The Social & Community Development Committee held their monthly meeting on Wednesday, 11 April 2018.
The Committee considered various pieces of draft legislation. Further consideration was given to the proposed Welfare of Children (Children's Residential Home) Regulations. Following agreement on various amendments, the Committee gave their approval. It was also decided that a further assessment should be made by the Directorate on the financial implications of introducing the new legislation before making a recommendation to Executive Council that the new Regulations should be approved. This legislation is needed as there are no specific provisions in the law for a Children's Home, run by Government.
New regulations to amend the Welfare of Children Regulations 2010 were considered. These will make provision for a Children's Champion and regulate the constitution of the Safeguarding of Children's Board to ensure that the Children's Champion is a member of the Board. These draft Regulations were agreed and will be recommended to Executive Council for approval. The current Children's Champion is Councillor Christine Scipio O'Dean.
With the Registrar of Births and Deaths in attendance, the Committee gave further consideration and then agreement to the draft legislation that will overcome the problem whereby only births and deaths that occur on the Island can be registered. The Bill was approved to be forwarded to Executive Council to be published for consideration at a meeting of the Legislative Council.
The following was discussed in the closed session:
A briefing on the recent history of proposed legislation relating to Freedom of Information and Data Protection revealed that the previous Council had decided that the proposals made at the time were too complicated and unworkable. The Committee agreed to ask the Attorney General's Chambers to consider these matters and to come up with options that can first be discussed with Elected Members.
Together with officials, consideration was given to the Minimum Income Standard (MIS) and recommendations will be made to Executive Council.
To examine how issues relating to the Social Security Ordinance could best be taken forward, a working group of the Committee was set up under the Chairmanship of Deputy Chairman, Councillor Cyril Leo. Members are Councillor Kylie Hercules, Acting Director of Safeguarding, Carol George, Government Economist, Nicole Shamier, Assistant Financial Secretary, Nicholas Yon (alternate, Head of Finance Services, Connie Stevens), and Claims Manager, Anthony Hopkins. A remit and possible timescale will now be drawn up. The findings of this working group will be reported back to the Committee.
The Acting Director of Safeguarding, Carol George, gave an update on the Safeguarding Directorate. The Committee heard that the eleven persons that have been temporarily moved to Barn View while repairs and maintenance are carried out at the CCC are content and happy in their new surroundings.
The minutes of the SCDC meeting of 14 March were reviewed and matters arising dealt with.
The Social & Community Development Committee comprises of voting members Councillors Anthony Green (Chairman), Cyril Leo (Deputy Chairman), Kylie Hercules, Derek Thomas and Gavin Ellick and non-voting members, the Director of Safeguarding and the Government Economist. Committee Secretary on this occasion was Connie Johnson.
Source: St Helena Government