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Welcome to BBC Channel Islands on Thursday 12th January.
Millions of pounds wasted - damning criticism of the now
suspended Jersey Innovation Fund, which used public money
There has been a complete incompetence in administration here.
It has simply not been followed. There are no key set performance
indicators to it even measure the company.
Booming bus use - how incentives have helped turn around public
Flying high - the soaring numbers of birds no longer under threat.
And not only is it blowing a gale across the islands right now, but
colder air is following this area of rain and some of the showers
overnight are likely to turn increasingly wintry. More details
from me later in the programme. Good evening.
I'm Alison Moss. A damning report's been published
into a States of Jersey fund that's potentially lost millions of pounds
of taxpayers' money. According to the report,
the Jersey Innovation Fund, which has now been suspended,
may have been linked The Chief Minister says he's shocked
and angry at the way We'll be hearing from him live
in a moment, but first This is one of the companies
that got a loan from But the start-up software firm
'logfiller' never paid back It's emerged six of the seven
companies given loans totalling ?2 million of taxpayers'
money are in arrears. Now the idea of the
Jersey Innovation Fund, when it was set up under
the Economic Development Department four years ago, was to support
new business ideas. But a report has highlighted serious
failings in how it was run. One of those running
it was chief executive You may remember him
from the scandal around business Well, last week, he resigned,
with six months' pay - that's ?70,000 - and hasn't
responded to our calls Elsewhere in the document,
the author also hints at criminal links to the fund,
saying: The fund will be investigated
by the Public Accounts Committee, In my time as chairman of public
accounts and in my time as a politician, this is the worst
I've seen. There's been a complete absence
of competent administration here, the terms of reference agreed
by the States have There are no set key performance
indicators to even measure the companies that were lent these
sums, so that really really is very disappointing
and quite distressing. Joining me in the studio now
is the Chief Minister, Chairman of the Public Accounts
Committee was calling it disappointing. This report isn't
easy reading. The criticism says is not fit for purpose, more should
have been done to protect public money. This was ?5 million worth of
taxpayers money, the innovation fund. Has it been a disaster? The
report is damning. It shows a shocking failure in management, in
governance, in administration. So perhaps that is a word that could be
used. Only 2 million of the 5 million has been spent, there has
been no new loans during 2015. I was angered and shot and find it
completely unacceptable when I read the report. Who do you blame? The
report is clear. It deals with feelings of administration, but I am
not sufficiently happy with that. As the chief executive should also look
to see whether their discipline measures taken. He also reviewing
the other grant funded organisations to make sure these feelings are not
replicated there. On top of that, this is the report of that
administration, but I want to make sure the politicians involved have
not added to or been involved in the conclusions that the report says and
I'm instigating an investigation that will be without fear or favour
and if it says action should be taken, action will be taken. Can the
public trust this Government with their money? Is said this evening,
there are questions that need to be asked and until we have the answers
to those questions, I can't be satisfied that the Government and
management is in place when it comes to money being given to third
parties and it is only this extra piece of work that will tell us
whether these feelings are more widespread and will rebuild trust.
The idea of an innovation fund is very good for local entrepreneurs.
Do you imagine in the future a different type of innovation fund
could exist? The report was clear. The innovation fund is a good idea,
it's just the management of it that failed. There are ?3 million roughly
left in the innovation fund, we will need to think about how we could
apply that, perhaps in smaller amounts to different modes of
companies, that will be a decision for the States to make in due
course. Innovation is important. It's important our economy innovates
and diversifies and this fund was supposed to be helping that happen.
Chief Minister, thank you for joining us tonight. Thank you.
An internal investigation has been launched by Guernsey's bus operator
after footage shared on social media appears to show one
of its fleet driving in a potentially dangerous way.
The bus is seen drifting into the centre of the road
and forcing oncoming vehicles to mount the pavement.
It comes on the same day that government figures reveal
the number of passengers using the service has
Love them or loathe them - Guernsey's buses are proving
increasingly popular with the travelling public.
More than 1.65 million people made use of the bus service last year,
the highest recorded figure since records began.
Well, it's ?1 to anywhere in the island, which certainly
helps, but how have they managed to get so many passengers
Well, we're being told that it's because students now
have free transport, there's been the introduction
of a new bus app, and also a greater use of smart cards which has made it
But not everything is running smoothly on the buses.
This footage shared on social media has resulted in an internal
investigation being launched by CT Plus.
We have a contract with CT Plus, and the contract does not deal
with terms and conditions or how the drivers happen to drive,
but we clearly would show our disapproval or communicate with CT
Plus, if we felt that an incident was inappropriate.
