In view of recent media speculation regarding criminal investigations into former employees of the St Helena Government it is appropriate that I confirm that those investigations have now concluded.

The investigation was instigated by St Helena Police following a family case heard in the Supreme Court where the Chief Justice concluded:

“So troubled am I by what has occurred that I shall direct that a copy of this judgment and addendum be sent to HE The Governor. I shall recommend that experienced independent Counsel should urgently be engaged to review the papers in this case and to advise on whether the evidence is such as to disclose reasonable grounds for suspecting the commission by any member of the Applicant’s staff of any criminal offence pertinent to attempting to pervert the course of justice or perjury.”

 

HE The Governor followed the Chief Justice’s recommendation and appointed an independent Queen’s Counsel, experienced in family and international matters, to complete the review. It was as a direct result of that review that the St Helena Police Service was requested to undertake an investigation into allegations of criminal conduct.  The investigation was led by St Helena Police and supported by Merseyside Police in the UK.

The matters were rigorously and thoroughly investigated. The evidence from this investigation was reviewed by a second independent Counsel, appointed as Public Prosecutor of St Helena specifically to undertake this task. Counsel concluded that some of the actions of the suspected persons were ill-advised, unprofessional and showed poor judgment but that there was insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction.  Counsel applied the test set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors as would be applied by the UK Crown Prosecution Service.  There will therefore be no criminal charges preferred following this investigation.

The criminal aspects of the investigation are now concluded and relevant evidence in this matter will be shared with the professional regulatory bodies concerned.

Attorney General

20 February 2015

 

 

 

The St Helena Post Office would like to advise their customers that they have not received any official report from the Authorities in South Africa as to the reasons for the delays in receiving post from and via South Africa.

The Post Office would also like to inform customers that the Ascension Island Post Office does not have any authority to open or break any seals on post bags dispatched from the UK for St Helena.  However, there could be missent mail included in either the Ascension or St Helena post bags which is then sorted and forwarded on.

The following are approximate postal times:

 POST VIA SOUTH AFRICA

Surface mail to the UK, including other destinations takes approximately 13-15 weeks.

Airmail to the UK including other destinations takes approximately 4-5 weeks.

POST VIA ASCENSION ISLAND

Airmail to the UK including other destinations takes approximately 3 weeks.

 It should be noted that these times are from the date of departure of the RMS St Helena from St Helena Island.

 SHG

20 February 2015

 

The Elections Ordinance 2009 provides for Nominations to be delivered to the Returning Officer by no later than noon on the last day appointed for the Nomination of Candidates. The closing date for nominations for the 2015 Bye-election (to be held on Wednesday 4 March 2015) was today, Wednesday 18 February 2015.

Returning Officer, Gillian Francis, this afternoon announced the names of four Candidates who will be standing for the upcoming Bye-election and a seat on Legislative Council (photo attached).

Returning Officer Gillian Francis Announces Candidates for 2015 Bye-election
Returning Officer Gillian Francis Announces Candidates for 2015 Bye-election

The Candidates are as follows:

Anthony Arthur Green: of ‘Oltonia’, St Paul’s.

 Geoffrey Patrick George Knipe: of Perkin’s Gutt, Sandy Bay.

 Pamela Ward-Pearce: of ‘Panorama’, Longwood.

 Lionel George Williams: of ‘Brenville’, Nr Half Tree Hollow, St Paul’s.

The full Declaration, including the names of Sponsors, will be Gazetted as soon as possible and hard copies will be placed at the usual outlets and published on the SHG website.

Polling Day is set for Wednesday 4 March 2015. Polling Stations will be at the Blue Hill Community Centre, Half Tree Hollow Clinic, Harford Community Centre, St Mary’s Church at the Briars, Kingshurst Community Centre, Levelwood Community Centre, Jamestown Community Centre, and Sandy Bay Community Centre.

Further information about Polling Day, how and where to vote and voting by Proxy will be published as an insert in this week’s newspapers.

SHG

18 February 2015

 

 

As you will be aware, St Helena has attracted considerable negative publicity recently, depicting our Island as a place where child abuse is tolerated and not properly addressed by Government agencies. This is simply not true!

As Chairman of the Social and Community Development Committee I have seen first-hand the impressive improvements in Safeguarding arrangements over the past few years. Key agencies are now working well together to support survivors of abuse, rigorously investigating every report of abuse, and successfully prosecuting those who have committed such horrible offences.

I am also aware that the media reports have had a negative impact on many innocent people on the Island. We need to work across our community to support each other while bringing to justice people who have done wrong.

It is a fact that St Helena, like the rest of the world, has perpetrators of abuse. But, the Island is committed to robustly dealing with these issues head-on, and our staff on the front line have my full support and that of all my fellow Councillors.

Our proud community has been damaged by these allegations. The solution is for us to continue to work together, to support victims and be tough on perpetrators of abuse.

Far from being an Island that tolerates abuse we should be proud of the way in which we are dealing with new and historic allegations of abuse of any kind.  As a community we should welcome the opportunity that the Wass Inquiry brings to establish the facts. If you do have a concern, or any important information, then please come forward to the Inquiry team or to our local services. I can assure you that all information will be dealt with in the strictest of confidence.

