Tristan : St Helena Ex-Co Report - 27 Sept 11
Submitted by Tristan Times (Public Relations Information Office) 30.09.2011 (Article Archived on 14.10.2011)
Welcome to my first ExCo Report – which deals with a short but productive meeting. The five elected members were all present,
St Helena Ex-Co Report - 27 Sept 11
Welcome to my first ExCo Report – which deals with a short but productive meeting. The five elected members were all present, along with the Chief Secretary, the Acting Financial Secretary, and the usual officials. But there was also a new face at the table, as I welcomed Morag Stevenson to Council as Acting Attorney General. I had administered the oaths of office to her last Saturday, shortly after taking my own oaths.
We moved swiftly to the first item of business, for which we were joined by the Director of Infrastructure & Utilities. The subject was the proposed divestment of utility services – water, electricity, and waste management – moving direct control of these activities outside SHG, while keeping adequate controls over service levels and charges to the public.
Council approved, in principle, moving towards establishing a company under the Companies Ordinance, with all the shares owned (at least initially) by SHG – and the preparation of an Ordinance to provide robust safeguards for consumers.
Further information about the proposals will be published by the Infrastructure and Utilities Directorate shortly.
We then approved the minutes of the previous meeting and discussed a few matters arising. The most significant of these were two in number – one of which concerned an ongoing investigation about which I can say nothing publicly at this stage. The other was the need for me to consult Committee Chairmen about any changes in membership which might be necessary following the recent re-constitution of the Education & Employment Committee. I shall be following up on that in the next few days
Next, we considered a Memorandum presented by the Hon Tony Green, as Deputy Chairman of the Access and Transport Committee. It was a fairly technical point about preparations for the possibility of approval of the Air Access Project. Some listeners might recall the creation, in 2008, of certain Airport Development Areas which identify areas in which development might be needed in order for an airport to be built and operated.
More recently, it has emerged that there might be a need to construct an overground water main over two parcels of land in Fisher’s Valley which were not included in the original Airport Development Areas. Council agreed in principle that these two parcels might be added to the ADA, and authorised officials to carry out appropriate public consultations. The Access Office will issue further information, and invite comments, shortly.
Under Any Other Business, I was able to deliver some good news about a problem which arose a few months ago. Bad sea conditions disturbed the wreck of the RFA Darkdale, and increased the flow of oil from it. Governor Gurr began to lobby the authorities in the UK to take responsibility for the possible environmental impacts. Initially, he had little success, but patient work continued in the background and the UK Ministry of Defence has agreed to send out a 10-person team, with suitable equipment, to survey the wreck (and its surroundings) and assess the environmental risks. A separate press release will be issued about this.
I ended by noting that ExCo had met on four consecutive Tuesdays; I am hoping to avoid the need to call ExCo next week, and try to get back to the traditional fortnightly cycle.
The meeting closed at 11:30 am.
Ken Baddon, Acting Governor, 27th September 2011