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Summary

  1. Controversial Jersey innovation fund suspended
  2. Sark Vineyards has announced the closure of its business in Sark
  3. Condor cancels ferries due to heavy wind
  4. 'Nearly £7,000' spent kennelling Mr Bronx
  5. Guernsey midwifery head issues statement to reassure pregnant women as tribunal continues
  6. Missing man sparks overnight search
  7. Updates on Thursday 12 January 2017

Live Reporting

By Ryan Morrison

All times stated are UK

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Thanks for joining us at BBC Local Live for the Channel Islands

That's all from BBC Local Live in the Channel Islands for today, we'll be back at 08:00 to bring you all the day's news, sport, travel and weather updates.

Don't miss BBC Channel Islands News at 18:30 and the late bulletin at 22:30 tonight.

LibertyBus launch 'accessibility card' in Jersey

Ryan Morrison

BBC News Online

Jersey's only bus company, LibertyBus, has launched a new accessibility card that will allow passengers to "discreetly" show a driver if they have extra needs.

Accessibility Card
LibertyBus

The company says the card comes with a selection of stickers that passengers can put on the front to quickly show the driver if they need extra time at a stop, help getting off the bus or to be told when to get off the bus.

Nikki Withe, HR, Training & Community Transport Manager, said: "We’ve worked hard over the last six months with Jersey Mencap, JDP, EyeCan, Les Amis, Jersey Stroke Association and Highlands Life Skills students we have hopefully been able to make sure we’ve got our card right for the user."

Nearly 1,300 looking for work in December

Ryan Morrison

BBC News Online

There were 1,280 people registered as looking for work in Jersey at the end of December 2016 - the lowest number in six years - new figures reveal.

Actively Seeking Work
Jersey Stats Unit

The Jersey Statistics Unit report also found there were 270 people registered unemployed for more than 12 months, which is up by 70 on the previous year.

The Assistant Social Security Minister Deputy Graham Truscott said the improvement was down to the success of the Back to Work programme and support from local businesses.

Deputy St Pier says 'we need to back education'

Ryan Morrison

BBC News Online

Guernsey's most senior politician, Deputy Gavin St Pier, who backed a motion of no confidence in the education committee, says he's now asked the States to get behind the committee.

Deputy Gavin St Pier
BBC

I sent a message to all states members last night to say we need to get behind the committee, we all have a job to do and we will get on and do that.

Deputy Gavin St Pier

Good governance 'not in place' for innovation fund

Ryan Morrison

BBC News Online

Jersey's Comptroller and Auditor General, Karen McConnell, has released a "highly critical" report into the £5m Jersey Innovation Fund set up by the States of Jersey in 2014 to fund local companies.

Karen McConnel
Jersey Audit Office

She said: "The Jersey Innovation Fund was a new scheme which required an entrepreneurial approach. Such an approach requires an excellent understanding of good governance consistently applied in practice. That has not been demonstrated.

"In addition, when weaknesses in arrangements were identified prompt and effective action should have been taken to address those weakness. Again, that did not happen."

Trees down on Guernsey roads

BBC Travel

  • The junction of Ruette Rabey and Ville Amphrey is blocked by a tree
  • A tree has come down in Le Vauquiedor between the hospital entrance and the traffic lights at La Brigade. Motorists are requested to avoid the area
  • There's also tree down in St Saviour. It's blocking Rue De Quanteraine

Delay over transfer of Alderney Ambulance Service

Ryan Morrison

BBC News Online

A decision on transferring the ownership of Alderney's Ambulance Service to the island's government was deferred at a States meeting last night.

Under the plans, the service will transfer from current provider St John to the Alderney Foundation - which manages Alderney States assets.

There were concerns from newly-elected politician Mike Dean over a lack of information about the deal. A decision is now expected to be made at the next States meeting.

St John Ambulance
BBC

Football: March date likely for Jersey FA's Uefa hearing

Jersey Evening Post

Jersey FA president Phil Austin believes a Uefa hearing with the Court of Arbitration for Sport will take place towards the end of March.

Guernsey west coast road closed

BBC Travel

Police say the Perelle coast road has been closed to traffic, due to the current weather and tide conditions. Officers ask people to avoid the area.

Health agrees to scrutiny recommendations for hospital

Ryan Morrison

BBC News Online

Jersey's health minister has accepted a series of recommendations from scrutiny on the future hospital project including appointing a qualified project director as soon as possible.

Jersey Hospital
BBC

Senator Andrew Green says scrutiny's report into the matter was fair, professional and comprehensive.

Scrutiny also recommended an independent advisor be appointed to review work, and advise the project board of how it is progressing.

