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.

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.


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: (

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


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).


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.


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


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.

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.

10 December 2013

The Property Division of the Environment and Natural Resources Directorate has recently started marketing three surplus Government properties, as part of SHG’s modernisation programme.

The properties being sold are:

  • Wranghams House, near Sandy Bay
  • Head O’ Wain Clinic
  • Former Public Works Store building, Jamestown.

The properties are all quite different, ranging from a small single story building with conversion potential, to a large prime building in Jamestown with substantial development potential.

Wranghams House was offered on the market in 2011, but the preferred bidder failed to complete the sale.

The sale of the former Public Works Store, located on the west side of the Grand Parade in lower Jamestown, is the first substantial Government asset to be openly marketed in five years. It has the potential to transform the area and possibly set the tone for other regeneration in the area.

The current marketing is aimed to take advantage of the large number of Saints who come home for the Christmas break. Time will tell whether any will make a bid, but the hope is that returning Saints will see that things are changing.

The exercise may also encourage a more open market for houses on the Island to develop. The marketing is an effort by the Property Division to lead the way in creating a more open and transparent property market. As a matter of principle, all surplus Government properties should be openly marketed, firstly on Island, before, if necessary, international marketing. This marketing exercise is the first step in what will be a long process to establish a base going forward.

The use of open tendering in this case is hoped to help establish a pricing level, which is an important element to establishing an effective property market.

The properties are being advertised locally in the Sentinel and Independent newspapers, as well as on the St Helena Government ( and Tourism websites.

Closing dates for offers have been set as follows:

Wranghams House – offers to be submitted by 5 February 2014

Head O’ Wain Clinic – offers to be submitted by 12 February 2014

Former Public Works Store – offers to be submitted by 26 February 2014.

Enquiries and requests for further information and viewing should be made to Crown Estates Assistant, Gina Henry, in Essex House, Jamestown on telephone 22270, or

by e-mail at


10 December 2013




‘School Spruce’ is a community based project aiming to visually and physically improve the Primary Schools play facilities.  


The project began in August this year and with the help of St Helena Government, the private sector, St Helena National Trust and Enterprise St Helena – parents, volunteers and children have all been working together to plan improvements, donate materials and conduct the physical work. 


Over the weekend of 7 and 8 December at Harford School, a team from Basil Read donated and installed jungle gym equipment drawn from their materials and suppliers.


The school had contacted Basil Read logistics team in Johannesburg hoping for advice on the most economical way of making Harford’s plans a reality.  Suppliers then contacted were Ohorongo Cement, Ash Resources and Meihuizens International who came back with a simple suggestion – ‘let us sponsor a piece of equipment’.


Paula McLeod, Chairperson of Harford’s PTA, commented:


“This is a fantastic show of generosity and kindness from Basil Read and is greatly appreciated by everyone at the school. The children were so excited to arrive at school on Monday and see the new addition to their playground. We would all like to say a big THANK YOU to Basil Read from Harford’s children, teachers, parents and friends, especially to the kind men who gave up their weekend to do something really special for the community.


“In the new year we will be asking for parents and friends of the Harford community to get together for a spruce day to give our littlest children a play environment as special as that of their bigger friends.”  


Deon De Jager, Basil Read’s Island Director, was gracious in his response:


“We are happy to help the Island whenever we can.”


The St Helena National Trust is encouraging children to understand the importance of St Helena’s natural resources and culture.  Plans for a “Bug Hotel”, outdoor musical instruments and companion planting tie together Harford’s biggest priorities – ‘our children, our environment and our culture’.


Two pictures are attached with this release



10 December 2013