An isolated outbreak of the serious bird disease, Fowl Cholera, has been diagnosed in the flock of ducks at Farm Lodge, St Paul’s, St Helena.  This disease affects only birds – particularly and most seriously domestic flocks, where it is highly fatal. This disease is not considered by the World Organisation for Animal Health (The OIE) to be a threat to the vast majority of humans.

A Quarantine Order has today been put in place by ANRD which imposes movement restrictions in and out of the Farm Lodge property, designed to confine the disease and minimise the risk of its transfer (see Extraordinary Gazette, including a map of the affected area, on the SHG website at http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/EX-GAZ-No-18-2014-Quarantine.pdf), The Quarantine Order, made under Regulation 13(1) of the Animals (Diseases) Regulations – will initially be set for 4 weeks. Notices will today be posted at the premises and disinfectant points established.

The flock of ducks will be humanely destroyed and incinerated on site, supervised by the Senior Veterinary Officer Joe Hollins – who has confirmed the diagnosis through post-mortem examination and microscopic analysis. The Senior Veterinary Officer believes that this disease has most likely been on St Helena for many years (carried by the wild bird population), but has not previously been diagnosed.  

Enquiries can be made to the Senior Veterinary Officer at ANRD on telephone no. 24724 or email: joe-hollins@enrd.gov.sh

 

SHG

26 March 2014

 

Joyce Duncan
Joyce Duncan

St Helena’s National Vocational Quality (NVQ) Assurance Coordinator Joyce Duncan (photo attached) is soon to embark on a period of training in the UK.

As the NVQ Quality Assurance Coordinator, Joyce is responsible for managing the approved City & Guilds Centre on St Helena for the delivery of internationally recognised Vocationally Related Qualifications (VRQs) and National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs). Joyce as operational manager of the internal quality assurance function, monitors the service provided on St Helena to ensure it consistently meets specified UK National Occupational Standards. To ensure Joyce is able to do this effectively she will depart the Island on Tuesday 8 April 2014 for an exposure visit and period of overseas training in the UK.

Joyce will be visiting various NVQ Centres including those in Cardiff and in Colwyn Bay in Wales.

This visit will see Joyce meet with the Regional Centre’s team and other Quality Assurance Coordinators, Assessors and Internal Quality Assurers to discuss and compare practices. Joyce will also be participating in events that will enable her to enhance her skills and learn how other NVQ Centres are managed in the UK.

Joyce will also be attending Cardiff Vale College to look at the delivery of their Construction Programme and how this could be adapted for the Apprenticeship scheme on St Helena. She will also undertake training with the Quality Assurance Coordinator from the Falkland Island’s Government Office in Westminster London.

Joyce said:

“This training and exposure visit is very important as I will be able to upskill my team of Assessors and Internal Quality Assurers on St Helena while also developing myself in the management of the Centre in relation to quality assurance and training .

“Being isolated on St Helena is a challenge and I am looking forward to the training and exposure so as to be able to gauge whether I am on par with other centres. It will be great to meet with other Quality Assurance Coordinators, Assessors and Internal Quality Assurance Coordinators to share ideas and experiences which I can then bring back to St Helena to further develop my team.”

Colin Moore, Director of Education said

“Joyce is an exceptionally dedicated professional who runs an excellent centre here on St Helena. This visit will enable Joyce to keep up to date with the ever-changing world of vocational qualifications and assessments. We all wish the very best for her UK visit and look forward to seeing her back here in June.”

The St Helena NVQ Centre offers qualifications for:

Level 2/3 Diploma/Certificates in Business & Administration, Customer Service, Health & Social Care, Hospitality & Catering, Level 1 Land-based studies, Level 2 Crop Production, Level 2 Environmental Conservation, Levels 3 & 4 Training, Assessment and Quality Assurance (TAQA) qualifications.

Vocationally Related Qualifications offered at Prince Andrew School are for Levels 1 & 2 in Automotive, Level 1 in Construction, and Entry 3/Level 1 in Hospitality & Catering.

SHG

25 March 2014

 St Helena’s Biosecurity Policy (‘Biosecurity St Helena’) is now out for public consultation.

The document identifies the direction that Biosecurity intends to follow to help achieve sustainable development for St Helena. It forms part of a series of documents, which together will form the Biosecurity Development Framework. The policy covers all activities aimed at policing new species and managing their impacts once on Island.

It includes intentional, unintentional and illegal introductions, and focuses on pre-border, border and post-border activities designed to keep out new pests – central to SHG’s responsibility. It is important to hear the public’s views on the policy proposed by the Island’s biosecurity stakeholders.

