Following the resignation of Councillor Tony Green from Legislative Council, which took effect from Tuesday 17 December 2013, a resulting By-Election will be held on Wednesday 12 March 2014. The Proclamation to this effect will issue today.

If you are over the age of 21 and interested in the Island’s affairs and her people, and believe that you have the ability to lead St Helena forward as it prepares for the opportunities and changes that the Airport will bring – then you are encouraged to stand for election to Legislative Council. The deadline for nominations is 12 noon on Wednesday 26 Feb 2014.

Only persons who are named on the Register of Electors (dated 24 June 2013) will be eligible to vote, or stand, in the By-Election 2014.

The deadline for additions or changes to the Register of Electors must be made no later than 4pm on Friday 10 January 2014, after which an amended Register will be published and used for the By-Election.

Anyone eligible to be registered (St Helenian Status or spouse/life partner, over the age of 18 years, and normally resident on the Island), can apply to have the Register changed. For example, persons can have their name added or corrected, or have their address or Polling District amended. The necessary forms can be obtained from Assistant Registration Officer Gina Benjamin on tel 22470 or email cofcouncils@sainthelena.gov.sh. These forms are also available at the Customer Service Centre and the Public Library.

Further details on the By-Election will follow in due course.

SHG
20 December 2013

Reappointment of Sheriff
Reappointment of Sheriff

Greta Pat Musk MBE JP has been reappointed today as Sheriff of St Helena by His Excellency Governor Capes.

Mrs Musk took the prescribed Oaths before the Governor, in his office at the Castle. Mrs Musk’s appointment becomes effective from 1 January 2014 until 31 December 2014.

The Sheriff of St Helena is nominally responsible for enforcing Court Orders, with this being usually carried out by the Police Service on the Sheriff’s behalf. The Sheriff is also responsible for summoning Jurors when a Jury is required either in the Supreme Court or for a Coroner’s Inquest.  Her most conspicuous public role, however, is the swearing in of Governors and Acting Governors.

SHG

20 December 2013

HM Customs wishes to advise the public of baggage arrangements for the next call of the RMS from Ascension, due to arrive on Sunday 22 December 2013.

Baggage can be collected

• On the day of arrival until 6pm (Sun 22 Dec 2013).
• On Mon 23 Dec from 9.30am until 1.30pm, and again from approx 3pm – 6pm (due to the embarkation of outgoing passengers).

This will be the last opportunity to collect baggage before 2014.

SHG
19 December 2013

The first item under the open agenda was the Application to the Governor in Council to grant development permission under the Airport Development Ordinance 2006 for the revised Wharf, sea rescue facility and fuel pipeline at Rupert’s Bay.

Representatives from Air Access, Halcrow and Basil Read were present for this agenda item.  A presentation was given on the proposed changes and there was a discussion on various details regarding the design and construction of the proposed Wharf.  There has been extensive public consultation on this proposal, which includes a jetty, a slipway from the Shears, a sewage outlet pipe, fuel pipe, sea rescue boat facility and access road to the jetty.

The new Wharf jetty will be constructed from the South West point of the bay projecting in a North Easterly direction.  This is significantly different from the original design where the jetty would have projected into the bay from the beach area.  The Land Development Control Authority had made several recommendations for the Governor in Council to consider, covering actions to be taken both during construction and prior to the Wharf coming into operation.

Executive Council agreed to grant development permission subject to the conditions with minor amendments recommended by the Land Development Control Authority.

The second item on the open agenda was the Rationalisation of the SHG Forest Estate.  This was a recommendation from ANRD which had been endorsed by the ENRD Committee, to release unproductive forestry land to crown estates.  As some of this land could be made available for commercial and residential use, Executive Council was unanimous in endorsing this proposal and praised ANRD for being proactive in releasing land that they no longer require, which will be of benefit to the community.

The next item was the St Helena National Agricultural Policy 2014-2020.  This is a comprehensive document setting out the overarching policy direction for agricultural planning.  It is designed to increase production and the quality of produce, up-skill farmers, and determine infrastructure requirements and partnerships between SHG, ESH and the private sector.  Executive Council was pleased to endorse this plan, as agriculture is one of the main economic drivers for sustainable development.

