The Social & Community Development Committee met on Wednesday, 10 January 2018.
In the Open Session, proposed increases in fees & charges were considered in respect of legislation falling within the Committee's responsibility, namely licence fees for Gaming Machines and Liquor Licences. It was agreed for further work to be undertaken before the proposals are brought back to Committee.
A mandate was given for the position of Children's Champion to be included in legislation. This proposal will ensure that the membership of the Safeguarding Children's Board will always include a Children's Champion. Once an amendment to the Welfare of Children Regulations 2010 has been drafted, it will be referred back to Committee. Widening the scope for selecting a Children's Champion in the future would be taken into account. It was also agreed for the Safeguarding Children's Board to include a member of the Health Directorate.
The interim report from the Equality & Human Rights Commission (EHRC) was considered and it was noted that the Commission has published its first Annual Report which can be viewed on their website: www.humanrightssthelena.org. An update on actions in the EHRC's Strategic Plan was also provided to Committee. A separate meeting will be arranged to discuss the enforcement of the Employment Rights legislation to ensure compliance.
The Closed Session included an update by the Director of Safeguarding, outlining key issues and progress to date.
A matter was raised about Carers' Allowances. As this cannot be treated in isolation, it was agreed that an assessment of the provisions of existing policies would initially be undertaken.
Other items of note were:
New Regulations arising from the new Marriage Bill are being drafted
A session will be arranged with all Elected Members to assess the work that has previously been done on draft Freedom of Information and Data Protection legislation and to discuss how this should be taken forward
An assessment to be undertaken soon about progressing work on updating the Social Security Ordinance
The Social & Community Development Committee comprises Councillors Anthony Green (Chairman), Cyril Leo (Deputy Chairman), Kylie Hercules, Derek Thomas and Gavin Ellick. The non-voting members are the Director of Safeguarding and the Government Economist. The Committee's Secretary is Nicole Plato.
Source: St Helena Government