A reception hosted by HE Governor and Mrs Capes was held last evening (Thursday 25 September) at Plantation House, to present Acts of Bravery Awards to those involved in the successful rescue of Mr Deon March of Blue Hill on 2 August 2013.

Scott Crowie receiving his award
Scott Crowie receiving his award

Governor Capes welcomed invited guests, including SHG officials and family and friends of awardees, and remarked:

“Deon March will never forget where he was on 2 August 2013, he will always remember that night as the night he was rescued by some very brave Saints.” 

Noting the courage and team spirit that resulted in a successful rescue, Chief of Police Trevor Botting added:

“There are certain jobs, such as fire and rescue where you are expected to go to locations which people are running away from and into buildings where people are leaving.  Tonight’s awardees had to scale some dangerous terrain to assist with this rescue and made a judgement decision to stay the night where they found Mr March.” 

Jason Lawrence with his partner and mum
Jason Lawrence with his partner and mum

Governor Capes then awarded Certificates of Acts of Bravery to those who took part in the rescue mission.

Awards were presented to: Martin Peters, Russell Clingham, Joseph Oliver, Damien Stevens, Kyle Yon, Scott Crowie, Christian Phillips, Daniel Yon, Craig Scipio, Jason Lawrence, Alan Thomas and Michael Pretty (no longer residing on Island).

Governor Capes concluded:

“What you did that night displays your commitment to your job, to the community and to St Helena, thank you.”

Four pictures are attached to this release.

Note to Editors:  On Friday, 2 August 2013, Dion March was rescued after falling from a cliff at Barren Ground.

 

Fire Fighters
Fire Fighters

 

Fire Fighters
Fire Fighters

SHG

26 September 2014

Following Tuesday’s (23 September 2014) decision in Executive Council to support the development of a Hotel in Jamestown, SHG and ESH are working together to take this project forward.

Councillor Lawson Henry commented:

“In taking this decision, Executive Council was mindful of the risks to Government in making this intervention but these were far outweighed by the benefits to the Island and the enormous investment the British Government made in the Airport project for St Helena.  I was mindful too, of the undertakings that SHG made in the Memorandum of Understanding in doing our part in ensuring that important infrastructure development would be in place by or shortly after our Airport becomes operational. 

“Executive Council sees the hotel development project as a catalyst for other economic development that will complement other local initiatives. I would like to publicly commend  and thank all those officers of SHG and ESH who are involved in this project, for their hard work over many months in bringing this proposal  to the table, to all members of Legislative Council for their advice and finally to our colleagues in DFID for their on-going support.”

Chief Secretary Roy Burke added:

“I am grateful to all my colleagues, politicians and officials alike, for the enormous amount of work that has gone in to getting to this point.  This has been a challenging project to work on and the hard work starts now as we initiate a project to establish a hotel in Lower Jamestown. SHG will seek to ensure that all the appropriate procedures are followed and that we get a facility that we can all be proud of: one that enhances the experience of St Helena for both locals and visitors. We are at an exciting point in our development and this decision sends a clear message that St Helena is open for business.”

Susan O’Bey from Enterprise St Helena concluded:

“We are very pleased at the decision taken in Executive Council to support this Hotel Development. The Jamestown Hotel is an exciting project, it keeps with the heritage of Jamestown and fits very well with our plans to grow the economy organically. 

“At ESH we are now seeing existing accommodation providers coming forward with plans to develop their establishments and we have also had discussions with local investors who are planning to build new accommodation facilities. This means that we will be able to offer tourists a variety of places to stay throughout the Island, ranging from the high quality hotel experience, to guest houses and self-catering facilities. The impact that all of this growth will have on other sectors including construction, agriculture and fisheries is significant.”

 

SHG & ESH

26 September 2014

Executive Council met today, Tuesday 23 September, for a special meeting to consider the development of a hotel in Jamestown. It is well recognised by tourism industry experts that hotel accommodation of a high standard is required to support our tourism sector, post-Airport opening.

Council approved the option to develop the Government-owned property at 1, 2 and 3 Main Street as a 4-star hotel, with a minimum of 30 bedrooms, plus a restaurant and bar to cater for up to 90 people,

In addition to the three buildings on Main Street, there will be a new building constructed at the rear to provide accommodation, including hotel rooms with disabled access.  The development will be subject to planning permission.

This 4-star hotel will complement other local initiatives in developing tourist accommodation, and will serve as a catalyst for economic development, including the involvement of local producers and service providers.

Executive Council also considered an option for the development of a larger hotel at the Waterfront and approved the exploration of this option for the future.

Further detailed design work will now proceed for the development of 1, 2 and 3 Main Street as a quality hotel. The public will be kept informed and will have an opportunity to view the plans and drawings once these have been finalised.

