Dr Jeremy Sarkin will be on-Island from Saturday, 21 September 2019, for his first visit to facilitate a debate and gather ideas on the present Committee-based system and explore the Island’s understanding and appetite for alternative systems.

There will be an opportunity to meet with Dr Sarkin at the following dates/times:

 

Date Venue Time
Tuesday, 24 September Kinghurst Community Centre 6pm-7pm
7pm-8pm
Wednesday, 25 September Harford Community Centre 6pm-7pm
7pm-8pm

 

Ideas and suggestions are also welcome in writing and can be sent to the Governor’s Office via email: William.Spooner@fco.gov.uk.

SHG

20 September 2019

 

http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh

 

 

The following is a public announcement from the Environment, Natural Resources & Planning Directorate (ENR&PD):

The Highways Authority has given approval to close 14 parking spaces between the Public Library and PWD Yard Gate, Jamestown, from 8.30am to 3.30pm on Wednesday, 25 September 2019.

This closure is to allow the Forestry Section of the ENR&PD to undertake necessary tree surgery works on the trees in front of the Court House and near the PWD Yard Gate.

The Forestry Section would like to thank the public in advance for their cooperation and understanding.

SHG

19 September 2019

http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh

It is a question about the way we want our elected representatives to tackle the issues and opportunities that in some way affect each and every one of us on St Helena.

The issue of how to govern ourselves has recently moved up the agenda. Many will recall the Island has toyed with governance reform a couple of times before but they came to nothing. Since I arrived, I have heard numerous views, publicly and privately, on the weaknesses in our system of government. Councillors, businesses, administrators, community leaders and many of the people I meet in the streets have told me the present approach of committees, working groups, LegCo and ExCo all involved in trying to sort out policies and laws is confusing and too often tediously slow.

Above all, the present system of government means no one within the body of elected councillors is explicitly accountable for the performance of any part of government. Likewise, the public service, ambiguously called the St Helena Government, does not work directly for any particular councillor but instead tries to address queries and demands made by different elected representatives.

The result, in spite of the best efforts of dedicated councillors and public servants, leads to a less-than-ideal, some have said disjointed, way of making decisions and operating the public services. Consequently, I observe a widely held realisation that as an Island firmly looking to the future we perhaps should not go on the way we have in the past.

In the Constitution, as Governor I am responsible for good governance on St Helena. It is a concept I am sure we can all support. But, what is it? One handy definition is: ‘the effective and responsible management of [a territory] which includes considering society’s needs in the decisions it makes.’ Aptly, government should seek to govern in a way that is accountable, decisive and understanding, though being good at governing means making some decisions that will not be popular.

So, in thinking about transitioning to a new system we should look at how we can increase personal accountability and authority amongst councillors and enable the SHG administration to work more directly with them. After approving with LegCo in late May, I sought help from DFID and they have agreed to start a process involving councillors, public and organisations across the Island to seek views on if, and what, type of political and governance reforms we want at the heart of our government. If it is more accountability, how best to satisfy your expectations on what you want to see? If it is faster decision-making, what do you want to see streamlined and improved? If it is greater clarity about who is responsible for what amongst the various parts of government, what are your preferences?

Dr Jeremy Sarkin will come to St Helena on 21 September for his first visit to facilitate a debate and gather your ideas on the present Committee-based system. He will not be setting out any specific method of governance. What he will do is explore with us our understanding and appetite for alternative systems, e.g. ministerial, executive councillors, redefine LegCo and ExCo, Chief Islander, restructuring SHG directorates to have clearer political leadership, or just about any other possibility Dr Sarkin can raise from his long experience around the world. It will then be for St Helena to decide if a change in governance arrangement will be for the better, probably via a referendum and an amendment to the Constitution.

Let’s set aside likes and dislikes, nostalgia and doubt. This is an opportunity to decide if we want to move beyond our present structure. To reshape an accountable system of governance. I sincerely hope everyone, media, communities, business organisations, youth groups, student council and all those who attend future public meetings, take part in defining the best option for your future. Anything is do-able if we want it.

An opportunity is being arranged for the public to meet Dr Sarkin on Wednesday, 25 September, at 6pm at the Harford Community Centre. Other meetings are being planned in October. Ideas and suggestions are also welcome in writing and can be sent to the Governor’s Office via email: William.Spooner@fco.gov.uk.

