Councillors’ Corner is a new local TV programme involving members of Legislative Council discussing topical matters.    

This Councillor’s Corner will focus on Councillors Derek Thomas and Tony (Wilson) Duncan, answering questions regarding the last round of Constituency meetings.  Topics covered include the Lucy Faithful Report and the Sainsbury Report on social welfare.

The programme will be shown on Local TV 1 at:

  • Wednesday 19 February, 6:40am and 7pm
  • Thursday 20 February,6:40am and 7pm
  • Friday 21 February,6:45am and 6:50pm



18 February 2014 


St Pauls Primary School held its first Speaking and Listening workshop on Monday 17 February 2014. 

A presentation began the evening, which referred to the importance of speaking and listening in the curriculum and the aim of the night, which was to understand strategies taught at school and to transfer that into learning at home.

Sherell Thomas (Advanced Skills Teacher) highlighted that speaking and listening can be learnt and conveyed across a number of subjects – Maths, Science, Physical Education and Art.

With around 24 parents in attendance, the workshop ran a carousel of activities, consisting of spelling, listening and responding, promoting reading skills and role play.

Throughout the evening parents were shown short clips and asked a variety of questions in relation to listening and responding.  A debate of well-known TV and book characters got parents into the idea of role play and a spelling test was given to develop parents understanding of phonics.

Head Teacher, Pat Williams commented:   

Parents discussing role play
Parents discussing role play

“Parents are always asking for workshops to help their children at home.  These are very important and help educate our parents on strategies used in the classroom today compared to the days when they were at school. We have already had a Maths workshop last year and tonight it is an English one.

“It is such a shame when parents evenings are held, and you do not get the numbers you are looking for.  But it is pleasing to note that those who do attend appreciate the hard work staff put into delivering these workshops.”

Cara Joshua (parent) said:

“As English is not one of my child’s favourite subjects, it’s important to learn different techniques for me to use to encourage and help when doing homework.  The way children learn today is very different from when I went to school.  I have picked up new concepts, such as phonology (where some letters are commonly grouped together, and how to pronounce them).

“It also helps that when parents attend workshops, we can see that we are not alone in trying to understand new approaches of teaching children important skills within the English curriculum.”  

The evening rounded of with an evaluation, where parents were encouraged to assess the night and give ideas on improving workshops in the future.  Overall the evening showed that communication between school and home is vital.

Two pictures are attached with this release.


18 February 2014 








Inspector Matt Webb with St Helena Inspector Jonathan Thomas
Inspector Matt Webb with St Helena Inspector Jonathan Thomas

Currently on-Island is Police Inspector Matthew (Matt) Webb (photo attached) from Sussex Police – to develop Neighbourhood (Community) Policing on the Island.

Inspector Webb arrived on 6 February 2014 and is here for three weeks working alongside relevant agencies and authorities to help develop better policing on the Island. He will be working closely with St Helena Police Inspector Jonathan Thomas, to reach out to the Island community and find out what Saints want their Police Force to be doing. Inspector Webb will also be sharing ideas on how to change the way the Police work here to deliver the best service for the community.

Inspector Webb said:

“Rather than be a target driven service we need to provide the very best service for the victims of crime and listen to what they want and need – not necessarily what we think they want and need.”

To develop Neighbourhood Policing on the Island Inspector Webb is adapting UK Policing tactics to fit the smaller population of St Helena. Neighbourhood Policing is important as it forms the basic building blocks of the Police Service.

Matthew explains:

“The problems on St Helena are different to those in the UK, so we need to evolve the work I have done previously to make it more suitable for St Helena. Briefing and instructions are being given to all Officers to encourage the way they think in order to engage fully with communities on the Island and to meet their needs. We have to protect people, protect life and property and we have to make sure that people can go about living their lives peacefully. On top of that we need to be linked as closely as possible with the community we serve.”

The St Helena Police Service are also being encouraged to work more with Schools to ensure they are properly connected with the younger people on St Helena – helping youngsters understand what Police Officers are here for and what they can do.

