Sunday, December 12, 2010

Election Manifesto 2011

Dear Elector of St. Helier

When I stood for election nine years ago the Parish was on the verge of bankruptcy, with angry ratepayers determined to slash its budget at the annual Rates Assemblies. I promised if elected to get the Parish finances under control.

Together with the Procureurs du Bien Public, the Parish staff, and with the support of the Parish Deputies I have managed to reduce expenditure and increase income so that St Helier’s rates are no longer the highest in the Island, Reducing the cost of Parish administration has not been at the expense of front-line services – financial stability means that we have been able to take on new posts such as increasing our Parish Warden headcount to 5, and, following a successful trial in partnership with Transport & Technical Services, successfully recruiting 5 additional street-cleaning staff to provide cover in the evenings and at weekends.

Together with the Parish Deputies I have successfully argued in the States against building on the site of the new Millennium Town Park, and this project is set to become a reality next year. Ratepayers have approved the purchase of a building to provide new toilets in the town centre, and a proposal will come to a Parish Assembly in the New Year to build a new residential home as part of the redevelopment of Westmount Quarry. Other exciting plans for 2011 include the opening of new youth and community facilities at La Pouquelaye, First Tower and the Move On Café, and the construction of a shed for recycling at the Mont a l’Abbe depot.

The success of latest recycling trial in La Pouquelaye means that we are preparing to provide weekly kerbside recycling collections across the Parish; we are continuing to trial food-waste collections in the Havre des Pas area, and we are going to bring back monthly glass collections, as not all parishioners find the communal glass bins convenient. We will continue to work to improve parking facilities in the Parish, and to increase the supply of spaces for the Residents’ Parking Zones as well as for motorcycles.

Following my uncontested election for a fourth term as Constable of St. Helier on Wednesday 1st December, I look forward to continuing to control expenditure, improving services, defending the best interests of the Parish in the States’ Assembly, developing our day nurseries and residential homes, and supporting the many people who fulfil valuable Honorary roles in the Parish all this at the same time as reducing Parish Rates. I am holding public meetings at which I will set out my policies for the Parish, answer questions and receive feedback on my manifesto on the following dates in the New Year:

Tuesday 11th January, First Tower School at 7pm

Wednesday 12th January, the Old Magistrate’s Court, Town Hall at 7pm

Thursday 13th January, at the Havre des Pas bathing pool café at 7pm

Alternatively please feel free to contact me for more information on telephone 720830 or email:

Key achievements so far

  1. Parish finances under control

  2. Progress with Parish property portfolio including Westmount Quarry and the Old Magistrate’s Court

  3. Residential Homes and Day Nurseries among the best in Jersey

  4. A second recycling trial at La Pouquelaye and agreement of a recycling partner in France

  5. New front line posts in street-cleansing

  6. New website for the Parish

  7. New Residents’ Parking Schemes and more Parish Wardens

  8. Championing St. Helier’s position in the States Assembly

  9. Workscheme for the unemployed and an aprenticeships programme

  10. Open meetings of the Roads Committee and monthly meetings with Parish Deputies

  11. Annual grants to young people and youth groups

  12. Honorary Police recruitment and training

  13. Town centre management and regeneration initiatives

  14. Support for the ‘Community in Bloom’ Group and our new Battle of Flowers’ Committee

  15. Investment in new play facilities at People’s Park and the Parade

  16. ‘The Town Crier’ newsletter – new monthly format delivered across the Parish

  17. Refurbishment programme for toilets and additional facilities

  18. High standards maintained in Parish parks, gardens and cemeteries

  19. Support for local charities in the Seale Street charitable offices

  20. Increased use of Town Hall for community uses, such as Senior Citizens’ lunches

The challenges ahead


I will continue to ask questions of Ministers in the States and to bring propositions forward for debate as I try with my fellow Deputies to ensure a fair deal for St. Helier. There are several key States debates and works in progress that could have serious impacts on our Parish if the States make wrong decisions in 2011:

