The public is advised that the Highways Authority has given approval for four car parks, adjacent to the Carnarvon Court Complex, to be closed between 8.30am and 4pm on Friday, 19 January, and Monday, 22 January 2018. This is to allow the Corporate IT Division to carry out essential work in this area.

Corporate IT would like to thank the public in advance for their cooperation and patience during this closure.

#StHelena # Corporate IT #CarParkClosure

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 SHG

16 January 2018

St Helena Police have now concluded their Drink-Drive campaign, ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’, which ran from December 2017 through to 7 January 2018.

The purpose of the campaign was to ensure public safety on the roads of St Helena and was aimed at both drivers and other road users.

Police presence was high throughout the Island and a total of 40 persons were dealt with during the duration of the campaign. Road Traffic Collisions made up 12 of the offences with a further 28 Minor Traffic Offences committed. Only one person was dealt with for driving whilst being over the prescribed limit.

The majority of offences detected were committed in the Jamestown area, however during the late evenings and early mornings the more serious offences were committed in other areas outside of Jamestown.

Although the campaign has now concluded, the Police will continue to monitor the roads of St Helena to ensure that drivers are complying with the law.
St Helena Police would like to thank the public for their cooperation and support during this time.

We will strive to keep you, the public safe. Help us to help you!

#StHelena #StHelenaPolice #DriveSoberOrGetPulledOver

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SHG
16 January 2018

Executive Council met today with only one item on the Closed Agenda. This related to an SHG Guarantee for additional borrowing of £500,000 from the Bank of Saint Helena in relation to Saint Helena Hotel Development Ltd. Council agreed to further support the Hotel development. The agreement of Legislative Council is required and this item will be presented at the next formal meeting of Legislative Council scheduled to take place on Thursday, 25 January 2018.

HE the Governor advised Executive Council that she had agreed to give directions that Friday, 9 February 2018, shall be observed as a Public Holiday to celebrate the occasion of the final scheduled voyage of the RMS St Helena from the Island.
The meeting concluded at 10am.

ExCo
16 January 2018

The latest annual inflation rate, released today by the Statistics Office, stands at 4.0%. This is measured using the Retail Price Index and is the annual increase in the cost of the average weekly household ‘shopping basket’ for St Helena, between the fourth quarter of 2017 and the fourth quarter of 2016. The latest inflation rate is slightly less than the rate for the previous quarter, which was 4.4%.

The ‘Alcohol and Tobacco’ category had the highest rate of annual price increase, at 10.8%, and prices in the ‘Food’ category continued to increase faster than the average, at 7.0%. Also notable was a sharp increase in the inflation rate for ‘Housing’, from 0.4% in the third quarter to 4.6% in the fourth quarter, which is largely attributable to the increase in the cost of water introduced on 1 October 2017. The categories with the lowest price inflation rates were ‘Household Goods’, at 0.1%, and ‘Fuel and Light’, which includes electricity, at 0.2%.

Chart: Annual price inflation rate for All Items and Food (%)

The Statistics Office has also today published an average inflation rate for the 2017 calendar year; this is the simple average of the four quarterly rates. For 2017, the average annual rate was 5.1%, an increase compared to the average quarterly rate for 2016, which was 2.6%. The average rate for 2017 is the highest annual average rate for the last five years.

For more details, please see the full version of the Statistical Bulletin attached, or available online at: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/statistical-bulletin-no-1-2018/

#StHelena #InflationRate #RPI #Stats

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SHG

16 January 2018

Price inflation rates

This is the first Statistical Bulletin of 2018, and covers the release of new estimates of inflation rates, based on the Retail Price Index. The data released in this Bulletin, and the Retail Price Index itself are available here. A PDF version of this Bulletin is available here.

Latest inflation rates

The latest rate of annual price inflation is estimated to be 4.0%, between the fourth quarter of 2017 and the fourth quarter of 2016. This is a small decline in the annual rate from the previous quarter, which was 4.4%.

Price changes

The ‘Alcohol and Tobacco’ category had the highest rate of annual price increase, at 10.8%, and prices in the ‘Food’ category continued to increase faster than the average, at 7.0% (Chart 1). Food has a much larger share of the average shopping basket and a correspondingly larger impact on the overall inflation rate. The inflation rate for ‘Housing’ increased sharply, from 0.4% in the third quarter to 4.6% in the fourth quarter, largely due to the increase in the water tariff introduced by the utilities company Connect from 1 October 2017. The categories with the lowest price inflation rate were ‘Household Goods’, at 0.1%, and ‘Fuel and Light’, which includes electricity, at 0.2%. Table 2 shows annual inflation rates by category for Q3 and Q4 2017.

