In August, the four main importers of pesticides to the island, Queen Mary Stores, Solomons, St Helena Growers Co-operative Society and WA Thorpe and Sons signed a voluntary code of practice together with the Agriculture and Natural Resources Division (ANRD), agreeing on standards for the way in which pesticides are stored and offered for sale to the public. The code aims to take steps to protect the public from the adverse effects of pesticides and ensure their safe and effective use to produce high quality pest and disease-free crops.
Pesticides are valuable tools in the battle against pests and weeds, but being poisons can be dangerous if not treated with respect. Risks run from the sales staff who handle the boxes, the sprayers and non-targets.
Earl Henry of the St Helena Growers commented:
“The use of pesticides is now a fact of life for us on St Helena; however we must carefully manage their uses to protect both the environment and the food chain.”
Pesticides are formulated in two grades, home and garden use for the general public, and professional use, which are intended for use only by trained professionals.
Under the voluntary code, in the future professional use of products will only be sold to people who have received the required training. One of ANRD’s commitments is to provide this training for anyone interested in using pesticides and the first course will take place in January 2014, with funding assistance from Enterprise St Helena. A call for expressions of interest in getting training in pesticide use should call ANRD on 24724. Further course information, dates, venues and application details will soon be provided.
Darren Duncan, Head of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Division said:
“This Code of Practice is a small but important step towards a more comprehensive pesticide management system for the Island.”
Legislative Councillors will be holding a series of public meetings in November. During the Constituency meetings there will be a minimum of three Legislative Council representatives present at each meeting.
An agenda will be published shortly, in order for core issues involving the Island to be addressed.
Members of the public will also be given the opportunity to raise their concerns with Legislative Councillors. Should any member of the public wish to place an item for consideration on the agenda prior to the meetings please contact Anita Legg on 22590 by Friday the 1 November.
The schedule is displayed below, all meetings to start at 7.30pm:
Wednesday 6 November, Blue Hill Community Centre, attended by Tony Green, Cyril George and Gavin Ellick
Thursday 7 November, Ruperts (St Michael’s Church), attended by Tony Duncan, Bernice Olsson and Ian Rummery
Tuesday 12 November, Jamestown Community Centre, attended by Bernice Olsson, Ian Rummery and Christine Scipio O’Dean
Wednesday 13 November, Longwood (Harford Community Centre), attended by Brain Isaac, Les Baldwin and Ian Rummery
Wednesday 20 November, Levelwood (Silver Hill Bar), attended by Brain Issac, Christine Scipio O’dean and Tony Duncan
Thursday 21 November, St Pauls Kingshurst Community Centre, attended by Nigel Dollery, Derek Thomas and Gavin Ellick
Wednesday 27 November, HTH Community Centre, attended by Nigel Dollery, Derek Thomas and Les Baldwin
Thursday 28 November, Sandy Bay Community Centre, attended by Tony Green, Cyril George and Tony Duncan
These are the first scheduled Constituency meetings for this elected Legislative Council.
The Environmental Management Division currently has three draft environmental policies out for public consultation; these are Underwater Blasting, Peaks National Park Management Development Plan and Environmental Research Permitting.
Underwater Blasting provides a procedure for any blasting work to take place in or near the marine environment. There are a growing number of potential coastal developments which have the potential to impact the marine environment during construction and the policy aims to minimise the negative impact on marine life.
The Peaks National Park Management Development Plan provides a legal basis for this National Conservation Area. The plan has been devised after consultation involving workshops and meetings with stakeholders and individual land owners. It aims to incorporate a number of functions and values including ecosystem services, conservation of native and endemic species and habitats, access for the local community as well as tourists.
The Environmental Research Permitting policy provides a framework to establish an environmental research permitting system, the aim of which is to effectively manage environmental research on the Island. Research permitting systems have been introduced across a number of small islands including UK Overseas Territories.
The environmental research permitting policy recognises the value of environmental research – to the individual researchers themselves; their research institute; the international research community; and to St Helena, our environment and our people.
Acting Head of EMD, Isabel Peters said:
“A lot of preparatory work, led by EMD staff with input from key stakeholders, was done to get the policies to a stage where they could be taken out for public consultation. The draft policies were put forward to the ENRD committee in September and were approved for public consultation, which commenced soon after.”
As part of this consultation a public meeting is scheduled for the 17 of October at the ESH Information and Business Centre, located upstairs at the Canister. The session which will start at 4.30pm and will provide an opportunity for anyone interested to learn more about the policies and ask questions and provide feedback.
The deadline for the public consultation has now been extended to allow further public input and will draw to a close on the 21 October 2013.
