St Helena Island is currently under an Island-wide hosepipe ban enforced by Connect Saint Helena (CSH) on Monday, 24 June 2019.

Applications for Agricultural exemptions can be made to CSH and producers are reminded that exemptions granted to them are for water use on existing crops. Any new plantings might not be eligible for an exemption and is therefore undertaken at producers’ own risk. For further information please contact CSH or Agricultural Development Officer, Andrea Timm, via email: andy.timm@sainthelena.gov.sh.

CSH are continuing to pump water from Chubb’s Spring and Hutt’s Gate to Red Hill to replenish stocks in this area.

The raw water catchment at Osbornes in St Paul’s is completely dry (see photos attached) and there has not been any surface run off in this area since March 2019. This water catchment is normally one of the main sources of surface water for the Red Hill reservoirs producing, on average, 90 cubic metres per day.

The Island’s water stocks remain low with no significant rainfall forecast. There is just 34 days of storage volume remaining and the current stored water volume remains at 32.5%.

 If you see anyone using water irresponsibly or notice a burst pipe or leak, then please inform CSH immediately.

 Every drop counts, every action counts – everyone must save every drop of water possible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#StHelena #WaterShortage #EveryDropCounts  

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St Helena Resilience Forum

27 August 2019

The following is a Public Announcement from the Infrastructure & Transport Directorate:

The Highways Authority has given approval for Side Path Road to be closed from 1.30pm to 3pm tomorrow, Wednesday 28 August 2019.

This closure is to allow the Rock Guards to erect a temporary catchment fence prior to rebuilding the retaining wall on Side Path Road.

Side Path Road will also be closed from 9am to 3pm on Monday, 2 September, Tuesday, 3 September, Wednesday, 4 September, Thursday, 5 September, and Friday, 6 September 2019.

This closure is to allow the Roads Section to carry out repairs to the retaining wall on Side Path Road.

During all closures, appropriate signage will be in place, and only emergency services will be granted access.

For the duration of these closures, the diversion route will be via Constitution Hill Road.

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

 SHG
27 August 2019

http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh

The following is a public announcement from the Police Directorate:

The St Helena Police Directorate is appealing for information relating to an ongoing police investigation regarding the theft of donkey manure from the St Helena Donkey Home in the Blue Hill/Casons area. The theft occurred on two separate occasions on 8 and 10 August 2019.

Several bags of manure have been removed and Police are appealing for information relating to this or any similar incidents in the area. The public is reminded that the Donkey Home relies on volunteers and donations, and thefts of this kind can greatly impact their funds.

Police are keen to speak to the person responsible for these thefts or anyone with any information, regardless of how minor they consider their information to be.

Please contact the Investigating Officer, Police Constable James Venning, on tel: 22626 or email: james.venning@sainthelena.gov.sh. Alternatively, you can speak to a Police Officer of your choice or leave a message with the on duty Police Controllers.

#StHelena #StHelenaPolice #AppealForInformation

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SHG
27 August 2019

The public is advised of the following updated contact numbers for HM Customs & Excise, Income Tax and Port Control Offices at the Wharf from today, Friday 23 August 2019.

HM Customs & Excise

HM Customs & Excise can be contacted on tel: 22287. Please use this number for all Customs related enquiries, including Customs clearance at sea ports and St Helena Airport, Customs laws and procedures, tariff and duty rates, payment processes, operating hours and other general Customs queries.

Income Tax Office

The Income Tax Office can be contacted on tel: 25880 for all tax enquiries.

Port Control

Port Control can now be contacted on tel: 22750. Please contact Port Control for all maritime enquiries, including boat licensing, boat inspections, crane lifts, wharf closures, wharf access and operating times as well as cruise ship expected times of arrival and general vessel information.

SHG
23 August 2019

http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh

Students and former students of Prince Andrew School (PAS) received their much anticipated GCSE and A-Level exam results today, Friday 23 August 2019.

Their official Statement of Results was issued to them in a short presentation held in the PAS hall. In attendance were parents, teachers, the Director of Education & Employment, Chairman of the Education Committee and representatives from the St Helena Community College, Solomon & Company (St Helena) Plc and Corporate Human Resources.