 Governor Dr Philip Rushbrook

18 September 2019

Several statistical updates have been released on 18 September 2019 as follows:

Benefits, up to August 2019

Exchange Rates, up to August 2019

Climate, up to August 2019

Additional statistical series and indicators are available at  http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/statistics-data, and published statistical reports, including Statistical Bulletins, can be found on the statistics reports and publications page of the SHG website: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/statistics-reports-and-publications.

We welcome comments and suggestions on any of the statistics published by the Statistics Office. Please email: statistics@sainthelena.gov.sh, call tel: 22138, or visit the office in person on the first floor of the Castle, Jamestown.

The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) in the United Kingdom is inviting nominations from St Helena for Commonwealth Masters Scholarships tenable from September/October 2020.

Nominations will be for one candidate to be considered by the CSC for a one year Masters Course.

Commonwealth Scholarships are intended to contribute to the development needs of Commonwealth countries by providing training for skilled and qualified professionals and academics and to contribute to UK higher education and foreign policy aims by encouraging collaboration and links.

Intended beneficiaries include academically successful candidates who wish to earn Masters degrees and have the potential to enhance the development of their home countries with the knowledge and leadership skills they acquire.

The CSC aims to identify talented individuals who have the potential to make change and are of the highest academic quality. Scholarships are being offered under six development themes:

  • Science and technology for development
  • Strengthening health systems and capacity
  • Promoting global prosperity
  • Strengthening global peace, security and governance
  • Strengthening resilience and response to crises
  • Access, inclusion and opportunity

The Commission is committed to a policy of equal opportunity and non-discrimination, and encourages applications from a diverse range of candidates. For further information on the support available to candidates with a disability, please see the CSC disability support statement at: http://cscuk.dfid.gov.uk/apply/csc-disability-support-statement.

Further information on the Commonwealth Scholarships can be found on the website: http://cscuk.dfid.gov.uk/apply/applicants or by emailing: caesar.nayoto@sainthelena.gov.sh.

Persons interested in a scholarship should write an initial letter of application that identifies the developmental theme they wish to apply under, the type of study that they wish to pursue, their reason for pursuing it and its relevance to St Helena.  In addition to this, the letter should include their professional aspirations and educational background including previous study undertaken and qualifications earned.  Initial letters of application should be sent to the Scholarships Awards Committee, through the Secretary, Education Learning Centre, or via email to: caesar.nayoto@sainthelena.gov.sh by no later than Tuesday, 22 October 2019.

The Awards Committee is the official nominating body for the Scholarships Award and will decide on a suitable nomination based on the set criteria.

#StHelena #CommonwealthScholarship #ScholarshipCommission

https://www.facebook.com/StHelenaGovt/

https://twitter.com/StHelenaGovt

SHG

17 September 2019

The Emergency Planning Department would like to advise the public that heavy winds are forecast for St Helena on Wednesday, 18, and Thursday, 19 September 2019, with wind speeds of 30 to 40 knots and gusts up to 60 knots.

Wind speeds might differ at different locations around the Island.

These conditions are expected to subside on Friday, 20 September 2019.

All boat owners are advised to ensure their moorings are secured at all times.

SHG

17 September 2019

http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh

St Helena’s water consumption levels on 11 and 13 September were less than 1000 cubic metres – the consumption rate required to sustain a safe level of stored water on the Island.

The Island’s reservoir levels have increased by a very small percentage over the last week, but this is primarily due to the public significantly reducing their consumption rates. The public is commended for their efforts to reduce consumption.

Despite some recent rainfall, the surface water runoff entering the reservoirs remains very low and will not be enough to maintain a safe volume of stored water if consumption rates increase. It is therefore very important that we continue to cut down our water usage to essential use only.

Isolated showers are forecast for the coming days, but this will not be enough to see the desired effects on the reservoir levels. At least two weeks of continuous meaningful rainfall is needed to make a positive difference in reservoir levels.

Connect Saint Helena (CSH) continues to pump water from Chubb’s Spring and Hutt’s Gate to Red Hill to replenish stocks in this area.

Remember, we are currently under an Island-wide hosepipe ban. If you see anyone using water irresponsibly or notice a burst pipe or leak, then please inform CSH immediately.

