Bingham wins in Supreme Court; £78,000 calcified seaweed machine disassembled; Sir Ranulph's marathon effort in the Falklands; Council questions; Islanders at meeting; Walking for veterans.
Sir Ranulph's marathon effort in the FalklandsBRITISH adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, 59, made a whistle-stop visit to the Islands on Monday, allowing him just enough time to run a marathon and make a quick trip to Government House for a shower and a scone. Accompanied by his doctor, Mike Stroud, Sir Ranulph completed the second leg of his Seven Continents, Seven Marathons Challenge on the Mount Pleasant Road in just over four and a half hours. The pair were greeted at the finish line by crowds of school children at Christ Church Cathedral in Stanley.
Bingham wins in Supreme Court
MIKE BINGHAM won his Supreme Court battle this week, after Chief Justice James Wood declared unlawful the Governor's decision on Mr Bingham's application for Falkland Islands status. Giving a summary of his judgment on Monday, Chief Justice Wood quashed the rejection of Mr Bingham's application for status, which will now have to be referred back to Executive Council (ExCo) and the Governor to reconsider. He said the original decision was both unconstitutional and inappropriate, and that it was unlawful to reject a status application because the views of the individual involved were thought to be inappropriate or unacceptable. He told the court: "It matters not how those views are accepted by ExCo, whether the views are right or wrong, whether they are obnoxious or offensive. "Provided they are lawful, the constitution ensures the rights of the individual to hold them." But he also had criticism for Mr Bingham himself, telling the court, "The applicant comes out of this with no credit either. "It is apparent that in a number of ways he has tried to obscure or mislead and has to a certain extent been the author of his own misfortunes." Chief Justice Wood said it had been one of the most important cases to come before the court since the enactment of the Falkland Islands Constitution in 1985, because it went right to the heart of the relationship between the Governor, ExCo and the citizen. He said he appreciated that the government remained committed to the principle of free speech, even though it may not have been adhered to in this case. He told the court, "One of the problems with democracy is that the government has to put up with opposition, whether it likes it or doesn't like it. "It's a hard fought freedom, especially in these islands." S Gyford Chief Justice Wood's comprehensive judgement on the case is expected to be published in approximately three weeks' time.£78,000 calcified seaweed machine disassembled
A CALCIFIED seaweed processing machine, purchased approximately three years ago by the Falkland Islands Development Corporation (FIDC) for over £78,000, is to be disassembled.
In September 2002, former General Manager of FIDC, Richard Baker, said the machine was sited at Megabid in Stanley and, "...could be made to operate if required."
However the current General Manager, Julian Morris, this week said parts of the machine have seized and it will be disassembled into separate components for reuse.
Mr Morris said, "We do not need the calcified seaweed machine for local use as a much finer grade of material was discovered at Ruggles Bay which will satisfy local demand for the foreseeable future. The machine was inspected a few weeks ago and parts were found to be seizing..."
He explained the calcified seaweed machine is not one single piece of plant, "...it is a collection of different machinery assembled as a research and development project."
Mr Morris said that rather than let the machine degenerate into, "...a completely non-operable state," he had decided, "...to utilize different components, for example the generator and tanker, and additionally make the trailer available for public sale, for which we have already had enquiries."
He stressed the importance of being practical in deciding the future of the machine.
He said, "The development of calcified seaweed is an on-going success; that the ?machine' is not currently utilised is not the intended outcome but it is important that high risk projects are developed and that equally when the outcome is different, we are pragmatic in extracting maximum value from the assets and we do not let potential ?embarrassment' affect our judgement." Council questions
QUESTIONS for oral answer to be asked at today's Legislative Council meeting will cover a variety of topics. Councillor Stephen Luxton will ask Councillor Roger Edwards for a breakdown of all capital projects completed to date under the Construction Partnership with AWG (Falklands) Ltd, giving for each project, "...the original estimate, any cost increases due to subsequent contract variations at the request of the Falkland Islands Government, the final cost out-turn and how much the final out-turn was over or under budget as an amount and a percentage." Councillor John Birmingham will ask Councillor Mike Summers for an update on the Goose Green development project and whether improvements to the infrastructure will continue. Mr Summers will ask Councillor Jan Cheek to confirm there are no further plans to change the recently agreed structure of the school year and term times.
Islanders at meeting FALKLANDS delegate at the Argentine British Conference on the weekend, Tony Blake, says he believes that it is "erroneous and dangerous" for Falkland Islanders not to be represented at meetings concerning the Islands. Mr Blake told MercoPresshe believed, "...we should be able to clarify some points that people like to make about the Falklands, and in a friendly manner persuade people that the impressions that they have of the Islands are wrong." He added that if Islanders were not at a conference during which a "nucleus idea" - one which could solve the underlying problem - came up, it would be almost impossible to market in the Islands. Mr Blake was in Buenos Aires along with fellow Islander Terry Betts to attend the eighth Argentine British Conference (ABC), which discussed bilateral relations between the United Kingdom and Argentina, largely focusing on the Falkland Islands. (MP) Continued on page 3.
Walking for veterans MEMBERS of the Logistics Support Squadron walked from Mount Pleasant to Stanley on Wednesday, in aid of the war charity, SAMA82 Photos and report next week.