The agenda for today’s ExCo was quite lengthy, with five items on the Open Agenda. As usual, there were also a number of important issues raised during Any Other Business.
The Attorney General introduced the first four items on the Open Agenda, all of which sought to update the Island’s legislation. Firstly, the Civil Aviation (Investigation of Air Accidents & Incidents) Regulations 2016 ensure that St Helena’s aviation activities are aligned with international standards following an audit of the UK and its Overseas Territories in 2009. Council was happy to approve the Regulations.
Council then considered the Ports Bill 2016. This had been brought forward following a review of Port Operations by the Saint Helena Internal Audit Service. The new Ports Bill retains much of the old Harbours Ordinance and makes provision for the appointment of a Harbour Master – with associated powers in respect of the control of vessels within the harbour, port and harbour safety and the power to enforce orders. Council recognised that there had been a series of public consultations on this and approved the Bill for presentation at the next formal meeting of Legislative Council.
Council then considered two proposals in respect of the Financial Services Ordinance and associated regulations. Council felt that there should be more consideration within the appropriate Council Committee of the provisions, and therefore deferred consideration of the matter until this has taken place.
The final matter on the Open Agenda was a Development Application in respect of the security fence at St Helena Airport. Council was reassured that there had been a thorough investigation into the impact of the fence in a sensitive area, the Central Basin, and that key stakeholders had been properly consulted. Council also recognised the importance of security at the Airport and that this change was designed to assist the navigational aids. Council, acting as Planning Authority in this case, approved the Application.
In the Closed Agenda, Council considered the proposed Capital Programme for 2016/17. The items under discussion were those which were not covered by the Performance Improvement Plan, as agreed with DFID. Council supported the proposed projects which would complete the final year of the three year business case agreed with DFID in 2014. The Governor commented that the range of projects being considered amounted to an anticipated expenditure of over £4m. It was agreed that the Capital Programme would be publicised in the next few weeks to illustrate to the public the plans for infrastructure development on St Helena.
In Any Other Business, Council was keen to ensure that the construction of the new hotel on Main Street did not adversely affect traffic management in Jamestown. This situation will be closely monitored.
28 June 2016