New Cathedral minister licensed to preach; Racecourse secured for next 15 years; Ferry's arrival may be delayed; South Georgia fishing talks; Men remanded in police custody; Agreement on Camp telephones is 'close'; Peat Cutting weekend.
New Cathedral minister licensed to preachRichard Hines was licensed as Rector of the Falkland Islands at an emotive service in Norwich Cathedral on Sunday. At the beginning of the service a message of welcome from Christ Church Cathedral Council, based on Psalm 139, 'From the seas on the other side of the world' was read by the Bishop for the Falkland Islands, and Revd Hines was presented by David Healey of recruiting sponsors, the Intercontinental Church Society. During the course of an encouraging address, Bishop Stephen Venner said that Revd Hines was not leaving the UK because his ministry was, "in a mess," but because he had a genuine call – attested by the large congregation from his former Coastal Group of Parishes, Norfolk, which had turned out to wish him well. Following the traditional Oaths of Allegiance and CanoniCanonical Obedience, the Bishop welcomed the new Rector and the Cathedral echoed to the sound of prolonged clapping. Hymns sung included 'Angel voices ever singing', 'Hills of the North rejoice' and 'The Church's one foundation'. Prayers for the new Rector and the Cathedral parish were led by the Dean of Norwich. Christ Church Cathedral Council was represented by former Senior Magistrate, Clare Faulds, and her husband, the Revd Ian Faulds. Bishop Venner's wife, Judy, said after the service that she had heard enthusiastic reports of her husband's visits to the Falklands and very much hopes to be able to accompany him on his next visit, perhaps in 2009. Revd Hines and his wife, Jen, arrived in the Islands on Wednesday Racecourse secured for next 15 yearsTHE historic Stanley Racecourse will play host to the popular Christmas horse racing and fun events for at least the next 15 years. The government (FIG) and the Falkland Islands Company (FIC) announced on Wednesday that they have reached agreement on a land exchange which will result in the whole of the racecourse site being under government ownership. In exchange for the FIC-owned section of the racecourse and adjacent paddock (approximately 21.4 acres), FIG has agreed to convey to FIC two parcels of land measuring approximately 23.7 acres. One parcel of land is situated on the By-Pass Road near to and west of the FIPASS junction, and the other is situated on the north side of the By-Pass Road adjacent to the MPA Road near Sapper Hill. As part of the arrangement, FIG has agreed not to develop the racecourse area for a period of 15 years. Additionally, FIG has agreed to provide to FIC grants for the provision of infrastructure in accordance with the recently agreed housing strategy, if FIC develop any of the land they will acquire for housing. Holder of the lands portfolio, Councillor Richard Davies, said that this subsidy is available to any private land owner who may wish to, "develop housing sites and sell on" and creates a, "level playing field" between the private sector and FIG. FIC General Manager Roger Spink said the company has been taking advice on how both areas might best be developed. Top jockey Tim Bonner was relieved the future of the racecourse was secure, and added that he hoped it would never be developed. "If the venue had been shifted it would have been the end of racing," said Tim, who believes the racecourse is sited "in the best possible place" for all to enjoy. Neil Watson, who has clocked up many miles on both horse and foot on the course is "delighted" an agreement has been reached but added that everyone, including the Stanley Sports Association (SSA) was "well aware" that the former lease expired in 2006 and, "...it should have been sorted much earlier." Continued on page 3. Ferry's arrival may be delayedTHE new ferry vessel, Concordia Bay, is not expected to arrive within its target date of February 2008. Detailed discussions regarding the works required to convert the Concordia Bayfor carrying passengers have been taking place with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) in recent weeks. The vessel's owners, Workboat Services Ltd, say that during the discussions it became clear that, "...due to changes in the interpretation of regulations," some steel work additional to that anticipated would be required. "Some of this work is technically challenging and the company is now discussing the situation with the yard which will do the work and with the Falkland Islands Government." This unexpected development may now delay the arrival of the vessel in the Falklands until after February 2008 but the company says it is, "...doing everything possible to avoid this," and that further information will be made available as soon as the ongoing discussions have been completed. In a statement released this week, Workboat Services expressed its pleasure at Executive Council's decision on the location of the West Falkland ferry terminal. "The temporary ramp at Port Howard will impose limitations on the level of service possible in the interim but the Second Creek terminal, as designed by the Public Works Department with breakwaters to north and south, will provide a good berth for the safe and efficient operation of the service." South Georgia fishing talksFISHING companies operating in South Georgia waters have been meeting wth government officials this week. South Georgia Director of Fisheries, Harriet Hall confirmed an annual meeting on South Georiga Fisheries science was held, following a research cruise in the area. More next week. Men remanded in police custodyTWO men were remanded in police custody overnight on Wednesday. The pair, who cannot be named, were arrested following "extremely serious" allegations, Crown Counsel Julia Kraehling-Smith told the court. At a hearing on Wednesday afternoon, the prosecution requested reporting restrictions, asking that the defendants were not named for fear it could lead to the identification of their alleged victims. They were remanded in custody until Thursday afternoon when a further application to hold them for longer was made. Ms Kraehling-Smith said she was seeking an extension because the allegations made against the two men are at the, "...top end of sexual assault," and require extensive police investigation. Interviews with the complainants have revealed another potential perpetrator and further potential victims, said Ms Kraehling Smith. At the time of publication, however, the legalities of the application were still being considered by the court. Agreement on Camp telephones is 'close'THE government says it is "close" to reaching an agreement on the replacement telephone system for Camp, following a series of meetings with Cable and Wireless South Atlantic Ltd. Councillor Mike Summers revealed that the new system will provide a full telephone and broadband service to Camp similar to that provided to Stanley at the same rates. "The service will extend to all parts of the Camp including islands," he said and added that the government hopes a full announcement, which includes the technical and commercial parameters of the agreement, can be made shortly. Acknowledging that this still leaves a number of questions unanswered, Cllr Summers added, "...until fuller contract terms are agreed between the parties it would be inappropriate to say any more. Nevertheless Cable and Wireless are confident that the current system can be maintained until the changeover is made." Peat Cutting weekendMONDAY, October 1, is Peat Cutting Monday. All government departments (other than those providing essential services) will be closed.