The Environment, Housing and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel held two public hearings yesterday, the first hearing was held with the Minister for Infrastructure, Deputy Kevin Lewis and the second with the Minister for the Environment, John Young. The questions and findings were focused on the environment and infrastructure remit of the proposed Government Plan 2022-25, which is to be debated in December.
The key findings from the public hearings focused on six key areas:
1. Climate Emergency Fund
- £250m is required between now and 2030 to achieve carbon neutrality, however only £23m has been allocated in the Climate Emergency Fund.
- The Infrastructure, Housing and Environment (IHE) department are looking at additional revenue streams, including public and private partnership options.
2. Sustainable Transport
- The IHE department have noticed a reduction in fuel use in recent years due to the Covid pandemic and more eco-friendly cars being used.
- The Minister for the Environment would like to reduce the amount of traffic in urban areas and would like to see an improvement in speeding and road safety. The Minister commented that he would be "concerned for his Grandchildren if they cycled in Jersey."
- The IHE department have received complaints regarding dangerous mountain bikers on the North Coast, the Minister for the Environment is considering a code of conduct and designated areas to alleviate the problem.
- The roadmap for these projects is being prepared and will be presented to the States Assembly next year.
- The IHE department are working with Normandy on conservation measures, including carrying out scientific research into marine resources.
- The Panel look forward to receiving updates from the External Relations Department regarding relations with Brittany.
- £468,000 is required to manage the backlog of glass waste because the current waste location is full. A private sector wash plant has been set up to recycle glass for use in construction products.
- Some local waste is exported to France and the UK.
5. Border Control
- The IHE department are working with the Government of Guernsey and the UK Government concerning border control.
- The UK Government would like to focus on digital systems not physical facilities to tackle border challenges.
6. Sewage Treatment Works
- The IHE department will be managing the sewage treatment works project since the main contractor went bankrupt, which is considered the best value for money for the taxpayer.
Connétable Mike Jackson, Chair of The Environment, Housing and Infrastructure Panel, commented: “We thank the Ministers and Officers for attending the hearings yesterday. The panel remain skeptical regarding some areas of funding and the future funding for the environment and infrastructure remits. A vast amount of funding has been requested by these departments and the public must see value for money. The Panel will continue to evaluate and question the use of taxpayers’ money in these areas.”
Scrutiny Press Release