Future of Jersey sport debated

Volleyball in Jersey
Image caption The green paper sets out ideas for reforming sport administration in Jersey

Sports facilities in Jersey could be put under the control of the private sector, according to a government report.

A report from the Education, Sport and Culture (ESC) department asks islanders who they think should run venues such as Les Quennevais and Fort Regent.

The green paper sets out options which include handing management to private companies to save costs.

This is the first States sports strategy published since 2001.

The ESC department says the aim is to get more people playing sport and improving the way it is co-ordinated.

Hugh Raymond, the Jersey Sports Council chairman, said he thinks the three-month consultation is a great opportunity for everybody to talk about sport.

But he said if the States handed over the running of sports facilities to the private sector it would create more red tape.

Mr Raymond said: "The States have got to look at ways of saving money.

"But you don't want to get rid of one bureaucracy and put another bureaucracy in, and you have to be very careful."

Another suggestion in the report is to create a new independent organisation to co-ordinate sport.

Bodies such as Sport England and the Guernsey Sports Commission already run similar schemes elsewhere.

The report says of facilities: "Traditionally, public sports facilities in Jersey have come under the administration of a States department.

"A second option is to incorporate a States-owned body to run sports facilities. It would have greater financial independence, more flexibility and wider scope for decision-making."

ESC Minister Deputy Patrick Ryan said: "In these tough economic times we must make the case for sport in a way that recognises the considerable benefits it brings to our health and wellbeing.

"The challenge is to make the right decisions for a strong sporting future for Jersey."

The public consultation runs until the end of May and will feed into a white paper which will outline the strategy for the next decade.

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