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Royal Square ruled out for care victim memorial

Royal Square ruled out for care victim memorial

Friday 26 July 2019

Royal Square ruled out for care victim memorial


A memorial to the victims of harrowing abuse and failings in Jersey's care system will no longer be placed in the Royal Square due to issues with making changes to the historic site.

The prominent area had been the preferred option of the Citizens' Panel, the team working to honour the legacy of the Jersey Care Inquiry.

But Express has now learned that "heritage and planning constraints" have scuppered those plans, as the project falls more than six months behind schedule.

royal square

Pictured: The "preferred" spot for the care memorial has been taken off the table.

In 2018, the Citizens’ Panel said that the square was their “preferred location” as well as listing criteria stipulating that the memorial should

  • “include an apology”;
  • be “thought provoking and forever”;
  • honour “victims and survivors, those lives lost, lives ruined and those who are still suffering”;
  • ensure “that what happened does not get forgotten and stops the past being repeated”;
  • be “easily accessible to the public”;
  • be “highly visible and cannot be ignored. A memorial should be located in a highly prominent position so that all are constantly reminded of the injustice that took place and how the children were failed in the care system. It should remind the Jersey government as the corporate parents (i.e. acting parents), but not shock the survivors and bring back memories”;
  • be “meaningful to a range of experiences suffered in the whole care system”;
  • be “a transparent and clear acknowledgment of what happened.”

However, the project has hit a stumbling block due to the ongoing search for a suitable site to place the memorial. 

According to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, it was initially scheduled for a design brief to “be developed in conjunction with the Citizens Panel in January” before inviting design submissions for the memorial “by the end of February.” 

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Pictured: The panel have been tasked with considering how the island should remember Jersey's care victims.

Now, due to difficulties with finding a site, this process is unlikely to get underway until autumn of this year.

A government spokesperson said: “A competitive process will be launched to design the memorial, hopefully during autumn 2019. The delay from the timeframe initially described in the paper released via FOI is related to the ongoing work being undertaken to identify a location for the memorial. 

“Funding has been secured for this project and will be announced when the design process is launched. The Citizens’ Panel originally identified Royal Square as their preferred location but have subsequently reconsidered this after exploring the planning and heritage constraints associated with this listed site. 

“The Panel have considered a number of alternatives and are working with Government of Jersey to confirm the final location ahead of launching the competitive process, at which point the location will be announced.”

This comes after the announcement of an annual ‘Children’s Day’ in Jersey for which secondary school children are being asked to design an emblem incorporating butterflies.

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Pictured: The Minister for Children announced plans for the annual Children's Day.

The work of the Citizens’ Panel was initially billed as being £28,500 – but now the project has entered what is being described as the “second phase” between November last year to this July.

This means that the first two phases of the Citizens’ Panel process, which “includes two contracts with Contact Consulting and all other costs and expenses”, have actually cost £68,406.

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Comments

Comments on this story express the views of the commentator only, not Bailiwick Publishing. We are unable to guarantee the accuracy of any of those comments.

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Posted by Dave Mathews on
We have spent enough time and money on the subject of historic abuse whilst this online paper reports continuous sexual abuse cases going on in real time. Especially the downloading of indecent images.

Time to move into real time and address the problems we face today with these crimes and stop raking over the past.
Posted by nigel pearce on
The need for a memorial does not exist and the idea of putting it in the Royal Square is preposterous.
Memorials are not meant to be apologies but a recognition of an achievement.
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