ExCo met today, Monday 4 November, to discuss one item on the open agenda. There were no members of the public present at the open session.    

The first item of business was the Introduction of a Minimum Income Standard (MIS) for the setting and up rating of Income Related Benefits and the Basic Island Pension.

Minimum Income Standards is the process where an average weekly shopping basket for basic items is determined.  The level of benefit is then aligned to the Standard so that there is a link between benefits and the cost of living. 

All Members agreed that a Minimum Income Standard should be introduced on the Island and as a result of this from 1 December 2013, Basic Island Pension will increase from £50.05 to £53.53 and Income Related Benefits will increase from £48.16 to £51.64.

The Minimum Income Standard will now be reviewed annually and benefits will be adjusted accordingly.

St Helena is believed to be the first Overseas Territory to implement a Minimum Income Standard and ExCo were very pleased to authorise this change.

The remainder of the meeting was closed to the public.

The first item of business on the closed agenda was an amendment to the Gaol’s Ordinance.  Currently a person sentenced to imprisonment for more than 30 days can automatically apply for a 1/3 remission to their sentence.  If a prisoner is released on remission they are subject to conditions, which if they do not comply with, they can be recalled to serve the remainder of their sentence. The amendments to the Gaols’ Ordinance will enable offenders to be recalled to jail should they be found breaching any of the conditions of their release, to serve the remainder of the sentence. ExCo agreed this change.

Following this, the recently appointed Chief of Police, Mr Trevor Botting, gave a presentation on his initial thoughts of the status of the Police Directorate.

Following this, members of the fishing industry gave a presentation regarding the current problems they are suffering as a result of a lack of product. They informed members that many fishermen of the full time fleet are being lured into shore side occupations, leaving just three full time boats operating. ExCo were very sympathetic to the current position.

Under Any Other Business, it was noted that both the Governor and Councillor Lawson Henry would be leaving St Helena on 7 November – the Governor on his official visit to Tristan da Cunha and Councillor Henry to attend the Joint Ministerial Council meeting in London and the OCT-EU Forum in Brussels.

There being no further business the meeting was closed at 11.35 am.

ExCo

4 November 2013

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