Councillor Christine Scipio-O’Dean will depart St Helena on Saturday, 21 April 2018, to attend the British Islands & Mediterranean Region (BIMR) Commonwealth Women Parliamentarian Conference in London, UK.

The conference which will take place between Thursday, 26 April, and Saturday, 28 April 2018, will include panel discussions on women in parliament (past, present and future), a tour of Westminster Hall, St Stephens and Central Lobby, a workshop session and an interactive session with young women, to discuss how different platforms can encourage positive change on issues of gender equality, women’s empowerment and women’s representation.

Councillor Scipio-O’Dean said:

“I am looking forward to attending this conference as it provides an opportunity to improve my skills and knowledge and promotes a closer relationship among the Region’s branches and its members.”

BIMR Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) is a regional chapter of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians, which works for the better representation of women in legislatures and for the furtherance of gender equality and justice across the Commonwealth.

BIMR CWP held its first conference in 2014 in Edinburgh followed by Gibraltar in 2015, Guernsey in 2016 and Wales in 2017 with Steering Committee meetings held during the year as required. Councillor Scipio-O’Dean represents St Helena on this Steering Committee.

Councillor Scipio-O’Dean will return to St Helena on Saturday, 5 May 2018.

#StHelena #CouncillorTravel #BIMRCWP


16 April 2018

Saint Helenian, Marco Yon, has joined the Emergency Planning Department of the Police Directorate in the new role of Emergency Planning Officer.

Marco is working alongside Emergency Planning Manager, Ian Johnson, and Deputy Emergency Planning Manager, Simon Wade.

Marco said:

“I am passionate about St Helena and the community which I have been appointed to serve. I look forward to a challenging and rewarding career within the Directorate.”

Marco has a military background and served for 12 years in the Royal Air Force as an Aircraft Technician, specialising in rotary wing aviation. During this time, Marco worked with multi-agency Emergency Responders in planning and exercising for major emergencies.

The Emergency Planning Department is now co-located in the new Sea Rescue Facility at Rupert’s. The department is responsible for disaster management and resilience and contingency planning for identifiable risks and major emergencies that impact on the Island and its community. They also lead on managing the St Helena Resilience Forum that is responsible for coordinating multi-agency response to critical incidents which, in the past, have involved rock falls, road closures, the six month drought, RMS delays, and the Avian Influenza outbreak in South Africa.

The department is currently working with SURE South Atlantic Ltd on a new emergency services radio network that will provide secure Island-wide and offshore radio coverage for all services and emergency responders.

#EmergencyPlanning #EmergencyPlanningOfficer #PoliceDirectorate #SaintSuccess

13 April 2018


The Health Directorate is developing new community initiatives and services to help prevent diabetes and heart disease on St Helena.

At present, the Saint community experiences a burden of high levels of diabetes, heart disease, stroke and various cancers (even compared with many other countries that share these problems). Early onsets of illness, disability, and deaths from these causes have become a too common experience in the community.

Health Promotion and Social Marketing Lead, Dr Angie Jackson-Morris, said:

“To help develop these new initiatives, we need the community to take part in this quick survey. It is available online, on paper, and also street surveys are taking place. We already have several hundred responses though we would like to hear from you, so if you haven’t done it already please take 10 minutes to tell us about you. It’s totally anonymous.”

For the online version, please go to:!/0. Alternatively, printed copies are available at the Public Library and General Hospital Reception.

The closing date for completion of surveys is on Friday, 20 April 2018.

#StHelena #HealthDirectorate #HealthPromotion #Survey #AltogetherHealthier

12 April 2018

A number of St Helena residents have recently put forward their ideas and thoughts for the design and messages of a new community Health Campaign.

The Campaign, which will launch in May 2018, aims to encourage community members of all ages to make some small, but important, shifts in their lifestyle to reduce their risk of type-2 diabetes, heart attacks, stroke, and cancer. Many people are aware that being overweight, eating or drinking too much sugar, eating too much salt and fat, smoking, and not being physically active enough are not good for their health. Although there is currently a gap between knowing this and making the kind of small changes that would make a difference to people’s health.

The new Health Campaign seeks to encourage and motivate people, as well as advise the kind of realistic changes they can build into their daily life, around family, work, and their social life.

Design workshops were held with a diverse range of community members at various local venues around the Island. These included staff members of several local businesses, pub and hospitality venue regulars, road-workers, pest control staff, Prince Andrew School students, Girl Guides, teachers, parents of school age children and toddlers, and administrative staff. Participants considered images, logos, messages and tips that they felt would make people smile, think, and decide to take some action of their own.

