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‘NO’ to reclamation at St. Aubin
Stakeholder groups all agree:
“To avoid reclamation at St. Aubin"
By Connétable Mike Jackson

Various people, over recent years, have applied themselves to the issues that were discussed energetically over the weekend of the 25th-27th January at the Parish Hall at St. Aubin. That is the nature of things and people – issues which matter are not easily resolved. This is especially the case when strong views are expressed, based on peoples’ values, beliefs, experiences and needs.
It became very clear in my mind over the last year that I was receiving diverse opinions on what should be done to ameliorate what many have found to be a difficult parking situation in St. Aubin. The message Deputy Ferguson and I were quite clearly being given from Parishioners 2 years ago was that some form of reclamation scheme was wanted, and the sooner we got on with it the better. A Projet was presented to the States on this premise and approved by members. Media interest and a subsequent emotional public meeting suddenly brought out those who had rarely in the past expressed a view in Parish affairs, and we found ourselves with a divergence of views which left us in a position of wondering how to overcome problems in St. Aubin in a transparent and democratic way. Consultation with colleagues suggested that any improvements at St. Aubin would need to be Parish driven and thus, we decided to bring a broad a cross-section of the community together to make a concerted effort to ‘sort things out’.
An improvement group was formed, a steering committee pressed and a Workshop or Forum for the Future of St. Aubin organised utilizing the undoubted skills of Maurice Dubras and Katie Le Quesne as facilitators.
Seventy-two participants met on Friday 25th January at the Parish Hall not quite knowing what to expect, although a briefing had been held the previous Thursday. Those involved had received advance written information which outlined the ‘tasks’ that we would collectively be addressing.
We all introduced and recalled our individual history. We analysed the past and identified the implications for the Present and Future. This was followed by a focus on the present and trends in society with issues needing attention as we planned the future of St. Aubin. Subsequent ‘brain storming’ produced much common ground with community led traffic planning being the most voted for.
A focus on the present with expressions of ‘prouds’ and ‘sorries’ enabled participants to accept some responsibility for what had been achieved or not to date. Interestingly, the ‘sorriest of all’ was that (we) don’t participate enough in Parish affairs – the Honorary System. Rest assured, I shall attempt to redress that one!
Future scenarios by the 7 groups brought out previously unrecognised talent in many participants when we found ourselves in 2018 – maybe a slightly more realistic approach than the rest of the island which in other places was looking to be in 2035.
The event was drawn towards closing by discovering, and then confirming, common ground. Needless to say the controversial subject of land reclamation stimulated some frank exchanges of views. Whilst there were some that felt that any form of reclamation should be avoided forever in perpetuity, others thought this was unrealistic and preferred to limit a comment to a ten year time frame within which period a satisfactory parking solution could be achieved.
Participants were pretty well exhausted at 4pm on Sunday having spent a lot of time and effort on the St. Aubins issue and the coming weeks will doubtless see further activity as thoughts turn into actions and benefit is derived for not only those who live and work or boat in St. Aubin but also our many visitors be they foreign or ‘gastro’
[Also see: Editorial Comment]

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