Weekly Client Update – 13th October 2023

Market Update

FTSE 100: The FTSE 100 index opened up 3.63 points at 7,648.41. The FTSE 250 was down 48.99 points, 0.3%, at 17,786.70.

European markets: In European equities on Friday, the CAC 40 in Paris was down 0.1%, while the DAX 40 in Frankfurt was down 0.3%.

US markets: In the US on Thursday, Wall Street ended lower, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.5%, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite both closed down 0.6%.

Asian markets: Asian markets finished broadly lower today with shares in Hong Kong leading the region. The Hang Seng is down 2.45% while China’s Shanghai Composite is off 0.64% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 is lower by 0.63%.

Emerging markets: Russian technology company Astra on Friday said it had raised 3.5 billion Roubles ($35.9 million) in an initial public offering (IPO) on the Moscow Exchange, pricing shares at the upper end of its range in a debut populated by retail investors.

New strategy aims to enable more Islanders to die at home

A new end-of-life strategy care is designed to enable more terminally-ill Islanders to die at home should they wish to do so. The strategy, which was developed through a partnership between Jersey Hospice Care and the Health Department, recognises that although 39% of Islanders said they wished to die at home, only 21% did.

Jersey’s ageing population, with the proportion of those aged 65 or above rising to one in five by 2036, is the primary factor behind the new strategy, which forecasts that the need for palliative care will double between 2016 and 2036.

Mike Palfreman, chief executive of Jersey Hospice Care, said that a key aim was to listen to the views of those who may be reaching the ends of their lives, and their families. He said: “Most people say they would prefer to die at home, and part of this [strategy] is to reflect that in what is available for people who have made that choice.”

Mr Palfreman said that in implementing the strategy, Jersey Hospice Care would strive to work collaboratively with the many other agencies involved in the provision of care.

He added: “Jersey’s population is projected to grow and rapidly become older: the need and demand for palliative care services will increase significantly in line with this. “Our vision is to ensure that all Islanders with a life-limiting illness will have access to, and informed choices about, the right care, by the right person, at the right time and in the right place.”

Health and Social Services Minister Karen Wilson said: “It was vital when designing the strategy that all organisations which deliver palliative and end-of-life care worked together, as they all have a role in delivering these services. “This strategy will equip health and care professionals with the necessary skills and knowledge to deliver high-quality palliative care, ensuring comfort, dignity, and respect for every individual.”

Written by Jersey Hospice Care’s Director of Clinical Strategy Gail Caddell, the newly-launched report emphasises the importance of early identification of individuals in need of palliative care, the integration of palliative care with chronic condition management, and the development of skills necessary to anticipate and provide quality end-of-life care.

The roles played by families and carers are also recognised, with a focus on the need to keep family members involved throughout the process. Deputy Wilson and Mr Palfreman said it was important to ensure Islanders who required palliative and end-of-life care were treated as individuals, encouraged to make and share advance care plans and involved in decisions regarding their care.

The importance of education was also stressed as a key factor, along with creating a community where there were open discussions about death and dying. The strategy focuses entirely on adults, with a separate strategy for children who have life-limiting conditions or terminal illnesses to be published in the future.

Gas supplies could be restored to most homes by the end of today

Gas supplies could be restored to most homes by the end of Friday, Island Energy’s Chief Executive has said.

Jo Cox further said that commercial customers would be prioritised, while others who need to be visited by an engineer may have to wait until the end of the weekend – Jersey has been without mains gas since Saturday.

Speaking to the JEP, Mrs Cox said: “We ran the plant through throughout the night to check we were comfortable and then turned the whole network on at 1 pm today.”

She said they were due to start reconnecting supplies at 4.30pm yesterday, beginning with commercial customers. Mrs Cox said: “We start at the end of our network and work back. I understand that most of Gorey will be on today, but our engineers will be working from now until midnight. We stop at midnight tonight and watch the plant to make sure it is behaving itself.”

Mrs Cox said she hoped by this evening, “most people will be able to have turned their supply back on, ready for the weekend”.

She added: “However, not all commercials will be reconnected by then because our commercial customers need an engineer’s visit. Those customers will take up until Sunday to restore. The priority for engineer visits is commercials and priority customers who have already identified themselves. They are the ones who will be restored Thursday and Friday, then we will move onto the res on Saturday and Sunday. All this is provided everything goes to plan.”

This comes after the energy company yesterday announced that it was testing the network by checking key supply points at Les Quennevais, Tunnell Street, Grouville, Rozel and Gorey Hill. These took place following the successful switch-on and 24-hour monitoring of its main plant.

