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‘If I can’t staff it, I mustn’t do it’

‘If I can’t staff it, I mustn’t do it’

Thursday 14 November 2019

‘If I can’t staff it, I mustn’t do it’

The MD of Les Ormes says he’s so worried about staffing issues, that he won’t put a £14 million building project out to tender until he knows he can staff it - that’s if a major planning application is approved next week.

A planning committee meeting is due to take place on 21st November, to decide whether or not to give the go-ahead for a 40% increase in the site’s self-catered accommodation.

The recommendation is for the plans to be approved, yet Mike Graham says no work would be starting until September 2021 at the earliest. 

“We would only ever start it at the end of the summer season. I wouldn’t want to start at the end of the next summer season because the world is quite uncertain at the moment. Brexit has affected booking patterns this year. 

“I would also want to see that the States manpower immigration thing is sorted. The biggest issue isn’t financing it, it is staffing the operation of it. I can get finance to build it, I can sell it and make it a success, but can I staff it? If I can’t staff it, I mustn’t do it.”

The application involves the demolition of the existing tennis hall, to give way to 44 one-bed units, two 2-bed units, 13 four-bed units and one 6-bed accommodation unit.

Les Ormes is owned by a charitable foundation, the Bosdet Foundation, which has as its sole aim to give back to the community of Jersey.  

 Les Ormes 4

Pictured: the development will be one of the biggest tourism project the island has seen.

Last year the Foundation gave back some £300,000 to local good causes. That figure is expected to be £500,000 in 2020.  

If the plans are passed and the building work completed, the hope is that they’d be able to give away £1,000,000 annually from 2030. 

“That’s the only reason we want to do it,” Mr Graham told Express. 

The site already has 68 self-catering units on site, with a total of 160 bedrooms. 

 The new development would add 60 units and bring them to a total of 266 bedrooms. 

 Les Ormes 1

Pictured: the plan would greatly increase the amount given back to charity, by the Foundation.

Mr Graham’s comments come just weeks after the Migration Policy Development Board delivered its interim report on 24th October. The Board was set up to develop migration policy proposals, which would ultimately assist the island in reducing its reliance on inward migration. 

The hospitality industry, which is hugely dependent on migrant workers, has reported a particular struggle to recruit staff this year, and are concerned over further potential restrictions on workers coming into the island. 

 The Migration Policy Development Board is expected to deliver a final report in Spring next year, with a States debate taking place soon after. 

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