There were questions in the States this week about the Militia taking over Westmount, and more particularly the military’s use of Overdale Hospital. A number of Members demanded information on how these arrangements had come about, and the potential impact on patients.
In response, the President of the Island Defence Committee informed the Chamber that the Militia had in fact been present at Westmount since October last year. They had wanted the site to emplace a number of guns from the Royal Jersey Artillery, in order to improve the defences of St Helier. With town’s eastern approaches covered by the heavy coastal artillery guns of the South Hill Battery, Westmount was an ideal location to provide protection from the west.
As for the hospital, the Assembly heard that the Militia are only occupying the basement. Besides, the Constable of St Helier informed Members, Overdale Hospital was not presently being used. When it came to paying for the site, the Sanitary Committee had agreed a quarterly rent of £40, with the first payment falling due in January. The military were questioning the amount to pay, however, given their limited use of the buildings at the site.
D/Z/H2/7 contains letters between the military authorities and the States of the matter of rent for the Overdale Hospital site.