Head Teacher of PAS, Penelope Bowers, said:

“We are very pleased with our students’ results, and hope that they are too.  Many of them have put in a lot of hard work towards their exams, and as a result their efforts have paid off. I would like to add my congratulations to all our students today. I would like to say a big thank you to my staff for their hard work and perseverance and their support to our students, as well as our parents without whom our students would not get this far. In all, it has been a good day, and as a school we look forward to building on our students’ success in years to come.”

Following the presentations, students were given the opportunity to speak with staff from the St Helena Community College, Solomon & Company (St Helena) Plc and Corporate Human Resources about the Apprenticeship Scheme, and the Acting Exam Officer regarding possible exam resits or remarks. Others were also able to discuss with teachers about returning to Sixth Form.

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#StHelena #PrinceAndrewSchool #Students #ResultsDay #Education&Employment

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SHG
23 August 2018

St Helena Government (SHG) would like to answer the questions and respond to various statements made in the article ‘Headless Chickens’ – Roddy’s Story printed on pages 9-12 of the St Helena Independent newspaper, dated 16 August 2019.

In bold are the relevant statements and related questions from the article followed by SHG’s response in italics:

  • In February 2015 the RMS went offline, so eggs were imported (with incubation procedures in place) from Germany by the SHG Husbandry Section.  Why did they not just import chicks from South Africa?

There were no bio-secure sources of chicks identified by the Agriculture and Natural Resources Division (ANRD) at the time from the Cape area that could be imported via ship for St Helena.

  • During the initiation of Roddy’s business, Island legislation insisted that no chicks should be imported from South Africa due to disease implications. So what has changed since then with regards to chicks coming from South Africa?

Air access to St Helena has provided an opportunity for ANRD to investigate bio-secure suppliers of chicks outside of the Cape area to support egg production on the Island.  This has resulted in identifying and risk assessing a chick supplier located just outside of Johannesburg in order to meet St Helena’s veterinary biosecurity requirements.  This was not possible in 2015 and has resulted in the development of having day-old chicks flown to St Helena.

  • However, it is wondered what happened to the legislation that said no chicks were to be imported from South Africa? What has happened to this policy to safe-guard the Island population against disease?

There is no and has not been any legislation banning imports of chicks originating from South Africa into St Helena. There has been a ban imposed by St Helena for a short period of time when there was a poultry disease outbreak in South Africa in 2017, but not an overall ban as might have been thought to be in operation for South Africa. Such imports are controlled through the Animals (Diseases) Regulations as follows:

Regulation 3 (1) No animal may be imported or brought into St Helena except —

(a) under a licence previously granted by the Agricultural Authority, having regard to the conditions and requirements contained in the Health Standards prescribed in respect of the importation of animals; and

(b) upon production of a veterinary certificate at time of importation confirming compliance with the conditions and requirements contained in the Health Standards referred to in paragraph (a).

The Amberlink chicks are sourced from a highly bio-secure unit in South Africa and were identified and risk assessed by the ANRD Senior Veterinary Officer. This supplier was not previously known to ANRD and breeds for their own laying and broiler units. The supplier vaccinates against nine diseases and following risk assessment had satisfied St Helena’s biosecurity import requirements for day-old chicks. In addition to the risk assessment and provision of veterinary certification secured from the supplier, the chicks are subjected to a minimum four-week quarantine period at the animal quarantine station in Rupert’s Valley. SHG is confident that the veterinary biosecurity processes in place for these imports provide an acceptable level of risk for continual maintenance of the Island’s egg production requirements, as all imports to St Helena carry some degree of risk to the Island community and cannot be completely mitigated.

  • Enter the second, third and fourth batches of chicks from South Africa, however this time, with little consultation…If Roddy could not be supplied with his full quote from batch two who were the recipients pushing for these additional batches? If the island had exceeded its demand by batch three, why was an additional batch ordered? Is it possible that there is no supply and demand strategy and no consideration of long term economic management?

