A number of St Helena residents have recently put forward their ideas and thoughts for the design and messages of a new community Health Campaign.

The Campaign, which will launch in May 2018, aims to encourage community members of all ages to make some small, but important, shifts in their lifestyle to reduce their risk of type-2 diabetes, heart attacks, stroke, and cancer. Many people are aware that being overweight, eating or drinking too much sugar, eating too much salt and fat, smoking, and not being physically active enough are not good for their health. Although there is currently a gap between knowing this and making the kind of small changes that would make a difference to people’s health.

The new Health Campaign seeks to encourage and motivate people, as well as advise the kind of realistic changes they can build into their daily life, around family, work, and their social life.

Design workshops were held with a diverse range of community members at various local venues around the Island. These included staff members of several local businesses, pub and hospitality venue regulars, road-workers, pest control staff, Prince Andrew School students, Girl Guides, teachers, parents of school age children and toddlers, and administrative staff. Participants considered images, logos, messages and tips that they felt would make people smile, think, and decide to take some action of their own.

The workshops were facilitated by Patrick Ladbury of the UK National Social Marketing Centre along with SHG Senior Press Officer, Liam Yon, and Lead for Health Promotion & Social Marketing, Dr Angie Jackson-Morris.

Dr Angie commented:

“The campaign will ‘go live’ shortly and will run alongside the various initiatives under the new Health Promotion Strategic Framework over 2018-19. The theme is to encourage people to take action on their own terms and to fit into their own daily lives and routines. This will be complemented by a range of community initiatives that aim to make the healthier choices easier in the places where we work, shop, eat and drink, socialise, relax and play.”

Chairperson of the Public Health Committee, Derek Thomas, added:

“I welcome this campaign and the wider strategy as ways to help reduce the high incidence of cardiovascular disease that cause much illness, and disability in our community.”

 #StHelena #HealthPromotion #TheNSMC

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SHG

11 April 2018

The monthly meeting of the Economic Development Committee (EDC) was held on Thursday, 5 April 2018.

The following is a summary of the main items discussed:

The Sustainable Economic Development Plan (SEDP) has been updated taking into account comments received during the consultation process, and a version with tracked changes was presented to the committee. This has now been endorsed as a final version and will be presented to Executive Council for approval before being made available to the public.

Enterprise St Helena (ESH) delivered a report for February 2018. This report saw the number of international enquiries increasing to 494 and visitors to the Tourist Office increasing to 370. There was an increase in the number of visitors to the Island due to the first St Helena International Conference (2018 Diverse Island Environments), the last voyage of the RMS St Helena and the yachting season (316 of the visitors were yachties).

International tour operators selling St Helena has risen to 32, 16 of which have dedicated webpages to St Helena. 31 additional operators are in discussions with the Tourist Office.

The first St Helena Conference was completed on Thursday, 8 February 2018.  For this conference, St Helena had 21 international speakers, including three Skype presentations and 18 local speakers, six of which were Prince Andrew School students.  The conference saw a total of 270 attendees from which 59 were international and 211 were local.  56 of the local attendees were individuals (not affiliated to an organisation). More individuals would have participated had there been availability of flights.

The draft Ordinance to regulate the use of Artificial Light at Night for the Protection of the Natural Environment was presented alongside the draft Exterior Lighting Management Plan. The objective of the draft Ordinance is to preserve and sustain the natural environment on St Helena by preventing, minimising or mitigating the adverse effects of artificial light at night, as well as conserving and enhancing natural beauty and geological or physiographical features of special interests including the night sky.

St Helena has wonderful dark skies and this Ordinance and Exterior Lighting Management Plan will help protect them for generations to come as well as being a key tourist attraction.

The Agriculture & Natural Resources Division (ANRD) gave a presentation on the SHG/Public Private partnership for egg and pullet production with Roddy’s Chicken Farm, which was completed last year.  A number of challenges in meeting local demand for nucleus poultry for the Island at the present time were highlighted, including the sourcing of fertilised eggs and live chickens from biosecure suppliers and access logistics to the Island, both by air and ship.

