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Working out West? Go to jail

Working out West? Go to jail

Thursday 25 October 2018

Working out West? Go to jail

Thursday 25 October 2018


States staff working in the West of the island could find themselves taking a trip to prison under plans to make the government more “agile.”

Home Affairs Minister Len Norman yesterday signed off the latest phase of multi-million redevelopment of La Moye prison to make it safer, more modern and secure.

But, as well as agreeing to £8.3million being spent on replacing the secure vehicle gate, enhancing visitor areas and improving provisions for the prison’s admin team, the plans also include providing office space for government employees “who serve the public in the west of the island.”

The announcement comes just days after John Rogers, Director General of Growth, Housing and Environment, revealed during a Scrutiny hearing that the States were considering establishing a series of “satellite” offices around the island at sites including Howard Davis Farm, Bellozanne and La Collette.

hm_prison_la_moye.JPG

Pictured: HM Prison La Moye, which is planned to house offices for States staff.

He said that this would allow staff a “touchdown zone" on days they were working outside of the island’s capital, rather than having to travel back to St. Helier.

This, he said, would help create a more “agile, mobile workforce” with the ability to deal with customers “in the most appropriate setting” in line with Charlie Parker’s ‘One Government’ plans.

In the longer term, this was expected to improve efficiency and productivity – something latest statistics show are falling. 

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Pictured: What the prison is expected to look like after the transformation.

A States spokesperson told Express: “The Office Strategy proposes to support flexible working by providing drop-in facilities for people who work in the field, like social workers and building control staff. They might touch down at Howard David Farm, Bellozanne or La Collette, and will also use mobile technology to increase flexibility.

"The new prison block could be used for vulnerable prisoners to meet health professionals, and hot desks and meeting rooms will also be available for relevant staff to save travel time to St Helier.”

Mention of the plans came amid discussion of improving the States’ management of their £1billion property portfolio after Jersey Property Holdings, the entity responsible for doing so, was slammed in a report by the government’s spending watchdog.

RBC Broad Street

Pictured: The new States headquarters will be at the former RBC building in Broad Street.

During the Scrutiny hearing, the panel heard that the team aimed to address these recommendations by coming up with a plan within six months.

Part of their focus, they said, was on reducing the square metre footprint per States employee from being in the hundreds to the tens in line with UK best practice.

Greater “flexibility” in working and bringing all States employees under one roof could help with that – plans for which are already in motion, with 500 staff previously in five States buildings due to move into the former RBC building on Broad Street.

The premises will serve as the States new headquarters for the next five years until a new “purpose-built” office is developed.

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