Manifesto for the Camp Constituency Election 2021 –Teslyn Barkman
23 Rex Hunt Road Stanley Mobile: 53583 Home phone: 21501 Email: email@example.com It has been a great honour to represent Camp and the Falklands.
I have also hugely enjoyed the past four years. There have been challenges, frustrations and achievements and I have enjoyed pouring my energy into all of them.
I was constantly aware that my job is not to agree with the path of FIG, it is to listen to the people and evidence and inform the view that suits our country. If elected for another term, below are some of my priorities which have largely been formed in learning from people passionate about our home and future.
If you would like to discuss in more detail or you want to know my view on another matter please get in touch.
Environment There is a clear mandate for us to adapt to our climate-changed environment. It is drier, windier and average temperatures are rising. The bountiful sea and our grasslands are the foundation of our country, our culture and our survival. We must ensure the land and sea are there to be enjoyed and provide for the future. I recognise FIG has a role in supporting and advising in plans to slow the effects of climate change and land degradation. If elected, I shall continue to: Advocate for research into restoring the health of our peatlands and investigatation into carbon ‘credits’ so land-owners can have clear advice to decide if it suits them;
- Promote renewable energy grants being revised, and renewable technology included in FIG builds.
- Investigate options for water security for settlements and the land; Champion biosecurity efforts; Ensure that the Environment,
- Agriculture and Fisheries are well supported to link insights they gather with the knowledge and experiences of businesses. There is a lot known about our land by those who manage and live through it and departments can add fresh perspectives and link up knowledge and experiences – the wheel doesn’t need to be reinvented, it needs continuous motion and a long-term view; Continue to champion for high standards in the regulation and management of our fisheries and science programme. And, continue to lobby for a regional fisheries management agreement in the high-seas to protect the migrating stocks from being overfished.
- We have an environment based economy and the future security of our habitats is always in the forefront of my mind. Aquaculture The FIG investigation approved in 2019 will give us insight into aquaculture and legislation that we already have. We have realised we have laws that we do not have the expertise to inform or refine to cope with large-scale proposals. We may want to explain what people’s options are to have well-regulated, small-scale farms for mussels or trout. I believe we should set the highest environmental standards and I personally do not support new species being introduced to our habitats.
- I also believe it is for the people of our country to decide whether large-scale aquaculture is appropriate, whether salmon aquaculture in small-scale, large-scale on land or sea is right for our country. These are not decisions to be made in a board room. Camp Education It is acknowledged that a lot of children in Camp are learning well but delivery to remote areas in particular can cause issues with accommodation, school builds, technology and connectivity that pass extra burden to parents and their businesses.
- The review into Camp Education is needed for consistent delivery to families and so a clear policy can be set. For families and businesses to prosper in Camp there needs to be a clear set of standards, support and expectations. The conversation has been difficult over the years and I hope a clear policy and ongoing communication will help build for the future and support the work of the dedicated Camp Education team too. I shall continue to ask and support the review and push for solid outcomes.
- Capital Works: There needs to be a public affordability check on the capital programme and this is something I had called for before dissolution when the Port project stage 1b was approved. The finger-in-the-air budgeting for some project submissions needs some flushing out. There are serious national infrastructure needs in Schools, Sewers, Roads, Radio, and our only hospital and the public should be told where their money is planned to be spent and the cost efficiency checked.
- Over specifications to projects that don’t need it pushes the public purse too far. The Ramps and Jetties project is a good example and a paper to allow local knowledge to be stitched with advice and resources from FIG will hopefully save a lot of unnecessary time and money being wasted. This type of common-sense approach is needed elsewhere. Strong local content policies will also keep money circulating around the economy. Connectivity I would like to learn more about the options for future internet connectivity and advocate for them.
- The Starlink opportunity demonstrated to the country that innovation should be encouraged to give a better service and stability to this vital infrastructure. There should be an investigation into what can be achieved under the current contract as well as looking ahead to options for when the exclusivity licence expires.
- The demand study on coastal shipping and ferry services is due to be published soon. Inter-island shipping is necessary but competes with ferry services and once tourism and MoD contracts are back online there will be pinch-points over the busiest months for Camp, and there will still be resilience issues should there be unexpected maintenance of the Concordia Bay. These two issues in particular need some options and I am a supporter of chartering in a second vessel for the busiest times to test the need and evidence the growth in the Camp economy.
- FIMCo Over the past few years I have been vocal about the need for a business overhaul and future planning of FIMCo. There have been positive steps taken by the team, supported by FLH, to make a season happen and to start the review of the business. With FIMCo getting back to basics and rolling out a new model for the cutting season there is hopefully some time to review the effect this will have. Dates are set but connectivity resilience and communication will be key. We know that beef supply remains a problem with no export likely and conflicting messages on expected demand over the years. Suppliers need to be taken with this conversation and supported. I’ll also continue to ask for the FIMCo Board to have a public session like many other committees. I hope this will encourage some new ideas and also show how the decisions are reached. Culture There is more than ever, a need for a cultural strategy.
- The Falklands has always benefited from immigration and investment but explaining and celebrating Falklands culture is needed. We are a welcoming society with many benefits of security and stability that we can be proud of and I believe the Government has a role in linking our society better. Otherwise, we risk our small society becoming one that doesn’t know each other, that draws itself too far away from its roots and from remembering its heritage, language, place names and customs. I believe this will also help remind the nation that our whole country needs attention and support for the challenges they face.
- Falklands history should be taught in schools but not just in the basic facts and figures, there needs to be a conversation about how our culture developed and remind ourselves and others that it does need to be held up and celebrated. I will continue to support Camp considerations being a core part of national policy making. I called for this in the House but believe it can go further. The rural working group has been established but I believe a permanent presence in the policy department for rural issues will also assist. I also still believe there is a need for a Rural Bill, similar to the Scottish Islands Bill, to help ensure protections into the future.
- International Relations I have been fortunate to represent our Islands overseas in conversations with the other Overseas Territories, the UK Government, the EU and in trade and industry meetings.
- I enjoy informing people about our home and our proud history and have been able to build links that support our interests. It is key to highlight the strategic importance of the Falklands to the UK as well as our historical links. The Falklands is a gateway for Antarctic research, and a valuable asset in South America and we must maintain a place in the UK family that the UK people understand. We need to be sure the modern Falklands is understood and the opportunity for the MoD to train and remain to deter the threats made against our freedom.
- We also have a great opportunity to share that Falklands with the world during the 40th anniversary and the work of the 40th committee should be supported in achieving this. Social Programme FIG departments are still unpicking what to do in response to the Covid-19 recovery work. Issues highlighted in areas like housing, employment rights and hardship do need addressing. They also highlight the need for the ongoing work in housing for the future and ensuring a minimum standard of living in the Falklands.
- There is a piece of priority work needed in making sure pensioners have access to a living wage income. Any people falling below the line should be identified and a bonus system put in place. People who have built this country should not have to apply for welfare in retirement. Covid-19 also brought into focus the need for Falkland Islands resilience in services and in not relying on imports. Inspiring the next generation to take on our future is what we all want but we should be aware of all sectors.
- Agricultural traineeships and work placements should be supported, and efforts concentrated in encouraging businesses like a dairy once again. Thank you for taking the time to read my manifesto. If elected I promise to get out and hear the views of the country, adapt to take on new challenges as they arise, and represent the Falklands over the next four years with the future in mind.