An Economic Development Committee meeting was held on 7 November 2013 in the Council Chamber at the Castle. Present at the meeting was Deputy Chairman, Derek Thomas, Councillors Bernice Olsson, Gavin Ellick and Les Baldwin along with Interim Director of Environment and Natural Resources, Paul McGinnety, Financial Secretary, Colin Owen, Michielle Yon from Enterprise St Helena and Committee Secretary, Connie Johnson.
The meeting commenced with two items held in closed session – Acting Attorney General, Frank Wastell was present for the first item.
Following the discussion of these two items, the meeting was then opened to the public.
On the open agenda a request was made from the Farmers Association, as to what the long-term plans were in relation to water for irrigation purposes. Connect Saint Helena reported that currently there are no plans to make any significant changes to the irrigation requirements, other than to maintain the systems already in place. The Farmers Association will be advised that they should identify any future development requirements, which should then be properly costed and submitted for consideration as part of SHG’s Infrastructure Plans as a bid for Capital Project Funding.
The next item was a Fisheries Decision Paper presented by Head of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Division (ANRD), Darren Duncan, seeking support from the committee to prioritise under-spent funding (during the Budget Supplementary Appropriation – due to be held early in the New Year), to support the St Helena Fishermen’s Association. The money would be used for a stake in an offshore fishing vessel and for the St Helena Fisheries Corporation to purchase fishing equipment for the vessel. The committee was supportive of the request.
Finally, there was an update by Michielle Yon on the activities undertaken by Enterprise St Helena (ESH) during the past month. The ESH annual programme continues to progress in supporting local businesses and agriculture. Under the Public Private Partnership with ANRD and ESH, one application has been approved, with a further three anticipated this month. Support has also been given in fruit tree propagation and work has started with the Growers Co-operative to increase storage for local produce. In relation to potential hotel developers and investor interests, draft copies of the Cost Benefit Analysis and Independent Investor Study reports had been received – ESH has provided feedback on these reports and is now awaiting the final copies due later this month.
Economic Development Committee
12 November 2013