AIRPORT PROJECT ENVIRONMENTAL REPORT 2013-14 RELEASED

Basil Read has published its Annual Environmental Report (AER) 2013-14 on the St Helena Airport Project.  This report provides an overview of the environmental performance of the Airport contractor, over the reporting period 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014.

Performance is monitored against a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), grouped under the following headings:

  • Legal Compliance
  • Environmental Structures
  • Environmental Systems, and
  • Environmental Performance (Social and Biophysical)

Of the 30 KPIs, 17 (57%) indicators have been fully attained. Nine are unachieved, three have been partially met and there is one indicator (hectares rehabilitated) that is not applicable, as planting plans had not been developed at that time.

Overall there has been significant progress since last year, with improved performance against seven indicators, with thirteen remaining positive. However, performance against five indicators had dropped. These include:

  • More than four complaints received on average per month (against a target of three or less) with five of them serious (against a target of nil)
  • Four incidents of drunk driving (against a target of nil incidents of anti-social behaviour and crime)
  • Two level-three incidents relating to biosecurity and rare and endangered species respectively (against targets of no level-three incidents) and
  • The annual number of days that dust limits can be exceeded was breached (during the short period that rock crushing took place on Pipe Ridge).

The AER also presents information relating to the following aspects of the project:

  • Environmental governance structures
  • Progress in building relationships with our stakeholders
  • Overview of studies undertaken during the year, with a report-back on the outcomes of studies described last year
  • Environmental monitoring activities
  • Targets and challenges for the 2014-15 reporting period

The AER is available online at: http://www.sainthelenaaccess.com/news/publications/ as well in hard copy from the Public Library and the Access Office.

Halcrow will present an overview of the AER to interested parties at the Stakeholder Engagement Forum on Thursday 16 April at 7pm at the Canister, Jamestown. 

Further information can be obtained from Robert Kleinjan of Halcrow via email Robert.Kleinjan@ch2m.com or on tel: 24258

SHG

14 April 2015


EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MEETING - 18 DECEMBER 2014

Executive Council met at 2pm on Thursday 18 December to consider one item.  This was the application for full Development Permission for the proposed Solar Farm in Half Tree Hollow.  The Chief Planning Officer and the Planning Officer were in attendance.

Outline Development Permission and transfer of the land from SHG to Connect Saint Helena Ltd had previously been agreed by Executive Council in October 2014.

The application for full Development Permission had been heard by the Land Development & Control Authority (LDCA) on 17 December.  The LDCA had recommended to Executive Council that permission be granted, subject to certain conditions, one being that there is independent confirmation that the Solar Farm would pose no risk to human health through the generation of electro-magnetic fields.

There was also discussion on the plans for the relocation of the rifle range. The CEO of Connect Saint Helena Ltd and the Director of the Environment & Natural Resources Directorate were invited to the meeting to contribute to this discussion. While no final plan has yet been agreed for this relocation, the CEO of Connect confirmed that the company is committed to funding this.

With this reassurance given, Executive Council agreed that full Development Permission be granted for a 0.5 MWe Solar Farm on the current site of the Half Tree Hollow rifle range, subject to the various conditions.

Council also considered and approved an application to waive customs duties on assets donated to the Health Directorate from the World Health Organisation.

On behalf of Legislative Council, Executive Council would like to wish you all a very happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

SHG

24 December 2014


CHRISTMAS MESSAGE FROM ACTING GOVERNOR SEAN BURNS

Acting Governor
Acting Governor

When we found out that we were coming to St Helena, our friends on Tristan assured us of a warm welcome. We were not disappointed. It was astonishing how many people here approached us in the street to welcome us and tell us about friends they had down on Tristan.  It was a great start. Thank you.

Reflecting on the last year or so, it has been a busy time for everyone.  The airport project has continued on track and on budget. We have visited the site three times over the last nine months and never ceased to be amazed at what everyone has achieved there. The Dry Gut fill is an astonishing piece of work.

After much deliberation and discussion, decisions were taken on the Jamestown hotel and Enterprise St Helena, with its refocus on supporting local businesses, both new and existing, has seen a significant increase in the number of loans and grant applications it has received and approved. Economic development is on the way.

In the education sector we saw some of the best results and I was honoured to represent the Governor at the awards ceremony at Prince Andrew School only a few weeks ago, where so many of the students received their well-deserved awards.

We also recognise the work of charities and others in the voluntary sector who do so much to enrich their community – and of our sporting youth who were such fine ambassadors for St Helena at this year’s Commonwealth Games.

2015 promises to be an even busier year as the airport opening fast approaches. We also have work on the Rupert’s Wharf project, hospital refurbishment, the new prison and new fire station to push forward. These projects are all for the benefit and long term wellbeing of the community at large.

Later on in the year we look forward to welcoming visitors and dignitaries to the Island for the bicentenary of Napoleon’s arrival here when an exciting programme of events is being organised.

Work continues on providing a sea freight service to St Helena and Ascension after the RMS, as does the contract to provide an air service to the Island.  We should be able to say more about these in the next few weeks. There is still a considerable amount of work to do as we prepare for airport certification and there are many across SHG and elsewhere engaged in this work.  We look forward to seeing test flights in July!

But there have also been problems to address this year, not least around safeguarding those most vulnerable in our society. We have taken steps to increase capacity in this area and with the help of our partners in London, and have secured additional staff and other resources to improve and embed the way we approach these difficult issues. The creation of a new Safeguarding Directorate is a really positive move as is the opening of Ebony View, which will replace the CBU in February. As you know, the Foreign Secretary has commissioned an Inquiry into the way we manage these issues. The team arrives in March and will be here for just over two weeks. We welcome this and look forward to delivering those recommendations that come from the Inquiry. We have a real opportunity here to make a big and lasting difference.

So as you can see, we have many challenges ahead, but as we all pull together I am confident we can achieve a great deal over the next twelve months.

Christmas is also a time when we remember those who have lost close friends and family and think of those who are unwell or lonely at this time.  Our thoughts and prayers go to you all.

The Governor is looking forward to returning to the Island on 3 January, just in time to welcome the arrival of the yachts taking part in the Governor’s Cup, the first big event of the year.  Both he and Mrs Capes send their best wishes for the Christmas period and wish you all a peaceful and happy time over the festive season.

Marina and I join them in this and wish you all a Happy Christmas and New Year.

Acting Governor

Sean Burns

23 December 2014


UTILITIES REGULATORY AUTHORITY REPORT ON CONNECT

The St Helena Utilities Regulatory Authority has today published its first ‘Report on the Quality of Services Provided by Connect Saint Helena Limited, 2013/14’. 

 

On 1 April 2013 the Utility Services Ordinance 2013 came into force.  The Ordinance established the Utilities Regulatory Authority and created a legal framework to facilitate the provision of licenses for private sector utility services. 

 

The members of the Authority are the Chief Magistrate (as Chairman), Mr Stedson Francis (BEM) and Mr Paul Hickling.  The Judicial Services Manager is the Secretary to the Authority, to whom any communication should be made.  

 

The main purpose of this report is to inform the public on the level of services being delivered by Connect, and to make Connect aware that such services are being monitored, scrutinised and will be publicly reported upon by the Authority. It is concerned with motivating the sole utilities provider to improve the quality of the services it provides. 

 

This annual report relates to the period from 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2014, and is available on the SHG website at: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/

 

SHG

22 December 2014


CHRISTEN YON DEPARTS FOR 7-MONTH UK COURSE

As a result of partnership between the National Trust, Enterprise St Helena (ESH) and the Education Directorate, Christen Yon will be leaving the Island on Monday 22 December 2014, to undertake a seven-month training course at West Dean College, near Chichester in the UK – where he will study many aspects of furniture restoration and preservation.

This bespoke course, designed to suit Christen’s needs, will see him receive the excellent specialist training available at West Dean College.  Christen is currently working at the Longwood workshops, where he is deeply involved in the restoration and repair of many Napoleonic pieces of furniture.  Christen said:

“I am delighted to have been given this unique opportunity and I’m really looking forward to the training.”

Colin Moore, Director of Education, added:

“I am delighted that West Dean College has been able to offer Christen a place for his studies.  I’m confident that this will be of benefit not only to Christen but to the Island as a whole.  I wish him well with his studies. 

“We would also like to thank Michel Martineau, the French Consul, for providing an Apprenticeship for Christen over the past year.”

David Goodrick of ESH commented:

“This is the final piece in an extensive Apprenticeship that Christen has undertaken. It will not only provide him with the skills to look after the Island’s antiquities, but will also enable him to teach the next generation of furniture restorers – thus safeguarding these items for the future. I wish him well on this venture.”

Jeremy Harris, Director of the National Trust, said:

“There is so much beauty and history in the hundreds of pieces of antique furniture on St Helena.  I’m thrilled at this opportunity for Christen to continue developing, as he is so keen to do, his considerable skills, so he can preserve this invaluable part of the Island’s heritage. I hope that, when he returns, we can build on his experience to bring others into this vital area of work.”