But the buses are wide, we know that and I think sometimes
for the newer drivers to the island who drive in cities,
rather than in small, what were once cart tracks,
then it takes them some time to acclimatise.
CT Plus has declined to comment further while
the investigation is ongoing, but elsewhere it's
And, these buses, which have caused so much controversy are set
to be replaced by these, shorter and narrower ones,
with phase one of that plan due to happen by May.
Sark Vineyards has announced the closure of its business in Sark.
Sark Estate Management, owned by the Barclay Brothers,
say they have "invested millions of pounds in the project,
but they now fail to see any future in Sark or its economy."
The company says in a statement the authorities in Sark "have
obstructed the vineyards' progress throughout".
Guernsey's newest politician has been elected unopposed as a member
of the Committee for Education, Sport and Culture.
Deputy Neil Inder was nominated and seconded
by the President and Vice President of the Committee.
He replaces Marc Leadbeater, who resigned from the committee last
month, when Emilie Yerby wrote to members announcing her intention
Unemployment in Jersey fell to its lowest for
1,280 people were registered as looking for work -
more than 100 fewer than the same time the previous year.
The drop is being put down to the success of the States Back
to Work scheme and support from local businesses.
It's a sight many of us take for granted -
watching wild birds like chaffinches and skylarks soar through our skies.
But for the past few years, several of these species
Now, thanks to a scheme run by researchers,
there's been a huge increase in the number of wild farmland
birds in the island, as Jessica Banham reports.
Ready to take flight. These wild birds have spent the winter growing
stronger on seeds. Around 50 fields across the island have been planted
with crops to make sure it endangered species have another food
to survive the coldest months of the year. The species are declining
across Europe and the reason is for changes in farming practices,
climate change and destruction of their habitats. What do we had in
the field here? In this field, these plans have seeds that the birds will
eat straightaway from, like mustard, millet and sunflowers, which you can
see they have been perched on top and feeding from here from this
position because all the little empty shells are still here. As well
as using this field to feed the birds, researchers sometimes catch
them. They picked one of these small rings on their legs which has a
unique number, then they can track their movements. Last winter, there
were almost 14,000 more birds than the year before, an increase of 54%.
Since the winter of 2013, there's been an even bigger increase of more
than 500%. It costs around ?100 to cover an area the size of a football
pitch in seeds. That cost is met by private donations, often from
farmers taking part in the scheme. Sign that it's giving something back
to the environment and the island because we are not just all about
growing potatoes and making money. Therefore, we want to be seen as
doing what is right. Researchers haven't finished painting the birds
spotted this winter but believe numbers are still growing.
Ultimately, they hope to take species like these of the endangered
list forever. The weather's getting pretty wild
in the Channel Islands. Here's the scene in Jersey
a little earlier today. Several roads
in Jersey were closed or blocked, including access
to Fort Regent Leisure Centre. Condor's cancelled its fast ferries
to France and England for the next two days
and Jersey Met Department has issued the highest level of storm warning,
while honorary police are urging David Braine can tell us
exactly what's in store. It's going to be a tricky night for
people tonight. It is, yes. Not only have we got these really strong
gusts of wind which I is damaging, we've also got some very cold air
that is flooding dying from the Arctic. It is a bitter winter for us
tomorrow. There will be more sunshine than we've seen today, that
is good news. There is also likely to be wintry showers around and some
of the showers will be with his overnight tonight. Why is it so
windy and cold? The air is coming from the Arctic. There are several
areas of low pressure coming down to the UK across the Channel and moving
into northern France. This one in particular is giving us these really
strong gusts of wind. It will eventually move away. Once we lose
that area of low pressure, we've still got a gusty and strong
north-westerly breeze. We will also find trapped within the flow several
lines of showers which will come tonight, some tomorrow. Those
showers are increasingly likely to turn to sleet or hail at times, snow
possible across the islands, mainly in the showers. That is the setup.
Very windy conditions overnight tonight and there is a warning
issued by the Jersey Met Office because of the concern about the
strength of the wind. It's going to be pretty cold as well. Temperatures
to start the day tomorrow between zero and plus two. If you throw in
the strength of wind with those kind of temperatures, with the wind
chill, it will feel more like -2 minus three. A bitterly cold day,
one line of wintry showers leases first thing in the morning then
there is a chance of a shower it through the rest of the day and
temperatures really struggling. It's going to feel colder than that
because it's still very blustery. The winds will ease a little bit in
the second half of the day. Here are our times of high water. Big tides
as well because we are a full moon and for those heading out to sea,
some very, very difficult conditions agency. Big waves. Stormy conditions
for the servers. The winds north westerly, wintry showers, the good
news is it's less windy and warmer by the weekend.