Roddy was not being used as the main reason to bring in batch two and three. ANRD had already received orders for 3,000 chicks from the public and so batch two and three would have gone ahead. Roddy had not placed any orders for chicks before the ANRD chick order list closed but ANRD agreed to allow him to have chicks across the three consignments to assist his plans. It is because of the preference given to Roddy that the fourth consignment of chicks were imported. With less than 450 remaining on the list (had the 600 gone to the producers who had placed their timely orders), this latest import would not have gone ahead.

  • It has been suggested that the recipients of these day-old chicks are ANRD staff, SHG staff and even Councillors. Could this be classed as another targeted subsidy?

ANRD advised the Economic Development Committee before importing the chicks that a one-off untargeted subsidy would be implemented for the chick layer replenishment exercise for the Island on this occasion, and would extend to all egg producers.

 The chick orders advertisement placed by ANRD was open to the entire Island to access day-old chicks, as Roddy had advised ANRD on completion of his partnership project that he no longer wished to supply chicks to the public. 

The following numbers of chicks were ordered by, and supplied to, SHG staff through the four consignments of imports:

ANRD staff – 217

Other SHG staff – 346

 This represents 14% of the 4,000 chicks having being ordered by small-holders who are SHG employees.  The largest SHG order was for 36 chicks from an SHG employee. We plan to issue chicks to a Councillor from batch four, which is in quarantine, but no chicks have been issued to any Councillor from batches one to three.

SHG

23 August 2019

HE Governor Dr Philip Rushbrook hosted a reception at Plantation House for returning graduate students and Scholarship awardees soon to embark on overseas studies on Wednesday, 21 August 2019.

In attendance were three graduate students who recently returned to the Island – David Clarke, Kyle Shoesmith and Jordan Clingham – three outgoing Scholarship awardees – Duwaine Yon, Tiffany Herne and Jacob Bowers – their parents and friends. Other attendees included several teachers, Chairman of the Education Committee, Councillor Clint Beard, and various SHG Officials. Also invited were 2018 returning graduates – Robyn Sim and Rebecca Lawrence.

Councillor Beard praised the graduate students for their achievements and spoke about his hopes for the Island as they take up their new jobs. Governor Rushbrook also spoke about the importance we attach to students being able to learn new skills and gaining new experiences at university, then on return to take an active and responsible role as our next generation in taking forward St Helena’s development in the future.

L-R Jacob Bowers, Duwaine Yon, HE Governor, and Tiffany Herne
L-R Kyle Shoesmith, David Clarke, HE Governor, and Jordan Clingham

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#PlantationHouse #Reception #GraduateStudents

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SHG

22 August 2019

 

 

 

It has come to the attention of SHG that press releases issued on 24 and 27 September 2018 which related to the outcome of the trial of Councillor Cruyff Buckley may have been misleading. While Councillor Buckley was convicted of possession of an offensive weapon and was sentenced by the Court accordingly, SHG would wish to clarify that Councillor Buckley was not convicted of an offence of domestic violence.

SHG has agreed to pay damages to Councillor Buckley.

The error in any implication arising from the reporting is regretted.

SHG

22 August 2019

The public is advised that the St Helena Archives will be closed on Wednesday, 28 August 2019, to enable staff to attend a Staff Development Day. 

Normal opening hours will resume from 8.30am on Thursday, 29 August 2019.

Corporate Support, Policy & Planning including Corporate IT and Internal Audit, at the Castle will also be unavailable on Wednesday due to staff participating in the same staff development activities. The Castle switchboard will operate as normal.

Any inconvenience caused is very much regretted.

SHG
22 August 2019

http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Executive Council agrees changes to customs duty at their meeting on Tuesday, 20 August 2019
  • 8.88% increase in the customs duty on tobacco products to come into effect from 1 October 2019
  • A change in the Customs Duty Tariff for vehicles from value based to a fixed rate based on emissions to come into effect from 1 December 2019

 Increase in duty on tobacco products

Tobacco duty was increased by 5.1% on 1 April 2019. The additional 8.88% increase to come into effect from 1 October meets the World Health Organisation recommended level and is one of the requirements on the United Nations Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. The change will see an extra 18p on a packet of 20 cigarettes with tobacco.

Increasing the level of customs duty applied to tobacco products supports current health promotion and preventative healthcare work on St Helena.