SHG

16 December 2014

 

 

 


REMAINS FOUND IN RUPERT'S

A report to SHG from Basil Read (via the Project Management Unit) indicates that in the course of roadworks in Rupert’s Valley, carried out on Friday 12 December 2014, some human remains were uncovered.  All evidence points to these being further Liberated African remains.

Whereas earlier finds under the Airport Project have been of scatter material (fragments left from earlier excavations), this find appears to be part of a previously undisturbed grave.  It also appears to confirm earlier assessments by Dr Andy Pearson of Bristol University, that further Liberated African graves might be located in Rupert’s Valley.  Works on the Access Road have specifically avoided areas of known graves, whilst recognising the risk of further remains being uncovered.

The Archaeology Protocol under the Airport Project specifically recognises this risk and sets out measures to be implemented should there be such a find.  This Protocol was immediately and effectively implemented, and all works have ceased in the area, which is now closed pending full mitigation measures.

SHG

16 December 2014


NATIONAL PESTICIDE POLICY APPROVED

On 4 December 2014, the Economic Development Committee formally approved the Pesticide Policy for St Helena, developed by ANRD and the Public Health Section – following extensive stakeholder consultation.

The purpose of the policy is to provide the basis for promoting effective and sustainable pest, weed and disease management on St Helena, through improved pesticides management. It expresses the intention to actively consider a range of methods, including the introduction of new biological control agents and a comprehensive range of modern pesticides to target key problem species. The Integrated Pest Management (IPM) framework adopts a broad approach to pest management based on prevention through the integration of cultural, biological and chemical control methods.

Our national IPM Vision for St Helena Island is:

“An effective IPM approach, based on good stewardship and holistic land use practices, to minimise the effects of invasive species and pesticide use on native plants, animals, and food supplies – ensuring St Helena’s people and environment (land, sea and sky) ‘grow healthy’.

The term ‘grow healthy’ is considered to embrace the concepts of sustainability,  self-sufficiency, livelihoods, worker safety, responsibility, consumer safety, resilience and a healthy future.  This policy will be guided by the principles of safety, community, choice and sustainability.

And there are six strategic objectives:

  • Access to a choice of control methods
  • Adoption of local solutions
  • Legislation and regulation
  • Creation of an approved list of pesticides
  • Public awareness and support, and
  • Improved capacity

An implementation plan is also in place for priority actions to be delivered by responsible agencies.

Pest Control & Biosecurity Officer, Dr Jill Key, said of the implementation of the policy:

“This policy shows the way forward.  It’s about having choices in how we control pests, and also about using pesticides safely. Safe not only for the people spraying pesticides, but also looking after the environment, protecting consumers of local produce and ensuring the quality of our valuable water supplies.

“This way we protect our future”.

The policy document can be found on the SHG website at http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/integrated-pest-management/ or alternatively call the Pest Control & Biosecurity Service at ANRD on telephone 24724 for a hard copy.

SHG

16 December 2014

 


 SHIPPING - POST-RMS FREIGHT SERVICES UPDATE

The public will be aware of recent visits from potential Ocean Freight Services providers Seafast, Hartman Project Lines (HPL) and Meihuizen Atlantic Islands Services (MAIS) between October and November this year.  This came on the back of being pre-qualified along with a number of other potential service providers as a result of the Expressions of Interest process, issued in June 2014.

Following short-listing there were face to face meetings with those potential service providers during August in London, to get a better understanding of their proposals and also give them an opportunity to understand clearly the needs of the Island.

Since those face to face meetings the short-listed companies were encouraged to do as much market research as necessary to prepare detailed tender documents.  As a result we had visits from three potential providers as mentioned above, and a significant number of requests for additional information from all companies.

Earlier this week, SHG issued the Invitation to Tender (ITT) for the Ocean Freight Services to St Helena to those companies who were short-listed.

This is in line with the timetable set for signing a contract in mid-2015.  Tenders will close at the end of January 2015, with a further Best and Final Offer stage built into the programme for getting the best possible service for the Island.  A period of contract negotiations will conclude the process with the signing of a contract scheduled for around June 2015 – giving the service provider a year to mobilise in readiness to commence the new shipping service around June 2016.

In terms of Ascension Island, it is envisaged that a service will be provided to Ascension as an add-on to the proposed St Helena service.  This will be discussed during the contract negotiations in 2015, and would be on the same commercial terms as the St Helena service.

SHG Shipping Officer, Dax Richards, commented:

“The issuing of the ITT is a huge step for St Helena in securing a reliable and affordable service to the Island.  There is still much work to be done to resolve freight services post air service, but we hope this step provides public assurance that we are on track to have an Ocean Freight service in place when the RMS is withdrawn from service.”

SHG

10 December 2014


ST HELENA SUPREME COURT CONCLUDES

At the conclusion of the current sitting of the St Helena Supreme Court on Monday (8 December 2014), St Helena Government and the St Helena Police Service welcomed the sentences handed down by the Chief Justice, and hope this sends a clear message to the community.

Lead Police Officer for Safeguarding and the CID, Pam Trevillion, said:

“I would like to reassure victims that if you come forward and trust us, we will listen to you.  St Helena Police will conduct a thorough investigation wherever possible and will work closely with the Attorney General’s Chambers, to bring offenders before the Courts.

“It is vital for the community of St Helena that victims have a voice and that offenders are brought to justice.  Safeguarding in our community is a responsibility for everyone – mine and yours alike.  I urge victims and witnesses to speak to us and not to stay silent.”

Police Service

SHG

10 December 2014

 


EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MEETING – TUESDAY 9 DECEMBER 2014

Executive Council met today, Tuesday 9 December.  As the agenda items related to commercial activities of local businesses, they were discussed in closed session.

While details of the meeting must be kept confidential, there was a more general discussion on supporting investors through Investment Tax Credit.

Investment Tax Credit is an incentive available to people who import depreciable assets or materials for the construction of a new depreciable asset. It is designed to provide financial support to those looking to invest in their business and is currently set at 15% of the cost of acquiring and importing an asset. The resulting credit can be used against any tax due on the person’s business or property income. For example, if it costs a business £100,000 to purchase and import an asset, then it can claim an Investment Tax Credit of £15,000 against its tax assessment.

Executive Council discussed ways of making Investment Tax Credit more attractive to businesses and will keep this Policy under close review.

SHG

9 December 2014


FORMAL LEGCO - THURSDAY 11 DECEMBER

Legislative Council will meet formally on Thursday 11 December 2014, at 10am in the Court House, Jamestown.  This meeting is expected to last for two days.

24 papers will be presented, including:

  • St Helena Public Accounts Committee – Report to Legislative Council on the Formal Session of the Public Accounts Committee held on 7 October 2014
  • Saint Helena Audit Service – St Helena Fisheries Corporation Financial Statements for the Year Ended 31 March 2014
  • Eliza Mary Lloyd Trust (Amendment) Bill, 2014
  • Aviation Bill, 2014
  • Coroners and Presumption of Death Bill, 2014;
  • Government of St Helena – Police Service (Amendment) Bill, 2014
  • The Minerals Vesting (Amendment) Bill, 2014

During the meeting there will also be fifteen questions and thirteen motions.

The meeting will conclude with the customary Adjournment Debate, when Councillors will have the opportunity to raise various issues relating to St Helena.

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

SHG

9 December 2014  


ISLAND-WIDE MAJOR INCIDENT EXCERCISE - REMINDER

The public are reminded that a Major Incident Exercise is planned for the morning of Wednesday 17 December 2014.

During this time the Emergency Services and other responding agencies will be practising their response to a simulated major incident occurring on St Helena.  This is an essential exercise, not only for preparing for Airport Certification but also to prepare the Island for dealing with any major incident that may occur in the future.   It will be carried out within one of the Island communities.

Safety Marshalls will be deployed at the incident scene, and the public are asked to comply with any instructions given – for both their own safety and the safety of all persons taking part in the exercise.

The Police Directorate thanks everyone in advance for their co-operation and apologises for any inconvenience caused.

More information is available from Alistair Smith on telephone: 22721, or on the day from Exercise Control on 23690 (from 8.30am until 11am on Wednesday 17 December 2014).

SHG

9 December 2014


CUSTOMS OPENING HOURS

HM Customs wishes to inform merchants and the public of the following opening hours for the month of December 2014HM Customs will open to the public and merchants for cargo and freight collection on:

  • Wednesday 10 December, from 11am – 5.30pm
  • Thursday 11 December, from 9am – 5.30pm
  • Friday 12 December, from 9am – 5.30pm 
  • Tuesday 16 December, from approximately 11am – 5.30pm.  Some delays   in collection from containers on the upper Wharf can be expected, due to the collection of passenger baggage.
  • Wednesday 17 December, from 9am – 5.30pm
  • Thursday 18 December, from 9am – 5.30pm
  • Friday 19 December, from 9am – 5.30pm
  • Thursday 23 December, from 9am – 5.30pm
  • Monday 22 December, from 11am – 3.30pm.  Some delays in collection from containers on the upper Wharf can be expected, due to the collection of passenger baggage.

Collection of goods on Wednesday 17 December could potentially be delayed as a result of the major incident exercise.

HM Customs will reopen for business in the New Year on Friday 2 January 2015 from 9am – 3.30pm.