Comments will then be collated and the documents revised to be presented to the ENRD committee for their final endorsement. All documents and summaries are available on the SHG website on the following link: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/
At the most recent open session of Executive Council the first ever set of Financial Statements for St Helena Government (SHG), on an accruals basis, under the International Public Sector Accounting Standards was signed by the Financial Secretary. The opinion on these accounts was then given by the Chief Auditor. This was an important step for SHG and further emphasises the open and transparent approach being taken by Government.
The Financial Secretary, Colin Owen, stated:
“The Financial Statements are the most important financial documents ever produced by SHG. They provide for the first time a comprehensive and detailed picture of Government’s financial position. The level of detail now being published surpasses anything previously issued and provides an excellent starting position for us to work on and improve. We will be looking to provide detailed financial discussion and analysis as a forward to the accounts in the future.”
Since June of this year St Helena Government has issued a monthly Performance Report giving an overview of SHG’s performance, corporate risk management, balance sheet, income and expenditure and capital expenditure.
“These Financial Statements add to the open approach being applied by Government and support our monthly report process.
“Overall I believe that the new format provides the reader with a better understanding of how SHG is doing, both financially and also in achieving the priorities set out in the Sustainable Development Plan. Finally, I would like to thank all the staff within Corporate Finance and the St Helena Audit Service for their great efforts in producing and auditing the Statements.”
All of the abovementioned documents can be found on the SHG website via the below links:
St Helena Governments Financial Statements 2011-12
To reduce the impact of the Briars to Gordon’s Post road closure on members of the public, it has been agreed that there will not be any increase in bus fares for passengers utilising the public transport service routes A and G as a result of the longer journey into Jamestown.
The environmental, social and economic consequences of increasing fares have all been taken into consideration in arriving at this decision. It is also intended to monitor the usage of these routes to ensure that there are no capacity issues for the public transport service. Should sufficient demand exist, the possibility of providing an additional bus to cater for extra passengers will be given consideration.
Copies of revised timetables for routes A and G are available from Joshua’s Taxis, the Tourist Office and the Customer Services Centre in Jamestown.
Four representatives from HM Land Registry in the UK will arrive on 17 October 2013, for a period of two weeks to assist St Helena Government in the modernisation of their current land registration process and records.
Emma Vincent, Head of Global Business Development has coordinated the visit of this team consisting of Julie Barry, Head of Global Engagement, Dr Andrew Trigg, Chief Geographic Information Officer, Len Craig, Senior Software Designer, and Tracey Salvin, Deputy Product Manager. While here, the team will be arranging key meetings with principally the Registrar of Lands, Chief Magistrate John MacRitchie and Land Registry and Crown Estates personnel. The team will also meet with His Excellency the Governor, the Attorney General and the Head of Planning and Development Control, David Taylor.
Electronic registration in England and Wales produces an easy-to-read document accurately reflecting the contents of all paper title deeds. Land Registry provides secure online access to its database of titles and most plans (maps). All title information is kept on Land Registry’s database, reducing the need to store old and often inaccessible deeds. The register can be viewed quickly and securely online. The register is immediately accessible to officials saving substantial time searching through indexes and paper records to locate relevant titles. Land Registry has over 23 million recorded titles and is a world leader in this field.
While St Helena has approximately five thousand titles there are considerable benefits in modernising the present paper based system, improving efficiency and certainty to property owners.
John MacRitchie stated that:
“On commencing the duties of Registrar of Lands for St Helena it became apparent that we would gain much benefit from a system which can provide (i) more accurate and precise identification of and information about land parcels, (ii) security from loss or destruction of data and (iii) efficient usage allowing regulated access to a unified system by all authorised stakeholders. We have skilled and enthusiastic local personnel and in particular considerable technological expertise available on Island. What we need is a system that makes full and efficient use of these resources.
“I therefore met with representatives of Land Registry while in the UK at the beginning of 2013. Following such discussions a most impressive team from Land Registry were invited to visit St Helena.
“This project is a glowing example of the operation of the United Kingdom Government’s commitment as set out in the White Paper on Overseas Territories and will tangibly help St Helena reach a considerably higher standard in this respect.”
Emma Vincent added:
“Land Registry has been in operation for over 150 years, and began the transition from paper-based registration processes to electronic systems in the 1980s. As part of that change we have learnt a great deal and are happy to share our experiences with our counterparts in St Helena as they begin their own modernisation journey.