Options were presented for meeting the Island’s short-term demand for egg layers, including importing new consignments of nucleus stock over the next few months, following the exercise to gauge public demand for chicks.  Roddy’s Chicken Farm will continue to supply chicks to egg producers in the interim period with the limited parent stock available and ANRD will assist this arrangement with imports of fresh stock to supplement short-term demand for egg layers. The EDC was informed that work on sourcing and logistics for import of this new stock against the recommended option of supply is being undertaken by ANRD, and the EDC and public will be informed of the additional supply option once sourcing and import arrangements are finalised.

 #StHelena #EconomicDevelopmentCommittee #EDC

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SHG

11 April 2018

A meeting of Executive Council will take place in the Council Chamber at 9.30am on Tuesday, 17 April 2018.

The following will be discussed on the Open Agenda:

  • Liquor (Amendment) Bill
  • Marriage Regulations 2018
  • Increase in Fees and Charges: Trade Marks, Patents and Companies Registration

These papers (ExCo Memos) are available online at the following link: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/councils/executive-council/.

Members of the public who would like to view hard copies of the ExCo Memos should contact the Clerk of Councils, Lydia Buchanan, at the Castle on tel: 22470 or via email: lydia.h.buchanan@sainthelena.gov.sh

Elected Members serving on Executive Council are Councillors Anthony Green, Lawson Henry, Christine Scipio-O’Dean, Derek Thomas and Russell Yon.

Non-voting members of Executive Council are Chief Secretary, Roy Burke, Financial Secretary, Dax Richards, and Attorney General, Sara O’Donnell.

#StHelena #ExCoMeeting

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SHG

11 April 2018

The Health Directorate would like to inform those persons who wish to continue Home Slaughtering that meat inspections at their home will cease from Saturday, 30 June 2018, unless their slaughter facility has been approved and registered in compliance with the Minimum Requirements issued in April 2017.

Applications for approval/registration for a slaughter facility should reach the Environmental Health Office at least six weeks prior to being approved by the Health Protection Board.

The Health Directorate also wishes to remind all food business operators that, following the implementation of the Food Safety Legislation in April 2017, no person shall carry on a food business unless they have registered such a food business and received a licence permitting them to do so.

New food business operators should apply at least a month before intending to operate. Food businesses already registered are asked to submit an application for renewal at least a month before their licence expires.

Application forms for registration and annual licences are available from the Environmental Health Office, Health Administration Building, Nr the Hospital, Jamestown.

Food businesses requiring further information, should contact the Senior Environmental Health Officer, Georgina Young, on tel: 22500 or email: georgina.young@sainthelena.gov.sh

 #StHelena #HealthDirectorate #HomeSlaughter #FoodSafety

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SHG

11 April 2018

SHG and Connect Saint Helena Ltd are today pleased to announce that PASH, based in the UK, has been chosen as the preferred bidder to provide their renewable energy solution to St Helena. Subject to concluding negotiations, it is envisaged that a contract will be signed soon.

The project will result in the majority of the Island’s energy needs being met by renewable sources. Currently we provide around 25% of the Island’s energy needs from renewable energy and we will at least double that as a result of the initial phase of this project, which will comprise new solar and wind energy infrastructure and battery storage. The project will also mean that less diesel will be used to produce electricity on St Helena, which will reduce the Island’s environmental footprint and reduce sensitivity to future increases in the price of diesel.

The project supports the aims of the Energy Strategy notably that ‘St Helena will increase the production of energy through renewable sources, and reduce the Island’s reliance on imported fuels, increase fuel security and price stabilisation’. It will also support the 10 Year Plan’s aim to ‘Invest in renewable energy with a view to becoming 100% self-sufficient’ and supports the Sustainable Economic Development Plan by ‘increasing the amount of renewable energy on-Island, reducing reliance on diesel and encouraging improvement of distribution networks required to avoid significant increases in energy costs in the future’. This demonstrates St Helena’s commitment to the environment and sees the Island as a global leader in renewable technology.

