Falklands : PUBLIC MEETING 15 APRIL 2013 Part 2
Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 20.04.2013 (Article Archived on 18.05.2013)
Questions from the general public were next on the agenda. Marilyn Grimmer mentioned it has been a year since she brought the subject up in a public meeting and she wondered if MLAs had time to look at the report that had been produced.
Sharon Halford said it had been to EXCO and the easiest thing would be to give Mrs Grimmer a list.
PUBLIC MEETING 15 APRIL 2013
A public meeting took place in the
Court and Assembly Chamber of the town Hall at 1700hrs on Monday, 15 April
2013. Present were MLAs Sawle, Elsby,
Halford and Short. Gavin Short was Chair
of the Meeting.
Questions from the general public
were next on the agenda. Marilyn Grimmer
mentioned it has been a year since she brought the subject up in a public
meeting and she wondered if MLAs had time to look at the report that had been
produced. Dick Sawle said he would tell
everyone the outcome but he couldn’t remember any details. He said there was a list of memorials and who
was looking after them. MLAs agreed that
the problem of maintenance was almost completed and the finite details were
being looked at.
Sharon Halford said it had been to
EXCO and the easiest thing would be to give Mrs Grimmer a list. MLAs said it should be an unclassified EXCO
paper but Cherie Clifford said it wasn’t an EXCO paper. Dick Sawle said at the next public meeting it
could be brought along or circulated to Mrs Grimmer as an individual
Mrs Grimmer asked about housing
for the oil people that may come. She
was not hoping for ghettos. She does
want Government to build houses to rent out to the oil people and also make
them available to local people. It would
make for an atmosphere where everybody mixes.
She said the 200-room accommodation complex planned by FIC may be OK for
single people but there also would be married people as well. Would Government consider this?
Sharon Halford said the FIC
complex would be a workers’ camp, which in a way was no different than what
Lookout lodge was set up to do. There
will be a need for that kind of accommodation.
She agreed that married people would come. She went on to say that phase two at the
Sapper Hill development would be considered to provide housing for married
people and others as well as social housing.
She went on to say that phase 2 due out in September would be sold at a
fixed rate and people would not have to bid for them. However people had to go on a list much like
the one we had before. She feels that as
far as the oil industry is concerned it should be a private sector initiative
as there is no reason why private sector people can’t own a lot of land. She asked why it had to be the Government all
Mrs Grimmer felt that rent prices
needed to be monitored because the influx of oil people would drive rents
up. People with moderate incomes would
not be able to afford the rents. At the
end of the day people could have the option of buying the houses as some from the
oil sector may like the Falklands well enough to stay.
Sharon Halford said that
Government would be building houses in all the phases of building at Sapper
Hill. She said the houses would go out
at a Government rent and would be more affordable for people on moderate
Dr Elsby said he felt the question
was addressed by the first socio-economic survey at the end of the report. MLAs had talked about it in Norway and Orkney
when they asked about what went right-wrong with accommodation. There was a need for short-term accommodation
like the workers’ camp and accommodation for people who really want to be part
of the community long-term. He agreed
with Mrs Grimmer that people needed to be integrated for their own sake to feel
part of the community. Housing is needed
as government employees are accommodated as well as social accommodations. If all goes well in the budget round FIG
should allocate more money for ‘council housing.’ He went on to say that it made sense for
people to build their own houses. Plots should be made available at reasonable
prices for first-time buyers.
Gavin Short sees Government being
the seller of last resort. He would like
to see housing and plots stay in the private sector. Dick Sawle mentioned that when MLAs visited
Norway it was suggested that people should integrate rather than produce
ghettos. Secondly, house prices did go
high but to regulate prices generic regulation was needed. However, this idea was not very popular. He went on to expand this to all areas of
private sector business. The method
would help people to complain through a chain of command but the idea didn’t
get a lot of support.
Lewis Clifton suggested that the
Falklands Government help pay for Baroness Thatcher’s funeral with a six-figure
sum. While MLAs wanted to honour Mrs
Thatcher, they felt the money would better serve a project that benefited the