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Gov pest control bill sees another Minister slapped with Petty Debts summons

Gov pest control bill sees another Minister slapped with Petty Debts summons

Tuesday 14 February 2023

Gov pest control bill sees another Minister slapped with Petty Debts summons

Tuesday 14 February 2023


Another Minister has been ordered to attend the Petty Debts Court - this time over an unpaid official bill for government pest control services.

Unlike External Relations Minister Philip Ozouf’s recent case, Environment Minister Deputy Jonathan Renouf is being asked to appear on behalf of the government tomorrow, rather than for personal debts.

The plaintiff in the case is Colin Mollet of CBM Services, which offers pest control services for domestic, business, commercial and industrial clients. 

It’s understood that the unpaid bill relates to an invoice from December and that part of the delay in payment was linked to a transfer of the government’s financial systems which took place that month.

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Pictured: Environment Minister Deputy Jonathan Renouf's listing on this week's Petty Debts hearing schedule.

Express this morning asked the government to confirm the sum allegedly owed, whether the Environment Minister will be contesting the case, and whether government is facing any further Petty Debts action. A response has not yet been received.

It comes after External Relations Minister Philip Ozouf was called to the Petty Debts Court on 1 February over an unpaid medical bill - his third summons in as many months.

Since 2017, Deputy Ozouf has been called to the Petty Debts Court more than a dozen times, but all but one - an outstanding £1,627.50 owed to Jonathan Le Maistre Tree Surgery - were settled before being heard in court. 

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Pictured: Environment Minister Jonathan Renouf.

Last week, Deputy Ozouf pledged not to let "oversights" in his personal life happen again after the saga led him to lose responsibility for financial services amid concerns over potential impact on Jersey’s reputation internationally.

The Chief Minister initially stood by Deputy Ozouf, saying that Ministers should only be "judged on how they perform on their official role" rather than their private lives.

However, last Sunday, Deputy Kristina Moore confirmed in an email to States Members on Sunday that Deputy Ozouf would no longer be carrying the financial services portfolio, stating that "Ministers must uphold and be seen to uphold the highest standards in all aspects of their lives".

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Pictured: Deputy Philip Ozouf apologised for "oversights" in his personal life as he relinquished responsibility for financial services in a letter to the Chief Minister.

Financial services is now being looked after by Deputy Moore, alongside Deputy Chief Minister Kirsten Morel, and the Treasury and Social Security Ministers Ian Gorst and Elaine Millar - the latter two acting as Assistant Chief Ministers. 

The U-turn over Deputy Ozouf's role has drawn strong criticism. Deputy Lyndon Farnham called the handling of the situation by the Chief Minister as a "shambles", while Deputy Sam Mézec accused Deputy Kristina Moore of creating "political instability".

READ MORE...

Ozouf apology letter to Chief Minister over Petty Debts "oversights" released

"Shambles" - U-turn over finance portfolio amid Petty Debts concerns

CM defends Financial Services Minister after Petty Debts summons

READER LETTER: "Standards and morals have simply disappeared"

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