Tuesday 8 May 2012

Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge

This being Jubilee year a number of events are being organised to celebrate the Queen's 60 year reign. No doubt many will be in line with the events that were organised to celebrate the Silver and Golden Jubilees, However there is one very special and different event being organised because Diamond Jubilee's are rare and to celebrate the occasion The Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge is being organised under the patronage of Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge. Its aim is to protect 2012 outdoor recreational spaces in communities all across the UK as a permanent legacy to the Diamond Jubilee.

The following is a message from Prince William."http://www.youtube.com/embed/CVa2cmrgsUY" The main website can be found by clicking onto http://www.qe2fields.com/

As Prince William states, it is apparent that thousands of playing fields throughout the UK have been lost to Developers. Unfortunately Jersey has not been spared. On 16th March and 10th April I published Blogs drawing attention to the potential loss of the St Martin School's playing field which has, not only served generations of St Martinais but residents Island wide.

If the field is lost the Parish Football Club will have to find another ground for its three teams and being a Parish team it's home pitch should be in St Martin. Finding a field will be a tall order as all the fields in the Parish are in the Green Zone including the school field where there is a presumption against development. The problem is that the former Planning Minister who was responsible for approving many of the carbuncles around the Island apparently gave consent for the rebuild as opposed to redevelopment without going through the consultation process.

There is more disturbing news to come because it is now appears that St Martin's may not be the only school to lose its field. It was reported in last Friday's JEP that proposals are afoot to replace the current Les Quennevais School which was only opened in June 1966 and build its replacement on its playing field. Goodness knows why they cannot be redeveloped on site?

The one bit of good news for St Martin is that the present Planning Minister has seen fit to consult with the Community and he is still sifting through the responses and as yet has not decided on the Field's future.

One can see, the Diamond Jubilee Fields Challenge is so important to us all. A Committee has apparently been formed in Jersey with the Bailiff as Chairman. I have written to the Bailiff asking that the St Martin's field be considered for the Challenge. The JEP has also published a third letter of mine in which I hope will draw the publics attention to the Fields Challenge.

The published letter is as follows.

Dear Sir,
"Readers will have read my two previous letters published in the JEP in which I have questioned the Education Minister’s proposed plans to build a new school on the St Martin’s School Field rather than adopt the less expensive option of redeveloping the existing building. Apart from saving Tax Payer’s money, the existing field will remain intact for future generations.

Fortunately the Planning Minister has made the proposed plans subject to public consultation and no decision has yet been made.

Readers will be aware that 2012 is Diamond Jubilee year and there are a number of Projects/Trusts being advanced to celebrate her Majesty’s 60 year reign. One such Project/Trust is the Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge which is the Trust’s flagship programme, headed by its Patron, The Duke of Cambridge. Its aim is to protect 2012 outdoor recreational spaces in communities all across the UK as a permanent living legacy of this landmark occasion.

Throughout the UK committees have been appointed to have oversight of the Fields’ Challenge, to raise awareness of the Trust’s aims and to encourage members of the public to nominate and vote for an open space in their area to become part of the scheme and be permanently protected as a tribute to the Diamond Jubilee.

Readers will be pleased to learn that a committee has been formed in Jersey headed by the Bailiff and its membership includes the Chief Minister along with other States Members. I consider that St Martin’s School Field is an ideal open space to be permanently protected and indeed it would be fitting that as a tribute to her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee that consideration be given to naming the field as the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Field.

Being mindful of the Committee’s remit, readers may be interested to know that I have written to the Bailiff asking that St Martin’s School Field be considered in the hope that the field is permanently protected as a tribute to the Diamond Jubilee."


I have received a number of calls from people who are appalled at the prospect of  St Martin's losing its field, but it is action that would be more appreciated and I ask readers to write to the Planning and Education Ministers, pledging your support for the retention of the school field.

These Ministers are the key to the solution,  Deputy Duhamel is the Planning Minister who is also responsible for the environment. He has to weigh up the loss of a green field which is also a valued and longstanding recreational area in the Green Zone where there is a presumption against development, or redeveloping the existing school in line with other schools which have already been redeveloped.

Deputy Ryan who apart from being the Education Minister is also responsible for the Island's Sport and Culture. He also has a duty to the sportsmen, women and children to retain existing recreational areas. What alternative sporting facilities has he in mind to replace the St Martin Field? I know the Education Department must reduce its spending, by redeveloping the school will not only mean a financial saving but the field will also be saved for future generations.

The Minister's Email details are as follows;

 The Planning Minister r.duhamel@gov.je  The Education Minister p.ryan@gov.je


  1. When the people of the Channel Islands start making a regular annual financial contribution towards the cost of keeping the Monarchy, then I shall believe all this loyalty stuff.
    Yet another subsidy by the taxpayers of the UK to Jersey and Guernsey!

  2. I know it may be hard to believe but this project will not cost the English Tax Payer a penny. Neither should it cost any one in Jersey because all that is being asked is to nominate and vote for fields which are already in public ownership so that they can be retained as sports field for ever.

    Whilst saying it will not cost the Jersey Tax Payer, there will be a considerable saving because it will cost a lot less to redevelop than to build on the field.

  3. I for one will be very sorry to see the St Martin's playing field go as I spent many a happy Sports Day in that field. Not being brilliant at sport I may add - but probably up to some childish mischief.

    They should redevelop the school and keep the playing field.


  4. Bob.

    Some of the subjects to be discussed TONIGHT

  5. Bob.

    Thank you for your continued support of CITIZEN'S MEDIA