Report on Executive Council
26 July 2022
ExCo report – 26th July 2022
A meeting of Executive Council was held on 26th July 2022. MLAs Hansen, Pollard and Spink attended the meeting. All papers were approved unanimously unless stated otherwise.
The first paper considered two redevelopment options for the KEMH together with the proposed appointment of a project manager for the duration of the project. There was concern given the complexity of the requirement to get the Governance, project management, project architecture and decision making process right with further decision gates to be brought before Executive council once the project manager is in place. It was agreed to continue the renovation and refurbishment of the existing KEMH building, including a temporary decant facility subject to that further work. It was noted that funding requests will need to be made at the approval stage. It was accepted that a lot of further work is needed to firm up the preferred option scope and project oversight. The option of a new build was discounted.
Next a paper considering the FLH Draft Budget for 2021/22. It was noted that although the budget represented a post depreciation loss there was in fact a positive cash flow. The dependence of the company on the global wool market was also noted. The budget was approved.
A paper on the purchase of a new 1.6MW generator to replace generating set No7 at the Stanley Power Station was then considered and it was noted due to the urgency a single source of supply was agreed. It was further noted that the specification would make the set transferable to the New Power Station reducing any abortive costs investing in the existing power station. Further it was noted the No7 Engine was commissioned into Stanley Power Station in 1987 making it 35 years old over which period it had received extensive and careful maintenance.
A paper on Broadband Provision was then agreed following the Broadband tender process undertaken by Sure in conjunction with FIG further communication will be forthcoming once the contract is concluded.
Next paper was a Housing Strategy Progress report which members noted with some comment as to the assessment of progress in various areas of the report together with the difficulty in tying the progress report back to the original strategy.
The Islands Plan 2022-2026 Delivery Plan was then approved, and it was noted that progress against these actions will be reported to Executive Council twice a year.
Review of Covid support measures was then addressed with agreement to close the Job Retention Furlough Scheme, Self-Employed Income Supplement Scheme, Business Grant Scheme and the related COVID 19 supplement schemes after 30 September 2022.
There will be no TRIP or BFSAI TRIP schemes funded by FIG in Summer 2022/23 or in future years. Further work was agreed to be done to determine whether and how the Travel Credit Scheme could be amended to encourage local tourism, building on the popularity of TRIP. A Tourism Bounce back scheme should be available to support the resumption of International Tourism with grants of up to £3,000 per business available from 1st September with a final closing date of 31 December 2022. A number of further Covid projects were also looked at.
The Falkland Islands Safeguarding Adults Board Annual report 2021/22 was Noted and agreed. Of particular note was the analysis of Income support provision where the statistics showing the analysis of the old welfare system versus the new Income support system (which is under review) this analysis showed a significant (124.7% per week) increase in the support offered to these groups. The report is a public document.
The Falkland Islands Safeguarding Children’s Board Annual report was then agreed to be made public. The report shows the FICSB has continued to operate to provide governance, direction and guidance in relation to FIG’s safeguarding responsibilities and support a culture of continuous improvement. The report is a public document.
The Government Legislative Programme for 2021/22 was noted and approved subject to further work after consultation with Heads of Departments and MLA’s to determine priorities.
A paper on the regulation of Canabidiol (CBD) was then considered. Executive council decided by a majority of two to one to reject the recommendation by officers for no change to regulation and decided on the third option in the paper. As the subject of CBD and CBD oil was widely discussed in the lead up to the election public consultation was not considered necessary. The decision agreed by ExCo will now allow for CBD products to be imported by individuals, sold by retailers and used in the Falkland Islands. They are widely available legally as food supplements in the UK and this change gives people the same freedom of choice as in the United Kingdom. Public Health advice for the consumption of such products will be made available.
An Immigration review was determined.
Followed by consideration of submissions for a wide range of deserving individuals for the Queens certificate and Badge of Honour. The limit of three awards per annum made this task particularly difficult and the successful nominations will be advised in due course.
R K Spink
Gilbert House, Stanley
27 July 2022