Councillors will be holding a series of constituency meetings from 16 February to 16 March 2015.

Topics for discussion will be Health and Water, but members of the public are encouraged to attend the meetings in their districts to raise any issues they might have.

The schedule for the meetings is displayed below. All meetings will begin at 7.30pm.

Date Venue Chairperson
Monday 16 February 2015 Sandy Bay Community Centre Councillor Derek Thomas
Wednesday 18 February 2015 Silver Hill Bar Councillor Corinda Essex
Monday 23 February 2015 Harford Community Centre Councillor Gavin Ellick
Thursday 26 February 2015 St Mary’s Church, the Briars Councillor Nigel Dollery
Thursday 26 February 2015 St Michael’s Church, Rupert’s Councillor Les Baldwin
Monday 2 March 2015 Kingshurst Community Centre Councillor Tony Duncan
Monday 2 March 2015 Guinea Grass Community Centre Councillor Cyril George
Monday 9 March 2015 Blue Hill Community Centre Councillor Brian Isaac
Wednesday 11 March 2015 Jamestown Community Centre Councillor Christine Scipio-O’Dean
Monday 16 March 2015 Half Tree Hollow Clinic Councillor Nigel Dollery

SHG

9 February 2015

 

The public is advised that Rock Guards, from the Environment and Natural Resources Directorate, will be working on the cliff face above Chubbs Spring tomorrow, Saturday 7 February 2015.

For safety reasons, the road from the Briars through to Constitution Road and the Hospital will be closed to pedestrians and vehicular traffic from 6am onwards. Signs will be in place advising the public of the closure.

The road will reopen on completion of the rock guard operation. Details will be announced via the local media.

SHG

6 February 2015

 

As part of the ongoing road maintenance programme, the road from Hutts Gate to Longwood Gate will be resurfaced, beginning on Monday 9 February 2015.

To minimise disruption, the road will remain open to traffic during the works – but some delays may be unavoidable. There will also be a temporary speed limit in place.

Work will be carried out from 9am to 3.30pm daily.

Traffic control measures will be in place to ensure both the public’s safety and the safety of the roads workforce. Users are kindly asked to adhere to the instructions given and to plan extra time for journeys if intending to travel on the road during the road works.

Some preparation works will be carried out before actual surfacing works commence.

The Roads Section would like to thank the public in advance for their continued understanding and patience.

Any enquiries about this work can be made to telephone number 23640 during normal working hours.

SHG

4 February 2015

On Thursday 29 January 2015, Greg Hall arrived on the Island to serve as Director of the new Safeguarding Directorate, established on 1 December 2014. The Safeguarding Directorate assumed social services and safeguarding functions, from Health and Social Services, with the remit to protect and safeguard vulnerable children, young people and adults at risk or suffering from abuse.

A key part of Greg’s role is to ensure that the services offered by the Directorate are ‘joined up’ with key agencies – the Police, Judiciary, Health and Mental Health Services, Education, Prison, Probation and with various Non-Government  Organisations (NGOs). An improved assessment service, benefitting from better collaboration between statutory agencies, is already bringing about increased confidence in safeguarding services on the Island with a corresponding rise in referrals. The Directorate is working hard to address these new referrals as well as a number of historical cases.

Greg said:

“As well as building on recent improvements to safeguarding interventions, we will also be working on developing support and assistance for people who might be vulnerable to or are recovering from abuse. For people who feel vulnerable it can be difficult to talk about personal issues or raise concerns. Our staff understand this and are committed to listening and giving options, and we will continue to develop avenues for support. Early intervention and follow up support are two key parts of safeguarding which will be a focus as the new directorate moves forward over the next two years.”

Safeguarding on St Helena is rightly a high priority for St Helena Government. The establishment of the new Directorate is just one of many steps taken to ensuring that the right support, leadership and service delivery is available for the more vulnerable members in society. The successful recruitment of experienced officers to key posts in the Safeguarding Directorate and in the Police Service has greatly improved the capacity of government to protect individuals. For example, an experienced Child Protection & Sexual Offence Detective now works exclusively on allegations of sexual offences and child abuse.  Elsewhere, work continues to develop Child Protection Policies and an ongoing training and development programme for Social Care Officers. More expert resources are also being applied to the management of offenders through the excellent work of the Probation Service, now supported by two recently arrived Public Protection Officers.

The Safeguarding Children’s Board which has membership of all key agencies, the Children’s Champion and NGOs oversees all safeguarding matters in respect of children and young people on the Island. This includes coordinated training for those working with children and young people as well as strategic leadership and the implementation of the Lucy Faithfull Foundation recommendations.

