Governor Rushbrook presided over his first meeting of Executive Council yesterday, Tuesday 28 May 2019. There were three memoranda to consider; the first sought approval of the Medical, Dentistry and Pharmacy (Amendment) Regulations (2019), the second sought approval to implement the draft Building Regulations (2019) under the Building Control Ordinance 2013 and the third asked Council to consider and advise whether the Haul Road should be adopted as a part of St Helena Government’s roads network.

For the first item Members approved the amended Regulations noting that they were necessary to support the recently amended Medical Practitioners Ordinance and that they would provide assurance to the public that the health practitioners on St Helena are suitably qualified for their roles and that optimal healthcare is being provided on the Island.

In discussing the draft Building Regulations, Members noted that the revisions filled gaps that are present in the current regulations. They will allow regulation of construction methods other than the traditional block work, and are designed to improve the overall quality of buildings on the Island. The Regulations include for example, sections on the regulation of Septic Tanks and Glass Safety, and are clearer and written in a more user friendly style. The new Regulations also propose increases to the fees charged for the provision of services. Members were content to approve the new fees, noting that they will help to partially offset the cost of operating the Building Control Service, it was also noted that these were the first increases since April 2013. Members asked for the fees to be revisited on an annual basis to ensure that they were not creating undue hardship, particularly for first time home builders.  Members were content to approve the revised Regulations, subject to some minor amendments. They also requested that the Infrastructure & Transport Directorate should ensure that there is ample publicity given to explain the benefits of the changes including advising the public on what they can expect from the new Regulations.

The final item on the agenda related to the adoption of the new Haul Road. Members felt that this was long overdue and that the opening of the Haul Road would bring a number of benefits to the Island including better, alternative access between Jamestown, Rupert’s and Longwood and would go a considerable way to reduce the volume of traffic that currently pass through Longwood to access the Airport and make these areas safer for the public. Members gave approval for the road to be adopted subject to appropriate regulations and signage being in place regarding speed limits, and asked that a road safety campaign is launched, to encourage responsible driving on the Haul Road. It was agreed that the road would be opened from noon on Friday, 7 June 2019, and details of the opening, including the naming of the various sections of the road will be publicised in advance.

It was noted that there was only limited publicity given to the advertising of this meeting, and Members asked for this to be addressed in line with their commitment to openness and transparency.

ExCo

29 May 2019

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