Senator Green said scrutiny's input had a balanced view of the hospital debate, and he looked forward to working together with them as the project progresses.

Sark wine still not released

Ben Chapple

BBC News Online

With the news the vineyards in Sark are being closed it's fair to say producing wine in Sark has been controversial.

The vineyards, set up in 2010, have been the subject of a protest, the target of vandals, led to a push for a land use policy and yet a single bottle of wine has yet to be released.

Sark Vineyards say they have about 28,000 bottles in various stages of ageing.

It says an early preview of the 2014 vintage is due to be presented to some international wine experts and buyers in late spring of this year and it expects it all to be pre-sold ahead of its release in December 2019.

Farming 'could be harmed' by immigration plan

Ryan Morrison

BBC News Online

The president of the Jersey Farmers Union says struggling farming businesses will be hit by new measures to curb immigration to the island.

Jersey Royals
BBC

Ministers say Jersey's population needs to be controlled as it's grown well beyond predictions, with more than 1,500 new migrants in 2015 and a similar number expected in 2016 when figures are revealed.

Companies with lots of non-local staff could have some of their licences taken away. Farmers Union president Peter Le Maistre says plans to target unprofitable businesses are worrying.

Deputy Neil Inder's record on education

Chris Quevatre

BBC News Online

As you might imagine, after only a few months in office, Deputy Neil Inder doesn't have a very long voting record, but he's made his views on education particularly clear.

Before his election to the States of Guernsey, he was vocal on social media in his support of a selective school system, and backed that up by voting against the decision to scrap the 11-plus in December.

Guernsey Grammar School
BBC

After that vote failed, he called the decision "the assassination of the Grammar School".

Now that he's joined the Committee for Education, Sport and Culture, he'll join the other members in coming up with an all-ability, three-school system which is due to be debated in the summer.

Six companies benefited from innovation fund

Ryan Morrison

BBC News Online

Six companies have shared in the £2m worth of loans or grants as part of the Jersey Innovation Fund since it launched in 2014.

A report by the comptroller and auditor general was heavily critical of the fund and the way it has been managed.

We don't know how much was given to each company or whether any money has been paid back as this information is commercially sensitive, according to a Freedom of Information response.

The Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, said the fund had been suspended and no money was given out in 2016.

  • Stumpydog Innovations Ltd: Develop a playpen for babies
  • Total Billing Solutions Ltd: Develop a medical billing system for businesses operating within the health care sector in Jersey and the UK
  • Snap Ring Joint Limited: Commercialisation of a pipeline coupling for connecting and repairing pipelines, specifically in the oil and gas sector
  • Logfiller Ltd: Distribution of a computer software solution that measures the actual user experience and system use
  • Sideplay Entertainment Limited: Distribute Instant Win Games (IWG) content to online gaming operators and lottery organisations
  • Proviz Limited: Distribute high visibility sportswear and accessories into international markets  

Savills buys Montagu Evans to establish local presence

Guernsey Press

One of the biggest names in the UK property scene has bought into Guernsey.  

Wild bird feeding scheme 'a success'

BBC Radio Jersey

A group of researchers working with Jersey farmers say they've seen a massive increase in wild bird numbers in the island.

Fields being monitored by the wildlife group Birds on the Edge have seen a five-fold increase in the last three years.

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Warning over high tide and gale force winds

Ben Chapple

BBC News Online

Guernsey's emergency services are warning islanders the high tide at 18:30 will combine with forecast winds of force 8-10.

They have advised motorists and pedestrians to not take any risks  and are advised to avoid the west coast if possible.

Deputy Neil Inder fills empty seat on education committee

Chris Quevatre

BBC News Online

Guernsey's newest politician Deputy Neil Inder has been elected unopposed as a member of the Committee for Education, Sport and Culture.

He was nominated and seconded by the president and vice president of the committee.

Neil Inder
BBC

A spot on the committee opened up after Deputy Marc Leadbeater resigned his position ahead of a vote of no confidence.

The vote failed yesterday by 22 votes to 13, meaning the other four members remain in their roles.

Plans for a second Mr Bronx walk

Ryan Morrison

BBC News Online

Mr Bronx was kennelled at the Jersey Animal Shelter for 10 months after customs suspected him of being a pitbull type, this is after he had already been with his family for some time.

Mr Bronx
Jason Gomes

His owner, Jason Gomes, says it is wonderful to have him back but they are having to work with him to make him a fully socialised dog again, including getting him used to walking on a lead and wearing his muzzle.

