Falklands : Falklands: MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT SPEECH OF THE HON MRS JAN CHEEK
Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 02.06.2012 (Article Archived on 16.06.2012)
Mr Speaker, Honourable members, first I’d like to join those who have already formally welcomed Keith Padgett as our Chief Executive now that he is in the substantive role. I have worked with him on and off for a number of years now.
MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT SPEECH OF THE HON MRS JAN CHEEK
Mr Speaker, Honourable members, first I’d like to join those who have already formally welcomed Keith Padgett as our Chief Executive now that he is in the substantive role. I have worked with him on and off for a number of years now. He’s a man of few words but when he says them they usually are worth saying. I respect that enormously.
Next, I omitted earlier to thank the Financial Secretary and her staff for their hard work. And I wanted to make a mention, too, of the minute taker, who has to put several months’ worth of meetings into coherent sets of minutes, which cannot be easy.
Another thank-you: As always, we would ask the Commander to accept our thanks to all those who command for their role in maintaining the defence and the deterrence in the Islands.
In response to the Honourable Barry Elsby’ comment on my putting him and the Honourable Ian Hansen on probation for their first 6 months, well the first six months isn’t quite up and I don’t want to rush to judgement.
I, too, warmly welcome today’s announcement about the ban on the import of psychoactive substances that have been around for a while now with the potential of damaging the health, physical and mental well-being of some of our young people. And this prompt action is thanks to the good work of officials in response to the unanimous decision of members that we should be able to prevent these potentially dangerous imports and to enable customs officers to confiscate any that come in from now on. This, I know, is a huge relief to parents and others with responsibility for young people and I know – because I was copied in – that the Attorney General’s Department have already received thanks for their work on that.
I would like to join with the Honourable Gavin Short in expressing disappointment that we haven’t got further with the Minimum Wage legislation which I think does have a bearing on the very people we are talking about today on the lowest incomes. I understand that it’s the Policy Department we are waiting for and I do understand that they have a shortage of staff to action this work before it can reach the stage of drafting.
As we have completed the last but one budget session of this Assembly, I would again urge those who are considering standing for election next year to learn as much as possible about our Government processes, economy, external and internal political issues.
I have been surprised in recent years by how little understanding there is of how much time and work are expected by Members by the people who elect them. The days when Members had a few meetings a month with a little constituency work in between are long gone.
We are also looking at means of enabling civil servants who are elected to have sufficient back-fill of their post for the freedom to represent their constituents here and overseas, the later being more important than ever.
In the face of the massive propaganda effort currently being undertaken by our neighbours, we have also asked the Chief Executive and the Governor to look at a review of members’ payments in order that people who currently feel that they cannot afford to stand because they cannot afford to take the time to do it could still afford to stand and pay their mortgage, etc. from a reasonable level of income.
For me the 30th Anniversary of the war is one more for reflection and thankfulness for our freedom. We’ve got a lot to commemorate and celebrate this year. As my Honourable Colleague, Sharon Halford has said, we try to ensure that there is a Member of Legislative Assembly at every Memorial Service to represent all eight because many of the commemorations this year are on working days and we have meetings already scheduled for those days. But we always try to free someone up to go.
And as others have said, we are also fortunate this year that the Honourable Dick Sawle is able to represent the Islands in a whole series of commemorations and special events including the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. I am possibly the only one around this table who remembers the coronation celebrations here in the Islands. And I treasured for many years the propelling pencil with a crown on one end that I was given on that occasion. It’s right that we now celebrate and praise sixty years’ dedication and hard work by Her Majesty, who, we are proud as British Citizens living in partnership as an Overseas Territory for our Queen.
We should also be loud in our appreciation of the steadfast and active support we are receiving from Her Majesty’s Government in recognising and defending our right to self-determination.
While thanking people earlier for their work, I think we also need to recognise the sterling work done year on year by the London Representative in keeping the awareness and where possible raising the awareness and supporting members and officials when they are over there.
And lastly I would like to thank – my personal thanks to the Clerk and her very able and willing assistant, Cherie Clifford for the help and support they give busy Members throughout the year.
(100X Transcription Service)