Falklands : Falklands: Summary of Executive Council Meeting 25 March 2010
Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 03.04.2010 (Article Archived on 17.04.2010)
Executive Council this time round had a change of faces around the table. In the absence of the Hon Dick Sawle and Roger Edwards who are currently overseas, the Hon Emma Edwards and Sharon Halford were the nominated stand ins.
Summary of Executive Council Meeting 25 March 2010
Executive Council this time round had a change of faces around the table. In the absence of the Hon Dick Sawle and Roger Edwards who are currently overseas, the Hon Emma Edwards and Sharon Halford were the nominated stand ins. Also on this occasion the two visiting FCO officials Colin Roberts and Victor Clarke sat in and observed the meeting.
The Task status report (legislative drafting) was discussed briefly. It was noted that the proposed Complaints Commissioner legislation had received minimal feed back from the public and members felt that they now needed to further discuss the issue before moving it to the Legislative Assembly for final debate.
The Review of the Government Investment Strategy was approved. This paper was presented by the DCR and provides for a little more flexibility within the remit of the fund managers when managing our investments.
Retail Price Index Issues – this paper, which was approved, makes provision for an exercise to be undertaken to revise the current basket of goods which should lead to the introduction of a new basis for the RPI index. As in the past this exercise will need the help and participation of a number of members of the public.
A paper on the Concordia Bay – Ferry Rate Changes was also approved. The truck rate for vehicles over 3500kg is to be reduced from £40 to £30 per metre and the charge for small vehicles (under 6m long and 3500kg) is to be increased from £30 to £50, the rate for occupants and foot passengers is to remain at £20.
For some time now we have contributed to building new houses at MPC on an annual basis and as this is no longer required HQ BFSAI put in a request for the Refurbishment of Mount Pleasant Complex Accommodation. Members agreed that the sum of £150,000 (already set aside) could still be put to good use by helping to refurbish older quarters and should be used for this purpose.
Provision was made for the minting of coins to commemorate the centenary of the death of Henry Dunant, founder of the Red Cross, subject to the approval of HM the Queen.
Air Freight Charges have not been increased since 1993, members therefore agreed to the proposed increases from Stanley and Camp as follows: 20p/kg on general freight, 10p/kg on frozen goods and fresh produce and 10p/kg on general freight for Treasury-approved Camp businesses, all of which are to be effective from the 1st July 2010.
The sale of the Market Garden was approved subject to negotiation of the final legal documentation.
Communication Project Overspend (Camp upgrade project) – Members agreed the payment of £117,606 to Cable & Wireless as this overspend is in line with the contractual arrangements entered into with FIG. Let us hope this will be money well spent.
The Fisheries Department have for some time now been working in very poor conditions and members agreed for the process to start to look for alternative office accommodation for this department. This process is to look at the possible co-location of the Fisheries and Agricultural Departments where various facilities could be shared.
Members agreed to an application for a licence to purchase a property at Marmont Row, Stanley (within the old Upland Goose building). Licences are required for non residents.
The final details on the release of building plots within the Mink Park Housing Development were agreed. In the first instance plots are to be offered for sale by tender to two categories of private individuals as follows:-
(i) Resident first time buyers – minimum bid 25% of base price
(ii) Residents who do not currently own a house in the Falkland Islands but who are not first time buyers, and who have not previously purchased a subsidised building plot – minimum bid 50% of base price.
When these plots are advertised for sale (the latest estimate for this is not before the beginning of May) information packs will be available for interested buyers at that time.
A review of the Falkland Islands Development Corporation has been much talked about and the proposed terms of reference for this to be undertaken were agreed.
The Oil Spill Contingency Plan for BHP Billiton was agreed subject to conformation that DEC were happy with this.
It was agreed not to retain the post of Head of Executive Management within the present establishment of FIG. This may put an increased work load on other people in some areas but it was hoped that this could be addressed in house.
Towards the end of Executive Council we just about reverted to playing musical chairs as other members had to sit in because of a conflict of interest. This happened on an appeal against a planning condition when all three of us had to leave, Jan and I because we are members of the Planning & Building Committee and Emma because she is a member of the Historical Buildings Committee and all of us had been involved in the original decision. The Hon Gavin Short, Bill Luxton and Glenn Ross attended in our absence and upheld the appeal in favour of the applicant.