HE Governor Dr Philip Rushbrook hosted a reception at Plantation House for returning graduate students and Scholarship awardees soon to embark on overseas studies on Wednesday, 21 August 2019.

In attendance were three graduate students who recently returned to the Island – David Clarke, Kyle Shoesmith and Jordan Clingham – three outgoing Scholarship awardees – Duwaine Yon, Tiffany Herne and Jacob Bowers – their parents and friends. Other attendees included several teachers, Chairman of the Education Committee, Councillor Clint Beard, and various SHG Officials. Also invited were 2018 returning graduates – Robyn Sim and Rebecca Lawrence.

Councillor Beard praised the graduate students for their achievements and spoke about his hopes for the Island as they take up their new jobs. Governor Rushbrook also spoke about the importance we attach to students being able to learn new skills and gaining new experiences at university, then on return to take an active and responsible role as our next generation in taking forward St Helena’s development in the future.

L-R Jacob Bowers, Duwaine Yon, HE Governor, and Tiffany Herne
L-R Kyle Shoesmith, David Clarke, HE Governor, and Jordan Clingham











#PlantationHouse #Reception #GraduateStudents




22 August 2019




It has come to the attention of SHG that press releases issued on 24 and 27 September 2018 which related to the outcome of the trial of Councillor Cruyff Buckley may have been misleading. While Councillor Buckley was convicted of possession of an offensive weapon and was sentenced by the Court accordingly, SHG would wish to clarify that Councillor Buckley was not convicted of an offence of domestic violence.

SHG has agreed to pay damages to Councillor Buckley.

The error in any implication arising from the reporting is regretted.


22 August 2019

The public is advised that the St Helena Archives will be closed on Wednesday, 28 August 2019, to enable staff to attend a Staff Development Day. 

Normal opening hours will resume from 8.30am on Thursday, 29 August 2019.

Corporate Support, Policy & Planning including Corporate IT and Internal Audit, at the Castle will also be unavailable on Wednesday due to staff participating in the same staff development activities. The Castle switchboard will operate as normal.

Any inconvenience caused is very much regretted.

22 August 2019










  • Executive Council agrees changes to customs duty at their meeting on Tuesday, 20 August 2019
  • 88% increase in the customs duty on tobacco products to come into effect from 1 October 2019
  • A change in the Customs Duty Tariff for vehicles from value based to a fixed rate based on emissions to come into effect from 1 December 2019

 Increase in duty on tobacco products

Tobacco duty was increased by 5.1% on 1 April 2019. The additional 8.88% increase to come into effect from 1 October meets the World Health Organisation recommended level and is one of the requirements on the United Nations Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. The change will see an extra 18p on a packet of 20 cigarettes with tobacco.

Increasing the level of customs duty applied to tobacco products supports current health promotion and preventative healthcare work on St Helena.

Smoking is the leading risk factor for Non-Communicable Diseases affecting the community. Non-Communicable Diseases (including cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung disease, type two diabetes, and kidney disease) cause most illness, disability and earlier death in the St Helena population. The majority of medical evacuations and a large percentage of overseas referrals are for these types of diseases. This is also a major portion of the Island health budget.

If we reduce the number of people smoking, we help everyone reduce their risk of these major illnesses.

Nearly one in four St Helena adults and nearly half of young adults (future workforce and young/future families) smoke. This is substantially higher than in many countries including the UK and South Africa.

Tobacco Taxation has been shown across the world to be the most effective way to reduce smoking rates over time – it is most effective at reducing the number of youth who start smoking, and at helping smokers who need further reasons, to quit.

The St Helena population health survey data shows that the number of people who ‘seriously wanted to quit’ increased substantially (22% to 38% of smokers) from 2018 – 2019. However these are the people who most want to quit, and it is recognised that for people who are not yet wishing to quit, further measures and support are needed.

Raising tobacco taxation works most effectively in combination with other measures, and the SHG Health Directorate is working with other parts of government and the community to put other evidence-based, effective measures in place, that together will reduce the number of smokers over the coming years and benefit the community. These include strengthening the smoking cessation service, and increasing the help for smokers who have tried to quit but need more help. Legislation changes (for example enforcing plain packaging for tobacco products) are also being developed that will include further measures to protect young people, reduce the number of people starting to smoke, and encourage quitting.

Change in Customs Duty Tariff for Vehicles

From 1 December 2019, the following rates will apply when clearing a vehicle at HM Customs on St Helena:

Emission Bands Tax tariff as % of sales price (old tariff) Tax rate per vehicle (£),

(rates from 1 December 2019)

0g per km 15% £200
1-100g per km 15% £450
101-120g per km 25% £900
121-165g per km 35% £1,260
166-185g per km 40% £1,530
185-200g per km 45% £2,660
> 200g per km 45% £3,500

Motorcycles will also move to a fixed rate of £700 instead of 35%. Customs duty on heavy vehicles such as lorries and plant machinery will remain unchanged and will continue to be charged on value.

