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Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 02.11.2013 (Article Archived on 30.11.2013)

I am 45 years of age Ė a 7th generation Islander who is extremely proud of my heritage. I want my daughter and grandchildren to be equally proud.



Broadcast on FIRS on 23 October 2013)


I am 45 years of age Ė a 7th
generation Islander who is extremely proud of my heritage.  I want my daughter and grandchildren to be
equally proud.  But we will need to build
a future that will take care of everyone in our community, not just those with
the loudest voice or the most money.


I have worked at FIDC as a
business advisor for over 6 years and strongly believe that in order to advance
our economy we must be able to develop all of our industries and not just
concentrate our energies on the prospects of oil.


Oil exploration appears to be
closer every day and we only have one chance to get this right.  You canít keep putting off making decisions
on our infrastructure requirements any longer. 
If it is coming we must be ready and if it does not happen at least we
will have an infrastructure that we can utilise for other industries.  Doing nothing just means we will have to pay
more for the same a few years down the track.


Although the oil industry and deep
water port development will create a requirement for an additional requirement
for machinery and expertise, we need to ensure that the Falkland Islands
benefit fully from any economic windfall this generates.  This can only be done by ensuring that local
businesses are at the front of the queue when contracts are being awarded and
we must ensure the necessary finance and assistance to allow them to expand is


The same is true of employment
opportunities.  Rather than seeing
succession planning opening up opportunities within FIG for Islanders.  We have seen a clear exit of talent from its
ranks and lack of promotion opportunities for them.  I have spoken to several local persons
applying for vacant posts for which they have had some relevant experience only
to see the post filled by a work permit holder. 
This has to stop.  I believe all
posts must be independently reviewed before a work permit is issued.  We also need to ensure locals are employed in
tandem with contractors to ensure skills are transferred.  The lack of Falkland Islandsí knowledge in
key posts within FIG is detrimental to progress within the Islands.


In the same vein, after the last
election, funds were set aside to allow those both within and outside of
Government to obtain training. 
Applicants outside of FIG employment were required to provide 50% of the
cost of the proposed course up front and would only be considered if their
study area was on the key skills requirement list, surely showing that they
could gain employment should be sufficient. 
Likewise, very few Islands can afford to do this.  If elected I would pursue a student loan
policy to cover this cost for any mature student wishing to invest in


The plots on Sapper Hill are being
released for first time home owners at affordable prices, which is admirable
and must continue for future generations. 
At the same time a notable number of plots have been ear-marked to build
FIG homes at Sapper Hill and a new development at Murray heights to supply
FIMCOís local housing requirements with static homes has also been made.  While the former is commendable I worry that
they will find themselves in a static home. 
We must stop making our own people second class citizens and provide
quality social accommodation for those who require it.


It has been suggested that this
election would be fought on if we tarmac the MPA Road or not.  I like everyone else would like to see a
solution and a committed plan put in place to at least start something.  But that is further down on my list of things
that need to be done.


Anyone who has used the hospital
over the last few years will be aware that the MST we pay is not being used to
improve the medical services we receive. 
Appointments are difficult to obtain and the continuity of doctors is
nearly impossible.  And worse, if you
have an on-going medical problem you will find at some point in time that
filling your prescription is a hit and miss affair.  It is obvious that the Department is under
staffed and under resourced.  Letís not
cut corners with Health requirements.  We
have to pay a competitive salary to attract only the best doctors and
nurses.  Letís do it.  If we can find the money for another expert
in FIG, letís have several in our hospital.


While on the subject of Medical
care, the levy on patients travelling overseas must be stopped.  People are going for medical treatment that
is not available here.  They are away
from their homes and families often without pay or subsistence.  Our social system only allows the poorest of
people to obtain financial help while out of the Islands.  I would like to see our MST used to provide
statutory sick pay to all those sent overseas for treatment.  Letís give the people the ability to recover
without having to worry about how they are going to feed themselves while staying
in a B&B or how they are going to pay their mortgage while they are there.


Under the same theme if I was to
have a stroke or an accident tomorrow and required 24-hour care, I would not
wish to become a permanent fixture at the hospital.  It is past time we supplied a supported
living facility with dedicated staff that would meet the requirements of all
that would need it and allow them to live in a home-like environment with as
much of a quality of life as they can be given.


I do believe that those that can
should work and I am not a supporter of anyone receiving hand-outs unless they
have a health problem.  But I am aware
that the system does not allow everyone to be able to afford child care,
etc.  The introduction of a minimum wage
and working tax credit were positive moves but futile if the bar is set too low
to provide an affordable cost of living. 
I see no reason why every child in these Islands whose parents have a
collective wage below a certain limit cannot receive free child care.  And with competitive minimum wage this should
help ensure that our children have the best upbringing that we can
provide.  At the same time, I do not
believe any tax payersí money should be used to support those that simply do
not want to work or who have simply made themselves undesirable to employers.  If they want to be sustained they should be
made to undertake some form of work that benefits the Islands.


I, like everyone else, enjoyed
seeing our people representing our Islands at the Island Games but was equally
embarrassed that we donít have the facilities here for them to train on.  If we can club together to send people away,
surely we can do the same to provide the same facilities here. 


I hope this identifies a few of
the key issues I feel need to be addressed by the next Assembly.  But I do have many more such as looking at if
we should have a Town Council, the future of Stanley House, etc.  If you would like to discuss any areas you
believe should be looked into or the content of my manifesto please phone me on
544322/21406 or e-mail


SB:  if elected, what would be your main priority?


LB:  I have to say my main priority would be
24-hour supported living accommodation. 
Itís so long over-due.


SB:  Do you feel the recent efforts to promote the
islandsí message internationally should be increased or could this lead to
local issues receiving less attention from MLAs?


LB:  I certainly donít believe that they should be
increased.  I think they have been quite
high over the last 4 years.  While I
think itís important to get the message out there I think itís been excessive
at times.


SB:  Which Capital project should have top


LB:  I think I have already mentioned that.  It would definitely be 24-hour supported
living accommodation.


SB:  If elected, which portfolio would you like to


LB:  The two that I would really like are the RDS
because I have had some involvement with that and Education.


SB:  Finally, why should people vote for you?


LB:  I believe people should vote for me because I
am honest and I will fight for them.  But
at the end of the day, people should go along and vote for the person that they
believe represents their views.


(100X Transcription Service)


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