Matthew concluded:

“In my opinion, if you get Neighbourhood Policing right then you’ll get everything else right – you can reduce crime and friction between people, making it a more peaceful neighbourhood in which to live. By doing that you’re completing all the things a Police Officer needs to do to prevent and detect crime – and keeping people safe.”

Chief of Police, Trevor Botting added:

“I am delighted that Inspector Webb is on-Island to work with my team. I am committed to providing a police service that puts the public at the heart of everything it does, is open, trusted and engages with the community to ensure that we provide policing that the community can be proud of.”

Inspector Webb has 23 years of Policing experience and first started working in Community Policing in 1995. He has served as a Village Policeman for two small villages in Sussex and has worked in Response Policing – dealing with crimes and incidents as they occur. In 2009 he was promoted to Inspector and after a year was asked to run the Community Team in Crawley, Sussex, where he spent two years developing a brand of Community Policing which allowed his team to reach different groups in society and make life better for residents.


18 February 2014

RMS St Helena Crew Members with Queen's
RMS St Helena Crew Members with Queen’s

The Commonwealth Queen’s Baton is now on its way to St Helena and is due to arrive on the RMS St Helena from Cape Town on Wednesday 19 February 2014 – when it will begin a busy schedule of events.

The Baton was officially welcomed on board the RMS at the Captain’s Cocktail Party on Saturday evening (15 February) and continues to be photographed around the vessel with various crew and passenger members.

Accompanying the Baton is Pam Young, Secretary of the National Amateur Sports Association on St Helena (NASAS), Louise Martin CBE, Hon Secretary of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Association, Queen’s Baton Relay Team member Shona Purves, plus three members of a BBC Team and a Queen’s Baton Relay Photojournalist. 

Captain Greentree and Mrs Louise Martin CBE Hon Secretary of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Association
Captain Greentree and Mrs Louise Martin CBE Hon Secretary of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Association

Two photos are attached to this release.


17 February 2014


The deadline for submitting Nominations for the 12 March Bye-Election is fast approaching. The deadline is Wednesday 26 February at 12 Noon and all Nominations should be delivered within this time to Returning Officer, Mrs Gillian Francis at the Castle, Jamestown.

This means that you have just over a week to nominate a Candidate to fill the vacant seat on Legislative Council, following the resignation of Tony Green in December 2013.

Persons named on the Register of Electors dated 7 February 2014 and over the age of 21 years are eligible to stand for Legislative Council. Do not leave it until the last minute to submit your Nomination – the forms will need to be checked by the Returning Officer and you should give yourself enough time to make any corrections if the form has not been properly completed. Remember – Nomination forms are available from any of the Assistant Registration Officers in the different districts around the Island who can also provide assistance when completing forms.

Names of Assistant Registration Officers were printed in last week’s newspapers. Alternatively, further details on nominating candidates and the Bye-Election can be obtained from Registration and Returning Officer Gillian Francis on telephone numbers 22470 or 22314, or via email:

If more than one valid Nomination is received, a Poll will be held on 12 March 2014. Full details on how to make a Nomination for the upcoming Bye-Election were also published in last week’s newspapers.


17 February 2014

During the period 6-28 November 2013 nine Constituency Meetings were held in various areas on St Helena. A total of 70 members of the public were in attendance, representing an average of eight per meeting.  This attendance is disappointing and we will look to improve numbers in 2014.

Each meeting was led by three Councillors, with the same three agenda items: The Lucy Faithful Foundation Report, the Sainsbury Report and Improving Communications with Constituents. Following summaries of each item from Elected Members, the floor was opened for questions and discussion. 

The Lucy Faithful Report

During discussion of the Lucy Faithful Report, which researched sexual offences against children and young people on St Helena, comments received from the public included:

  • It should be the parents’ responsibility to ensure children are not wandering the streets.”
  • “As no statistics were given, the report could be making more of an issue than it really is.”
  • “There needs to be more education of parents and children on the dangers of grooming of young girls by older men.”
  • “There should be a telephone helpline for reporting sexual offences” (there is – 22888)
  • “People may be more willing to come forward now, rather than there being an increase in offences.”
  •  “Abuse of boys also needs to be highlighted.”

