Councillor Leslie Baldwin’s full report on the 44th British Isles and Mediterranean Region annual conference hosted by the Wales Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, in Cardiff Bay, from 27-30 May 2014, is now available on the SHG website.
Also available online is a full report on Councillor’s Baldwin and Ellick’s attendance at the 63rd Westminster Seminar held in London from 16-20 June 2014.
Executive Council met today, Tuesday 12 August 2014, to discuss two items on the Open Agenda.
The first item was a request for approval to spend extra funding on Renewable Energy from the SHG Capital Programme. The £1m extra funding is coming from the Department for International Development (DfID). This new funding has been identified specifically to support only renewable energy projects, and must be spent in this financial year, 2014/15.
In meeting these tight deadlines for spending, it is likely that the new funding will be allocated to a new solar farm for electricity generation. Work on identifying the most appropriate location is underway.
ExCo was very supportive of this proposal as solar generated electricity reduces the Island’s reliance on diesel imports for power generation. ExCo welcomed the project, subject to it being entirely financed out of the £1 million pounds allocated by DfID.
The second item on the Open Agenda was the Building Control Commencement Order 2014. The Building Control Ordinance was passed in March 2013, but has not yet been brought into force. While new Building Regulations are still to be finalised, there is no reason why the new Ordinance cannot be brought into force as the Commencement Order will, in the meantime, make transitional provision for the existing Regulations to remain in force. Work is ongoing to finalise the new Regulations and local contractors and other stakeholders will be consulted in the process. ExCo therefore agreed to pass the Commencement Order.
There was only one item on the closed agenda and this related to the disposal of Wrangham’s house. A decision was agreed, and contractual negotiations will now begin with the preferred bidder. A further announcement will be made once these negotiations are successfully completed.
Talented professionals and public servants from St Helena are able to apply for a scholarship award under the UK’s flagship Chevening programme funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Awarded to outstanding individuals with leadership potential, a Chevening Scholarship offers financial support for a Master’s level degree beginning September 2015 at one of the UK’s leading universities.
Those interested have until 15 November 2014 to submit their application.
Governor Capes said:
“A Chevening Scholarship provides a tremendous opportunity for individuals to develop their full potential and I very much hope that we will see a good field of applicants.”
Awards are typically for a one-year Master’s Degree, in any subject at any of the UK’s leading universities.
To be eligible for a Chevening Scholarship, you must:
Be a citizen of a Chevening-eligible country, and intend to return there after your studies
Hold a degree that is equivalent to at least an upper second-class honours degree in the UK
Have completed at least two years’ work or equivalent experience before applying for a Chevening Scholarship
Be able to meet the Chevening minimum English language requirement
Be able to obtain the correct visa, and receive an unconditional offer from a UK university
The Chevening team are particularly interested to hear from applicants in St Helena who wish to study areas that will benefit the Island’s three national goals.
A Chevening scholarship usually offers tuition fees, a monthly stipend, travel to and from your country, and a thesis or dissertation grant.
How to apply
Those interested should read the online guidance and be able to demonstrate how they meet the Chevening selection criteria before submitting an application. Further details of important dates and priority subject areas are available at www.chevening.org/apply
The Lower Wharf will be closed from 12:30pm on Saturday 23 August 2014 until the same time on Monday 25 August.
This will be a full closure of the Lower Wharf, with no pedestrian or vehicle access for the duration. The closure is necessary to allow new road markings to be painted around the area of the Cranes and the Life Boats, adjacent to the lower steps.
Laura Lawrence of Half Tree Hollow, has graduated from the University of Hertfordshire with an Upper Second Class Degree (Honours) in English Language and Communication with English Language Teaching.
The Degree lasted three years, and was a joint Honours Degree with English Language and Communication as the Major and English Language Teaching as the Minor.
The English Language and Communication programme dealt with many aspects of language (mainly English), such as: describing and explaining how languages work, how different groups in society use language in their own characteristic ways, how children and adults acquire language(s) in the first place and how languages change over time.
The English Language Teaching programme covered all kinds of English language teaching. It included teaching English to people who live in the UK, to foreigners and to UK visitors.
During the three years, twenty-four modules were covered by Laura. She said:
“I found the most fascinating ‘Sounds of English’. It looked at the physiological apparatus involved with the production of speech and examined how individual speech sounds are made. This module gave me an important descriptive element for further language study in my second and third years and is an essential tool for my career in teaching.”
Laura also ran an independent project around the module ‘Language and Gender’, in which she investigated how St Helenian women in positions of power carry out workplace interaction with men and women. The aim was to challenge the stereotype that women are not effective leaders when giving directives, running meetings and challenging views.
“I enjoyed this project immensely. The participants all willingly gave up their time to be interviewed and offered valuable insight into the way they manage and lead. The most exciting trend I discovered was that all the women I interviewed began their careers in teaching. An inspiration for me, to say the least. I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who participated – your input was beyond what I needed and produced an intriguing investigation, with a pleasing end result.”