SHG

8 December 2014

 

 


DISTRICT & COMMUNITY ROADS

Funding for District and Community roads was made available last financial year (2013/14) and this current year (2014/15), and the Environment and Natural Resources Committee (ENRC) was keen to see this funding used to address a list of applicants who meet the criteria.  Applications were received for funding, and 15 applications from around the Island have now been awarded grants ranging from £500 to £2500.

Community Roads are defined as those that serve a minimum of three households and funding up to a maximum of £2500 is available.

A District Road is defined as one serving six or more occupied properties (and may have previously received funding as a Community Road).  The priority here is based on the number of existing dwellings served, plus the community facilities directly accessed by the road.

Successful applicants have now been informed by letter and work is to be completed by the end of March 2015.

The Chairman of the ENRC, Councillor Wilson Duncan, commented:

“It will take hard work from the various communities to improve their roads, and we are pleased to be able to offer some financial support.”

Should further funding become available next year, then a fresh call for bids will be made via an open application process.  The public will be advised on how to apply nearer the time.

SHG

8 December 2014


ANRD Newcastle Disease Vaccination Programme

ANRD Newcastle Disease Vaccination Programme


QUARTERLY STATISTICAL NEWS BULLETIN

December 2014

The Quarterly Statistical News Bulletin for December 2014, covers the period July to September, and contains updates for the annual rate of Inflation of the Retail Price Index, Income, Imports, Estimated Population and Arrivals to St Helena. The bulletin is available on the SHG website at:  www.sainthelena.gov.sh/statistics

Annual inflation of the St Helena Retail Price Index (RPI) stood at 2.4 per cent in Quarter 3 2014 – an increase of 0.5 per cent from the previous quarter. The major upwards pressures are an increase in electricity tariffs and also the price of purchasing and importing a vehicle to St Helena.

In the third calendar Quarter of 2014, the number of people on Island averaged 4,442 and the average St Helenian population was 4,029. Compared to the same period in 2013 this represents a 5 per cent increase in total population.

Passenger arrivals to St Helena in the first half of financial year 2014/15 are essentially unchanged from the previous year. An increase in RMS passengers has balanced a decrease in the number of overnight visitors from yachts and other vessels.  There has been a 30 per cent, 168 bed-night, increase in the number of excursion visitors staying on-Island during the eight-night turn around of the RMS to Ascension Island. A 25 per cent, 230 person increase, in the number of day-visitors from cruise ships is also noted during the same period.

This Quarter, the Statistical Bulletin contains an article from the Government Economist, Ian Smyth, giving his view on some relevant economic issues from the UK and South Africa which may have an effect on the St Helena economy.

Ian said:

St Helena has always been affected by global economic conditions, particularly those in the UK and South Africa. While nobody can predict the future with complete confidence, being aware of how external influences can impact the St Helena economy is more important than ever.  This helps both Government and the private sector to prepare to take full advantage of the major economic opportunities that are approaching.”

If you have requested a copy of this bulletin via email and have not yet received it, please contact the Statistics Office on 22138, or e-mail statistics@sainthelena.gov.sh

SHG

5 December 2014


CHANGING ROOM AT POOL MADE ACCESSIBLE FOR DISABLED

Accessibility 1
Accessibility 1

On the UN International Day of Disabled Persons (Wednesday 3 November 2014) – a day aimed at promoting an understanding of disability issues, support, rights and wellbeing – an Accessible Changing Room at the Swimming Pool was opened in Jamestown. Council members, pool staff and members of the public attended a short ceremony hosted by Councillor Ian Rummery (Chairperson of St Helena’s Disabled Persons Aid Society).

Ian commented:

The Disabled Persons Aid Society exists to support individuals with small grants to purchase equipment or services, as well as campaigning to improve accessibility on the Island for people with a disability. Several years ago, the Society conducted an exercise where members tried to access buildings in Jamestown in a wheelchair.  This taught us a lesson on how small things can cause big problems.

“Since then, the society has been working with SHG, contractors and other agencies to improve accessibility around St Helena. It is inevitably a gradual process, but today we celebrate a solid achievement.”

Ian ended by thanking everyone who helped in building and financing this facility, and praised the partnership and teamwork.  Councillor Les Baldwin said a few words, followed by the opening of the facility by Kristian Johns (pictured with Ian Rummery).

Accessibility 2
Accessibility 2

Three pictures accompany this release.

SHG

5 November 2014

Accessibility 3
Accessibility 3

STAMP COMPETITION WINNERS

All Primary Schools on St Helena have taken part in a Design a Stamp competition as part of their creative curriculum.  This involved designing a stamp to represent the Island of St Helena.

Primary Advisor Zoe Robinson commented:

“The standard of entries was very high and it was an extremely hard task for the judges to decide on the three top designs from each school – and then name an overall winner.”

Entries included stamps with images of the Wirebird, the RMS St Helena, the Heart-shaped Waterfall, Rupert’s, Prosperous Bay Plain and other scenic areas of the Island.

The following winners in each primary school have been presented with prizes and are warmly congratulated:

Harford Primary School:    1st place: Kaylin Knipe

2nd place: Ashley Hannah

3rd place: Erik Robbertse

 

                                                Highly Commended: Ava Thomas

Ona Mafoko

Gulliver Kilenjan

 

 

Pilling Primary School:     1st place:  Rhiann Young-Benjamin

2nd place: Eureeze Peters-Stevens

3rd place: Christopher Midwinter

 

                                             Highly Commended: Leeanna Johnson

Blaze Bennett

Aleishia Simon

 

 

St Paul’s Primary School:   1st place: Jordan Reynolds

2nd place: Joey Crowie

3rd place: Tayler Duncan

 

                                            Highly Commended:  Masharne Crowley

                                                                                  Theo Joshua

Lewis Caesar-Henry

 

 

Overall Winner:    Rhiann Young-Benjamin 

 

Thanks are extended to the St Helena Post Office for its very generous donation of Official First Day Cover Airport Stamps which were awarded to the prize winners.

 

 

Pilling Primary
Pilling Primary

 

 

Harford Primary
Harford Primary

 

St Pauls Primary
St Pauls Primary

 

 

 

 

SHG

5 November 2014

 


2014 PET AND LIVESTOCK RETURNS

Census 1
Census 1

A regular census is taken on Island to determine animal numbers.  Previously the census was carried out every three years, but will now be conducted every two years.

All persons on Island owning or caring for cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, donkeys, poultry, bees, dogs and cats –  must (by law) fill in an animal return form. 

In the first half of this month (December 2014), enumerators will deliver forms to every household that requires one.  The form should be completed in respect of animals owned or kept on Sunday 14 December.  Forms should be ready for collection by Sunday 21 December 2014. Failure to provide a return could result in a fine on conviction of up to £100 for every day the form is overdue.

Senior Veterinarian, Joe Hollins said:

“The three yearly census of animals on the Island is now being conducted every two years to give SHG a better, more current picture of animal ownership and production.

“These figures are vital in helping SHG develop and assess its policies towards livestock and domestic pets. The numbers provide vital feedback on strategies such as pet neutering and projects to increase agricultural production – all for the betterment of the community as a whole.

“We thank you in advance for your cooperation, without which the statistics would be of little use.”

Each form is numbered and a draw will be held for all completed forms, with a first prize of £50 and a second prize of £25.

Census 2
Census 2

For further information on the animal census, please call the Livestock Section at ANRD on telephone number 24724.

Two pictures are attached to this release.

SHG

2 December 2014

 

 


ROAD FROM NEW BRIDGE TO BRIARS NOW OPEN  

The road from New Bridge to the Briars junction was opened on Monday 1 December 2014, as planned. The road has been fully resurfaced, and has also benefited from a new drain system and retaining walls.

The Roads team is continuing to work at the site, completing minor masonry works, so please drive with caution.

The Roads Section recognises that this road closure has caused inconvenience for many members of the public, but trust that those affected understand that this closure was essential to make important improvements.

Any further enquiries regarding these works can be made by telephoning 23640 between 8.30am – 4pm.

SHG

2 December 2014


  BILLS TO BE TAKEN TO FORMAL LEGCO

A formal meeting of Legislative Council will take place on Thursday 11 December 2014.  The following Bills for Ordinances will be presented in the House:

 

  • Minerals Vesting  (Amendment)
  • Supplementary Appropriation Bill

 

All Bills may be viewed at: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/committee-reports/

SHG

1 December 2014

 


NEW SAFEGUARDING DIRECTORATE TO LAUNCH & CBU RENAMED  

Ebony View 2
Ebony View 2

As previously announced, a new Safeguarding Directorate will be created in SHG from Monday 1 December 2014,  the purpose of which is to – Protect and Safeguard Vulnerable Children, Young People and Adults at Risk or Suffering From Abuse.

Social Services staff, including those based at Barn View, the current Challenging Behaviour Unit site (CBU) and the Family Centre, will form part of the new Safeguarding Directorate from 1 December – with the CCC and Older Persons Services transferring to the new Directorate by the end of March 2015.