The statement further said that there would be two ‘phases’ of customers – those who needed to be visited by an engineer, and those who could self-restore. An estimated 3,600 are understood to be in the latter phase. Customers should have been contacted via letter, text, or email letting them know which phase they belong to.

CI Coop buys four Lloyds pharmacies in Jersey

CI Coop has purchased four Lloyds pharmacies to expand its network across Jersey.The retailer has also purchased three branches in Guernsey in what its chief executive has called a “unique opportunity” to further develop their pharmacy business.

The news Saving some of the branches from closure, CI Coop has now acquired sites in The Parade, Red Houses, Les Quennevais, and Gorey Village.The three branches acquired in Guernsey are located at St Sampson’s, L’Aumone, and Longfrie.As part of the move, CI Coop will be offering roles to all existing Lloyds staff.

It follows an announcement by Lloyds Pharmacy that it had made the “difficult decision” to shut its branches at Red Houses (Parade), and David Place and Indigo House in St Helier following a review of operations. The two companies are working together to finalise the sale and transition, which is anticipated to be completed at the end of this month.

This is subject to approval by the Jersey and Guernsey competition and regulatory authorities.

Mark Cox, chief executive of the CI Coop, said: “This is a unique opportunity to further develop the Coop’s pharmacy business through purchasing seven Lloyds stores. We look forward to welcoming new and existing members and customers to our expanded pharmacy network and are thrilled to welcome their team into the Channel Islands Coop family.”

Sara Kynicos, Head of Care at CI Coop, said: “This acquisition presents an excellent opportunity for us, underscoring our commitment to the growth and development of our pharmacy business, as well as our continued support for the essential pharmacy sector within the local community.”

Age Concern Chair, Ben Shenton, previously said that the government needed to “monitor the situation and take action” if accelerating closures left residents vulnerable.

Tree law is ‘a gross intrusion’ says Deputy Bailhache

A former Bailiff’s claims that revised plans to protect trees are a “gross intrusion into individual freedom” have been dismissed an ‘alarmist nonsense’ by the Environment Minister, ahead of a States debate next week.

Writing in the JEP letters pages on Thursday 12 October, Deputy Philip Bailhache said that minister Deputy Jonathan Renouf should have rejected the proposed law, which he labelled “control-freakery”.

Following a vote by the previous States Assembly in 2022, Deputy Renouf brought forward initial proposals in March this year, but faced a backlash from landowners and tree surgeons that they were too restrictive and would risk routine maintenance coming under the reach of the law.

The minister conceded in April that his initial plans contained “deficiencies” and were “well wide of the mark”, resolving to return with fresh plans which were published last month. The revised proposals included an increase in the diameter of an exempt tree from eight centimetres to 25cm, as well as providing for routine management, but these changes have failed to impress Deputy Bailhache.

“It is a thoroughly bad amendment and represents a gross intrusion into individual freedom,” the former Bailiff and Attorney General said. “No one likes to see a mature tree felled unnecessarily but that is no reason to bring every sapling, hedge, and branch within the ambit of statutory control.”

The backbencher, who represents St Clement, said that he saw the move was liable to lead to an increase in “fruitless bureaucracy”.

Responding through a letter of his own, Deputy Renouf said it was “absolutely clear” that all work on trees with a diameter of less than 25cm could proceed without any need to engage with the Planning Department, and he rejected a further claim that a civil servant would have to approve the removal of a tree branch.

“These statements are alarmist nonsense,” he said. “Most work on trees, including virtually all routine maintenance, will proceed just as it always has.”

The minister said his proposals represented “a simple, proportionate way of managing the inevitable conflicts that will sometimes arise between private and public interest”.

A States debate is due to be held on 17 October about the draft legislation, which will come into force on 24 October if approved.

Queues and delayed flights at Jersey Airport as new scanner is installed

The Airport’s third and final new X-ray machine is being installed this week. Head of security Maria Le Tiec said that hoarding would be erected while the installation, which began on Monday, was under way, adding: “We will guide passengers through the new layout.”

Full-body scanners are expected to be installed in November. New rules, which will come into place in June 2024, mean that most UK airports will have security technology allowing passengers to leave liquids and electronics in their hand luggage.

The 100ml restriction will also be lifted, with containers up to two litres being permitted. The new system being installed in Jersey is part of a £3 million upgrade to the Airport’s security system, designed to ensure that the facility complies with the new requirements.

However work to install the new scanner at the Airport caused long queues for passengers on Thursday. Pictures posted on social media showed the queue for security stretching the entire length of the departures hall and going out through the fire door at the southern end of the building.

The longest queue was experienced between 7am and 8am, with one passenger contacting the JEP to complain about a lack of communication to passengers and the failure to issue any advance advice about allowing extra time.

