Ascension : MEETING OF THE ASCENSION ISLAND COUNCIL, 30 JULY 2010 Submitted by The Islander (Ascension Island Government) 12.08.2010 (Article Archived on 09.09.2010)
The Ascension Island Council held a formal meeting on Friday 30 July at 2pm in the Council Chamber.
ISLAND COUNCIL MEETING
MEETING OF THE ASCENSION ISLAND COUNCIL, 30 JULY 2010
The Ascension Island Council held a formal meeting on Friday 30 July at in the Council Chamber. All members were present with the exception of Councillor Poultney from whom apologies had been received. The Governor and Attorney General participated by teleconference link.
The minutes of the previous meeting, held on 17 June, were approved subject to two minor amendments.
There was quite a lengthy list of items under Matters Arising, reflecting the number of items still being actioned or under consideration by the Council.
Regarding the scope of the EDF10 project to resurface our main road network, funded by the EU, it was clarified that the funds would be used to resurface the main road from the junction of Hoganís Bypass with the road from One Boat, through One Boat up to Two Boats, and down to Travellerís Hill. The road surfaces from there to the NASA road and along the NASA road itself are in better condition than those mentioned and the funding is unlikely to stretch to those areas in any case.
The Attorney General reported that he is working on the proposed modernising of our employment legislation, and also considering the earlier proposal on temporary work permits.
Crown Counsel reported that meetings have been held with interested parties on the proposed Food Hygiene Regulations and a paper will be drawn up for the next meeting.
The RSPB funded visit by an expert on rats, Dr Mark Lambert takes place from 5 -13 August and during this time Dr Lambert will hold a meeting with Councillors to discuss how we should manage the rat population.
The Attorney General reported that he is looking at the proposed amendments to the Island Council (Ascension) Ordinance and Election Regulations. This is a priority piece of work with fresh elections due in October.
Two draft designs for an Ascension Island flag have been circulated and discussed in Council and these will shortly appear in the Islander and on notice boards to invite comments from members of the public. When a design is approved it can then be submitted to the College of Heraldry in the UK and hopefully we will have our own flag, like the other OverseasTerritories, instead of flying the Union flag.
On the substantive agenda Council considered the proposed Noise Nuisance Legislation. Meetings have been held on this including with one of the clubs and there had been no recent complaints from the public about excessive noise. It was therefore decided to put this proposal on hold for the time being.
Council then considered points to raise with Cable & Wireless in forthcoming negotiations on extension of the public telephony licence held by them. These points will be taken up with them shortly.
The question of accounts information that is made public and to Councillors was then discussed. It was noted that management accounts, which in organizations in both the private and public sector are designed for internal circulation only as management aids, as the name suggests, had been put on the AIG notice board together with the Annual Financial Statement. The Governor confirmed that management accounts are an internal tool which, unlike the Financial Statement, which is made available publicly, has not been audited. These will therefore no longer be placed on the notice board, but it was agreed that they would from now on be made available to all the Councillors, rather than just the members of the Finance Committee.
Under Any Other Businessin the Open Session a question about responsibility for maintaining the road between Command Hill and the Airhead was raised. This will be looked into and the poor state of the road acknowledged.
In the Closed Session there was further discussion about tax debts owed by large employing organizations. I cannot go into detail here for reasons that should be obvious but would say that there is a great deal going on behind the scenes aimed at resolving this situation.The Council has been heavily involved in discussions on this.
There were also further discussions about the review of taxation with the sub-committee reporting its thoughts on the way forward to the wider Council.
Under Any Other Business in the Closed Session a question was raised about an individual case involving further education support on which Council required further details in order to consider.
The Governor informed Council of a successful video conference held at PrinceAndrewSchool with the DfID Secretary of State, Andrew Mitchell, following the decision to go ahead with an airport on Saint Helena.