Governor Dr Philip Rushbrook will depart the Island on Saturday, 29 June 2019, for his first official visit to Ascension Island.

On the announcement of his appointment in December 2018, Governor Rushbrook committed to visiting Ascension as soon as possible. This visit in July 2019, two months after his inauguration is the realisation of that commitment, and reflects his role as Governor for all three territories.

During HE’s time on Ascension he will be involved in a number of meetings with Councillors, officials from Ascension Island Government and representatives from the employing organisations.

Governor Rushbrook will return to St Helena on Saturday, 13 July. During HE’s absence, Chief Secretary, Susan O’Bey, will be Acting Governor while the Governor is in transit from St Helena to Ascension (via the UK), she will then revert to Governor’s Deputy while the Governor is on Ascension Island.

#StHelena #AscensionIsland #Governor

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SHG

24 June 2019

Ascension Island Government’s (AIG) Director of Conservation & Fisheries, Diane Baum, Terrestrial Conservation & Biosecurity Officer and Reserve Warden, Vicky Knight, and Customs Officer, Kazz Singh, undertook an exposure visit with the St Helena Biosecurity team in May/June 2019.

The overall purpose of the exposure visit was for the AIG team to see how Biosecurity St Helena operates, the system and processes involved, and the challenges they face in helping other local agencies to protect St Helena’s borders. This experience would then help to further the development of the customised biosecurity system for Ascension Island.

During their time on St Helena, the AIG team shadowed the local Biosecurity team, and were exposed to St Helena Biosecurity policies and work at the Jamestown Wharf, where they conducted fruit and vegetable checks and containers and vehicle checks – removing mud, insects and any other unwanted invasive substances. The team also spent time with the Terrestrial Conservation Section and the Invasive Plant Management team. Ascension Customs Officer, Kazz, was also able to work alongside HM Customs (who work very closely with St Helena Biosecurity).

Biosecurity Officer, Julie Balchin, commented:

“It has been a pleasure to have these officers join us. This is just the start of a continued collaborative working relationship between our two Islands with the same aim of protecting our Islands from invasive pests, plants, and diseases using a proactive Biosecurity approach.”

Acting Director of Environment, Natural Resources & Planning, Darren Duncan, added:

“We are always happy to accommodate exposure visits for biosecurity staff working in the region. This enables a sharing of knowledge and experience and increased collaboration on biosecurity matters in the South Atlantic, which in turn strengthens our biosecurity systems and helps to further our shared responsibility for protecting and developing our territories.”

Notes to Editor

Biosecurity St Helena’s objective is to protect St Helena from any unwanted pests, diseases, weeds and anything that can become invasive to the Island. Their activities are targeted across the continuum of:

Pre-border: stopping anything unwanted/invasive from coming to the Island. For example, enforcing licences which have conditions that certain measures must be taken by persons outside of St Helena to prevent diseases etc from coming in to the Island. This typically happens while working closely with importers.

Border: conducting checks of imported fruit and vegetable, containers, vehicles and any other risk imports to the Island to ensure that nothing invasive comes in.

Post-border: monitoring activities to check if pests or diseases have found their way through to the Island after pre-border and border operations and to monitor the status of pests which have already entered St Helena, such as the Mediterranean Fruit Fly.

#StHelena #AscensionIsland #AIG #Biosecurity #ANRD #AltogetherSafer

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SHG

24 June 2019

An emergency response exercise involving the St Helena Fire & Rescue Service (SHF&RS), Port Control and crew of the MV Helena was carried out on Tuesday, 18 June 2019.

The exercise was divided into two scenarios with a fire and casualty situation in the Fo’c’s’le Store and a case of an injured person who had fallen into the Number Two Cargo Hold.

Brigade Manager, Alan Thomas, commented:

First and foremost, I would like to convey our appreciation and sincere thanks to Captain Williams and crew of the MV Helena for allowing us to interrupt their busy schedule to facilitate us during this exercise.

 “These scenario-based exercises are important, in order for us to test our initial emergency response capabilities and our operational resilience to such incidents. It also forges good working relationships while testing the interoperability between different agencies.

 “Like all exercises, there were key learning points that will be and has been addressed for future reference. However, even though this was our first ‘live’ exercise, it was an overall success, bearing in mind the ship is an unfamiliar working environment for the SHF&RS.

