International Women’s Day (8 March) is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. In some places like China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria, International Women’s Day is a national holiday.

 “A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water – Eleanor Roosevelt

This Saturday 8 March, ‘Ordinary Women are Extraordinary Too!’ will be launched on St Helena.   Members of the Island’s community – both male and female will be able to contribute words of wisdom by and for the women that have inspired them.

There will be a giant blackboard at the Canister between 10am to 1pm to write your inspiring messages.  Alternatively, hard copies of messages can be submitted to the Human Rights Facilitator, Catherine Turner, in Napoleon Street or by email to humanrightsoffice@helanta.co.sh

Catherine commented:  

“Women’s equality has made positive gains but the world is still unequal.  International Women’s Day celebrates the social, political and economic achievements of women, while focusing world attention on areas requiring further action.

“Here on St Helena we are looking forward to the extension of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) which will bring us into line with best international practice.

“Inspiring Change is the 2014 theme for our International Women’s Day Celebration – encouraging advocacy for women’s advancement everywhere and in every way. It calls for challenging the status quo for equality and vigilance in inspiring in positive change.”

A leaflet on women’s rights ‘Opening Doors with CEDAW’ will also be available on Saturday outside the Canister and copies will be made available from the Human Rights Officer thereafter.

SHG

5 March 2013

Legislative Councillors will be holding a second series of public meetings in April 2014. During the Constituency meetings there will be a minimum of three Members present at each meeting.

Agenda items planned to be discussed at the meetings include Economic Development, Same Sex Marriages and the Complaints Procedure. Members of the public are also encouraged to raise any issues not covered in the agenda at the meetings.

The schedule is outlined below. All meetings will run from 7.30pm to 9pm

Tuesday 1April. Jamestown Community Centre, attended by Cyril George, Nigel Dollery and Brian Isaac

Wednesday 2April. Briars (St. Mary’s Church), attended by Ian Rummery, Tony Duncan and Derek Thomas

Wednesday 9April. Sandy Bay Community Centre, attended by Christine Scipio-O’Dean, Gavin Ellick and Leslie Baldwin

Thursday 10April. HTH (Guide Hall), attended by Lawson Henry, Bernice Olsson and New Member

Wednesday 16April. Longwood (Harford Community Centre), attended by Cyril George, Bernice Olsson and Nigel Dollery

Thursday 17April. Levelwood (Silver Hill Bar), attended by Ian Rummery, Derek Thomas and New Member

Wednesday 23April. St Pauls (Kingshurst Community Centre), attended by Leslie Baldwin, Tony Duncan and Christine Scipio-O’Dean

Wednesday 23April. Blue Hill Community Centre, attended by Lawson Henry, Gavin Ellick and Brian Isaac

Wednesday 30April. Ruperts (St Michael’s Church), attended by Leslie Baldwin, Nigel Dollery and Brian Isaac

On behalf of Legislative Council

4 March 2014

Executive Council met today, Tuesday 4March 2014, with one item on the open agenda.

Council was asked to consider amending the Interpretations Ordinance definition of an Audit, to raise the threshold for bodies requiring an International Standard on Auditing (ISA) approved audit.

This arose out of a concern from the Public Accounts Committee that some Government-funded bodies could be charged for a full ISA approved audit because of their income level.  Any agency in receipt of Government funds is required to be audited, but as more agencies are reaching the holdings threshold for a more comprehensive ISA approved audit, they are facing additional financial costs.  The purpose of the amendment was to raise the holdings threshold to bring it more into line with UK standards for Charitable Organisations.

Executive Council agreed the recommendation to amend the Ordinance as this will be a positive benefit to those Government-funded bodies – while still providing appropriate and sufficient safeguards for monitoring Government expenditure. The amended Bill will now go forward as Government Business to Formal Legislative Council on 21 March 2014.

On the closed agenda, the Appropriation Bill 2014/15 was presented to Executive Council. The Appropriation Bill had been discussed extensively by Legislative Council and Executive Council agreed that the Bill also be presented as Government Business at the next Formal Legislative Council.

The next item was an amendment to the Customs Regulations.  This was in relation to the importation of substances known as ‘legal highs’ (referring to psychoactive substances).  The description of ‘legal highs’ is a misnomer, leading some people to believe that because these substances are not illegal then they are safe to use.  This is not so – they can pose very serious health risks – and there is a suggestion that these substances are being brought into St Helena.  The amended Regulations would prohibit the import of psychoactive substances that have not been prescribed by a doctor.  This is an important public safety issue as at present it is legal to import and sell these substances.  That represents an unacceptable risk to the people of St Helena and so Executive Council approved the amended Regulations.

