Executive Council met today, Tuesday 28 October 2014, to discuss five items on the Open Agenda.

The first item was the appointment of a Secretary to the Electronic Communications Consultative Committee (ECCC). This paper discussed the appointment of the Socio-Economist as Secretary to the ECCC in replacement of the Government Economist. This was seen as a sensible change due to the amount of work currently being undertaken by the Socio-Economist with regards to the social implications of on-Island communications.

The second item proposed an amendment to the Eliza Mary Lloyd Trust Ordinance to change the way that Trustees are appointed.  This Trust helps fund agricultural training and production on a small estate at Harpers. Currently the Economic Development Committee (EDC) Members with responsibility for agricultural issues would have naturally assumed positions as Trustees. The change will see the new process for appointments as Trustees to be made by the Governor and not simply by inheriting such a role based on becoming a member of the EDC. This change does not affect the continuance of the current use of the Harper’s Estate and brings this Trust in line with other Trusts in operation on the Island.

The third and fourth items were combined as they were inter-related, one dealing with Police Service regulations and the other the Ordinance entitled Police Service (Amendment) Bill.  External reports have previously recommended that the Police Force Ordinance and Regulations be reviewed to bring them in line with current practice and, in particular, current human resources practice.

The final item on the Open Agenda was the Coroners and Presumption of Death Bill. The Chief Magistrate gave a detailed report of the implications of the Bill where every death on the Island will be reported to the Coroner to consider whether there was a need for investigation, with the emphasis on learning lessons as opposed to apportioning blame, which would remain the responsibility of the Supreme Court procedure. This was seen as helping to develop best practice with the recording of medical records and would allow for estates related issues to be resolved quicker.

All of the Bills will be presented as Government Business at the next formal Legislative Council meeting.

Under Any Other Business the Governor thanked the two Acting Members of Executive Council, Hon Brian Isaac and Hon Nigel Dollery, for attending ExCo during the absence of substantive Members, Hon Christine Scipio O’Dean and Hon Ian Rummery, who will shortly return from overseas trips. Governor Capes also announced that he would be leaving the Island on 6 November 2014 to attend the forthcoming Joint Ministerial Council, which will also be attended by Councillor Lawson Henry, and to take some leave. Governor Capes will return on 3 January 2015, in time to welcome yachts competing in the Governor’s Cup Yacht Race.

A very positive meeting ended at 10.20am.

ExCo

28 October 2014

HE Governor Capes will depart the Island on Thursday 6 November 2014 to attend the annual Joint Ministerial Council (JMC) in London from 1- 4 December.  The JMC is attended by elected leaders from the Overseas Territories, Governors and UK Ministers and officials. Councillor Lawson Henry will attend the JMC as St Helena’s elected representative and have bilateral meetings with FCO and DFID Ministers.

Following the JMC Governor Capes will be involved in various other business meetings and then take some leave before returning to the Island on 3 January 2015.

During the period Governor Capes is away Head of the Governor’s Office, Mr Sean Burns, will serve as Acting Governor.

SHG

28 October 2014

 

FIRST PHASE OF VACCINATION PROGRAMME COMPLETE

SHG is pleased to advise that the first phase of the vaccination programme for Newcastle Disease, in Chickens on St Helena, has been completed ahead of schedule.

The programme, to prevent further infection of poultry on the Island, commenced on Thursday, 16 October 2014, and has seen 848 chickens vaccinated in the St Paul’s and Half Tree Hollow area. No new cases of the disease have been reported and there are no links to wild birds or other livestock.

Head of ANRD, Darren Duncan said:

“Completing the vaccination programme in the time we did would never have been possible without the amazing effort of ANRD staff and cooperation from poultry owners in Half Tree Hollow and St Paul’s.

“Without this cooperation the consequences for the Island’s poultry could have been dire and now that we have managed to contain the spread of the disease, since the initial outbreak in mid-August 2014, we need to continue our efforts as a community to contain it.”

A containment programme to remove feral and free-ranging chickens will continue and the public are encouraged to contact ANRD if they know of any feral chickens near their properties. Poultry owners who haven’t contacted the division regarding their stock should also do so as soon as possible.

ANRD now also has an increased stock of the ‘Lasota’ vaccine which arrived on the NP Glory 4 and a further stock is being brought in when the RMS arrives on Wednesday 29 October 2014.

Progression of Phase 2 (Island-wide vaccination) is being looked at and will continue on the advice of the Senior Veterinary Officer, Joe Hollins, when he arrives on Wednesday. Details will be released as soon as a best way forward has been agreed.

