The Social & Community Development Committee (SCDC) held their monthly meeting on Wednesday, 13 June 2018.

There were two items on the Open Agenda.

The first item proposed changes to the St Helena National Trust Ordinance. The present Ordinance came into force 16 years ago when the Trust had only one fulltime member of staff. Today, there are 24 fulltime staff and six part-time staff and a turnover close to £350,000 per annum. The proposed changes started in 2015 when the Public Accounts Committee recommended a change in the time the Trust would have to complete its annual audit. This presented an opportunity for the Ordinance to be reviewed to ensure it remained relevant to how the Trust has evolved. The changes proposed have been considered by the Trust Council, the Attorney General and other senior officers of St Helena Government. The Trust has also received advice from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, a UK based Non-government organisation which has supported the Trust since 2006. Discussions with SCDC started towards the latter part of last year. Following comprehensive consideration and taking into account the views of the Administration, the Committee gave approval for the proposed changes, subject to a final legal check on the draft, to be submitted to Executive Council who will be asked to consider and approve the Bill to be published and listed for consideration at a future formal Legislative Council meeting. In attendance for this item was President of the St Helena National Trust, Mrs Ethel Yon OBE.

The second item was about a Children’s Champion. Recently, this position was incorporated into the law which provides for a Children’s Champion to be appointed by the Governor on the recommendation of the Chairman of the SCDC. The current Children’s Champion, Councillor Christine Scipio O’Dean, will not continue in this role. Elected Members were subsequently consulted and Councillor Derek Thomas expressed an interest. Subject to confirmation on his return from the UK that he is prepared to accept, the Committee gave their support for Councillor Thomas to be recommended for appointment as the Children’s Champion. Provision in law for a Children’s Champion can be found in the Welfare of Children (Amendment) Regulations 2018.

For the Closed Agenda, Statistical Commissioner, Neil Fantom, attended for a discussion on the Minimum Income Standard (MIS). The MIS is a shopping basket which is used for adjusting Income Related Benefits and Basic Island Pension. Members sought confirmation and were satisfied that the MIS is fit for purpose based on current SHG policies. The Committee also favoured using, in future, an adjusted food component of the basket following advice from the Dietician as this was in line with SHG policies and uses a broader and healthier selection of items than that previously used.

Safeguarding Director, Matt Ansell, provided an update on Safeguarding which, among other things, included the following:

  • Quality Assurance Consultant, Gavin Thomas,  had completed his review of the Adult Services provision and this has been shared with key members of staff. Based on this, individual service areas have been developing improvement plans for their respective areas. Gavin’s formal report is expected soon
  • Work has continued to establish links with the National Autistic Society (NAS) to support St Helena in developing a specialist service
  • The Directorate is also looking forward to a visit on Saturday, 23 June, by Michael Cotterall (FCO Senior Child Protection Adviser) and Anthony Douglas (CEO of Children & Family Court Advisory Support Services). They will be spending a week on St Helena undertaking an audit of child protection services on the Island.

The Committee thanked Matt for his dedicated work for the Safeguarding Directorate. Matt’s last day will be 5 July, after which Stephanie Jones will become the new Director of Safeguarding. Stephanie, who the Committee had warmly welcomed at the start of the meeting, will take over on 6 July.

The SCDC comprises of voting members Councillors Anthony Green (Chairman), Cyril Leo (Deputy Chairman), Kylie Hercules, Derek Thomas and Gavin Ellick. Non-voting members are the Director of Safeguarding and the Government Economist. The Committee Secretary is Nicole Plato.

#StHelena #SCDC #Meeting

19 June 2018

A significant south-westerly swell is forecast for St Helena from Saturday, 23 June, through to Monday, 25 June 2018. This may result in unsettled sea conditions in James Bay and Rupert’s Bay.

The public is therefore asked to use caution when accessing the Sea Front area. To avoid damage to vehicles, drivers are asked to take care when parking near the safety rails. Care should also be taken in the Rupert’s Beach, Shears and Wharf areas.

Port Control will be monitoring sea conditions and may restrict access to the Sea Front, Jamestown Wharf, and Rupert’s Jetty if conditions worsen.

