I am aware that the press release which was issued earlier this week has caused a lot of confusion. I am very sorry that this has happened.  It was certainly not the intention.  Let me reassure all St Helenians wherever they are that they will still be able to travel to and from St Helena freely, as they do now. However, in the time since commercial flights to St Helena began, it has been reported that a small number of people have experienced problems at the airline check-in desk. Some people have been asked for documents which they do not have and, whilst the problems have been resolved in most cases, regrettably some people were refused a boarding card and could not travel.

The Immigration Section of the Police Directorate have been investigating the cause of these problems and have been working on solutions to try to ensure that everyone has as smooth a journey to St Helena as possible. In doing so, it has become clear that the guidance given to airlines is extremely complex and is causing confusion. We are working hard to resolve these underlying issues as quickly as possible but this may take a few weeks.  We will also be looking at whether the system can be simpler going forward.  In the meantime, any St Helenians travelling on a British passport to St Helena (rather than a British Overseas Territory passport issued by St Helena) are strongly encouraged to carry documentary proof of their St Helenian status. A letter confirming St Helenian status can be obtained free of charge from either the Immigration Office via email: emerald.newman@sainthelena.gov.sh or telephone: 22626 (00290 22626 from overseas), or from the Immigration desk on their departure from St Helena.

Passengers who encounter difficulties at the check-in desk can contact the duty Immigration Officer, St Helena Immigration, on mobile number:  00290 51442 for assistance.

Please note that although St Helenians are not required to have medical insurance in order to travel to St Helena, those who have been away from the Island for some time are strongly advised to have insurance covering overseas medical treatment as, if this is required, it can be extremely costly and is not provided by SHG for the first six months.

Governor Lisa Honan

3 May 2018

A meeting of the Environment & Natural Resources Committee took place on Thursday, 19 April 2018, in the Council Chamber.

Items discussed on the Open Agenda were as follows:

Executive Manager, Wendy Henry, was introduced to the Committee. Wendy leads the Support Services team of the Environment & Natural Resources Directorate (ENRD) and has been in post since 1 April 2018.

A review of the Forestry Fees & Charges was undertaken. The Committee was briefed on each of the three areas which had been reviewed, these being: Forestry Equipment Hire Service, Emergency Callout Tree Service and Sawlog & Firewood Services. After some debate and amendment, agreement was made to implement the revised charges.

The Pesticides Regulations Legislation proposal was discussed as it is important that there is improvement in the management of Pesticides. The Committee agreed for this to proceed through to the Attorney General’s Chambers.

Chief Environmental Officer, Isabel Peters, delivered Part 9 – Pollution Control and Hazardous Substances from the Environmental Protection Ordinance to the Committee.

The Director updated the Committee on the externally funded projects for Waste Management Services – the Marine Debris project and the Anaerobic Digester project.

A discussion on roads on St Helena took place in respect of a letter from a constituent to a member of the Committee. The Roads Manager explained that current Roads finances only allowed for the current methods being used subject to the costs involved. He advised that the Roads Section is using cheaper methods to reduce costs and doing the best they can with the resources available.

 #StHelena #ENRC #ENRD

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SHG

3 May 2018

A formal meeting of the St Helena Public Accounts Committee (PAC) will take place on Monday, 14 May, and Tuesday, 15 May 2018, at 9am in the Council Chamber.

The programme of business will include the 2016/17 Financial Statements of St Helena Government, St Helena Hotel Development Ltd, Connect Saint Helena Ltd, Bank of St Helena Ltd and Enterprise St Helena. The Corporate Governance of SHG Group Entities Performance Audit Report will also be discussed.

Members of the public and interested persons are invited to attend the meeting.

The meeting will also be broadcast live via SAMS Radio 1.

 #StHelena #PAC

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SHG

3 May 2018

Governor Lisa Honan welcomed home the St Helena Commonwealth Games team at a special reception held at Plantation House last evening, Tuesday 1 May 2018.  Invited guests included all involved in St Helena’s participation in the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, Australia, members of the National Amateur Sports Association St Helena (NASAS), families and friends.

In HE’s speech on the night, Governor Lisa Honan said:

“Huge congratulations to the Games team, both those here on St Helena, and those in the UK. Achieving ‘personal bests’ is absolutely fantastic. You and the support team who accompanied you have also been excellent ambassadors for the Island. We owe those who helped on and off Island a debt of gratitude. 

