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Ascension Island

Volume 458: debated on Thursday 29 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports she has received from officials following their visit to Ascension Island in March. (130394)

Officials reported their discussions with the Ascension Island Council on new policies, including housing, to my noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Lord Triesman of Tottenham, on 19 March. Officials noted that it was difficult to reach agreement on some issues, but that agreement was reached on much of the detail of the draft housing policy; and that discussions concluded with an acknowledgement that there was more work required.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what efforts are being made to engage with those living on Ascension Island on the future plans for the island. (130395)

Before the recent resignations by councillors, the administrator held regular informal and formal meetings with the Ascension Island Council. The Governor also participated regularly in meetings of the council. Following the councillors' resignations, we are considering urgently how to proceed, and are taking steps to ensure that those working and living on Ascension Island are fully informed. The Acting Governor will issue a leaflet this week providing advice for those on the island considering standing for election.