As part of our ongoing commitment to improving services within SHG, The Post Office & and Customer Service Centre (CSC) we will be introducing a number of changes that will be both visible to the public and behind the scenes. 

Customers will are informed that from 1 November 2013, the Post Office & Customer Service Centre has new opening times from 08:30 to 15:45 Mondays to Fridays and Saturdays from 08:30 to 12:00.  This will give 5 additional hours per week for the public to access Post registry, licensing and other key services. 

Income Related Benefits and Basic Island Pension recipients will also be pleased to know that we have from 1 November 2013 introduced a second point for the collection of benefits in the CSC and will also offer an express till service for up to three transactions.  This aims to alleviate congestion and provide a quicker, more efficient service. 

From voyage 199 of the RMS St Helena from Ascension Island, International mail will not be issued on the same day as arrival.  Instead, International mail will be available to the public 24 hours after the arrival of the ship.  This will allow Post & Customer Services Centre staff to appropriately sort and organise incoming mail to provide a faster service to customers collecting mail.

We wish to advise customers that due to the stock of Christmas issue stamps from previous years, we will not be releasing new stamps for Christmas this year. Stamps will be issued from the previous three years.  The accumulated stocks of Christmas stamps depict a number of themes: Island Places 2010, RFA Ships 2011 and Christmas Carols 2012.

Christmas stamps and other stamps are available from the Post & Customer Services Centre at the Post Office Building in Jamestown or from sub Post Offices around the Island.

A list of the various issues and stamps is given below. 

2010 Island Places                                     2011 RFA Ships

 

High Knoll Fort                                             RFA Gold Rover

Heart Shaped Waterfall                              RFA Black Rover

Diana’s Peak                                                RFA Darkdale

Jacob’s Ladder.                                            RFA Lyme Bay.

 

2012 Christmas Carols

While Shepherds Watch

Silent Night, Holy Night

Away in a Manager

Little Town of Bethlehem.

 

SHG

11 November 2013

Governors Deputy lays the Territory's Wreath
Governors Deputy lays the Territory’s Wreath

The traditional Remembrance Day Service was held at the Cenotaph on the seafront yesterday.

Held to remember those who have fallen in the two World Wars and later conflicts, the service drew a large congregation of people to pay their respects to those who had lost their lives fighting for their country.

Led by the Right Reverend Lord Bishop of St Helena, Dr Richard Fenwick, the commemoration began with the customary march of the Island’s uniformed contingents from the Canister to the Cenotaph.  This was followed by the laying of the wreaths on the Cenotaph.

Remembrance Sunday
Remembrance Sunday

The Territory’s Wreath was laid by Governor’s Deputy, Owen O’Sullivan and official wreaths were also laid for the French Republic, the Royal Navy, the Army, the Royal Air Force, the Merchant Navy, the St Helena Police Force and the St Helena Fire and Rescue Service. Members of the public were then able to lay their tributes on the Cenotaph.

The Service concluded with the traditional March Past outside the Supreme Court.

In London, St Helena also took part in the Remembrance Day commemorations as St Helenian Ex-Servicemen paraded on Horseguards’ Parade yesterday.

St Helena Ex-Service Man Cyril Brooks
St Helena Ex-Service Man Cyril Brooks

St Helenian Cyril Brooks (photo attached) was one of the Ex-Servicemen who marched in London yesterday. Cyril left the Island at the age of 17 in 1944, Cyril joined the Royal Navy and was stationed at the naval base in Simons Town, South Africa. In 1947 he served on the cruiser HMS Nigeria which escorted HMS Vanguard with the Royal Family on an official tour. Cyril left the Navy in 1948, and moved to the UK in 1949. He was a founder member of the St Helena Association, and served on the committee for 50 years before retiring as Vice President in 2011.

Three photos are attached to this release.

SHG

11 November 2013

Olympic Trolleys
Olympic Trolleys

Twenty five luggage trolleys arrived on the RMS on 30 October 2013 and were used for the first time on 6 November, when passengers disembarked the RMS and proceeded through Immigration and Customs control.

The luggage trolleys were requested by Peter Henderson (former Director General HM Revenue and Customs) as part of the finishing touches for the Customs House Project.  These trolleys are significant and unique in that they have been previously used in the Olympic Village during the London 2012 Olympic Games, and most likely were used by participating athletes from all over the world.

Although fully refurbished by the manufacturer and despite being used only for a few months, they were purchased at half the cost of new trolleys.  They reduce clutter and space within the Customs Building (at the Wharf) and they stack together to reduce storage room.  They are sturdy and can transport several luggage items at a time.

