Executive Council met today, Tuesday 11 February 2014, to consider five items on the open agenda.

The Governor and Executive Council welcomed to the meeting the new Head of the Governor’s Office, Sean Burns, Mr Burns will act as Governor when Governor Capes is off-Island and will continue to shadow the Governor as part of his induction programme.

The first item was seeking approval for a new Housing Register and Allocations Policy.  The policy is designed to replace the current complex and outdated points system for allocation of Government Landlord Housing. While Executive Council agreed in principle the need to adopt a more equitable and efficient system, they did not feel that the proposal had sufficient detail for them to approve the changes. It was therefore agreed that further work was needed on the paper and that it should be referred back to the Social and Community Development Committee before re-submitting to Executive Council.

The second item was the request to consider the introduction of a policy to offer for sale to existing tenants Government Landlord Housing, with clear guidance outlined for officers involved in administering the service.  The paper also requested that consideration be given to introducing an Appeals Process to challenge any decisions on sales. Executive Council agreed with the principle of both proposals but requested more detail, including the composition of an Appeals Board. 

The third item was the application for renewal of a broadcasting license for Saint FM Community Radio Guarantee Limited.  This is a statutory regulatory responsibility for the Governor in Council and Executive Council recommended to the Governor that a one year license be issued, subject to payment of the statutory license fee.

The fourth item on the open agenda was the request for Executive Council to approve the Harbours, Prohibited Anchoring Area Regulations 2014.  These regulations refer specifically to the RFA Darkdale wreck.  In 2012, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) conducted a full survey which ascertained that the wreck was a War Grave, contained live ammunition and continued to seep oil.  The consequence of any disturbance to the vessel is potentially serious for St Helena both ecologically and physically.  The MoD has instructed that an exclusion zone be imposed on anchoring in the area of the wreck.  As a local regulation is required to impose this zone, Executive Council approved a prohibited anchoring area such that no vessel shall be allowed to anchor within a 200 metre radius of the RFA Darkdale wreck site. It is anticipated that a team from the MoD will visit St Helena later this year to remove the oil from the wreck.

The last item was an information paper on the undertakings and resolutions made at the Formal Meeting of the Legislative Council held on 14 October 2013.  An update of undertakings and a Legislative Council tracker document will be maintained along with action points still outstanding.

The meeting concluded at 10.15am.

ExCo

11 February 2014

 

 

Waste Cell
Waste Cell

The Solid Waste Project, a major SHG capital project to provide improved waste management systems on St Helena is making good progress.

The project will not only significantly improve solid waste management for every resident and visitor but also has strong input towards the Island gaining Airport certification, whilst also providing opportunities for waste minimisation and recycling – contributing towards a ‘greener’ St Helena.

The first phase of the project are the current redevelopment works taking place at the Horse Point Landfill site to put in place the infrastructure, facilities, systems and procedures required to establish an effective long-term Solid Waste Management Strategy for St Helena. The redevelopment is an important component within the St Helena Airport Project, as it addresses the potential bird strike risk that the landfill could present when the Island’s Airport is operational.

HG Health and Social Welfare Team with new Waste Cell in the background
HG Health and Social Welfare Team with new Waste Cell in the background

Solid Waste Management Project Manager, Mike Durnford, explains:

“The simple fact is – households dispose of organic waste, the waste is disposed of at the landfill site and the birds feed on the organic waste. The close proximity of the landfill to the Airport means that birds pose a threat to aircraft by what is known as ‘bird-strike’. “To minimise the risk of bird-strike, the project provides a bird netting system, improved disposal methods and other measures such as pigeon monitoring, pigeon culling, promoting organic waste composting and waste minimisation more generally.”

Currently on Island is James Chignell, Technician Supervisor overseeing the bird netting installation at the landfill site and providing training to staff responsible for the servicing, maintenance and moving of the netting system as required.

