Executive Council met today, Tuesday 9 August 2016, with one item on the Open Agenda. This related to the undertakings and resolutions made at the formal meeting of Legislative Council held on 18 July 2016. Progress on the various actions would be tracked and circulated to Members on a monthly basis. Of particular interest is the intention to develop a fisheries strategy and to this end Councillors noted that discussions are ongoing with stakeholders in this sector.
Members also reinforced the need to open dialogue with the DFID Minister about key issues such as Britain’s exit from the EU and the likely consequences for St Helena, along with the need for ongoing support particularly in the fishing and farming sectors. Members were keen to have these discussions prior to the annual Budget Aid Mission to St Helena later this year.
In the Closed Session, Members considered a paper relating to the 11th European Development Fund. It was noted that Executive Council had previously agreed to pursue a new-build hospital under the EDF 11 programming. However with the uncertainty, following the referendum for Britain to leave the EU, it was deemed prudent for St Helena to pursue a project that can be quickly programmed and delivered to secure the allocated funding for the territory under the 11th EDF of 21.5 million Euros. Members therefore considered and endorsed the proposal to pursue a sub-sea fibre optic cable from the EDF 11 funding, but wished also to ensure that SHG would seek to earmark some funding from EDF 11 for feasibility work, outline and detailed designs for a new-build hospital to be pursued in the longer term. In supporting the proposal to pursue a fibre optic cable, Members agreed that connectivity is crucial to both social and economic development on St Helena and noted that this proposal had been discussed and supported by the EU Steering Group.
Also in the Closed Session, Members were provided with an update on work being undertaken in connection with the proposed Comprehensive Development Area (CDA) in Bottom Woods and noted that the aim was to have a master plan in place for this development by the end of March 2017. It is also hoped that works will soon commence on the CDA in Half Tree Hollow.
The meeting closed at 11.30am.
9 August 2016