Average inflation for 2017

For some purposes, an average inflation rate is more useful than the latest quarterly annual inflation rate, since the quarterly rates are subject to some variability as prices of different items change throughout the year. The Statistics Office publishes average rates for each calendar year, calculated as the average rate of the four quarters that make up that year. For 2017, the average annual rate was 5.1%, an increase compared to the average quarterly rate for 2016. This is the highest average rate for five years; for the four years 2013 to 2016, the average inflation rate was around 2% (see Chart 2).

Prices of imported goods

St Helena imports most items from abroad, especially from South Africa and the United Kingdom. So price changes of imported goods, caused either by inflation or the exchange rate between the St Helena Pound and the South African Rand, have a direct impact on the St Helena inflation rate. Towards the end of 2017, the value of the South African Rand fell slightly against the Pound (Chart 3). This has the effect of reducing the price of South African goods slightly. In addition, the South African inflation rate (measures using their Consumer Price Index) also fell slightly. That means that while prices are still rising in South Africa, they are rising at a slower rate. Both of these trends contribute to the reduction in St Helena’s inflation rate. On the other hand, inflation in the United Kingdom has been rising, largely as a result of the weaker pound following the ‘Brexit’ vote to leave the European Union in June 2016 (Chart 4).This is also measured using the UK Consumer Price Index; please note that care should be taken when comparing CPIs, since their coverage may differ slightly.

What is the Retail Price Index (RPI)?

The Retail Price Index is the official measure of the average change in the retail prices of goods and services. It is estimated each quarter, or once every three months. Changes in the RPI measure retail price inflation, and are usually computed on an annual basis; that is, comparing price changes over a twelve month period.

What is price inflation?

Inflation simply means that something is growing or increasing, but when used in the context of the economy it usually refers to the change in average prices of goods and services over time. On St Helena, the primary measure of inflation is the RPI, and it is usually quoted as an annual estimate: it is the amount by which the RPI has grown over the preceding twelve months. A decrease in the RPI is also possible, though unusual – over a twelve month period, a drop in the RPI would result in retail price deflation.

Why do we measure the RPI?

The rate of change of retail prices is an important indicator of economic performance and is used by Government, businesses and society in general. It enables an understanding of the impact of price changes on households and individuals, including for specific groups of goods and services.

How is the Retail Price Index (RPI) constructed?

The basis for the RPI is the average cost of goods and services purchased by households on St Helena, or a weekly ‘shopping basket’. Items which households purchase more of, such as food, have a bigger share, or weight, in the RPI basket (the full specification of the RPI basket is available from the Statistics Office website). The current RPI uses a basket from the last Household Expenditure Survey in 2009, and baseline prices for that basket were recorded in the second quarter of 2010. Prices have been collected every quarter since then, to calculate the latest price of the average shopping basket. By convention, the value of the basket in the baseline period is scaled to 100, and the RPI values are quoted in relation to that baseline. Thus, an RPI value of 120 means that average prices have increased by 20 per cent compared to those recorded in the base period.

What happens when an item is not available?

If a particular item is not available during a round of price checks, a series of prescribed steps are followed to ensure the RPI measurement is not distorted. An important principle is that price changes should reflect actual price increases, and not changes in the quality of items. If an item is not available then either the previous price will be carried forward from the previous quarter, or a suitable substitute item will be identified and an adjustment calculation made. Great care is taken to ensure that this substitution is similar to the original item, that it represents the item category, and that it does not introduce error to the measurement of the RPI.

News from the Statistics Office

Fieldwork for the 2017 Household Expenditure Survey is complete A Household Expenditure Survey was conducted by the Statistics Office during October and November 2017, the ninth survey of its kind on St Helena. It will be used to compute a baseline average ‘shopping basket’ for the Retail Price Index, updating the current shopping basket which was measured in 2009. The Statistics Office would like to express its thanks to all those households that participated in the survey. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated, and all responses will be treated with the utmost confidentiality, as required by the Statistics Ordinance. The Statistics Office is currently processing the raw data, and the aim is to rebase the RPI in March.

St Helena’s new Therapeutic Practitioner, Tamara Coleman-Thomas arrived at St Helena on Saturday, 6 January 2018.

Tamara has been appointed on a one-year contract and her main duties will include planning and providing therapeutic interventions for children on St Helena, providing consultation on the mental health needs of vulnerable children, enabling a locally facilitated therapeutic service through upskilling, and supporting the development and implementation of a therapeutic service within the Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and other multi-agency contexts.