The Sainsbury Report


The Sainsbury Report is concerned with the benefits system. Progress on the implementation of recommendations in the report was summarised at each meeting.  Questions raised by the public and answers given by Councillors included:


Q. Do the Minimum Income Standards (MIS) actually reflect the true cost of living? 

A. To the best of Councillors’ knowledge – Yes.


Q. Will the MIS be reviewed?

A. Yes, the MIS will be reviewed annually to take account of any price changes.


Q. Where did the money come from for the increase in BIP and IRB?”

A. The money came from efficiencies and increased SHG revenue.


Q. When the BIP increases for one household member, the IRB decreases for another, so some people do not see any improvement – why is this? 

A. These people are ‘transitionally protected’ – their current level of benefit is higher than if they were applying for benefits now.


Other comments included:


  • “The Household definition for benefit payments is unfair and is forcing some members of the home to leave.”
  • “Some people on benefits cannot afford prescriptions.” (Actually, those on IRB don’t pay and those on BIP pay only for certain medical treatments and not for prescriptions)
  • “Was the report necessary and has it complicated the system?”
  • “There should be a national pension scheme for everyone over the age of 65.”
  • “Benefits for disabled people need to improve.”
  • “People on unemployment benefits should do some form of community work.”




A lack of communication between Councillors and the public was raised during the Election campaign and was put on the agenda to allow the public to give feedback and make suggestions on how to improve communications with the new Council.


Comments received during the meeting included:


  • “Communication has improved, but there is more that still can be done.”
  • “Local TV is not being used enough.”(this is being addressed)
  • “The ExCo report by Councillors is well received.”
  • “Are media services providing value for money?”
  • “During the Election Campaign a lot was said about Freedom of Information, but we do not see much happening.”
  • “All Elected Members should attend each Constituency meeting.”


A film will be broadcast shortly where members of Legislative Council will discuss November’s Constituency Meetings. 


Other Matters Arising


Common issues raised by members of the public over the course of the nine meetings included:


  • The cost of electricity
  • The performance of the wind turbines
  • The relationship between Connect Saint Helena Ltd and SHG
  • The condition of the roads
  • The purchase of a fishing vessel for St Helena
  • The need to improve parking in Jamestown
  • The need to have a better public transport service
  • The work required to improve Hospital infrastructure
  • Enterprise St Helena and accountability
  • Problems obtaining affordable and reliable water for agriculture
  • Solar street lights inoperable
  • The state of public toilets.


Councillors agreed to provide answers on these and other issues above, along with answering specific questions raised by constituents.


Councillors found the meetings extremely useful in gauging public opinion and would like to thank all who attended. A further round of Constituency meetings will be announced in due course.



11 February 2014


Executive Council met today, Tuesday 11 February 2014, to consider five items on the open agenda.

The Governor and Executive Council welcomed to the meeting the new Head of the Governor’s Office, Sean Burns, Mr Burns will act as Governor when Governor Capes is off-Island and will continue to shadow the Governor as part of his induction programme.

The first item was seeking approval for a new Housing Register and Allocations Policy.  The policy is designed to replace the current complex and outdated points system for allocation of Government Landlord Housing. While Executive Council agreed in principle the need to adopt a more equitable and efficient system, they did not feel that the proposal had sufficient detail for them to approve the changes. It was therefore agreed that further work was needed on the paper and that it should be referred back to the Social and Community Development Committee before re-submitting to Executive Council.

The second item was the request to consider the introduction of a policy to offer for sale to existing tenants Government Landlord Housing, with clear guidance outlined for officers involved in administering the service.  The paper also requested that consideration be given to introducing an Appeals Process to challenge any decisions on sales. Executive Council agreed with the principle of both proposals but requested more detail, including the composition of an Appeals Board. 

The third item was the application for renewal of a broadcasting license for Saint FM Community Radio Guarantee Limited.  This is a statutory regulatory responsibility for the Governor in Council and Executive Council recommended to the Governor that a one year license be issued, subject to payment of the statutory license fee.