#StHelena #SeaConditions

19 June 2018

During the latest round of Councillors’ Constituency Meetings in April 2018, a number of issues were raised by the public on different topics.

Over the next few weeks, each Council Committee will be providing responses to the issues raised during the meetings. This week the focus is on Environment & Natural Resources with responses provided by the Environment & Natural Resources Committee (ENRC).

What is the hold up with the Bottom Woods Comprehensive Development Area (CDA)?

Plans are underway to develop this CDA. Finalising the infrastructure network is ongoing and should be completed soon to enable further works to divide the land into house plots and other relevant developments.

Can all Councillors publish a pie chart on how much funding was allocated to each directorate?

Council thought this was a good idea and will look to make this information more accessible to the public. Meanwhile, a pie chart showing the percentage allocation of recurrent funding can be found in the annual ‘Estimates of recurrent revenue, expenditure and capital expenditure’ document that is published when the annual budgets are approved each year.

Was a cost attached to the resurfacing of the road at Ladder Hill, outside of ‘Rosie’s’?

No cost was incurred by the Directorate or SHG. This was a private project and the entrepreneur of ‘Rosie’s’ under a signed agreement agreed to rehabilitate this park. This is still a public parking area and is used by the public who also attend functions at ‘Rosie’s’ and the ‘Blue Lamp’.

Can more information on Invasive Species be provided?

The Darwin Plus 0059 project addresses SHG’s priorities of Invasive Species management, adaptation to climate change, and building local capacity. A report on the initial progress of this project has just been published. Work in removing some of the invasive species from certain areas around the Island are ongoing in collaboration with the St Helena National Trust.

Has SHG accepted the Haul Road yet, and if not why?

SHG has not yet accepted the Haul Road. The road is still undergoing some corrective maintenance that has been addressed between the contractor and Project Management Unit.

The Roads Section are dumping rubbish at the top of the Ridges and also over the side into Thorpe’s land. Residents were concerned that heavy rains might wash this into our water streams and asked whether this should be taken out to the Dump instead.

A risk assessment was undertaken and the risk of any of this rubbish entering the water streams is very minimal. However, ENRD has contacted Thorpe’s to arrange a spoil area closer to the work site which will be more convenient to the Roads Section than having to transport material to the Horse Point Landfill.

Damage to roads caused by movement of heavy Crushing Plant still not repaired at Swampy Gut and the gate jamb at Lemon Tree Gut.

The gate jamb at Lemon Tree Gut has been reinstated and the road repair works have been completed.

Where will funding be sourced from for the new Directorate when the Environment & Natural Resources Directorate (ENRD) is split?

The plan to split the current ENRD is set to happen during the later quarter of this year. This division will mean that the two directorates – Environment & Natural Resources and the new Infrastructure & Transport (I&T) directorate – will be funded from within the current ENRD budget. The overall budget allocation for the I&T Directorate will increase as the reorganisation will include the works and operations of the Airport Directorate, which will move to the I&T Directorate.

 #StHelena #CouncillorsConstituencyMeetings #ENRC

Environment & Natural Resources Committee

18 June 2018

The Probation Team of the St Helena Police Directorate is currently looking for any projects and/or individual placements that can be assisted by Community Service.

Probation Officer, Fiona Campbell, explains:

Community Service is a key part of the justice system which acts both as a punishment for offending behaviour, and as an important rehabilitative measure allowing individuals to make reparation to the community they have offended within.”

Previous group projects have included clearing land, painting, decorating and gardening for Community Centres and Church groups. Individuals are allocated to placements identified by the Probation Team which can be on a group or an individual basis.

At present, group placements take place on a Saturday from 8am and are supervised by Prison staff, however consideration will be given to other days and supervision is not always required.

When considering potential new projects, an assessment of suitability will be made based on the following principles:

  • The project must not deliver profit to an individual or business
  • The unpaid employment must not displace a paid post
  • The project must benefit the community or members of the community

For further information or to register your interest, contact the Probation Team on tel: 22722 or 22626 ext: 222, or email: or Alternatively, interested persons can meet with the Probation Team in person at Coleman House to discuss any ideas.