The first two properties of the initial outbreak were released from quarantine on Wednesday 22 October 2014. However SHG would like to stress that while the vaccination programme has been successful thus far the Island’s poultry is still not free from this disease and the public are asked to continue to adhere to the simple measures below:

  • Set up a footbath such as a bucket or washing up bowl filled with disinfectant or bleach at the entrance to the coop. Dip your feet on the way in and on the way out to create a barrier to germs.
  • Wherever practical, keep your chickens inside the coop. Even if your set-up means you are unable to do this, keep all feed and water inside the coop.
  • Do your best to exclude wild birds by blocking holes and using netting, and remove any spilled feed that could attract wild birds.
  • Have a dedicated set of boots and overalls for your chicken coop which never leaves your property.
  • Wash your hands after visiting the chickens.
  • Discourage visitors to your coop and avoid visiting chickens at other premises.

Please report any unusual poultry deaths or symptoms to the Veterinary Service at ANRD on tel. 24724.

SHG

27 October 2014

 

Open to the Public from 9.30 am

Executive Council will meet tomorrow morning, Tuesday 28 October 2014, in the Council Chamber.

The meeting will be open to the public from 9.30am for the following Open Agenda items:

  • Appointment of a Secretary to the Electronic Communications Consultative Committee
  • Amendment to the Eliza Mary Lloyd Trust Ordinance
  • Police Service (Amendment) – Bill for an Ordinance
  • Police Service (Amendment) Regulations 2014
  • Coroners and Presumption of Death – Bill for an Ordinance

 

Executive Council Members are: Lawson Henry, Wilson Duncan and Leslie Baldwin.  Councillors Nigel Dollery and Brian Isaac are acting ExCo Members while Councillors Christine Scipio-O’Dean and Ian Rummery are on overseas business and leave.

SHG

27 October 2014

Reception
Reception

A reception, hosted by HE Governor and Mrs Capes, was recently held at Plantation House to recognise the hard work of individuals in the Island’s hospitality industry.

HE Governor Capes said:

“Upgrading skills in the hospitality sector is very important to the development of our tourism product.

“Many thanks for the excellent work by Susan White who was in the driving seat with this initiative on enhancing standards in food safety and quality.”

Thanks were also extended to 2onMain, supported by Chef Mike Harper, who has provided expert advice to the private and public sector including the Hospital, HM Prison, the Community Care Complex and the Education Directorate.

Businesses volunteered to take part in a refresher food safety management programme relevant to their business. This was well timed as in the New Year St Helena will see new food safety legislative come into force on par with standards in the UK.

Susan said:

“This programme is about ensuring that safe food is served on St Helena and that, as well as having a legal responsibility; businesses also recognise that they have a duty to provide safe food.  It’s been a real privilege to visit St Helena before the Airport opens and to work alongside everyone. 

“It makes me really proud to see the positive changes already happening.”

Businesses participating in the programme include Anne’s Place, HM Prison, Plantation House, Roddy’s Chicken Farm, Argos, Ocean Wave and the Sandwich Bar amongst others.

Recognition was also given at the reception to the Island’s first Housing Management Officer, Ms Tracy Thomas. Tracy was recently awarded the graduate level 4 qualification of the Chartered Institute of Housing. This required much hard work and study on Tracy’s part, covering areas such as housing policy, economics, law and practice.

Reception 2
Reception 2

Tracy later remarked:

‘It has been a tough but rewarding year. Completing my studies has been one thing to tick off from a long list of what still needs completing. I would encourage anyone to improve their knowledge base through studying or on-the-job training. The benefits are endless.”

Tracy has been employed by St Helena Government as part of the work with Housing Executive Andy Crowe to set up a more effective housing service on the Island.

(Two photos are attached with this release)

SHG

27 October 2014

 

Joanne Rawlings
Joanne Rawlings

Midwife, Joanne Rawlings (photo attached) has recently started her new role within the Health Directorate, (arriving on Island on 23 September 2014) where she will input into antenatal (before birth), intrapartum (onset of labour) and post-natal (after birth) services provided by the Hospital.

Joanne’s contract is for two years, and she predicts a busy time ahead with the arrival of many babies in the New Year.

Joanne highlighted that she anticipates many differences to her new role compared to her previous experiences.  She said:

“The isolation of the Island will be a big factor, in the case of an emergency.  In the UK you have Hospital midwives and community midwives and here they are combined.  However apart from this, babies are born the same anywhere, wherever you go, in any location the process is the same.”

Joanne is involved in the many processes which expectant mothers go through, from the first booking, through to antenatal classes and regular checkups.  She will also conduct on-the-job training with the local midwives on updating procedures.       