The workshops were facilitated by Patrick Ladbury of the UK National Social Marketing Centre along with SHG Senior Press Officer, Liam Yon, and Lead for Health Promotion & Social Marketing, Dr Angie Jackson-Morris.

Dr Angie commented:

“The campaign will ‘go live’ shortly and will run alongside the various initiatives under the new Health Promotion Strategic Framework over 2018-19. The theme is to encourage people to take action on their own terms and to fit into their own daily lives and routines. This will be complemented by a range of community initiatives that aim to make the healthier choices easier in the places where we work, shop, eat and drink, socialise, relax and play.”

Chairperson of the Public Health Committee, Derek Thomas, added:

“I welcome this campaign and the wider strategy as ways to help reduce the high incidence of cardiovascular disease that cause much illness, and disability in our community.”

 #StHelena #HealthPromotion #TheNSMC


11 April 2018

The monthly meeting of the Economic Development Committee (EDC) was held on Thursday, 5 April 2018.

The following is a summary of the main items discussed:

The Sustainable Economic Development Plan (SEDP) has been updated taking into account comments received during the consultation process, and a version with tracked changes was presented to the committee. This has now been endorsed as a final version and will be presented to Executive Council for approval before being made available to the public.

Enterprise St Helena (ESH) delivered a report for February 2018. This report saw the number of international enquiries increasing to 494 and visitors to the Tourist Office increasing to 370. There was an increase in the number of visitors to the Island due to the first St Helena International Conference (2018 Diverse Island Environments), the last voyage of the RMS St Helena and the yachting season (316 of the visitors were yachties).

International tour operators selling St Helena has risen to 32, 16 of which have dedicated webpages to St Helena. 31 additional operators are in discussions with the Tourist Office.

The first St Helena Conference was completed on Thursday, 8 February 2018.  For this conference, St Helena had 21 international speakers, including three Skype presentations and 18 local speakers, six of which were Prince Andrew School students.  The conference saw a total of 270 attendees from which 59 were international and 211 were local.  56 of the local attendees were individuals (not affiliated to an organisation). More individuals would have participated had there been availability of flights.

The draft Ordinance to regulate the use of Artificial Light at Night for the Protection of the Natural Environment was presented alongside the draft Exterior Lighting Management Plan. The objective of the draft Ordinance is to preserve and sustain the natural environment on St Helena by preventing, minimising or mitigating the adverse effects of artificial light at night, as well as conserving and enhancing natural beauty and geological or physiographical features of special interests including the night sky.

St Helena has wonderful dark skies and this Ordinance and Exterior Lighting Management Plan will help protect them for generations to come as well as being a key tourist attraction.

The Agriculture & Natural Resources Division (ANRD) gave a presentation on the SHG/Public Private partnership for egg and pullet production with Roddy’s Chicken Farm, which was completed last year.  A number of challenges in meeting local demand for nucleus poultry for the Island at the present time were highlighted, including the sourcing of fertilised eggs and live chickens from biosecure suppliers and access logistics to the Island, both by air and ship.

Options were presented for meeting the Island’s short-term demand for egg layers, including importing new consignments of nucleus stock over the next few months, following the exercise to gauge public demand for chicks.  Roddy’s Chicken Farm will continue to supply chicks to egg producers in the interim period with the limited parent stock available and ANRD will assist this arrangement with imports of fresh stock to supplement short-term demand for egg layers. The EDC was informed that work on sourcing and logistics for import of this new stock against the recommended option of supply is being undertaken by ANRD, and the EDC and public will be informed of the additional supply option once sourcing and import arrangements are finalised.

 #StHelena #EconomicDevelopmentCommittee #EDC


11 April 2018

A meeting of Executive Council will take place in the Council Chamber at 9.30am on Tuesday, 17 April 2018.

The following will be discussed on the Open Agenda:

  • Liquor (Amendment) Bill
  • Marriage Regulations 2018
  • Increase in Fees and Charges: Trade Marks, Patents and Companies Registration

These papers (ExCo Memos) are available online at the following link:

Members of the public who would like to view hard copies of the ExCo Memos should contact the Clerk of Councils, Lydia Buchanan, at the Castle on tel: 22470 or via email:

Elected Members serving on Executive Council are Councillors Anthony Green, Lawson Henry, Christine Scipio-O’Dean, Derek Thomas and Russell Yon.

Non-voting members of Executive Council are Chief Secretary, Roy Burke, Financial Secretary, Dax Richards, and Attorney General, Sara O’Donnell.