Please see the following leaflet from CSH on water saving tips: Water Saving Leaflet

 Every drop counts, every action counts – save water now to be safe later.

#StHelena #WaterShortage #EveryDropCounts  

https://twitter.com/StHelenaGovt

https://www.facebook.com/StHelenaGovt/

St Helena Resilience Forum

17 September 2019

 

The UK Government’s global Chevening Scholarship Programme for study in the UK in 2020/2021 is now open for applications until Tuesday, 5 November 2019. 

For the 2020/2021 programme, courses will commence in September 2020. The scholarship offers full financial support and allows candidates to gain access to a wide range of exclusive academic, professional, and cultural experiences.

Past St Helena Chevening Scholar, Tracey Williams, encourages potential future scholars to take advantage of this opportunity. Tracey said:

“The Chevening Scholarship was a life changing opportunity for me. In addition to gaining a formal qualification, the wealth of experience gained from living and studying in the UK has given me countless opportunities. I would certainly recommend this Scholarship to anyone thinking about studying in the UK.”

Further information about the Chevening Scholarship Programme can be found on the Chevening website: www.chevening.org, through which applications should also be submitted.

To apply, candidates must meet certain criteria including:

  • Having completed all components of an undergraduate degree that will enable entry into a postgraduate programme in the UK
  • Having at least two years’ work experience
  • Returning to St Helena for a minimum of two years following the course

Further information and guidance on eligibility can be found at: www.chevening.org/scholarships/who-can-apply/eligibility.

Manager of the Governor’s Office, Kerry Lane, is able to provide advice and support locally. For more information, please call Kerry on 22308 or email her via: Kerry.Lane@fco.gov.uk.

#StHelena #CheveningScholarships #FCO

https://www.facebook.com/StHelenaGovt/

https://twitter.com/StHelenaGovt

SHG

17 September 2019

Executive Council met today, Tuesday 17 September 2019, to discuss one item on the Open Agenda. A number of people sat in the public gallery for this item.

Executive Council sitting as the Planning Authority approves Outline Development Permission with conditions to build a new prison and custody building on the land in Bottom Woods as recommended by the Land Development Control Authority (LDCA)

The proposed Prison development is to provide a new prison centred around 26-single occupancy cells, in a single storey block configured in a cross shape, together with associated rooms to provide: education, rehabilitation, training, medical room, sports, healthcare, worship, kitchen, recycling, storage, visiting, administration works, horticulture and security.

The site will take up 10% of the area in Bottom Woods with the enclosed built development taking up 5.5% or 5.20 acres.

Outline Development Permission approves in principle the proposed development subject to a number of conditions. Following a presentation by the Chief Planning Officer, Executive Council was content to approve Outline Development Permission with the following amendments made to the conditions:

  • Condition 1 – Taking into account the size of the development, the timeframe for Outline Permission to lapse and cease is extended from one year to two years
  • Condition 2E which states that a Conservation Management Plan for the Important Wirebird Area is developed with an appropriate level of funding for a period of at least five years post construction of the development be subject to review at the detailed planning stage to take account of the fact that any funding allocation will be considered during the annual planning and budgeting process.

Members noted that the existing Prison and Police Custody Suite located in Jamestown is not fit for purpose as identified following visits and advice from the FCO Prison Adviser. The current conditions and facilities at the Prison are substandard and the need for a new prison is undeniable and long overdue.

Council was satisfied that the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), which identified what mitigations need to be taken to reduce environmental impact during both the construction and operations process of development, was adequately undertaken and that potential impacts, for both the construction and operations phases, have been properly assessed and should be translated into planning conditions as part of the process for full development permission.

Council was keen to understand if the Chief Planning Officer was absolutely satisfied with the issues raised in the one representation received during the public consultation on the revised EIA on the development application. The Chief Planning Officer advised Members that the representation received did not raise any planning or environmental issues but rather challenged past processes and officer assessment related to the proposed development application and the reports. Members were therefore assured by the Chief Planning Officer that the representation received had been properly dealt with and the application submitted was valid. Further details on the proposed Prison development and background to the project will be provided in a separate press release.

Clarity was asked for on the proposed design and Council was advised that the technical issues raised, including addressing treatment of sewage, will be included in the detailed application for full development permission which will come before ExCo for approval in due course.

 ExCo

17 September 2019