There was then a discussion on the release of Government buildings for sale, including the ex PWD store.  Paul McGinnety and John Clement outlined the process by which these buildings were placed on the market.  As the ex PWD store is considered to be a significant development under the terms of the Land Disposal Policy, it will need to go through the Estates Strategy Panel prior to any recommendation to Governor in Council for a final decision on sale.  The building will not necessarily be sold to the highest bidder – all factors, including proposed usage, will be taken into account prior to any decision to sell.

The Social Policy Plan was then introduced for endorsement by Executive Council. This plan had been written after a period of extensive consultation and over 300 members of the public had been involved.  Paul McGinnety, the interim Director of Environment and Natural Resources, was commended for a clear and easy to read document which provides comprehensive guidance on the way forward.  Executive Council was pleased to endorse this plan.

An information paper was then presented on the revised fuel prices, which shows a reduction in prices for both diesel and petrol.

During the closed session, a request for approval for funding of a Special Warrant was approved.

Under AOB, the situation regarding trees in the Duke of Edinburgh Playground was raised. Last week a branch fell, landing in Market Street, with no one injured and no damage caused to vehicles.  However the risk to the public remains and it was requested that urgent action be taken.

The Governor reported that he will be leaving the Island on Monday 23December 2013, returning on Friday 17January 2014.  As part of his overseas tour he will be carrying out official duties in the UK and on Ascension Island.

As this is the last ExCo meeting of 2013, on behalf of Executive and Legislative Council I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year.

SHG

17 December 2013

 

 

The Environmental Management Division (EMD) currently has a ‘Native and Endemic Plant Collection, Propagation and Distribution Policy’ out for public consultation.

The policy and supporting documents can be viewed at the EMD offices at Essex House and are also available on the SHG website at: (http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/).

The policy has been devised after comprehensive consultation with key stakeholders. It aims to provide clear guidance and an enabling framework for those wishing to collect endemic or native seed, and propagate and distribute endemic and native species for restoration or commercial purposes. The policy also provides the licensing system for these activities as required under Section 20 of the (draft) Environmental Ordinance.

As part of this consultation, two public meetings are scheduled:

  • Monday 6January 2014 at the Longwood Community Centre from           7.30 – 8.30pm
  • Wednesday 8January at the Kingshurst Community Centre from             7.30 – 8.30pm

 

These meetings are an opportunity for interested persons to learn more, ask questions and provide feedback about this policy.

The public consultation phase ends on 17January 2014. Any feedback submitted by then will be used to revise the policy, which will then be presented to the Environment & Natural Resources Committee for their final endorsement.

For more information please contact Shayla Ellick, Species Conservation & Environmental Research Officer at EMD on telephone number 22270 or email shayla-ellick@enrd.gov.sh.

SHG

17 December

Executive Council will meet on Tuesday 17 December 2013, in the Council Chamber.

Commencing at 9.30am, the meeting will be open to the public for the following agenda items: Airport Development Ordinance 2006: Application to the Governor in Council for Approval of the Wharf proposed at Ruperts Bay; Rationalisation of the SHG Forest Estate; St Helena’s Agricultural Policy 2014-2020; the Social Policy Plan, and an Information Paper on Revised Fuel Prices.

Executive Council Members are: Ian Rummery, Cyril George, Christine Scipio- O’Dean, Leslie Baldwin and Derek Thomas (in Lawson Henry’s absence).

SHG

16 December 2013

 

 

A short film showing progress on the roads works between the Briars and Gordons Post will be shown on local TV Channel 1 on 17 December 2013.

On Monday 14 October 2013 the public were advised that the road between the Briars and Gordons Post would be closed for a 10 week period. In fact due to the hard work of the Roads team the work was completed nearly two weeks earlier than originally scheduled.

The film displays the final days of work before the reopening including surfacing, patching and work on the Tomb Wall.

The film will air around 8pm tomorrow, Tuesday 17 December 2013 on Local TV channel 1.

SHG

16 December 2013

 

 

In a recent open evening meeting at Pilling Primary School, parents of Year 5/6 pupils were given an insight into Secondary Attainment Testing (SATS) and in particular, how their children would be preparing for these tests.

