The public are reminded that the closing date for submitting nominations for the Queen’s 2014 Birthday Honours is Friday, 8 November 2013.

Nomination forms are available from Corporate Services at the Castle and completed forms should be returned to Mrs Carol George, Executive Secretary, Honours Committee, in a sealed envelope, marked ‘Confidential’, by close of play on Friday, 8 November 2013.

Persons wishing to submit nominations should remember that honours are awarded on merit for exceptional achievement or any service recently carried out over and above of what normally is expected. Where possible, nominations should place emphasis on voluntary services. It should also be noted that age is not a factor in awarding honours and younger members of the community who have made an outstanding contribution or given exceptional service, should not be overlooked.

The Castle
SHG

30 October 2013

To celebrate the 100th Birthday of Mrs Florence Richards – better known as ‘Ma Flo’- a tea party was hosted by His Excellency Governor and Mrs Capes on Monday 28 October at Plantation House.

Ma Flo with Governor and Mrs Capes
Ma Flo with Governor and Mrs Capes

Joined by her children, grandchildren and immediate family, Ma Flo enjoyed tea and eats with warm words from Governor Capes, who said:

‘It was a great honour for Tamara and I to host a 100th birthday tea party at Plantation House for such a lovely lady. Ma Flo is a very special Saint, a real treasure. Her warm personality, combined with such a cheerful and positive outlook on life, makes it a pleasure to be in her company. As Ma Flo told me yesterday afternoon, having the celebration at Plantation House had special meaning for her as she used to work here many years ago. Thank you Ma Flo for your great contribution to St Helena and for touching so many lives through your fine example.’

To add to her special occasion, Ma Flo was fortunate to be joined by two of her daughters who had travelled especially from the UK and Cape Town to celebrate this occasion with their Mother. One of Ma Flo’s sons had also visited her recently, but could not stay on for her birthday celebrations.

The tea party was greatly appreciated by Ma Flo and her family and all thanked the Governor and Mrs Capes for their warm hospitality as they enjoyed the afternoon with St Helena’s Centenarian under the St Helena flags.

SHG
29 October 2013

Legislative Councillors will be holding a series of public meetings in November.  During the Constituency meetings there will be a minimum of three members present at each meeting.

Agenda items planned to be discussed in the meetings include benefits and the Sainsbury Report, The Lucy Faithful Report and a communications strategy for Councillors.  Members of the public are also encouraged to raise any issues not covered in the agenda at the constituency meetings.

The schedule is displayed below.  All meetings will begin at 7.00pm instead of 7.30pm as originally stated.

Wednesday 6 November, Blue Hill Community Centre, attended by Tony Green, Cyril George and Gavin Ellick

Thursday 7 November, Ruperts (St Michael’s Church), attended by Tony Duncan, Bernice Olsson and Ian Rummery

Tuesday 12 November, Jamestown Community Centre, attended by Bernice Olsson, Ian Rummery and Christine Scipio O’Dean

Wednesday 13 November, Longwood (Harford Community Centre), attended by Brian Isaac, Les Baldwin and Ian Rummery

Wednesday 20 November, Levelwood (Silver Hill Bar), attended by Brian Issac, Christine Scipio O’Dean and Tony Duncan

Thursday 21 November, St Pauls (Kingshurst Community Centre), attended by Nigel Dollery, Derek Thomas and Gavin Ellick

Wednesday 27 November, HTH Community Centre, attended by Nigel Dollery, Derek Thomas and Les Baldwin

Thursday 28 November, Sandy Bay Community Centre, attended by Tony Green, Cyril George and Tony Duncan 

These are the first scheduled Constituency Meetings for this elected Legislative Council.

SHG

29 October 2013

 

The Quarterly Statistical News Bulletin, published in October 2013, covers the period July – September 2013 and contains updates for the annual rate of inflation of the Retail Price Index (RPI), Estimated Population and Visitor arrivals to St Helena.

Annual inflation of the RPI stood at 0.5 per cent in Quarter 3 2013 – the lowest recorded rate in over ten years. There has been a 0.05 per cent decrease in the RPI (the overall cost of the ‘St Helena Shopping Basket’) from Quarter 2 to Quarter 3, 2013.

The low rate of annual inflation of the RPI indicates that the size and importance of recorded price changes in the overall shopping basket are largely balanced. The single most noteworthy effect this quarter is a 10 per cent reduction in the cost of Broadband internet services.

The published figures for annual inflation of the RPI reflect the rate of change in price of goods and services in the St Helena Shopping Basket, which represents the weekly expenditure of a “typical” St Helenian household. Individual households will have a differing spending pattern which means that their personal figure for inflation may be more closely represented by inflation in the sub-categories of the RPI. It should be noted that annual inflation in the Food sub-category has dropped for the last three quarters and currently stands at 1.0 per cent, double the headline rate of inflation. However, over the last quarter there has been a 0.3 per cent reduction in the overall cost of items in the Food sub-category. Of all sub-categories in the Shopping Basket, it is price changes associated with Food items which are most obvious to the majority of consumers and are most keenly felt by low income households.

