The following is a Public Announcement from the Environment & Natural Resources Directorate (ENRD):

The Roads Section of ENRD would like to inform the public that the Highways Authority has given approval for the road from White Gate to Water Course Road to be closed from 9am to 3pm on Tuesday, 16 April, and Tuesday, 23 April 2019.

This closure is to allow the Roads Section to continue with their work on using trial mixes of alternative patching/surfacing methods for the Island’s road network.

The road will be closed to all traffic including Emergency Services’ vehicles. The diversion route will be via Francis Plain Road towards Scott’s Mill and Red Hill Road and vice versa (see below map).

The Roads Section would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused and thank the public in advance for their continued understanding and cooperation.

SHG
9 April 2019

http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh

The St Helena Community College will be hosting a Teaching & Learning Conference at Prince Andrew School from 8.45am to 3.45pm on Wednesday, 8 May 2019.

This is a new initiative for the Education Directorate and is set to be an all-day conference involving everyone in the education sector, extending to those who support children and young people on-Island.

Director of Education, Wendy Benjamin, said:

“We are really excited about this Conference and look forward to having the support of all to make it a success.”

There will be a range of events during the day including performances by children and young people and celebrations of success within the directorate. The programme for the day includes lots of active learning with interactive activities to encourage participation from all. Refreshments will also be available.

Further details will be published in the coming weeks.

#StHelena #Education #StHelenaCommunityCollege #TeachingAndLearningConference

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SHG
9 April 2019

Senior Prison Officer, Marianne Phillips, and Prison Officer, Ricardo Morana, have recently returned to St Helena following their two-week participation in the Overseas Territories (OTs) Mental Health Awareness Programme in the UK.

This visit enabled both Marianne and Ricardo to spend a week in a UK prison to observe what provisions are being used within the prison setting and to gain an understanding of the best practices used within mental health provision. The aim is for both officers to adopt some of those practices now that they have returned to the Island. Marianne was based at HMP Swinfen Hall and Ricardo at HMP Warren Hill.

Transformation Lead at HMP Swinfen Hall, Lawson Painting, said:

“It was a pleasure to have Marianne with us at Swinfen Hall. She made some genuine friends whilst with us. We have agreed to send Marianne lots of documents that may be of use to HMP Jamestown. Initiatives around Rehabilitative Culture, Decency, Safety, Violence Reduction and Families Strategy, to name but a few.”

Governor of HMP Warren Hill, Ricky Palmer, said:

“Ricardo has been a star. He is very polite and respectful and is a credit to HMP Jamestown. I would have him work for me here in a heartbeat. He has fit in so well with both our staff and residents and worked really hard. He has been exposed to everything we have available and has soaked this up like a sponge. We have agreed to keep in touch with him and offer any further help or advice.”

Following their placements, Marianne and Ricardo spent a week at the Prison Service College undertaking more in-depth work around mental health awareness. The course was split into five modules:

  • Understanding Mental Health and Wellbeing
  • Understanding Mental Ill Health
  • Supporting Prisoners with Mental Ill Health
  • Developing a supportive and enabling environment
  • Mindfulness

St Helena Prison Manager, Heidi Murray, said:

“The training was very well received and both Marianne and Ricardo will now be tasked with two things following their return. The first is to impart the training to the other staff in HMP Jamestown, and to use their learning to make improvements within the prison setting for those in our care with mental health issues.

“It was an intensive course with a lot of travelling for both Marianne and Ricardo, but it was invaluable to both of them, as well as to HMP Jamestown’s continued development of dealing with prisoners who have mental health issues.”

This training was funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) as part of the Conflict, Stability & Security Fund’s (CSSF) Prisons Project under the Overseas Territories Justice, Security & Governance Programme. Eight other UK OTs also participated in the training.

#StHelena #PoliceDirectorate #HMPJamestown #MentalHealthAwareness

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SHG
8 April 2019

Coastal Walking or Hiking is one of the most popular outdoor activities on St Helena.  Post Box and Blue Dot walks are among some of the popular trails available around the Island’s coastline. These walks appeal to both locals and visitors alike.