#StHelena #ExCoMeeting /


11 April 2018

The Health Directorate would like to inform those persons who wish to continue Home Slaughtering that meat inspections at their home will cease from Saturday, 30 June 2018, unless their slaughter facility has been approved and registered in compliance with the Minimum Requirements issued in April 2017.

Applications for approval/registration for a slaughter facility should reach the Environmental Health Office at least six weeks prior to being approved by the Health Protection Board.

The Health Directorate also wishes to remind all food business operators that, following the implementation of the Food Safety Legislation in April 2017, no person shall carry on a food business unless they have registered such a food business and received a licence permitting them to do so.

New food business operators should apply at least a month before intending to operate. Food businesses already registered are asked to submit an application for renewal at least a month before their licence expires.

Application forms for registration and annual licences are available from the Environmental Health Office, Health Administration Building, Nr the Hospital, Jamestown.

Food businesses requiring further information, should contact the Senior Environmental Health Officer, Georgina Young, on tel: 22500 or email:

 #StHelena #HealthDirectorate #HomeSlaughter #FoodSafety


11 April 2018

SHG and Connect Saint Helena Ltd are today pleased to announce that PASH, based in the UK, has been chosen as the preferred bidder to provide their renewable energy solution to St Helena. Subject to concluding negotiations, it is envisaged that a contract will be signed soon.

The project will result in the majority of the Island’s energy needs being met by renewable sources. Currently we provide around 25% of the Island’s energy needs from renewable energy and we will at least double that as a result of the initial phase of this project, which will comprise new solar and wind energy infrastructure and battery storage. The project will also mean that less diesel will be used to produce electricity on St Helena, which will reduce the Island’s environmental footprint and reduce sensitivity to future increases in the price of diesel.

The project supports the aims of the Energy Strategy notably that ‘St Helena will increase the production of energy through renewable sources, and reduce the Island’s reliance on imported fuels, increase fuel security and price stabilisation’. It will also support the 10 Year Plan’s aim to ‘Invest in renewable energy with a view to becoming 100% self-sufficient’ and supports the Sustainable Economic Development Plan by ‘increasing the amount of renewable energy on-Island, reducing reliance on diesel and encouraging improvement of distribution networks required to avoid significant increases in energy costs in the future’. This demonstrates St Helena’s commitment to the environment and sees the Island as a global leader in renewable technology.

PASH’s bid provides for 1.6MWh of battery storage, 1MW of wind turbines located at Deadwood Plain, subject to Environmental Impact Assessment, Planning Approval and approval from Air Safety Support International (ASSI), and 0.5MW of solar panels to be located on land already owned by Connect adjacent to the existing solar site at the Rifle Range, Ladder Hill. The solar and battery is expected to be commissioned this financial year with the wind turbines following on as quickly as possible after.  PASH visited the Island as part of the tender process and commenced dialogue with local contractors.

CEO of Connect Saint Helena Ltd, Barry Hubbard, said:

“One of the reasons for creating Connect was the ability to attract private finance.  PASH is a truly world class organisation who have plenty to bring to the party.  During the tender process they visited St Helena and were very impressed with what they saw.  Now we just need to agree contract terms (called a Power Purchase Agreement) and then we will move very quickly to the doubling of our solar capacity and providing battery storage to allow the renewable energy to be optimised.  More wind generation will follow but the planning process will take a little longer.  This is a very exciting time, diesel prices are increasing again and renewable energy will stabilise and even reduce our costs.”

Assistant Chief Secretary, Paul McGinnety, added:

“It has been a real team effort and today marks an important step towards delivering the Energy Strategy and 10 Year Plan. We have been delighted with the quality and scope of the bids received and we are delighted to partner with PASH on this exciting project.” 

The project will result in less volatility to diesel price changes, and therefore savings on the cost of diesel going forward. It is important to note that renewable energy is not free although renewable energy does displace the most significant cost (diesel) which allows Connect to reduce operating costs. The project will seek to eliminate the SHG subsidy meaning that SHG can spend the money on other priorities for St Helena.

Details of the Evaluation Criteria can be found within the Request for Proposals on the Publications page of the SHG website:

#StHelena #ConnectSaintHelena #RenewableEnergy

SHG/Connect Saint Helena Ltd

10 April 2018

Councillors are currently holding a series of Constituency Meetings around the Island. Members of the public are encouraged to attend the meetings in their districts to raise any issues they may have.

At each meeting a brief overview from the Council Committees will be provided, followed by the opportunity for attendees to ask questions.

