Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture scrutinised

10th November 2021

The Economic and International Affairs Scrutiny Panel held a Quarterly Public Hearing today with the Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture, Senator Lyndon Farnham. The Panel also heard from Assistant Minister with responsibility for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Deputy Kirsten Morel, and the Assistant Minister with responsibility for Sport, Deputy Hugh Raymond.

During the hearing, the Panel was informed that:

  • Businesses could have flexibility when repaying back deferred Social Security contributions, with the Minister stating it would be 'unthinkable' to not provide businesses with extra support if needed
  • Sourcing a venue for larger concerts whilst Fort Regent is being developed could be 'problematic'
  • Airbnb, which has grown from 70 properties in 2016 to 180 in 2021, will require regulation in the future so it does not affect the availability of housing for Islanders
  • Whilst construction costs are in some instances doubling and the availability of materials is scarcer, the demand for new builds is high
  • The labour shortage is a 'global problem' which is difficult to address through government policy, yet the Minister agreed that Jersey's cost of living and the availability of housing is a key factor in this shortage
  • A revised planning application for Oakfield Sports Centre is likely to be resubmitted within the next fortnight
  • There is a shortage of conference facilities, which the Minister hopes the private sector will seek to correct

Chair of the Economic and International Affairs Scrutiny Panel, Deputy David Johnson, said "The Panel would like to thank Ministers and Officers for attending our final Quarterly Public Hearing with the Minister this year. It has provided a useful update on developments within housing, sport, labour and construction, and demonstrated that, whilst there is progress being made, there is more to be done to achieve medium and long-term objectives within the Minister's remit."

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