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Deputy's drive to get local community involved in motorhome parking dispute

Deputy's drive to get local community involved in motorhome parking dispute

Monday 15 April 2019

Deputy's drive to get local community involved in motorhome parking dispute

A St. Saviour deputy has called for a greater involvement of islanders in decisions that affect their local community amid a dispute over parking restrictions imposed at Le Port.

Deputy Jeremy Maçon is supporting Senator Steve Pallett's push to remove '12 in 24' parking restrictions on coastal campers at Le Port but says that the public should be involved before any area is designated for the use of motorhome owners.

His proposition was published last week and aims to "empower [the Public] to participate in what happens within their local community.""This is grassroots democracy which should be embraced," the St. Saviour Deputy wrote.

Deputy Maçon is calling for the Minister for Infrastructure, Deputy Kevin Lewis - who signed off the parking restrictions -  and the Comité des Connétables, to examine "whether Parish Assemblies are the most appropriate forum for the determination of permits and revocation of areas of the Island to be used for the above purposes".

He told Express that local communities would be the ones affected by any decision to allow motorhomers to use any designated areas and that, as such, they should be involved in the process. 

Le port Parking restrictions

Pictured: 12 in 24 hours parking restrictions have been put in place at Le Port.

"I’m sure the majority of motor-home users are well-behaved and would want to look after the Island and its environment, nevertheless I feel that safeguards should be put in place, and the local community who may have to deal with these users should have the ability to grant AND revoke permissions," the deputy wrote.

Deputy Maçon thinks decisions to "approve and revoke" permits should be made at a local level. The possibility of permits being taken away if the owner doesn't abide by the rules is something people should have "in the back of their mind," the deputy said. "If they are not as friendly as hoped, people should know they might lose the opportunity to use an area."

"It would also put the responsibility for the users to have to act in a neighbourly manner with the communities and authorities or risk losing this facility," he expanded in his report.

"Concerns have been raised with me about the potential for certain areas of the Island to become unwelcoming to all Islanders and for territorialism to take over. This is public space which is owned by all of the Public, and it’s not a situation that I’m sure many of us would want to see occurring."

Deputy Maçon acknowledged that his proposals might be deemed too bureaucratic, adding: "Sometimes that is the price of democracy." "It also means that the general Public would need to be brought into the discussions, and not just a few people who have a strong view either way."

His proposition, along with Senator Steve Pallett's, will be debated on 21 May.

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