Jersey’s public services
Jersey has its own education, health, police, taxation, social security and other public services. These differ in material respects from those of the UK but are run in such a way as to be compatible.
The Jersey Curriculum is based on the new National Curriculum in England, adapted to reflect the Island’s unique heritage and environment and the needs of the local economy.
There are 33 primary schools and 10 secondary schools which cover the 11-16 age group, and 5 for the 16-18 age group
Highlands College provides further education including a number of degree courses, and several specialist bodies including offer degree courses in conjunction with UK universities. Most Jersey school leavers go on to higher education at UK universities.
Jersey has its own health system so is not part of the English National Health Service. The full range of health services is provided on-Island, including a general hospital, a maternity hospital, GP practices, chemists and specialist services. Some services are free but others, including GP visits, have to be paid for. Jersey has an arrangement with the National Health Service whereby its residents who need treatment that cannot be obtained in the Island can be treated by the NHS with Jersey meeting the cost.
The States of Jersey Police employs all the procedures, methods, technology, training and modes of operation of police elsewhere in the British Isles and co-operates with police forces in the UK and other countries. However, because Jersey is a Crown Dependency the Police has a wider range of functions than a police force in England. They include -
- An enhanced role in supporting the administrative requirements of the criminal justice process, providing a vetting and barring service, managing the town CCTV system and maintaining Jersey's central firearms register
- Policing Jersey's ports.
- Operating a Financial Intelligence Unit that works with enforcement agencies around the world to combat money laundering and terrorist funding
The Police Force currently operates with an establishment of 214 police officers and 118 civilian staff.
In addition to the States of Jersey Police, each parish has an honorary police force which deals with minor issues, and which can bring cases before the courts.
There are comprehensive Fire and Rescue services, which like the police service work closely with their English counterparts.
Jersey is a maritime nation and therefore there are lifeboat services.
Jersey has a public bus service operating throughout the Island and a regulated taxi service.
Jersey has a comprehensive road network ranging from Victoria Avenue, a two-lane road than runs from St Helier to Bel Royal, to small country lanes between two earth banks that are barely wide enough for a single vehicle.
Ports of Jersey (a private limited company wholly-owned by the Government of Jersey) is responsible for managing the airport, harbours, marinas and the Jersey Coastguard. It also delivers two of Jersey’s largest community events – the Jersey Boat Show and the Jersey International Air Display. Jersey Airport is one of the busiest in the British Isles, providing services to the United Kingdom and further afield. St Helier is a busy port providing essential freight services and also has a ferry terminal which services ferry links to France and southern England.
Jersey is part of a common travel area together with the United Kingdom, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and the Irish Republic. This means that there are no customs or immigration controls for people travelling within the area. For security reasons travellers to or from Jersey by sea or by air will be required to produce photographic proof of identity.
Housing in Jersey is very expensive. To help low-income islanders, income support meets some or all of rental payments for those with incomes below a certain level. The Government-owned housing stock has been transferred to a company wholly-owned by the Government but operated at arm’s length and with an independent board. Andium Homes manages a stock of 4,500 homes, housing about 10% of the population. The company has an ambitious development programme. There are also several smaller social housing providers, the largest of which are Jersey Homes Trust, which has 800 homes, and Les Vaux Housing Trust, which has 350 homes.
Jersey has to provide its own utilities, a challenging task for a small island with a population of 108,000.
There is a competitive telecommunications market, regulated by the Jersey Competition Regulatory Authority (JCRA). The largest provider is JT (formerly Jersey Telecoms but now rebranded as Join Together), wholly-owned by the Government of Jersey, which also operates in Guernsey and six other jurisdictions. It employs 600 staff. It has installed a full-fibre network throughout the Island with the third fastest broadband spends in the world.
Postal services are provided by Jersey Post, like JT wholly owned by the Government of Jersey and regulated by the JCRA. Jersey Post operates a network of 21 post offices across the island and provides postal delivery services to all Jersey residential households and business, five days a week.
There is a single provider of electricity Jersey Electricity. This is listed on the London Stock Exchange, although the Government of Jersey has a 62% shareholding. The company is not regulated although the JCRA has powers to investigate the company given its market power. The company obtains 95% of its electricity from France though three undersea cables, most of the power coming from EDF’s nuclear power station at Flamanville on the nearby Cotentin peninsular. The remainder of its electricity comes from an energy from waste plant and solar power. It also has the capability to generate electricity on-island in the event of a disruption of the supply from France.
Water is provided by Jersey Water, also wholly owned by the Government of Jersey. Jersey relies on rainfall harvested in a number of reservoirs. It also operates a desalination plant.
Gas is provided by Jersey Gas.