Mike explains:

“The bird netting is designed to sit above the active waste cell, which is 24m x 12m. The netting is supported by 4 x 12m high masts mounted on solid bases. It is designed to prevent access to birds to feed on the organic within the waste cell.”

Future visitors to Horse Point Landfill site can expect to see significant signs of redevelopment, including a new road network within the site, the bird netting system which will be in place from next week, the construction of a new waste reception building and a civic recycling centre for the safe disposal of recyclables and other wastes.

Mike said:

“To date, the redevelopment of the site is on time – estimated completion is 12 May 2014 – and within scope and budget. SHG has an excellent working relationship with the contractor Basil Read who have been extremely helpful. We are also fortunate to have the professional services of Bill Scanes, SHG’s Construction Phase Project Manager, without whom the redevelopment phase of the project would not have been the success it has been to date.”

The project will also provide specialist vehicles and plant for use on site, plus two new Refuse Collection Vehicles (RCVs), and wheelie bins that will be issued to all households to modernise the domestic waste collection service. Key stakeholders involved in the project include the Environment and Natural Resources Directorate, the Airport Directorate and the Health and Social Welfare Directorate. Two photos are attached to this release.

SHG

11 February 2014

The First Sitting of the Third Meeting of Legislative Council will take place on Friday 14 February 2014 at 10am in the Court House, Jamestown. This session is expected to last for the day and will be broadcast live via SAMS Radio 1.

Five papers will be presented in the House. They are:

 

  • Statutory Report on English Law, 2013
  • A Bill for an Ordinance, The First Supplementary Appropriation Ordinance 2014
  • The St Helena Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Report to Legislative Council on the Formal Session of PAC held on 12 March 2013
  • The St Helena Public Accounts Committee Supplementary Report to Legislative Council on the Formal Session of PAC held on 12 March 2013
  • Government of St Helena Supplementary Estimates, February 2014

During the meeting there will also be four Questions and three Motions.

The meeting will conclude with the customary Adjournment Debate, when Councillors will have the opportunity to raise various issues relating to St Helena.

The Order paper for Friday’s meeting is available on the SHG website at:  http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/committee-reports/

SHG

10 February 2014

 

St Helena in figures (SHIF) is a synopsis of the main statistical facts relating to St Helena.  It is intended to summarise the Island’s key characteristics.  This 2012/13 SHIF release comprises figures for financial years 2009/10 to 2012/13 and reflects data on a wide array of topics including population, production, public finance and tourism.

The SHIF complements the annual Statistical Yearbook publication which collates data in the form of tables and charts for a variety of diverse subjects.  To see more extensive and back dated information on these areas, the 2012/13 Statistical Yearbook is published on the St Helena Government website. Alternatively, you may visit the Statistics Office in the Castle courtyard or contact us on 22138 or email:  statistics@sainthelena.gov.sh.

Attached are the SHIF in a PDF  format and an Excel complementary document.

SHG

10 February 2014

The Education Committee met on 22 January 2014 at the Education Learning Centre. Present at the meeting was Committee Chairman, Christine Scipio-O’Dean, and Councillors Nigel Dollery, Tony Duncan, Derek Thomas and Cyril George. Also in attendance were Director of Education Colin Moore, Advisory Teacher (ICT) Andy Day, Education Officer (Training) Wendy Benjamin, Advanced Skills Teacher (Maths) Carol Youde, Senior Executive Office (Accounts) Joanne Crowie, Capital Programme Manager, Sarah Troman, Buildings Surveyor, Tracey Goldsmith, and Committee Secretary, Joy Peters.

The first item on the open agenda was an update on Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) provision in the primary schools, presented by Mr Andy Day. The Committee was informed that the computer suites in the schools are being configured with a file server to enable students to have easy access to their work. The Primary school staff are trained on Mondays and Wednesdays to enable them to use ICT to mark books, compile reports and track spreadsheets.

