I am writing to you as a very concerned parent.
This evening I was contacted by my son, my nephew, my neice and one of their friends.
They had gone for a swim at Havre Des Pas bathing pool. I instructed them to telephone me when the tide reached the pool so I could go and keep an eye on them due to the water being a bit choppy, a SSW force 4
They telephoned me as promised but to inform me, also, they had been told they were not allowed to remain there because there was a private party being held.
I subsequently went down there where I was confronted by 2 bouncers who informed me I was not allowed to go to the pool area due to a private party being held and where the children were situated, waiting for me to arrive and too scared to go back in the water, in case they got into troulbe, so were freezing cold
Now I could be very much mistaken but I believed Havre Des Pas bathing area was publicly owned. I was then confronted by the manager who told me the area is leased to him by Education Sport and Culture, so therefore he owns it. Again I could be mistaken but I don't believe that makes him the owner, but thought it wise not to get into an argument with him and his 2 bouncers who were somewhat intimidating.
Could you please explain to me, so as I can explain to the children, if the information given to them and me was correct?
The information given to me was the manager is the owner, if there is a private party being held children are not allowed to be in the pool or the steps adjoining the pool.
I should like to add the children were very upset and still truly believe (as I do) they have every right to be in the pool and would be very upset to discover they are wrong.
Or is it the case that SPORT and CULTURE is only permitted when there is not a Jersey telecom corporate function taking place?
I think it is very important to set the record straight as to what the childrens rights are. Do they have the right to enjoy this publicly owned property, paid for by tax payers (I believe) or do they have no right to be there when a corporate function is being held?
If it is the latter which would mean SPORT and CULTURE is only accessible as long as it doesn't interfere with corporate functions, could you please let me know the best way to explain this to the children?
Thank you for raising this issue with me.
I have received reports from my officers and also from the person who has the Licence agreement to rent the catering facility at Havre des Pas pool.
You are correct in suggesting that Havre des Pas Pool is a public facility. During the months from end of May until end of September the Education Sport and Culture department provides Life Guard cover between 9am and 6pm each day. During this time the facilities are open to the public. The cafe is operated by Empire Catering . After 6 pm Empire Catering are able to use the Cafe and toilets for Private functions. This is done by agreement with Officers from ESC who are aware of the times that this will happen.
At all times members of the public are able to access the pool in order to swim but the toilets and changing facilities will not be open for public use after 6 pm when the life guards finish. On occasions when the facility is busy the Life Guard cover is extended beyond 6pm.
I can confirm that members of the public are able to access the swimming pool at all times. The Manager is not the owner of the pool but he does have the concession to the cafe and use of the toilets when a private function is being held. These functions are by agreement when the after the pool has closed at 6pm.
Senator M.E. Vibert
I am very saddened to see you appear to have completely ignored the the core substance of my e-mail.
That is the children were "very upset" being told by "bouncers" they are not allowed in the POOL. They were never told they weren't allowed in the changing rooms or the toilets, they were told to get out of the POOL.
Subsequently I was told I was not allowed to go on any of the premises because there was a private function being held, by a man claiming to be the owner and two bouncers.
"The core substance" that appears to have completely escaped you is "the children were upset", not by being told they are not allowed in the toilets or changing room after 6.p.m. but by being ejected from the pool by 2 bouncers and the "owner".
So if you are saying the "owner" and the two bouncers were wrong for ejecting them and they ARE allowed to use this public facility and the "owner" isn't the "owner. Might I suggest a written apology from either yourself, the "owner" and the two bouncers to the children? as it might go some way in restoring some faith in the children regarding the way our island is being run. Further more It will give the children a degree of satisfaction to know they were right to believe the pool belongs to the public and they have every right to be there.
It sounds like the bouncers and the "owner" have faced no discaplinary action from you or your department and you and your department don't appear too bothered by the affect this would have had on the young children "very upset".
Some kind of apology or recognition shouldn't be too much to ask, and hopefully some kind of assurance this sort of behaviour will not happen again?
The version of the events reported by the concession holder differed materially from your version.
In my previous e-mail I made clear the situation relating to use of the pool and will expect the concession holder to adhere to this agreement and, if, any breaches of this agreement are complained of, and accepted or proved, they will be dealt with by my department.
I always regret if any young children are upset and I sincerely hope the behaviour of everyone concerned had the children's best interests as their foremost consideration.
So am I to tell the children they are being called liars along with myself (1)?
Could you please explain to me and the children, as you don't see my original e-mail as any sort of complaint, just exactly what you do see it as? (2)
Could you explain to the children how the "owner's" and bouncers version of events differ from theirs? (3)
These children were treated apallingly and wrongly and they seek no more than an apology(4) If you would like I will get them to document the events for you (as I have) as it appears either the children are lying or the "owner" and bouncers are (5)
I am at a loss as to what to tell them, do I say Senator Vibert doesn't believe them (6)? do I say Senator Vibert is not interested in finding out the truth (7)? These people can eject you from the pool wrongly and not have to answer for it (8)?
You see I have to try and make some sense of this to 13 and 14 year old children who demand answers, could you please give them some (9)?
You will notice numbers one to nine, these are either questions or concerns myself and the children would like you to address individually. I (we) hope you will give them that respect.