PASH’s bid provides for 1.6MWh of battery storage, 1MW of wind turbines located at Deadwood Plain, subject to Environmental Impact Assessment, Planning Approval and approval from Air Safety Support International (ASSI), and 0.5MW of solar panels to be located on land already owned by Connect adjacent to the existing solar site at the Rifle Range, Ladder Hill. The solar and battery is expected to be commissioned this financial year with the wind turbines following on as quickly as possible after.  PASH visited the Island as part of the tender process and commenced dialogue with local contractors.

CEO of Connect Saint Helena Ltd, Barry Hubbard, said:

“One of the reasons for creating Connect was the ability to attract private finance.  PASH is a truly world class organisation who have plenty to bring to the party.  During the tender process they visited St Helena and were very impressed with what they saw.  Now we just need to agree contract terms (called a Power Purchase Agreement) and then we will move very quickly to the doubling of our solar capacity and providing battery storage to allow the renewable energy to be optimised.  More wind generation will follow but the planning process will take a little longer.  This is a very exciting time, diesel prices are increasing again and renewable energy will stabilise and even reduce our costs.”

Assistant Chief Secretary, Paul McGinnety, added:

“It has been a real team effort and today marks an important step towards delivering the Energy Strategy and 10 Year Plan. We have been delighted with the quality and scope of the bids received and we are delighted to partner with PASH on this exciting project.” 

The project will result in less volatility to diesel price changes, and therefore savings on the cost of diesel going forward. It is important to note that renewable energy is not free although renewable energy does displace the most significant cost (diesel) which allows Connect to reduce operating costs. The project will seek to eliminate the SHG subsidy meaning that SHG can spend the money on other priorities for St Helena.

Details of the Evaluation Criteria can be found within the Request for Proposals on the Publications page of the SHG website: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/

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SHG/Connect Saint Helena Ltd

10 April 2018

Councillors are currently holding a series of Constituency Meetings around the Island. Members of the public are encouraged to attend the meetings in their districts to raise any issues they may have.

At each meeting a brief overview from the Council Committees will be provided, followed by the opportunity for attendees to ask questions.

Each meeting will start at 7pm. The remaining meetings are:

Venue

Date

St Michael’s Church, Rupert’s Wednesday, 11 April
Kingshurst Community Centre Monday, 16 April
St Mary’s Church, the Briars Wednesday, 18 April
Silver Hill Bar, Levelwood Wednesday, 18 April

 #StHelena #LegislativeCouncil #ConstituencyMeetings

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SHG

10 April 2018

A review has been undertaken on the current customs and excise duty amounts and changes to the Customs & Excise (Tariffs) (Amendment) Regulations, 2018, were agreed by Executive Council on 20 March 2018.

The review placed importance on ensuring that food and drink which contribute to a balanced diet benefit from lower customs duty. And to afford these positive changes, it was agreed that there shall be an increase to the excise duty to extend the ‘sugar tax’ to other unhealthy foods. This change rewards those who eat a balanced diet and discourages the consumption of sugary products.

From 1 May 2018, the food and drink which will have a reduced customs duty rate of 5%, instead of 20%, include water, sugar-free yoghurt, unsalted butter and olive spread, fruit and vegetables (fresh, frozen and canned without added salt or sugar), unsalted and unsweetened nuts and dried fruit, lentils, legumes and beans. These foods join many others which are already at the lower 5% customs duty rate including eggs, meats, pasta, milk, cream, flour, margarine, cereals and rice. Cheese shall remain at the 5% rate except for processed cheese which will be uprated to 20%.