Tamara commented:

“I have heard and read a lot of positive things about St Helena; the people and culture, the beautiful landscape and its rich and unique history and I really wanted to become a part of that. I relish the opportunity to work alongside and learn from different groups of people on the Island to develop a therapeutic service.”

 Director of Safeguarding, Matt Ansell, added:

“Tamara joins the Children’s Service team on a one-year contract and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of direct work with children and their families. This is a new role and we envisage that Tamara will work closely with Education and Health colleagues to support the needs of children across the Island. A key part of this role will be to deliver training and support to our local staff to develop their direct work skills.”

 Tamara gained a Master’s degree in Art Psychotherapy in 2012 and has since worked as a Psychotherapist in Children’s Mental Health Services within the NHS, Education, community services and in private practice in London. Since qualifying, Tamara has also completed further training in Systemic Family Therapy and multi-family therapy and has run numerous family groups in community and education settings. Prior to qualifying, Tamara worked with families and vulnerable children and young people for over 10 years in various roles, and is also a qualified teacher and supervisor.

 #StHelena #NewAppointment # TherapeuticPractitioner

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 SHG

15 January 2018

The Royal Mail Ship (RMS) St Helena will depart on her final voyage from the Island on Saturday, 10 February 2018, having dutifully served St Helena for the past 27 years.

Preparations to bid farewell to the RMS are underway and a working group comprising of representatives from St Helena Line, the RMS, SHG, St Helena Tourism, Solomon & Company (St Helena) Plc and Legislative Council has been established to take forward the celebrations and ensure the RMS gets the ‘send off’ she deserves.

A programme of events has been put together which starts when the RMS is in Cape Town. The ship will host a cocktail party onboard for invited guests before sailing on her last voyage from Cape Town on Wednesday, 24 January. The RMS will sail from ‘F Berth’ where the Cape Town Caledonian Pipe Band, dignitaries and others will be able to wave goodbye to the vessel. Director of St Helena Line, Mrs Kedell Worboys MBE, will also present Captain Adam Williams with a 27ft ‘paying off’ pennant, to mark the 27 years’ service of the RMS St Helena – the pennant will be flown from the RMS mast as she sets sail from Cape Town.

During the RMS’ visit to Ascension Island on Saturday, 3 February, the ship will host a cocktail/drinks party for invited guests.

The RMS arrives at St Helena on Tuesday, 6 February, when the on-Island activities for her farewell begin.

A service of thanksgiving will be held at St James’ Church for RMS crew – this will conclude with a procession to the Sea Front. Members of the public will be invited to attend.

A ‘memory wall’ will be placed in various locations throughout the week for members of the public to share their memories of the RMS.

The main celebrations will take place on Friday, 9 February, with an RMS Open Day and celebrations on the Sea Front. Prior bookings will be taken for the Open Day and further details will be released shortly. Celebrations will include an exciting performance by the RMS Amateur Dramatics Society and live music by various local bands.

Passengers travelling on the final voyage will be treated to celebrations onboard the ship and able to listen to a live broadcast of the festivities taking place ashore.

The public will have a chance to say goodbye to the RMS crew on Saturday, 10 February, when all crew members in their uniforms proceed from the Grand Parade in Jamestown, through the Arch, making their way along the Sea Front before returning to the ship.

The RMS will depart St Helena at 4pm on Saturday. The 27ft paying off pennant will be walked from the Sea Front to the bottom steps where Kedell will once again present the pennant to Captain Williams. Members of the public will be allowed access to the bottom steps to witness this and to say a final farewell.

It is planned for a flotilla of boats to circle the harbour and the RMS St Helena before she pulls up anchor. Captain Williams will then sail towards Buttermilk Point before turning around for a steam past the harbour, allowing all ashore to view the RMS for one last time decked out in full dress and to view the 27ft paying off pennant. The RMS will then stop at Lemon Valley where her flags will be taken down before continuing her onward journey to Cape Town.

Further details of the programme including times and details of various competitions will be published in the coming weeks. Members of the working group will also be on local radio informing the public of celebrations taking place.

It is hoped that the community will come together to give the RMS St Helena an unforgettable send off.

Notes:

 The RMS St Helena launched by HRH Prince Andrew in Aberdeen on 31 October 1989, came into service in November 1990 when she departed from Cardiff on her maiden voyage. The RMS originally had capacity to carry 126 passengers which was increased to 156 in 2012.  She can carry up to 92 standard 20ft containers, including 17 reefers.

Her last voyage is 268, meaning she will have completed 268 voyages.

