Feelings towards fish in the sea, the lowland Gorillas and Jersey’s Castles and buildings of historic importance, all sort of live in the same place with regard to an ongoing importance in my mind.
All three are important and should be protected for the future but in a sensible well managed programme.
The difference obviously is Jersey’s Castles and buildings managed by a team called Jersey Heritage Trust and headed by Jon Carter, friend of Sir Phillip Bailhache. No sooner elected than a cry for more much more money shrieks out from JHT.http://www.thisisjersey.com/2009/08/25/former-bailiff-proposes-new-fund-for-museums/
I haven’t met one person who is against funding for Jerseys’ Heritage ( very different from the JH Trust ) to keep the buildings and important artefacts safe and secure but to try and expand a business with visitor numbers dropping , locals being squeezed evermore by stealth taxes and GST is just plain obscene.
Are there any Castles in need of serious structural failure ? no, just a case of further improving of the Heritage experience by changing a cafés position, that would never happen in the private sector at a castle site isolated half the day by the tide , and limited seasonal appeal. The other issue is turning an old farm into self catering, will I suggest, cost a lot more than the money asked for.
The BBC shows it is in favour of looking after its friends and, in this abysmal piece of reporting quoted below, It forgot to mention the £2.3 million grant given by ES&P in 2010 and that the grant has increased way beyond inflation over recent years. It should also mention the one of the poor management decisions to spend a £1 million on the St. James Church refurbishment, and now waste £15,000 a year on scaffolding that has become a local eyesore.
Maintaining Castles is JHT job, not setting up a property portfolio using taxpayers money to offer accommodation to holiday makers, known as empire building. That enterprise belongs with the private risk taking sector, who incidentally also pay taxes on any profits. I suggest if the JHT want to gain the publics respect and they were doing so well, they start selling off the nice but not needed property portfolio for extra funding, not put the bowl out when pensioners are struggling to pay their heating bills, and the out of work figure keeps rising.
The trust is given £150,000 annually by the education, sport and culture department to invest in projects.
Jon Carter from the trust hopes to be able to work with the education and economic development departments to find the rest of the money.
New projects would see self-catering units at Hamptonne and more cafes.
The trust is planning projects to raise income and upgrade services including moving the cafe at Elizabeth Castle to the Gate House.
And the seating at Gorey Castle could be raised to give customers a better view.
Mr Carter said visitor surveys in 2011 taken at Elizabeth Castle highlighted the need for improvements to catering facilitieshttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-jersey-15446024