From 1 May 2018, the ‘sugar tax’ excise duty for carbonated beverages containing at least 15g sugar per litre will increase from £0.75 to £1.00 per litre, adding 8p to a can of fizzy sugary drink. Diet and Zero drinks and carbonated waters, because of their low sugar levels, are exempt. The ‘sugar tax’ shall also apply to fruit juices and concentrates which contain at least 15g sugar per litre. For the fruit juices which are affected by the tax, this puts 24p on a 240ml carton of juice.

The ‘sugar tax’ will also apply to chocolate and chewing gum, except where it is sugar-free, at a rate of £1.00 per kg. This would put 4.5p on a 45g bar of chocolate, 1.6p on a 16g share-bag of sweets and 2p and on a 20g pack of chewing gum. For heavier items, namely biscuits, crisps, sugary cereals, pre-mixed cookie dough, and sugar syrups, the excise duty will be 20p per kilo. This would put 8p on a pack of 400g biscuits; 4p on a pack of 200g Pringles; 9p on a 450g pot of treacle; 10p on a 500g jam. Finally, the excise duty applying to Ice-cream shall be 10p per litre. This would put 1p on a 100ml magnum ice lolly and 20p on a 2 litre tub of ice-cream.

Increasing taxes on unhealthy food choices such as carbonated drinks, fruit juices and concentrates with a high sugar content, confectionary and other foods like biscuits, crisps and sugary cereals will encourage a switch to healthier and cheaper options

Baby furniture (e.g. cots) and biodegradable baby wipes will also reduce from 20% to 5% in line with other baby related goods.

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.

Finally, in line with previous years, the Customs Duty rate for Alcohol will increase with annual inflation (4.4%) and the Customs Duty rate for Tobacco will increase with inflation plus 1% (5.4%).

All changes will come into place on 1 May 2018, with the exception of the Alcohol and Tobacco duty changes which, as in previous years, will come into force immediately.

Chairperson of the Economic Development Committee, Councillor Lawson Henry, said:

“The Economic Development Committee met several times to consider the proposals to widen the sugar tax and reduce duty on more healthier goods. We also took into account advice from the Health Directorate on the impact high sugar content items are having on health of the nation.   At the same time we wanted to strike a balance between increases by ensuring the duty was lowered on healthier goods to lessen the impact on lower wage earners while at  the same time ensuring we are able to balance the budget. This is not easily done but I believe we have struck the right balance given the current financial climate.”

Government Economist, Nicole Shamier, added:

“The changes are consistent with the principle to subsidise ‘economic goods’ (items which are positive to the health and wellbeing of the consumer) and tax ‘economic bads’ (items which are negative to the health and wellbeing of the consumer). We have been keen to reduce the duty on many key dietary items to help reduce the pressure of inflation on people’s pockets, but in order to balance the budget, we needed to look at an extension of the sugar tax to do so. All in all, we believe these changes to customs and excise duty provide net benefits to very many people on St Helena.”

A detailed list of changes are outlined in Appendix A: Appendix A – Customs and Excise

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SHG

6 April 2018

The new Sea Rescue Facility in Rupert’s was officially opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, 4 April 2018. In attendance were HE Governor Lisa Honan, The Right Reverend Lord Bishop of St Helena, Dr Richard Fenwick, Elected Members, SHG officials, personnel from the Sea Rescue Service and Police Directorate, and invited guests.

In his opening speech, Sea Rescue Manager, Simon Wade, welcomed everyone and thanked those involved with the planning and development of the Sea Rescue Facility for their hard work and dedication.

Bishop Richard Fenwick blessed the building and Governor Lisa gave a short speech of reflection before cutting the ribbon and unveiling a plaque to declare the Facility officially open.

During the ceremony, a presentation was also made to auxiliary Sea Rescue team members, Keith Yon and Doran Henry, who will be leaving the service. Doran has been one of the longest serving members of the Sea Rescue Service.

The event concluded with guests touring the Facility.

