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Progress Party Want To Overturn Overdale Hospital Decision

One of Jersey's political parties says it won't support the building of a new hospital at Overdale.

The Progress Party says, if it gets enough candidates elected in June 2022, it will overturn the decision.

Its policy is to refurbish and rebuild on site of the existing General Hospital.

"Jersey needs a General Hospital that is fit for purpose and able to tend to the health requirements of Islanders.

"What Jersey does not need is a project that will saddle our hardworking taxpayers with years of debt and increased taxation demands.

"This project, if allowed to happen, will end up a painful reminder to generations to come that the unaccountable, indecisive Government of 2021 made a huge environmental and costly mistake at the expense of Islanders."

The party - featuring Senator Steve Pallett as interim party leader, Deputy Steve Luce as Party Secretary, and former Deputy Eddie Noel as Party Treasurer - says the implications of building at Overdale are 'alarming'.

It raises concerns about the impact it would have on the skyline, the planning and road access, the cost of the project, and the impact that will have on future taxation.

The Overdale project has a budget of £804.5million and the States Assembly will vote next month on whether to fund the work through borrowing up to £756million.

The Our Hospital Team says financing it this way will allow the government to take advantage of low fixed interest rates.

However, the two elected members of the Progress Party - Senator Steve Pallett and Deputy Steve Luce - say they're concerned that this will be a 'huge environmental and costly mistake at the expense of Islanders.'

"Tens of millions of pounds of hard-working taxpayer’s money has already been wasted.  Many more millions will be wasted to keep the present hospital running until the new hospital project is complete. It is the wrong time to make a commitment of this magnitude, especially leading up to elections.

"Sometimes there is a need to take a very long look at what is in front of you and have the wisdom and strength of office to accept that one has made a mistake, something this government is clearly incapable of.  Clearly, we need upgraded facilities, we need a hospital fit for purpose, but do we need to build a billion-pound hospital at Overdale with all the implications that come with it? Do we want a hospital at the top of a steep hill that Islanders will find really difficult to access?"

Before the vote in November last year to approve Overdale as the preferred location for the new hospital, Deputy Luce told Channel 103 that he could never vote to build the hospital there and his preferance was to build on Gloucester Street.

The States Assembly approved Westmount Road as the primary access route to the new hospital last year, but the issue has come before parishioners in St Helier following a requete lodged by campaigner Olaf Blakeley.

A parish assembly in June overwhelmingly said that they don't have enough information about the route and that they are not satisfied with the plans for it.

Designs showing what the new hospital would look like were published in May.

A planning application has been lodged to move Overdale health services into the old Les Quennevais School building while the new hospital is being built.

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