This policy change aligns with the ‘Altogether Greener’ goal of St Helena’s 10 Year Plan and the recently approved Climate Change Policy. It also means a fairer system for people importing greener cars as currently importers of lower emission cars usually pay a higher duty than those importing higher emission cars. Moving to a fixed rate model will also lessen the administrative burden for Customs Officers who will no longer have to verify the value of a vehicle to charge the appropriate rate of duty. The rates were based pro-rata on emissions and rated so that customs revenues from vehicles will neither be worse or better of as a result of the changes.

Around 10 cars between 0-100g per km and around 25 cars between 101-120g per km have been imported in the last three years.  The changes will reduce customs duty for cars imported in these bands after 1 December and it is hoped that more people will bring in lower emission cars as a result.

One of the cars which was most recently imported was the Nissan Leaf. Whilst this car is subject to the old rules because it was imported before 1 December 2019, cars imported like this in the future would benefit from the new lowest rate of £200 customs duty.

Low emission cars have been available for more than 10 years and there are second hand vehicles available and affordable to buy which are not high emitting: Euro 3 emission standards were put in place as a minimum emissions benchmark for new cars from 2001 and currently Euro 4 is the minimum standard for cars and vans driving in central London for example.

The type of used cars which are available and are categorised in the lowest two emission bands include the Toyota Prius, Honda Civic Hybrid, and Honda Insight Hybrid. Examples of some new models available on the market include the Nissan Leaf, Renault Zoe, Volkswagen eGolf, BMW I Series, Volkswagen Golf GTE 1.4 and Range Rover Sport 2L petrol Hybrid.

Alongside this proposed change to the customs duty tariff on vehicles, SHG has started to develop a plan to acquire emission testing equipment and work towards specifying an emissions test be undertaken within annual MOTs to track emissions of vehicles on-Island. The information gathered will help inform future changes to the road tax.

#StHelena #CustomsDuty #AltogetherGreener #AltogetherHealthier 




21 August 2019

A number of fares between Ascension and St Helena are being offered for sale to the public at half the standard price. Flights included in this offer range from September 2019 to January 2020.

This offer also includes two flights from St Helena to Ascension in December and two flights from Ascension to St Helena in January, making it more affordable than ever to spend Christmas on Ascension.

Bookings are now being taken and the number of seats available at this price is limited.

For further information please contact Ascension Island Travel and Booking on flight.bookings@ascension.gov.ac or call (00 247) 66244.

21 August 2019

There is no significant rainfall forecast and with summer approaching it is critical that we use water for essential purposes only.

With no substantial rainfall experienced over the last week, the Island’s water stocks remain low. There is just 36 days of storage volume remaining.

St Helena’s water consumption levels on 14 and 15 August reduced to less than 1000 cubic metres. This is the consumption rate that is required to sustain a safe level of stored water on the Island. The effort that has been made by all is noticeable.

Remember, we are currently under an Island-wide hosepipe ban which Connect Saint Helena (CSH) enforced on Monday, 24 June 2019.If you see anyone using water irresponsibly or notice a burst pipe or leak, then please inform CSH immediately.

 Every drop counts, every action counts – everyone must save every drop of water possible.

#StHelena #WaterShortage #EveryDropCounts  



St Helena Resilience Forum

21 August 2019

Executive Council met today, Tuesday 20 August 2019, to discuss three items on the Open Agenda.

Mid-Year Changes to Customs Duty Tariffs

Following a presentation from the Chairman of the Economic Development Committee, the Financial Secretary and the Health Directorate’s Health Promotion and Social Marketing Lead, Council approved an increase in the duty on tobacco products by 8.88% to come into effect from 1 October 2019.

The Health Directorate had proposed to increase the level of customs duty applied to tobacco products by 13.98% in order to work towards meeting the World Health Organisation (WHO) requirements on the convention of Tobacco Control. Since tobacco duty was already increased by 5.1% on 1 April 2019, a further increase of 8.88% was proposed and accepted by Council to come into place on 1 October 2019. This would see an extra 18p on a packet of 20 cigarettes with tobacco.

The potential health benefits that could result if fewer people smoked tobacco were noted and Members recognised that higher prices might be a deterrent to young people who might otherwise start smoking.

The agreed increase in duty supports St Helena’s current Health Strategy goals to reduce tobacco consumption – a major factor in the number of chronic disease cases on the Island and a major healthcare cost.

Members noted that this initiative is just one part of the wider strategy to reduce smoking on the Island and were pleased that other measures by the Health Directorate, such as the cessation service, has seen a decrease in the number of smokers since last year. Future planned legislative changes such as plain packaging and getting rid of tobacco at point of sales will also help long term smokers move towards quitting.

Council felt strongly that the increase in customs duty on tobacco products was a great support to current health promotion and preventative healthcare work and measures such as these to change behaviour is very important to the future of the health of the St Helena community.

Under this item, Members also approved a change in the Customs Duty Tariff for vehicles from value based to a fixed rate based on emissions to support the policy on reducing carbon emissions, to come into effect from 1 December 2019.