  1. the long-awaited debate on the North of St Helier Masterplan, to which I have tabled an amendment to secure adequate open space for residents and to prevent ‘town cramming’

  2. the debates on Speed Control and the new Island Plan

  3. the ongoing debate on the proposals for the Esplanade Quarter, and the need to protect the interests of the retail heart of town, especially the markets

  4. the future of Fort Regent and proposed developments ‘East of Albert’ including the harbours

  5. the implementation of the Transport policy including proposals to improve pedestrian safety in places like Midvale Road and the Queen’s Road roundabout, to promote safe and responsible cycling and to increase shopper parking

  6. the review of the Licensing Law and the implementation of initiatives to make St Helier a less threatening environment on Friday and Saturday evenings

  7. the opening of the new incinerator at La Collette and the potential effect on Havre des Pas; ongoing problems for the residents of First Tower posed by States recycling and sewage operations at Bellozanne

  8. the debate on whether the States should pay rates on their properties – a successful outcome for St. Helier will mean an extra £1m per annum to address the inequity of our ratepayers subsidising public amenities such as parks, gardens and toilets

I have a proven track record of championing the interests of the Parish in the States Assembly, and pledge to continue in this work during the coming year.


I will continue to work with the Parish Assembly, the St Helier staff team, the Procureurs du Bien Public, the Parish Deputies, the Honorary Police, the Roads Committee, Accounts Committee, and the many other groups which meet to plan the successful administration of Parish life. I believe that the key challenges facing the Parish in 2011 are:

  1. the need for continuing financial control, especially in the difficult economic climate, tackling inefficiency and waste, maximising non-rates income, with the target of further lowering the Parish rate at our Rates Assembly on Wednesday 6 July

  2. the introduction of kerbside recycling collections, including community recycling points for those with insufficient space to store recyclables, and a return of domestic glass collections

  3. the need to develop further our ability to keep St Helier clean, especially the provision of more litter bins, and greater enforcement of littering offences

  4. wise management of the Parish’s property portfolio, both of schemes already approved by the Parish Assembly such as new town centre toilets, and the potential purchase of a new residential home as part of the Westmount Quarry development

  5. the provision of more benches and trees around the Parish

  6. the monitoring of the operation of the existing Residents Parking Zones, making improvements as required, and developing new zones where requested by parishioners

  7. the opportunities to develop further the opportunities for community involvement in Parish life, especially in the Honorary Police, and the ability of parishioners of all ages to enjoy the facilities and activities provided around the Parish

  8. the development and implementation of environmental policies for the Parish

I look forward to working in the months ahead with the talented and enthusiastic team of St Helier staff and volunteers that has the improvement of our Parish as its no. 1 priority.

Constable Simon Crowcroft

I started a new language school for foreign students in St. Helier in 1991. I was elected as a Deputy of St. Helier No. 2 District in 1996 and chaired the Urban Renewal sub-committee of the Planning & Environment Committee which played an important role in the refurbishment of the bathing pool at Havre des Pas as well as in the rejuvenation of town, with new tree planting, pavement widening, unloading bay provision and traffic calming. In 2001 I was elected Constable of St. Helier; I was returned unopposed in 2004, and won a contested election in 2008. On 1December 2010 I was returned unopposed to serve a fourth term which will expire on October 2011 when there will be a general election.

I have given up my business interests in order to concentrate full-time on the running of the Parish

I am a family man, 52 years old, with three sons aged 27, 25 and 22, and two daughters aged 14 and 9. My wife, Angela, teaches art at Jersey College for Girls

Formerly a resident of St. Brelade, where I lived from the age of 15, I chose to raise my family in town to be closer to work, to the schools and to the vibrant community that is St. Helier.