During the 10 months there was a campaign supported by hundreds of islanders as well as celebrities like Anthony Head. Islanders also held a dog walk for Mr Bronx to raise awareness and show support.

Mr Gomes said: "I'm hoping, later in the year when the weather is nice and he is more socialised, we can do another walk and people can meet him."

Sharp rise in wild birds after vacant field scheme

Ryan Morrison

BBC News Online

The number of wild birds in Jersey being monitored by a group of researchers has increased by more than 500% in the last three years, the group confirmed.

Bird
BBC

The Birds on the Edge wildlife group plant vacant fields with crops to feed the birds during the winter.

They also catch and monitor the birds in the fields, allowing the group to follow their progress.

Cristina Sellares, a researcher, says numbers may have improved even further this winter.

Latest headlines in the Channel Islands

Ryan Morrison

BBC News Online

Jersey

  • The President of the Jersey Farmers Union says struggling farming businesses will be hit by new measures to curb immigration to the island.
  • Nearly £7,000 of public money was spent kennelling a dog while Jersey's court decided if it's a banned breed.
  • A controversial states fund to support new businesses should be suspended according to Jersey's auditor general.

Guernsey

  • A vote of no confidence in Guernsey's education committee was lost last night, by 22 votes to 13.
  • Sark Vineyards announces it is to close
  • Bus passenger figures are the highest they have been in 20 years, surging nine point seven five per cent above the 2015 figure.

Weather update: Wintry showers and strong winds overnight and Friday

BBC Weather

Cloud and rain, heavy at times, will be moving eastwards during the day, accompanied by strong winds, with gales in places. 

Rain will clear to scattered wintry showers during the evening, and it will feel colder, particularly in the strong north-westerly wind. 

It will be a cold night, with a mixture of clear spells and scattered wintry showers. It will be quite blustery, with a strong north-westerly wind, with gales around exposed windward coasts. 

Friday will see a mixture of sunny spells and scattered wintry showers. It will feel bitterly cold with a strong north-westerly wind. Maximum temperature: 6C (43F)

States start-up fund shambles that's costing us millions

Jersey Evening Post

A damning new report has revealed a catalogue of failings in the way in which a fund which gave more than £2 million of taxpayers’ money to start-up companies was set up and handled.  

Aurigny cancels flights due to forecasts of snow

BBC Travel

Guernsey States-owned airline Aurigny says it is working on solutions to limit the impact of snow and strong winds due to hit the islands and the UK over the next few days.

The company says with London City Airport more vulnerable to adverse weather than other London airports, they have taken the decision to cancel the City flights on Thursday evening and Friday morning.

Passengers on these flights can rebook on an alternative flight free of charge or cancel for a refund.

They have also cancelled the Friday morning flight between Guernsey and Manchester due to the forecast.  Flights to Gatwick may face delays but are due to operate.

Sark Vineyards 'fails to see any future' in island or economy

Ben Chapple

BBC News Online

The owners of Sark Vineyards say they have "invested millions of pounds in the project, but they now fail to see any future in Sark or its economy".

Sark Estate Management, owned by the Barclay Brothers who live on neighbouring Brecqhou but run locally, says in its statement the authorities in Sark "have obstructed the vineyards’ progress throughout".

The statement said: "The decision of 5 October 2016 to introduce taxation of alcohol production itself, amounting to a tax on one industry only on Sark, severely undermines the future financial viability of the business."

BreakingSark Vineyards closes

Sark Vineyards has announced the closure of its business in Sark.

Bus company launches investigation after vehicle filmed driving on wrong side of road

Chris Quevatre

BBC News Online

Guernsey's bus operator, CT Plus, has launched an internal investigation after a road user posted this video on Facebook showing a bus driving on the wrong side of the road and forcing other drivers on to the pavement.

Guernsey bus driving on wrong side of the road

Condor cancels ferries due to strong winds

BBC Travel

Channel Island ferry company, Condor, has cancelled its fast ferry sailings between Guernsey, Jersey, St Malo and Poole on Friday 13 and Saturday 14 January.

Condor Ferry
BBC

The company says the weather conditions were "in excess of the legal limits" for its high speed ferries. 

Condor says it has put extra staff into its reservations department to let passengers known and help re-book them or give a refund. 

Innovation fund report 'very critical'

Ryan Morrison

BBC News Online

Jersey's Comptroller and Auditor General, Karen McConnell, has released a heavily critical report of a government backed innovation fund aimed at providing grants and loans for companies in the island.

Karen McConnell
Comptroller and Auditor General

Ms McConnell has hinted she may have uncovered criminality in outside parties which have dealt with the fund, which would force her to take her findings to prosecutors. 

