Executive Council met today to discuss, debate and make a decision on three items on the Open Agenda.

A number of members of the public were present in the gallery to observe the discussions during the Open Session.

Development Application for the conversion of the Freight Terminal into Marine Offices, Lab and Marine Visitor Centre

Council, sitting as the Planning Authority, was asked to consider and advise whether full development permission should be granted, with conditions, to convert the Freight Terminal at the Jamestown Wharf into a Marine Visitor Centre, Marine Laboratory and Marine Offices as recommended by the Land Development Control Authority.

The Chief Planning Officer (CPO) joined the meeting to participate in this discussion. In his overview of the Development Application, the CPO advised that the current Freight Terminal building is ideally located for converting into Marine Offices, Lab and Marine Visitor Centre.

Members agreed that bringing the building back into use would enhance the character of the area and every effort should be made to do this as well as preserving the heritage of the building at the same time.

A small number of concerns were raised by Members on aspects of the Development Application, but they were reassured by the CPO that if the application is approved he would be reviewing and considering the planning conditions in more detail including whether alternative safety measures could be considered in relation to the proposed fencing of the area; consulting with key stakeholders like the St Helena Fire & Rescue Service, as part of the Building Control process; and ensuring that disabled requirements are met.

In summary, Council approved the application noting that donor funding had been received and it would be unfortunate for the Island to lose this funding. The project will add real value to the Island’s marine activity and is an important, albeit sensitive development for the Island.

Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) – 2020/21 to 2022/23 – Strategic Objectives and Policy Priorities

Council was asked to consider and advise whether the Strategic Objectives and Policy Priorities which will inform and direct the strategic planning and budgeting process for the three-year period 2020/21 to 2022/23 should be approved.

The Chief Secretary presented this paper and explained that MTEF is the process used to guide the annual strategic planning and budgeting for the organisation.  The priorities have been significantly discussed at Council Committee level and during Informal Legislative Council meetings.

As St Helena Government (SHG) works towards a three-year strategy and funding agreement, having an agreed set of Policy Priorities to guide this process is of significant importance.

Members commented that in agreeing these priorities the administration will need to ensure that adequate resources are available to deliver them during the three-year period and noted that the Workforce Planning that is currently taking place within SHG will be key. Members were reassured that this will be taken into account and that Council Committees will be involved at every stage of the process with their Directors.

Council was satisfied that the draft Policy Priorities were achievable and were content to approve them to progress including being placed in order of priority during the next stage of the process.

Proclamation of a new Cemetery at the Dungeon

ExCo was asked to consider and advise whether the Proclamation to declare the establishment of a new cemetery, in accordance with Section 2 of the Burial Grounds Ordinance, 1895, be approved.

Councillor Yon presented this paper. Members noted that the existing cemetery at the Dungeon is full and not having a cemetery for certain faiths will be problematic as no alternative sites are currently available for this purpose.

Members had no objections to this proposal and approved the Proclamation to be Gazetted, subject to a slight amendment being made to the wording.

The meeting ended at 1.15pm.

ExCo

28 June 2019

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