Lionel Joshua, Customs Manager, commented:

“We have had a limited amount of trolleys previously, but these new additions have made it far easier for passengers to transport their baggage.  In the past, arrivals dragged their baggage out of the building.  The addition of extra trolleys allows a safer and user friendly means of transporting luggage.  We now have trolleys to meet our demands.  They were ordered in a timely manner and it was an added surprise that they were used by Olympic athletes.  

These trolleys will now be used by those arriving and departing on the RMS – and bringing a small part of the London 2012 Olympic legacy to St Helena.

SHG

11 November 2013

At this morning’s formal Legislative Council meeting, Councillor Nigel Dollery was elected to serve as a member of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

Councillor Dollery’s appointment results from the resignation of previous PAC Member, Councillor Les Baldwin, who was recently appointed to Executive Council and as Chairman of the Social and Community Development Committee (following Councillor Dollery’s earlier resignation from Executive Council).

SHG

11 November 2013

 

John Cranfeild
John Cranfeild

John Cranfield of Jamestown has been appointed a Justice of the Peace (JP) in and for the Island of St Helena. John took the Oaths in the presence of the Governor’s Deputy, Owen O’Sullivan, on Friday 8 November in the Governor’s Office at the Castle (photo attached).

The main role of a JP is to sit periodically (on a rota) as a member of the Magistrates’ Court. Usually, three Justices make up the Court, and the Court can deal with a wide range of cases which are less serious than those which have to be dealt with by the Chief Justice in the Supreme Court. Outside Court, JPs can sign various summonses and warrants in connection with the work of the Court; and there are certain documents (such as nominations in Council elections) which need to be verified by a JP.

SHG 11 November 2013

Today in St Helena’s Supreme Court, Jeromy Cairns Wicks pleaded guilty to downloading indecent images from the internet onto his computer. This is the first prosecution of this category on St Helena and follows an investigation in which computer materials were seized during the execution of a warrant earlier this year at Mr Cairns Wicks’ home in Jamestown. The St Helena investigative team received expert support from specialist officers at Sussex Police in the UK.

Chief of Police Trevor Botting said:

“Regrettably this is now quite a common offence in the UK, but it is the first time such an offence has been prosecuted in St Helena.

“This investigation would have been very difficult without the welcome assistance of Sussex Police who provided specialist technical support and I am very grateful to them for their help. Safeguarding children is a priority for us all, and the Police Directorate will work closely with the Health and Education directorates to enhance and develop the way in which safeguarding children is managed on St Helena.

“The downloading of indecent images of children is a serious criminal issue that we will continue to address. I would like to give credit to the investigative team for their dedicated work, in difficult circumstances, to bring these offences to Court.”

Jeromy Cairns Wicks is currently serving a 6 month sentence in HMP Jamestown for firearms offences.  He has today been sentenced by Chief Justice Ekins in respect of the above matters to 15 months imprisonment.

Director of Health David Jenkins added:

“The protection of children and young people is a statutory responsibility that we take very seriously. I am appreciative of the investigative diligence demonstrated in this case and we will continue to work together to ensure that robust safeguards are in place and to investigate fully any allegations of activities where the welfare of children or young adults is threatened”.

Mr Cairns Wicks was previously employed as a Police Officer and as a Social Work Manager on St Helena.  An internal review and investigation by the Police and Social Services into potential criminality relating to Mr Cairns Wicks’ employment in St Helena Police and Social Services has taken place. If anyone does feel that there are any issues they would like to raise concerning this matter, please contact Police or Social Services on the Police Confidential Helpline:  22888.

Trevor Botting, Chief of Police & David Jenkins, Director of Health & Social Welfare

SHG

8 November 2013

Legislative Council will meet formally on Monday 11 November, at 10am in the Council Chambers, the Castle, Jamestown – with the session expected to last approximately an hour.   

The change of venue is due to the Court House being occupied for court proceedings.

The purpose of this Legislative Council meeting is for Elected Members to appoint a councilor to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).  

SHG

6 November 2013  

Currently on Island for an eight day visit is Education Adviser, Dr Don Taylor, from the Department for International Development (DfID).

The purpose of Dr Taylor’s visit is to monitor progress in education, training, and skills development on the Island. Dr Taylor has been visiting the four Island schools, meeting teachers, specialist staff, SHG officials and Councillors on the Education Committee. Dr Taylor will also be examining future financial and technical support needs for education on St Helena.

This is Dr Taylor’s second visit to the Island, having first visited in November 2012 for a similar length of time. About this visit Dr Taylor commented: “While it is good to see much improved GCSE exam results this year and all the efforts of the Adult and Vocational Education Service, Enterprise St Helena, and others in providing work-related skills and training, there is still room for improvement, especially in terms of raising literacy and numeracy levels amongst children in the primary schools.”