Executive Council also noted a positive meeting last night at the Rock Club to consult on the development of a Solar Farm around the site of the current rifle range at Half Tree Hollow.  A presentation was well received and a number of questions were addressed.  There was overwhelming support for the project and the expected long term benefits to St Helena.

ExCo

23 September 2014

David Honan
David Honan

David Honan has recently arrived on Island for a two year contract in the Police Service, where he will specialise as a Sexual Offences Investigator.  He will form part of the Safeguarding team, which focuses on law enforcement and education on prevention of abuse crimes.

David said:

“There have been issues raised recently where there have been some inappropriate relationships between teenagers and adults. We are looking at a number of things, including increasing our visibility through the schools.   It is our job to make sure the youth in our society are aware of the risks, allowing them to make informed decisions about their own wellbeing.”

An Achieving Best Evidence course is soon to commence in the Police Service, to assist Police Officers and staff in Social Services to collect the best evidence when carrying out interviews and working together.  David is keen to work closely with all relevant agencies on St Helena, so that the total effort becomes more effective in terms of overall delivery.

David commented:

 

 

“I am keen on local Saint Officers filling the roles within safeguarding.  It is important to build on their experience and local knowledge.  And the Achieving Best Evidence course will help local Officers to build their skills and knowledge, thus helping to increase confidence of their role within the community.” 

David is also an experienced CID Officer, so his secondary role on Island will be to investigate and deal with serious crimes.  David has served with the North Wales Police for the last twenty years, focusing on public protection issues.

The Sexual Offences Investigator is a new role, and David highlighted:

“This appointment demonstrates that St Helena Government is committed to dealing with safeguarding issues that have arisen recently.  SHG takes very seriously the issue of sexual abuse.” 

If you would like to report a sexual or domestic offence, please call:

  • Police Confidential Helpline    22888
  • Emergency Line                        999 or
  • General Enquires                      22626

SHG

23 September 2014

Plans are swiftly progressing for this year’s Careers Fair to be held on Wednesday 15 October 2014 at Prince Andrew School, from 10am-5pm.

The annual Careers Fair is an opportunity for potential job seekers and those interested in career development, to give and receive information on career development and job opportunities on St Helena.

So far 20 businesses and services have signed up to the Fair to deliver the theme of promoting careers and career development post-Basil Read – showcasing the opportunities that will be available on-Island once Basil Read employment has reduced and the Airport is operational.

The Prince Andrew School Hall will be arranged for visitors to browse the various stalls and see what each organisation has to offer, look at their displays and ask any questions.

Throughout the day there will also be short presentations from various organisations including the Police, Fire and Rescue Service, St Helena National Trust, Education, School of Nursing and Enterprise St Helena.

Work Development Coordinator Cynthy Bennett, leading the event, encourages people to attend. She said:

“The Careers Fair is for all, young and old. This is a chance to inspire yourselves and others into personal and career development, looking beyond the Airport opening. Each year, together, we aim to improve over the year before and I have every confidence that this is going to be achieved again in 2014.”

All are encouraged to attend to see what careers are on offer on St Helena and how best they can work towards achieving their own career aspirations.

SHG

19 September 2014

PUBLIC MEETING

Connect Saint Helena Ltd is currently seeking outline planning permission for the development of a Solar Farm at Half Tree Hollow, around the current Rifle Range site – which when fully developed could supply up to 40% of the Island’s electricity demand.

Residents, stakeholders and other interested parties are invited to a public meeting to discuss the plans with Connect Saint Helena Ltd, SHG officials and Councillors.  The meeting will take place on Monday  22 September at 7.30pm at the Rock Club, Half Tree Hollow.   

Currently, approximately 20% of St Helena’s energy comes from wind power, with the remaining 80% from diesel generation. Decreasing the use of diesel and increasing the use of natural sources of energy will benefit St Helena’s economy and reduce our dependency on imported diesel.

SHG

17 September 2014

 

CONSULTANT’S REPORT PUBLISHED

Public transport consultant George Watson has now finalised his report on bus services on St Helena, which has today been published on the SHG website Publications page at http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/

The online report is a slightly redacted version of the full report – omitting just a small amount of commercially sensitive information which could influence forthcoming tender exercises.

SHG accepts the various recommendations made in the report and will now take them forward, with a view to tendering for a more integrated public transport service within the next six months. Increasing prosperity on the Island can only bring more pressure on the highway system, so it is important that a progressive policy is developed that aims to address capacity issues.

Improvements considered include simplification of the timetable, additional journeys, a quantum change in promotional activity and bringing the coordinating role together in one locally recruited SHG post.

Assistant Chief Secretary (Support) Gillian Francis said:

“SHG’s aspiration is to have an efficient and effective public transport service, that will meet the needs of Saints and visitors alike, supporting both social and economic development.

