The latest annual inflation rate, released today by the Statistics Office, stands at 4.0%. This is measured using the Retail Price Index and is the annual increase in the cost of the average weekly household ‘shopping basket’ for St Helena, between the fourth quarter of 2017 and the fourth quarter of 2016. The latest inflation rate is slightly less than the rate for the previous quarter, which was 4.4%.

The ‘Alcohol and Tobacco’ category had the highest rate of annual price increase, at 10.8%, and prices in the ‘Food’ category continued to increase faster than the average, at 7.0%. Also notable was a sharp increase in the inflation rate for ‘Housing’, from 0.4% in the third quarter to 4.6% in the fourth quarter, which is largely attributable to the increase in the cost of water introduced on 1 October 2017. The categories with the lowest price inflation rates were ‘Household Goods’, at 0.1%, and ‘Fuel and Light’, which includes electricity, at 0.2%.

Chart: Annual price inflation rate for All Items and Food (%)

The Statistics Office has also today published an average inflation rate for the 2017 calendar year; this is the simple average of the four quarterly rates. For 2017, the average annual rate was 5.1%, an increase compared to the average quarterly rate for 2016, which was 2.6%. The average rate for 2017 is the highest annual average rate for the last five years.

For more details, please see the full version of the Statistical Bulletin attached, or available online at: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/statistical-bulletin-no-1-2018/

#StHelena #InflationRate #RPI #Stats

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SHG

16 January 2018

St Helena’s new Therapeutic Practitioner, Tamara Coleman-Thomas arrived at St Helena on Saturday, 6 January 2018.

Tamara has been appointed on a one-year contract and her main duties will include planning and providing therapeutic interventions for children on St Helena, providing consultation on the mental health needs of vulnerable children, enabling a locally facilitated therapeutic service through upskilling, and supporting the development and implementation of a therapeutic service within the Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and other multi-agency contexts.

Tamara commented:

“I have heard and read a lot of positive things about St Helena; the people and culture, the beautiful landscape and its rich and unique history and I really wanted to become a part of that. I relish the opportunity to work alongside and learn from different groups of people on the Island to develop a therapeutic service.”

 Director of Safeguarding, Matt Ansell, added:

“Tamara joins the Children’s Service team on a one-year contract and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of direct work with children and their families. This is a new role and we envisage that Tamara will work closely with Education and Health colleagues to support the needs of children across the Island. A key part of this role will be to deliver training and support to our local staff to develop their direct work skills.”

 Tamara gained a Master’s degree in Art Psychotherapy in 2012 and has since worked as a Psychotherapist in Children’s Mental Health Services within the NHS, Education, community services and in private practice in London. Since qualifying, Tamara has also completed further training in Systemic Family Therapy and multi-family therapy and has run numerous family groups in community and education settings. Prior to qualifying, Tamara worked with families and vulnerable children and young people for over 10 years in various roles, and is also a qualified teacher and supervisor.

 #StHelena #NewAppointment # TherapeuticPractitioner

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 SHG

15 January 2018

The Royal Mail Ship (RMS) St Helena will depart on her final voyage from the Island on Saturday, 10 February 2018, having dutifully served St Helena for the past 27 years.

Preparations to bid farewell to the RMS are underway and a working group comprising of representatives from St Helena Line, the RMS, SHG, St Helena Tourism, Solomon & Company (St Helena) Plc and Legislative Council has been established to take forward the celebrations and ensure the RMS gets the ‘send off’ she deserves.

A programme of events has been put together which starts when the RMS is in Cape Town. The ship will host a cocktail party onboard for invited guests before sailing on her last voyage from Cape Town on Wednesday, 24 January. The RMS will sail from ‘F Berth’ where the Cape Town Caledonian Pipe Band, dignitaries and others will be able to wave goodbye to the vessel. Director of St Helena Line, Mrs Kedell Worboys MBE, will also present Captain Adam Williams with a 27ft ‘paying off’ pennant, to mark the 27 years’ service of the RMS St Helena – the pennant will be flown from the RMS mast as she sets sail from Cape Town.

During the RMS’ visit to Ascension Island on Saturday, 3 February, the ship will host a cocktail/drinks party for invited guests.

