Mr Day, who leaves Jersey next month to take up a top national post as chief executive of Historic Royal Palaces, said that Education, Sport and Culture had to create a policy strategy and funding framework if the trust was to flourish in the future.
‘My parting shot, after building up this organisation, and all the great work it does, for 16 years, is to say that it would be a great shame to start dismantling it now.’Like all States-funded bodies, the trust’s budget has in recent years been subject to increases in line with, or lower than, the rate of inflation.
Writing in the Heritage Trust’s 2002 review, Mr Day said that the budget constraints amounted to a cut in real terms.
Coupled with falling tourist numbers and the effects of the terrorist outrages of September 11, it was unlikely that the Heritage Trust could sustain the current level of service unless new funding could be found from somewhere.The trust cares for and operates the Island’s heritage buildings and sites, either under terms of usu-fruct or owned by the Société Jersiaise.
It also looks after art and heritage collections as well as running education and learning programmes.In 2002, 2,500 adult learners were catered for, staff spent 720 hours with 6,000 students, and more than 10,500 students visited the sites.
The Millennium Mosaic community project was completed and plans were laid for celebrations to mark the 800th anniversary of the unique constitutional links between the Channel Islands and the Crown.Mr Day said that it was becoming increasingly difficult to keep the services going.
‘We can only do one of two things.
We have to get money from somewhere or we’ll have to stop doing some things.’Education are currently undertaking a review of their responsibilities to produce a cultural strategy.
The trust has already been involved, and Mr Day hoped that a solution could be found.If Education wanted the trust to maintain its current services, they would have to find the funding.
If that was not forthcoming, it would be down to Education to tell the trust where the axe should fall.Mr Day said that the trust had been warning the States of the growing problem for more than two years, but this was the first time it had been raised in public.
At present, he added, there was no States policy to guide the Heritage Trust.’We need that guidance to direct our work or we get additional support,’ he said.