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  1. 'Conflict' claims over RNLI report 'serious' - deputy

    Rob England

    BBC News Online

    A deputy accused of pushing his "political agenda" in a report on Jersey's RNLI row defended his actions after the claims.

    The States announced a review into the dispute last year between the charity and the former St Helier Lifeboat crew.

    RNLI St Helier all-weather lifeboat
    Image caption: The RNLI all-weather lifeboat "George Sullivan" based in St Helier harbour

    But the review, organised by Deputy Steve Luce to "inform" the island's politicians, was blasted by Senator Sarah Ferguson, who called for a public inquiry and accused the deputy of being "conflicted" due to his "strong links with the RNLI".

    Senator Ferguson wants states members to back the public inquiry to provide information on an upcoming debate, where politicians will be asked whether they will officially back the Jersey Lifeboat Association (JLA) who formed after the former crew parted ways with the RNLI.

    Deputy Luce said he took "great offence" to the "serious" accusations he was conflicted over the issue, and says he was asked by the chief minister to organise the report, because of his "background and knowledge on lifeboat matters".

    The deputy is a former volunteer for the charity.

    He also accused the JLA of sending "confusing" messages by wanting to add to the island's search and rescue potential, whilst "ridding" it of the RNLI.

    "I have already declared, and the chief minister has endorsed, that the second option is not one that we would support." he said.

    More on this story:

  2. States to offer £100k for 'enhanced' ferry service

    Rob Byrne

    BBC News Online

    Jersey's government says it will offer £100,000 to ensure Manche Iles, the chosen inter-island ferry provider, offers an enhanced timetable.

    Manche Iles Express

    Concerns were raised on Thursday that the company's initial timetable did not adequately serve Guernsey, with just seven day trips available from the island. Guernsey's government says it's still working with Manche Iles on this summer's timetable.

    Jersey's Economic Development Minister Lyndon Farnham said without financial support island governments had already secured "a greatly enhanced, low priced, inter island service", however discussions were still going over how a subsidy can enhance the serving.

    He said: "Officers from my department and their Guernsey counterparts are in discussions with Manche Iles Express to enhance the timetable even further and the department has up to £100,000 available to achieve this.

    "It is important that we utilise any subsidy available in the inaugural year to ensure we have the best service logistically possible."

  3. Pay dispute: Jersey teachers balloted on strike action

    BBC Radio Jersey

    Jersey's teachers have been officially balloted to see if they want to go on strike over a pay dispute.

    A ballot box

    A letter has been sent to members of the National Education Union, recommending they take action after the States imposed a 2% pay rise on them.

    Union leaders described it as "outrageous", as they had wanted a bigger increase for their members.

    But the government said the offer was affordable and sustainable, and it has no powers to give teachers a greater pay rise.

  4. Guernsey greenhouse gas emissions increase in 2016

    Rob Byrne

    BBC News Online

    Greenhouse gas emissions increased in Guernsey by 3% in 2016, according to the latest States figures.

    Energy from transport was the largest proportion of emissions (28.6%) in 2016.

    The majority, 67.2%, were carbon dioxide.

    Guernsey's power station

    Between 1990 and 2016 emissions have, however, fallen by more than a quarter (27.9%) as the island has become more reliant on low-carbon energy imported via a french cable link.

    Guernsey is signed up to the Kyoto Protocol, which sets reduction emissions targets of 12.5% by 2020, but is in discussions over adopting an amendment which extends targets after 2020.

    Scientists believe we are adding to the natural greenhouse effect with these emissions, trapping more energy and increasing the temperature, commonly referred to as global warming or climate change.

  5. Blue skies across the islands

    BBC Weather Watchers

    It might be cold and a little breezy, but there are beautiful blue skies across the islands this afternoon, captured by our Weather Watchers Winter, Chris and Andy.

    St Helier Harbour, Jersey
    L'Ancresse Bay, Guernsey
    Torteval headland, Guernsey
  6. Rise in complaints against Jersey hospital staff

    BBC Radio Jersey

    There's been a 51% rise in the number of complaints against staff at Jersey's General Hospital.

    A BBC Radio Jersey Freedom of Information request reveals the number of complaints rose from 95 in 2015 to 144 in 2017.

    One hundred of the complaints were centered on "attitude" and "behaviour and care".

    Jersey General Hospital

    Health Minister Andrew Green says all complaints are taken seriously, but investigating them is not always straightforward.

    He said: "In those cases, the staff are spoken to but there are always two sides to an argument".

    "Some of my staff have to put up with some pretty appalling abuse and they're human as well, [but] sometimes they will perhaps be less professional than they might be."

  7. Flybe shares soar as Stobart eyes airline

    Press Association

    Shares in Exeter-based Flybe have soared by more than a fifth after the owner of London Southend Airport said it was weighing a potential swoop for the regional airline.

    Flybe - which operates daily to Jersey and Guernsey - was up 24% in afternoon trading on the London Stock Exchange, with Stobart Group eyeing a tie-up as it searches out "alternative structures" for its airline and leasing business.

    Stobart Group, which spans infrastructure, energy and aviation, said one option was to take a "non-controlling interest in a vehicle to acquire 100% of Flybe".

    However, it cautioned that there was no guarantee a firm offer will be made.

  8. Academic wants to capture 'important' occupation memories

    Rob Byrne

    BBC News Online

    Video content

    Video caption: Guernsey Liberation Day: The story behind one of the well-known pictures of 9 May 1945.

    Islanders who grew up during Guernsey's occupation or in the years following World War Two could yield "important" memories, an academic due to visit the island has said.