The RMS arrives at St Helena on Tuesday, 6 February, when the on-Island activities for her farewell begin.

A service of thanksgiving will be held at St James’ Church for RMS crew – this will conclude with a procession to the Sea Front. Members of the public will be invited to attend.

A ‘memory wall’ will be placed in various locations throughout the week for members of the public to share their memories of the RMS.

The main celebrations will take place on Friday, 9 February, with an RMS Open Day and celebrations on the Sea Front. Prior bookings will be taken for the Open Day and further details will be released shortly. Celebrations will include an exciting performance by the RMS Amateur Dramatics Society and live music by various local bands.

Passengers travelling on the final voyage will be treated to celebrations onboard the ship and able to listen to a live broadcast of the festivities taking place ashore.

The public will have a chance to say goodbye to the RMS crew on Saturday, 10 February, when all crew members in their uniforms proceed from the Grand Parade in Jamestown, through the Arch, making their way along the Sea Front before returning to the ship.

The RMS will depart St Helena at 4pm on Saturday. The 27ft paying off pennant will be walked from the Sea Front to the bottom steps where Kedell will once again present the pennant to Captain Williams. Members of the public will be allowed access to the bottom steps to witness this and to say a final farewell.

It is planned for a flotilla of boats to circle the harbour and the RMS St Helena before she pulls up anchor. Captain Williams will then sail towards Buttermilk Point before turning around for a steam past the harbour, allowing all ashore to view the RMS for one last time decked out in full dress and to view the 27ft paying off pennant. The RMS will then stop at Lemon Valley where her flags will be taken down before continuing her onward journey to Cape Town.

Further details of the programme including times and details of various competitions will be published in the coming weeks. Members of the working group will also be on local radio informing the public of celebrations taking place.

It is hoped that the community will come together to give the RMS St Helena an unforgettable send off.

Notes:

 The RMS St Helena launched by HRH Prince Andrew in Aberdeen on 31 October 1989, came into service in November 1990 when she departed from Cardiff on her maiden voyage. The RMS originally had capacity to carry 126 passengers which was increased to 156 in 2012.  She can carry up to 92 standard 20ft containers, including 17 reefers.

Her last voyage is 268, meaning she will have completed 268 voyages.

While two other ships still carry the legacy ‘Royal Mail’ designation, the RMS St Helena is the only remaining Royal Mail Ship contracted by Royal Mail to carry mail across the seas. A stamp will be released by Royal Mail on 14 February depicting the RMS St Helena.

#StHelena #RMSStHelena #Farewell

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RMS Farewell Working Group

12 January 2018

The Jamestown Swimming Pool will reopen tomorrow, Saturday 13 January 2018.

The Swimming Pool Project has been a massive combined effort from conception to completion by SHG, UK-based consultants and the private sector. The installation of the replacement filtration and pipework system has increased both the efficiency and provides a much improved quality control dosing system, together with the improved appearance of the pool and changing rooms, which will add to the users enjoyment.

The Swimming Pool Project arose following the recent drought which highlighted the leaks and, following various consultations and investigations, the project was initially picked up by the SHG Procurement team who sourced a filtration designer and supplier (Barr and Wray, UK). Once this procurement had taken place and materials arrived on-Island the Project was handed over to ENRD Technical Services and Works teams to design and implement.

Completion of the heritage wall by National Trust, changing room refurbishment by ENRD works team, and Henry’s Construction implementing the difficult task of installing the filter system, pipework and the complementary refurbishment of the swimming pool complex, demonstrates that by working together much can be achieved. The project although challenging has been a huge success.

ENRD commented:

“This project has been made a success by a coordinated effort from various teams, such as, Johnny Dillon, Connect Saint Helena and ENRD works team but most of all Henry’s Construction and their sub-contractors who undertook a monumental task.” 

#StHelena #SwimmingPool #Reopening

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 SHG

12 January 2018

The Social & Community Development Committee met on Wednesday, 10 January 2018.

In the Open Session, proposed increases in fees & charges were considered in respect of legislation falling within the Committee’s responsibility, namely licence fees for Gaming Machines and Liquor Licences. It was agreed for further work to be undertaken before the proposals are brought back to Committee.