#StHelena #CommunityService #ProbationStHelena #Projects #GivingBack

15 June 2018

Gavin (Jack) Thomas has been appointed as the new Public Guardian for St Helena and Ascension Island, in accordance with section 124(1) of the St Helena Mental Health & Mental Capacity Ordinance, 2015. Gavin will continue the work of the previous Public Guardian, Paul McGinnety, who left the Island in May.

The Public Guardian, within the framework of the Mental Health & Mental Capacity Ordinance, 2015, protects vulnerable adults who lack the mental capacity to make decisions. One of the most important functions of the Public Guardian is to supervise the people who have Powers of Attorney for those vulnerable adults.

Gavin said:

“I am delighted to take up my role as Public Guardian. I look forward to the challenges and opportunities it will bring in supporting some of our most vulnerable citizens. In particular, ensuring the protection of those who may not have the mental capacity to make certain decisions for themselves.”

Lasting Power of Attorney and Deputyship

Persons can make provision for a time when they may not have mental capacity.This can be done through a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) which appoints a donee to make decisions on a person’s behalf in respect of their personal welfare and/or property and affairs. The Lasting Power of Attorney is only triggered if, at some point after having made it, a person loses mental capacity.

If someone no longer has mental capacity in relation to a particular decision and that person did not make a LPA the Ordinance enables the Supreme Court to appoint a deputy. A deputy may make decisions in relation to a person’s property and financial affairs and/or a person’s personal welfare. If the deputy is ordered to make decisions about a person’s property and financial affairs this could involve managing property, selling property, buying property and conducting legal proceedings on that person’s behalf. If the deputy is ordered to make decisions about a person’s personal welfare this could involve deciding where the person lives, what contact they have with others and consenting to medical treatment on behalf of that person.

The work of donees and deputies is kept under review by the Public Guardian whose role includes:

  • Keeping a register of LPAs
  • Keeping a register of court orders appointing deputies
  • Supervising the deputies appointed by the court
  • Receiving security required by the court
  • Receiving reports from donees and deputies
  • Reporting to the court
  • Investigating complaints against donees and deputies, and
  • Submitting a yearly report to the Governor

People are strongly encouraged to create a Lasting Power of Attorney which must be registered with the Public Guardian. Appointed donees will receive support and supervision from the Public Guardian.

Please contact the Public Guardian, Gavin (Jack) Thomas, on tel: 22713 at the Safeguarding Directorate, Brick House, if you need help or would like further information.

#StHelena #PublicGuardian #LPA


15 June 2018

Towards the end of May this year, a local fisherman spotted some wreckage washed ashore at Turks Cap Bay. Unfortunately, due to large swells, the fisherman could not get close enough to identify the wreckage. It was later reported to the St Helena Sea Rescue Service.

On Friday, 1 June, the Sea Rescue Service went out to investigate. On arrival, in Sea Rescue 3, sea conditions were again too rough to deploy someone ashore, therefore the directorate’s drone was flown from the boat to take aerial footage of the wreckage. The footage obtained indicated that the wreckage was part of the overturned hull of a boat.

Following the report from the Sea Rescue team, Emergency Planning Manager, Ian Johnson, and Emergency Planning Officer, Marco Yon, along with Sea Rescue Auxiliary, Paul Cherrett, hiked down to the beach to take a closer look and take further photos. The wreckage has now been identified as part of a catamaran, probably of South African origin.

Further investigation is being carried out by the South African Sea Rescue Service to see if the boat can be identified.

#StHelena #SeaRescue #EmergencyPlanning #BoatWreckage

15 June 2018

At the Garden Party to mark the birthday of HM Queen Elizabeth II, held at Plantation House on Saturday, 9 June 2018, Her Excellency Governor Lisa Honan awarded Certificates and Badges of Honour to persons for their loyal and valuable services that have provided exceptional benefit to the people of St Helena.

In HE’s speech before the presentation, Governor Lisa said:

“We cannot forget that since the last Queen’s Birthday Party we have said a sad farewell to the RMS St Helena. Much has been said and written about the RMS, which I won’t repeat. But what I would like to do today is recognise the people who provided long and valuable service to her and, by extension to the Island.”

