Two representatives of the Lucy Faithfull Foundation (LFF) visited St Helena for two weeks in May 2013, primarily to review the way SHG handled child protection cases. Their visit was initiated, contracted and paid for by the UK Government.

Since the St Helena Independent newspaper drew attention to the draft LFF report being available online, some individuals on St Helena have sought to argue that it is right for the public to have access to it. Many others have taken an opposing view.  I thought it right that I, as Governor, should offer my view on this.

It was never intended that the LFF report should be made public, given the importance of protecting the identity of victims of abuse, as well as the identity of those who were asked to provide information to LFF on a strictly confidential basis.  A summary of the LFF’s principal findings, as contained in the final version of the report, was published on the SHG website in October 2013.

The summary, which protects personal and confidential details, provided the basis for public discussion of the main issues covered in the report. The media gave it constructive coverage and Councillors discussed the subject at Constituency meetings. It was acknowledged that, as in the UK and elsewhere, St Helena had problems to address. Drawing on recommendations made in the LFF report, SHG launched a work programme to improve management of this important area of work.

We all know that earlier this year an unnamed individual leaked a draft copy of the LFF report to a UK newspaper. This resulted in a series of headlines which outraged Saints and the many friends of St Helena around the world.  A few weeks ago, it became known that a draft version of the LFF report was leaked to a law firm in London which then published the entire draft report on its website. The St Helena Independent newspaper subsequently printed an ‘anonymous’ letter providing a link to the leaked report on the UK law firm’s website. SHG then took immediate steps to counsel and help protect victims and others identified in this draft LFF report.

It should be understood here that the leaked LFF draft report is just that – an early draft. The final version was produced much later after work to check and filter information gathered from many sources by the LFF representatives during their brief visit to St Helena.

Much of the work of your government, by far the bulk of it, is open and transparent; and so it should be.  I am pleased that over the past few years we have seen much more openness in government than hitherto.  But most people will readily agree that some information must, for important reasons, stay confidential, restricted only to those who need to know.

I have been asked by some in our community whether those who argue that the LFF draft report should be published would be happy if SHG were to publish their medical and social services records, police records, personal financial, tax and employment details and so on. I think not. Or would they agree to the Bank of St Helena publishing their personal expenditure and income statements?  I think not.

The work of Police and Social Service Officers can be seriously damaged and undermined by breaches of trust and confidentiality, even more so in such a small community as ours.  One might think this should be glaringly obvious to most people.  To support publication of a confidential report about child protection, knowing that it would be likely to damage efforts to improve performance in that area and cause grief to victims and families that have had to deal with abuse, is reprehensible.

Nonetheless, the callous attitude of the few will not deter those in SHG and in our community who are working hard to strengthen measures to protect children and the vulnerable from abuse of any sort. We are making steady progress and more expert resources are being allocated to help take forward this vital work.  I am sure that the community as a whole will welcome and support that.

 HE Governor Capes

20 August 2014

 

 

 

The Quarterly Statistical News Bulletin, published in August 2014, covers the period April to June 2014 and contains updates for the annual rate of inflation of the Retail Price Index, Income and Imports, Estimated Population, Migration and Vehicles on St Helena.

Annual inflation of the St Helena Retail Price Index (RPI) stood at 1.9 per cent in Quarter 2 2014 – up by approximately 1 per cent from the previous quarter. The major upwards pressure on annual inflation of the RPI was a result in the increased price of purchasing and importing a vehicle to St Helena. Other notable price increases included electricity tariffs, local fish and fizzy drinks – a result of the soda tax introduced in May 2014. The decrease in the cost of broadband internet services and the pump price of petrol compared to the same period last year continue to act as downwards pressures on the rate of annual inflation.

In the second quarter of 2014, the number of people on St Helena averaged 4,500 and the average St Helenian population stood a little over 4,000. This is an expected seasonal decline and both the resident population and the resident St Helenianpopulation both continue to grow in comparison to the same period in any year since the 2008 population Census.

