Falklands : PUBLIC MEETING REPORT 25/01/11
Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 30.01.2011 (Article Archived on 13.02.2011)
A public meeting took place in the Parish Hall at Christ Church Cathedral on Tuesday, 25 January 2011 at 1700hrs.
PUBLIC MEETING REPORT 25/01/11
By J. Brock (FINN)
A public meeting took place in the Parish Hall at Christ Church Cathedral on Tuesday, 25 January 2011 at 1700hrs. Present were the Hon Dick Sawle, the Hon Bill Luxton, the Hon Gavin Short, the Hon Sharon Halford, the Hon Glenn Ross, the Hon Roger Edwards, the Hon Jan Cheek and the Hon Emma Edwards. The Hon Mrs Jan Cheek acted as Chairman.
After thanking everyone for coming Mrs Cheek read out a question submitted in writing by a member of the public about the state of the fire equipment recently purchased by FIG for use at Stanley Airport in a bid to upgrade it so the BAS Dash 7 could use it for operations instead of the one at Punta Arenas, Chile.
It was hoped that the upgrade of the airport to Safety Grade 2 would also open up future use by oil companies. Bernadette Pring said that the new equipment still had to be adjusted and that technicians from the supplier were coming down at their expense to carry out the work.
Gavin Short reaffirmed that the model was the right one for purpose but that it had been reconstructed and was shipped to the Falklands with defects. Jan Cheek reassured those attending that the appliance was purchased with the view to upgrade Stanley Airport to Safety Category 2 and the Company supplying it had the responsibility to make the proper adjustments.
Gary Clement brought up the old culverts that were replaced over the past two years being dumped in various places in the North Camp. Sharon Halford said that a farmer had asked for them but she would find out why they had not been moved. Gary Clement pointed out that another lot had been dumped and Mrs Halford reassured him that she would check it out and see why they had not been removed.
Brian Summers mentioned that it had been several years now that a disused beacon and fencing had been removed from Stanley Airport approaches. He asked if there were any plans to remove the mast and fences from Christina Bay. Glenn Ross said that it was allocated to a research company and Jan Cheek said she would this out.
Another question was asked about signage where Alan Huckle had his accident. The original sign was given to former Governor Huckle upon his departure from the Falklands. Funding had been allocated for signage but only the posts had been erected and Roger Edwards said that £100,00.00 had been allocated for it. Sharon Halford mentioned that signs should have gone up with the posts. This will be checked out.
Roger Spink asked whether the road traffic ordinance was anywhere near being enacted. Jan Cheek admitted that it had been bogged down but there was a paper due in the next EXCO about it. Roger Spink mentioned that roads had to be designated prior to the law’s passage and this hasn’t been done. Roger Edwards mentioned that the law would be passed in four sections and action was being taken though admitting that the consultation period on this began in 2006, perhaps earlier.
Gerald Cheek asked about debris being removed from Stanley Airport that was blown from Megabid during last month’s gales. Gavin Short said he would check this out.
Brian Summers brought up rumours that were published in a letter in Penguin News. Roger Edwards mentioned that he hadn’t heard of it and that it was possibly rumour that was meant to make the people alarmed.
Jan Cheek said it was difficult to talk about SAAS but the company was working hard to find alternatives. Emma Edwards mentioned that she went to the UK and met with the Foreign Office Minister, Jeremy Browne as well as the all-party Parliamentary Group about what was happening here. She felt more could be done by Government to inform relevant UK organisations about the economic terrorism being wielded on us by Argentine authorities. Gavin Short mentioned that we have to be more careful about how we do things and what is said in public. Glenn Ross assured everyone that the Company was looking at alternatives.
At this juncture a personal item about immigration was mentioned. Johanna Leiva and Rodolfo Borquez and their baby daughter Renata are seeking Falkland Islands Status and it seems to them that it is taking too long. The conversation got into personal detail so Jan Cheek and other Councillors wanted to move on. Rodolfo Borquez was asked to write to Dick Sawle in detail about his problem and Mr Sawle would answer him in full.
Phil Middleton asked a question about the smoking ban in public places for people who take tourists on hire and reward that took up the rest of the meeting. He wanted to know if they could smoke in their vehicles. Dick Sawle said that if a driver under such conditions the driver certainly wouldn’t get a tip or even get paid. Ronnie MacLennan-Baird said that while the car is being hired for reward the vehicle is covered under the smoking ban. He added that the driver must have a no smoking sign or sticker visible on the vehicle.
The vehicle was a temporary taxi and there would be no smoking as soon as the tourist gets out because people wanted to get into a smoke-free vehicle.
Ruth Taylor queried about whether a privately hired out vehicle was public or private transport. Ronnie MacLennan-Baird said that if the vehicle has been hired with its driver then it is a public vehicle in that sense – even if it is a private hire vehicle.
Dick Sawle presumed that all Falkland flagged fishing vessels are now no-smoking zones. Ronnie MacLennan-Baird said that vessels are not covered. Jan Cheek added “unless they are taxis.” Ronnie MacLennan-Baird added that even if you hire a vessel, it is not covered.
Company offices located in homes are covered by the ban if the general public go to that house to do business. If the house is a company address only and doesn’t receive visitors, then it isn’t covered. “It’s the bits that are open to the public, said Mr MacLennan-Baird.
Emma Edwards asked whether this would only be during office hours and Mr MacLennan-Baird said that there was a serious issue in the context of the private clubs. “Technically it as an area in which you receive visitors. There is a logic to that because there is no residual chemicals from Smoke handing around the areas in which you are receiving the public,” he said. Dick Sawle quipped that the business of a Councillor is to receive their constituents so that excludes all of them. Sharon Halford said that councillors were also meant to inform the public and she asked whether a business providing food for customers and/or delivery then no one would be going into the house and into the kitchen. “Would you not be able to smoke where you prepare the food as well as where you dish it up,” she asked. Ronnie MacLennan-Baird said it wasn’t covered in the smoking ban unless there were employees. “If you are a one person band then you can smoke over the mixing bowl if you want but that would be covered by public health legislation,” he said.
Sharon Halford ended with asking if anyone wanted to be added to her mailing list to give her a ring or send her an e-mail and she would put them on it.