To provide better support for victims of abuse more funds are being sourced for resources that will include the recruitment of two additional Social Workers, the establishment of an additional Family Centre, further training opportunities, a Victim Support Service, and more staff for the Island’s Mental Health Services.

Chief Secretary, Roy Burke, commented:

We are committed to addressing all safeguarding concerns both new and historical and I would urge anyone with a concern to contact the relevant authorities where their concern will be investigated fully with complete confidentiality.”

Assistant Chief Secretary, Paul McGinnety, concluded:

“Greg Hall is a professional who brings extensive and valuable experience to lead the new Safeguarding Directorate. He will further strengthen and consolidate the significant improvements in safeguarding arrangements on the Island already achieved through improved multi-agency working arrangements, improved processes, training and the recruitment of key professionals.”

Both DFID and FCO have supported SHG in taking these initiatives forward by providing the support for specialist posts, training, advice and equipment.

SHG

3 February 2015

 

 

 

As of 1 June 2014, vehicles imported into St Helena are charged at a variable rate of customs duty based on the CO2 emissions of the vehicle.  This provides an incentive to the importer to buy more fuel efficient, lower emission vehicles – allowing them to make a choice about the environmental implications of their car purchase.

Customs & Excise now use the following table to calculate customs duty.

Band CO2 per km Previous Rate Current Rate Example Vehicles in this Band
A 0-100g 35% 15% Toyota Prius Hybrid

Ford Fiesta ECOnetic 1.6 TDCi

Ford Focus ECOnetic  1.6 TDCi

Toyota Aygo Ice 1.0 VVT-i

B 101-120 g 35% 25% Vauxhall Astra SRi 1.3 CDTiecoFLEX

Ford Focus Zetec 1.0T EcoBoost

Suzuki Swift 1.2 SZ2

Renault Megane 1.2 TCe

C 121-165g 35% 35% Volkswagen Polo SEL 1.2 TSI

Suzuki Jimny 1.3 SZ3

Ford Focus Studio 1.6

Land Rover Freelander 2 2.2 TD4 S

D 165g-185g 35% 40% Suzuki Grand Vitara 1.9 DDiS SZ5

Toyota RAV4 XT-R 2.0 VVT-i

Volkswagen Golf GTI 2.0 TSI

E > 185g 35% 45% Land Rover Defender 110

Toyota Land Cruiser V8

Suzuki Grand Vitara 2.4 SZ4

 The CO2 emissions used in the duty calculation are based on the official CO2 figures provided by the car manufacturer – these can be found on the UK Government’s official site, Vehicle Certification Agency – an Executive Agency of the Department for Transport http://carfueldata.dft.gov.uk/.  This is the site Customs & Excise use for duty calculation.  The duty is NOT based on the current CO2 emission of a car, which does vary from car to car and with age and use. Custom & Excise therefore do not use emission reports provided as part of UK MOTs to calculate the duty payable.

The rate is then applied against the value of the vehicle to give the duty payable.  This is taken from the sales receipt or invoice for the vehicle. The value is checked against similar sale prices and any discrepancies are further investigated by Customs & Excise.

If you have any further questions on the how to calculate your duty then please contact Customs & Excise on tel: 22287, email: customsmanager@hmrc.gov.sh or visit the office at the Wharf.

SHG

3 February 2015

 

 

 

 

Governor Capes has today issued the Writ of Election, for the 4 March Bye-election.

The Writ confirms the last day and time for receiving Nominations to elect a Member to fill the vacant seat on Legislative Council, following the resignation of Ian Rummery in January 2015.

The last day and time for nominations is 12 noon on Wednesday 18 February 2015 and all nominations should be delivered within this time to the Returning Officer, Mrs Gillian Francis, at the Castle, Jamestown.

If more than one valid nomination is received, a Poll will be taken on Wednesday 4 March 2015, at the following Polling Stations:

  • Blue Hill Community Centre
  • Half Tree Hollow Clinic
  • Harford Community Centre
  • St Mary’s Church, the Briars
  • Kingshurst Community Centre
  • Levelwood Community Centre
  • Jamestown Community Centre, and
  • Sandy Bay Community Centre

Persons in the Alarm Forest electoral district are asked to note the new venue for the Polling Station i.e. St Mary’s Church.

The Register of Electors is now being amended to take account of applications received and will be published in an Extraordinary Gazette later this week. This Register will be used in the Bye-election.

Only those persons with their name on the amended Register of Electors will be eligible to participate in the Bye-election, with those who are 21 years of age and over being able to stand for election.

 SHG

3 February 2015

 

 

 

Executive Council met today, Tuesday 3 February 2015, and welcomed the Honourable Derek Thomas to the meeting, following his election to ExCo at the last formal Legislative Council meeting.

