In a Proclamation issued today, 20 January 2015, Governor Mark Capes has announced that 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.

The public is reminded that to vote in the Bye-election or to stand for election to Legislative Council your name must be on the Register of Electors. The Register of Electors as published in the Extraordinary Gazette on 1 July 2014, will be updated with those amendments printed in the Extraordinary Gazette Notice, No.4, dated 16 January 2015.

The Writ of Election, which will state the last day and time for receiving nominations for election of a new Member of LegCo, will be issued early next week.

SHG

20 January 2015

 

Executive Council met today, Tuesday 20 January 2015, to consider three items on the Open Agenda.

The first item was a request to waive a Work Permit fee. Executive Council did not agree to the waiver and further agreed that the regulations requiring the need for ExCo to approve waivers should be reviewed.

The second item was an Information Paper related to the Undertakings and Resolutions made at the Formal meeting of Legislative Council held on Thursday 11 and Friday 12 December 2014.

The third item was an Information Paper on the recently revised Fuel Prices. The price reductions, effective from Tuesday 13 January, were noted and welcomed by ExCo.

Under Any Other Business it was agreed that the date of the forthcoming Bye-election would be Wednesday 4 March 2015.

On behalf of Legislative Council, ExCo strongly encourages members of the public with an interest in St Helena’s future and who think they can make a difference to stand for election in the March Bye-election. Further details will be issued shortly.

The meeting ended at 10.25am.

ExCo

20 January 2015

For the first time on St Helena, a heart surgery operation has been conducted at the General Hospital, Jamestown (on Friday 16 January 2015) – carried out by Senior Medical Officer Dr Attila Frigyesi and Surgeon Dr Carlos Soto – assisted by the theatre nurses.

This emergency and life-saving heart surgery was successful and the patient is doing well and now recovering at home.

Dr Atilla said:

“Friday’s operation highlights the fact that it is possible to perform relatively advanced healthcare on St Helena if we have appropriate trained staff and suitable equipment.

“I would like to thank all of the team involved for their efforts in saving the life of this patient.”

SHG

19 January 2015

 

Customs Officers Juliette O’Dean and Rosemond Fowler recently undertook four weeks of training in St Lucia to gain a greater understanding on the implementation of St Helena’s first Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA World).

This web based system will set a platform for e-Government and will improve trade facilitation and avoid delays. Significant improvements will become evident in the future in terms of faster and more streamlined clearance of goods processes, better accounting and statistical capabilities and a paperless system.

Juliette and Head of Information Technology, Jeremy Roberts, had previously undergone initial training in Geneva to ensure that the system was appropriate and could be installed on St Helena, and to undergo initial implementation training. The most recent training has now enabled Juliette and Rosemond to see ASYCUDA in practical real-time operation and learn about the different features of the system, especially the International Harmonised System Codes, risk management, rates and rules.

Juliette explained:

“The training in St Lucia was very productive and involved both practical and theory – with the focus on understanding the International Harmonised System Codes and other operational features. Currently on St Helena, we use SITC Codes (Standard International Trade Classification Codes) which are not compatible with full implementation of ASYCUDA World. This training has enabled us to learn and understand these new codes and implement them in ASYCUDA World here on St Helena. All Customs staff and relevant stakeholders will now be trained on how to classify goods through classroom sessions.”

The ASYCUDA World system will now be fully implemented on St Helena – firstly with the online manifest submission procedure to be used by carriers and others. The next stage will involve putting in place the declaration module, which involves the new international harmonised codes, selectivity and the rates and rules. This phase will affect major stakeholders and importers.

There are significant benefits for traders and the public, including online trade input, fair trade practices, real time statistics, faster clearance and simplified procedures.

Juliette added:

“Stakeholders are aware of the benefits of ASYCUDA World and have been open-minded and optimistic. Change is always difficult, but we hope to make this transition as smooth as possible. It is important that we make the system as user-friendly as possible, adapted to our environment here on the Island.”

Juliette and Rosemond would like to thank their colleagues in Customs and SHG for enabling this training, and the St Lucia Customs team who were very welcoming and helped establish a positive, professional link between the two Islands.

The system to be used on St Helena is the most up to date version, developed by a dedicated team from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). It can be found in over 100 jurisdictions worldwide.

 

SHG

19 January 2015

 

 

A formal meeting of Legislative Council will take place on Friday, 23 January 2015 at 10am in the Court House, Jamestown.

The purpose of the meeting will be to elect a Chairman of the Public Health Committee and Member of Executive Council, following the resignation of Ian Rummery on 8 January 2015.

The Order paper for Friday’s meeting is available on the SHG website at http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/committee-reports/

SHG

19 January 2015

 

Arriving on the RMS on Saturday, 10 January 2015, was Ian Johnson (photo attached) to take up the permanent emergency planning position, vacated by interim Emergency Planner, Alistair Smith, in December.

Based at the Access Office, Ian is contracted by SHG for two years and will be responsible for all emergency planning on the Island. This will include new risks brought about by the Airport, new infrastructure and the new Bulk Fuel Installation site, as well as the normal day-to-day risks the Island faces. Ian’s role will be to ensure that emergency plans are current, in place and ready to deal with any incident.

Ian explains:

“We have in place a Major Incident Response Plan. Now that the December major incident exercises have been completed we’ll be putting together an overall debrief report and reviewing the plan to see if we need to enhance it or improve on any learning points.”

The Major Incident Response Plan is a ‘live’ document and will be reviewed regularly – after future exercises and after any major incident. Ian will look at all the risks identified by the Island Risk Register and make sure that there are plans in place to deal with each of them. These individual plans will then form part of the overall Major Incident Response Plan.

Ian added:

“An emergency plan is very important for St Helena, as in worst case scenarios, if something happens, we’ve got a plan there and everyone knows their responsibilities. Working together, both in SHG and the private sector, is absolutely vital – because we’re limited in resources on the Island.”

Ian has 40 years experience in Fire & Rescue Services, having spent 33 years in Manchester as a Supervisory Officer for Operations and in the last seven years as a Contingencies Officer in Cumbria, responsible for emergency planning for the Fire Service, plus responsibility for the Cumbria Emergency Plan.

Ian hopes his fire and rescue experience will be of real benefit to these services on St Helena. In addition, he is pleased to have been able to arrange for a gift of some specialist equipment for the Island’s Fire & Rescue Services – donated from the Cumbria, Lancashire and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Services. Further details will follow on this.

Ian concluded:

“I am looking forward to my new role and to utilising my knowledge and experience in major incident planning here on St Helena. The Island is brilliant, the people are lovely and friendly and I’m eager to get around and meet everyone.”

SHG

16 January 2015