Steel Framed Home - Bottom Woods
Steel Framed Home – Bottom Woods

An Open Day was held on 27 August 2013 at one of the three new steel-framed homes on St Helena.

Located at Bottom Woods the new home is one of the first three Government landlord houses to be built in 10 years. Showcasing modern methods of construction the new home features an open plan layout with two large bedrooms, a bathroom, fully fitted kitchen area, utility room and outside patio. All three new homes are fitted with solar-powered water heating.

Andy Crowe, Housing Executive explained the reasoning behind these steel-framed homes:

“The steel-framed homes built at Bradleys Camp for the airport workers were built very quickly so this was a pilot project to see whether the same technique could be applied for homes to buy and rent on the Island.

“Steel frames are just one of the many modern methods of construction that have been exploited around the world moving to building techniques that can be faster and cost effective, warmer and more free from damp than the traditional forms.”

The purpose of the Open Day was to gather the public’s views on the new homes.

Andy said:

“We have our own views on how the new homes look and work, but the most important thing was for visitors to the home to give their ideas and recommendations.”

Over 150 visitors attended the Open Day and 66 took the time to comment on the house. 60 of these made positive comments such as “fantastic – when can I move in?” “love the space,” “ideal for a small family,” and “very lucky tenants”.

Importantly many commented favourably on the “good workmanship” and the fact that “you could never tell it has a metal frame”. The most common comment was that the home was warm and comfortable even though it was cold outside and the doors were open.

Visitors also took the time to make suggestions on how the new homes planned for Half Tree Hollow might differ – tiling rather than carpeting the floors, more privacy for the bathroom and toilet, some outside storage and fitted cupboards have all now been incorporated into the planning application for Half Tree Hollow, shortly to be submitted.

The three homes took approximately 8 months from start on site to completion and cost just over £50,000 each to build. Included in the cost are a fully fitted kitchen and bathroom, carpeting and tiling.

Andy explained:

“The time to build three houses was longer than anticipated, but we have to bear in mind that this is a learning process. I am sure we can get them completed faster. Equally, we expect the cost to fall now that builders on the Island are more familiar with the skills and materials needed.”

SHG
28 August 2013

DfID’s Overseas Territories Department’s Environment & Climate Adviser, Razi Latif (photo attached) will arrive on Island on 2 September.  Razi is new in post and this visit will be a familiarization one allowing him to become more familiar with the Island both from an environmental and sustainable development view.

Razi will undertake a programme of meetings and site visits with among others, staff from the Environment and Natural Resources Directorate, Enterprise St Helena and the St Helena National Trust. Razi is also keen to meet with the wider St Helena community and a session will be set aside for this.  If anyone is interested in meeting Razi please contact Cherilee Thomas on telephone 2270 or email cherilee-thomas@enrd.gov.sh.

Razi’s visit coincides with the Basil Read/ DfID airport visit and he will also be joining some of the environment related meetings and site visits to gain a general understanding of the airport project and associated environmental issues.    

Razi will depart St Helena on 10September.

SHG

28 August 2013

 

 

Good afternoon.

Executive Council met on Tuesday 27 August 2013 with four items on the agenda.

This was an open session of ExCo but no members of the public were in attendance.

The first item of business was the proposal to downgrade Wranghams from a Grade II to a Grade III Listed Building.  

The reasons put forward for the downgrading included that it was currently a Grade II listed building and as such would only be available for long term leasing, whereas downgrading to Grade III would permit sale of the property with fewer restrictions on future development.

Executive Council did not agree that the downgrading procedure was appropriate and rejected the proposal.  ExCo stated that in principle they did not wish to set a precedent for downgrading of properties for ease of sale.  Wranghams is a significant cultural asset for the Island; it is of historic interest and merit. ExCo members recommended that Wranghams should be re-advertised and put back on the market at Grade II for a long term lease and that a survey be done of the building.