The current Health & Social Services Directorate has a wide range of statutory and specialist functions that directly impact on the lives of people on St Helena. In creating the new Safeguarding Directorate, and although Health and Social Services are intrinsically linked, SHG was conscious that it is uncommon for these functions to sit under the same part of an organisation – principally as they are such large functions individually.  To ensure that the right support, leadership and service delivery are obtained from both services, the new Safeguarding Directorate will focus purely on Social Services and Safeguarding, allowing the Health functions to be managed separately.

The residents of the CBU were asked what they would like to call their new facility currently being finalised at Half Tree Hollow.  They chose Ebony View as the name.  This name will be formally adopted on completion of the new buildings early in 2015.  Final finishing touches are now being made to the buildings.

Ebony View 1
Ebony View 1

Helen Standen, Change Manager, said:

“The residents are really looking forward to moving into the purpose built and fully equipped apartments in Half Tree Hollow and we are delighted that the name ‘Ebony View’ has come from the residents themselves.”

Councillor Les Baldwin said:

“I am very pleased to welcome these new developments within the Safeguarding Directorate and look forward to delivering improved quality of life and increased standards of care for all our vulnerable people.”

Works are progressing well in completing the conversion of the former Half Tree Hollow School building into 4 units for the residents currently based at Sundale House. Each apartment will have its own kitchen, living room and two en-suite bedrooms – to support independent living in a safe environment. Work is expected to be completed in February 2015, ready for the residents to move into their new homes.

Two pictures are attached to this release.

SHG

28 November 2014

 


CORPORATE SUPPORT THANKS POPPY APPEAL DONATORS

Corporate Support staff would like to extend sincere thanks to everyone who supported this year’s fundraising in aid of the 2014 Poppy Appeal Fund and to all who attended the Remembrance Service on Sunday 9 November 2014.

Special thanks are extended to Mr Mike Durnford and his team of volunteers, consisting of Girl Guides, Scouts, Cubs, Salvationists, Fire Service personnel, and Councillors whose efforts helped to increase funds for the Poppy Appeal and allowed Remembrance Sunday to be properly and respectfully observed.

Grateful thanks are extended to everyone here on Island who made generous contributions to the Fund, including Pilling Primary School (pictured) who contributed funds collected on their Night to Remember Service.  The RMS St Helena Charity, an anonymous donation, Sure South Atlantic Ltd and the RMS herself also gave generously.

Thanks also go to Connect St Helena Ltd, SAMS, Donny Stevens, Saint FM, Printech and all local retail outlets and bars who continue every year to support the Poppy Appeal.

A total sum of £2,435.50 was raised this year and will be sent on behalf of St Helena Island to The Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal in the UK.

SHG

28 November 2014

 


WHARF USAGE - REMINDER

The public is reminded that no unathorised vehicles can be parked on the Wharf after working hours (ie from 4pm to 8.30am Monday to Friday).  Similarly at weekends, the Wharf will be closed from 4pm Friday afternoon through to Monday morning at 8.30pm.  Members of the public can seek authorisation from Port Management, for example to drop off or pick up goods or equipment.

The lower end of the Wharf, indentified by a yellow hatched area, is a no parking zone at all times.

There is no restriction on pedestrian access, except for ship visits or break bulk cargo operations.

There have been incidents when vehicles have been parked on the lower Wharf from Thompsons Crane to Solomon’s Cargo Shed – this area must be kept clear at all times in the case of an emergency.

These parking restrictions ensure that in the event of an emergency, the Wharf can be accessed quickly by emergency services, including deployment of the sea rescue boat when necessary.

SHG

27 November 2014


NEW ATTORNEY GENERAL SWORN IN

Attorney General 1
Attorney General 1

On Wednesday afternoon, 26 November 2014, Nicola Moore was sworn in as Attorney General for St Helena, taking the required Oaths necessary to serve on Executive and Legislative Councils, in the presence of Acting Governor Sean Burns.  Two pictures are attached.

Nicola said of her appointment:

“It is a privilege and honour to be taking up this appointment and I look forward to serving the people of St Helena, Tristan Da Cunha and Ascension Island.”

SHG

26 November 2014

Attorney General 2
Attorney General 2

 


EXCO REPORT – TUESDAY 25 NOVEMBER

 Executive Council met today, Tuesday 25 November 2014, to consider three items on the open agenda.

The first item was the Civil Aviation (Investigation of Air Accidents and Incidents) Regulations. These Regulations relate to the Civil Aviation Act Overseas Territories Order 2011 which is a UK Statutory Instrument.  The Regulations will allow us to comply with international requirements for the investigation of air accidents and incidents.

Executive Council approved the Regulations in order to meet accreditation requirements for St Helena Airport.  Further publicity will follow on this and other Regulations relating to the Airport.

The second item was the Minerals Vesting Bill.  This Bill extends the mineral area in, on or under the ocean surrounding St Helena from 12 to 200 miles.  As this protects the future economic development of the Island, Executive Council agreed for this Bill to be presented as Government Business at the next Formal Legislative Council on Thursday 11 December.

The third item was the Aerodrome Charges Regulations 2014.  These Regulations relate to the Air Navigation (Overseas Territories) Order 2013, another UK Statutory Instrument.  Charges will be levied on Airport users, including for landing, navigation and passenger services – to contribute to the operational costs of the Airport.

Executive Council approved the Regulations.

As this was Acting Attorney General Morag Stevenson’s last Executive Council meeting, she was thanked for her valuable contribution.  The new Attorney General, Nicola Moore, will take office on Thursday 27 November and Executive Council looks forward to working with her.

The meeting ended at 10.15am.  Thank you for listening.

SHG

25 November 2014

 


COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY CONFERENCE –

CONCLUDING STATEMENT

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference Concluding Statement presents the main issues and responses from delegates at the recent 60th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference, 34th Small Branches Conference and Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians session – which concluded in early October in Cameroon.

The Conference Concluding Statement is available at: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/

SHG

21 November 2014

 


ANDREW WEIR GROUP ANNOUNCES SALE OF SHIPPING LINE

The owners of the Andrew Weir Group (AWG) recently embarked on a financial restructuring exercise to enable a debt owed to the Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund (MNOPF) to be cleared and to move forward on other core non-marine activities.

To achieve this, AWG has announced that Andrew Weir Shipping Ltd (AWSL) has gone into voluntary administration (on Thurs 20 November 2014) and its assets sold to a new company, AW Ship Management Ltd, a joint venture company 50% owned by London based Hadley Shipping (RoRo) Ltd, (whose parent company is Hadley Shipping Ltd) – and 50% owned by a management buyout by existing members of the AWSL management team.

To ensure the continuity of the shipping service to St Helena, the St Helena Shipping Service Agreement terms, conditions and obligations will be transferred from AWSL to AW Ship Management Ltd under a novation agreement. AW Ship Management Ltd will be responsible for implementing all matters relating to the operation of the RMS St Helena on behalf of St Helena Line Ltd (SHL). All other AWSL contracts will transfer to AW Ship Management Ltd and all AWSL staff will also transfer to the new company.

RMS St Helena crew employment contracts which are currently with Bibby Ltd (Cayman Islands) will remain in force, with no change to current terms and conditions. Also, shore support arrangements on St Helena, Ascension and Cape Town will remain unchanged. Passengers and freight shippers will also see no change to booking arrangements and will continue to deal with the same staff.

St Helena Line is confident that the new company will maintain the current level of support for the RMS, SHG and all SHL shipping activities, and envisages that the change of ownership will be seamless in respect of passengers, shippers and staff – with all key contacts and operating personnel continuing their current roles.

For further information please contact SHG Press Office on tel: 22470.

SHG

21 November 2014


GIS Day On St Helena

‘Geographical Information Systems’ (GIS) Day showcases the increasing importance of GIS in our everyday lives.GIS Data

On Wednesday 19 November 2014, the GIS team – GIS Manager Murray Henry, GIS Surveyor, Simon Bennett, GIS Topographical Surveyor, Cliff Richards, and GIS Surveyor Assistants Ron Knipe and Devlin Yon, held an open day at Essex House from 10am to 3pm – giving the public an opportunity to view displays and see the technology behind GIS.

Databases were shown on PCs portraying the mapping analysis of historical and agricultural buildings and electricity and water lines, which helps businesses in forming decisions and for project management. One example of an island business using GIS data is Pro-Arc.

GIS Diaplays GIS Surveyor Assistant Devlin Yon commented on the day:

 “Overall the day went well. We had on display surveying equipment that we use to do land registry and topographic surveying, and also GIS maps showing people information and data we collect and enter onto our systems in the office.”

Team members have also been visiting schools through the week, delivering presentations to inform students about the significance of Geographical Information Systems, and its relevance on St Helena.

GIS allows for the storing and analysis of geographical features in digital format. It is beneficial to St Helena as it allows users to overlay various features/information to assist in answering questions and solving problems such as finding out the best place for a development by assessing access routes, utilities and terrain etc.

Two photos are attached.

SHG 

21 November 2014

 

 


COUNCILLOR LAWSON HENRY TO ATTEND JOINT MINISTERIAL COUNCIL

Councillor Lawson Henry will represent St Helena at the annual Joint Ministerial Council (JMC) to be held in London between 1- 4 December along with Governor Capes and SHG UK Representative, Kedell Worboys MBE.  This is the second time that Councillor Henry has attended the JMC, having last attended in November 2013.