Mrs Carol Youde then gave a presentation on her forthcoming overseas training in the UK.  It is anticipated that Mrs Youde will develop her knowledge and understanding of a middle manager’s role in leading subject development within the primary schools, with a key focus on developing the mathematics curriculum.  The Committee wished Mrs Youde the best of luck with her training and look forward to an update on her return.

The third item on the agenda was the financial statements for December 2013.

The Committee approved the proposed Public Library Policy that provides guidance to the staff within the Directorate. This policy will be presented to Executive Council in February for endorsement.

The first item of the closed agenda was an update from Ms Tracey Goldsmith and Ms Sarah Troman on the maintenance programme for all schools. It was agreed by all present that there was considerable work to be done.

Other items discussed were the draft Ten Year Plan for Education and the DfID Education Adviser’s report. 

Christine Scipio-O’Dean

Chairman

Education Committee

SHG, 10 February 2014

Carol Youde
Carol Youde

Departing on the RMS on Friday 7February for a period of overseas training and exposure for the Education and Employment Directorate is Carol Youde (photo attached).  Carol is currently based in Pilling Primary School as an Advanced Skills Teacher (Maths), teaching Year 5/6. 

Carol’s training in the UK will focus on developing her knowledge and understanding of a middle manager’s role in leading subject development within a primary school – with a key focus on leading the mathematics curriculum.  

Carol will also gain an insight into curriculum design in the primary sector with an exposure to the International Primary Curriculum.

Carol met with the Education Committee on 22January 2014, where she gave an overview of what her training programme would entail, to gain vital skills and experience to improve the standards of maths teaching in St Helena’s primary schools.  The Committee was supportive of this training and was pleased to see focus being given to a vital subject in the curriculum. 

Carol commented:

“I am privileged to be given this opportunity to go on an exposure visit.  Being a St Helenian teacher and knowing the Island’s culture means I can focus on and select what is more likely to benefit our children in raising attainment.  More importantly, on my return I look forward to cascading the knowledge and skills gained to all primary teachers on St Helena.”

SHG

7 February 2014

 

Lauren Evans
Lauren Evans

The Air Access Office has appointed a new Deputy Airport Project Director (Environment & Operations) from 27 February 2014.

Lauren Evans (photo attached) joins the Access team on a fixed contract until 31 March 2016, and her main role will be to facilitate the delivery of the Airport Project, with particular responsibility for the environmental aspects of the project to be delivered by St Helena Government.

 Lauren said:

“At present there is a lot of work on overseeing the construction phase, but my role will also include leading on the delivery of SHG’s wider environmental responsibilities for certification of the Airport and the operational phase when it opens.”

Lauren will work closely with SHG colleagues, including in the Environmental Management Division within the Environmental and Natural Resources Directorate. She will also liaise closely with the environmental leads in Halcrow’s Project Management Unit, Basil Read, DfID and other environment interest groups.

Initially, Lauren’s main focus will be on the planning and preparation of work programmes related to the environmental aspects of Airport certification and operations.

Lauren commented on her new role:

“Being involved in the Airport Project is very exciting.  There will be several challenges ahead, but being able to contribute to the success of the project in this role is the real motivation.

“One of the main challenges will be to deliver the really diverse aspects of the project effectively and on time.  There is a lot of work ahead but I think St Helena Government, supported by the Access Office, is in a strong position to do this.” 

Lauren has worked for seven years for SGS (a global testing, inspection, audit and certification company) in various countries and in roles related to different aspects of environmental management.  In South Africa, she managed a department of auditors and consultants, and led on projects to audit environmental performance of companies including at large mining sites.  In the UK, Lauren worked as a consultant for environmental legislation, in Australia she managed an environmental laboratory, providing testing services and related technical advice. 

Lauren’s work is supported by a Bachelor of Science degree, and she is also currently completing a Masters of Science in Sustainability Management.