The St Helena resident population continues to grow. There is a temporary long-term increase as a result of increasing numbers of expatriate Basil Read and Government workers living on the Island for an extended period, but we are also seeing a number of Saints returning to live and work on the Island.

Visitor arrivals in the first nine months of 2013 are up by 18.1 per cent compared to the same period last year. The majority of arrivals on the RMS are Saints and Business visitors. Tourist arrivals are up by 10.2 per cent compared to the same period in 2012, an additional 36 people in real terms.

The Statistical News Bulletin, along with other statistical reports, is available for download from the SHG website www.sainthelena.gov.sh/statistics.

If you have requested a copy of the Quarterly Statistical News Bulletin via email and have not yet received it, please contact the office on 22138 or statistics@sainthelena.gov.sh.
Statistics Office

SHG
28 October 2013

Good Day everyone,

ExCo met today, Tuesday 22October, to discuss three items on the open agenda.

The first item concerned a number of follow up actions pertaining to the Telecommunications and TV Broadcasting Licence that were issued to Sure Atlantic Ltd last year.  Initially it was felt that this item should have been endorsed by the Economic Development Committee before coming to ExCo.  In the open session it was therefore deferred, but upon further discussion it was accepted that this item should be presented by the Chief Secretary, as there were no policy changes but rather operational actions that were necessary to ensure compliance with the licences. The principle of getting political endorsement for policy changes or initiatives from the responsible committee was re-affirmed but considered unnecessary on this occasion.

The Service Level Agreement as provided by Sure for businesses and government subscribers was endorsed by ExCo and the tariffs which were implemented on the 1January 2013 were noted.  It was further agreed that Sure no longer needs to provide Operator Assisted Calls but will do so in cases of emergency.  This was only in relation to international calls and not other operator services such as directory enquiries.

As part of this item ExCo was asked to agree that the Deputy Chief Secretary authorise locally produced material for broadcast on TV.  This is the half hour slot allocated for local TV production each day. Under the previous license there was an informal agreement that the Chief Secretary or Deputy Chief Secretary should authorise such programmes.  There was a discussion as to whether the responsibility should fall to a government official and it was agreed that subject to certain conditions this would be acceptable.  The conditions are that there will be a set of criteria that any programme must meet before broadcast and if a programme is refused then this must be referred to ExCo for a final decision.

The second item was a request from SAMS to allow them temporary use of a frequency for them to overcome difficulties with transmission of the BBC World Service.  There was concern that this could impact on other frequencies and it was agreed that SAMS will report progress and any problems to the next Economic Development Committee. 

The final item on the open agenda was the Application for Development Permission for Proposed Development of 65 dwellings including detailed permission for 14 homes.  For this item, Mr David Taylor, Head of Planning and Building, was invited to join the discussion.

Mr Taylor gave a short presentation on the development and answered specific technical questions.  There were nine planning conditions imposed on this development, which will be made publicly available, and a tenth condition that there be a temporary construction management plan applied to ensure neighbours are not disturbed unduly during construction.

The main points discussed were that:

  • While the 14 houses have reference designs, the actual method of construction will be determined during the tender process.
  • That five self-build plots are included in the original proposal but that this will be reviewed subject to demand
  • The sale of land is not bound to the current pricing structure as proposals for affordable land sales are currently being discussed in Committee.

As there has been extensive consultation on this ExCo agreed to the development.

Under AOB the present situation with the shortage of UK Sterling was raised.  This is of concern to the community as it is causing difficulties for Saints who are travelling overseas.  Importation of UK Sterling is a very complex issue as there are restrictions on transporting currency and significant costs involved.  The Financial Secretary confirmed that he had been in discussion with the Bank of St Helena to help to alleviate the immediate problem.  Longer term, there is a need for a comprehensive review on whether we retain our own currency which will include public consultation.

The meeting closed at 11:45

Thank you for listening.

SHG

22 October 2013

 

 

 

 

 

Trevor Botting who recently arrived on Island will take on the role as Police Chief for a contract period of three years. Trevor will be responsible for the Police, Prison, Fire, Sea Rescue and Immigration services.

Peter Coll, Trevor Botting
Peter Coll, Trevor Botting

Peter Coll, the current Chief of Police, has served in his role for four years and will depart St Helena on 7 November 2013.  During a two week period Peter will conduct an induction and hand over process, with Trevor officially becoming the Chief of Police on Monday 28 October 2013, supported by Peter until his departure.

Peter said:

“It has been a privilege to serve as Chief of Police. This has been the most challenging and rewarding job in my 33 years in the Police Service. I am very grateful for the dedication and support provided to me by some very good staff and volunteers over that time. It is their sense of duty that very much keeps the Police Directorate running. My wife Julie and I have made many friends during our time here and we look forward to returning to visit to see how St Helena develops. It is a special place with special people.”

Trevor’s role before taking on employment in St Helena was with Sussex Police as Crime Operations Superintendent, responsible for crime investigations, specialist investigations including child protection and the response to emergency calls, managing 500 officers and staff across a large geographical area.  Trevor has nearly 30 years experience as a Police Officer, with accreditations as a Firearms Commander, Post Incident Manager and Hostage and Crises Negotiator.

