St Helena : St. Helena Executive Council Meeting Report (12/06/07)
Submitted by Saint Helena Herald (Juanita Brock) 19.06.2007 (Article Archived on 10.07.2007)
Cyril Gunnell reports on St. Helena's Executive Council Meeting in June.
ST HELENA EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MEETING 12 JUNE 2007
The Executive Council Meeting held in the Council Chamber today contained two items for open discussion: Memoranda regarding the Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill 2007; and the Airport Development (Amendment) Bill 2007. His Excellency Governor Clancy chaired the meeting and Gillian Francis Acting Chief Secretary attended in place of Mrs Ethel Yon MBE who is on holiday overseas.
In considering the memoranda regarding the Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill, which proposes to allow the use of Quadricyles on the Islandís roads, the Attorney General recalled that in March 2007 when the Draft Road Traffic Bill was discussed in ExCo, members agreed in principle that Quadricycles should be allowed to be used in St Helena, but the Bill needed certain amendments made to it.
The Attorney General took members through the various clauses, sections and sub-sections and regulations which include rules for licences; brakes; how Quadrycles should be ridden; crash helmets and provisions.
Councillor Olsson voiced concern about parking for Quadrycles not least with another 65 cars coming in from the UK in September/October. Councillor Isaac wished to support Mrs Olsson and asked if a special area in Jamestown could be designated for Quadrycles.
The Financial Secretary injected that instead of creating extra parks in Jamestown parking areas elsewhere should perhaps be investigated, and allow for public transport to be used for travelling into Jamestown. The Governor considered that parking in Jamestown is an issue but perhaps this should be considered separately. It was pointed out that the extent to which Quadrycles will be imported is not known, Quadrycles take up less space than cars, they are allowed on the roads in the UK where they must have proper braking systems and lights etc., and provision was made for their use on Ascension. Councillor Benjamin spoke about people seen riding motorcycles wearing helmets but with the strap loose, and Councillor Reid was concerned about speed limits and road worthiness. Safety measures covering these points and others are covered in the regulations the Attorney General assured members.
Councillor Reid wanted to digress, pointing out that legislation is being discussed for Quadrycles but what about legislation for the movement of private sector heavy equipment, some with tracks. Councillor Olsson pointed out that people should consider going to the Police for advice before ordering heavy equipment. The Governor reminded members that the Governor can set down rules for moving heavy equipment where there are exceptional circumstances. Moving times, weights, emergencies are all taken into consideration. The Chief of Police is in dialogue with heavy equipment owners.
Getting back to rules for Quadrycles, comparisons were made with cars, motorcycles and motorised tricycles. The Governor wanted to make sure that all provisions, rules, definitions, exemptions etc.are clearly understood. The Attorney General said the Road Traffic Ordinance has lots of inconsistencies, which need to be addressed at some time. He agreed to look into the various points raised by members.
After nearly 45 minutes discussion it was agreed that the Draft Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill 2007should be printed, sent out for consultation and brought back to Executive Council for further consideration.
The Airport (Amendment) Bill 2007 was a much shorter Bill and was dealt with in 15 minutes. But it received the same attention to detail as the Bill just dealt with. The Attorney General recalled that when the original Bill was discussed members advised that a number of amendments be made to it and should include certain clauses and sub-sections. The Bill provides precautionary measures during the airport construction period and post construction.
It was agreed that the Draft Airport (Development) Bill 2007 should be printed, sent out for consultation and brought back to Executive Council for further consideration. It is intended that both Bills are ready for the Legislative Council Meeting to be held in July.
Contributed by Cyril Gunnell