 “Thank you to all involved for your tremendous efforts.”

Captain of the MV Helena, Adam Williams, added:

“This has proved to be an invaluable exercise from which all associated parties will have gained a wealth of knowledge and experience. The potential of a fire aboard a ship while moored at Rupert’s Jetty is very real. This is a new learning and proving ground for SHF&RS, and I am pleased we have been able to facilitate such an exercise. I am also pleased with the level of interest the SHF&RS has shown in the MV Helena and the willingness to become familiar with the challenging and often hostile shipboard environment.

“The SHF&RS staff conducted themselves with the utmost enthusiasm and professionalism during the entire exercise.  While the environment was completely new to them, their high level of training and their ability to adapt and deal with an unfamiliar environment was readily apparent to all concerned.

“The entire SHF&RS team are a vitally important emergency service and a much appreciated asset to both the Island and of course to the MV Helena when berthed at Rupert’s.  We on the MV Helena are proud and pleased to establish this working relationship with the team. 

“Additionally, the Controller at the St Helena Control Room should be congratulated for his professionalism and efficiency in handling this unusual emergency scenario. A credit to the wider emergency community.”

Harbour Master, Steve Kirk, concluded:

“I must say that overall it proved to be a very successful exercise carried out by everyone involved and with the utmost professionalism too.

“Port Control may have only played a small part in this operation, but it was great to see different departments/sectors working together towards the same goal. Hopefully, we’ll be able to repeat this again in the coming months. Thanks once again to all involved.”

#StHelena #MVHelena #AWShipping #StHelenaFire&Rescue #PortControl #RupertsJetty # AltogetherSafer

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SHG

24 June 2019

Members of the St Helena team competing in the 2019 Natwest Island Games in Gibraltar will depart the Island tomorrow, Saturday 22 June 2019.

Team St Helena competitors – Duwaine Yon, Colby Thomas and Brooke Yon – will be accompanied by Jeremy Roberts from the National Sports Association of St Helena (NSASH). They will join remaining team member Aiden Yon-Stevens and Team Managers, Nick Stevens and Tina Yon-Stevens, in the UK for a week’s training before departing for Gibraltar on 3 July, in time for the opening of the Games on Saturday, 6 July.

Duwaine and Colby will compete in the 50m and 100m Freestyle swimming events. Brooke will compete in the 50m and 100m Breaststroke and Aiden will compete in the 800m and 400m Athletics events.

Good luck Team St Helena!

#StHelena #Gibraltar #NatWestIslandGames #TeamStHelena

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SHG

21 June 2019

The report on the review of Utility Services Provider, Connect Saint Helena Ltd (CSH), is now available on the St Helena Government (SHG) and CSH websites:

http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/ and http://www.connect.co.sh/press-releases–other-news.html

Key findings from the Review

  • CSH’s performance indicates the company is achieving most of the main objectives set out in the divestments process and they are meeting the targets highlighted in the Utility Services Ordinance 2013 and Licence
  • CSH is making substantive progress in providing much improved utility services to consumers and a firm foundation to becoming financially self-sustaining with the elimination of the SHG subsidy and the potential for privatisation
  • The current framework for utility services provision is appropriately structured and working satisfactorily, with some room for improvement.

The review of CSH’s in-house systems and processes generally conclude that the Company is performing well and fulfilling its objectives. However, it is recognised that there is still more to be done and CSH will now, with relevant stakeholders, take forward the recommendations resulting from the Review.

Notes to Editors

BDO LLP was contracted by SHG to carry out a review of Connect Saint Helena Ltd. The key objectives were to:

  • Produce a detailed report documenting the current status of Connect Saint Helena Ltd in terms of performance and governance
  • Review the performance management processes and systems for identifying cost savings
  • Review pricing metrics and identify how these could be regulated in future to provide a more sustainable footing for Connect Saint Helena Ltd; and
  • Provide options and recommendations for future governance and oversight arrangement which SHG could put in place.

#StHelena #ConnectSaintHelena #Review 

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SHG

21 June 2019

Travelling abroad is exciting but can also be a stressful experience, especially when leaving behind the slow paced, safe and familiar surroundings of St Helena.

Travelling for many is a positive experience but as with all activities there are challenges particularly when travelling abroad for the first time or to a new place.

