For a long time now, I have been pushing for Jersey to introduce on street, separated recycling bins I was very pleased, then, when I saw for the first time in Jersey a similar one in the High Street, here in St Helier.
It was only the next day that I realised, much to my displeasure, a big, golden 'M' on a bright red background on either end. The bin was sponsored by McDonald's!
Only last week in the States, I raised concerns about going down the route of having all of our public services 'sponsored', rather than paid for by public funding, be that in the form of taxes or rates. I did not see this as a real risk, but after visiting Malta for two days over Easter and noting that their road signs were sponsored by HSBC, I cautioned that I, for one, did not want to go down the route where the whole island has become 'one big advert'. Sure, corporate sponsorship has a place - but normally this is restricted to charity events (the 'round the island' walk or the Dragon Boat Race) or commercial events, such as Jersey Live.
|The Constable of St Helier: In future his|
wages may be paid for by corporate
sponsorship, rather than by the taxpayer
OPEN LETTER TO CONSTABLE CROWCROFT
First of all, let me congratulate you on the appearance of the first 'separated' waste/recylcing bins in St Helier. I know we have spoken about introducing these in the past and I am glad that St Helier has taken the initiative (which I hope will be followed by TTS).
What I am concerned about is the issue of Sponsorship: I am concerned on two levels. (It is perhaps slightly ironic that during the Freedom of Information debate, I warned of going down the Malta route, where even their road signs are sponsored by HSBC). I would question whether it is appropriate at all to have these sponsored, but putting that concern aside, I am concerned about who the sponsor is. You will be aware that Jersey has particular problems when it comes to (childhood) obesity and diabetes. Whilst I am sure that McDonald's offer some healthy items on their menu, it seems to me that traditionally their offerings have been high in sugar, salt and fat.
I have the following questions that you might be able to answer:
1) At what level was the decision to have these bins sponsored made?
2) At what point was McDonald's chosen to sponsor this initiative?
3) Who approached whom?
4) Did any consultation occur with parishioners as to this decision?
5) Did any consultation occur with the Health Minister or the Medical Officer of Health?
6) What is the overall amount of Sponsorship received from McDonald's for these bins?
7) How many bins are there of this nature?
8) Do you think that the new bins will encourage
(a) greater recycling?
(b) more people to eat at McDonald's
9) Were any homegrown/local businesses (such as Jersey Dairy or Jersey Telecom) approached to provide sponsorship?
10) Is the sponsorship permanent. If not, please provide details.