The inaugural meeting of the newly elected Legislative Council took place today in the Court House, Jamestown, starting at 10am.
The proceedings were opened with the entry of the President, His Excellency Governor Capes, followed by Prayers and the Administration of Oaths. Governor Capes presided until the Speaker was elected.
Oaths were taken before the Governor, first by Ex-Officio Members, the Acting Chief Secretary, Acting Financial Secretary and the Attorney General, and then by Elected Members.
Governor Capes then addressed Legislative Council (see earlier press release) after which the following elections took place:
Election of Speaker and Deputy Speaker
Mr Eric Benjamin was elected as Speaker of the House, with Mrs Cathy Hopkins as Deputy Speaker. Following these elections and due to Mr Benjamin currently being off-Island, Madam Deputy Speaker assumed chairmanship (once the appropriate Oaths had been taken).
In her address to the House, Madam Deputy Speaker reminded Members of the weight of responsibility they now carry during their term in Office as leaders of the community – how the Island progresses will be theirs to frame. She wished them well and offered her full support.
Election of Committee Chairmen
Elected Members were then asked to elect from amongst themselves Chairmen for the five Council Committees. The following were elected:
Economic Development Committee – Councillor Lawson Henry
Education Committee – Councillor Christine Scipio-O’Dean
Environment & Natural Resources Committee – Councillor Cyril George
Health &Social Services Committee – Councillor Ian Rummery
Social & Community Development Committee – Councillor Nigel Dollery
Members of these committees will be appointed by Governor Capes after consultation with the relevant Chairmen. Detailed allocations of responsibilities will be dealt with separately to allow for consultation with the new Councillors on the detail of which Committees cover which areas.
Election of Executive Council Members
Members elected to serve on Executive Council were Councillors Lawson Henry, Ian Rummery, Cyril George, Christine Scipio-O’Dean and Nigel Dollery.
Election of Members of the Public Accounts Committee
The final election was for three members to serve on the Public Accounts Committee, Members elected were Councillors Brian Isaac, Tony Green and Leslie Baldwin.
The final business of the morning was the customary Adjournment Debate, allowing Members to speak on issues they wished to take forward. This was followed with a response from Acting Chief Secretary, Gillian Francis in which she congratulated newly Elected Members, the Speaker and Deputy Speaker and thanked Directors and employees of SHG and ESH for their ongoing hard work and support.
The meeting closed around 12.30pm.
24 July 2013