Whilst these coastal walks give people the chance to experience St Helena’s rugged exterior and capture some of the most magnificent coastal and cliff edge views, without proper safety awareness or preparation they could easily result in an emergency situation.

As part of their Safety Awareness Campaign, the St Helena Sea Rescue Service would like to ensure that everyone knows the best ways to keep safe when coastal walking & hiking:

When coastal walking or hiking around St Helena:

  • Never hike alone
  • Before you leave, make sure someone knows where you are going and when to expect you back
  • Ensure that you, or someone in your group, has done the walk before and is competent enough to lead the way. Your predetermined route should be shared beforehand with the entire group in case you get separated
  • Always pay attention to the path – stay on it, and never cut corners
  • Always watch where you are putting your feet. If you want to take in the view, then stop to do so. Don’t admire the views whilst walking as you could easily make a wrong step
  • Walk within your limits. Ensure that you know enough about the demands of the walk beforehand. If you don’t feel comfortable embarking on a particular walk then it might be best to stay behind.

Things you should wear/pack when coastal walking or hiking:

  • Try to wear bright clothing. This will make it easier for your group or rescuers to locate you
  • Wear boots that protect your ankles. If you prefer trainers, then ensure they are appropriate for tough terrain
  • Always take plenty of water. At least one litre per person should be packed
  • Take a fully charged mobile phone with you. Ideally if you have a GPS and/or handheld radio then ensure they are also packed
  • Take a Basic First-Aid kit. This should include at the least a bandage, gauze, plasters and some antiseptic cream or wipes
  • Always pack a torch, even if you don’t plan on being out after dark
  • Remember to wear/pack sunscreen

These tips will help ensure you have the safest possible experience when coastal walking or hiking around St Helena, so please ensure that you, along with your friends and family, are aware of this advice.

Deputy Sea Rescue Manager, Craig Scipio, said:

“While we continually encourage our Islanders and tourists to get out there, explore, and appreciate the Island for its natural beauty by engaging in these great activities, we also strongly encourage that individuals set aside the necessary time to consider all safety aspects before their intended journey. Knowing you have the necessary kit, equipment, and information, will give you peace of mind, therefore allowing you to enjoy your activity to the full.”

Walking Checklist

#StHelena #SeaRescueService #SafetyAwarenessCampaign #CoastalWalking&Hiking #AltogetherSafer

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SHG
4 April 2019

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office invites nominations for the 2020 Queen’s New Year Honours List.

Persons wishing to submit nominations for the 2020 New Year Honours are reminded that the overriding principle is that honours are awarded on merit for exceptional achievement or any service recently carried out over and above 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 have given exceptional service, should not be overlooked. It is important that nominations are kept confidential and that nominees are not made aware that they are being proposed for award of an Honour.

Nomination forms are available from Corporate Services at the Castle and can also be requested by email from Miss Linda Benjamin, via: linda.benjamin@sainthelena.gov.sh.

Completed forms should be returned to the Executive Secretary, Honours Committee, in a sealed envelope, marked ‘Confidential’, by Wednesday, 1 May 2019.

 #StHelena #FCO #NewYearHonours

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 SHG

4 April 2018

In a Statistical Bulletin released by the St Helena Statistics Office today, figures show that St Helenians living abroad have taken advantage of the regular scheduled air service between St Helena and Johannesburg. In December 2018, 336 St Helenians arrived to visit family and friends – the highest monthly total since at least 2010. The Bulletin notes that St Helenians living abroad tend to visit family and friends during the months around the Christmas period, and that there has been additional capacity on the scheduled airline following the introduction of a seasonal mid-week service.

