Executive Council met today to discuss three items on the open agenda.
The first item concerned a proposal to increase liquor licensing fees following an annual review. ExCo agreed the proposed increases.
The second item concerned a proposal to increase the charges for granting or renewal and transfer of licenses for Gaming Machines. ExCo agreed the proposed increases.
The third item involved a long and detailed discussion on changes to Regulations and Orders under the Land Planning and Development Control Ordinance 2013. For this discussion Head of Planning and Development Control, David Taylor, was present.
There were eight subsidiary Regulations and Orders under discussion.
Six of these Regulations are effectively covered in the 2008 Ordinance. The purpose of extracting them from the Ordinance and placing them in the Regulations is to provide flexibility and facilitate future revision. Had these remained in the Ordinance, it would require a formal sitting of Legislative Council to amend them, whereas once they are Regulations any further amendments can be made by Executive Council.
The Land Planning and Development Control (General Development) Order is a new Regulation and this was discussed at some length. This Regulation allows for relatively minor and uncontentious work to be permitted without the necessity of applying for development permission. ExCo unanimously supported this as it will reduce the administrative burden on both the applicant and the planning section.
It was made clear that while certain minor developments will not require development permission it will always be advisable for any developer to contact the Planning Officer prior to construction to ensure, in writing, that development permission is not required. Building Regulations approval will still be necessary for such work.
Also approved was the Land Planning and Development Control Ordinance (Commencement) (No.2) Order 2013, which will bring into effect the Land Planning and Development Control Ordinance 2013, and the Regulations and Orders from 1 January 2014.
Under any other business there was a discussion about HIV/AIDS and the need to maintain public awareness on this sensitive issue.
One Member of ExCo enquired if it would be possible for those in receipt of Basic Island Pension or Income Related Benefits to receive a Christmas Advance. There is no policy or budget for this, and so it was not possible to agree to it.
The Governor gave a summary of his recent trip to Cape Town and Tristan da Cunha. In Cape Town, along with Councillor Lawson Henry and Julian Morris, he had undertaken a number of activities to raise awareness of St Helena as a potential tourism and investment destination. There had been a positive response from the public, investors and politicians in the Cape.
The Governor also spoke warmly of his time in Tristan da Cunha and paid tribute to the resilience of the Tristan community.
The meeting closed at 11.20 am.
3 December 2013