Councillor Henry remarked on his previous experience:

“From attending the 2013 Joint Ministerial Council I took away shared values and experiences of other territories and the common challenges we face. Nominating me again to attend JMC provides continuity and gives me more confidence to build these relationships and share knowledge. ”

The attendance by Councillors at international conferences allows opportunities to meet colleagues and Ministers, to raise issues directly about the Island, highlight common issues and find better ways to work together.

Councillor Henry will be able to discuss matters relating to security, immigration, health and the environment and to highlight the challenges St Helena faces.  It is also proposed to hold a workshop led by the Department of Energy & Climate Change, on the financing of renewable energy investments.

Councillor Henry added:

“There are also specific issues which I will raise.  For example doctors in the UK have to be re-validated to keep their General Medical Council registration and the GMC does not recognise time spent on St Helena for this process.  Some doctors registered in the UK are therefore reluctant to come to St Helena.  I will follow up on ongoing discussions with a view to changing this requirement so that all time spent on St Helena (and indeed other overseas territories), is recognised by the GMC for registration purposes”

Councillor Henry will depart the Island on Thursday 20 November 2014.

SHG

19 November 2014


SUPREME COURT IN SESSION

Chief Justice Arrives to Open Supreme Court
Chief Justice Arrives to Open Supreme Court

The formal opening of the St Helena Supreme Court took place yesterday, Tuesday 18 November, at 2pm.  Various Civil and Criminal cases will be heard by the Supreme Court until Wednesday 10 December 2014.

His Lordship, the Chief Justice, Charles Ekins Esq, entered the Courthouse accompanied by the Acting Sheriff of St Helena, Mr Harry Legg OBE JP, plus the Bishop of St Helena, Dr Richard Fenwick and Chief Magistrate, John MacRitchie.  Lawyers, JPs, officials, the media and members of the public were also in attendance, including the Acting Governor, Chief Secretary and Acting Attorney General.

Acting Attorney General, Morag Stevenson, welcomed the Chief Justice and acknowledged new colleagues who have joined the Attorney General’s Chambers and the Public Solicitor’s Office since the Chief Justice’s last visit.  Introductions were also made to new Lay Advocates, Jeffrey Dawson and Tony Green. The new Attorney General designate, Nicola Moore, was also mentioned, who will arrive on St Helena on Tuesday 25 November 2014.

The Chief Justice said that it was a pleasure to return to St Helena and see familiar faces.  His Lordship also reflected on those who are no longer with us, mentioning the late Bill Drabble’s passing, who served with distinction as a Lay Advocate for many years.  The Chief Justice also praised the new additions to the Lay Advocacy service on Island and remarked on Mr Eric Benjamin’s work ethic, despite recovering from his recent illness.

A photo is attached of the Chief Justice arriving at Court yesterday.

SHG

19 November 2014

 

 


PUBLIC VEHICLES DRIVING ON AIRPORT ACCESS ROAD RAISES SERIOUS CONCERNS

In recent weeks, there has been a considerable increase in the unauthorised use of the Airport Access Road, leading to concerns about the safety of the public and protection of the environment.

The Airport Access Road forms part of the Airport Project construction area and construction signs clearly demarcate those sections of the road where access is restricted.  Any unauthorised access, which may result in an incident, accident and/or damage to the environment, will be reported to the police and persons dealt with appropriately.

The Airport Project Team has noticed public vehicles, including motorcycles and 4x4s, accessing various parts of the road from Pipe Ridge to Tungi Flats and this leads to a heightened risk of accidents occurring.

This road can be very unsafe as there are continuous heavy plant movements, even on weekends.  Grading and aligning is taking place and excavations are not protected to the same standard as they would be on a public road.

Furthermore, any off-road driving adjacent to the construction areas could cause damage to sensitive environmental sites or unique heritage features.

St Helena Government and Basil Read would like to remind everyone that these areas remain closed in the interest of public safety.

SHG

19 November 2014


SHG UK REPRESENTATIVE’S OFFICE - NEW CONTACT DETAILS

The public is advised that the SHG UK Representative, Mrs Kedell Worboys MBE and her team will be moving office on Thursday 20 November 2014.

The current office will close operations from midday on Wednesday 19 November 2014, during which time it will be not be possible to contact the office by email or landline. The SHG UK Representative will be available on mobile and will respond to any urgent messages received.

The office will resume its normal functions from Friday 21 November 2014.

The contact details for the new office are:

Telephone:  0203 8187610

Address:

The St Helena Government UK Office

Alliance House

12 Caxton Street

London

SW1H 0QS


GIS DAY 2014

Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Day is a worldwide event held every year in more than 80 countries across the world. Celebrated for over a decade on the third Wednesday during Geography Awareness Week, GIS Day allows communities to participate in local events such as workshops, school assemblies, geography spelling bees and community expos.

St Helena has been celebrating GIS Day for seven years promoting geographic knowledge on the Island. However this year, unlike previous years, there is no set theme for the actual day.

GIS Manager, Murray Henry, explains:

“Like every other year our key goal on GIS Day is to promote GIS awareness and demonstrate how GIS can be used to answer questions about St Helena’s geography. To celebrate this occasion we will be having an open house gallery from 10am to 3pm in the GIS Office, Essex House, inviting the public to come and view displays and to learn what GIS is all about.”

The GIS team will also be visiting schools throughout the week to talk about GIS, ensuring children and students are aware of what GIS stands for and how this technology can be used.

In addition to the day there will be a chance to have a go at ‘Geocaching’, a global GPS treasure hunt enjoyed by over 6 million people worldwide. Find one of St Helena’s geocaches –  just one of over 2.5 million that are hidden worldwide.

If you would like to participate in the hunt join the GIS team on Wednesday 19 November at the bus stop near The Briars and Constitution Hill junction at 4.30pm. It will be a short walk but the GIS team would like to advise those wanting to participate to wear sensible shoes and also bring water. A GPS enabled device would also be handy, but a few will be provided.

If you have any queries and would like to find out further information about this event and GIS Day, please contact Samantha Cherrett on 23876 or Murray Henry on 22270.

For more information about geocaching visit www.geocaching.com

GIS is a computer-based system that allows to you store geographical features of your surrounding in a digital format.  GIS is beneficial to St Helena as it allows users to overlay various features/information to assist in answering questions and solving problems such as finding out the best place for a development by assessing access routes, utilities and slope of terrain.

SHG

18 November 2014

 


ANRD Vaccination Programme to Protect Chickens Against Newcastle Disease

ANRD Vaccination Programme to Protect Chickens Against Newcastle Disease – 18 November 2014


TWO NEW THEATRE TABLES DONATED TO GENERAL HOSPITAL

Dr Atilla with one of two new theatre tables
Dr Atilla with one of two new theatre tables

The St Helena General Hospital has recently received two new operating tables (photos attached) from the Lund University Hospital in Sweden, sourced by the Medico Technical Engineer, Jorgen Larsson from the Swedish Hospital where our Senior Medical Officer, Dr Attila Frigyesi hails from.

The tables are manufactured by Maquet (a multi-national German company which focuses on equipment for surgical workplaces) and are of very high quality, costing around £20,000 each.

 

Director of Health and Social Services, David Jenkins commented:

We are in the process of procuring an array of medical equipment, including better diagnostic equipment, which will stand the test of time and will allow for higher standards of medical provision on St Helena.  These operating tables are of the best quality and will help to provide our patients with better and safer care.  We are extremely grateful for yet another significant and generous contribution from Lund University Hospital, which will be put to good use immediately.”

One of two new theatre tables
One of two new theatre tables

SHG

18 November 2014


COUNCILLOR CHRISTINE SCIPIO-O’DEAN RETURNS FROM OVERSEAS CONFERENCE

Councillor Scipio-O'Dean in Cameroon
Councillor Scipio-O’Dean in Cameroon

Councillor Christine Scipio-O’Dean recently returned to the Island having attended the 60th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference and 34th Small Branches Conference in Cameroon, in October of this year.

The 34th Small Branches Conference comprised of three plenary sessions:

1st Plenary SessionEstablishing the role of a chairperson for small branches

2nd Plenary Session – The challenge of small states vulnerabilities in their quest for social and economic development.  Delegates unanimously endorsed Councillor Scipio-O’Dean’s recommendation – ‘Education is fundamental to improving small states’ resilience to improve social and economic outcomes that will be central to all policy decisions’.

3rd Plenary SessionThe role of Parliament in providing for the most vulnerable in society

During the 60th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference, Councillor Scipio-O’Dean was able to attend the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians Business Meeting where it was noted that women continue to be disproportionately represented in governance and at all levels of decision-making.

Councillor Scipio-O’Dean also attended two workshops – Joining hands for women’s rights: The role of Parliamentarians in gender empowerment and How can Parliament ensure that young people are placed at the centre of sustainable development? – The role of Education.

