Thursday, 26 March 2009

sorry

Senator Stuart Syvret gives his reaction to Health Minister Jimmy Perchard's apology..........to the States!

I have e-mailed Senator Perchard and got no reply. I have since phoned Senator Perchard and offered him an unedited interview in order to put across a fair and balanced report. Senator Perchard has explained to me that he deserves the right to privacy. He will not be doing an interview with the JEP, CTV, or BBC Jersey or me on this subject. He further believes, what he said to Senator Syvret in the States, was "a private conversation" and does not agree with me, that when he is in a States sitting he is there representing the public from the minute he walks in the door to the minute he walks out of it.

Senator Perchard maintains he has been "misquoted" When I asked him "what did you say to Senator Syvret"? he wouldn't tell me - quoting the "privacy" sketch.

He was also asked for a written statement (in the interest of fairness and balance) for this item but he refused this also. Below is the e-mail sent to Senator Perchard and below that is Senator Syvret's response to the apology............ all be it to the States.

For what it is worth Senator Perchard was very civil and courteous on the phone to me this morning and did appear remorseful of his comments (whatever they were.) On that note I got talking to a lady in the Royal Square, who's child committed suicide 5 years ago, she told me she had been "traumatised" by Senator Perchard's comments to Senator Syvret.

I would like to remind Senator Perchard he does have "an avenue of reddress" should he wish to leave a comment on here or any other Blog, including Senator Syvret's.

The e-mail to Senator Perchard.

Senator Perchard.

We are writing in order to give you the opportunity to respond to claims made , about you, by Senator Syvret. We have recorded an interview with Senator Syvret where he claims you encouraged him to "go top himself". He has also given us (on camera) his response to your apology yesterday in the States. I understand you believe you have no avenue of reddress to any of Senator Syvret's postings on his Blogsite. We would like to offer you that avenue should you wish to take it.

Also it is in the interest of fairness and balance that we should offer you the opportunity to give your side of events, not only for your benefit but for the benefit of our viewers. The Senator Syvret interview will be published tomorrow afternoon. Should you agree to an interview we would hope for it to be some time tomorrow.

Kind Regards.

Team Voice.
End e-mail.

I have had problems getting this video on here so have gone via youtube so the "aboves" and "belows" will now be a little a-se about face because I can't seem to get the text above the video without losing the video when I have gone through youtube.

Friday, 13 March 2009

The Quest continues...........

Question asked by Deputy Montford Tadier to Deputy James Reed Minister for Education Sport and Culture.

ORAL QUESTION FOR TUESDAY 10TH MARCH 2009



Deputy M. Tadier of St Brelade will ask the following question of the Minister for Education, Sport and Culture-


“Can the Minister inform the Assembly whether any senior officers in the Education, Sport and Culture Department are subject to Police investigations pertaining to child abuse and, if so, whether such investigations have been terminated?”

The question never got asked in the States due to question time running over. However Deputy James Reed submitted a written "answer" and here it is!

Sir

At present I am unable to either confirm or deny whether I have received or am aware of any disclosures pertaining to any police investigations in relation to any employees at Education Sport and Culture.
Police investigations are confidential until such time as a decision is made whether or not to charge an individual. In certain circumstances the Police may decide it is appropriate to make a disclosure to an employer about an investigation however such a disclosure is classed as confidential and the employer would not be able to disclose this information to another party.

As a result of the above, I am unable to comment further on this matter.

My question is "how is a parent supposed to have trust and faith in our goverment with "answers" like that?

Deputy Tadier gives his response to the "answer" (in the video below) and it is worrying to say the least! The Deputy suspects there could be a senior officer in the Education Department that could be a suspect in the recent child abuse inquiry.

I share the Deputy's suspicion. Although I, and I believe the Deputy, have no proof that this is the case. It is extremely alarming that the Minister will do nothing to dispell these suspicions and doesn't appear too concerned about the message he could be sending out to parents of children in the Education System.

I am waiting for Deputy Reed to contact me with a time and date that he can meet with me. When (if) he contacts me I will ask him, in the interest of fairness and balance, to give me an interview with his response to Deputy Tadiers interview.

In the meantime my sleepless nights and quest continues.

video

Monday, 9 March 2009

Scrutiny.....what's the point?

Following on from my last Blog below;

The letter from the public could not be addressed by the Scrutiny Panel, something to do with “not being in their remit to get involved in personal cases”! However an edited version of the letter , or question, will be asked in the States by Deputy of St Brelade Montford Tadier who is also a member of the Education and Home Affairs Scrutiny Panel. The question to the Minister for Education Sport and Culture will read “Can the Minister inform the Assembly whether any senior officers in the Education, Sport and Culture Department are subject to Police investigations pertaining to child abuse and, if so, whether such investigations have been terminated?”