We are investing in additional staff and training to underpin our commitment to safeguarding which is further evidenced by the development of a specialist Safeguarding Directorate. As an Elected Member I will continue to give my all in leading the Committee in relation to safeguarding and ensure that this issue stays at the top of our agenda. My mission, as your representative, is to support the victims of sexual abuse, to see that offenders are brought to justice and to repair the damage done to our community by unbalanced, distorted and sensational reporting.

To put this into perspective, my family returned to our beautiful Island in 2001 and one of our main reasons for doing so was that we considered it a better and safer environment to rear our child than that offered in South London. There are, at this moment in time, very few names on our sex offenders register and although we may see an increase in this statistic, I would consider these facts alone justify my earlier statement that press coverage, as you might expect in the commercial world, has been unbalanced, distorted and sensationalist.

 

Councillor Les Baldwin

Chairman of the Social and Community Development Committee

17 February 2015

 

 

 

The public is advised that due to organisational changes within the Port Control Section (Office of the Harbourmaster) St Helena, the following personnel can be contacted via their new email addresses, detailed below.

Assistant Harbourmaster, Steve Kirk, has been promoted to Deputy Harbourmaster and can be contacted via email address Deputy.Harbourmaster@hmrc.gov.sh

Assistant Harbourmaster, Brian Greentree, is now the Logistics Coordinator (Wharf-Side Operations) and his new email address is Logisticscoordinator@hmrc.gov.sh

Former email addresses for the above personnel are no longer valid and members of the public are asked to please use the new contact details as listed above.

The telephone number remains the same and all Port Control, Tax and Customs Officers can be contacted via the switchboard number 22287.

SHG

17 February 2015

 

 

 

On the DVOR Platform
On the DVOR Platform

Elected Members visited the St Helena Airport site on Friday, 13 February 2015, following their quarterly Airport Project progress presentation by the SHG Access Office.

Elected Members were joined by Senior SHG Officials on the site visit, hosted by Basil Read, Halcrow and the Access Office.  Together they visited Prosperous Bay Plain, Bradleys, the Airport Access Road, and Rupert’s Valley.

The group of 34 visitors had the opportunity to look around the Air Traffic Control Tower within the Combined Building.  They then viewed the areas of the Terminal Building, including the new restaurant area on the first floor, before driving onto the Runway where they saw the paving machine in use.  They were then taken along the Airport Access Road, stopping first of all at Bradleys to view the Camp and DVOR Platform (Doppler Very High Frequency Omnidirectional Radio Range Measuring Equipment Platform).  The next stop was Rupert’s where they viewed works in Upper Rupert’s and witnessed the offloading of the NP Glory 4 at Rupert’s Wharf.

Viewing the Control Tower
Viewing the Control Tower

There was much interest in the visit to the Air Traffic Control Tower as Thales (Basil Read’s Subcontractor) is currently installing equipment there.

Elected Members were pleased to see the significant progress made since their last visit to the site, in mid-2014, and were assured that everything is on track for calibration flight trials in July this year.

Site visits are periodically organised for Elected Members and Senior SHG Officials, enabling them to observe Airport progress.

SHG

16 February 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The public is reminded that the last day and time for receiving Nominations to elect a Member to fill the vacant seat on Legislative Council is 12 noon on Wednesday, 18 February 2015. All nominations should be delivered within this time to the Returning Officer, Mrs Gillian Francis, at the Castle, Jamestown.

Don’t leave it until the last minute to submit your nomination.

Further information on nominating a Candidate was published in newspapers dated 5 & 6 February 2015.

If more than one valid nomination is received, a Poll will be taken on Wednesday 4 March 2015.

Only those persons with their name on the amended Register of Electors, dated 4 February 2015, will be eligible to participate in the Bye-election, with those who are 21 years of age and over being able to stand for election.

 

SHG

16 February 2015

 

 

 

 

 

Councillors are holding a series of constituency meetings during February and early March 2015.

Topics for discussion are Health and Water, but members of the public are encouraged to attend the meetings in their districts to raise any issues they might have.

The schedule for the remaining meetings is displayed below. All meetings will begin at 7.30pm.

Date Venue Chairperson
Wednesday 18 February 2015 Silver Hill Bar Councillor Corinda Essex
Monday 23 February 2015 Harford Community Centre Councillor Gavin Ellick
Thursday 26 February 2015 St Mary’s Church, the Briars Councillor Nigel Dollery
Thursday 26 February 2015 St Michael’s Church, Rupert’s Councillor Les Baldwin
Monday 2 March 2015 Kingshurst Community Centre Councillor Tony Duncan
Monday 2 March 2015 Guinea Grass Community Centre Councillor Cyril George
Monday 9 March 2015 Blue Hill Community Centre Councillor Brian Isaac
Wednesday 11 March 2015 Jamestown Community Centre Councillor Christine Scipio-O’Dean
Monday 16 March 2015 Half Tree Hollow Clinic Councillor Nigel Dollery

SHG

16 February 2015