Monthly arrivals of St Helenians abroad visiting St Helena for a holiday by RMS St Helena and by air

The Statistical Bulletin also includes detailed estimates of the total population, arrivals, departures, births, deaths, and life expectancy. Some other highlights include:

  • At the end of December 2018, the number of St Helenians on St Helena was estimated to be 4,555, over 5% higher than at the end of December 2017, and the highest number recorded since at least 2010
  • The number of people arriving to and departing from St Helena has been steadily increasing since 2010. In the earlier part of the decade, this was due to the construction activity as the new airport was built, and lately this is due to the start of the regular scheduled air service in 2017
  • Until 2018, most arrivals by sea were by ship on the RMS St Helena. 2018 saw 3,833 people arrive by air, more than arrived by the RMS St Helena in any previous year
  • Recent tourist arrivals by air have also been higher than in previous months. The total for February 2019 was 193, higher than the previous highest monthly total by air of 179 in December 2018
  • There were 26 births in 2018, half the number of deaths (52), and the lowest number of births in a year since at least the year 2000
  • The life expectancy of a child born in 2018 is estimated to be around 77 years; this compares with a UK life expectancy of 81. Countries with similar rates of life expectancy to St Helena include Argentina, Mexico, the United Arab Emirates, Poland, the Maldives, and French Polynesia.

The full Statistical Bulletin can be found on the St Helena Government website here: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/statistical-bulletin-no-3-2019-population/ detailed data can be accessed in Excel format from the ‘Population’ file via: www.sainthelena.gov.sh/statistics-data.

#StHelena #Statistics #Population #StatsNews

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SHG
4 April 2019

Councillors will be holding a series of meetings in each Island district throughout April for constituents to ask questions, raise concerns and find out what has been happening lately within St Helena Government Directorates.

A key topic which Councillors wish to discuss at these meetings is how best to communicate with constituents. For example, would you like to continue having district meetings or to have larger gatherings? Would you prefer all 12 Councillors to attend constituency meetings? Options can be discussed with Councillors at the meeting.

If there is a particular topic that you would also like discussed, please telephone the Secretary to Elected Members on tel: 22590 or email: sec.em@helanta.co.sh in advance of the meeting you plan to attend.

Your Councillors look forward to meeting with you and hearing your views.

Each meeting will start at 7pm.

Venue

Date

Kingshurst Community Centre Monday, 8 April
Blue Hill Community Centre Monday, 8 April
Harford Community Centre Wednesday, 10 April
Sandy Bay Community Centre Thursday, 11 April
HTH Community Centre Monday, 15 April
Jamestown Community Centre Tuesday, 16 April
St Michaels’s Church, Rupert’s Tuesday, 16 April
St Mary’s Church, The Briars Tuesday, 23 April
Silver Hill Bar, Levelwood Wednesday, 24 April

#StHelena #LegislativeCouncil #ConstituencyMeetings

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SHG

4 April 2019

St Helena Government’s Harbour Master, Steve Kirk,  Emergency Planning & Sea Rescue Manager, Simon Wade, and Operational & Civil Contingencies Manager, Ian Johnson, along with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’ CSSF (Conflict, Stability & Security Fund) Projects lead, Sam Cherrett,  are currently representing St Helena at the Red Ensign Group Conference in Montserrat.

The delegates join 68 representatives from other UK Overseas Territories in a four-day programme of presentations, workshops, and discussions covering several aspects of Maritime Safety and Legislation. Topics include Ports, Coastal State and Registration of Vessels and the crucial role it plays in enabling Coastal States to meet mandatory international obligations by 2020 which St Helena is legally bound  i.e. SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea), MARPOL (Marine Pollution), UNCLOS (United Nations Convention of the Laws of the Seas).

The UK and Overseas Territories will be audited to assess compliance of the obligations.

Attendance at the Conference was funded under the Maritime Obligations work as part of the Justice, Security and Governance programme of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’ Conflict, Stability & Security Fund.

Further information will be provided when the delegates return to St Helena.