To obtain a hard copy of ‘Biosecurity St Helena’ please call Darren Duncan or Dr Jill Key on tel: 24724. For an electronic copy please visit http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/

The closing date for responses is 4pm on Friday 28 March 2014. Please let the Biosecurity policy team have your comments by submitting a completed consultation questionnaire (attached), e-mailing it to Darren Duncan darren-duncan@enrd.gov.sh or sending in a hard copy to the ANRD Office at Scotland.

To encourage the public to give their views, all submissions with name and address details will be entered into a prize draw. The first name drawn will receive a prize of £30.

SHG

25 March 2014

Pam Trevillion
Pam Trevillion

The Lucy Faithful Report on the subject of Child Protection on St Helena and Ascension Island was published in October last year. 

Both Islands recognise their responsibility to protect the vulnerable in society, so a new role of Chief Inspector was created in the St Helena Police Service – with one of the main focuses being on Safeguarding regarding domestic and abuse cases. 

Pam Trevillion (pictured) arrived on Island on 18 March on a two year contract.  She will take charge of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Safeguarding and Intelligence.   

Pam commented on the challenge she faces:

“It is extremely important to gain the trust of the community.  I aim to link the Police Directorate with the public by highlighting Community Policing, building high levels of confidentiality and delivering successful cases.”  

Pam will be working closely with Health and Social Services and the Prison, also being a member of the Safeguarding Children Board.  Pam sees safeguarding the vulnerable members of our society as a top propriety.

She added:

“It is important to protect people who are unable to protect themselves – and this is vital across all sectors – including Housing, Health and the Prison Service.  It should be high on everyone’s agenda, including the community at large.  

“My aim is to embed processes and leave a system that can be sustained in the future, a system that can make a difference for the long term.”

If the public have any concerns or issues they wish to raise, Pam (based at the Police Headquarters) is keen to hear your views on working closer together to make the Island safer.

Sensitive matters can be raised on the confidential Helpline on: 22888

SHG

24 March 2014 

 

 

Commonwealth Day on Monday 10 March was an opportunity for member Nations of the Commonwealth to promote understanding on global issues, international cooperation and the work of Commonwealth organisations.

St Helena marked the day by focusing on the theme of ‘Team Commonwealth’, and a wide range of team–related activities, including with the schools, took place.  

A Commonwealth Day film will be shown on Local TV Channel 1 on:

 

  • Monday 24 March – 18:55
  • Tuesday 25 March – 19:00
  • Wednesday 26 March – 19:00

 

SHG

24 March 2014

Financial Secretary Colin Owen this afternoon delivered the Budget Speech for St Helena, 2014/15 (photo attached).  The theme of this year’s Budget was the Health of the Nation and Making a Difference.

The budget covered a wide range of health and environmental issues and saw the introduction of Excise and Liquor Duty and a number of changes to the current tax regime.

Highlights from the speech included:

 

  • Total expenditure for 2014/15 of just over £29 million
  • Increased funding for priority areas, including an additional £692k for the Health Service
  • £8.5m to be spent on Capital Infrastructure Projects in 2014/15
  • Planned introduction of Child Benefit allowance from 1 April 2015 
  • Continued equalisation of Fuel Tariffs, with duty on diesel to increase by 5p
  • Tobacco and Spirits Duties increased by 5%
  • Introduction of Liquor Duty at £3.50 per litre
  • New £1 per litre Duty for alcohol 3% or below
  • Changes to Customs Duty on Vehicles, based on CO2 Emissions
  • Introduction of Excise Duty on Styrofoam boxes for takeaways
  • Introduction of Excise Duty on plastic shopping bags
  • 75p per litre Excise Duty on High Sugar Carbonated Drinks

 

Colin Owen commented:

‘The introduction of a new tax on high sugar drinks and higher than inflation increases on tobacco form part of a raft of measures which demonstrate that SHG takes the health of St Helena seriously.’

The full Budget Speech is available on the SHG website at: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/finace/

SHG

21 March 2014

Councillor Wilson ‘Tony’ Duncan has this morning been elected as Chairman of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee and a Member of Executive Council. Councillor Corinda Essex has been elected as Member of the Public Accounts Committee.

Elections took place during today’s Formal Legislative Council Meeting where Elected Members were able to put forward their nominations for each of these roles in the House.

The purpose of today’s Legislative Council Meeting is primarily to discuss this year’s Budget Settlement. Also during the meeting there will be six Questions along with seven Motions, six of which are Bills for Ordinances.

Legislative Council is broadcast live via SAMS Radio 1.

SHG

21 March 2014

la Fayette

On Tuesday 15 April 2014, St Helena will host a one-day call from two major French warships – the 21,300 tonne Force Projection & Command Ship ‘FS Mistral’ and the advanced Frigate ‘FS La Fayette’.