Organised by Head Teacher, Elaine Benjamin and Year 5/6 Teacher, Carol Youde the evening began with a welcome from Elaine who spoke about the purpose of SATS exams and how parents can support their children in the lead up to the sitting of these tests. She then went on to discuss last year’s results and stressed the importance of working harder this year in aiming to reach the set targets.

Parents, accompanied by their children, were reminded of the utmost importance of working as a team (parents, teachers and children) in order to excel in their educational opportunities.

Parents (with the support of their child) were then set a challenge of a Mental Maths Test which required answers to be given in a set response time.

SATS EveningFollowing this, parents were then taken through the steps of a variety of sample papers – Reading, Grammar, Punctuation, Spelling and Maths. This year both the Reading and Maths papers will have slight changes to them.

A few parents expressed concerns about the pressure these tests put on 10-11 year old pupils. As a result, parents were given Maths Skills prompt sheets, enabling them to help their child at home. They were also given a SATS Maths paper as a homework task, allowing the parent and child to work together.

The evening was very successful and an eye opener for those parents in attendance.

Education and Employment Directorate

SHG

16 December 2013

Advent is a season in the Christian year that begins before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve. Each year, in celebration of Advent, Primary Schools on the Island hold traditional Advent Services for the public to attend.
On 4 December, St James’ Church saw its pews fill with parents, members of the public and invited guests to see Pilling Primary School’s retelling of a version of the Christmas story (the Birth of Jesus Christ).

St Paul's Primary Advent Service
St Paul’s Primary Advent Service

Pilling’s Advent Service began with an Orchestral piece entitled ‘Away in a Manger’ followed by ‘It’s a baby’, ‘Hallelujah We’ve come to see the baby’, and ‘2000 years ago’ sung by early years, nursery, reception and year 1 and 2 pupils.

The Nativity play ‘Off to Bethlehem’ was presented by Key Stage 2 pupils, highlighted with a few musical solo performers.

Pilling Primary Advent Service
Pilling Primary Advent Service

Father Dale Bowers closed the play with prayers, giving thanks to all involved in the production. Head Teacher, Miss Elaine Benjamin wished all in attendance a Merry Christmas, with pupils on stage singing a version of ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas’ in Swedish – reflecting the celebration of Christmas for international students attending the school.
Father Dale commented that many parents know Christmas is approaching when household items go missing to be made into costumes for Christmas Nativity plays.

Harford Primary Advent Service
Harford Primary Advent Service

This could be seen on Sunday 8 December at St Pauls’ Cathedral, when St Pauls’ pupils wore their homemade costumes during presentation of their play ‘Grandma’s Special Birthday’. To a full congregation, the Bishop welcomed those in attendance, followed by a reading from Kyla Joshua. Songs included ‘Long Ago in A Stable’, ‘Close Your Eyes Little Baby Boy’ and ‘I Hear Angels’. Closing the performance, students sung ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas,’ with pupils displaying their language skills by singing a few verses in Spanish.

Rounding up the Primary School’s Advent Services was Harford’s ‘C.H.R.I.S.T.M.A.S spells Christmas’ – on Tuesday 10 December. The Deputy Head commented that during the performance the audience would be transported from the present to the past. The Bible reading was done by Oscar Smyth (whose parents were also present playing the piano). Reception children sung ‘I’m A Little Star’ and ‘Ten Little Angels,’ with years 1 & 2 singing ‘We’re Travelling to Bethlehem’. During the Nativity play, there were outstanding performances from several pupils, which saw a mixture of 21st century culture embedded within the play.

All Primary Schools saw well attended Advent Services where the committed efforts from pupils, parents and teachers really put across the Christmas Story.

SHG
11 December 2013

Councillor Tony Green today informed HE Governor Capes that he will resign from Legislative Council, with effect from Tuesday 17 December 2013.
Councillor Green explained to the Governor that his resignation was for family reasons and that he would shortly travel to the UK.
The Governor thanked Councillor Green for his years of service to St Helena as an Elected Member, and wished him well.

SHG
10 December 2013