The second agenda item was to amend the Medical Practitioners (Qualifications) (Amendment No. 2) Regulations, 2013, to include Guatemala on the schedule.  This was to enable the new surgeon due to arrive in September to practice medicine on St Helena.  ExCo agreed the amendment.

The next two agenda items were for ExCo to consider and advise if two bills should be tabled as Government Business at the next formal meeting of Legislative Council.

One related to the Commissioner of Oaths Amendment Bill, 2013 to enable qualified lawyers to act as Commissioners of Oaths on St Helena.  This will increase the number of Commissioners of Oaths available to the public and follows UK practice. ExCo agreed for the bill to be tabled at the next formal LegCo.

The second bill related to the Welfare of Children Amendment Ordinance, 2013.  At present children who are to be adopted can only be placed for adoption on St Helena.  The purpose of this amendment is to allow a Supreme Court Judge to place a child for adoption outside of St Helena if it is in the child’s best interests.  For example if a child living on St Helena was orphaned and the nearest relative was in the UK then the child could be placed with their relative overseas.  ExCo agreed for the bill to be tabled at the next formal LegCo.

The final item of business was a discussion about the need to have an open agenda in future ExCo meetings where appropriate.  It was agreed that there would be a presumption in favour of openness but that certain matters, particularly those concerning individuals, would be discussed under a closed agenda.

The meeting finished around 10.30am.                  

Thank you for listening.   

ExCo

27 August 2013

 

Results of this year’s examinations have been received bringing with them lots of individual stories of success and celebration.

All over St Helena there are families who are very proud that the hard work of their young people has resulted in some outstanding examination successes.  The good news for the Island’s economy is that almost a half of this year’s school leavers have now achieved GCSE ‘C’ grades in English and Maths.

Director of Education, Colin Moore said:

“Two years ago no students achieved a C grade or better in Maths.  This year almost half of the year group achieved a Grade C or better in Maths. This highly impressive performance reflects the hard work of the students and their teachers.

“In English Language all of the pupils entered for GCSE level achieved a C grade or better. The Directorate’s target was for 30% of students to gain 5 GCSEs A*-C, including English and Maths, and I am pleased to say that this target has been achieved.

“It is important to also recognise the achievement of our young people who follow vocational courses and once again we have some individual success stories that we should all be proud of. The economic developments related to the airport mean that we have an immediate need for a highly skilled workforce. This year’s achievements are just what the Island’s developing economy needs. In some respects this represents ‘Lift Off’.

We now have the evidence that our young people really can take advantage of the opportunities they have ahead of them.

“I am sure all of the Island’s community will want to join me in saying a very big well done to all of the young people and their teachers who have worked so hard over the past couple of years.”

Chairperson of the Education Committee, Councillor Christine Scipio-O’Dean added:

“We all know that Education is one of the highest priorities for the Island. I am delighted to offer my congratulations to all of the students who have worked so hard and achieved these excellent results. This represents real progress for the Island and means that any future investors can have confidence that St Helena has young people with the talent, skills and qualifications to succeed.”

Headteacher of Prince Andrew School, Paul Starkie said:

“We are delighted with the results our students have gained. They have worked very hard and their efforts have been rewarded. There have been some excellent individual successes and all our students have proved what is possible with effort and commitment to study.  I know I speak for every member of staff here at Prince Andrew School when I say how extremely proud we are of each and every one of our students. Vanessa Tissington, Secondary Raising Attainment Partner was thrilled to see the results prior to her departure and asked me to personally convey her congratulations.

“To those former students who are entering work related opportunities, we wish them all the very best in the future. We are also absolutely delighted by the number of students returning to Prince Andrew School to continue their journey with us. Our dedicated and committed team of teachers and support staff are very much looking forward to welcoming them back in September.”

Primary Schools are too receiving their results for the Primary School end of Year 6 assessments, also known as Key Stage 2 SATs.

Compared to last year the overall results show a slight fall in the number of children achieving level 4+.  Level 4+ is the benchmark set for children leaving Primary Schools in England.  This slight fall was not unexpected since the actual tests are different from those that were administered in 2012.

