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Home | February 2014 Please tell us what you think of this article. Tell a friend Print Friendly

Falklands : MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT SPEECH OF THE HON MRS PHYL RENDELL MLA 30/01
Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 15.02.2014 (Article Archived on 15.03.2014)

In rising to support the Motion, I just want to touch on what has now become quite a topical subject. We just only possibly starting the budget process for the 2014/15 budget.

MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT SPEECH OF THE HON MRS PHYL RENDELL MLA


In rising to support the Motion, I just want to touch on what has now become quite a topical subject. We just only possibly starting the budget process for the 2014/15 budget.

Directors, I think, are submitting their budget proposals as we speak. And I know that every year it is a challenging time for MLAs. It has been and this is going to be my first experience of being on the other side – having to make difficult decisions. I think they are going to be particularly difficult this year. There are a lot of expectations out there – as there always are – following election but also following some windfall funds from oil exploration and there was a long list of things that people – our constituents – want to see happen. And I think we will have some very difficult discussions during the Budget Select Committee as to what we can achieve and what we cannot achieve. And I am certain that some things will get pushed into the long grass. Bit I am pleased to see we are working on what we are calling a National Infrastructure Plan, which will set out essentially over 20 years the various projects that we address and feel should be completed in the Falklands. And I assure the public that we will see that the project has not been forgotten but that it might not have the priority that I would like to have. It is still there and I think it will happen in due course but we really can’t get everything done in the life of this Council.

What concerns me is that we may well approve the funding for an ambitious capital budget but as the Honourable Roger Edwards pointed out, if we don’t have the people to carry out the works it is a somewhat redundant exercise.

And this is not new to the Falklands. We can recall in years gone by when we had a very ambitious capital budget and we haven’t been able to achieve it. So I think we’ve got to be realistic about it and we will have to look at the pace of achieving our priorities. So I am very disappointed to hear from the Honourable Gavin Short that having consolidated the Road Gang to the East to complete the Port Luis works, it is bad enough that we are not able to carry on in the West. I am very disappointed to hear that there may not be enough people to even complete that piece of work. And that really is disappointing as funds are available.

I think the general public will see some changes here, We need to outsource, we need to privatise, we need to give companies longer contracts so they have the confidence to build with bad machinery and do these projects for us – perhaps not just one year contracts – but also having to bring in a work force. When Fairclough-Miller built the Hospital after the fire, a gang came in, built the Hospital and left. The cost was greater by doing so but at least we got the project done so we have been there and done it before and we need to look at this again to move these projects forward. So I think we will be guided by officers on how we might achieve our objectives.

Mr Speaker, I support the Motion.

 

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