A mandate was given for the position of Children’s Champion to be included in legislation. This proposal will ensure that the membership of the Safeguarding Children’s Board will always include a Children’s Champion. Once an amendment to the Welfare of Children Regulations 2010 has been drafted, it will be referred back to Committee. Widening the scope for selecting a Children’s Champion in the future would be taken into account. It was also agreed for the Safeguarding Children’s Board to include a member of the Health Directorate.

The interim report from the Equality & Human Rights Commission (EHRC) was considered and it was noted that the Commission has published its first Annual Report which can be viewed on their website: www.humanrightssthelena.org. An update on actions in the EHRC’s Strategic Plan was also provided to Committee. A separate meeting will be arranged to discuss the enforcement of the Employment Rights legislation to ensure compliance.

The Closed Session included an update by the Director of Safeguarding, outlining key issues and progress to date.

A matter was raised about Carers’ Allowances. As this cannot be treated in isolation, it was agreed that an assessment of the provisions of existing policies would initially be undertaken.

Other items of note were:

  • New Regulations arising from the new Marriage Bill are being drafted
  • A session will be arranged with all Elected Members to assess the work that has previously been done on draft Freedom of Information and Data Protection legislation and to discuss how this should be taken forward
  • An assessment to be undertaken soon about progressing work on updating the Social Security Ordinance

 The Social & Community Development Committee comprises Councillors Anthony Green (Chairman), Cyril Leo (Deputy Chairman), Kylie Hercules, Derek Thomas and Gavin Ellick. The non-voting members are the Director of Safeguarding and the Government Economist. The Committee’s Secretary is Nicole Plato.

 #StHelena #Social&CommunityDevelopment #SCDC

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 SHG

12 January 2018

The Port & Aerodrome (Health) 2018 Bill and the First Supplementary Appropriation (2017/18) Bill 2018 will be taken to the next Formal Legislative Council meeting, scheduled to take place on Thursday, 25 January 2018.

The Port & Aerodrome (Health) 2018 Bill regulates port and aerodrome health in St Helena and makes provision for the introduction of health protection measures for safeguarding public health and preventing the spread of infection or contamination by means of ships and aircraft arriving at or departing from the Island.

The First Supplementary Appropriation (2017/18) Bill 2018 seeks to increase the amounts provided for the services of the financial year 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018.

The draft Bills can found under the Public Consultations section of the Publications page on the St Helena Government website at: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/

Any comments on the proposed Bills can be made to the Clerk of Councils, Lydia Buchanan, via email: lydia.h.buchanan@sainthelena.gov.sh by Friday, 19 January 2018.

 #StHelena #FormalLegco

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 SHG

10 January 2018

Two members of the FCO-led Blue Belt programme team, Martin Collins from the Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), and Craig McGarvey from the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), will be arriving on the RMS St Helena today, Wednesday 10 January 2018. Arriving on Saturday, 20 January, will be another member of the team, Tammy Stamford, also from CEFAS.

The Blue Belt is a programme which has been providing funding to support the scientific assessment, implementation, management, monitoring and surveillance of the existing and developing large-scale Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the UK’s Overseas Territories.

The team will be on-Island to gain a more detailed understanding of the issues, challenges, and opportunities facing St Helena, as well as to build relationships with the programme’s stakeholders. This will help maximise the benefits of the Blue Belt programme to St Helena, building on work already underway including a vital tuna tagging programme and strategies to prevent illegal fishing in St Helena’s waters.

The team will be meeting with a variety of people during their time here including marine industry representatives, SHG officials and Councillors. The team also plan to give a presentation to the public on the Blue Belt programme at the Museum on, Friday 12 January, at 7pm – members of the public are encouraged to attend.

Craig will leave the Island on Sunday, 14 January, while Martin will remain here until Saturday, 3 February. Tammy is due to leave the Island on Sunday, 11 February.

 #StHelena #BlueBeltProgramme

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 SHG

10 January 2018

Dr Angela (Angie) Jackson-Morris (photo attached) arrived at St Helena on Saturday, 6 January 2018, to take up her new role as Health Promotion & Social Marketing Lead.

