts?????????

Why all this talk of a referendum !!!!!!

Your opinion doesn't count.The States (actually, the handful of business men that run this island) will do what they want to do irregardless of public consensus.When will people learn?

Clive Pearce
Hey Troy, why should we compromise? Let us bite the bullet and do it properly. All to often Jersey takes the compromise or soft option and ends up with a pile of poo! Of course advised by U.K. experts at considerable cost. Phew!! got that off my chest.

Clive Pearce
Moving to CET would improve the quality of life for those that work ie: extending the day for them to enjoy some down time in daylight after the toils of the office etc. Also why when I fly up to Cherbourg, which I often do, am I one hour ahead of Jersey? Does not make sense to me where CET does, Big Time!!! I think this move would not cause commerce any problems whatsoever. xxx

What about a compromise; moving the clocks forward 30mins.?

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