Laura will now undertake a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (Secondary English) through the University of Bedfordshire. This will be a School Direct route – having school placements alongside university studies.
“During my interview for this course my passion for teaching was rekindled and my enthusiasm must have come across, as they offered me a place on the spot.
“I would like to thank the St Helena Government for this opportunity – Mrs Wendy Benjamin for starting my journey, my family and friends for always believing in me and encouraging me and the staff and students of Prince Andrew School – who motivated me to pursue this venture.”
For their second round of meetings with constituents Councillors will be taking a more personal approach by holding constituency surgeries instead of the normal constituency meetings.
Each surgery will be led by two Councillors in the various districts and will provide an opportunity for constituents to discuss matters affecting them face to face with their Councillor.
Dates and locations of the surgeries are detailed below:
From 10am to 12noon
Blue Hill Community Centre
Tony Duncan & Lawson Henry
St Michael’s Church, Ruperts
Ian Rummery & Christine
St Mary’s Church, The Briars
Cyril George & Ian Rummery
Levelwood Community Centre
Nigel Dollery & Derek Thomas
Half Tree Hollow Clinic
Nigel Dollery & Lawson Henry
Kingshurst Community Centre, St Paul’s
Gavin Ellick & Christine
Harford Community Centre, Longwood
Les Baldwin & Brian Isaac
No.3 Main Street, Jamestown
Brian Isaac & Bernice Olsson
Sandy Bay Community Centre
Dr Corinda Essex & Gavin Ellick
If you would like to give Councillors advance notice of your concern before attending a surgery, you can do so by contacting the Secretary to Elected Members, Anita Legg, on Tel: 22590 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
As part of the on-going road maintenance program, the Highways Authority has given approval for the road from New Bridge to The Briars junction to be closed for an initial period of 15 weeks, starting on Monday 18 August 2014. The closure will be for 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, weather permitting.
Residents and businesses living and working within the proposed road closure will still have access to their homes and workplace at all times. Access will be from one end of the road or the other, depending on how work is progressing at the time.
Emergency Services will be permitted access as required, and the road might be open on weekends, depending on progress on the route.
The Roads Team apologises in advance for the inconvenience.
Enquiries about this work can be made on telephone number 23640, during normal working hours.
Councillors Leslie Baldwin and Gavin Ellick have recently returned to the Island having represented St Helena at conferences in the UK.
Councillor Baldwin attended the 44th British Isles and Mediterranean Region annual conference (BIMR Conference), hosted by the Wales Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, in Cardiff Bay, from 27-30 May 2014.
The theme of the BIMR Conference was ‘Equality of Access to Democracy’ and topics discussedincluded ‘Women in Public Life’, ‘Bilingualism’, ‘Engagement of Young Citizens in the Democratic Process’ and ‘Social Media – just how are we Engaging with Young Citizens?’ The annual general meeting of the BIMR was also held.
Councillor Baldwin found the plenary sessions focusing on youth engagement particularly relevant for St Helena.
“We are hoping to extend the age considered ‘Youth’ to 25 years – it is much higher elsewhere in the Commonwealth. This would help develop the Youth Parliament on St Helena to perhaps even representing the Island at Commonwealth Youth Parliaments.”
While at the BIMR Conference Councillor Baldwin chaired a workshop on ‘The Case for Youth Parliaments – What Influence do they have in informing Public Opinion?’ Councillor Baldwin took this opportunity to explain the difficulties St Helena has faced with re-establishing a Youth Parliament. Discussions then followed on lowering the voting age, having more interaction between Councillors and Youth Parliaments and schools, and the opportunity for Youth Parliaments to influence political decision making.
Councillor Baldwin also attended a workshop entitled ‘More than a Matter of Numbers -How are Women Making a Difference?’ which focused on positive discrimination and the fact that women are not often helped by other women who have made ‘high Office’.
Following the BIMR Conference, Councillor Baldwin was joined by Councillor Ellick to attend the 63rd Westminster Seminar held from 16-20 June in London.
Topics discussed at the Seminar included ‘Parliamentary Administration & Governance’, ‘The Role of the Speaker’, ‘MPs and Opposition MPs’, ‘The Legislative Process’, ‘Party Discipline’, ‘Media Oversight of Parliament’, ‘Women in Parliament’, ‘Parliamentary Questions & Motions’, ‘Bicameralism (where Legislators are divided into two separate assemblies) and The future of Parliament’.
Both Councillors Baldwin and Ellick found the media element of the discussions particularly interesting.
Now back on Island, Councillors Baldwin and Ellick will be highlighting the strength of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and the assistance it can offer to the St Helena Legislative Council. Councillor Baldwin will also be looking to formalise connections between the South Atlantic Islands, as well as widening Youth Parliament membership in line with the rest of the Commonwealth. He also hopes to deliver a Human Rights Quality Commission and potentially develop a Citizens Advice Bureau.
A full report of Councillor Baldwin and Ellick’s attendance at these conferences will be made available on the SHG website once they have formally presented to Legislative Council.