Headlines: Birmingham's back!; OTs Minister on three day visit; Memorial reflects historic link with Royal Marines; 'A deep water port for the 21st century - where?; Norway Golden Shears dream for Lee and Jan.
Birmingham's back!AFTER a break of two years, John Birmingham has been elected back on to Legislative Council. Just 47.2% of Stanley's eligible voters headed to the polls in yesterday's by-election. At around 6.50pm last night the Returning Officer, Dr Mike Blanch, announced that Mr Birmingham received 210 of the 615 votes cast. In second place was Dr Richard Davies with 182 votes. The other two candidates, Roger Edwards and James Peck, received 133 and 85 votes respectively. Five ballot papers were rejected. John Birmingham is lucky when it comes to by-elections - he was first elected to council in the 1993 by-election and served for 12 years before failing to be elected in the 2005 general election. Shortly after the result was announced last night, Mr Birmingham said the race had been very close: "There wasn't a big turnout which I think was unfortunate but I wouldn't hazard a guess as to what the reason is." He added: "The thing to do now is to settle in and get up to speed again. There'll be some mishaps along the way, my bum will be scratched, but I hope I will be able to perform well." Dr Richard Davies, whose seat on council was vacated after he was found to have acted unconstitutionally when he carried out the role of Acting Chief Medical Officer, said he was disappointed by the result but had accepted that a by-election had to happen. He commented: "As a democracy people choose the candidate they want and you can't complain about that. I wish the new council well and hope they continue to do a good job." Not completely daunted by the result, Dr Davies said he was considering standing for election again in two years time. OTs Minister on three day visitTHE new Overseas Territories minister, Meg Munn MP is in the Falklands for a whistle-stop tour. Ms Munn, who arrived in the Islands yesterday afternoon, has a busy schedule for her three day visit - after a trip to Gypsy Cove to see the wildlife, last night she attended the dedication of the Royal Marines Memorial and she witnessed the by-election count in the Town Hall, then attended a dinner at Government House, along with the new Chief Executive, Tim Thorogood, who also arrived on yesterday's flight. Today she will meet government officials and councillors and will lunch with members of the business community. In the afternoon she will fly by helicopter to HMS Nottingham for a tour before heading to Sea Lion Island - here she will lay a wreath at the memorial to HMS Sheffield.After attending a reception at Government House tonight she will have dinner with a group of Islanders. Tomorrow she will leave the Islands on the Lan flight but not before she has breakfasted with a number of governmental heads and toured the hospital. Memorial reflects historic link with Royal MarinesTHE Falklands has celebrated 175 years since the re-establishment of British occupation of the Falkland Islands. Coinciding with the occasion, a new monument to the Royal Marines was unveiled yesterday; the 175th anniversary of the day the first settlement was formed at Port Louis, garrisoned by marines. "Royal" was added to their title in 1802 after the capture of Gibraltar. 'A deep water port for the 21st century - where?'THE Development Corporation (FIDC) is to host a half-day seminar on the siting of Stanley's new deep water port. A spokesperson from FIDC said the aim of the January 28 seminar was to agree a picture of the opportunities and rewards offered by the various possible locations for a port – and to set these against the costs. "That debate should help the government to make a decision on how to go forward – a decision which feedback to FIDC suggests is seen as urgent by many involved." Norway Golden Shears dream for Lee and JanSHEARERS Lee Molkenbuhr and Jan Clarke have beaten off stiff competition to qualify to represent the Falklands at the Golden Shears contest in Norway. The two came out tops at the annual Falkland Shears competition held at Goose Green on December 29, earning selection to represent their country at the international contest in October. It will be their second joint effort at the Golden Shears. In Scotland in 2003 Jan did well in the team shear and shore in a semi-final in the individual competition while Lee just missed the semi-final. This year they are looking to do even better for the Falklands. The competition in Norway will be on eight month old lambs and Lee is heading to New Zealand as soon as the Falklands shearing season finishes, to allow him as much practice as possible. More results from the Falkland Shears on page 3.