Falklands : Falklands GPC BRIEF 08 MARCH 2011
Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 13.03.2011 (Article Archived on 27.03.2011)
A meeting of the General Purposes Committee took place on Wednesday, 23 February 2011. Due to time constraints involving a meeting of Legislative Assembly the brief did not happen until Tuesday, 08 March 2011.
GPC BRIEF 08 MARCH 2011
By J. Brock (FINN)
A meeting of the General Purposes Committee took place on Wednesday, 23 February 2011. Due to time constraints involving a meeting of Legislative Assembly the brief did not happen until Tuesday, 08 March 2011. The Hon Mr Bill Luxton MLA briefed the media on what happened during this important meeting.
Most of the agenda consisted of confidential EXCO papers but there were a few items that could be discussed in public.
West Falkland Response Team:
The West Falkland Response Team is to be upgraded to put it on more definitive footing. Their usefulness was enhanced by the response to a fatal accident on West Falkland earlier this year.
West Falkland Roads:
While West Falkland Roads are being capped, it is Cllr Luxton’s view that the important areas have not been prioritised properly. The straight bits are being capped and the dangerous bits are being overlooked. He called this practice appalling.
Military Arrangements for Search and Rescue:
Though there has been a recent set-back the Military are still keen to contract Search and Rescue to a private entity. Discussions centred on how this would affect the operation in the Falklands.
It would have been appropriate for one of the Chilean Miners who were trapped to participate in the up and coming Standard Chartered Marathon. However, the one miner who participated in the New York marathon injured himself and therefore cannot attend the event here.
Royal Wedding Donation:
Instead of giving a gift to HRH Prince William and Miss Kate Middleton on the occasion of their wedding, the couple have requested that a donation to one of the Prince’s charities would be appropriate. There is a list of approximately 30 charities to choose from but it is not yet decided which one will get a contribution from FIG.
The Hon Mr Dick Sawle, MLA will be attending the Island Games.
The Taxes Ordinance:
Prior to the Legislative Assembly meeting on 25 February there was a lengthy discussion about amendments to the Taxes Ordinance. Amendments agreed have been published by FINN.
While still classified as Dangerous Cargo, wool shipments for this season should be exempt from a ben preventing its shipment via the MOD vessel. It is hoped that a more permanent exemption can be worked out for next season.
The Hon Mr Gavin Short and FIGAS staff will be assessing whether the Phantom Aircraft on display could be salvaged for display in Stanley. The airframe is in a deteriorating state of repair and it is to be removed from in front of the Tristar Hanger at MPA. The Hon Mr Bill Luxton feels a Harrier Jump Jet would be best suited for display in the Falklands.
Collection of Overseas Mail:
A brief discussion about methods and techniques of collecting overseas mail took place. Nothing else was reported about this item.
New Island Airstrip:
The New Island Trust is to donate funds towards upgrading the airstrip. This will help transport to and from the island.
Jetties and sea trucks restrictions were discussed with a view to easing conditions for use.
A team from Rugby Without Borders Foundation, an Argentine non-profit organisation is returning on Saturday, 12 March 2011 but the pitch is being used for “Festival of Sport.” It is thought the visit has poor timing and should be called off. Last year’s visit was not a success and Councillors are baffled as to why a second visit has been planned.