“Sport plays an important role in everyday life and can be a positive force for St Helena’s future prosperity. What do I mean by that? Well there is research that shows that if you played sport as a child, then later in life, you are a better leader, you are a team player, you are more confident and you can manage your time well. You also have a healthier life style and good health is correlated with success at work. Physical exercise puts people in better moods and can give you more sleep. The studies show you are also less likely to smoke and engage in drugs. Even in the classroom, evidence shows that children who walk to school get better results.

“The team have done exceptionally well. Let’s make sure that the power of sport gives everyone the chance to succeed in life and be healthier. Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”

#StHelena #PlantationHouse #CommonwealthGames #WelcomeBack

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SHG

2 May 2018

The Health Directorate wishes to advise the public that, with immediate effect, any person requiring urgent Dental Care should report to the General Hospital. 

This is a temporary measure and applies to both normal working hours and outside of normal working hours.

The Health Directorate will advise when Dental services will return to normal.

Any inconvenience caused is regretted.

#StHelena #HealthDirectorate #DentalCare

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SHG

2 May 2018

The following Bills have been approved by Executive Council for presentation as Government business at the next formal meeting of Legislative Council:

  • Births and Deaths (Registration)(Amendment) Bill
  • Liquor (Amendment) Bill March 2018

 These Bills can be found on the St Helena Government website, under the Public Consultations section of the Publications page at the following link: www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/

Comments should be sent to the Clerk of Councils, Lydia Buchanan, via email: lydia.h.buchanan@sainthelena.gov.sh or to the Chairperson of the Social & Community Development Committee, Tony Green, via email: tony.green@helanta.co.sh by Friday, 25 May 2018.

Births and Deaths (Registration) (Amendment) Bill

This Ordinance amends the Births and Deaths (Registration) Ordinance, 1853, to make provision for the registration of births that occur overseas where one parent of the child is ordinarily resident on St Helena.  The Ordinance also makes provision for the registration of deaths that occur outside St Helena if the deceased was ordinarily resident or had assets in St Helena at the time of death. The Ordinance also amends a provision relating to the Registrar’s seal of office.

Liquor (Amendment) Bill March 2018

This Ordinance amends the Liquor Ordinance, 1988, to make provision for a single application for an occasional liquor licence for more than one entertainment or special occasion. These licences will be granted only if the location and other arrangements for the sale and consumption of alcohol are identical and the licence will be valid for no more than 26 specified occasions covering a maximum of two days in any seven day period.

#StHelena #PublicConsultation #Bills

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SHG

2 May 2018

The St Helena Public Accounts Committee (PAC) will welcome a clerk from the National Assembly of Wales for an attachment to the Island between 7 and 18 May 2018.

The attachment is part of the UK Overseas Territories Project, a three-year project on public financial oversight delivered in consortium by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK (CPA UK), the UK National Audit Office (NAO) and the Government Internal Audit Agency (GIAA).

Chairperson of the St Helena PAC, Cyril Gunnell, highlighted areas for support around public financial oversight at the launch of the project in March 2017.

As a result of this, in November 2017, CPA UK welcomed members from the St Helena PAC for a programme in the UK. The programme offered opportunities for direct exchanges with UK Members of both Houses of Parliament, committee clerks and officials, representatives of the UK National Audit Office, and other relevant stakeholders. In addition, the delegation from St Helena visited Tynwald, the legislature of the Isle of Man, to exchange learning relevant to smaller legislative councils.

Following on from this, Clerk of the Welsh Assembly PAC, Fay Bowen, will be partnering with the St Helena PAC to help develop its upcoming work plan, inquiry and committee management processes.

Cyril said:

“The arrival of the clerk from the National Assembly for Wales will build upon the progress the St Helena PAC has been embarking upon through engaging with the UK Overseas Territories Project.

“We look forward to welcoming Fay to the Island and working with her to strengthen the work of the PAC and its processes in scrutinising public spending.”

Fay added:

“Working with St Helena and the UK Overseas Territories more widely is important to establish long term support networks and to build capacity.

“I believe this secondment will be a two-way learning experience where I hope to impart some of my knowledge and expertise but also to gain insights from the St Helena PAC and how it operates.”

