On Wednesday morning, 18 February 2015, Rock Guards, from the Environment and Natural Resources Directorate (ENRD), will conduct a controlled rock removal operation in the West Rocks area.

As a precautionary measure, the area from the Sand Yard will be cordoned off to pedestrians and traffic with immediate effect.

The public is advised to please refrain from trying to cross the cordon.

ENRD would like to thank the public in advance for their cooperation.

SHG

16 February 2015

 

The public is advised that the major incident training exercise, which took place this morning, has been completed.

The Wharf is now open to the public and Hospital Services have resumed as normal.

Today’s exercise was organised to allow the Island’s Emergency Services to practice their processes for dealing with someone who arrives on-Island with a suspected highly infectious disease.

The public is thanked for their cooperation.

SHG

12 February 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During the weekend of Saturday 7 Feb & Sunday 8 Feb 2015, vandal/s sprayed graffiti over a local fisherman’s boat, located in the Coal Yard at the Wharf.

The graffiti has caused significant damage to the boat’s paintwork, resulting in an extra two days work for the owner and additional personal costs of £250.00.

This behaviour is unacceptable and the Port Authority would appreciate any information which could help towards identifying the person/s responsible.

If you have any information relating to this incident please contact the Deputy Harbour Master, Steve Kirk, on email asst.harbourmaster1@hmrc.gov.sh, tel: 22287 or drop into his office at the wharf.

SHG

11 February 2015

A Bye-election to fill the vacant seat on Legislative Council (following the recent resignation of Ian Rummery on 8 January) will take place on Wednesday 4 March 2015.

To stand for election to Legislative Council or vote in the Bye-election your name must be on the Register of Electors printed in the Extraordinary Gazette Notice, No. 10, dated 4 February 2015.

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 and all nominations should be delivered within this time to the Returning Officer, Mrs Gillian Francis, at the Castle, Jamestown.

Nomination forms are available from Corporate Support at the Castle and the Assistant Registration Officers in the different districts around the Island. Don’t leave it until the last minute to submit your nomination.

Further information on nominating a candidate was issued in last week’s newspapers.

If more than one valid nomination is received, a Poll will be taken on Wednesday 4 March 2015, at the following Polling Stations:

  • Blue Hill Community Centre
  • Half Tree Hollow Clinic
  • Harford Community Centre
  • St Mary’s Church, the Briars
  • Kingshurst Community Centre
  • Levelwood Community Centre
  • Jamestown Community Centre, and
  • Sandy Bay Community Centre

 

Returning Officer, Gillian Francis urges the electorate to participate in the upcoming Bye-Election. She said:

“It is important that the vacant seat on Legislative Council is filled by someone who you feel will best represent you and the Island. Make sure your nomination form is properly completed and returned before 12 noon on 18 February 2015.”

SHG

10 February 2015

 

 

On the afternoon of Thursday 5 February 2015, while out on routine inspection, Rock Guards, from the Environment and Natural Resources Directorate (ENRD), discovered a rock, approximately one cubic metre in size that required stabilisation – the rock was located above Chubbs Spring.

At approximately 8.30am the following day (Friday 6 February 2015), the Rock Guards re-inspected the site with the SHG Roads Manager for approval to carry out stabilisation works.  Due to the potential hazard the unstable rock presented to the safety of residents and their properties, the Roads Manager initiated the Rockfall Emergency Plan.

A collaborative meeting chaired by the Police Directorate and including Rock Guards, the Roads Manager, Fire Service personnel and the Emergency Planning Manager, was held to discuss the operational plan to deal with the hazard. The operational plan consisted of planning road closures, informing affected households of the works at short notice, evacuation of residents, providing temporary welfare for the affected households, and dealing with the actual rock stabilisation.

Police Officers visited the affected households and residents on Friday to inform them of the work that needed to be carried out and the arrangements made for their safety and welfare.  The decision to evacuate households was a necessary precautionary measure.

Stabilisation works took place on Saturday, 7 February 2015. At 6am residents were evacuated from the affected houses to the Jamestown Salvation Army Hall. The Police and Fire Service closed Constitution Hill Road and remained on standby.

Stabilisation work started at 6.30am and was completed at 9.30am, when residents were given the ‘all clear’ to return to their properties.

ENRD, the Police and Emergency Services would like to thank the residents for their cooperation and understanding and the Salvation Army for their excellent selfless work.

ENRD Rock Guards inspect the Island on a regular basis, monitoring and making safe potential hazards for the protection of the Island community, visitors and infrastructure.

SHG

10 February 2015

 

 

 

 

The public is reminded that a major incident training exercise will take place on the morning of Thursday, 12 February 2015. This exercise is being organised to allow the Island’s Emergency Services to practice their processes for dealing with someone who arrives on-Island with a suspected highly infectious disease.

The exercise is expected to run from 9am to 12noon and, during this time there is likely to be some disruption to vehicular traffic and pedestrians at the Wharf. Due to the nature of the training some services at the Hospital, including Outpatient Clinics, will also be affected.