The Sea Rescue Facility was built as part of the Airport Project. Due to the Runway being in close proximity to the ocean, Aviation Regulations required St Helena to provide an enhanced Sea Rescue Service to support the on-Island emergency teams.

The Facility, built in 2017 by Basil Read, now houses three rescue vessels and has space for conducting maintenance on them.

The Sea Rescue Service relocated from their temporary housing at the Wharf in Jamestown to their new purpose built Facility in December 2017.

#StHelena #SeaRescue

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SHG

5 April 2018

The Highways Authority has given approval for a one-way traffic system on Longwood Avenue Road (between Longwood Gate and Longwood Green) from 12pm to 1pm on Saturday, 7 April 2018.

The purpose of this one-way system is to accommodate Harford Primary School’s Farm Fun Day Parade from Longwood Green to Harford Primary School.

The diversion route for traffic wishing to enter Longwood will be via Deadwood Road to the junction at Foxy’s Garage and onto the Airport Road through to Reggie’s Takeaway in Bottom Woods.

Traffic returning from Bottom Woods can travel via the normal route towards Longwood Gate. A speed limit of 10mph from Longwood Avenue to Longwood Gate will be implemented.

Appropriate road closure and diversion signs will be in place and, as normal, only emergency services will be granted full access.

Harford Primary School would like to thank the public in advance for their understanding and cooperation.

#StHelena #Longwood #HarfordPrimarySchool

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SHG

5 April 2018

St Helena Government (SHG) is pleased to announce that following a long period of discussion, an information sharing agreement has been established with police in the UK.

The agreement is between SHG and ACRO Criminal Records Office, a police unit that exchanges conviction information between the UK and other countries.

This means that St Helena Police will now be able to much better screen those coming into St Helena and will have access to more information about anyone who commits a crime on the Island from overseas.

Other British Overseas Territories have had this agreement in place for some years now and find it useful in protecting their borders.

Chief Inspector Steve Riley said:

“The agreement with ACRO has been over a year in the making.  With St Helena’s increased inter-connectivity with the rest of the world it is really important that we have access to as many sources of information as possible in order to protect the Island and its community.  By linking our systems into ACRO we are effectively connecting with the UK and EU law enforcement.  This is a massive step forward for St Helena.”  

With a regular scheduled air service, it is vital that St Helena Police have important information about who is coming into the Island and are able to protect the Island accordingly.

The benefits of this agreement for St Helena are:

  • Where Police have identified an individual who they suspect may be a threat to the public on the Island, and they are either a UK citizen or the holder of a passport from the EU, ACRO will provide Police with information and intelligence around that person.  At the moment St Helena has no ability to fully check individuals who are crossing the Island’s border
  • Should Police arrest and charge a UK citizen or EU national whilst on St Helena then ACRO will provide St Helena Police with a picture of their offending history.  Currently St Helena Police cannot access this information and thus Island courts are making decisions around sentencing in isolation
  • St Helena Police will be able to access details of St Helenians who have been convicted of a criminal offence whilst in the UK or EU.  Currently, Police have no idea of a person’s history when they return to St Helena and are unable to manage the risks from that to the community

In return, if anyone on St Helena is convicted of a crime, St Helena Police will supply that information to ACRO. Information can only be used for law enforcement purposes, the prevention and detection of crime, and for the protection of the public.

ACRO Senior Manager, Chloe Bowler, said:

“The timely exchange of information is key to keeping communities safe. As more and more people are travelling around the world, it’s never been more important for our law enforcement partners to be able to easily access the full conviction histories of people who cross international borders to offend. The agreement between ACRO and St Helena Government reaffirms our joint commitment to protecting the public and bringing offenders to justice. It’s one of a number of similar agreements ACRO manages with countries and territories across the globe.”

About ACRO

ACRO Criminal Records Office is a national police unit that works on behalf of police forces in the UK. It provides a range of criminal records information services to both law enforcement teams as well as members of the public.

www.acro.police.uk

@ACRO_police

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SHG

5 April 2018