Notes to editors:

  • This programme of support is being provided by the CPA UK under the UK Overseas Territories Project which is a three-year initiative led by the CPA UK in consortium with the GIAA and NAO and funded by the HMG CSSF Fund
  • CPA UK undertakes international parliamentary outreach on behalf of the Houses of Parliament and the wider CPA. With a specific focus on parliamentary diplomacy and parliamentary strengthening activities, CPA UK seeks to foster co-operation and understanding between parliaments, promote good parliamentary practice and advance parliamentary democracy. uk-cpa.org
  • For more information about the project go to https://uk-cpa.org/projects/ukotp/ and follow CPA UK on Twitter @CPA_UK

 #StHelena #PAC #CPAUK

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SHG

1 May 2018

A Steering Group comprising representatives from SHG’s Education & Employment, Environment & Natural Resources (ENRD) and Corporate Services Directorates along with representatives from the South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute (SAERI), Education Committee, Enterprise St Helena and the St Helena National Trust has been formed to plan the development of a Research Institute for St Helena.

Discussions on setting up a Research Institute for St Helena have been ongoing in the Education & Employment Directorate since 2017, with presentations made to the Education Committee about this project in January and March 2018.   The success of the recent international Environment Conference has provided additional impetus and urgency to this project which the Steering Group is now taking forward.

The Steering Group is responsible for developing the policy paper that guides the establishment of a Research Institute and defines its role, structure and purpose.

Chairperson of the Steering Group and Director of Education, Shirley Wahler, said:

“St Helena is a unique and fascinating place and offers research opportunities that can be found nowhere else in the world.  A research institute can help us support, promote and manage research and researchers for the benefit of St Helena. 

“This year’s international conference sparked significant new interest in research based on the Island as reported by SAERI and ENRD.  It also highlighted the wide range of research interests and the many areas in which much more research is needed. We are very lucky to have support from SAERI, ENRD and other key partners in moving this important project forward.”

SAERI is an academic organisation, established by the Falkland Islands Government, devoted to research in the South Atlantic from the tropics down to the ice in Antarctica. SAERI’s remit includes the natural and physical sciences.

It is proposed that the St Helena Research Institute would not be limited to environmental research but will cover the wide range of research activities which St Helena is likely to attract, based on current interest and past experience. The aim is to have a research institute with a wider remit to support ENRD’s existing work with researchers and to provide broader support, promotion and management of research activities.

The Steering Group has had their second meeting and will continue to meet regularly to develop a policy proposal that can be taken forward to the Education Committee for approval.

Further updates will be provided as work progresses.

#StHelena #StHelenaResearchInstitute #PolicyProposal #SAERI

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SHG
1 May 2018

Executive Council met today with three items on the Open Agenda.

The first item was a presentation on the new Sustainable Economic Development Plan (SEDP) (2018- 2028) which has been developed to guide St Helena’s economic growth. Members noted that the plan had been developed with wide ranging input from Island stakeholders and that there had been extensive consultation with the local community. It was felt that the plan needed to be well communicated and embedded across SHG, the private sector, and the wider community to ensure maximum support and buy in for successful delivery.  Members were keen to ensure that young people are encouraged and supported to become involved in key sectors, particularly the traditional farming and fishing sectors, in an effort to ensure that these areas remain sustainable into the future. Council approved the SEDP, subject to reference being made to the need for engagement with young people, and agreed that the Plan should now be taken forward for implementation.

Council then considered a Bill to amend the Births and Deaths (Registration) Ordinance to make provision for registration in St Helena of births and deaths that occur outside of St Helena.  Members noted that there was an increase in the number of pregnant women being sent to South Africa to give birth because of medical complications, and the Bill would allow for babies born overseas to be registered on St Helena. Council gave approval for the Bill to be presented as Government Business at the next formal meeting of Legislative Council.

The last item on the Open Agenda was the presentation of the Marriage Regulations 2018 and proposed fees related to the Marriage Ordinance 2017. These Regulations set out provision to enable civil marriages to take place in locations other than the Castle. Council approved the fees and gave approval for the enactment of the Regulations. In connection with this item, Council also gave approval in principle for Plantation House to be registered as a venue for civil marriages with the caveat that the approval would apply only to the marriage ceremony being held there.

The meeting closed at 11.30am.

ExCo

1 May 2018