The Chief Economist provided background to the proposal highlighting that the suggested changes had arose due to two issues:

  • Importers of low emission cars currently usually pay a higher duty than those importing higher emission cars. This doesn’t strictly support a greener St Helena as per the Altogether Greener goal in the 10 Year Plan and Climate Change Policy
  • The current system is an administrative burden for Customs Officers who must verify the value of a vehicle and charge appropriate duty.

The proposals were to change the rates applied (e.g. 15%) to a fixed fee (e.g. £200) as per the table below:

Emission Bands

Tax tariff as % of sales price (existing tariff)

Tax rate per vehicle (£), (rates as per 1 December 2019)

0g per km



1-100g per km



101-120g per km



121-165g per km



166-185g per km



185-200g per km



> 200g per km



The Financial Secretary also explained that alongside this proposed change, work is starting to develop a test for CO2 emissions and particulates of vehicles already on the Island and plans will be made to use these as a basis for road tax going forward.

Council noted that the proposed change was to encourage the importation of low emission cars which would positively contribute to a greener St Helena. There were concerns that this change might make cars unaffordable for some people but there was assurance that low emission cars had been on the market for over 10 years and good second hand (as well as new) models are now available to purchase. Members recognised that protecting the environment was important and a positive step forward in the Island’s Climate Change Policy as well as making the system fairer for car importers.

Motorcycles will also move to a fixed rate of £700 instead of 35%. Customs duty on heavy vehicles such as lorries and plant machinery would remain unchanged and would continue to be charged on value.

A detailed press release on the changes to Customs Duty Tariffs will be issued shortly.

Draft Legislative Programme

Council discussed the current draft Legislative Programme presented by the Acting Attorney General. It was noted that there was a mismatch in what was being produced by Council Committees and what was required by Chambers to draft legislation.

It was agreed that Chambers should issue to Council Committees a revised set of instructions to underpin legislative drafting.

This item would be brought back to Executive Council once a revised set of instructions had been received from Chambers.

High Knoll Fort lease to Saint Helena National Trust

Under the third item, Executive Council approved the Lease of High Knoll Fort to the Saint Helena National Trust (SHNT) along with the Land Registry Parcel Number HTH 1386 surrounding the Fort.

The Chief Secretary recognised that this issue had been circulating for some time and Members agreed that it should be progressed.

Leasing the Fort to the SHNT would mean that the Trust could apply for funding for this heritage site from outside donors. The additional land would also enable them to manage and preserve the property more efficiently.

Members saw this decision as a positive opportunity for the Trust to preserve one of the seven wonders of St Helena.

The AG’s Chambers would ensure the lease is progressed quickly.

The meeting ended at 12.55pm.


20 August 2019

Councillors will hold a series of meetings in each district during August 2019 for constituents to ask questions and raise concerns. The following key topics will also be discussed at each meeting:

  • Social Impact Assessment Review
  • Phase One of the DFID funded Economic Development Investment Programme
  • Unbanning cycling on roads into and out of Jamestown
  • St Helenian Status

Each meeting will start at 7pm.



Harford Community Centre Wednesday, 21 August
Blue Hill Community Centre Thursday, 22 August
Jamestown Community Centre Tuesday, 27 August
St Michael’s Church, Rupert’s Tuesday, 27 August
Silver Hill Bar, Levelwood Wednesday, 28 August
Sandy Bay Community Centre Thursday, 29 August

 Councillors look forward to meeting with you and hearing your views.

20 August 2019




The following is a Public Announcement from the St Helena Police Directorate:

St Helena Police will be carrying out firearms training at the Police Range at Cox’s Battery on Wednesday, 21 August 2019, from 9am to 2pm.

Red flags, signs, and barriers will be in place. Walkers in the Cox’s Battery area should not approach the Range area as live firing will be in progress.

For further information, please contact Support Officer – Firearms and Procurement, Garry Henry, on tel: 22626 or via email: gary.henry@sainthelena.gov.sh.

20 August 2019





A meeting of Executive Council will take place in the Council Chamber at 9.30am today, Tuesday 20 August 2019.

An additional item has been added for discussion on the Open Agenda which is now as follows:

  • Mid-Year Changes To Customs Duty Tariffs
  • High Knoll Fort Lease to Saint Helena National Trust
  • Draft Legislative Programme

The papers (ExCo Memos) for the first two items are available online at the following link: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/councils/executive-council/

Members of the public who would like to view hard copies of any ExCo Memos should contact the Assistant Clerk of Councils at the Castle on tel: 22470 or via email:  sec.em@helanta.co.sh

Elected Members currently serving on Executive Council are Councillors Lawson Henry, Anthony Green, Clint Beard, Derek Thomas and Russell Yon.

The non-voting members of Executive Council are Chief Secretary, Susan O’Bey, Financial Secretary, Dax Richards, and Acting Attorney General, Aine Hurley.

#StHelena #ExCoMeeting

https://www.facebook.com/StHelenaGovt /  


20 August 2019