The meeting closed with a tribute to former Councillor, William (Bill) Drabble.  Executive Council, on behalf of Legislative Council, wished to remember Bill’s service to St Helena.  Bill served for 20 years and represented St Helena at a number of international conferences and meetings.  As current members of Legislative Council noted, Bill’s death reminds us that we are building on the foundations of those who have gone before us.

The meeting ended at 11:30am.

ExCo

4 March 2014

The Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton arrived on St Helena on Wednesday 19 February 2014, its fortieth stop on its relay around the 70 nations and territories of the Commonwealth.

A short film of the Queen’s Baton visit and programme on St Helena will be shown on Local TV Channel 1, including its journey to Primary Schools, Jacob’s Ladder, the Community Care Complex and Jonathan the Tortoise.

The piece will broadcast at the following times:

Wednesday 5 March – 18:55 hrs

Thursday 6 March – 18:55 hrs

Friday 7 March – 18:45 hrs

Saturday 8 March – 18:55 hrs

SHG

4 March 2013

Celebrated annually on the second Monday in March, Commonwealth Day is an opportunity for member nations of the Commonwealth to promote understanding on global issues, international cooperation and the work of Commonwealth organisations.

The theme for this year’s Commonwealth Day, falling on Monday 10 March 2014, is ‘Team Commonwealth’ which expresses the spirit of friendship and motivation towards the shared goals and values that exist between Commonwealth members.

This year, St Helena’s participation in Commonwealth Day will be led by Legislative Council Members.  A group comprising Members of the Social and Community Development and Education Committees has been working together in preparation for the day’s activities.

Planned activities will focus on the theme of ‘Team Work’ and will involve Legislative Council Members and some 26 schoolchildren from the Primary Schools and Prince Andrew School. The group will be taken around the Island on various site visits which demonstrate teamwork. The sites will include the Spruce Projects at Harford and St Paul’s Primary Schools, work at the Horse Point Landfill Site and Millennium Forest, Bradley’s Motor Cross track, the Airport site at Prosperous Bay Plain, and SHAPE Recycling Plant at Donkey Plain.

Other activities will include the traditional Commonwealth Day Assembly at Prince Andrew School where HE Governor Capes will read Her Majesty the Queen’s Message to the Commonwealth. It is also planned for two video conferences to take place between the St Helena Youth Parliament and Welsh Youth Parliament, and for Councillors to discuss issues with the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Delegation who visited the Island in August 2013.

 Leader of the Commonwealth Day Working Group, Councillor Les Baldwin said:

“St Helena, as a member of the Commonwealth along with all other Commonwealth Nations, will inevitably share common goals and ambitions. It is important that we take part in Commonwealth Day celebrations, as this underlines our allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen and her endeavours to ensure high standards throughout the Commonwealth.”

SHG

3 March 2014

Trevor Graham
Trevor Graham

Arriving on Island on 19 February on a three year contract was Trevor Graham, Environment and Natural Resources’ (ENRD) new Director. 

Trevor’s main objective will be to ensure that ENRD actively contributes to the development of the economy on St Helena building on, and enriching, our natural and cultural heritage.

Trevor commented on his impressions of the Island and the Directorate:

 “I have been hugely impressed by what I have seen so far and at the range of skills and commitment within the Directorate-as well as some of the results achieved with limited resources and sometimes in adverse conditions. I spent a day with the roads team and am really impressed with their work in challenging conditions.

 “I have a short space of time to understand the challenges, build relationships and develop opportunities. I would like to think that St Helena can be well on the way to being a leading sustainable tourism destination and a global development benchmark for other Island nations.

“There are so many opportunities, so many creative people and such amazing natural and cultural assets that I’m certain that if we all work together and use our resources wisely, then we can achieve a great deal.”

Previously, Trevor has spent most of his career working with urban development, often in low income communities.  He spent 15 years working to transform the City of Malmo in Sweden, from a city in social and economic crisis to a global leader in sustainable development.  This work has enabled Trevor to work at a national and local level in places such as Europe, China and Namibia. 

Trevor added:

“St Helena is a Territory in a very different context, but many of the issues are similar to those I have worked with before and I look forward to using my experience – together with all sectors of the Island community – to help create a new development path in this exciting time of change.”