#StHelena #RedEnsignGroup #Altogether Safer #CSSF

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SHG
4 April 2019

St Helena Government was disappointed to read in three recent Sentinel articles – ‘St Helena Coffee under Threat from Tax Reforms’ (p.5, 7 March) ‘Stop the Devaluation of St Helena Coffee’: Coffee Producers Band Together (p. 6-7, 21 March) and Refocusing the St Helena Coffee Discussion: Back to the Real Issue (p. 6-7, 28 March) – that the 2018 Tax Reforms have been cited as a potential threat to our niche St Helena Coffee product.

There unfortunately has been a misunderstanding of two separate policies – The Tax Policy which supports the achievement of the goals of the Sustainable Economic Development Plan (SEDP) and the SHG Biosecurity Policy on the protection of a particular local species of plant.

The 2018 Tax Reforms and subsequent Tax Policy reduced the Import Duty from

20% to 5% on ‘Trees, shrubs, and bushes, grafted or not, of a kind which bear edible fruit or nuts’ or plants in general. This was not specific to coffee plants. The reduction in Import Duty was one of a range of duty reductions made in April 2018 and is to help the agriculture sector which is one of the SEDP sectors, and in particular assist horticulture and fruit growing.

The press release issued on 6 April 2018 and available online here: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/changes-to-customs-excise-duty/ states:

‘A number of imports related to agriculture, fishing and drinks making will see a decrease in import duty from 20% to 5%. These changes provide further support for industries which directly contribute to export or import substitution and help to improve St Helena’s trade imbalance, as set out in the Sustainable Economic Development Plan.’

We note that at the time of this press release there was little commentary on these changes by the Sentinel in their following publication on 12 April 2018 except to point out that ‘SHG April 6 released new customs and excise tariffs to come into effect May 1’.

The Economic Development Committee (EDC) endorsed the SEDP which encourages coffee growth in general and Income Tax has also been reduced for coffee growing activities, but there has never been a policy endorsed by EDC to encourage the specific bringing in of coffee plant material.

The Agriculture & Natural Resources Division (ANRD) has Biosecurity measures which adequately safeguard the St Helena coffee industry from new pests and disease arriving on-Island.

We are aware that St Helena Coffee is special, but it is currently unknown whether the uniqueness of the bean stems from some previous cross pollination to create a unique strand of coffee plant on St Helena, whether the growing conditions such as soil and temperature create the unique taste, or it is a mixture of both, which allows St Helena’s coffee to be of such high regard globally. This is an area that SHG will be looking into in response to the letter by coffee growers, and regulations against the importation of new coffee plant material and seeds can be considered on the back of this, should the import of coffee plant material be a risk to the existing stock. It is noted that there have been no queries from any prospective importers regarding the requirements for, or possibility of importing coffee in either plant or seed form made to Biosecurity at least since the year that ASYCUDA reported imports (May 2016), and any potential change is to mitigate future potential problems which could occur.

Unfortunately, the Sentinel has made claims that a policy of importing coffee plant material exists in SHG – but it does not. We apologise that there has been a misunderstanding around SHG’s policy with regards to coffee growing and we hope that this information clarifies the situation.

The EDC has invited both coffee growers and the Sentinel to discuss the issues around coffee growing on Thursday, 4 April. SHG representatives will be there to listen to concerns and assist where actions are necessary to protect and enhance St Helena’s coffee industry.

#StHelena #SEDP

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SHG

2 April 2019

The Environment & Natural Resources Directorate (ENRD) has restructured from 1 April 2019. ENRD has now split into two separate directorates – Environment, Natural Resources & Planning and Infrastructure & Transport.