It’s important to keep yourself safe when you travel so start by making sure you are properly prepared before you leave.

Before you leave

When travelling to new places and exploring new cultures, it’s important to remember to stay travel aware, this includes making sure you have all the correct documents such as:

  • flight tickets
  • passport
  • travel/medical insurance, including cover for personal effects if required
  • accommodation booking
  • entry Visas if required

Before you travel, put together a checklist to ensure you don’t leave anything important behind.

Don’t forget to also check the latest Foreign & Commonwealth Office travel advice online at: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice for the destination you are travelling to. A quick check will give you all the information you need on entry requirements, local laws and customs, safety and security, money and travel support.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office also provides consular assistance to British nationals overseas; view information about what help they can provide online at: https://www.gov.uk/world/emergency-help-for-british-nationals.

At your destination

Being in a new and unfamiliar place can be daunting. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings in order to keep yourself and anyone you’re travelling with safe.

Common tips for keeping safe while abroad include:

  • Keep your valuables – jewellery, money, phones and watches – out of sight, including while travelling in vehicles
  • Do not take a lift with anyone, use a genuine licensed taxi – look for an ID badge and radio before getting into the vehicle. Always sit in the back and never get into a taxi when someone else is in the passenger seat. Keep your vehicle doors locked and windows up
  • If walking, look confident, and at night always go with a friend and avoid any shortcuts
  • If you need to exchange money, don’t exchange large amounts. Always be aware of others around you.  At Exchange Services don’t accept help from strangers, walk away if you don’t feel safe. Put your money away as soon as possible; don’t sort your cash in public. If you have a Bank Card, be cautious of your surroundings and always keep your PIN hidden
  • At your accommodation avoid other guests hearing your room number.  In your room keep your door locked and don’t open to unexpected callers. Use the room safe if you have one and don’t leave valuables around
  • If going out from your accommodation use the ‘do not disturb’ sign and leave lights on. Whilst out, avoid walking in the local area and keep your room key safe and hidden.

There are a range of useful tips and hints available online that provide advice on keeping you and your family safe when travelling.

This advice will also be shortly available to download from the Publications page of the SHG website: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/

#StHelena #TravelAware

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SHG

21 June 2019

The Children & Adults Social Care Directorate’s new Assistant Team Manager, Andrew Burt, took up his new role on Monday, 3 June 2019.

Andrew has been appointed on a two-year contract and his main duties include chairing the ‘Children in Need’ meetings, holding a small caseload of specific cases and supporting Team Manager, Adele McMahon.

Director of Children & Adults Social Care, Tracy Poole-Nandy, said:

“We are glad that Andrew has joined our growing Social Work teams on the Island in line with the needs of the service, and welcome him and his wife to St Helena. Andrew will be an asset to the team and his expertise welcomed to help us move forward with our vision for the Directorate.”

Andrew added:

“I am looking forward to the new challenges that I am expecting in working on a remote sub-tropical Island. I have found that despite my new colleagues informing me how cold they feel, I find that 25 °C through the winter is fine by me.”

Andrew qualified as a Social Worker from Portsmouth University in 1999 and, since returning to Scotland from Hampshire, has been employed as a Locum Social Worker throughout Scotland and northern England during the last seven years.

#StHelena #NewAppointment #AssistantTeamManager

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SHG

21 June 2019

  • Island-wide water restrictions to be implemented from Monday, 24 June 2019
  • With the rise in consumption and lack of rainfall, reservoirs are at dangerously low levels
  • We are reliant on water derived from bore holes, springs and transferring of water supplies around the Island
  • This is an Island-wide issue and until the situation improves we must all restrict our water usage to essential use only

Current exceptionally dry weather conditions coupled with a rise in consumption over the last year has resulted in St Helena now experiencing a serious water shortage with below 30 days of raw water level stock available on the Island.

Reservoir levels have been decreasing each week since April when Connect Saint Helena Ltd (CSH) announced a moderate water shortage. This is because we are consuming more water than we are collecting along with the lack of consistent rainfall which is needed to recover the reservoir levels. At the moment the volume of water we have available for the whole Island is equivalent to the capacity of Hutts Gate 2 and Harpers 3 reservoirs which is approximately 30,000 cubic metres.

