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Falklands : PUBLIC MEETING MONDAY, 15 APRIL 2013 (Part 1)
Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 20.04.2013 (Article Archived on 18.05.2013)

A public meeting was held in the Court and Assembly Chamber of the town hall at 1700hrs on Monday, 15 April 2013. Present were MLAs Sawle, Short, Halford and Elsby. Gavin Short acted as Chairman.


(Part 1)


J. Brock


A public meeting was held in the
Court and Assembly Chamber of the town hall at 1700hrs on Monday, 15 April
2013.  Present were MLAs Sawle, Short,
Halford and Elsby.  Gavin Short acted as


There was one written question by
Dr the Rev Richard Hines:


the Falkland Islands government given any thought to future needs of residentsí
burial space in Stanley; and has the Falkland Islands government ever
considered the cost and logistics of providing facilities for cremation?


Answer:  Thought has been given to the future needs of
burial space.  This was last done when
the town plan was reviewed in order that a zoning provision could be made
within that if needed, when it was again found that there was provision for a
considerable area.  There are currently
138 plots reserved, mostly for immediate family or spouses and 420 non reserved
spaces remain in the existing area of the cemetery, making a total of 558
available burial plots.  The average
number of funerals per year is currently 18. 
This means there are approximately 31 years of provision within the
cemetery at current levels.  And even if
the average number of funerals per year would rise say to 25, which is a 40%
increase, there would still be approximately 23 yearsí provision, even setting
aside that some burials are made in Camp. 
The above assumes that a single burial per grave remains the norm.  It is common for three burials within each
grave to be made in the UK.


Consideration has been given to
cremation facilities but given the extremely low numbers of funerals per year,
the cost of acquiring and operating the facility and the cost of operating and
providing facilities were considered excessive relative to the relative number
of burials.  The cost of a single
cremation plant was in the order of £550,000.00 Ė thatís ignoring costs of
associated facilities such as the Chapel, parking and mains services.  And this together with the operating costs
for such a low number Ė even at the UK average of 75% cremations where facilities
existed was achieved was simply appeared to be too high even to be considered.


RH:  I am aware as other people are that certainly
speaking about it that certainly space in Stanley is being used up one way or
another; and in most places I think it is desirable that a burial site or
cemetery is not too far from where most people live.  So I would suggest itís not too early to
begin thinking about where the next burial place might be.  I mean, if you stop and think right now where
it might be.


GS:  I must admit I have often gazed at it in passing
wondering if there would be space when my time ends and it did seem to be
filling up far too quickly.  I presume
though, town plan-wise it is something that will be factored in.


SH:  the town plan is under review so there is no
reason why it canít be factored in.


DS:  The question I have about it is, I suppose
is, why is it we have one burial per grave because it is common in the UK to
have three and even four.


RH:  I am not really the person to answer that.


DS:  I just wondered if you knew:


RH:  I donít think there is any profound customary
theological objection within the Falkland Islands.  I recall somebody telling me how difficult it
is to dig too deep a grave in the Islands especially if youíve got lots of clay
underneath.  And I think I am right in
saying there are some places where there are double graves, or double graves
exist.  I heard the word Ďpresumeí
somewhere in the conversation and I suppose my concern that we are not simply
presuming that somebody has thought about it and  plans that had been made.  When I go out to the cemetery as I pass by it
from time to time, I realise that in due course that itís going to fill up.


SH:  Richard it is already happening in some


DS:  It certainly is creeping closer and closer
towards my house.  You could always dig a
hole in my garden. 


GS:  You might not have to move it then.


DS:  There is enough room for 35 years but we
should be thinking about this now.


RH:  the answer regarding a facility for cremation
is as I expected but I thought I would ask the question anyway to check that
the calculation could be made.


BE:  Somebody did ask some years ago whether it is
legal to cremate someone on your own land in Camp and it is. 


Unknown Voice:  You have the right to burial on your own land. 


GS:  Absolutely but it would have to be someone in
the private sector.


BE:  If I get to choose my method of going.


Unknown Voice:  And indeed, itís perfectly possible, at least
in the UK itís possible legally to bury nearby to your own home providing
certain criteria are met.  It mustnít be
too near to a watercourse, it has to be a certain depth and you must record in
the deeds of the property that a burial has taken place there.  With provisos like that it is possible to do
your own burial in the proverbial cardboard box.  Whether or not law permits that in the
Falkland Islands I do not know.


GS:  I suppose this might come naturally from this
Ė moving from burial plots to chucking myself down fire escapes but I am
following on from Johnís question last month about the fire escape at the Town
Hall.  I had made some enquiries with PWD
and itís actually coated with what is supposed to be non-slick material or
paint.  So we did try and I couldnít slip
any way I tried.  I went along after I
zoomed off and I had a go again on Sunday- a damp day and I dawned my cowboy
boots, which are the most lethal boots known to mankind and had a go at the
fire escape again.  I was OK as long as I
was flat-footed but at the moment I caught on the instep I could slip so I
reported back to Manfred and we are going to coat it with a special paint and
sand so we can make it completely un-slip-able. 
So thanks for that question.


JB:  I am pleased. 
After 25 years of being un-painted Ė presumably if you had been wearing
high-heals you may well have fallen over.


GS:  I will go and put those on and try again.


JB:  but itís only part of it, isnít it?  The fact of the matter is that it is painted


GS:  It doesnít matter how far you go Ė I think
you probably hit another nail on the head there.  People wearing high heals are not going to
come down any steps sedately.  That there
is a good chance somebody is going down it in high-heals.


JB:  No. 
No.  No.  We passed that now.  I am talking about the colour Ė black.  So if there is no light and you are going
down a stairwell thatís painted black Ė


GS:  Sorry Ė I didnít try it on a black
night.  It could be that I wouldnít see


DS:  You can get non-slip material to put on the
stairs which is luminous.


JB:  It just seems such a simple thing.  We donít have to make a big issue out of
it.  However, the reason it was put
there.  We know why it was put there 20
odd years ago Ė yes?  Because there
wasnít a fire escape there and it seems a bit strange not to have those kind of
basic safety things such as luminous strops on there.


GS:  It can be sorted:


JB:  As you said last month but itís not finished


(100X Transcription Service) 


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