We will try and keep you updated with all the latest travel details
on social media. I'll be back with your
headlines at eight. Plymouth City Council has suspended
work on its road improvement scheme in Plymouth after more white
phosphorous grenades were found on the site in Tavistock road. Ten
World War II grenade grenades were found and detonated on Tuesday by a
bomb disposal team. An extra 14 grenades were found and removed
today. A court has ordered a psychiatric
assessment on a Devon man charged with possessing an explosive
substance for an unlawful purpose. Timothy Holman, who's 41
and from Osborne Road in Ilfracombe, was arrested after a major police
operation in the town last month. A 31-year-old woman has died
after a crash involving a tractor and trailer near Redruth.
A one-year-old baby in the car survived,
suffering only minor injuries. It happened on the A30 near
the Avers roundabout last night. The road was closed
for around eight hours. Three men had been charged with
murder after a man's body was found in St Austell. 31-year-old Stephen
bowl was found with knife wounds in a part in Truro road yesterday
morning. Three local men all aged in their 20s will appear at Bodmin
Magistrates' Court tomorrow. A couple from North Devon say
they've been struggling to keep warm after a new eco-heating system broke
down 39 times in the last 21 months. Robert Smith's oil-fired system
was removed by social landlords Westward housing group and replaced
by one that uses wood pellets. Filling up the wood pellet
boiler is something He has also got used to it breaking
down time and time and time again. Right from the start,
it's just been a disaster and we are now on the 39th breakdown
in 21 months. As a tenant, I am
relying on the landlord to give me reliable,
adequate heating, which is their job.
Which they have not done. Robert and his partner,
Brian Ridgway, rent their house through social landlord,
Westward Housing Group. Brian is disabled and
has had five strokes. I have to keep warm in whatever room
I am in and it is no good me getting cold because I know I am
going to end up straight This room already had
an electric fire. The couple were also given extra
electric radiators and money I'm very disappointed the way this
has had to drag on for so long. I contacted Westward initially well
before Christmas about this These are two elderly
gentlemen, one is disabled It is highly unsatisfactory the way
they have been treated. Westward Housing Group has
apologised and has promised to reinstall oil fired heating
as soon as possible. It says of 75 similar
systems that were put in, in other properties,
only three have had Manufacturers Warmflow say -
we have established that there have been issues with the whole heating
system in this house, When our wood pellet boiler
is correctly installed, commissioned, properly maintained
and operated by the householder, using the correct fuel,
these issues do not occur. Installers Anesco
declined to comment. But Robert Smith says he has been
using the boiler as instructed, so is he confident things
will finally be sorted out? Until I see engineers here,
putting the new system in, I still have got no confidence
it is going to happen. A new lifeboat's been
launched in Devon today - we'll meet the woman
who paid for it. And after the rain,
sleet and some snow, the main problem for us tonight
is the risk of ice, especially first thing
tomorrow morning. More details from me
later in the programme. A book created and funded by parents
in Cornwall to prepare children for primary school has been
so successful, it's gone global. are being sent to every three-
and four-year-old in the county. You may remember we featured
the picture book on Spotlight last year - it includes children
with Down's Syndrome and it's been so powerful the creators have had
enquiries from as far away Emma Thomasson has been to meet Noah
- one of the stars of the book. And you need to do some windows.
Can you do some windows? Noah sat on Miss Elliott's chair
because no one wanted to pretend to be the teacher.
It felt a bit giggly. He likes running around
and he falls over a lot. And we play on the whiteboard
with him and we take turns. Not one of Noah's classmates
I spoke to talked about him And that is exactly the point
the parents who created the book that he is featured
in want to get across. Instantly, I pick out similarities
rather than differences. Children will say, oh, I read that
book, or we have that at home. Several comments into
the conversation, then it might appear, oh,
that child, why does he look like that?
Why has he got those in his ears? And that is really refreshing for us
and encouraging because we know that children of that age,
they haven't really formed any hard Today, she is working
with Vicky who is another of the volunteers who have produced
and financed the book. It is being sent every
to childminder, nursery and preschool in Cornwall over
the next four years. And news about the book
is spreading around the world, thanks to celebrities turning
to social media. They include the Poldark cast,
Miranda Hart and a whole host And that kind of support
is something they could only have dreamt of when they started
producing the second in the series of books
from their kitchen table office. They are now being distributed
around the world with one of the biggest orders
in North Carolina in the US, where they are being included
in welcome bags to parents They are like any other child
and they should be given the same thing that you when I had
when we were little babies. So, how do you feel about Noah
being in the book and it being seen potentially all around the world?