Joanne has been a qualified midwife for 13 years, and has worked in a busy unit in Leicester which delivers 5000 babies a year.

SHG

24 October 2014 

The Landscape & Ecology Mitigation Programme (LEMP) part of the St Helena Airport Project, initiated a Community Compost Scheme in May this year to reduce organic waste going to Horse Point Landfill, and to assist with the production of compost to be able to grow endemic plants for habitat restoration works around the Airport construction.

There are 10 JK400 compost units on Island spread throughout communities from Half Tree Hollow to Longwood. The units are being managed by individuals in these communities who have approached their neighbours to take part by collecting their kitchen waste. Each unit can accommodate 10 households. Anyone supporting the scheme can be provided with a kitchen caddy to store their organic waste in to make it easier to transport the waste to the composters. All kitchen organic waste can be put into these bins from tea bags to raw fish and cooked bones. In a matter of weeks the waste transforms into good quality compost, used to grow plants.

An added benefit is that all waste composted does not go to the landfill, meaning there is less waste to attract pests.  The scheme helps up to 100 households to divert their waste.

LEMP Field Supervisor, Belinda Thomas, said:

“This trial is still in its infancy and some of the units have encountered some problems in getting the right mix, but we’re pleased to say most of those problems are now resolved and the first batches of mature compost are being collected by the LEMP Team who take it to the newly established Half Tree Hollow Tree Nursery where it is used to grow plants.

“We would like to thank everyone who has been involved with the Community Compost Scheme so far. Special thanks to Ian Rummery at the Sunflower Café and the residents of Piccolo Hill Village for providing the first mature compost which we will use to grow plants in for the rehabilitation works at the Airport. We look forward to receiving compost from the other units in the coming weeks. Keep up the good work!”

If a member of the public is interested in joining the compost scheme, or if you have any further questions, contact Belinda Thomas at the LEMP Nursery in Half Tree Hollow by email belinda.thomas@sainthelena.gov.sh or by telephone 22261.

SHG

24 October 2014

 

The Budgetary Aid Mission team (BAM – formally called the Development Assistance Planning Mission) from the Department for International Development (DFID) will be on St Helena from Wednesday 29 October – Thursday 6 November 2014 to lay the foundations for agreeing a budget by early 2015.

The team members are Douglas Winslow, Mary Thompson and David Finan.

The team will meet with officials and other stakeholders to discuss economic and budgetary performance to date and forecasts for the rest of the year, and will also explore the opportunities and challenges of moving to a three year budget settlement.

The team will discuss related policies and strategic business plans going forward, and will review progress against the 2014 Budget Aide Memoire.

The Budgetary Aid Mission will not produce an agreed budget settlement or an Aide Memoire.

SHG

21 October 2014

 

The Governor’s Office has once again been invited by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to submit recommendations for HM the Queen’s Birthday Honours for St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.

Persons wishing to submit nominations for the 2015 Birthday Honours are reminded that the overriding principle is that honours are awarded on merit for exceptional achievement or any service recently carried out over and above what normally is expected.  Where possible, nominations should place emphasis on voluntary services.  It should also be noted that age is not a factor in awarding honours and younger members of the community who have made an outstanding contribution or have given exceptional service, should not be overlooked.  It is important that nominations are kept confidential and that nominees are not made aware that they are being proposed for award of an Honour.

Nomination forms are available from Mrs Carol George, Corporate Services Executive Manager and completed forms should be returned to the Executive Secretary, Honours Committee, in a sealed envelope, marked confidential, by Friday, 7 November 2014.

SHG

22 October 2014

Each year St Helena supports the Royal British Legion’s work through the Poppy Appeal.  The Poppy Appeal is the Legion’s largest fundraising campaign and each year has a different focus.

The Remembrance Poppy has been used since 1920 to commemorate soldiers who have died at war.  Inspired by the World War Poem “In Flanders Fields”, they were first used by the American Legion to commemorate American Soldiers who died in the war (1914-1918).  Today, they are mainly used in the UK and Canada to commemorate their servicemen and women who have been killed in all conflict since 1914. The Remembrance Poppy is especially prominent in the UK and on St Helena in the weeks leading up to Remembrance Sunday.

On Saturday 25 October and Saturday 1 November 2014, the Poppy Appeal will be raising money in the lower Jamestown area through the distribution of poppy wristbands, lapel pins, emblem stickers, badges, bracelets and standard poppies.  Uniformed contingents (ex servicemen, Salvation Army, Scouts and Guides) will be making their way through Main Street and members of the public are encouraged to support the cause and have their poppies in advance of Remembrance Day.

This year the Remembrance Day service will be held on Sunday 9 November 2014.

SHG

21 October 2014