 

HE Governor Capes commented:

‘‘I am very grateful to Peter Coll for his loyal service to the people of St Helena and Ascension Island.  I have enjoyed working with him and greatly valued his professional and good humoured approach to the many different problems that landed on his desk during his four years here.    

“Trevor Botting brings with him much valuable experience as a senior UK Police Officer, including from a stint in charge of policing at Gatwick airport.

“Trevor will have my full support as he sets about his important work.  I hope too that he will have the support of everyone who lives here to help keep St Helena (and Ascension Island) a safe and pleasant place for all to enjoy.”

During his command at Gatwick airport Trevor carried out a restructuring of the policing operation there.  In a previous role as an Inspector at Gatwick he introduced an airport community policing team to compliment the armed deployments as part of the overall policing operation.

Trevor said:

“My wife and I (who will join Trevor in December) are delighted to have the opportunity to live and work in such a special and unique place. It will be a privilege to lead the diverse teams that make up the Policing Directorate in serving the people of St Helena. I look forward to getting to know the people and the Island over the coming months.” 

SHG

22 October 2013

On Thursday afternoon last week there was a Rockfall that occurred on Ladder Hill Road.  The Rockguards responded immediately to investigate and the rock was found to have landed just above China Lane.  At approximately 50cm across this was one of the largest to land on the road in recent years. 

The road, including that of Ladder Hill, was closed for access whilst the Rockguards investigated the source of the rockfall. Some traffic exited Jamestown using Shy Road, but for most, entry or exit from Jamestown was not possible.

Work on the Road Closure (Briars to Gordons Post) stopped shortly before 4pm, to make preparations to let traffic through the work site. These preparations took until 4:30pm, by which time the Rockguards had found the source of the rockfall and identified that there was no further danger to the public.

Ladder Hill and Two Gun Saddle opened to traffic around 4:30pm with Two Gun Saddle closing again around 5pm.

Dave Malpas, Roads Manager, said:

“I would like to publicly thank the Rockguards for climbing the hill to investigate the cause of the rockfall in high winds.”

“I would also like to thank the Roads Section who responded swiftly in reopening the worksite, as well as the public for their cooperation.”

SHG

22 October 2013

The public were advised that with effect from Monday 14 October 2013, the road between the Briars and Gordons Post would be closed for 10 weeks, to allow essential works to take place.  Work has begun on wall repairs, slipper drains, patching, surfacing and laying the new water main.  

Dave Malpas, Roads Manager commented:

“We have thirty five staff members of the Roads Section currently working on site, who have encountered good weather in the first week.  We have also been fortunate that most of the excavations have not hit hard material; however with many still to occur the likeliness of hitting hard rock and slowing down work is possible.  Our progress is slightly ahead of schedule, but we will wait to see if the weather over the weekend has hindered our head start.” 

It has been noted that over the weekend some drivers who were not allowed to access the closure have driven through unauthorised.  These occurrences have been reported to the Police and further monitoring and enforcement will be carried out during the closure.

Dave Malpas added:

“This behaviour is unsafe for the drivers as well as irresponsible, and has direct implications in hindering the work currently being done on the closure.  I would like to thank the public who have continued to cooperate.  Roads Section is working hard to complete the task and reopen the road as soon as possible.”

A short film displaying the work being conducted on the road between the Briars and Gordons Post will be shown on local TV channel 1 from Monday 21 October (at 8pm) to Thursday 24 October.

SHG

21 October 2013

 

 

A short film displaying the work being conducted on the road closed between the Briars and Gordons Post will be shown on local TV channel 1 from Monday 21 October at (8pm) to Thursday 24 October.

The public were advised that with effect from Monday 14 October 2014, the road between the Briars and Gordons Post would be closed for a 10 week period.

The closure will cause significant traffic disruption to the Island during this time, with only Emergency Services and residents routinely allowed access along the route.

The film displays the ongoing work of the Roads Section, showing footage of base patching, surfacing and work on the retaining wall structures.  Interviews are also conducted with masons and charge hands working on site.  

The schedule of the film might be subject to slight amendments, due to the current programmes being shown on the local TV channels – but the film will air on local TV Channel 1 each evening until Thursday 24 October. 

SHG

21 October 2013 

 

Open to the Public from 9.30am

Executive Council will meet on Tuesday 22 October 2013 in the Council Chamber. 

Commencing at 9.30am, the meeting will be open to the public for the first three agenda items: Telecommunications Licence – Service Level Agreement & TV Rebroadcasting Licence (Broadcast Content); South Atlantic Media Services – Request for an Additional Frequency; and Application for Development Permission for Proposed Layout for 65 Dwellings, including detailed Permission for 14 Dwellings.

Executive Council Members are: Lawson Henry, Ian Rummery, Cyril George, Christine Scipio O’Dean and newly elected Member Leslie Baldwin.   

SHG

21 October 2013