The public is thanked in advance for their cooperation.

Thursday’s exercise forms part of a wider strategy to ensure that St Helena can cope in the unlikely event of a highly infectious disease being diagnosed. It will allow SHG staff to practice the procedures already in place and familiarise themselves with specialist equipment.

SHG

9 February 2015

Deputy Director of the Environment & Natural Resources Directorate, Derek Henry (photo attached), departs the Island tomorrow, Saturday 31 January 2015 – to undertake a six week placement with the Government of Jersey in the Channel Islands. This placement is funded by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s Diamond Jubilee Fund.

The placement will allow Derek to widen his experience and understanding of the workings of Government, particularly in relation to his current role. Derek will be attached to a number of teams and departments, including those relating to environment and infrastructure. He will also spend a week in London gaining similar experience on visits organised by the SHG UK Representative’s Office.

Derek Henry
Derek Henry

Derek said:

“I am very much looking forward to this visit. I am hopeful that the experiences from this visit will enable me to further develop my own role and contribute to the ongoing development of our Directorate and SHG more widely.”

Derek will return to the Island on Sunday 19 April 2015.

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Fund was created as a result of the 2012 Overseas Territories (OT’s) White Paper, which supported in principle and in practical terms the exchange of expertise between public servants in the UK and OTs.

Note for Editors

The Environment & Natural Resources Directorate was formed in December 2012, amalgamating three former Directorates, Infrastructure and Utilities, Environmental Management and the Agriculture and Natural Resources Directorate.

SHG

30 January 2015

The electorate is reminded that there is one vacant seat on Legislative Council and because of this a Bye-election will take place on Wednesday 4 March 2015.  The Writ of Election will issue next week and this will state the last day and time for submitting nominations along with Polling Station details if a poll has to be taken.

In the meantime, please take time to consider who you would like to nominate to fill the vacant seat.  Further information about eligibility and procedures for nominations will be published in next week’s newspapers.

SHG

30 January 2015

Executive Council will meet next Tuesday morning, 3 February 2015, in the Council Chamber.

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

Request for Approval of the United Nations Development Programme – Funded Project Proposal: Tackling Domestic Abuse.

Executive Council Members are: Lawson Henry, Wilson Duncan, Leslie Baldwin, Christine Scipio-O’Dean and Derek Thomas.

SHG

30 January 2015

 

 

 

Many of you will have seen the recent articles in the international and local media concerning reports of child abuse and other sexual offences on St Helena. You will also be aware of media reporting about similar offences occurring in the UK and in other countries. St Helena is not alone in having to confront issues emanating from sexual abuse.

Let me assure you that any allegations of abuse are taken most seriously. They must be investigated and on St Helena we are doing this.

We have achieved significant progress in improving the capacity and capability of your Government to safeguard individuals and to investigate allegations. We have secured specialised resources for the police, social services and the judiciary – some are here already and we have more on the way. The results are already clear for all to see, with more cases reported, properly investigated and offenders sentenced to significant sentences of imprisonment. We are also working with our UK partners to obtain expert support to investigate historical cases and, if the necessary evidence can be found, to bring those cases to Court.

A new Safeguarding Directorate was created on 1 December 2014 with structures and resources now coming together to ensure that all of those who are vulnerable in the community are supported, not just now but into the future. We recognise too that we need better resources to help the victims of these crimes and to ensure that those who offend do not do so again.

Of course, it would be naive to think that Government can tackle all of this alone. Everyone on St Helena has a responsibility to work together to help to protect the vulnerable in our community and I urge you to come forward if you have any information that would assist the authorities.

I turn now to the very serious allegations made by two former employees of SHG who, as widely reported in the media, have alleged that the FCO, DFID and SHG conspired to cover up sexual abuse and other offences on St Helena.

In response to those serious allegations, the UK Government, with full support from SHG, quickly concluded that the only way to deal with these allegations was to appoint a strong, independent Inquiry to investigate them. The Inquiry, which I and my colleagues in Executive Council and in SHG fully welcome, is now established and chaired by respected English Barrister, Ms. Sasha Wass QC. Ms. Wass will receive 100% support and cooperation from SHG and I am entirely confident that her team will conduct a thorough and professional inquiry to establish the facts. I hope that all on St Helena will welcome them here and do everything possible to assist them as they set
about their important work. There will be announcements shortly to explain how you can contact Ms. Wass and her team should you wish to bring any matters to their attention.

Certain media reports of the allegations to be examined by Ms. Wass have mentioned a number of individuals, some of whom are serving or former employees of SHG. It is important that people should be aware that due to ongoing legal proceedings in the UK and to avoid cutting across the work of Ms. Wass, those identified are, at this point, unable to reply to the allegations. Of course, that position will change once those constraints are removed.

In closing, I know that many people – here and overseas – were dismayed by some of the media reports over the past year. While I think we must be prepared to see more uncomfortable media reporting in the weeks and months to come, St Helena has a resilient and proud community that I feel sure will emerge from this stronger and with renewed confidence.

Governor Mark Capes
29 January 2015