The ships’ estimated time of arrival at St Helena is 09.00 hrs, departing at 19.00 hrs on the same day.  The Mistral has a crew complement of around 220 and is 199m in length, and the La Fayette has a crew of around 180 and is 125m in length.  Two pictures are attached to this release.

A programme is being drawn up for the day by SHG and honorary French Consul Michel Dancoisne-Martineau, and is likely to include: a Captain(s) call on the Governor, an invited lunch on board, a schools’ visit on board, a ceremony at the Tomb (with many French military in attendance), and a tour of Longwood House and the Briars pavilion – followed by the ships’ departure.

French Consul, Michel Dancoisne-Martineau, said of the visit:

The call of the two main vessels of the ‘Groupe Jeanne d’Arc’ is quite an honour, not only for my team, but for all of us on St Helena.  It will bring back memories for some on the Island who will remember the regular calls of the ‘Jeanne d’Arc’ – the last visit of that importance occurring in 1987. Since then, two French Navy ships have called on the Island – the patrouilleur ‘Albatros’ at the Quincentenary of St Helena in 2002, followed by the ‘Beautemps-Beaupré’ in 2008.

Mistral ship“St Helena owns a great page of our common history and this ’escale’ (port of call) further honours our mutual respect.”

Governor Mark Capes added:

“Our special link with France is firmly embedded in history and I’m sure that the people of St Helena will join me in warmly welcoming this visit by the French Navy. As always, we will do everything possible to ensure that our guests have an enjoyable visit.”

SHG

20 March 2014

The First Sitting of the Fourth Meeting of Legislative Council will take place on Friday 21 March 2014 at 10am in the Court House, Jamestown. This session is expected to last two days, continuing on Monday 24 March, and will be broadcast live via SAMS Radio 1.

The main purpose of the meeting will be to discuss this year’s Budget settlement, where the Financial Secretary will present his Budget Speech to Legislative Council. Six Questions will also be taken to the House along with seven Motions, six of which are Bills for Ordinances.

Nine papers will be presented in the House. They are:

 

  • A Bill for an Ordinance – The Immigration (Amendment) Ordinance, 2014
  • A Bill for an Ordinance – The Second Supplementary Appropriation Ordinance, 2014
  • The Second Supplementary Estimates, March 2014
  • A Bill for an Ordinance – The Customs (Amendment) Ordinance, 2014
  • A Bill for an Ordinance – The Liquor Duty Ordinance, 2014
  • A Bill for an Ordinance – The Interpretation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2014
  • A Bill for an Ordinance – The Appropriation Ordinance, 2014
  • Estimates of Recurrent Revenue, Expenditure and Capital Expenditure 2014/15
  • The St Helena Public Accounts Committee – Report to Legislative Council on the Formal Session of the Public Accounts Committee held on 10 February 2014.

Three elections will also take place during the Meeting. These will be to elect a Chairman of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee, to elect a new member of Executive Council following the resignation from ExCo of Councillor Cyril George, and to elect a member of the Public Accounts Committee.

The meeting will conclude with the customary Adjournment Debate, when Councillors will have the opportunity to raise various issues relating to St Helena.

The Order Paper for Friday’s meeting is available on the SHG website at:  http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/committee-reports/

SHG

17 March 2014

Marine Awareness Week is celebrated annually on St Helena to raise awareness of the importance of the Island’s marine environment, underwater habitats and species.

This year Marine Awareness Week is taking place between Saturday 22 – Saturday 29 March – with a number of events dedicated to teaching and learning about St Helena’s marine environment – including this year’s Grand Finale Fishing Festival.
Activities include a presentation at the Museum on ‘St Helena’s Ocean Habitat and Fishing’ on Monday 24 March. On Tuesday evening the St Helena Dive Club will show ‘The little Mermaid’ at the Wharf – with popcorn and juice on sale. Wednesday’s activities will be a marine-themed Quiz Night at the Yacht Club hosted by the St Helena Nature Conservation Group and on

Thursday the Dive Club will be holding a practical introduction to scuba session at the Pool. Saturday 29 March will see the Grand Finale Fishing Festival at the Wharf.

In addition, each day from 10.30am – 6.30pm there will be a display area at the Yacht Club where visitors will be able to speak with marine conservation staff, fishermen, marine tour operators and Traditional Industry Campaign staff from Enterprise St Helena.

Marine Conservation Officer Elizabeth Clingham explains the importance of Marine Awareness Week on St Helena:
“Marine Awareness Week highlights St Helena’s unique marine environment. This year, in collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders, we are really emphasising the significance and importance of our ocean, understanding its uses and respecting its value now and for the future.”

SHG
17 March 2014