Nomination paper

Thank you to the following residents of St. Helier who have nominated me to serve a further term of office as the father of the Parish:

Clive Barton, Paddy Freeley, Iain Macfirbhisigh, Ann Bailhache, Stewart Mourant, Roselle Godfray, André Ferrari, Martyn Gallery, James Spriggs and Gordon Bullock

Please feel free to contact me for more information on telephone 720830 or email:

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Planning Committee and St Helier

Today I attended the public meeting of the Planning Applications sub-committee to support a request for reconsideration in respect of the Broad Street cafe. The proprietor and his architect have asked for planning permission to enlarge the serving hatch as the present one is simply too small to meet his operational needs. Admittedly the montage of the larger hatch wasn't too attractive, and this is a listed building, but all the same, the permitted (small) hatch was inserted as part of the conversion of the building from Victorian toilet to modern cafe, so the request to enlarge it seemed reasonable enough to me.

So, which elected members compose our Planning Applications sub-committee? Some rural constables and some out of town deputies - not a single member from the Parish of St Helier, of which there are eleven in the States Assembly. Last year the committee turned down a request for a pavement extension to allow some more al fresco in a part of town that needs every bit of extra retail vibrancy that it can get; and today they turned down, unanimously, the request to make a minor change in a cafe serving hatch.

Thanks, guys!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

St. Helier is getting cleaner

I still have to pinch myself when I see our staff with their brushes and handcarts, or astride their green machines, and it's dark. For as long as I can remember you only ever saw one or two people cleaning the town streets in the afternoons, and it's long been an ambition of mine to have street cleansing crews working into the evenings, as happens in many other towns of this size.

Since July last year there has been a new trial in place whereby all of the Parish street cleansing staff are concentrated on the area within the Ring Road, while the TTS or States staff deal with the rest of the Parish. But St. Helier parishioners voted extra funding so we could increase our staffing to cover the afternoons, evenings and weekends, and what a difference it is making.

Not that we're home and dry, by any means - we still have to tackle the root of the problem and deter people from dropping litter in the first place; we need to improve the provision of litter bins, too - sometimes I pick up some litter and find I have to walk half a mile before I find a bin to put it in; we need to allocate more resources to the actual washing of pavements and precincts. But progress is definitely being made towards a cleaner St. Helier.

Friday, January 29, 2010

The St Thomas' RPZ

The latest addition to St Helier's Residents' Parking Zones or RPZs went live at the beginning of the year. As with the previous RPZs, Cheapside and St Mark's, there have been teething problems; for people on the waiting list to get a permit it is particularly frustrating not being able to use the areas which were previously disc parking, while some residents who already have off-street parking are concerned about whether there are enough spaces provided for visitors. At the meeting accompanying the launch of the new RPZ, held for obvious reasons in St Thomas church hall, a number of useful suggestions were made, especially about how the number of parking spaces available may be increased, and the team at the Town Hall is looking into the proposals. These include making it legal to park on some parts of the street that are currently yellow-lined and removing some of the 'ugly' concrete planters, some of which have pretty stunted trees in them.

Most of the feedback we have received has been positive: residents of streets previously clogged up in the evenings and weekends by high-sided commercial vehicles are delighted to get some light in their windows; the Parish Wardens, whose activities are funded by the permit fee, are adding to the sense of security in town streets; in St Helier, as elsewhere, residents' parking adds to the sense of living in a particular neighbourhood, spares residents the headache of having to move their vehicles all the time, and means that if you live in town and want to drive out to the beach or the countryside you have a pretty good chance of being able to park in the vicinity of your home when you come back.

Though I don't qualify for a RPZ permit, I still get a real buzz when I walk in town streets and see the permits in the windscreens of most vehicles. It's the kind of practical politics that got me into this in the first place, and it takes me back to the first meetings of the working group which were held in the language school I ran in Don Street. Martyn Gallery was there, Bernie Manning, Jenny Bridge and several others. The latest RPZ has taken 12 years to deliver, but that's still not quite as long as the Millennium Town Park or a parish-wide recycling scheme.