There was one item for discussion on the Open Agenda which was a request for approval of the United Nations Development Project (UNDP) funded proposal, tackling domestic abuse. The UNDP have agreed, due to our successful delivery of earlier projects, that consideration be given to St Helena from any surplus that is generated. Approval was given for just over £40,000, to be used to provide suitable and safe accommodation for victims of domestic abuse. Executive Council was pleased to approve the planned project which has to be completed before 31 December 2015.

An application was presented for customs duty exemption and Executive Council referred to their earlier decisions that the Investment Tax Credit should be used. The application was therefore declined.

Under Any Other Business it was noted that following a lengthy and detailed presentation to Legislative Council on Friday 30 January 2015, by the Chief Executive Officer of Connect Saint Helena Ltd, concerning the current discontent with the water shortages and water discolouration, ExCo recognised that these issues would need to addressed when prioritising the Capital programme for 2015/16.

The meeting ended at 10.10am.

ExCo

3 February 2015

 

 

 

 

The public is advised that a major incident exercise will take place on the morning of Thursday, 12 February 2015. This exercise is being organised to allow the Island’s Emergency Services to practice their processes for dealing with someone who arrives on-Island with a suspected highly infectious disease.

This exercise forms part of a wider strategy to ensure that St Helena can cope in the highly unlikely event of such a disease being diagnosed. The most significant part of the strategy is stopping any highly infectious diseases from arriving here in the first place.

St Helena Government has already in place robust processes to prevent this from happening but in the interests of public protection, and to meet international obligations, it is important that the Island is prepared and able to deal with the arrival of a person carrying an infectious disease. The training exercise will enable SHG to practice the procedures already in place and allow staff to familiarise themselves with specialist equipment.

During the exercise there may be a small amount of disruption on the wharf and other locations for which SHG apologises and thanks the public in advance for their co-operation.

SHG

3 February 2015

The St Helena General Hospital has recently welcomed two new additions to the Health Service Team – Hospital Nursing Officer, Lisa Rhodes, and Senior Ward Sister, Heide Drysdale (photos attached). Both Lisa and Heide arrived to the Island on 16 January 2015.

Lisa is contracted by St Helena Government for two years and as the Hospital Nursing Officer is responsible for the overall management of the Hospital, patients and staff.

Since her arrival, Lisa has been familiarising herself with the staff, finding out what they believe works well and listening to any concerns they might have.

Lisa Rhodes
Lisa Rhodes

Lisa said:

“Getting to know the staff has been my main priority, finding out their opinions on the service we offer and how we can work together to improve the service. We already have a good structure but if we can simplify things for everyone in the Hospital then the job will be smoother and things will happen more quickly.

“Health care is ultimately the same principle in every country around the world and you try and do the best for your patient,  everyone goes about it differently but ultimately the focus is always on patient care. What I’m hoping to do is get everyone working together and create a better environment both for the patients and for the staff. It’s not about bringing in fancy new ways of doing things it’s actually about getting the basics right and making sure that we have happy staff, because that means happy patients.”

Senior Ward Sister, Heide will be on Island for six months (on secondment) and is supporting Lisa in her transition. Heide is essentially Lisa’s ‘eyes and ears’ on the Hospital floor and her role is evaluating patient care, assessing the Nurses and helping to put in place an education programme for the Nurses’ continuous professional development.

With Lisa, Heide has also been getting to know the staff and familiarising herself with how the Hospital and health care system works on the Island.

Heide Drysdale
Heide Drysdale

Heide said:

“The Island has some really enthusiastic Nurses who are willing to learn and take on extended roles, but they do need a lot of support. With the opening of the Airport the Island will never be the same and health care needs to change, it won’t happen overnight but change has to be supported and that’s why I am here.

“Six months isn’t a very long time but if we start with the basics I can put in place the foundations of a good nursing programme which the Nurses can continue to build on after I leave.”

Both Lisa and Heide recognise the good work of the General Hospital but understand the challenges that a remote Hospital faces, especially with resources and sourcing equipment and supplies. Both believe that with the right support and training, the health service on the Island can improve.

Lisa and Heide have a wealth of experience in the Nursing field. Lisa is a Nurse by trade and has worked her way up in the Nursing field. Prior to coming to the Island Lisa was a Sister in the UK. Heide initially trained in Acute Medical Nursing before moving into Emergency Nursing. Heide is now an Intensive Care Nurse and works in a big trauma centre in a London Hospital.

Both Lisa and Heide are enjoying St Helena, have felt very welcome and look forward to working towards further improving the Island’s Health Service.

SHG

2 February 2015