SHG

3 March 2013

 

 

 

 

 

Biosecurity operations on the Island are often associated with the most highly visible activities – such as plant quarantine inspections on the wharf and veterinary checks on the RMS for animals arriving to the Island.  However, many efforts are made behind the scenes to reduce threats to the Island’s economy, environment and health posed by pests and disease.  

St Helena’s Biosecurity Policy (‘Biosecurity St Helena’) has been developed and 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 Biosecurity policy covers all activities aimed at policing new species and managing their impacts once on Island.  It includes intentional, unintentional and illegal introductions. Activities focuses on pre-border, border and post-border activities designed to keep out new pests – central to SHG’s responsibility.

Head of Agriculture and Natural Resources Division, Darren Duncan commented:

“St Helena Government has established ‘Biosecurity St Helena’ to ensure it can effectively and strategically deliver these important national priorities.  It provides a consistent approach and improved capacity to respond to animal, plant and aquatic pests and diseases.

“All members of the St Helena community have a responsibility to help protect the economic, environmental and social assets of the Island that we care about so much.  Having our own Biosecurity policy for the first time means we have a guiding document to fulfil this vital obligation.”

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 (Pest Control and Biosecurity Officer) 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  e-mailing it to Darren Duncan darren-duncan@enrd.gov.sh or sending in a hardcopy 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 free prize draw. The first name drawn will receive a prize of £30.

SHG

3 March 2014

 

 

Open to the Public from 9.30am

Executive Council will meet on Tuesday 4 March 2014 in the Council Chamber.

Starting at 9.30am, the meeting will be open to the public for the one open agenda item: Legal Threshold for the International Standards on Auditing (UK and Ireland) (ISA) Compliant Audit.

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

SHG

28 February 2014

 

 

The Elections Ordinance 2009 provides for Nominations to be delivered to the Returning Officer not later than noon on the last day appointed for the Nomination of Candidates. The closing date for nominations for the 2014 Bye-Election (to be held on Wednesday 12 March 2014) was today, Wednesday 26 February 2014.  

Returning Officer, Gillian Francis, this afternoon announced the names of three Candidates who will be standing for the upcoming Bye-Election and a seat on Legislative Council.  

The Candidates are as follows:

Corinda Sebastiana Stuart Essex:  of “Villa Ajaccio”, Napoleon Street, Jamestown

Brenda Elaine Moors: of Alarm Forest

Lionel George Williams: of Brenville” Nr Half Tree Hollow, St Paul’s.        

The full Declaration, including the names of Sponsors, will be Gazetted as soon as possible and hard copies will be placed at the usual outlets and published on the SHG website.     

Polling Day is set for Wednesday 12 March 2014. Polling Stations will be at the Levelwood, Jamestown, Harford, Blue Hill, Sandy Bay, Half Tree Hollow, and Kingshurst Community Centres, and at Judges Lodge, Alarm Forest. 

Further information, including the importance of voting and how and where to vote will be published as an insert in next week’s newspapers.

SHG

26 February 2014

Executive Council met today, Tuesday 25February 2014, with one item on the Open Agenda – an information paper on the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, presented by the Attorney General.  The UK Government has stated that it hopes that the Convention can be extended to all Overseas Territories by the end of 2014.

This is an important Convention which will help protect women against discrimination, particularly with regards to rights in the workplace and in other ways.

On the Closed Agenda, the Capital Programme Manager gave a presentation on the 2014-15 proposed capital programme.  This was held in closed session as it includes budget estimates for various  projects which have yet to go out to tender.  ExCo had previously met with the full Legislative Council to discuss this programme and there was broad agreement on the main priorities. 

Executive Council agreed the capital expenditure programme for 2014-15, with a caveat on the SHG reorganisation and relocations element – to be reviewed once further details are available.

Under Any Other Business, there was a discussion on some difficulties that have occasionally been experienced by some local investors.  It was noted that the new Deputy Chief Executive for Economic Development has been tasked with responsibility for taking forward Enterprise St Helena as a one stop shop for all potential investors.  Executive Council was pleased with the assurances given that this would address the various issues.

In closing the meeting, a tribute was paid to Shirley Anderson-Leo, the former Senior Nursing Officer on St Helena, who passed away last week, aged 61.  In this tribute she was described as St Helena’s Florence Nightingale.  Her work on St Helena, Ascension and internationally, and her dedication to those she nursed, was recognised appreciably by Executive Council.

The meeting ended at 10:40am

ExCo

25 February 2014