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S.Atlantic : FALKLANDS: RURAL DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY GROUP MEETING REPORT
Submitted by SARTMA.com (Nathan Prince) 19.05.2012 (Article Archived on 02.06.2012)

David Jenkins, Director of Health and Education and Tom Hill, Head of the Infant Junior School and Camp Education accompanied the Rural Development Strategy group to Fox Bay Village on May 7th. They discussed possible improvements for education and training in Camp.

RURAL DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY GROUP MEETING REPORT


 


(As Broadcast over FITV on Friday, 11 May 2012)


 


Intro by Matthew Salt (FITV):


 


David Jenkins, Director of Health and Education and Tom Hill, Head of the Infant Junior School and Camp Education accompanied the Rural Development Strategy group to Fox Bay Village on May 7th.  They discussed possible improvements for education and training in Camp.


 


The Hon Mr Mike Summers MLA told us more: 


The Rural Development strategy has been under development for some time as you know and we are in the process of putting together an action plan for it.  We decided that we would hold a meeting of the RDS in Camp and we took the whole committee to Fox Bay.  It consisted of myself and the Councillor Ian Hansen plus the Chief Executive, the Head of Policy and a representative of FIDC.  On this occasion we wanted to speak also with the Director of Health and Education and the Head Master at the Infant Junior School to talk with them about how the provision of Health Services and Education Services looking forward would support the objectives of the Rural Development Strategy.  So we had a full meeting in public at Fox Bay followed by a consultation phase with the public.  We had a very positive meeting.  Clearly what happens with rural development on the mainland of the West, on the East is not going to be the same and the Islands are going to be different.


 


What we were concentrating on in this particular meeting was the probability that we would develop Fox Bay (Village) further as a rural economic zone and talking about some of the elements of setting up an REZ.  But in particular, on this occasion, we were concentrating on getting more labour into the West, probably centred in Fox Bay and therefore inevitably you are talking about accommodation that is all taken and Government accommodation at Fox Bay is in need of some tender loving care.  The likelihood is that we are going to need to build some new accommodation at Fox Bay.  And what we were talking with people about is if there is enough power at Fox Bay, if there is enough water, are there facilities there and if the village would welcome new people and those sorts of things.  That was a very positive discussion and clearly there was a very strong will to get more people to be available to be employed, either as direct contractors to farms on the West or as people available on a daily rate for people on the West. 


 


But if we are going to move forward, there are years and years and years of maintenance backlog on many of the farms because of poor wool prices and other issues going back over many, many years.  Many people have a lot of work to do.  The advent of very good wool prices this year and last year mean that farmers have more money available to reinvest in their farms.  But getting people to do the work is the big challenge.  Also, many farms spend a lot of time doing basic maintenance Ė vehicle maintenance Ė maintaining fences and buildings Ė sorts of things fi they had someone else they could pay to do it they could spend more time with their stock and developing their stock or perhaps contributing to other programmes like the Import Development Programme. 


 


The reason we concentrated on Fox Bay is that you are going to have to provide decent accommodation to attract people to go.  You have to be able to convince them that there will be power and water, there will be a warm place to stay, there will be work to do but also they will have access to educational and medical facilities.  And they are not poor citizens as it were; and also to provide those facilities to people who are already living in Camp, so the importance of taking David Jenkins and Tom Hill is they are able to talk to us about what their plans are going forward for improving the facilities in Camp Education for kids in Camp and the ability to extend some of that technology across into medical services.  And thatís quite an interesting development.


 


Some of us remember in the old days when there was a doctor living full time in Fox Bay as travel was not so easy in those days.  I donít think we could foresee that and I donít think it is necessary but we did talk about the possibility, for instance, of a Practice Nurse spending dedicated amounts of time both on the West and on the East, travelling around settlements and doing the sort of work that is necessary, rather than taking up the very expensive hours of a GP, who currently has to go and do that sort of work, so there are those possibilities.


 


Some of you may know that Cable & Wireless are working with the education department to develop an interactive system for children in Camp Schools to be able to work with the teachers in Stanley using the internet and possibly interacting with a class in Stanley and that provides a better working environment for them and better stimulation for them. 


 


The possibility to develop that technology slightly further and to enable then consultations to be held between doctors in Stanley and patients in Camp is very real and that is quite an exciting development for the Camp.  The trend for Medical Services over the years is to be able to centralise everything in Stanley.  There used to be a doctor on the West and the dental facilities used to be able to travel around the Camp but we are told that is not possible anymore because of Health and Safety Regulations.


 


But we will do a lot more work in-house.  The RDS Co-ordinator, Naula Knight will do some more work for us both surrounding the Fox Bay propositions but also the other areas we are looking at.  The other key area we are looking at the moment is water and the provision of water in many areas of the Camp which is becoming more of a concern.


 


And we have to produce an action plan for Executive Council.  The strategy has been agreed.  We need to produce an action plan and get that submitted.  So it will probably be in July for that.  It will be relatively short as we want to do things in bite-sized chunks in order to get things moving so we are not sitting for another year or two discussing strategy and make it so we can actually be getting on and doing something.  I hope that by July we will have some firm propositions in place for the next moves.


 


(100X Transcription Service)

 

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