Here is an overview of the services that are provided under each new directorate:

Environment, Natural Resources & Planning Directorate

The Environment, Natural Resources & Planning Directorate comprises of:

Environmental Management Division, responsible for –

  • Implementation of the Environmental Protection legislation
  • Development and implementation of Environmental Management strategies and policies, including a Solid Waste Management Strategy, Climate Change Policy and Pollution Policy, Waste Management Policy, Strategy and Operational Services
  • Managing the Peaks National Park and other sites of endemic interest on the Island
  • Managing the St Helena Meteorological Station
  • Conducting all marine-related management including fish data collection, fisheries science marine biodiversity surveys, habitat mapping, marine species taxonomy, seabird and cetacean monitoring, and managing a marine sightings scheme
  • Conducting scientific research projects
  • Carrying out environmental site visits and initial site assessments, monitoring development projects, and reviewing Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs)

Tel: 24724

Agriculture & Natural Resources Division, responsible for –

  • Development and implementation of agricultural policy
  • Providing agricultural support and extension services for producers and the public in the areas of arable production, pest management, livestock & veterinary and soils testing
  • Leasing agricultural lands and buildings for agricultural production and product storage purposes
  • Management of the SHG forest estate and delivery of services such as emergency call outs to assist with fallen trees, selling dry trees for firewood, selling tree seedlings and chip & fodder permits, selling forest produce, providing an advisory service and carrying out private tree felling & surgery tasks, providing a wood raw material service to sawmill and firewood service operators
  • Management and implementation of the Island’s Biosecurity Policy to prevent pests and diseases reaching St Helena
  • A fisheries licensing and reporting function for the Island

Tel: 24724

Planning & Building Control Division, responsible for –

  • Drafting planning and building primary legislation, orders, and regulations
  • Preparing development plans and policies for approval
  • Providing advice and guidance to the public and SHG on compliance with policies and the law, development potential of land, building conservation, and building construction
  • Processing development applications and appeals
  • Making recommendations on development decisions
  • Monitoring and enforcing compliance with approved drawings and planning conditions
  • Inspecting, approving and certifying building works on-site

Tel: 22270

Infrastructure & Transport Directorate

The Infrastructure & Transport Directorate comprises of:

Property Division, responsible for –

  • Maintaining all operational properties for SHG
  • Leasing and sale of SHG land and buildings and administration of the properties held on lease
  • Carrying out site inspections and condition surveys
  • Administration of the Lands Disposal Policy
  • Providing valuation advice to SHG and the Bank of St Helena

Tel: 22270

Housing Section, responsible for –

  • The letting of Government Landlord Housing (GLH) and Chief Secretary Houses (CSH)
  • Managing the GLH tenancy agreements
  • Allocating houses to GLH tenants
  • Repairing SHG houses and managing upgrading and improvement works
  • Providing advice to the private sector on lettings
  • Managing the turnover of CSH between contracts

Tel: 22270

Roads Section (including Public Lighting and Rock Guards), responsible for –

  • Carrying out routine inspections of the SHG road network and Sea Front
  • Carrying out planned and reactive maintenance of road network infrastructure including road surface, adjacent walls, safety railings, road signs & markings, and bridges
  • Carrying out verge cleaning of identified roads within resource limits
  • Responding to out-of-hours call-outs to assess and repair damage to road infrastructure if deemed unsafe
  • Managing water which lands on the public road surface and surface water running in watercourses passing under the public road
  • Managing public lighting – the lights on Jacobs Ladder, and Christmas street lighting (with Connect Saint Helena Ltd)
  • Maintaining a list of public lighting faults
  • Arranging prioritised repairs on a monthly basis within resource limits
  • Conducting regular inspections of the rock fall protection infrastructure above Jamestown, the slope above the Museum Car Park, and the fence above the Shears in Rupert’s
  • Conducting ad hoc inspection and clearing of any rock fall risk
  • Identifying new risks and providing monitoring and advice to SHG
  • Responding to rock fall incidents at any time

Tel: 23765

Government Garage, responsible for –

  • Management of the SHG vehicle fleet
  • Providing vehicles for SHG Directorates on a full cost recovery basis for the services provided
  • Providing a service to the public for the hire of plant and certain equipment where these services cannot be provided for by the private sector

Tel: 23208

A full contact list for all services will be issued shortly.

#StHelena #ENRDRestructure #EnvironmentNaturalResources&PlanningDirectorate #Infrastructure&TransportDirectorate

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SHG
2 April 2019