Commerce & Employment business plan revisited
Commerce and Employment has today publicised the revisions to its 2012 business plan.
The newly elected Board has held an intense period of educational work, which has led to a subsequent review of the plan.
In the main the Commerce and Employment Board endorsed the business plan agreed by the previous administration across the economic, regulatory and promotional aspects of the Boards Mandate. However, Commerce and Employment Board Members unanimously agreed to four immediate changes in terms of priority and commitment. A further review of prioritisation and budgetary commitment will take place for 2013.
Deputy Kevin Stewart, Minister for Commerce and Employment said “The Board acknowledged the expertise and rich diversity of work being undertaken across the Department but felt that there should be greater focus in three areas and that one work stream should no longer be progressed”.
Formation of ICT Strategy Group
A formal ICT Group has been inaugurated to discuss matters regarding connectivity, resilience, cost, start up business and units, new business opportunities, spectrum and regulatory matters. Cross committee representation at political and officer level includes Treasury & Resources and Home Department. The objective is to deliver an outline ICT strategy for Guernsey during the autumn. Four meetings of the group have already taken place and a considerable amount of research and consultation has already been undertaken towards the report which will be published in due course.
Deputy Stewart explained “I believe this ICT work is a key priority for both existing business and new business streams as we look to grow the economy moving forward”.
Off Island tradesmen
Commerce and Employment will be investigating issues surrounding Off-Island tradesmen, often referred to as “white van man”, working in the Island and the impact that this has on resident trades folk and the Guernsey Exchequer. Research is under way and the Department will be looking to address issues proportionate to evidence presented.
Land for small businesses
Whilst availability and provision of land use for industry features within the business plan the Board have asked for the issue of suitability of sites for small businesses to be given priority.
Deputy Stewart said “Aiming to find a successful outcome to issues faced by “Fred in the shed” businesses is something that all Board Members felt strongly about and we are already proactively looking at this to hopefully identify a positive and workable solution”.
Repeal plans for Sunday trading review
Furthermore, the Board has decided to reverse the decision to review the issue of Sunday Trading and to retain the status quo arrangements and retain the current administration in collaboration with the Parish Constables and Douzaines. It was felt that this was an issue which would always divide the community and that would never be resolved to please a majority.
The Commerce and Employment Minister commented “I think this was a pragmatic and the right decision. The Board is committed to working across all aspects of the mandate but it was felt that this was not a priority work stream at this time”.
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