“We felt it was really important to come to the Island to see how the current system operates. This will enable us to support our colleagues in a meaningful way – relevant to the unique circumstances on St Helena. This isn’t about simply replicating the model in England and Wales; it’s about determining realistic and appropriate next steps that fit the needs and requirements of the Island’s people.
“We were delighted to be invited to collaborate with the Registrar of Lands at this exciting time, and are proud to play our part in supporting Her Majesty’s Government’s objectives in relation to Overseas Territories.”
11 October 2013
Notes to Editors
Emma Vincent is responsible for identifying and developing business opportunities for Land Registry, by sharing knowledge and expertise with other jurisdictions.
Julie Barry, with over 30 years experience in the field, specialises in land administration, stakeholder engagement and international relations.
Dr Andrew Trigg’s role in the team will be using his experience of mapping, surveys and GIS to assess the current map and survey processes on Island.
Senior Software Designer, Len Craig has worked on similar modernisation projects, including the modernisation of land registration in Alderney in the Channel Islands
Tracey Salvin, Deputy Product Manager will be responsible for capturing the needs and requirements of SHG, and for making recommendations for how accessibility and processes can be improved.
As a government department established in 1862, executive agency and trading fund responsible to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Land Registry keeps and maintains the Land Register for England and Wales. The Land Register has been an open document since 1990.
With the largest transactional database of its kind detailing over 23 million titles, Land Registry underpins the economy by safeguarding ownership of many billions of pounds worth of property.
The governments of St Helena and Ascension Island recognise their responsibility to protect the vulnerable in society, especially children. Following the improvements that flowed from the ‘Safeguarding Children in the Overseas Territories Programme’, work has continued to strengthen the child protection framework on both Islands, including raising awareness of the need to safeguard children from sexual or physical abuse. As a result, in the past few years several offenders have been detected, prosecuted and awarded custodial sentences.
To help assess progress and identify areas for improvement, two representatives of the independent Lucy Faithful Foundation (LFF), a UK based charity dedicated to preventing the sexual abuse of children (http://www.lucyfaithfull.org/), visited St Helena and Ascension earlier this year. A summary of the report of their visit is now available on the SHG website. As the substantive report contains data that could identify individual child protection cases, it will be available only to officials involved in child protection work. While the report recognises the progress made, it points to areas where more remains to be done. The recent strengthening of the Police and Social Services Department on St Helena will help take forward this important work.
Ian Rummery, Chair of the Public Health Committee, commented:
“The Lucy Faithful Foundation’s ‘Child Safety Review’ is a report that we cannot ignore. It highlights significant areas of concern around not only child safety but also the high incidence of sexual offences on St Helena. These are difficult issues for any community to face but there is evidence in this report of good practice on Island. We are building strong foundations to improve the safeguarding of children but there is much work still to be done. We need to adopt a public health initiative so that all members of our community are involved in preventing abuse. Ultimately we are all responsible for the safety of children on St Helena.”
Commenting on the LFF report, David Jenkins, Director of Health and Social Welfare said:
“Like elsewhere in the world, St Helena must ensure that it has adequate structures in place to protect children from sexual abuse and to detect and deal with any such offences. The LFF report has provided an independent perspective that will assist us with our on-going multi-disciplinary agency working and will strengthen our arrangements to protect children by targeting our resources in the most effective way.”
As part of St Helena Government’s (SHG) commitment to increase transparency in the Procurement process, SHG has today, for the first time, made available to the public a Rolling Procurement Plan. This plan is intended to give the public increased visibility into the future procurement requirements of SHG.
Members of the public should be aware that whilst items on the plan, together with associated dates, are in line with SHG’s current thinking there is no commitment to conduct the procurement within the time frames or indeed at all. Also, urgent procurements not on the latest version of the plan may take place, although we expect this to be minimal.
The Rolling Procurement plan can be found on the SHG website under publications, by following the link: www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/ or in person by calling into the Procurement Office located within the Castle Courtyard.
Mr Chris Thomson and Mr Paul Foggin arrived on St Helena this week. They are visiting on behalf of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to follow up on the recent visit of the Police Adviser, to review internal police procedures, professional standards, complaint handling and related matters.
A short five minute film displaying the biosecurity process will be shown on local TV 1 from Wednesday 9 October to Saturday 12 October at 8.pm.
In 1998, the inspection of fresh produce arriving on St Helena was formalised. The Biosecurity Team’s job is to protect the Island from new invasive species that can have a disastrous effect on St Helena’s crops and agriculture – and perhaps more importantly, on St Helena’s unique species.
The film depicts shots of the cargo operation at the wharf, the offloading of reefers, inspection of fruits and unpacking at the retailers.