Certificates & Badges of Honour

In recognition of 20+ years’ continuous service on the RMS St Helena until the ship was decommissioned in February 2018, Certificates & Badges of Honour were awarded to Captain Andrew Greentree, Captain Adam Williams, Jacqueline Joshua, Timothy Francis, Cyril Joshua, Jeffrey Augustus, Ethel Benjamin, Patricia Osborne and Alan Buckley.

David Yon received a Certificate & Badge of Honour for long service (37 years) and outstanding achievement on the RMS.

Certificates and Badges of Honour in recognition of 20+ years’ service on the RMS were presented to Chedric Jonas, Patrick Peters, Patricia Reynolds and Daniel Stroud.

Frederick Green was presented with a Certificate for 20+ years’ continuous service on the RMS until the ship was decommissioned in February 2018 and Patrick Williams and Donald Bowers received Certificates in recognition of 20+ years’ service on the RMS. These crew members had previously been awarded the Badge of Honour in April 2007 for serving on the old RMS St Helena during the 1982 Falklands War.

A Certificate and Badge of Honour in recognition of loyal and valuable services in the nursing profession was also presented to Wendy Herne.

Although recipients have been awarded a Certificate and Badge of Honour, they were only presented with their Certificates at the Garden Party as the Badges are yet to arrive on Island. Badges of Honour will be presented to recipients at a later date.

Acts of Bravery

Acts of Bravery Awards were presented to Wayne Yon and Ricardo Williams for performing an act of bravery on 12 July 2016 by putting their own lives at peril in attempt to rescue a friend and fellow fisherman whilst the MFV Amalia was on an offshore fishing trip.

Dean Gonsalves, Craig Scipio and Paul Scipio were awarded a bronze medal and Act of Bravery Certificate from The Royal Humane Society – a British charity which recognises those who have contributed to the saving of life – for performing an act of bravery by being instrumental in the sea rescue of a victim who had been attacked by a shark whilst swimming in English Bay, Ascension Island on 21 April 2017.

#StHelena #PlantationHouse #HMQueensBirthday #Awards #Honours


13 June 2018

Her Excellency Governor Lisa Honan hosted a Garden Party at Plantation House to mark the 92nd birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on Saturday, 9 June 2018.

Invited guests included various members of St Helena’s community, Prince Andrew School students, Girl Guides, Scouts, private sector individuals, retired public servants, Miss St Helena & her Runners Up and Elected Members.

In HE’s opening speech, Governor Lisa, said:

“As you look around today, the common thread is ‘achievement’. St Helena has come a long way since the last Queen’s Birthday Party. Sometimes you don’t even see it happening. But the achievements and progress this year are in no small part down to the people here today. So I want to thank you. Going forward it’s certainly not going to be plain sailing, but if we all work together and cooperate, I am confident St Helena will move forward.”

Governor Lisa then presented Certificates and Badges of Honour to crew members of the RMS St Helena for over 20 years continuous service, and for long service until the ship was decommissioned in February 2018. Awards for Acts of Bravery were also presented, as well as a Badge of Honour recognising long service and commitment to nursing.

Prince Andrew School student, Keira Francis, also gave a speech on the day. Keira said:

“It’s halfway through the year of 2018 and so much has happened. There have been so many achievements, celebrations and future prospects/aims here on St Helena. The Island is changing, and I feel it is changing for the better. St Helena is leading the way forward in the eyes of increased connectivity, environmental awareness and sustainability.”

The day concluded with guests mingling and enjoying live music provided by the ‘Get Togethers’ Orchestra.

#StHelena #PlantationHouse #HMQueensBirthday #GardenParty #Celebration


12 June 2018

Executive Council met today with no substantive items on the Open Agenda.

Under the Closed Agenda, Council was asked to approve the excision of four Land Parcels from the Green Heartland Zone and for these parcels to be rezoned within the Intermediate Zone with associated development privileges as provided by a design brief.

Members were happy to approve the excision, noting that there were exceptional circumstances relating to this request. Members requested that a press release on this matter should be issued by the Chief Planning Officer.

Under any other business, Members noted that there had been a news item on one of the local radio stations in relation to SHG’s representation as the major shareholder on the Board of Solomon & Company (St Helena) Plc and that this was being addressed.

The meeting closed at 10.45am.


12 June 2018