The DfID Education Adviser’s visits are an annual occurrence. DfID provides financial support for education on the Island through the recurrent budget of SHG and technical support through additional funding for teacher training, advisory teachers, and senior managers.

Previously DfID supported education on the Island through separate projects – but support for education is now provided directly to SHG, with some of the links and partnerships established under previous projects being maintained. Dr Taylor departs the Island on Thursday 7 November and will produce a short update report for DfID and SHG officials.

SHG

5 November 2013

His Excellency, Governor Capes will depart the Island on Thursday 7 November for his first official visit to Tristan da Cunha.

During His Excellency’s three day visit to the Island (19-21 Nov) he will be meeting with the Administrator, Deputy Chief Islander, Tristan da Cunha Council, Heads of Departments and a selection of the Tristan community. Governor Capes will also visit St Joseph and St Mary’s Churches, the school and Hospital, as well as tour the Potato Patches, Lobster Factory and Volcano. During the tour of the Volcano, Governor Capes will lay a plaque commemorating 50 years since the Tristanians returned to the Island (1963), after evacuating in 1961.

During his time in South Africa, Governor Capes – along with Julian Morris the outgoing Chief Executive for Economic Development and Councillor Lawson Henry – will promote St Helena as a tourism destination showcasing the opportunities offered by the Island for select investors, especially in the hotel and accommodation industries.

Governor Capes will return to St Helena on Monday 25 November 2013.

From the day the Governor departs the Island on Thursday 7 November, up until he returns to the Island on Monday 25 November, the Chief Secretary, Owen O’Sullivan, will serve as Governor’s Deputy.

Also departing on Thursday for overseas business will be Councillor Lawson Henry and Assistant Financial Secretary, Dax Richards, to attend the annual Joint Ministerial Conference (JMC) in London from 25-28 November.

Councillor Henry and Dax will also form the St Helena delegation, along with the SHG UK Representative, Kedell Worboys MBE, to attend the 12th OCT-EU Forum in Brussels from 5-6 December 2013.

During the EU Forum, the St Helena delegation will be involved in discussions on the Overseas Countries Territories Association political resolution and territorial and regional programming for the 11th European Development Fund.

Following the Forum, Dax will stay on in Brussels to attend a two day training seminar in his capacity as the Deputy Territorial Authorising Officer.

Both Councillor Henry and Dax will return to the Island on Tuesday 17 December 2013.

SHG

5 November 2013

ExCo met today, Monday 4 November, to discuss one item on the open agenda. There were no members of the public present at the open session.    

The first item of business was the Introduction of a Minimum Income Standard (MIS) for the setting and up rating of Income Related Benefits and the Basic Island Pension.

Minimum Income Standards is the process where an average weekly shopping basket for basic items is determined.  The level of benefit is then aligned to the Standard so that there is a link between benefits and the cost of living. 

All Members agreed that a Minimum Income Standard should be introduced on the Island and as a result of this from 1 December 2013, Basic Island Pension will increase from £50.05 to £53.53 and Income Related Benefits will increase from £48.16 to £51.64.

The Minimum Income Standard will now be reviewed annually and benefits will be adjusted accordingly.

St Helena is believed to be the first Overseas Territory to implement a Minimum Income Standard and ExCo were very pleased to authorise this change.

The remainder of the meeting was closed to the public.

The first item of business on the closed agenda was an amendment to the Gaol’s Ordinance.  Currently a person sentenced to imprisonment for more than 30 days can automatically apply for a 1/3 remission to their sentence.  If a prisoner is released on remission they are subject to conditions, which if they do not comply with, they can be recalled to serve the remainder of their sentence. The amendments to the Gaols’ Ordinance will enable offenders to be recalled to jail should they be found breaching any of the conditions of their release, to serve the remainder of the sentence. ExCo agreed this change.

Following this, the recently appointed Chief of Police, Mr Trevor Botting, gave a presentation on his initial thoughts of the status of the Police Directorate.

Following this, members of the fishing industry gave a presentation regarding the current problems they are suffering as a result of a lack of product. They informed members that many fishermen of the full time fleet are being lured into shore side occupations, leaving just three full time boats operating. ExCo were very sympathetic to the current position.

Under Any Other Business, it was noted that both the Governor and Councillor Lawson Henry would be leaving St Helena on 7 November – the Governor on his official visit to Tristan da Cunha and Councillor Henry to attend the Joint Ministerial Council meeting in London and the OCT-EU Forum in Brussels.

There being no further business the meeting was closed at 11.35 am.

ExCo

4 November 2013