Author Topic: The David Turner Affair  (Read 1957 times)

Online Jerry Gosselin

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The David Turner Affair
« on: October 10, 2011, 08:09:12 PM »
Deputy Mike Higgins (standing for re-election in St. Helier No. 3 district on 19th October 2011) lodged a proposition, P. 166/2011, on 4th October asking the Minister for Planning and Environment to make an ex-gratia payment of £7,757 to Mr. David Turner, a registered elector in St. Helier No. 3, apparently to compensate him for expenses incurred over 12 months gathering evidence "to deal with a breach of the Planning Law." The full proposition can be read here:

http://www.statesassembly.gov.je/documents/propositions/18595-18907-4102011.pdf

Maybe it won't come as too much of a surprise when I inform you that the name of David Turner appeared as one of the 10 proposers on Deputy Higgins' election nomination paper, as well as on the paper of a second candidate in the district, Ted Vibert.

You scratch my back...
« Last Edit: October 10, 2011, 10:33:27 PM by Jerry Gosselin »

Offline boatyboy

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Re: The David Turner Affair
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2011, 08:42:25 PM »
Thanks for that Jerry but I think you are thin ice with the planning department. Firstly if any States politician has put a lot of time and effort into securing a result against any States department that has wronged ( in the politicians view ) a member of the public, I see nothing wrong in asking that person to become a proposer at a later date. 

The second point is that charges were originally brought in at planning under the heading of setting up a fund in order to maintain historic and important buildings. That " fund "  now covers a third of wages and costs of the planning department.

You obviously have not tried to fit double glazing or build new garage in the recent past, the red tape and expense is unbelievable. Higgins is correct we are working for the department they are not working for us.

Try reading the excellent recent Reg's Skips fiasco, and then come back and tell us all is well. How much did that planning escapade cost the taxpayer ? well over £350,000 in department legal fees and compensation to Reg's skips.

BB
« Last Edit: October 10, 2011, 08:45:25 PM by boatyboy »

Offline Chevalier Blanc

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Re: The David Turner Affair
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2011, 09:36:06 PM »
And remember phil gave the advise to the neighbour to get Reg's Skips off the site after tell Reg is was ok to take his business there.

Online Jerry Gosselin

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Re: The David Turner Affair
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2011, 11:21:33 PM »
I don't know any of the specific details relating to Mr. Turner's case as the proposition does not go into any detail about how he came to rack up such large expenses and whether or not he has exhausted other legal remedies first.

However, it is interesting to speculate whether Deputy Higgins should rightly have to declare a non-financial interest under Standing Order 106 (1)(c) of the States of Jersey. Even if he does, the current rule would not require him to leave the Chamber while the proposition is being debated and voted upon. Is this an example where the Standing Orders of the States need to be tightened to prevent the public losing even more confidence in the behaviour of States Members?

I do not think it very credible that Mr. Turner would have signed Deputy Higgins' nomination paper last month without having at least some idea as to whether or not Deputy Higgins intended to lodge this proposition just a few weeks later. The same goes for his agreement to sign Ted Vibert's nomination paper.

Even if these candidates can claim to be legally in the clear, I simply abhor the idea of an elector agreeing to sign the nomination paper of a candidate in the knowledge that the candidate, in his capacity as a legislator, would later do something which could result in a personal financial gain for that elector, not that I am claiming that this is what has happened in this particular case [legal disclaimer].

It may or may not be illegal but it still stinks anyway, as far as I am concerned.  >:(

Offline boatyboy

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Re: The David Turner Affair
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2011, 04:08:57 AM »

Jerry your posts are interesting and normally well researched  and I do enjoy reading  them.

On this occasion you  seem to have missed  the sentence contained  in the proposition.  Deputy Higgins is trying to get money back  that Mr Turner has spent, he is not trying to get him a profit. I believe Deputy Higgins to be one of the best  Deputies in the States. Afraid of nothing and well researched. I may be wrong but, I feel it unlikely that he would have taken this up without good cause.

Quote from the proposition:

Ex gratia payment of £7,757 to Mr. David Turner as compensation for costs

Even Freddie Cohen has admitted that  half the complaints  about his department were valid when he was in charge. By extension to  his statement, people applying for planning permission  must obviously  be out of pocket if  the department makes mistakes. Lord  Carswell wanted Jersey to have an all powerful ombudsman to  make sure their was fair play between States departments and  the  islanders.

That never happened.

However this conversation did.

Taped telephone conversation: already in the public domain.

FC : Freddie Cohen
BS: Ben Shenton.

FC: Oh, right. It is all a bit depressing being back at work I am afraid. I am not
enjoying it.

BS: No. Well, you cannot get away, that is the only problem. I had people
phoning me up on Christmas Eve with problems of this, that and the other.

FC: I get people phoning me all the time about planning applications and it is
always the same story. They have been let down by the Department, that
everything is too slow, the Department is hopeless and it is quite difficult to
deal with because half of the complaints are valid and the other half are just...
they are trying it on.

2010. Report number 118. on Page - 151.

http://www.statesassembly.gov.je/frame.asp

The only winner normally is the planning department.

Boatyboy.