“Although modest improvements have been made since the introduction of revised services two years ago following public comments and operational experience – there is room for further improvements.”

John Scipio will be working with SHG officials on a part time basis taking the recommendations forward in time for the retendering exercise in 2015.

SHG

16 September 2014

Executive Council met today Tuesday 16 September 2014 with five items on the Open Agenda.

The first item was a request for Executive Council to endorse the refreshed Sustainable Development Plan 2014-17 (SDP).  The original SDP was published in 2012, and since then the Island has seen significant development which the refreshed SDP now reflects.

This SDP is a slimmer and more focussed version, primarily reflecting the Island’s commitment to deliver increased economic growth. Executive Council was pleased to endorse the plan and thanked all who worked hard to produce this new version. It is now available on the SHG website at http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/

The second item on the Open Agenda was the relocation and rationalisation of SHG office accommodation. In summary, the agreed relocations were:

  • The Police Service would move from the Grand Parade to the Adult & Vocational Education Centre (AVEC). The AVEC building will be adapted and refurbished for the Police. There will also be a Police reception and an Out of Hours office located at the Castle.
  • The AVEC IT Training Room will move to Carnarvon Court.
  • Councillors’ offices will move from No 3 Main Street to within the Castle, below the Council Chamber.

There was a related submission from the Information Technology department to move towards a ‘Thin Client’ computer service. This will allow each SHG member of staff to log on at any connected terminal and have all of their work saved to a central server.  While this new system is quite expensive to set up, it will thereafter improve efficiencies and save operational costs.  Executive Council agreed the funding for this project.

The next item was an Information Paper on the revised fuel prices.  Fuel prices are now determined by a formula based on the cost of the fuel, the cost of transport and the tax imposed on the fuel.  SHG is committed to a policy of equalising the tax imposed on petrol and diesel, but it is important to note that equalising the rate of tax could still lead to a price differential between the two fuels.

There was also an Information Paper on the Undertakings and Resolutions made at the last formal meeting of Legislative Council.  It is important that decisions made at formal Legislative Council are monitored to ensure that they are properly implemented in a timely manner.  There is now a tracker document as part of the monitoring process.

The recent outbreak of Newcastle Disease amongst chickens on St Helena has made necessary a temporary regulation to prohibit the export of poultry (whether live or in the form of meat products) and eggs from St Helena to Ascension Island. This was agreed, as it minimises the risk of this disease being transmitted to chickens on Ascension. The regulation will remain effective until ANRD gives St Helena the all clear of the disease.

In the Closed Session, the substantive item was a discussion on the disposal of the ex-PWD store. A decision was taken and further information will be released in due course once contract negotiations have been concluded.

A discussion then followed on forthcoming Airport Legislation needed for Certification. This detailed and technical legislation will be presented to formal Legislative Council in December 2014.

Finally, the Governor announced that a DFID team will be coming to St Helena at the end of October 2014 to engage in budget discussions. This mission may not announce an agreed final budget figure on Island at the end of their visit. This may require further detailed work before it is announced. This annual DFID visit was previously known as the Development Aid Planning Mission (DAPM) and will now be known as the Budgetary Aid Mission (BAM).

The meeting concluded at 11.50am.

ExCo

16 September 2014

Councillor Christine Scipio-O’Dean will depart St Helena this week to attend the 60th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference and 34th Small Branches Conference in Cameroon, which will run from 2 – 10 October 2014.

During the course of the conference several workshops will be held, including ‘Unity and Diversity’, ‘Joining Hands for Womens’ Rights’, ‘Parliamentarian in Gender Empowerment’, ‘Development Agenda against the Standards set out in the Commonwealth Charter’ and ‘Good Governance for the 21st Century: (Transparency and Accountability’).  As some of these workshops will be held at the same time Councillor Scipio-O’Dean has chosen to attend ‘Joining Hands for Womens’ Rights’ and one entitled ‘How Can Parliament Ensure that Young People are Placed at the Centre of Sustainable Development’.

Councillor Scipio-O’Dean said:

“I am delighted to attend the 60th Commonwealth Parliamentary and Small Branches Conferences in Cameroon which will allow me to engage with parliamentarians across the British Islands & Mediterranean Regions and beyond, to share experiences, knowledge, ideas and observations.” 

Christine will be taking a lead role by attending the Executive Committee Meeting, and during the Small Branches Conference, Councillor Scipio-O’Dean will lead the discussion on the Challenge of Small States’ Vulnerabilities in relation to Social and Economic Development.

Assistant Chief Secretary (Support), Gillian Francis commented:

“This is an opportunity for Councillor Scipio-O’Dean to network and build relationships with members of the CPA.  Attendance at the conference will also provide opportunity to promote St Helena as a tourist and investment destination in the run-up to the Airport opening.” 

SHG

16 September 2014