Governor John Rankin chaired a virtual Cabinet meeting on Oct. 22 and an in-person meeting on Nov. 3. Deputy Governor David Archer also chaired a meeting on Oct. 27, when Mr. Rankin was overseas on private business. Attorney General Dawn Smith was on annual leave for the latter two meetings. Cabinet took the following actions during the meetings, according to a summary published in the Gazette on Nov. 11.

OCT. 22

1. Noted the contents of the Memorandum of Understanding on Capacity Building Initiative for the Governor’s Group and the benefits to the public service.

2. Approved four non-belonger land holding licence applications.

OCT. 27

1. Reviewed and approved the bill titled Public Holidays (Amendment) Act, 2021 and decided that it be introduced in the House of Assembly for its first and subsequent readings at the next convenient sitting.

2. Reviewed and accepted the evaluation report submitted by the Central Tenders Board technical committee, which was approved by the CTB on Sept. 28; and accepted the CTB’s recommendation to award Island Services (BVI) Ltd. the contract for the supply and installation of furniture for the Vanterpool and Flax buildings on Virgin Gorda in the amount of $194,701.02.

3. Received and considered the Financial Services Commission’s 2020 Annual Report and Audited Financial Statements, 2022 Strategic Work Plan, and 2022 Revenue and Expenditure Budget and External Commissioner’s Report; approved the 2022 Budget and Work Plan pursuant to section 24 of the Financial Services Commission Act, 2001; and decided that the reports be laid on the table in the House of Assembly at the next convenient sitting.

4. Approved an application to use the seabed for dredging (removal of accumulated silt obstructing dock access) and beach reclamation at Manual Reef, subject to the following conditions:

i. the applicant must secure permission from the Planning Authority for the development of the project;

ii. an environmental fee of $2,500 be paid to the Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration before the commencement of the project;

iii. the dredging shall only be conducted in the seabed area as marked out on the map and the spoil should be used as part of the reclamation;

iv. acceptable and good environmental practices must be undertaken during and after the dredging and drainage as follows: during dredging and drainage, turbidity curtains must be deployed to surround the work area at all times of active work and the curtain depths shall be more than 50 percent of the water’s depth (at least seven feet deep in the dredge site). In addition, there should be a 25-metre buffer between the reef and the area proposed to be dredged;

v. the applicant is granted six months to dredge no more than 25,000 cubic feet of sand from the seabed. Monthly records of the sand dredged must be submitted to the Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration;

vi. the dredging activities shall cease when the 25,000 cubic feet of sand is dredged from the seabed, even if this is sooner than six months;

vii. sand may be layered in phases to allow ground species to adjust to changes in their environment;

viii. an oil spill contingency plan should be implemented in the event of any visible oil, fuel or chemicals from the work vessel;

ix. the applicant must inform the ministry in writing of the day, month and year when the project is completed;

x. upon completion of the project, the Survey Department will conduct a survey of the beach created and the jetty to determine fees due to the Crown; and

xi. the applicant enters into a lease agreement for the beach and a licence agreement for the jetty.

NOV. 3

1. Approved the exemption of duty for Arringdell Creque, doing business as “Agri-Paradise VG Ltd.,” for the importation of shade cloth valued at $1,426.32 in accordance with Section 54(3) of the Customs Management and Duties Act, 2010, as amended, and enumerated in Schedule Five Paragraph 13(4)(l)(xii) maintenance equipment – shade cloth; and noted that Mr. Creque is a registered farmer and in the business of agriculture in accordance with Customs Management and Duties Act, 2010 as amended, Schedule Five, Paragraph 13(1).

2. Approved that eight applicants be granted scholarships and also granted permission for the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture to access the Miscellaneous Purposes Fund of the Financing and Money Service (Amendment), Act, 2022 in the amount of $406,000 to fund scholarships for these applicants for the 2021-2022 academic year, and provide financial assistance for educational grants to 14 students.

3. Approved three non-belonger land holding licence applications.