Falklands : Motion for Adjournment Speech by the Hon Mr Roger Edwards (Dec 13)
Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 22.12.2013 (Article Archived on 19.01.2014)
Mr Speaker, to follow the theme, I suppose I should also apologise to the people hold posts within my portfolios because twixt the last Assembly Meeting and this I have been overseas. I do apologise.
RE: Mr Speaker, to follow the theme, I suppose I should also apologise to the people hold posts within my portfolios because twixt the last Assembly Meeting and this I have been overseas. I do apologise. I haven’t been to see them but I will stop by and go to see them.
As my colleague Ian Hansen has already mentioned we went to the Joint Ministerial Council in London. This was formerly known as the United Kingdom Overseas Territories Association which was actually established by the good offices of the Falkland Islands and Gibraltar. It is now led by Ministers in the UK but it is also the meeting of Overseas Territories Ministers and we must always insure that we still had a major input to the agenda and/or the discussions that go on at that meeting.
While we were there we learned of the funding award that was mentioned by Michael Poole. It (SAREI) had three awards from the Darwin Trust. The Darwin Trust is a fund set up by the Foreign office, DFID and DEFRA and out of that funding there were two awards for Falklands Conservation and one for SAREI. And we also learned that SAREI was given an additional award under the European Union BEST Scheme.
We went on to OCTA – the Overseas Countries and Territories Association. These are all the overseas countries and territories of France, Denmark and Holland and there were two main objectives for that. One was the signing of the Overseas Association Decision. This is the route map – the rules and orders for getting stuff into Europe – both meat and fish. And that comes into being on the 1st of January 2014. Some of the other bits come in at a slower time over a period of about 5 years.
I always feel when I go overseas, I come back and I report that we’ve been given this award or that funding from OCTA. It was announced that we have been allocated e5.9Million under the 11th EDF. But I am the one that perhaps comes home and gets tea and medals but actually we should be thanking those who have done a considerable amount of hard work behind the scenes. And for the JMC – we call them Sherpa’s in the JMC… We have Jamie Fotheringham and Sukey Cameron, who have done about 4 years’ work in putting the OAD together and they should be thanked for that and also to mention Karen Minto, our graduate trainee who is currently in the Falkland Islands Government Office for her input, too for OCTA, then known as Territorial Operating Officers (OAD) - Jamie Fotheringham, Sukey Cameron and Karen Minto worked hard in Brussels as well. They should all be thanked for their input for the success that we had. As I say, I get to announce it and get my name in Penguin News but it is they who are the ones that do the hard work and we should be appreciative of them.
While I was away I also met with Adam Dunlop from Sure and he had been well briefed on my election manifesto regarding monopolies and so on and we had a very good and thorough hour and a half meeting and I told him where I was coming from and he told me where they were going. Hopefully in due course we will find a parallel path to take things forward.
In this House some time ago you admonished me Mr Speaker for referring to (cleared his throat) e-mails. I would think this is partly the reason for the start for our problems that my colleague, Phyl Rendell mentioned. We speak to each other these days by e-mail. We don’t get up and look around the door and look people in the eye and say “Good morning; how’s the wife; how’s the children; did they pass the exams last week; is your dog better? Things like that used to be called leadership and management seem to be forgotten and I hope at the end of the year we will see e-mails meaning officers and staff and staff and other staff (talking face to face).
I learned yesterday – we were discussing television – television in the House earlier on – I was reminded yesterday that the transmitter (TV) on Sapper Hill is running at low power and has been running at low power for a considerable period of time and the people who have rung and talked about it have been told we have very low priority on the air-bridge for getting the spare parts down. So perhaps I could ask the good offices of CBF that we see if we can get some spares down so that we can correct this problem on Sapper Hill and everyone in Stanley can get full television services back online.
And finally I would like to wish everybody here and listening and across the whole Islands a very Happy Christmas, prosperous New Year and I hope to see many of you at the many BBQs, parties and things that will be going on.
Mr Speaker, I support the Motion.