Top officials' status questioned.
THE role within Legislative Council (LegCo) of the Governor, the Commander British Forces (CBFFI) and the Attorney General were debated at a public meeting on Tuesday night. At the meeting, the primary purpose of which was to publicly discuss the constitutional review, a former councillor opposed the idea of removing the CBFFI from Legislative Council asking, "It is not sensible to allow CBFFI to have a platform to talk in public on defence matters and Mount Pleasant Complex?". Councillor Summers assured the gathering that the concept was an issue for discussion and not a "proposal". He noted that the question being asked was "Is it still relevant," (for CBFFI to sit on LegCo), but added that it appeared most people felt it useful for him to remain. The current CBBFI's (Brigadier Geoff Sheldon) view, said Councillor Summers, was that he did not think the position in LegCo was above discussion. Councillor Summer's personal view was that the military commanders in the Island welcomed the opportunity to address defence issues in public. One individual present felt it would "...send the wrong message politically," to remove the CBBFI from LegCo. Councillor Summers argued it would also send a strong message, "...to have the discussion and then conclude that he should stay." The Attorney General. The status of the Attorney General (AG) on LegCo was debated. It was felt by a member of the public that the AG should have no official status on LegCo but could be invited to attend. Asked by a councillor if he believed that the permanent attendance of the AG affected the quality of government, the gentleman replied, "No, but it affects the perception of our level of self government because of the amount of non-elected officials present..."adding, "He does appear all-powerful". Councillors agreed the AG was, "...an influential character," but Councillor Cheek added, "It is sensible to take legal advice on legal matters." Councillor Summers commented, "Of course we have to be careful to distinguished between legal advice and personal opinion." A member of the public noted that the AG, "...should be available to give advice but