This year, new assessments were introduced in Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation. 

Commenting on the Key Stage 2 SATs results, Colin said:

“The Year 6 children worked very hard throughout the year and there are some examples of really high achievement.

“Making comparisons with last year is quite tricky because new tests have been introduced.  At this stage we do not know what the overall trend is in terms of how schools in England have performed and so we have further analysis to undertake.  There are some indications that our experience of a slight dip in performance reflects what is happening in parts of England but it really is too soon to draw any conclusions.

“It does show however that the Directorate still has a lot of work to do to improve standards in Primary Education. We have a very dedicated team of teachers and support staff who will rise to the challenge and I am delighted that we have a dynamic and enthusiastic Primary Education Adviser, Victoria Stapleton, who is busy supporting our Head and Class teachers.”

Victoria added:

“Our 2013 SATs results show we still have some way to go to improve the children’s progress and attainment but I feel confident that the schools, education team and community will work hard together to achieve this.”

The overall figures of the Primary Schools’ exams along with the full analysis of this year’s public examinations will be reported to the Education Committee in October.

Education and Employment Directorate

SHG

27 August 2013

 

Following Executive Council’s decision on 6 August to redevelop the Sundale site into a prison, a public meeting was arranged at Half Tree Hollow Community Centre for all interested persons to discuss the reasons behind ExCo’s recommendations. Councillors agreed at the meeting that the planning conditions subject to which the development permission has been granted should be published.

The conditions (as recommended by the Land Planning Development Control Board to the Governor in Council) are set out below.

1. Development permission relates to the revised drawings submitted on 25 April 2013 and the development shall be carried out in accordance with those drawings apart from any minor amendment submitted subsequently and approved in writing by the Planning Officer. Reason: To define the permission.

2. Roof water is to be collected in storage tanks, not less than 450 litres capacity for re use, with overflows fed into landscaped areas; Reason: To encourage use of natural resources, and planning policy W.2, H.9 g)

3. No roof water or site water is to be fed into, or directed to any foul sewer system. Reason: To avoid unsettling the effective operation of the sewer system.

4. No external lighting shall be used to illuminate the perimeter walls. Reason: In the interest of residential amenity, to minimize light pollution and in accordance with planning policy E.8

5. All drainage pipe work shall be laid underground; Reason: In accordance with planning policy SD.7

6. Insulation shall be incorporated in all new roof spaces. Reason: To ensure energy efficiency in accordance with planning policy E.4

7. No development shall be commenced until a scheme of landscaping in the areas where the height of perimeter walls is to be increased, has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Planning Officer. The landscaping proposal shall be carried out within six months of the development being commissioned and thereafter maintained. Reason: To blend the development into its setting and in accordance with planning policy IZ 1 h)

8. No development shall be commenced until details of wall rendering and finishes has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Planning Officer. Reason: In accordance with planning policy IZ 1 a)

9. The entrance gates shall be of heavy wooden or cast iron materials, details of which shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Planning Officer. Reason: In the interest of security, to be symbolic of their purpose and in accordance with planning policy IZ 1 a)

10. No development shall be commenced until a Construction Management Plan has been submitted to the Planning Officer and approved in writing to demonstrate that the impact of construction work on nearby residents is to be minimized in respect of dust, noise, traffic, hours of working and the handling and disposal of waste materials. Reason: to protect residential amenity in accordance with planning policy IZ.1.

11. The development shall not be brought in to use until the septic tank and its soakaway system have been examined and reported upon to the Planning Officer together with proposals for refurbishment to ensure their effectiveness in dealing with foul sewage from the development. Reason: to ensure avoidance of pollution in compliance with planning policy SD.4.

12. The specification and details of the means of support of all security mesh shall be submitted to the Planning Officer and shall have been approved in writing prior to its installation. Reason: In the interest of security in accordance with planning policies SI.1 and SI.3.

SHG

27 August 2013

Open to the Public from 9.30am

Executive Council will meet on Tuesday 27 August 2013 in the Council Chamber. 