    Richard Guille, 25, is a University of Kent student researching people's memories of the Nazi occupation of the Channel Islands.

    As part of his PhD project he would like to speak to people in Guernsey who had memories of occupation, evacuation or deportation.

    That includes islanders born in 1943/44 who grew up immediately in the "war shadow" in what "ultimately was a very difficult time for the islands trying to come out of this incredibly traumatic period.

    "I think that those memories are incredibly interesting and important as well," he said.

  9. Academic wants to tell occupation story 'in your words'

    Rob Byrne

    BBC News Online

    People in Guernsey who experienced German occupation, evacuation or deportation are being asked to share their memories with a visiting academic.

    German troops march along St Peter Port High Street

    Richard Guille, a PhD student at the University of Kent with relatives in Sark, is planning on visiting the island later this year to speak to islanders as part of an oral history project, something he believes will offer a fresh perspective on this turbulent period of history.

    He said: "There are some very uplifting moments, there are also some really tragic moments.

    "An interesting way to write this particular history today would be to actually try and get the islanders - the people who experienced it themselves - to actually tell me in their own words," he said.

    If that is you, or perhaps know someone who would be willing to share their memories, you can find Mr Guille's details here.

  10. Frosty nights see Jersey Royals get special 'fleece'

    Rob Byrne

    BBC News Online

    The onset of cold weather in Jersey has seen some of the island's famous potato crop get a special protective "fleece".

    Teams have raced to cover the earliest crops on the slopes.

    The Jersey Royal Company's 20,000 tonnes of potatoes are bound for UK supermarket shelves every year.

    Video content

    Video caption: Jersey Royals get sheet 'fleece' - courtesy of The Jersey Royal Company
  11. Deputy slams calls for public inquiry into RNLI row

    Rob England

    BBC News Online

    A publicly funded independent inquiry into last year's RNLI dispute risks being an "expensive fishing exercise", a deputy has said.

    Deputy Steve Luce

    Deputy Steve Luce defended a report the States announced last week into the issue, which is being put together by Guernsey's harbour master Captain Chad Murray.

    The dispute centered around a row between the RNLI and the former St Helier lifeboat station crew, who now form part of an independent charity, the Jersey Lifeboat Association (JLA).

    Yesterday Senator Sarah Ferguson - a member of the committee which formed the JLA - called on politicians to back a public inquiry into the row.

    But Mr Luce, who organised the States report, says he offered a public inquiry before, but "no evidence" had been presented to merit one.

    "All parties, the government, Ports of Jersey, the coastguard, the RNLI and the ex-crew, have already acknowledged they could have intervened in the deteriorating relationships earlier," he said.

    The deputy also accused the JLA of adopting a "a negative and aggressive tone" around the current report.

    "This is not what I would expect or hope to see from an organisation that wishes to become part of Jersey's search and rescue community," he said.

    Mrs Ferguson accused Mr Luce of being "the most conflicted politician" to be involved in the dispute.

    More on this story:

  12. 'Increasing likelihood' of snow in Guernsey from Monday

    Twitter

    Guernsey could see snow from Monday, with temperatures continuing to drop over the weekend, Jersey Met Department says.

    It's issued a "yellow" snow alert, meaning an early indication of potential snow.

    View more on twitter
  13. Bumblebee: 'Boat gone but company will still exist'

    Rob Byrne

    BBC News Online

    "A mixture of reasons" are behind Bumblebee's decision to sell its main vessel, the company has said.

    The boat ran between Guernsey and Alderney for six years, but the company said there was "no future" on the route after they were unable to agree financial assistance from Alderney's government.

    The bumblebee ferry
    Image caption: The bumblebee vessel ahead of its sale earlier this week

    Managing Director Dan Meinke said: "It's sad to see it go, but it's the right decision for the business and we've got to move on."

    The sale of the vessel to a dutch survey company for an undisclosed sum would allow Bumblebee to invest in other areas, including rib journeys, he said.

    Earlier this month, the company was unsuccessful in its attempts to get financial assistance to run an inter-island ferry service, something Mr Meinke said would have required a different vessel.

    "The boat has gone but the company still exists because we have plans with the Bumblebee brand in the future," he added.

  14. Air fares petition: Aurigny blames Alderney losses

    Rob Byrne

    BBC News Online

    States-owned airline Aurigny says it's taking steps to stem losses on its Alderney route, as thousands sign a petition calling for the airline to reduce its fares.

    Aurigny passengers queue to get on to a flight

    The company says it's working on changes to the way the route - which loses about £3m each year - is run.

    There will be a "substantial improvement" in Aurigny's overall financial performance as a result of the changes, the company said.

    Guernsey student Ryan Sullivan started the petition, claiming Aurigny's business model is "flawed" as their prices remain high yet the company continues to post losses.

    Aurigny has announced plans to introduce a new fare structure which will see lower hand luggage only prices, but delayed its introduction.

  15. Sewage plant cover costs cause a stink

    Freddie Miller

    Broadcast Journalist BBC Radio Jersey

    Jersey's infrastructure minister is "disappointed" more than £4m of taxpayers' money has been committed to reduce the smell at Bellozanne, the site of the island's sewage treatment works.

    The money will pay for covers to be put on the works, subject to planning approval, but Deputy Eddie Noel says there's no proof these covers will make any difference following complaints from neighbours about the smell.

    As part of plans to build a new sewage plant at the site, the covers are required.

    Deputy Noel said while he's delighted the overall plans have been approved, he thinks the government will be spending £4m when it might not need to.