In the second quarter of 2014, there were 40 fewer passenger arrivals than the same period in 2013, a reduction of 5.1 per cent.  An increase in the number of business and transit visitors partially offset reductions in the number of excursion visitors (the traditional St Helenian “tourist” base) and Saints retiring from overseas employment or visiting family and friends.  In the second quarter of 2014, there were 120 additional passenger departures from St Helena compared to the same period in 2013. The increase in passenger departures is a result of a more mobile St Helenian population with an increase in the number of Saints travelling overseas for both recreational and medical purposes.

Statistician, Dr Paula McLeod said:

“The data we are collecting continue to show a growing St Helenian population and economy. The consistent, steady growth in both of these indicators is positive – we are seeing gradual and persistent changes, rather than erratic variation.”

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 by emailing statistics@sainthelena.gov.sh

SHG

19 August 2014

 

 

 

 

 

St Helena Government is pleased to announce that the volunteer crew of the RMS St Helena who, along with HMS Ledbury and HMS Brecon, sailed to the Falkland Islands during the conflict  in 1982, are able to apply to be the proud recipients of the South Atlantic Medal (without rosette).

After a long campaign and case brought to the Medal Review Team and the Honours and Decorations Committee, a decision was reached in June 2014 and the qualifying period was extended from 12 July to 21 October 1982 (when the airport at Mount Pleasant was completed). 32 years later those who served on the RMS St Helena and others who served but missed out on the medal due to the initial cut-off date, are finally able to get the recognition they deserve.

SHG UK Representative Kedell Worboys MBE commented:

“I am delighted that after many years of campaigning, particularly by Ian McVitie, the Officers and Crew of the ‘old’ RMS who volunteered to sail to the Falklands in 1982 will be given the recognition they deserve. Although the conflict had ended by the time the RMS reached the territorial waters of the Falklands, at the time of volunteering the Officers and Crew knew the risk of becoming involved in the hostilities was very real. I hope that those eligible will now apply for the South Atlantic Medal and wear it with pride.”

The names of the volunteer crew who served on the RMS St Helena during this time are attached. Freddie Green and Patrick Williams are still serving on board the RMS.

The volunteer crew are now encouraged to apply for the South Atlantic Medal (without rosette). Those who served on board during this time are eligible to apply (via the attached MOD application form). Applications will be accepted from 1 October 2014 onwards, and should be submitted to the MOD Medals Office (the full address can be found at the bottom of the attached application form).

Applications may also be submitted electronically to

DBS-MODMOHonsAwardsE1a@mod.uk, but electronic applications must contain a scanned handwritten signature.

Application forms must be completed and signed by the veteran him or herself. If deceased, the veteran’s next of kin must complete the form and a copy of the death certificate should be provided. The awards will begin to be despatched towards the end of October and applications will be dealt with in date order.

A campaign for eligibility for the South Atlantic Medal (without rosette) began 30 years ago by Ian McVitie who served on HMS Ledbury and went South with the RMS St Helena and HMS Brecon. He was joined in the campaign by Nigel Morris in 2011 who served on HMS Diomede. St Helena Government has supported the campaign through Parliamentary Questions taken to the House by Sir Bob Russell.

In 2007, the then Governor, the late Michael Clancy, awarded the St Helena Badge of Honour to the St Helenian Officers and Crew of the RMS on the 25th anniversary of the Falklands Conflict.

 SHG

19 August 2014

 

The Public Library in Jamestown hosted its annual Reading Awareness Day on Thursday 14 August 2014.

The goal of the day is to encourage and promote reading – the public and all primary and secondary age children were welcome to attend. Activities included storytelling, word searches, quizzes, a treasure hunt, craft sessions based upon childrens’ favourite book characters, and a talk on St Helena insects by Lisa Fowler from the National Trust.Reading Time

Librarian Jill Young commented:

“The day went really well and many children attended with their parents. We also had Brenda Moors and Jean Corker helping with reading stories to children.”

Children were very engaged and happy doing various activities. Some created clocks based upon the rhyme ‘Hickory Dickory Dock’ and images about the ‘Ugly Duckling’ story. Children read aloud, and silently. The older children were busy creating a wallboard display on Enid Blyton, celebrating her birthday on 11 August. Other activities included analysis of Enid Blyton stories, and colouring printed pictures from her books.

