The Parliamentarian 2016 Issue Three

Page 18

CPA News

CPA funding helps Small Branch to refurbish Chamber The first of many official meetings including the Legislative Council of St Helena was held in July 2016 in the newly refurbished Council Chamber at the Castle buildings in St Helena. The refurbishment programme was funded through the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Development Assistance Fund and the improvements to the Council Chamber included the installation of a wireless conference delegate system and sound-proof flooring, plus carpet, chairs and conference tables. Assistant Chief Secretary of St Helena, Gillian Francis, said: “Up until this meeting, all formal Legislative Council sessions were held in the Court House, but with the increasing number of Court cases, especially when the Supreme Court is in session, we had to on some occasions use the Council Chamber – which in its former state was inconvenient. This refurbishment was much needed, and now with the improvements all formal and official meetings can take place in the Council Chamber with minimal interruptions and without affecting the Court schedule.”

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The refurbishment of the Council Chamber also supports St Helena’s parliamentary development, providing an assembly layout for all Hon. Members, the Speaker and Deputy Speaker, senior officials and visiting dignitaries to conduct formal meetings in an appropriate and professional manner. CPA Executive Committee Member representing the British Islands and Mediterranean (BIM) Region and also representing the CPA St Helena Branch, Hon. Derek Thomas MLC said: “The newly refurbished Council Chamber provides a great facility for Elected Members to discharge their functions – and the Legislative Council is extremely grateful to the CPA for its support in funding this refurbishment. The new Programmes vision, approved by the Executive Committee of the CPA in April 2016, provides for greater opportunities for membership branches to access funding for training courses, CPA Roadshows for young audiences and other specific projects to assist Parliamentarians in the delivery of their business. As a member of the Executive Committee I do hope that I will be able to encourage further support to achieve some of these initiatives for the benefit of St Helena.”

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