The fourth item on the open agenda was the request for Executive Council to approve the Harbours, Prohibited Anchoring Area Regulations 2014.  These regulations refer specifically to the RFA Darkdale wreck.  In 2012, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) conducted a full survey which ascertained that the wreck was a War Grave, contained live ammunition and continued to seep oil.  The consequence of any disturbance to the vessel is potentially serious for St Helena both ecologically and physically.  The MoD has instructed that an exclusion zone be imposed on anchoring in the area of the wreck.  As a local regulation is required to impose this zone, Executive Council approved a prohibited anchoring area such that no vessel shall be allowed to anchor within a 200 metre radius of the RFA Darkdale wreck site. It is anticipated that a team from the MoD will visit St Helena later this year to remove the oil from the wreck.

The last item was an information paper on the undertakings and resolutions made at the Formal Meeting of the Legislative Council held on 14 October 2013.  An update of undertakings and a Legislative Council tracker document will be maintained along with action points still outstanding.

The meeting concluded at 10.15am.


11 February 2014



Waste Cell
Waste Cell

The Solid Waste Project, a major SHG capital project to provide improved waste management systems on St Helena is making good progress.

The project will not only significantly improve solid waste management for every resident and visitor but also has strong input towards the Island gaining Airport certification, whilst also providing opportunities for waste minimisation and recycling – contributing towards a ‘greener’ St Helena.

The first phase of the project are the current redevelopment works taking place at the Horse Point Landfill site to put in place the infrastructure, facilities, systems and procedures required to establish an effective long-term Solid Waste Management Strategy for St Helena. The redevelopment is an important component within the St Helena Airport Project, as it addresses the potential bird strike risk that the landfill could present when the Island’s Airport is operational.

HG Health and Social Welfare Team with new Waste Cell in the background
HG Health and Social Welfare Team with new Waste Cell in the background

Solid Waste Management Project Manager, Mike Durnford, explains:

“The simple fact is – households dispose of organic waste, the waste is disposed of at the landfill site and the birds feed on the organic waste. The close proximity of the landfill to the Airport means that birds pose a threat to aircraft by what is known as ‘bird-strike’. “To minimise the risk of bird-strike, the project provides a bird netting system, improved disposal methods and other measures such as pigeon monitoring, pigeon culling, promoting organic waste composting and waste minimisation more generally.”

Currently on Island is James Chignell, Technician Supervisor overseeing the bird netting installation at the landfill site and providing training to staff responsible for the servicing, maintenance and moving of the netting system as required.

Mike explains:

“The bird netting is designed to sit above the active waste cell, which is 24m x 12m. The netting is supported by 4 x 12m high masts mounted on solid bases. It is designed to prevent access to birds to feed on the organic within the waste cell.”

Future visitors to Horse Point Landfill site can expect to see significant signs of redevelopment, including a new road network within the site, the bird netting system which will be in place from next week, the construction of a new waste reception building and a civic recycling centre for the safe disposal of recyclables and other wastes.

Mike said:

“To date, the redevelopment of the site is on time – estimated completion is 12 May 2014 – and within scope and budget. SHG has an excellent working relationship with the contractor Basil Read who have been extremely helpful. We are also fortunate to have the professional services of Bill Scanes, SHG’s Construction Phase Project Manager, without whom the redevelopment phase of the project would not have been the success it has been to date.”

The project will also provide specialist vehicles and plant for use on site, plus two new Refuse Collection Vehicles (RCVs), and wheelie bins that will be issued to all households to modernise the domestic waste collection service. Key stakeholders involved in the project include the Environment and Natural Resources Directorate, the Airport Directorate and the Health and Social Welfare Directorate. Two photos are attached to this release.


11 February 2014

The First Sitting of the Third Meeting of Legislative Council will take place on Friday 14 February 2014 at 10am in the Court House, Jamestown. This session is expected to last for the day and will be broadcast live via SAMS Radio 1.

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


  • Statutory Report on English Law, 2013
  • A Bill for an Ordinance, The First Supplementary Appropriation Ordinance 2014
  • The St Helena Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Report to Legislative Council on the Formal Session of PAC held on 12 March 2013
  • The St Helena Public Accounts Committee Supplementary Report to Legislative Council on the Formal Session of PAC held on 12 March 2013
  • Government of St Helena Supplementary Estimates, February 2014

During the meeting there will also be four Questions and three Motions.

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:


10 February 2014