Executive Council met today Tuesday 16 September 2014 with five items on the Open Agenda.
The first item was a request for Executive Council to endorse the refreshed Sustainable Development Plan 2014-17 (SDP). The original SDP was published in 2012, and since then the Island has seen significant development which the refreshed SDP now reflects.
This SDP is a slimmer and more focussed version, primarily reflecting the Island’s commitment to deliver increased economic growth. Executive Council was pleased to endorse the plan and thanked all who worked hard to produce this new version. It is now available on the SHG website at http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/
The second item on the Open Agenda was the relocation and rationalisation of SHG office accommodation. In summary, the agreed relocations were:
- The Police Service would move from the Grand Parade to the Adult & Vocational Education Centre (AVEC). The AVEC building will be adapted and refurbished for the Police. There will also be a Police reception and an Out of Hours office located at the Castle.
- The AVEC IT Training Room will move to Carnarvon Court.
- Councillors’ offices will move from No 3 Main Street to within the Castle, below the Council Chamber.
There was a related submission from the Information Technology department to move towards a ‘Thin Client’ computer service. This will allow each SHG member of staff to log on at any connected terminal and have all of their work saved to a central server. While this new system is quite expensive to set up, it will thereafter improve efficiencies and save operational costs. Executive Council agreed the funding for this project.
The next item was an Information Paper on the revised fuel prices. Fuel prices are now determined by a formula based on the cost of the fuel, the cost of transport and the tax imposed on the fuel. SHG is committed to a policy of equalising the tax imposed on petrol and diesel, but it is important to note that equalising the rate of tax could still lead to a price differential between the two fuels.
There was also an Information Paper on the Undertakings and Resolutions made at the last formal meeting of Legislative Council. It is important that decisions made at formal Legislative Council are monitored to ensure that they are properly implemented in a timely manner. There is now a tracker document as part of the monitoring process.
The recent outbreak of Newcastle Disease amongst chickens on St Helena has made necessary a temporary regulation to prohibit the export of poultry (whether live or in the form of meat products) and eggs from St Helena to Ascension Island. This was agreed, as it minimises the risk of this disease being transmitted to chickens on Ascension. The regulation will remain effective until ANRD gives St Helena the all clear of the disease.
In the Closed Session, the substantive item was a discussion on the disposal of the ex-PWD store. A decision was taken and further information will be released in due course once contract negotiations have been concluded.
A discussion then followed on forthcoming Airport Legislation needed for Certification. This detailed and technical legislation will be presented to formal Legislative Council in December 2014.
Finally, the Governor announced that a DFID team will be coming to St Helena at the end of October 2014 to engage in budget discussions. This mission may not announce an agreed final budget figure on Island at the end of their visit. This may require further detailed work before it is announced. This annual DFID visit was previously known as the Development Aid Planning Mission (DAPM) and will now be known as the Budgetary Aid Mission (BAM).
The meeting concluded at 11.50am.
16 September 2014