Smoking is the leading risk factor for Non-Communicable Diseases affecting the community. Non-Communicable Diseases (including cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung disease, type two diabetes, and kidney disease) cause most illness, disability and earlier death in the St Helena population. The majority of medical evacuations and a large percentage of overseas referrals are for these types of diseases. This is also a major portion of the Island health budget.

If we reduce the number of people smoking, we help everyone reduce their risk of these major illnesses.

Nearly one in four St Helena adults and nearly half of young adults (future workforce and young/future families) smoke. This is substantially higher than in many countries including the UK and South Africa.

Tobacco Taxation has been shown across the world to be the most effective way to reduce smoking rates over time – it is most effective at reducing the number of youth who start smoking, and at helping smokers who need further reasons, to quit.

The St Helena population health survey data shows that the number of people who ‘seriously wanted to quit’ increased substantially (22% to 38% of smokers) from 2018 – 2019. However these are the people who most want to quit, and it is recognised that for people who are not yet wishing to quit, further measures and support are needed.

Raising tobacco taxation works most effectively in combination with other measures, and the SHG Health Directorate is working with other parts of government and the community to put other evidence-based, effective measures in place, that together will reduce the number of smokers over the coming years and benefit the community. These include strengthening the smoking cessation service, and increasing the help for smokers who have tried to quit but need more help. Legislation changes (for example enforcing plain packaging for tobacco products) are also being developed that will include further measures to protect young people, reduce the number of people starting to smoke, and encourage quitting.

Change in Customs Duty Tariff for Vehicles

From 1 December 2019, the following rates will apply when clearing a vehicle at HM Customs on St Helena:

Emission Bands Tax tariff as % of sales price (old tariff) Tax rate per vehicle (£),

(rates from 1 December 2019)

0g per km 15% £200
1-100g per km 15% £450
101-120g per km 25% £900
121-165g per km 35% £1,260
166-185g per km 40% £1,530
185-200g per km 45% £2,660
> 200g per km 45% £3,500

Motorcycles will also move to a fixed rate of £700 instead of 35%. Customs duty on heavy vehicles such as lorries and plant machinery will remain unchanged and will continue to be charged on value.

This policy change aligns with the ‘Altogether Greener’ goal of St Helena’s 10 Year Plan and the recently approved Climate Change Policy. It also means a fairer system for people importing greener cars as currently importers of lower emission cars usually pay a higher duty than those importing higher emission cars. Moving to a fixed rate model will also lessen the administrative burden for Customs Officers who will no longer have to verify the value of a vehicle to charge the appropriate rate of duty. The rates were based pro-rata on emissions and rated so that customs revenues from vehicles will neither be worse or better of as a result of the changes.

Around 10 cars between 0-100g per km and around 25 cars between 101-120g per km have been imported in the last three years.  The changes will reduce customs duty for cars imported in these bands after 1 December and it is hoped that more people will bring in lower emission cars as a result.

One of the cars which was most recently imported was the Nissan Leaf. Whilst this car is subject to the old rules because it was imported before 1 December 2019, cars imported like this in the future would benefit from the new lowest rate of £200 customs duty.

Low emission cars have been available for more than 10 years and there are second hand vehicles available and affordable to buy which are not high emitting: Euro 3 emission standards were put in place as a minimum emissions benchmark for new cars from 2001 and currently Euro 4 is the minimum standard for cars and vans driving in central London for example.

The type of used cars which are available and are categorised in the lowest two emission bands include the Toyota Prius, Honda Civic Hybrid, and Honda Insight Hybrid. Examples of some new models available on the market include the Nissan Leaf, Renault Zoe, Volkswagen eGolf, BMW I Series, Volkswagen Golf GTE 1.4 and Range Rover Sport 2L petrol Hybrid.

Alongside this proposed change to the customs duty tariff on vehicles, SHG has started to develop a plan to acquire emission testing equipment and work towards specifying an emissions test be undertaken within annual MOTs to track emissions of vehicles on-Island. The information gathered will help inform future changes to the road tax.

#StHelena #CustomsDuty #AltogetherGreener #AltogetherHealthier 

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SHG

21 August 2019