Councillor Scipio-O'Dean at the War Memorial
Councillor Scipio-O’Dean at the War Memorial

Councillor Scipio-O’Dean was able to take part in various discussions during the General Assembly meeting where the Hon Dr.Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury,MP, Speaker of Bangladesh Parliament was elected Chairperson of the CPA Executive Committee. She also attended the meeting of the New Executive Committee where the Hon Ronald Kaindee MP from Malaysia was elected as Vice Chairperson.  As part of the British Islands and Mediterranean Region, the CPA St Helena Branch will for the first time sit on the CPA Executive Committee.  Members of the St Helena Branch agreed that Councillor Derek Thomas should undertake this role, which will run for a three year period.  Councillor Thomas also became a member of the CPA Planning and Review Subcommittee.

On attending the Conference, Councillor Christine Scipio-O’Dean commented:

“Representing St Helena and being present at both the 60th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference and 34th Small Branches Conference in Cameroon was an experience that was beneficial for myself and for the Island. The profile of the Island has been raised by my attendance and will remain raised by our presence on the CPA Executive Committee which offers the Island more exposure and involvement in the decisions of the Executive.”

During her transit in the UK Councillor Scipio-O’Dean had various meetings with SHG UK Representative, Kedell Worboys MBE and Andrew Tuggey, Chief Executive & Secretary CPA, the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, Colleagues in DFID, Lord David Shutt, Lord Nigel Jones, Baroness Lindsay Northover, the Child Safeguarding and Domestic Violence Policy Officer, and with Deputy Head, Falklands and South Atlantic Department. She also visited Queensmill and Salusbury schools.

Delegates at the 60th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference and 34th Small Branches Conference in Cameroon
Delegates at the 60th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference and 34th Small Branches Conference in Cameroon

During her short time on Ascension Island Councillor Scipio-O’Dean was able to meet with the Administrator,  Ascension Island Council and Dr Judith Brown, tour the Airhead facilities and the US Base facilities, visit Green Mountain National Park, Two Boats School, and Babcock and attend the Ascension Island Safeguarding Board meeting.

A full copy of Councillor Christine Scipio-O’Dean’s report can be found on the SHG website at http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/committee-reports/

Three photos are attached to this release.

SHG

17 November 2014

.


BILLS TO BE TAKEN TO FORMAL LEGCO

A formal meeting of Legislative Council will take place on 11 December 2014.  The following Bills for Ordinances will be presented in the House:

 

  • Police Service (Amendment)
  • Eliza Mary Lloyd Trust (Amendment)
  • Aviation
  • Coroners & Presumption of Death

 

All Bills may be viewed at: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/committee-reports/

SHG

17 November 2014

 


ANNIVERSARY OF ST HELENA AIRPORT PROJECT

3 November 2014, marked the 3rd Anniversary of the Airport Project.  Since the contract’s signing, the Airport has achieved many milestones, which includes the construction of the Airport Buildings and the filling of Dry Gut.

A film looking back on these achievements will be shown on Local TV 1 at the following times:

 

  • 17 November 2014 – 17:01
  • 18 November 2014 – 17:00
  • 19 November 2014 – 17:00
  • 21 November 2014 – 18:00
  • 22 November 2014 – 17:00

SHG

17 November 2014


REMINDER - USE OF THE WHARF

The public is reminded that construction work will commence at the Wharf from 1 November 2014.

The wharf will be closed to pedestrians and vehicular traffic between the hours of 16.00 & 08.30 Monday to Friday and from 16.00 Friday to 08.30 Monday. There will be controlled access to authorised vehicles, and a barrier will be in place at the start of the construction works, adjacent to the Freight Terminal.

Authorised users will be able to drop off/pick up equipment (e.g. diving equipment, fishing tackle etc) at the lower steps – before returning their vehicle to the area beyond the barrier. No vehicle at any time can be left parked on the Wharf between the construction site and the landing steps – this area will need to be kept clear in the event of an emergency.

Port management would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone in advance for their continued co – operation.

SHG

28 October 2014


EXCO REPORT – TUESDAY 28 OCTOBER 2014

Executive Council met today, Tuesday 28 October 2014, to discuss five items on the Open Agenda.

The first item was the appointment of a Secretary to the Electronic Communications Consultative Committee (ECCC). This paper discussed the appointment of the Socio-Economist as Secretary to the ECCC in replacement of the Government Economist. This was seen as a sensible change due to the amount of work currently being undertaken by the Socio-Economist with regards to the social implications of on-Island communications.

The second item proposed an amendment to the Eliza Mary Lloyd Trust Ordinance to change the way that Trustees are appointed.  This Trust helps fund agricultural training and production on a small estate at Harpers. Currently the Economic Development Committee (EDC) Members with responsibility for agricultural issues would have naturally assumed positions as Trustees. The change will see the new process for appointments as Trustees to be made by the Governor and not simply by inheriting such a role based on becoming a member of the EDC. This change does not affect the continuance of the current use of the Harper’s Estate and brings this Trust in line with other Trusts in operation on the Island.

The third and fourth items were combined as they were inter-related, one dealing with Police Service regulations and the other the Ordinance entitled Police Service (Amendment) Bill.  External reports have previously recommended that the Police Force Ordinance and Regulations be reviewed to bring them in line with current practice and, in particular, current human resources practice.

The final item on the Open Agenda was the Coroners and Presumption of Death Bill. The Chief Magistrate gave a detailed report of the implications of the Bill where every death on the Island will be reported to the Coroner to consider whether there was a need for investigation, with the emphasis on learning lessons as opposed to apportioning blame, which would remain the responsibility of the Supreme Court procedure. This was seen as helping to develop best practice with the recording of medical records and would allow for estates related issues to be resolved quicker.

All of the Bills will be presented as Government Business at the next formal Legislative Council meeting.

Under Any Other Business the Governor thanked the two Acting Members of Executive Council, Hon Brian Isaac and Hon Nigel Dollery, for attending ExCo during the absence of substantive Members, Hon Christine Scipio O’Dean and Hon Ian Rummery, who will shortly return from overseas trips. Governor Capes also announced that he would be leaving the Island on 6 November 2014 to attend the forthcoming Joint Ministerial Council, which will also be attended by Councillor Lawson Henry, and to take some leave. Governor Capes will return on 3 January 2015, in time to welcome yachts competing in the Governor’s Cup Yacht Race.

A very positive meeting ended at 10.20am.

ExCo

28 October 2014


GOVERNOR TO DEPART ON OVERSEAS BUSINESS AND LEAVE

HE Governor Capes will depart the Island on Thursday 6 November 2014 to attend the annual Joint Ministerial Council (JMC) in London from 1- 4 December.  The JMC is attended by elected leaders from the Overseas Territories, Governors and UK Ministers and officials. Councillor Lawson Henry will attend the JMC as St Helena’s elected representative and have bilateral meetings with FCO and DFID Ministers.

Following the JMC Governor Capes will be involved in various other business meetings and then take some leave before returning to the Island on 3 January 2015.

During the period Governor Capes is away Head of the Governor’s Office, Mr Sean Burns, will serve as Acting Governor.

SHG

28 October 2014

 


NEWCASTLE DISEASE UPDATE

FIRST PHASE OF VACCINATION PROGRAMME COMPLETE

SHG is pleased to advise that the first phase of the vaccination programme for Newcastle Disease, in Chickens on St Helena, has been completed ahead of schedule.

The programme, to prevent further infection of poultry on the Island, commenced on Thursday, 16 October 2014, and has seen 848 chickens vaccinated in the St Paul’s and Half Tree Hollow area. No new cases of the disease have been reported and there are no links to wild birds or other livestock.

Head of ANRD, Darren Duncan said:

“Completing the vaccination programme in the time we did would never have been possible without the amazing effort of ANRD staff and cooperation from poultry owners in Half Tree Hollow and St Paul’s.

“Without this cooperation the consequences for the Island’s poultry could have been dire and now that we have managed to contain the spread of the disease, since the initial outbreak in mid-August 2014, we need to continue our efforts as a community to contain it.”

A containment programme to remove feral and free-ranging chickens will continue and the public are encouraged to contact ANRD if they know of any feral chickens near their properties. Poultry owners who haven’t contacted the division regarding their stock should also do so as soon as possible.

ANRD now also has an increased stock of the ‘Lasota’ vaccine which arrived on the NP Glory 4 and a further stock is being brought in when the RMS arrives on Wednesday 29 October 2014.

Progression of Phase 2 (Island-wide vaccination) is being looked at and will continue on the advice of the Senior Veterinary Officer, Joe Hollins, when he arrives on Wednesday. Details will be released as soon as a best way forward has been agreed.

The first two properties of the initial outbreak were released from quarantine on Wednesday 22 October 2014. However SHG would like to stress that while the vaccination programme has been successful thus far the Island’s poultry is still not free from this disease and the public are asked to continue to adhere to the simple measures below:

  • Set up a footbath such as a bucket or washing up bowl filled with disinfectant or bleach at the entrance to the coop. Dip your feet on the way in and on the way out to create a barrier to germs.
  • Wherever practical, keep your chickens inside the coop. Even if your set-up means you are unable to do this, keep all feed and water inside the coop.
  • Do your best to exclude wild birds by blocking holes and using netting, and remove any spilled feed that could attract wild birds.
  • Have a dedicated set of boots and overalls for your chicken coop which never leaves your property.
  • Wash your hands after visiting the chickens.
  • Discourage visitors to your coop and avoid visiting chickens at other premises.