SHG

7 February 2014

Open to the Public from 9.30am

Executive Council will meet on Tuesday 11 February 2014 in the Council Chamber.

Starting at 9.30am, the meeting will be open to the public for the following agenda items:

  • Introduction of a New Housing Register and Allocations Policy
  • Sale of Government Landlord Housing
  • Application for Renewal of Broadcasting Licence – Saint FM Community Radio
  • Harbours (Prohibited Anchoring Area) Regulations, 2014
  • Information paper on Undertakings and Resolutions made at the Formal Meeting of Legislative Council held on 14 October 2013.

Following the discussion of these items the meeting will be closed to the public.

Executive Council Members are: Ian Rummery, Cyril George, Christine Scipio-O’Dean, Leslie Baldwin and Lawson Henry.    

SHG

7 February 2014

Governor Capes has today issued the Writ of Election, for the 12 March Bye-Election.

The Writ confirms the last day and time for receiving Nominations to elect a Member to fill the vacant seat on Legislative Council, following the resignation of Tony Green in December 2013.

The last day and time for nominations is 12 noon on Wednesday 26 February 2014 and all nominations should be delivered within this time to the Returning Officer, Mrs Gillian Francis, at the Castle, Jamestown.

If more than one valid nomination is received, a Poll will be taken. Polling Day will take place on Wednesday 12 March 2014, at the following Polling Stations:

• Blue Hill Community Centre

• Half Tree Hollow Community Centre

• Harford Community Centre

• Judges Lodge at Alarm Forest

• Kingshurst Community Centre

• Levelwood Community Centre

• Jamestown Community Centre, and

• Sandy Bay Community Centre

The Register of Electors has now been amended to take account of applications received and has today been published in an Extraordinary Gazette. This new Register will be used in the Bye-Election. Only those persons with their name on the new Register of Electors will be eligible to stand for Legislative Council, providing they are over the age of 21 years.

Only persons named on the amended Register will be able to vote in the Bye-Election. A copy of the amended Register of Electors can be found on the SHG website (http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/government-gazettes/) and at the following locations around the Island:

• All Community Centres

• The Public Library

• The Customer Service Centre

• The Post Office

• Half Tree Hollow Supermarket

• The Agriculture and Natural Resources Office, Scotland

• Head O’ Wain Clinic • Audrey Yon’s Shop, Blue Hill

• Sandy Bay shops,

• Silver Hill Shop, and

• The Longwood Supermarket.

Assistant Registration Officers in the different districts around the Island will also have copies of the new Register, together with nomination forms.

The Assistant Registration Officers are as follows: • Jamestown – Robert Essex, Alicia Thomas, Olive Williams, Douglas Bennett • Levelwood – Ronald Coleman, Pamela Joshua • Longwood – Paula Moyce, Christina Henry • Alarm Forest – Jane Augustus, Brenda Thomas • Half Tree Hollow – Karen Yon, Michelle Yon, Connie Johnson • St Paul’s – Alfreda Yon, Jackie Moyce • Blue Hill – Stedson Francis, Georgina Young • Sandy Bay – Alfred Isaac, Anita Legg.

The Assistant Registration Officer Gerrilyn Crowie, on Ascension Island, will also hold a copy of the amended Register. Alternatively, the Register is available from Corporate Support at the Castle – and further details may be obtained from the Registration and Returning Officer, Gillian Francis, at the Castle on telephone numbers 22470 or 22314 or via email: deputychiefsec@sainthelena.gov.sh

Further information on the Bye-Election will be published in due course.

SHG

7 February 2014

Further to the announcement regarding the closure of the Wharf on the afternoon of Thursday 6 February through to 8.30am on Monday 10 February, HM Customs and the Port Authority wish to clarify that the closure on Saturday 8 Feb and Sunday 9 Feb will be to the general public only – and will not affect those who have sought and received prior authorisation from HM Customs or the Port Authority to access the area.

SHG

6 February 2014