Each meeting will start at 7pm. The remaining meetings are:



St Michael’s Church, Rupert’s Wednesday, 11 April
Kingshurst Community Centre Monday, 16 April
St Mary’s Church, the Briars Wednesday, 18 April
Silver Hill Bar, Levelwood Wednesday, 18 April

 #StHelena #LegislativeCouncil #ConstituencyMeetings


10 April 2018

A review has been undertaken on the current customs and excise duty amounts and changes to the Customs & Excise (Tariffs) (Amendment) Regulations, 2018, were agreed by Executive Council on 20 March 2018.

The review placed importance on ensuring that food and drink which contribute to a balanced diet benefit from lower customs duty. And to afford these positive changes, it was agreed that there shall be an increase to the excise duty to extend the ‘sugar tax’ to other unhealthy foods. This change rewards those who eat a balanced diet and discourages the consumption of sugary products.

From 1 May 2018, the food and drink which will have a reduced customs duty rate of 5%, instead of 20%, include water, sugar-free yoghurt, unsalted butter and olive spread, fruit and vegetables (fresh, frozen and canned without added salt or sugar), unsalted and unsweetened nuts and dried fruit, lentils, legumes and beans. These foods join many others which are already at the lower 5% customs duty rate including eggs, meats, pasta, milk, cream, flour, margarine, cereals and rice. Cheese shall remain at the 5% rate except for processed cheese which will be uprated to 20%.

From 1 May 2018, the ‘sugar tax’ excise duty for carbonated beverages containing at least 15g sugar per litre will increase from £0.75 to £1.00 per litre, adding 8p to a can of fizzy sugary drink. Diet and Zero drinks and carbonated waters, because of their low sugar levels, are exempt. The ‘sugar tax’ shall also apply to fruit juices and concentrates which contain at least 15g sugar per litre. For the fruit juices which are affected by the tax, this puts 24p on a 240ml carton of juice.

The ‘sugar tax’ will also apply to chocolate and chewing gum, except where it is sugar-free, at a rate of £1.00 per kg. This would put 4.5p on a 45g bar of chocolate, 1.6p on a 16g share-bag of sweets and 2p and on a 20g pack of chewing gum. For heavier items, namely biscuits, crisps, sugary cereals, pre-mixed cookie dough, and sugar syrups, the excise duty will be 20p per kilo. This would put 8p on a pack of 400g biscuits; 4p on a pack of 200g Pringles; 9p on a 450g pot of treacle; 10p on a 500g jam. Finally, the excise duty applying to Ice-cream shall be 10p per litre. This would put 1p on a 100ml magnum ice lolly and 20p on a 2 litre tub of ice-cream.

Increasing taxes on unhealthy food choices such as carbonated drinks, fruit juices and concentrates with a high sugar content, confectionary and other foods like biscuits, crisps and sugary cereals will encourage a switch to healthier and cheaper options

Baby furniture (e.g. cots) and biodegradable baby wipes will also reduce from 20% to 5% in line with other baby related goods.

A number of imports related to agriculture, fishing and drinks making will see a decrease in import duty from 20% to 5%. These changes provide further support for industries which directly contribute to export or import substitution and help to improve St Helena’s trade imbalance, as set out in the Sustainable Economic Development Plan.

Finally, in line with previous years, the Customs Duty rate for Alcohol will increase with annual inflation (4.4%) and the Customs Duty rate for Tobacco will increase with inflation plus 1% (5.4%).

All changes will come into place on 1 May 2018, with the exception of the Alcohol and Tobacco duty changes which, as in previous years, will come into force immediately.

Chairperson of the Economic Development Committee, Councillor Lawson Henry, said:

“The Economic Development Committee met several times to consider the proposals to widen the sugar tax and reduce duty on more healthier goods. We also took into account advice from the Health Directorate on the impact high sugar content items are having on health of the nation.   At the same time we wanted to strike a balance between increases by ensuring the duty was lowered on healthier goods to lessen the impact on lower wage earners while at  the same time ensuring we are able to balance the budget. This is not easily done but I believe we have struck the right balance given the current financial climate.”

Government Economist, Nicole Shamier, added:

“The changes are consistent with the principle to subsidise ‘economic goods’ (items which are positive to the health and wellbeing of the consumer) and tax ‘economic bads’ (items which are negative to the health and wellbeing of the consumer). We have been keen to reduce the duty on many key dietary items to help reduce the pressure of inflation on people’s pockets, but in order to balance the budget, we needed to look at an extension of the sugar tax to do so. All in all, we believe these changes to customs and excise duty provide net benefits to very many people on St Helena.”

A detailed list of changes are outlined in Appendix A: Appendix A – Customs and Excise

#StHelena #Customs&ExciseDuty #SugarTax



6 April 2018