Please report any unusual poultry deaths or symptoms to the Veterinary Service at ANRD on tel. 24724.

SHG

27 October 2014

 


EXCO MEETING – Tuesday 28 October 2014

Open to the Public from 9.30 am

Executive Council will meet tomorrow morning, Tuesday 28 October 2014, in the Council Chamber.

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

  • Appointment of a Secretary to the Electronic Communications Consultative Committee
  • Amendment to the Eliza Mary Lloyd Trust Ordinance
  • Police Service (Amendment) – Bill for an Ordinance
  • Police Service (Amendment) Regulations 2014
  • Coroners and Presumption of Death – Bill for an Ordinance

 

Executive Council Members are: Lawson Henry, Wilson Duncan and Leslie Baldwin.  Councillors Nigel Dollery and Brian Isaac are acting ExCo Members while Councillors Christine Scipio-O’Dean and Ian Rummery are on overseas business and leave.

SHG

27 October 2014


RECEPTION CONGRATULATING ACHIEVEMENTS IN HOSPITALITY SECTOR

Reception
Reception

A reception, hosted by HE Governor and Mrs Capes, was recently held at Plantation House to recognise the hard work of individuals in the Island’s hospitality industry.

HE Governor Capes said:

“Upgrading skills in the hospitality sector is very important to the development of our tourism product.

“Many thanks for the excellent work by Susan White who was in the driving seat with this initiative on enhancing standards in food safety and quality.”

Thanks were also extended to 2onMain, supported by Chef Mike Harper, who has provided expert advice to the private and public sector including the Hospital, HM Prison, the Community Care Complex and the Education Directorate.

Businesses volunteered to take part in a refresher food safety management programme relevant to their business. This was well timed as in the New Year St Helena will see new food safety legislative come into force on par with standards in the UK.

Susan said:

“This programme is about ensuring that safe food is served on St Helena and that, as well as having a legal responsibility; businesses also recognise that they have a duty to provide safe food.  It’s been a real privilege to visit St Helena before the Airport opens and to work alongside everyone. 

“It makes me really proud to see the positive changes already happening.”

Businesses participating in the programme include Anne’s Place, HM Prison, Plantation House, Roddy’s Chicken Farm, Argos, Ocean Wave and the Sandwich Bar amongst others.

Recognition was also given at the reception to the Island’s first Housing Management Officer, Ms Tracy Thomas. Tracy was recently awarded the graduate level 4 qualification of the Chartered Institute of Housing. This required much hard work and study on Tracy’s part, covering areas such as housing policy, economics, law and practice.

Reception 2
Reception 2

Tracy later remarked:

‘It has been a tough but rewarding year. Completing my studies has been one thing to tick off from a long list of what still needs completing. I would encourage anyone to improve their knowledge base through studying or on-the-job training. The benefits are endless.”

Tracy has been employed by St Helena Government as part of the work with Housing Executive Andy Crowe to set up a more effective housing service on the Island.

(Two photos are attached with this release)

SHG

27 October 2014

 


NEW MIDWIFE FOR HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES

Joanne Rawlings
Joanne Rawlings

Midwife, Joanne Rawlings (photo attached) has recently started her new role within the Health Directorate, (arriving on Island on 23 September 2014) where she will input into antenatal (before birth), intrapartum (onset of labour) and post-natal (after birth) services provided by the Hospital.

Joanne’s contract is for two years, and she predicts a busy time ahead with the arrival of many babies in the New Year.

Joanne highlighted that she anticipates many differences to her new role compared to her previous experiences.  She said:

“The isolation of the Island will be a big factor, in the case of an emergency.  In the UK you have Hospital midwives and community midwives and here they are combined.  However apart from this, babies are born the same anywhere, wherever you go, in any location the process is the same.”

Joanne is involved in the many processes which expectant mothers go through, from the first booking, through to antenatal classes and regular checkups.  She will also conduct on-the-job training with the local midwives on updating procedures.       

Joanne has been a qualified midwife for 13 years, and has worked in a busy unit in Leicester which delivers 5000 babies a year.

SHG

24 October 2014 


LEMP COMMUNITY COMPOST SCHEME

The Landscape & Ecology Mitigation Programme (LEMP) part of the St Helena Airport Project, initiated a Community Compost Scheme in May this year to reduce organic waste going to Horse Point Landfill, and to assist with the production of compost to be able to grow endemic plants for habitat restoration works around the Airport construction.

There are 10 JK400 compost units on Island spread throughout communities from Half Tree Hollow to Longwood. The units are being managed by individuals in these communities who have approached their neighbours to take part by collecting their kitchen waste. Each unit can accommodate 10 households. Anyone supporting the scheme can be provided with a kitchen caddy to store their organic waste in to make it easier to transport the waste to the composters. All kitchen organic waste can be put into these bins from tea bags to raw fish and cooked bones. In a matter of weeks the waste transforms into good quality compost, used to grow plants.

An added benefit is that all waste composted does not go to the landfill, meaning there is less waste to attract pests.  The scheme helps up to 100 households to divert their waste.

LEMP Field Supervisor, Belinda Thomas, said:

“This trial is still in its infancy and some of the units have encountered some problems in getting the right mix, but we’re pleased to say most of those problems are now resolved and the first batches of mature compost are being collected by the LEMP Team who take it to the newly established Half Tree Hollow Tree Nursery where it is used to grow plants.

“We would like to thank everyone who has been involved with the Community Compost Scheme so far. Special thanks to Ian Rummery at the Sunflower Café and the residents of Piccolo Hill Village for providing the first mature compost which we will use to grow plants in for the rehabilitation works at the Airport. We look forward to receiving compost from the other units in the coming weeks. Keep up the good work!”

If a member of the public is interested in joining the compost scheme, or if you have any further questions, contact Belinda Thomas at the LEMP Nursery in Half Tree Hollow by email belinda.thomas@sainthelena.gov.sh or by telephone 22261.

SHG

24 October 2014

 


BUDGETARY AID MISSION

The Budgetary Aid Mission team (BAM – formally called the Development Assistance Planning Mission) from the Department for International Development (DFID) will be on St Helena from Wednesday 29 October – Thursday 6 November 2014 to lay the foundations for agreeing a budget by early 2015.

The team members are Douglas Winslow, Mary Thompson and David Finan.

The team will meet with officials and other stakeholders to discuss economic and budgetary performance to date and forecasts for the rest of the year, and will also explore the opportunities and challenges of moving to a three year budget settlement.

The team will discuss related policies and strategic business plans going forward, and will review progress against the 2014 Budget Aide Memoire.

The Budgetary Aid Mission will not produce an agreed budget settlement or an Aide Memoire.

SHG

21 October 2014

 


BIRTHDAY HONOURS 2015 - OVERSEAS LIST

The Governor’s Office has once again been invited by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to submit recommendations for HM the Queen’s Birthday Honours for St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.

Persons wishing to submit nominations for the 2015 Birthday Honours are reminded that the overriding principle is that honours are awarded on merit for exceptional achievement or any service recently carried out over and above what normally is expected.  Where possible, nominations should place emphasis on voluntary services.  It should also be noted that age is not a factor in awarding honours and younger members of the community who have made an outstanding contribution or have given exceptional service, should not be overlooked.  It is important that nominations are kept confidential and that nominees are not made aware that they are being proposed for award of an Honour.

Nomination forms are available from Mrs Carol George, Corporate Services Executive Manager and completed forms should be returned to the Executive Secretary, Honours Committee, in a sealed envelope, marked confidential, by Friday, 7 November 2014.

SHG

22 October 2014


POPPY APPEAL 2014

Each year St Helena supports the Royal British Legion’s work through the Poppy Appeal.  The Poppy Appeal is the Legion’s largest fundraising campaign and each year has a different focus.

The Remembrance Poppy has been used since 1920 to commemorate soldiers who have died at war.  Inspired by the World War Poem “In Flanders Fields”, they were first used by the American Legion to commemorate American Soldiers who died in the war (1914-1918).  Today, they are mainly used in the UK and Canada to commemorate their servicemen and women who have been killed in all conflict since 1914. The Remembrance Poppy is especially prominent in the UK and on St Helena in the weeks leading up to Remembrance Sunday.

On Saturday 25 October and Saturday 1 November 2014, the Poppy Appeal will be raising money in the lower Jamestown area through the distribution of poppy wristbands, lapel pins, emblem stickers, badges, bracelets and standard poppies.  Uniformed contingents (ex servicemen, Salvation Army, Scouts and Guides) will be making their way through Main Street and members of the public are encouraged to support the cause and have their poppies in advance of Remembrance Day.

This year the Remembrance Day service will be held on Sunday 9 November 2014.

SHG

21 October 2014

 


NEW ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR ST HELENA

Following a rigorous recruitment process, Ms Nicola Moore has been selected to serve as St Helena’s new Attorney General.  She will take up her appointment in late November 2014.

Governor Capes, who chaired the selection panel, said:  

“I look forward to working with Nicola who brings much valuable experience and expertise to the role. She and her talented team in the Attorney General’s Chambers will have much to do in a hugely busy period as we count down to air access.”