I really must try and explain, to my readers, the experience of going to one of these Scrutiny meetings. It is like walking into to a land of make believe and to my mind a complete waste of time and tax payers money.

Let me give you an example of what I mean by this;

The Scrutiny chairman said to the Chief Officer of Education, Mario Lundy, something along the lines of, "there appears to be, what could be described by some, as a significant increase in the number of pupils being suspended from school"? To which Mario Lundy replied, something along the lines of, "yes but what is important to remember that those numbers include repeat offenders".......... "there are possibly a select few, or more, that are repeatedly offending and repeatedly being suspended".

Now it doesn't take a rocket scientist to come up with the question to Mario Lundy "have you ever thought that suspending these children (repeat offenders) is not working"? On that Scrutiny Panel there is somewhere in the region of £420,000 P.A. of tax payers money (5 States Members, Department C.O. and 3 Scrutiny staff) and none of the "Scrutineers" could come up with completely obvious and crucial questions!

Furthermore Mario Lundy said, something along the lines of, "suspended children are catered for, educationally, while they are suspended". Which I take to mean they are given "homework" etc. so their education is not hindered by their suspension. That, in my opinion, is a complete load of Tosh, I know of children who have been suspended, been given no schoolwork, and relished their time off school! Which is possibly evident by the "repeat offenders".

We must also look at the "teeth" of Scrutiny. Let's just suppose Scrutiny come up with a completey damning report, or review, on a particular Ministry or policy of that Ministry. Scrutiny has no legislative power. As a Scrutiny panel (as I understand it) they can't even bring that damning report to the States, they will have to try and bring it as an individual States member! Then any propositions, recommendations, or amendments will be voted on by the Oligarchy, and others, and experience tells me the vote will go "the establishment way"

What is just as frustrating is (to the best of my knowledge) none of the Education and Home Affairs Scrutiny Panel have children in the school system. I have two children in the system and have first hand knowledge of the Education Department's "practices" and could quite easily expose, what I believe to be, failings, and ommissions by the Education Department. But as a member of public I am not permitted to take part in any of the meetings.

Not only do I believe the public ought to be permitted to participate at these meetings I believe there should be a member of the public, with first hand knowledge, on the Scrutiny Panel.

Our Oligarchy's "war cry" is "States Members are easily accessible, you can phone them or e-mail them if you have any issues you wish to be addressed" in theory that is true you can phone them or e-mail them. But in practice they often don't answer their phones, return your calls or answer your e-mails. If they do reply to an e-mail they completely ignore the most significant questions or topics you wish to be addressed.

A Scrutiny Panel meeting could be an ideal opportunity for the general public to have their issues addressed by the relevant Minister or Chief Officer, but that runs the risk of exposing, not only the Minister and Chief Officer and their Department but also the risk of exposing the Scrutiny Panel as inconsequential and inept.

I know I have been somewhat harsh on the Education Scrutiny Panel as a whole. As individual States members however I believe they (or most) are productive, hard working States Members.

I know Deputy Roy Le Herissier (chairman of Education and Home Affairs Scrutiny Panel) is a reader of this Blog. I also know he supports Citizens Media (for which I respect him) and would invite him to comment here on my observations and criticisms.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Scrutiny Questions, Education Answers?

The following letter has been submitted to the Education and Home affairs Scrutiny Panel which meets this Friday 6th March 2009 in the States Building at 3pm. Members of the public can attend (but can not video) see here http://voiceforjersey.blogspot.com/2009/03/scruitiny-v-free-speechthe-battle-for.html

This is the cotinuation of the Panel meeting which was attended by the Minister for Education Sport and Culture Deputy James Reed and his Chief officer Mario Lundy for which the matter of suspensions was on the agenda. That meeting overran on time and so is resumed on Friday.

Copy of letter submitted;

Dear Deputy.

Can you please ask the Minister for Education whether he is aware of any continuing Police investigations regarding a senior officer in his Department or whether such investigations have been terminated?

You will know because you asked certain questions in the States in October 2008 that a Senior Officer had recieved a Police "Disclosure Notice" and it is a matter of considerable public concern that this officer might still be in position preparing and administering Education Policies.

Since the nature of the alleged offences was concerned with "child abuse" and the (then) Chief Minister gave assurances that the matter would "be taken very seriously indeed" and that "a risk analysis of what action should be taken" would be undertaken, it must now be reasonable to ask if any action has been taken or is proposed to be taken, with regard to this employee?

I obviously won't need to remind you that the (then) Chief Minister also gave assurances that "the priority is always to protect the interest of the public and vulnerable clients".


Letter end.

It is quite normal for letters from the public to the Scrutiny Panels to be submitted and discussed at these meetings. VFC/VFJ will keep you informed............