CSH has this week published an Island-wide legal notice restricting the use of water for essential purposes from Monday, 24 June 2019. Details can be found in this week’s newspapers. It is everyone’s responsibility to take great care in using our precious resource and consumers are urged to reduce consumption wherever possible. At the moment we are consuming around 280,000 litres more than we are collecting from our raw water stocks each day.

St Helena residents, businesses and people who use water for agricultural purposes are also urged to exercise great care and restraint when using water.

CSH’s Chief Executive Officer, Barry Hubbard, explains:

“Water resources on St Helena are becoming less and less viable so we are moving water around the Island to maintain stocks, using water from Fishers Valley and the boreholes to put water into the system.

“Even though we are drawing from all available resources there’s still not enough water to meet demand. Water restrictions will therefore be implemented from Monday but please do not wait until then to limit your consumption, we need to reduce our use now.”

There are other sources of water – tanks, boreholes & springs – but the reservoirs are the most significant and visible, with levels easy to measure. They are also less vulnerable to daily fluctuation.

Regular updates on reservoir levels will be issued to the public.

CSH has been closely monitoring the situation, followed all protocols, and gathered and transferred water where possible – the bottom line is that we can’t control the weather.

CSH will continue to do all it can to sustain available resources and gather and transfer water where possible.

This situation is being taken very seriously by the St Helena Resilience Forum, who will keep the public informed through frequent media updates, together with advice on how to limit your consumption.

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

20 June 2019

The following is a Public Announcement from Judicial Services:

His Lordship Chief Justice Charles Ekins Esq will arrive on St Helena on Saturday, 22 June 2019.

The formal opening of the St Helena Supreme Court will take place on Monday, 24 June, at 10am. This Supreme Court session will continue until Friday, 5 July 2019.

SHG
20 June 2019

http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh

A new Head of Planning and Development Control, Ismail Mohammed , arrived on the Island on Saturday, 8 June 2019, to take up his new post in the Environment, Natural Resources & Planning Directorate (ENRPD).

Ismail is contracted for three years and his role is to lead St Helena Government’s (SHG) Planning and Building Control Division. This involves all aspects of development management, decision making and reporting to the Land Development Control Authority, the review of the Land Development Control Plan and preparation of other development plans. He will also supervise the Building Control function and will review the Building Standards Regulations designed to raise standards of new developments on the Island.

Since starting work on 11 June, Ismail has begun to review the current procedures assessing development proposals and the quality of the planning applications that are submitted for planning permission and building consent, as well as how reports are made to the Land Development Control Authority for decision making.

Ismail said:

“The workload in the Planning and Building Control Division is immense and I want to get down to setting out a future work programme in line with business priorities of the Government.

“In a modern and responsive planning and development process, there is a role for the public to influence the future development on the Island and therefore I am keen to ensure that there is local engagement in the future spatial planning and place making process. One of the main assets of the Island is its natural heritage and environment and the challenge is how we all work together to ensure that we provide opportunities for future development, promoting economic growth and prosperity for the Islanders whilst protecting and enhancing the natural environment and heritage and also improving accessibility.”

Acting Director of ENRPD, Darren Duncan, added:

We are pleased to have Ismail join the Directorate’s Planning and Building Control Division. Ismail comes with an array of planning and development knowledge and experience that will stand him in good stead to develop and improve the planning and building control services the Division provides for its clients.  He joins a small and dedicated team providing important services to the community on behalf of the Government.

Ismail is very positive about his role and about St Helena. He concluded:

“I am very proud and honoured to be offered this position on St Helena. In the short time I have been on the Island I already feel at home in my new environment. I have a very positive outlook to life and I bring that into my work. I have been made to feel at home by my new colleagues and the local people and I am looking forward to making a positive impact in the future prosperity of the Island.”

Ismail is a chartered town planner and a corporate member of the Royal Town Planning Institute. He has over 30 years’ experience in planning and development that has covered all aspects of planning including development control, strategic and spatial planning, conservation of the historic and natural environment, urban design, regeneration and most importantly implementation and delivery. Ismail has worked for a number of local planning authorities in England and has vast experience of dealing with local planning issues and in the delivery quality planning service. His last position was with Buckinghamshire County Council as Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Manager, where he was responsible for preparing the Buckinghamshire Minerals and Waste Local Plan.

#StHelena #NewAppointment

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SHG

20 June 2019