On Sunday 7 February 2016 St Helena will be conducting a Population & Housing Census. The Census is a complete count of all houses on the Island and all the people who are staying in them on Census night.

The Statistics Office, which is developing the Census materials, will need support in delivering the Census and will appoint Enumerators who will be responsible for:

  • Delivering the Census questionnaire to houses in an agreed area
  • Providing support in completing the questionnaire if the household needs it
  • Collecting the completed forms

We are looking for trustworthy individuals willing to act as Enumerators during the Census period. Interested people must be:

  • Friendly, approachable and able to deal with potentially difficult conversations
  • Patient and able to communicate clearly and  provide support to households requiring help in completing the questionnaire
  • Knowledgeable about the area in which you are working (Enumerators will be able to request particular areas in which they wish to work, but we will have to make sure that our team of Enumerators covers all areas of the Island)
  • Reliable and trustworthy when dealing with confidential information.

Enumerators will be provided with training and support to ensure they are comfortable and able to carry out their duties effectively.

Enumerators will be paid at a favourable rate, taking into account their time, the number of households they visit and the amount of support they are required to provide. It is hoped to appoint Enumerators in time for training sessions in late January 2016.

If you are interested in becoming an Enumerator for this important exercise please contact any member of the Statistics team via email: (statistics@sainthelena.gov.sh), telephone 22138 or just pop into the Castle for an informal chat. 

SHG

17 November 2015

 

In the week beginning Monday 23 November 2015 the Statistics Office will be piloting the questionnaire to be used in the 2016 Population & Housing Census.

The pilot exercise is an important stage of the Census process as this is where the questionnaire is tested to make sure it ‘works’ for St Helena – that the questions make sense, are straightforward and provide the information needed. The information collected in the 2016 Census will be used for many years to come and so we need to make sure that it is accurate and reliable – and the first stage of this is to make sure we have the right questionnaire.

The questionnaire is based on the one used in the previous Population Census in 2008, but has been further developed following consultation with the general public, private sector businesses, Elected Members and Government officials. Some questions have been refined to bring them into line with current international recommendations and best practice, ensuring Census results for St Helena will be of comparable standard to those produced by other countries who follow UN recommendations.

A number of households have been contacted and asked to participate in the pilot exercise and we would like to take this opportunity to thank these people once again for their help and cooperation. If you have not been asked to participate in the pilot but would like an opportunity to look over the questionnaire and provide feedback – then please contact the Statistics Office who will do their best to accommodate your request.

During the pilot, Statistics Officers Kelly Clingham and Justine Joshua will also be conducting fieldwork to verify the housing frame which will be used to deliver the 2016 Census. If you see these officers in your areas with maps do not be alarmed – they will not be looking for you (unless an appointment has previously been arranged) – but any help you can offer in confirming that we have identified all the homes in your area will be much appreciated.

Remember – We Count Because YOU Count.

If you have any questions about the pilot or any other aspects of the Census, please get in touch. The Statistics team can be contacted via email (statistics@sainthelena.gov.sh), telephone (22138) or just pop into The Castle for an informal chat. Please note the Statistics Office has now moved one floor up in the Castle, directly above their old office.

SHG

16 November 2015

HE Governor and Mrs Capes will depart for Ascension Island on Monday 23 November 2015, then onward to the UK.

While on Ascension Island the Governor’s programme will include meetings with senior officials, including chairing a meeting of the Ascension Island Council.  In London the Governor will join Councillor Lawson Henry and representatives from Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha at the annual Joint Ministerial Council (JMC), hosted by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO).  During the JMC week, there will also be opportunities for the Governor and Councillors to meet with FCO and DFID Ministers in bilateral meetings.

Following the JMC, Governor Capes will attend various meetings with FCO and other officials in London. Governor and Mrs Capes will then take some leave over the Christmas period before returning to St Helena in January 2016.

While Governor Capes is on Ascension Island, Head of the Governor’s Office, Sean Burns, will become Governor’s Deputy. When Governor Capes travels to the UK Mr Burns will take on the role of Acting Governor until Governor Capes returns to the Island in the New Year.

SHG

16 November 2015

WEDNESDAY 18 NOVEMBER 2015

Councillor Lawson Henry will be attending the annual Joint Ministerial Council (JMC) meeting in London from 2 December 2015, departing St Helena on Monday 23 November.