Dr Angie has been appointed on a two-year contract, and her main duties will be to work with people on the Island to develop ways to address some of the big health challenges like diabetes and heart disease, and to promote positive health now and into the future.

A key part of Dr Angie’s role will be to work with a wide range of people in the community and staff from across SHG, community institutions, voluntary organisations and the private sector.

Dr Angie commented:

“I’m really looking forward to being part of life on the Island, and to working with the community to develop ways to enhance health and wellbeing for Saints now and into the future.”

 Director of Health, Dr Akeem Ali, added:

“Angie joins us at an opportune time as we tackle the long-term impact of chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and joint problems while also reinforcing activities to prevent these diseases arising in the first instance. Risky excess body weight, smoking, harmful use of alcohol, and other lifestyle factors contribute to the aforementioned diseases and including cancers, heart attacks and strokes that are common on the Island. All of these ailments are largely preventable by reducing the level of these risk factors; however, this can only happen by working with everyone on the Island where they live, work and play.

 “Angie has experience of working with communities to jointly find ideas and approaches to reducing risk factors to health. She will bring these experiences to bear as she works with the whole community and other team members across SHG, charities, businesses and partners to develop long-term solutions that are culturally relevant for the Island.”

 Angie trained in Health Promotion at the University of Edinburgh and subsequently obtained a doctorate in the area of cardiovascular disease prevention. She has since worked in the health promotion area of public health for more than twenty years, working in different parts of rural South Asia as well as in the UK for a number of years.

 #StHelena #NewAppointment 

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SHG

10 January 2018

Executive Council met today with the primary aim of discussing the First Supplementary Appropriation (2017/18) Bill 2018.  This Bill is to be presented at the next formal meeting of the Legislative Council scheduled for Thursday, 25 January 2018, and will be published shortly. 

A Supplementary Appropriation is necessary following in year adjustments to both revenue and expenditure forecasts, and represents an adjustment to the amount appropriated in the initial budget at the beginning of the financial year.  At this stage of the year, it is estimated that adjustments totalling just over £1m are required. Council approved the Bill in principle, subject to further discussions with DFID.

The meeting concluded at 11.15am.

ExCo

9 January 2018

The Supreme Court of St Helena was formally opened today, Monday 8 January 2018.

A special marchpast of uniformed contingents took place on the Grand Parade at 10am to mark the tenth anniversary of Chief Justice Ekins’ appointment as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of St Helena.

The official opening of the Supreme Court commenced as His Lordship, the Chief Justice, Charles Ekins Esq, entered the Courthouse accompanied by the Sheriff of St Helena, Mrs Ethel Yon OBE, and Bishop Richard Fenwick. Lawyers, Justices of the Peace, officials, and members of the public were also in attendance.

Attorney General, Angelo Berbotto, welcomed the Lord Chief Justice.

In his speech, the Attorney General said:

“This is a special occasion.  It marks the 10th anniversary of your appointment as Chief Justice of the three territories.  And it would be fair to assume that in this decade of service, my Lord has seen significant changes – my Lord was appointed when the previous Constitution was still in force, and there has been a number of legal reforms and different actors since, including a succession of Attorneys General.

 “This is a special occasion for me as well, my Lord, as it is the last time I will be addressing you in my capacity as AG for the territories.  After two and a half years on St Helena, it is time to move on. Ms Sara O’Donnell has been appointed Attorney General Designate.  Ms O’Donnell returns to St Helena next week. Upon my departure on 27 January, she will be made Acting Attorney General.  I will remain AG until the end of my contract in mid-March but Ms O’Donnell will conduct the every-day management of Chambers. I am certain that Chambers will continue to grow under the leadership of Ms O’Donnell.”

 This was followed by an address from the Chief Justice, who said:

“As previewed in the press, this marchpast recognises the 10th anniversary as my appointment of Chief Justice of the St Helena Supreme Court, an anniversary that was reached in August of last year. This will be the third time the opening has been attended by a marchpast, and I extend my heartfelt thanks to all involved.”

 Civil and Criminal cases will be heard by the Supreme Court until Friday, 26 January 2018.

#StHelena #ChiefJustice #SupremeCourt #FormalOpening

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SHG

8 January 2018