Three departing flights, to Heathrow, Gatwick and Exeter, saw delays of around half an hour while another Gatwick flight took off 89 minutes late. A spokesperson for Jersey Airport said the issue resulted from work to install a third scanning machine, after two others were brought into operation in late July.

In a statement, the spokesperson continued: “Due to the installation of the new scanning machine, space is currently restricted on the other side of the boarding-pass check. “We were on hand explaining to customers and no passengers missed their flights.”

Some passengers said that although the queues had been long, they had been fast-moving, but others described the situation as “a shambles” and said it appeared there were insufficient staff working in security.

Jersey wine: Cool, wet midsummer could be key to good year for grapes

Unusual weather patterns this summer have left the Island’s only vineyard “cautiously optimistic” about this year’s vintage as grape harvesting comes to an end.

While a wet and cool midsummer, sandwiched between sun-soaked periods in June and September, may not have created ideal conditions for Islanders to enjoy their summer holidays, it has turned out to be the “perfect balance” for grapes at vineyards in the British Isles, including La Mare Wine Estate. Located in St Mary, the vineyard is now poised to create wines of “nuanced character”.

This is in contrast to France, where a scorching few months has led to an early harvest. Representatives from La Mare Wine Estate have said they remain “cautiously optimistic” about this year’s grape yield. Last week, the estate harvested its rondo grapes – having already collected the pinot noir and orion varieties.

Head winemaker Jordi Sanvicens Moreno said: “Nature has bestowed upon us a remarkable gift this year, allowing us to exercise patience and precision in our winemaking. After the unusually wet summer, we’ve embraced the September sunshine to nurture our grapes, patiently waiting for that perfect moment of ripeness.”

“This extended hang time on the vine has allowed our grapes to develop optimal sugar levels, balanced acidity, and nuanced flavours, ensuring that we harvest fruit of the highest quality for our wines.”

In response to the unusual rainfall patterns, La Mare staff have used strategic canopy management, selective thinning, and meticulous trimming to keep the vines healthy. The organisation is also looking for grape pickers to join their harvesting team.

Very best of Jersey honoured at awards

Islanders who routinely go above and beyond to make a positive difference to the community had their time in the spotlight as the 2023 Pride of Jersey awards were presented on Wednesday night.

Hundreds gathered at Albert Bartlett’s headquarters on Trinity Hill to hail the contributions of all those nominated across 14 different categories. One award winner was remembered tearfully and in absentia when Dean Lowe was announced as the winner of the Gary Burgess Award.

A tireless campaigner for inclusion, charity fundraiser and champion for disability, Mr Lowe (48) died tragically in August when he and his 11-year-old son Charlie were killed in a suspected hit-and-run collision in Grouville.

The award was set up in memory of journalist Gary Burgess following his death in January 2022, acknowledging Islanders who stood out as beacons of the community and for bringing people together in times of adversity.

Introducing the evening, JEP editor Andy Sibcy said the 12 months since the previous ‘Pride’ event had been punctuated by tragedy, notably the flash-flooding in January at Grands Vaux and the loss of 13 lives the previous month as the L’Ecume II fishing trawler sank at sea and an explosion destroyed the Haut du Mont apartment block.

“But even in the darkest of times, there has been a ray of light that has never been extinguished,” he told the gathering. “That light is the community spirit which has brought people together in the face of tragedy and adversity, offering hope when things seemed to be at their most desperate. Community spirit is a term used a lot here in Jersey and there may be times when it seem like an abstract concept, a feeling rather than something tangible. But tonight it is in this room, and the force is stronger than ever.”

Rebecca Michieli, whose father Mick was skipper of L’Ecume II and went down with the boat, was named Volunteer/Fundraiser of the Year for starting a fundraising event to support the families of the two crewmen who also died.

Addressing all those who had been shortlisted, Mr Sibcy said: “It is an honour and a privilege to be able to celebrate you, who represent the very best of us.

“With kindness, love, resilience, courage, selflessness and much more, you have helped define what a good citizen looks like.”

Rugby world cup quarter finals (France)

After 40 matches in the pool stages of the Rugby Union World cup in France it’s now down to the knockout stage.

Host nation France play reigning champions South Africa and the world’s number one side Ireland take on three-time champions New Zealand at Stade de France in Paris.

At Stade de Marseille, Pool C winners Wales play Argentina and Pool D winners England face Fiji, who are set to compete in the knockout stages for the first time since 2007.

Saturday 14 October:

Wales v Argentina – Stade de Marseille -16:00: Ireland v New Zealand – Stade de France – 20:00

Sunday 15 October:

England v Fiji – Stade de Marseille – 16:00: France v South Africa – Stade de France – 20:00