During the JMC week, UK State Pensions for those in receipt who live overseas will be discussed. This will be an opportunity for Councillor Henry to contribute to the discussion on behalf of pensioners (or those who will qualify for a UK pension in the future) who reside on St Helena.

In respect of this, Councillors Henry, Dollery, and Duncan will be holding a meeting at the Canister on Wednesday 18 November 2015 at 6pm – to hear any views that you may wish Councillor Henry to raise on this subject at the JMC.

SHG

16 November 2015

BACKYARD SLAUGHTERING

Why stop the way backyard slaughter has been done for many years?

It is necessary to apply strict law for slaughterhouses and one of the aims of the current draft regulations is to do away with inappropriate slaughtering facilities and unsatisfactory slaughtering techniques often associated with less hygienic backyard slaughtering. As a comparison, food safety standards within the fishing industry are very high compared to those in the current meat industry.

Why the concern?

In many cases, backyard slaughtering is carried out in unhygienic conditions, disinfection is often not carried out and meat is not effectively protected from flies, dust and other deleterious matter. Waste and water are not always adequately disposed off. There is often inappropriate storage and holding of meat, and the mode of transporting meat to sell to the public is sometimes poor, with some vehicles being used for multiple purposes.

In backyard slaughter, animals are often dragged and butchered while still alive. Some sheep and goats are killed without ‘stunning’ first. Animals are at risk of suffering prolonged deaths, sometimes at the hands of untrained and unskilled backyard slaughterers.

This is not to mention the effect on close neighbours.

How do slaughterhouses compare?

A registered slaughterhouse is designed and constructed so as to ensure hygienic slaughter and so arranged to provide adequate space and facilities for the efficient dressing of carcasses, meat inspection and related activities. They permit clean operations to be carried out separately from those liable to give rise to contamination, and they permit functioning of all operations under hygienic conditions. Registered slaughterhouses are also effectively screened from pests and other vermin.

The slaughterhouses are equipped with stunning apparatus and slaughtermen are trained and experienced.

Will backyard slaughter be allowed at all?

The rearing of animals is of great importance both socially and economically. The issue of home slaughter for retail is a sensitive matter, but the establishment of slaughter facilities of sufficiently high standards, simple and relatively inexpensive, would improve matters greatly.

During the forthcoming consultation period on the introduction of this new legislation, we want to hear your views on backyard slaughtering and how you would address the main hygiene concerns. We can then adopt a solution that takes into account local conditions, bearing in mind the primary objective of food safety.

SHG

11 November 2015

On Friday 6 November 2015 St Helena celebrated its inaugural Teacher Appreciation Day – when teachers on the Island received thank you notes, handmade gifts and other treats from schoolchildren and fellow colleagues alike – highlighting the value and importance placed on teachers within St Helena’s community.

As a mark of this value, Governor and Mrs Capes hosted an evening reception on the day at Plantation House, where teachers and former students came together to celebrate their joint achievements.

Governor Capes said:

“I am happy to have this opportunity to host an evening for those on the Island who nurture St Helena’s most precious resource, our children. 

 “This reception marks Teacher Appreciation Day, which I am told is the first one to be held on the Island.  If that is the case, then this is well overdue and I would like to say ‘Thank You’ to the Education Committee and the Education Directorate for all their hard work in developing the Strategic Development Plan for Teaching – which results in today’s celebrations. 

 “We often speak about the Airport and it can sometimes seem to dominate our discussions on developing future opportunities.  But what is really important is the role teachers play in equipping young Saints with the skills necessary to take the Island forward.” 

Councillor Nigel Dollery spoke about the return of graduates Stacey Thomas, Derrie Yon and Laura Lawrence who, with their newly acquired skills, will strengthen the teaching profession themselves.

Director of Education, Shirley Wahler, concluded:

“This is our day to say Thank You.  I want to join all those other voices to say well done for overcoming tough obstacles and continuing in your profession.  And tonight we are paying a special tribute for those teachers who have served for over twenty years in continuous service.”

 During the evening, Maureen Plato, Dulcie Herne, Patricia Henry, Edna Richards, Hazel Peters, Barbara Osborne, Nicholas Plato, Carlene Crowie, Elaine Benjamin, Patricia Williams and Eileen Hudson received awards for their continuous service, with Eileen Hudson being the longest current serving teacher at 43 years in the teaching profession.

A new Scheme of Service was also officially launched on the night.  This scheme is designed to encourage career development, develop new skills and competencies and reward current teaching staff.  Further details on this new scheme will follow.

