Executive Council met today, Tuesday 11 February 2014, to consider five items on the open agenda.
The Governor and Executive Council welcomed to the meeting the new Head of the Governor’s Office, Sean Burns, Mr Burns will act as Governor when Governor Capes is off-Island and will continue to shadow the Governor as part of his induction programme.
The first item was seeking approval for a new Housing Register and Allocations Policy. The policy is designed to replace the current complex and outdated points system for allocation of Government Landlord Housing. While Executive Council agreed in principle the need to adopt a more equitable and efficient system, they did not feel that the proposal had sufficient detail for them to approve the changes. It was therefore agreed that further work was needed on the paper and that it should be referred back to the Social and Community Development Committee before re-submitting to Executive Council.
The second item was the request to consider the introduction of a policy to offer for sale to existing tenants Government Landlord Housing, with clear guidance outlined for officers involved in administering the service. The paper also requested that consideration be given to introducing an Appeals Process to challenge any decisions on sales. Executive Council agreed with the principle of both proposals but requested more detail, including the composition of an Appeals Board.
The third item was the application for renewal of a broadcasting license for Saint FM Community Radio Guarantee Limited. This is a statutory regulatory responsibility for the Governor in Council and Executive Council recommended to the Governor that a one year license be issued, subject to payment of the statutory license fee.
The fourth item on the open agenda was the request for Executive Council to approve the Harbours, Prohibited Anchoring Area Regulations 2014. These regulations refer specifically to the RFA Darkdale wreck. In 2012, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) conducted a full survey which ascertained that the wreck was a War Grave, contained live ammunition and continued to seep oil. The consequence of any disturbance to the vessel is potentially serious for St Helena both ecologically and physically. The MoD has instructed that an exclusion zone be imposed on anchoring in the area of the wreck. As a local regulation is required to impose this zone, Executive Council approved a prohibited anchoring area such that no vessel shall be allowed to anchor within a 200 metre radius of the RFA Darkdale wreck site. It is anticipated that a team from the MoD will visit St Helena later this year to remove the oil from the wreck.
The last item was an information paper on the undertakings and resolutions made at the Formal Meeting of the Legislative Council held on 14 October 2013. An update of undertakings and a Legislative Council tracker document will be maintained along with action points still outstanding.
The meeting concluded at 10.15am.
11 February 2014