Activities Librarian Lacosta McDaniel added:

 “We hope that this display will be seen by all visitors who come into the library, and that it reinforces the importance of reading.”

The day reminded all of the power of reading. With reading you can gain endless knowledge, and staff at the Library encourages parents, guardians, children and teachers to use all the resources that

Creative Clocks

are available there.

 

Three photos are attached.

SHG

15 August 2014

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.

This closure will allow the Roads Section to carry out clearance of vegetation, repair safety fences, remove potentially dangerous rocks, upgrade and install retaining walls, fit slipper drains and double dress the road.

Residents and businesses living and working within the proposed road closure will 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 at 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.

SHG

13 August 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COUNCILLORS CONSTITUENCY SURGERIES

Councillors Constituency Surgeries continue this week. All the surgeries take place on Saturdays between 10am and 12noon.

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: sec.em@helanta.co.sh

Dates and locations of the surgeries are detailed below:

CONSTITUENCY SURGERIES
From 10am to 12noon
Venue Date Councillors Attending
St Mary’s Church, The Briars 23 August Cyril George & Ian Rummery
Levelwood Community Centre 23 August Nigel Dollery & Derek Thomas
Half Tree Hollow Clinic 30 August Nigel Dollery & Lawson Henry
Kingshurst Community Centre, St Paul’s 30 August Gavin Ellick & Christine

Scipio-O’Dean

Harford Community Centre, Longwood 30 August Les Baldwin & Brian Isaac
No.3 Main Street, Jamestown 6  September Brian Isaac & Bernice Olsson
Sandy Bay Community Centre 6  September Dr Corinda Essex & Gavin Ellick

On behalf of St Helena Legislative Council

18 August 2014

 

 

Friday 8August 2014 saw Prince Andrew School hold its end of year Achievement Awards Ceremony, accompanied by musical performances.  Students, parents and invited guests gathered, including HE Governor Capes, Chief Secretary Roy Burke, Councillor Christine Scipio-O’Dean, Director of Education Colin Moore and Father Dale.

Head Teacher Paul Starkie opened the ceremony, highlighting to students the determination needed to achieve their goals and the responsibility of becoming future leaders on the Island.  He referred to the late Mrs Shirley Anderson, who he praised as a positive role model and a person who was compassionate in caring for those in need. PAS 2

An overview of the school’s activities and events during the year was presented by Head Girl Chelsea Young, who encouraged all fellow students to strive towards their ambitions and to never give up.

The first presentation of the day went to joint winners of the House Cup – Mundens and Jenkins.  The Sports Awards then recognised students’ outstanding commitment and teamwork, and were presented to Christian George, Tanisha Benjamin, Alexia Reynolds and Kieran Bowers.  For their dedication to Performing Arts, Alex Vanguard, Shelby Bargo, Deolandre De Jager and Kayleigh Harris collected their certificates and medals.

PAS 4 Councillor Christine Scipio-O’Dean noted the importance of the local community in supporting young people to do their best.  This was echoed with the Heart of Gold Awards, presented to John Dillon and Raymond Young for their help involving swimming sessions, lifeguard duties and in preparing Island and Commonwealth Games participants.  Their dedication towards learning support students was also commended.

The Environment and Conservation Award was presented to Jacob Bowers, the Student of the Year Awards to Chelsea Henry, Christian George, Keegan Yon and Scott George.  Citizenship and Progress Awards also recognised other students.

Father Dale of the Parent Teacher Association, said: PAS 3

“We are very proud of our childrens’ achievements.  A big thank you to all our sponsors, and a special thank you to all students for your commitment to learning.  I also want to pay tribute to Nicky Leo and his team for crafting the awards presented today.” 

Father Dale also praised teachers Jeanette Williams and Daphne Greentree on their imminent retirements, pointing out that they taught him and many other adults in the hall.

PAS 1

 

 

 

 

 

Four pictures are attached to this release.

SHG

12 August 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Both reports can be found at http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/committee-reports/

A press release summarising the Councillors’ attendance at these overseas conferences was issued on 8 August 2014.

 

SHG

13 August 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.

The meeting finished at 10.50am.

ExCo

12 August 2014

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

SHG

12 August 2014