Jersey's Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, said the fund had been suspended and no money had been given to companies in 2016.

UK coaches to help Jersey Archery team

Brent Pilnick

BBC Sport

Jersey's archers at the 2017 Island Games will be boosted by the help of two coaches from the UK.

Archery GB coach Harry Heeley is to take charge of the recurve team while Midlands-based coach Phillippa Lowe is to look after the compound squad.

Archery at Jersey 2015
BBC

"It's fantastic for us to get that level of experience," veteran island archer Heath Perrett told BBC Jersey.

"They're people who've competed at national and international level who are coming and give us their support."

New additions to the conservation herd...

Chris Quevatre

BBC News Online

Cows
La Societe Conservation Herd

Here's the perfect excuse to look at some baby cows.

These two calves are the latest additions to La Societe Conservation Herd.

The animals are raised to graze on nature reserves and States land to reduce the dominance of rough grasses and encourage wild flowers and insects.

Cow
La Societe Conservation Herd
Cows
La Societe Conservation Herd

Four flights cancelled at Jersey Airport

BBC Travel

Four flights have been cancelled to and from Jersey Airport because of issues at other airports impacting on available slots, Ports of Jersey confirmed.

Jersey Airport
BBC

Airport authorities say the weather warning is not likely to impact any further flights and staff are monitoring the situation. 

Passengers are being advised to check in as planned unless they hear otherwise. 

Bird flu warning: Keep your chickens and ducks inside

Jersey Evening Post

Islanders are being advised to keep domestic chickens, ducks and similar birds indoors to prevent the spread of bird flu.

Guernsey bus figures 'hit record high'

Chris Quevatre

BBC News Online

The number of people using Guernsey's bus service is at its highest level in 20 years, figures show. 

The data from the States of Guernsey show a 10% increase in the 2016 figures, taking the annual total to more than 1.6m. 

Guernsey buses
BBC

Deputy Barry Brehaut - whose committee is responsible for the service - called the figures "extremely encouraging". 

These figures are the highest collected in the current format, which started in 1996.

Heavy winds expected this evening

BBC Weather

Jersey honorary police have urged anyone needing to go out this evening to take care as winds are expected to reach force 10.

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Sea lettuce fumes may have caused French jogger’s death

Jersey Evening Post

A French jogger who died while running on a Brittany beach may have been overcome by fumes from seaweed similar to the type that builds up in St Aubin’s Bay, scientists have warned.  

Scrutiny 'shocked and disappointed' by fund report findings

Ryan Morrison

BBC News Online

Scrutiny leaders say they are shocked and disappointed by findings of a report into the £5m Jersey Innovation Fund set up by the States of Jersey to help businesses. 

Deputy Andrew Lewis
BBC

Deputy Andrew Lewis says there is no evidence that proper care was taken to make sure that the taxpayer wasn't left short by lending money to new businesses. 

The chief officer responsible, Mike King, resigned last week - and deputy Lewis agreed with the chief minister that his resignation was probably linked to the findings of the auditor's report. 

He says the states must learn lessons from what happened.

'Serious misgivings' about education committee

Ryan Morrison

BBC News Online

A deputy has serious misgivings about the failed vote of no confidence in the current Education Committee. 

They survived yesterday by a wide margin, 22 votes to 13 with five abstaining. 

Deputy Peter Roffey said he feels the Committee may not be able to deliver the radical change needed and may only have a short stay of execution.

Deputy Peter Roffey
BBC

I don't think they're the right team to do it because I don't think they really believe in it and I think if you're not passionately in favour of this then facing up to the opposition that is going to come their way is almost impossible."

Deputy Peter Roffey

Mr Bronx 'getting used to a muzzle'

Ryan Morrison

BBC News Online

The owner of Mr Bronx, a dog kennelled for 10 months after customs suspected him of being a pitbull type, has had to get used to wearing a muzzle and being on a lead, as they were the conditions imposed when he was returned to his family.

Jason Gomes says he returned from the Jersey Animal Shelter a "far less socialised dog". He said he has to get used to the muzzle and he has to get used to walking on a lead again.

Mr Bronx
Jason Gomes

I went to buy a puppy, I didn't go to buy a pitbull. In terms of stopping a car crash like this there should have been a clear process to assess the danger to the public to stop him being locked away from my family for so long and returning a far less socialised dog."

Jason GomesMr Bronx owner

Honorary Police warning for drivers

BBC Weather

Jersey's honorary police force has urged drivers to be careful as there is a possibility of wintry showers later in the day. 

Jersey Met has also issued a red wind alert, with winds of up to force 10 predicted.

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