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Environment Minister “Very Grateful” to French Authorities Over Fishing

Dec 08, 2022

Yesterday, the Environment, Housing and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel held a Quarterly Public Hearing with the Minister for the Environment, Deputy Jonathan Renouf.

The Panel questioned Deputy Renouf on the state of fishing relations with France. The Minister explained he was “very grateful to the French authorities” for extending landing times for Jersey fishermen to French shores. He added “the negotiations are ongoing, but we are in a good place”, with points of disagreement being ‘highly technical in nature rather than about principles’. 

The Panel further questioned the Minister on progress made to the Carbon Neutral Roadmap. The Minister declared he is “pleased” with the progress of a ‘Marine Spatial Plan’, which has begun by identifying all the potential resources within the ‘marine estate’, including offshore wind. He expressed the need to “move fast” in agreeing on renewable energy solutions, stating: “we need to get a plan in place by the end of the year.” When questioned on the means of funding for a potential offshore wind farm, the Minister replied that all models of investment are “entirely up for grabs”. 

The Panel asked for clarification on the rolling out of an e-bike purchasing support scheme for Islanders. The Assistant Minister for the Environment, Deputy Hilary Jeune, explained that the scheme will be rolled out “early in the new year” as set, one-off payments rather than a percentage of the overall e-bike costs.

The Minister was further questioned on his intention to bring a proposition to introduce a licensing scheme for the regulation of private rented dwellings. He pointed to cost of registration as a previous concern for landlords, explaining that, under the proposed plan, “we are aiming at about 30 pounds a year signalled for a two-year period”. This, he argues, will protect against sub-standard conditions in homes where previously criminal prosecution was the only tool to exert pressure on landlords to improve conditions. “What licences give us is flexibility, they give us the chance to talk to people, to go to a property where they live, there's a problem and say this needs remediation’. 

The Panel also heard: 

•    There are ongoing discussions about building an offshore windfarm, which would take approximately 10 years to build.

•    The Minister plans to designate four special conservation areas over the current political term. 

•    A comprehensive analysis programme of PFAS contamination is under way, including one year sampling of existing boreholes, three new boreholes where water will be tested four times a year “to give idea of movement of water and to see how much PFAS is contained and where it is moving through the system”’.

•    ABCD energy performance certificates for domestic and commercial buildings will become “mandatory” in the future.

Deputy Steve Luce, Chair of the Environment, Housing and Infrastructure Panel, said “We thank the Minister for the Environment, Assistant Minister for the Environment and Officers for their time and insights. We expect the funding and scale of planning needed for the energy transition, whilst fulfilling our growing energy needs, will be significant, so we look forward to regular updates on the progress of all the pressing projects involved.’  

A full recording of the public hearing can be watched here

States Assembly Press Notice

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