While two other ships still carry the legacy ‘Royal Mail’ designation, the RMS St Helena is the only remaining Royal Mail Ship contracted by Royal Mail to carry mail across the seas. A stamp will be released by Royal Mail on 14 February depicting the RMS St Helena.

#StHelena #RMSStHelena #Farewell

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RMS Farewell Working Group

12 January 2018

The Jamestown Swimming Pool will reopen tomorrow, Saturday 13 January 2018.

The Swimming Pool Project has been a massive combined effort from conception to completion by SHG, UK-based consultants and the private sector. The installation of the replacement filtration and pipework system has increased both the efficiency and provides a much improved quality control dosing system, together with the improved appearance of the pool and changing rooms, which will add to the users enjoyment.

The Swimming Pool Project arose following the recent drought which highlighted the leaks and, following various consultations and investigations, the project was initially picked up by the SHG Procurement team who sourced a filtration designer and supplier (Barr and Wray, UK). Once this procurement had taken place and materials arrived on-Island the Project was handed over to ENRD Technical Services and Works teams to design and implement.

Completion of the heritage wall by National Trust, changing room refurbishment by ENRD works team, and Henry’s Construction implementing the difficult task of installing the filter system, pipework and the complementary refurbishment of the swimming pool complex, demonstrates that by working together much can be achieved. The project although challenging has been a huge success.

ENRD commented:

“This project has been made a success by a coordinated effort from various teams, such as, Johnny Dillon, Connect Saint Helena and ENRD works team but most of all Henry’s Construction and their sub-contractors who undertook a monumental task.” 

#StHelena #SwimmingPool #Reopening

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 SHG

12 January 2018

The Social & Community Development Committee met on Wednesday, 10 January 2018.

In the Open Session, proposed increases in fees & charges were considered in respect of legislation falling within the Committee’s responsibility, namely licence fees for Gaming Machines and Liquor Licences. It was agreed for further work to be undertaken before the proposals are brought back to Committee.

A mandate was given for the position of Children’s Champion to be included in legislation. This proposal will ensure that the membership of the Safeguarding Children’s Board will always include a Children’s Champion. Once an amendment to the Welfare of Children Regulations 2010 has been drafted, it will be referred back to Committee. Widening the scope for selecting a Children’s Champion in the future would be taken into account. It was also agreed for the Safeguarding Children’s Board to include a member of the Health Directorate.

The interim report from the Equality & Human Rights Commission (EHRC) was considered and it was noted that the Commission has published its first Annual Report which can be viewed on their website: www.humanrightssthelena.org. An update on actions in the EHRC’s Strategic Plan was also provided to Committee. A separate meeting will be arranged to discuss the enforcement of the Employment Rights legislation to ensure compliance.

The Closed Session included an update by the Director of Safeguarding, outlining key issues and progress to date.

A matter was raised about Carers’ Allowances. As this cannot be treated in isolation, it was agreed that an assessment of the provisions of existing policies would initially be undertaken.

Other items of note were:

  • New Regulations arising from the new Marriage Bill are being drafted
  • A session will be arranged with all Elected Members to assess the work that has previously been done on draft Freedom of Information and Data Protection legislation and to discuss how this should be taken forward
  • An assessment to be undertaken soon about progressing work on updating the Social Security Ordinance

 The Social & Community Development Committee comprises Councillors Anthony Green (Chairman), Cyril Leo (Deputy Chairman), Kylie Hercules, Derek Thomas and Gavin Ellick. The non-voting members are the Director of Safeguarding and the Government Economist. The Committee’s Secretary is Nicole Plato.

 #StHelena #Social&CommunityDevelopment #SCDC

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 SHG

12 January 2018

The Port & Aerodrome (Health) 2018 Bill and the First Supplementary Appropriation (2017/18) Bill 2018 will be taken to the next Formal Legislative Council meeting, scheduled to take place on Thursday, 25 January 2018.

The Port & Aerodrome (Health) 2018 Bill regulates port and aerodrome health in St Helena and makes provision for the introduction of health protection measures for safeguarding public health and preventing the spread of infection or contamination by means of ships and aircraft arriving at or departing from the Island.

The First Supplementary Appropriation (2017/18) Bill 2018 seeks to increase the amounts provided for the services of the financial year 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018.

The draft Bills can found under the Public Consultations section of the Publications page on the St Helena Government website at: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/

Any comments on the proposed Bills can be made to the Clerk of Councils, Lydia Buchanan, via email: lydia.h.buchanan@sainthelena.gov.sh by Friday, 19 January 2018.

 #StHelena #FormalLegco

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 SHG

10 January 2018