Commencing at 9.30am, the meeting will be open to the public & agenda items are:

The Downgrading of Wranghams from II to III Listed Building, Medical Practitioners (Qualifications) (Amendment No. 2) Regulations, 2013, Commissioner of Oaths Amendment Bill, 2013 and the Welfare of Children Amendment Ordinance, 2013.

Executive Council Members are: Nigel Dollery, Lawson Henry, Ian Rummery, Christine Scipio-O’Dean and Wilson Duncan in Cyril George’s absence.  

SHG

23 August 2013

 

Vivienne Wood
Vivienne Wood

Arriving on 2 September will be Vivienne Wood, Senior Advisor for Early Years Education. Vivienne’s post is a new one created within the Education Directorate to demonstrate the importance of providing the best possible start to education for all children.

As an Early Years specialist with previous experience working in the UK and most recently in Qatar, Vivienne will work with the full range of providers of early education on the Island.

Director of Education and Employment Colin Moore said:

“I am delighted that we were able to appoint such a strong Specialist teacher to lead our work in early years education. It is so important that we give all of our children the best possible start to their schooling and education.

Vivienne joins us with a very impressive record of success built up over many years and in a number of locations. I am sure that she will help us to build upon the good work that is already taking place.”

Vivienne commented:

“I am extremely excited about my appointment and look forward to meeting everybody. This is such a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate just how important early education is, not just for the children but for the whole community.”

(picture attached)

SHG
27 August 2013

Connect Saint Helena is pleased to announce that the Island-wide water restrictions has been lifted.

The rain earlier this week has had a significant effect on reservoir levels and by the end of next week it is estimated that all of the Redhill reservoir storage will be essentially full.

Connect Saint Helena thanks consumers for exercising constraint over the last few difficult months.
The boil water notice in the Redhill area remains in place.

On behalf of Connect Saint Helena Ltd
23 August 2013

The Education and Employment Directorate this week said goodbye to Secondary Raising Attainment Adviser, Vanessa Tissington on completion of her contract.

Vanessa has been with the Education Directorate since last September supporting improvements at Prince Andrew School and raising educational standards on St Helena.

SONY DSC

In a farewell reception for Vanessa, Colin Moore, Director of Education and Employment said:

“Vanessa has made an outstanding contribution to education on St Helena during her time here. Vanessa exudes enthusiasm and anyone who came into contact with her couldn’t help but be impressed with her desire to see young people make the most of their opportunities. She is a very tenacious professional with very high standards and a heart of gold.

“I know there will always be a continuing affection that Vanessa will hold for St Helena and particularly for Prince Andrew School. We will also have a continuing high regard and long lasting memory of the contribution that Vanessa has made.

“We all wish her the very best for her future career. She leaves secondary education on the Island in a much stronger state than when she first arrived.”

Vanessa commented:

“The time I spent on the Island has been one of the most rewarding of my professional career. I have enjoyed every minute and hope that I have contributed to the continuing improvement of educational standards on St Helena.”

Vanessa departed the Island on Wednesday to return to the UK where the first thing she will be doing is greeting her new grandchild who was born on Tuesday 20 August.

SHG
23 August 2013

The public are advised that with effect from 21 August until 9 September 2013, the Outpatients Clinic in Jamestown will run at a reduced capacity. This has been brought about by changes in staffing levels.

The new arrangements mean that there will be16 less appointments in Jamestown per day (Monday to Friday) and the usual 12 Jamestown Outpatient Clinics (held Monday to Friday 8.30am to 4pm) will be reduced to 7. There will be no late clinic (4-6pm) today and next Wednesday.

Outpatient Clinics in Levelwood, Longwood and Half Tree Hollow are unaffected and the Emergency appointments and the Triage system will operate as normal.

A new GP will arrive in early September and Outpatients Clinics should return to normal thereafter. In the meantime the public are encouraged to book appointments early.

We thank the public in advance for their cooperation.

SHG
21 August 2013