Thursday, 10 January 2013

Getting noticed

Thanks to my friend Nick Palmer ( for spotting that I was quoted in the Independent today on the subject of population, resources and services.  See

Over the last 6 months I have done a number of interviews with local media on population, pollution, Care leavers and child abuse, climate change and Plémont. What is interesting to me is the spread of those media. BBC Radio and ChannelTV both did a number of interviews, but remarkably the JEP did not cover a single one. I have no idea why, but it is nothing new.

 It transpired that my e-mail address had been blocked at the JEP sometime in the run up to the election in 2011 - perhaps they still regard me as persona non grata. I have a number of times queried content and the failure to update links on their web site (ThisIsJersey), most recently the failure to update the link on the transport site to the new bus service provider and timetable for a number of days after the service began.

 I have also queried the monopoly they have over the publication of the official Gazette, and the inconsistent updating of that public information on their web site. Up to 1960 the law actually required the gazette to be published in 4 Sunday papers - 2 in English 2 in French. The last local French newspaper closed in 1959, which forced a change in the law. If you think 4 sounds like a lot of newspapers for our little island, at one point in the earlier part of the nineteenth century there were 10 or more in town alone. Of course in 1960, we had no local radio or television and the web had not been conceived. It seems to me if we were serious about the Gazette as a public information service we would change the law to make better use of those media. At the very least we should have a properly updated and maintained online gazette as part of the States of Jersey web site.

Monday, 7 January 2013

JiT in January

There is plenty going on below to stimulate any Beginner's Mind. We continue to look for positive, fun and practical things to do, to sow the seeds and tend the shoots of a kinder, more skilful, more resilient and more self-reliant island community.

  • J-CAN monthly meeting - Tuesday 8 January, 8.00 - 9.30 pm at the Town House, New St, St Helier. Energy White Paper; Transport Policy; Energy audits; Campaigns and Activities; J-CAN website and newsletter
  • Upcycling (sewing) - Thursday 10 January, 6.30 - 9.00 pm at the Harbour Gallery, St Aubin.     New creative ideas for 2013? Come along and enjoy MAKING something, professional advice, chat and laughter. It is important that you book in with Kirsten, so that she knows approximate numbers,  via Facebook, or by e-mail at
  • J-CAN talk: Electric Cars: The Future for Jersey? - Tuesday 15 January, 8.00 - 9.30 pm in the Members’ Room, Société Jersiaise, Pier Road, St. Helier. Kevin Sharpe of Zero Carbon World ( will talk about the importance of electric transport in a low-carbon strategy, and the particular relevance of electric vehicles to an island such as Jersey.
  • Green Drinks - Thursday 17 January, 7.30 - 9.00 pm at the Town House, New St, St Helier. Start the New Year with a quiet drink, chatting with like-minded and friendly people, in front of the open fire. What could be better?
  • JiT Talk: The big picture and YOU - Saturday 19 January, 7.30 - 9.00 pm in the Cafe, Communicare, Quennevais Rd, St Brelade. A talk by James Williams. James was a friend of the late John Seymour and helped John on some of his projects. He also worked at the Tibetan Farm School, set up to teach Tibetan refugees subsistence farming. James became a follower of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and meditated at least an hour every single day for over thirty years. He bought a nine acre property in Hereford and grew crops using the Bio Dynamic method. In his talk James would like to share a point of view that is not commonly held. He now lives in St Brelade, with his wife of over fifty five years and is a keen organic gardener.
  • Open Meditation - Wednesday 23 January, 6.00 - 6.40 pm under cover at Liberty Wharf, or outside in Liberation Square if the weather if fine. Thirty minutes of silent meditation followed by ten minutes of sound bath - please bring your voices, singing bowls, chimes. Bring a candle, bring your own cushion or stall for sitting. Everyone welcome, all ages, from every path, experienced in meditation or not.
  • JiT General Meeting - Wednesday 23 January, 7.30 - 9.00 pm, in 'The Boardroom', The Town House, New St, St Helier. Minutes of the last meeting are attached here, as always. Everyone welcome.
  • JiT Filmnight: Home (2009) 93 mins. - Saturday 26 January, 7.30 - 9.30 pm in the Cafe, Communicare, Quennevais Rd, St Brelade. Moving and visually stunning footage, all shot from an aerial perspective. Yann Arthus–Bertrand shares with us his sense of awe about our planet and his concern for its health. "In the past 200,000 years, humans have upset the balance of planet Earth, a balance established by nearly four billion years of evolution. We must act now... The price is too high." A symphony of beautiful music throughout written by Armand Amar.
Everyone is welcome at all these events. There is no charge for any of them, and where we can, we make free refreshments available.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

A bumpy start to the new bus service

Today was the first day of the new bus service under CTPlus.  One expects some teething problems , but the scale of adverse comment and mishap reported to me is worrying.  The drop in passenger numbers in Guernsey since the same outfit took over their service in April made me apprehensive from the outset.  I won't report the third party points, but my two journeys today on the buses I can recount.

The 7:30am  from the Parish Hall did not arrive did not arrive until almost ten to eight.  This despite a lower level than normal traffic on the roads.  When I did get a number 9 the driver was unable to get the new ticket machine to issues the £1.70 fare, only the £1.20  tickets.  At the station, none of the information boards was working, and the hand written notices showed that despite keeping largely the same routes, the departure stands have been changed. My return journey was ten minutes late leaving, and when it got to the border of St Peter and St Brelade the driver clearly had no awareness that the road had been closed all day for electric cable work. 

On the plus side, the seats have more leg room and the buses are quieter.  But this is no substitute for clear information and punctual arrival and departure at stops.  Unless service levels  pick up I foresee local passenger numbers following the Guernsey trend.