Executive Council met today with one item on the Open Agenda.
For this item, Members were asked to approve a recommendation from the Prison Project Board that SHG submit a planning application for a new build prison in the Goat Pen area in Bottom Woods. Council recognised that the current prison facility presents challenges, especially for long-term prisoners. Council also pointed out that considerable resources have been expended to date on finding a suitable site for a new build prison that will be adequate for the needs of the Island going forward. It was noted that the proposed site is currently in a National Conservation Area. However, the current Land Development Control Plan does allow for building in such an area if the building is deemed to be of national importance and in the interest of the wider community. Members approved that an outline planning application should be submitted to the Land Planning Authority, noting that this will provide opportunity for wider consultation and mitigation proposals to be put forward as part of the process.
Under the Closed Agenda, Council considered and gave approval for an amendment to the Marriage Ordinance to be printed, published and presented as Government Business at the next formal meeting of Legislative Council. This amendment addresses issues including a historic oversight relating to the provision for civil marriages to be performed at the Registrar-General's Office (which was originally at the Castle). It was noted that the Registrar-General's Office had since moved to Essex House and then to the Post Office but civil marriages continued to be performed at the Castle. The amendment proposes that the Ordinance be changed to state that Civil Marriages are to take place at the Castle (or any other approved location) rather than the Registrar-General's Office. It also deems all civil marriages that previously took place at the Castle to have been at the correct location.
Finally, Members were very pleased to note that Airlink had agreed that the lowest rate of air fare could be applied to persons accompanying family members on overseas medical referrals. A policy is being developed to guide this process but in the meantime applications for such are being considered on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the Health Directorate.
The meeting closed at 1.30pm.
Source: St Helena Government