It's amazing. It speaks a thousand words,
the pictures, just details, children going about everyday school life.
And it's very, very... Noah, can you show me
where you are again, in the book? Where you are in the book?
There! I'm not sure if Noah feels quite
the same awe as Mum... He has the more pressing issue
of getting back to play No has got far better things to do!
-- Noah. Lifeboats are a familiar sight
around our coast and today Exmouth took delivery
of a new inshore lifeboat. The current D-class vessel has
reached the end of its busy It's been called out more
than 600 times and rescued Spoligtht's Rebecca Wills
was there to see the end of one era It was out with the old at
Exmouth Lifeboat Station today... The inshore lifeboat,
the George Bearman, taking to the water for the final time
as it was retired after ten years' It's been a decade in which the
D-class vessel has been called out 614 times,
rescued 466 people, 28 Also a D-class vessel
and also bearing George And getting a prime seat
to watch the new inshore lifeboat enter service was George's
granddaughter, Pauline. It was her donation
which provided by the old As they both came in towards
the shore, I was so proud, Sad also, seeing the first
one on its last trip. But hopefully, this one
will give just as good George Bearman was a
coastguard in Norfolk. He was just 38 when he
lost his life at sea in It is that family tragedy
which prompted Pauline to support My father never knew his father
because he was only I just wish that he had
lived to see what I've done with the money
that A fantastic legacy.
Yes, absolutely. The D-class boat is considered
the workhorse of the RNLI, so the The old boat has given ten years
of really good service, hard service here.
It is quite a busy station. So the new boat should
seamlessly take over as it has this morning
and give equally as good service
over the next ten years. It will be officially
named in May when hopefully, champagne, rather
than rain, will cover the bow. Plenty of rain in Exmouth earlier
today, as we have seen on the programme tonight, some of the rain
has turned to snow in places so let's get the latest from David.
Some snow falling, mainly above 300 metres, about 1000 feet. But even at
lower levels, some of the showers and it could feel quite wintry. A
bit of a problem with a risk of ice developing, the temperatures have
fallen and they will continue to fall overnight. You will really need
to wrap up warmly. Probably the coldest feeling day we have had so
far this winter. Some wintry showers dotted around as well. Some quite
heavy. Overnight tonight, all of the rain we have seen on some of the
sleet and snow on higher ground, we have a risk of ice which continues
through the night and for a good part of tomorrow morning. Stay tuned
across BBC local radio for updates. It isn't just the cold. The snow on
the ice and the wintry showers. It is also very windy at the moment and
the strength of wind is also of some concern because we have some pretty
high tides tonight. Some coastal flood alerts in force across the
North Cornwall and Devon coast. Winds straight from the Arctic and
trapped within it, several lines showers which could affect this
during the day tomorrow. Saturday, a little bit less windy. A little
quieter. Still a bit fraught because a weather front is trapped in
amongst all that which could produce some sleet or even some snow over
higher ground. A definite change on Sunday to less cold air. Even the
possibility of some light rain or drizzle. Temperatures will start to
come back up. The wings are bitterly cold. Particularly lively at the
moment, across the more western parts and some really strong gusts.
They stick with us through the day tomorrow and in that flow from the
north-west, leaving Ireland this evening and overnight tonight, some
more wintry showers. Don't expect everything to be clear and cold and
windy overnight, there is a risk of some wintry showers turning up
during the night. Dartmoor, Princetown, there is some snow that
fell earlier today. Not a huge amount but it has left a covering of
snow on the houses and grass and on the mauls and the vehicles. Traffic
moving quite nicely still at the moment but of course it will freeze
overnight tonight so a risk of some ice on untreated roads and
pavements. The main area of rain now moving into south east England is
now giving snow. Even right down to quite low levels. If you are
travelling out of the region, be prepared to run into some snow later
on tonight. A scattering of showers possible through the night. Sleet or
snow mainly over high ground. A bitterly cold north-westerly wind.
The risk of ice existing first thing tomorrow morning. Plenty of winter
sunshine so not all bad news but the risk of a few passing showers
through the day and of us, not very warm. With the wind chill, it will
feel a lot colder. A particularly windy day on the Isles of Scilly.
The times of high water. For our surfers, some pretty lively
condition out at sea. Dangerous along the north coast.
Bulletins at 10:30pm and on your radio station from 6:30am in the
morning when it could be quite tricky. Goodnight.
..and keep telling yourself over and over, "This will end."
Ladies and gentlemen, the bride and groom.
So what if I forgot our poxy anniversary?
Er, I think this year was copper. 14th is poxy.