Photo Gallery Attachment

 

SHG

11 November 2015 

Remembrance Day Service
HE Governor Mark Capes

On Sunday 8 November 2015, a Divine Service was held at the Cenotaph, in honour of those who had lost their lives or had been injured during Active Duty. His Excellency the Governor and Mrs Capes arrived at 10.55am, when the Right Reverend Lord Bishop, Dr Richard Fenwick, invited those in attendance to pray, before observing a two-minute silence, signalled by the Last Post.

Wreaths were then laid by the Governor, Representatives from the French Republic, (Mrs Susan O’Bey), the Army (Mr Geoffrey Dawson), the Royal Navy (Mr Jack Horner), the Royal Air Force (Mr Marco Yon), the Merchant Navy (Mr Chedrick Jonas), St Helena Police Service (Constable Christopher Joshua) and St Helena Fire & Sea Rescue Service (Mr Matthew Benjamin). Members of the public, including several schoolchildren, also laid wreaths.

Remembrance Day Service
Remembrance Day Service

Prayers were led by Father Fred, Father Christopher, Lieutenant Coral Yon and Elder Patricia Duncan. During the Service, hymns were sung, including ‘O God, Our Help in Ages Past’, ‘The Lord’s My Shepherd’ and ‘Praise My Soul the King of Heaven’. The Act of Commitment was made and acts of peace were then offered. The Service concluded with the National Anthem and Blessing, followed by the traditional March-Past outside the Court House, with music from the Get-togethers orchestra and the Salvation Army.

As usual, Remembrance Sunday on St Helena was very well observed and attended.

 

SHG                                                                                                                                     

9 November 2015

Biosecurity Detector Dog Joins the Team
Biosecurity Detector Dog Joins the Team

From Sunday 1 November 2015, the St Helena Biosecurity Team’s work is being assisted by a four-legged recruit – biosecurity detector dog Harriet (photo attached). Harriet is a locally owned dog who has been trained by Paul Laban to detect honey and certain fruit items, and she will be using her superb sense of smell to sniff out concealed items in baggage and cargo.

Honey is one of the items most frequently smuggled into St Helena. But St Helena’s bees are almost unique in the world in having no diseases – and we are keen to keep it this way. Honey is unprocessed, unlike jam and marmalade, and can harbour bacteria and fungus diseases. Island bananas are also free of diseases and it is therefore important to prevent the import of honey and bananas – to protect our local products.

Pest Control and Biosecurity Officer at ANRD, Jill Key, said:

Having a trained detector dog is a big asset for the Biosecurity Team as it greatly extends our ability to detect concealed restricted items.  Harriet is the perfect dog for this – friendly and gentle, yet a very keen searcher.”

Harriet’s first day of work coincided with the arrival of the MS Amadea, where she proved a big attraction for the cruise ship passengers, who were pleased to meet her and take pictures.

Harriet is a young dog, and her training will continue and expand the range of items she can detect.

SHG

9 November 2015

TO ACHIEVE OPERATIONAL READINESS

The St Helena Airport Programme Board – comprising SHG, DFID, FCO and Basil Read – yesterday recommended that it would be necessary and prudent to grant a short period of additional time in order to fine tune the operational readiness of St Helena Airport.

The Programme Board does not anticipate a significant revision to the commencement date for commercial flights beyond the original projected date of late February 2016, but has recommended this pragmatic step now so that we can conclude the calibration works and other preparations for safe and secure commercial operations. Executive Council Members are in agreement, and we have conveyed this decision to Comair and Penspen.

Subject to final certification and operational readiness, the Board still expects St Helena Airport to be accepting commercial flights before the planned Official Opening of the Airport in May 2016.

As before, a decision on when to sell tickets for Comair flights will be made only when the Airport has been certified. To that end, we expect the regulator, Air Safety Support International, to visit St Helena in January 2016 to carry out a full inspection audit of the Airport’s compliance with aviation regulations and that will inform a decision on ticket sale timing.

SHG
6 November 201

WEDNESDAY 11 NOVEMBER 2015

The second formal session (for 2015) of the Public Accounts Committee will take place on Wednesday, 11 November, at 10am in the Court House, Jamestown.

The Order Paper for the meeting is as follows:

  1. Chairman’s Address
  2. St Helena Audit Service: St Helena Airport Project Overview Audit
  3. St Helena Line Limited

In respect of Remembrance Day, a one minute silence will be observed at the meeting at 11am.

 The public is invited to attend.

 SHG

9 November 2015