Ms Moore has 21 years experience as a Barrister in both civil and criminal work.  Her career includes service as a commissioned officer in the Royal Air Force Legal Branch; as Crown Counsel in the British Overseas Territory of the Cayman Islands; and in private practice in the Crown Dependency of Jersey in the Channel Islands.

SHG

21 October 2014

 


WHARF IMPROVEMENTS PROJECT

Upcoming Wharf Closure

The public is advised that from 1 November 2014 finalisation of remedial works to some defective pavements at the wharf will commence, as part of the Wharf Improvements Project.

Engineers from Nicholas O ‘Dwyer  (Supervisory Engineering body on behalf of SHG) and from CAN France contractors will arrive on Island on Wednesday, 29 October 2014 to oversee the works subcontracted to local contractor John Isaac Construction.

These works will see the replacement and repairing of concrete slabs laid in 2011/12 (located in the Thompsons Crane area – mid-Wharf, sea-ward side) under the defects clause of the Jamestown Wharf Improvements Project Phase 1 contract. These remedial works are at no additional cost to SHG.

It is estimated that the works will take around 6 weeks to complete and during this period the wharf area will be closed to pedestrians and vehicular traffic. Controlled access to the wharf will be granted to emergency vehicles, fisherman, boat owners, yachting visitors and workers at the wharf.

All efforts will be made to reduce disruption to wharf operations during the 6 weeks of work.

The public are thanked in advance for their cooperation during this period.

Notes to Editors

Nicholas O’Dwyer Consulting Engineers were contracted in 2008 to undertake a number of key tasks, which included designing and supervising the Main Works element of the Jamestown Wharf Improvements Project Phase 1.  CAN France was contracted to undertake the construction of these designs, and both contracts are funded from the 9th European Development Fund.

Initial works to replace and repair a number of the concrete slabs laid in 2011/12 began in April 2014.

SHG

21 October 2014


EBOLA TACTICAL COORDINATION GROUP PRESS BRIEF

Background

Countries affected by the Ebola virus are Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone. The total number of reported probable, confirmed and suspected cases up to 17th October 2014 is 8,997, with 4,493 deaths.

Three countries, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, currently have high transmission levels. Countries with an initial case/s or with localised transmission are Nigeria and Senegal. Neighbouring countries where transmission may be possible are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’lvoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali and Senegal. Cases have also been identified in the US, Spain and Germany.

The outbreak has an overall fatality rate of 49%and is a very serious illness.

However, the threat of Ebola reaching St Helena or Ascension is extremely low. The measures put in place in the UK and South Africa coupled with the work locally mean that we are well placed to deal with the Ebola threat.

The UK Government has launched a humanitarian effort to help with the outbreak. Both British military and humanitarian staff have arrived in Freetown, Sierra Leone, to oversee the construction of the UK’s medical facility and assist with the response to the outbreak.

Flights to Sierra Leone are transiting through Ascension Island, which is being used as a forward mounting base for the humanitarian operation and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

The Ascension Island Government (AIG) has received assurances from the HQ British Forces South Atlantic that any flights returning to Ascension from Sierra Leone, having delivered personnel or supplies, would present no onward risk when they transit Ascension, as there would be no risk to the aircraft or crew when landing at Freetown. In addition, they have taken appropriate precautionary measures including that the crew remain with aircraft, do not plan a stopover and that they refrain from shaking hands with local population (as directed by World Health Organisation)

Q&A EBOLA

 

  1. How big a threat is Ebola?

 

  • Currently the threat of Ebola reaching St Helena or Ascension is low.
  • There are no reported outbreaks in South Africa, the UK, St Helena or Ascension Island.
  • Our focus is very much on prevention at this time but with good contingency plans also in place.
  • We are consistently reviewing the situation and our response will change in line with the threat.

 

  1. What are St Helena and Ascension Island doing in response?

 

  • St Helena has formed a cross-government Tactical Coordination Group, chaired at Deputy Chief Secretary level which meets regularly to plan for the changing profile of the Ebola threat.  Several stakeholders are involved in this meeting to ensure a coordinated response to the issue.  Ascension is finalising its Ebola response plan and preparing for all contingencies.
  • SHG is working closely with Andrew Weir Shipping to ensure that all passengers on board the RMS are subject to enhanced checks to protect both the RMS and the islands she serves.
  • SHG is also working with Basil Read to ensure that crew on board the NP Glory 4 are subject to the same checks as other visiting vessels to the Island.
  • Additional measures are in place in the harbour and at immigration control in both Ascension and St Helena to ensure that crew of other vessels arriving in our waters are all screened for potential exposure to Ebola.
  • These measures are on top of our regular protocols such as the maritime declaration of health form which is always required from larger visiting vessels.

 

  1. Will Ebola reach St Helena or Ascension Island?

 

  • We believe the preventative measures in place in St Helena and Ascension mean that the risk of Ebola reaching either Island is very remote.
  • The work being done by South Africa, the UK as well as St Helena and Ascension Islands means the risk is reduced still further.
  • If Ebola is reported in any of the countries where the RMS or any other visiting vessel travels from local responses would change and we are prepared for this.

 

  1. What will we do if Ebola does reach St Helena?

 

  • Currently the threat of Ebola reaching St Helena is low.
  • There are no reported outbreaks in South Africa, the UK or Ascension Island.
  • Our focus is very much on prevention at this time but with good contingency planning also in place.
  • Should a case of Ebola be found in St Helena the Health Directorate has a contingency plan and protocols in place to ensure that the community is protected.

 

  1. What will we do if Ebola does reach Ascension Island?

 

  • Currently the threat of Ebola reaching Ascension is low.  The measures the MOD have put in place with regard to the arriving flights from Sierra Leone both in Freetown and locally mean we are confident the risk of any onward transmission is minimal.
  • There are no reported outbreaks in South Africa, the UK or St Helena.
  • Our focus is very much on prevention at this time but with good contingency planning also in place.
  • Should a case of Ebola be found in Ascension the hospital has plans and protocols in place to deal to ensure that the community is protected. AIG is working closely with the UK Ministry of Defence and the Foreign Office Ebola Taskforce to prepare for all eventualities.

 

  1. What is the current situation regarding the RMS from Cape Town and what measures are in place to protect the public?

 

  • As part of the Tactical Coordination Groups plan passengers and crew travelling from Cape Town are required to complete screening questionnaires prior embarkation. This covers issues such as travel to high risk countries and if the traveller has a fever.
  • The medical staff on the RMS have been briefed regarding the symptoms and will investigate any concerns
  • Upon arrival at St Helena travellers are asked to inform the immigration officer if they have visited any of the high risk countries in the last 30 days
  • Should the RMS crew have any concerns then the islands Senior Medical Officer is contacted to complete an assessment prior to landing
  • The Tactical Coordination Group are routinely monitoring the process to ensure that it is robust

 

 

  1. There are planes from the infected areas landing at Ascension Island as part of the UK humanitarian effort. Isn’t this a threat to Ascension Island residents?

 

  • As part of the humanitarian operation the UK is sending planes to Sierra Leone via Ascension Island.  The Ministry of Defence has put in place robust preventative measures to ensure their UK staff and others working on, or in, the planes are well protected against any transmission of the disease.
  • The WHO and Public Health England have advised that personnel on these flights do not pose additional risk to warrant any quarantine or isolation measures.
  • Flights arriving at Ascension from Sierra Leone, as part of the humanitarian operation take off and land in controlled conditions in both Ascension and Sierra Leone.  The flight crew who are running shuttles between Ascension and Freetown do not leave the plane at Freetown.
  • While the risk of aircraft crew being infected is extremely remote, appropriate precautionary measures are being taken. Crew remain on the aircraft in Sierra Leone, no stop-overs are planned in Freetown and crew are being asked to refrain from contact with local people.

 

  1. What are SHG and AIG doing to protect the public with regard to flights to Ascension?

 

  • SHG and AIG are coordinating the response to the flights into Ascension.
  • We are working closely with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Ministry of Defence, the Cabinet Office Civil Contingencies Unit and public health England to ensure agreed procedures are being robustly followed and monitored.

 

 

SHG

17October 2014

 

 

 


CAREERS FAIR 2014

Careers Fair
Careers Fair

On Wednesday, 15 October 2014, St Helena’s annual Careers Fair was held at Prince Andrew School from 10am-5pm.

More than 20 businesses took part in the Fair with stalls displaying posters, equipment, films, photography slideshows and products relevant to their business type.   Various demonstrations were conducted on the outside court area, including from Tommy, the Police Dog, Buzz, the Drugs dog, and hourly forestry/tractor demonstrations.

Guest speakers were on hand with topics covering Scholarships, Starting up a Business and Training in Languages, to name but a few.

The fair was opened by Work Development Coordinator, Cynthia Bennett:

“Simply this event is to inspire you to learn and to develop – to reach to the top so that you may achieve your goals and make your dreams a reality.”

The day was also marked by the unveiling of the Education Directorate’s new Lifelong Learning logo.  The logo represents the creation of the new Lifelong Learning Service picking up areas originally covered by AVES – apprenticeships and work development, training, distance learning and examinations, City and Guilds Centre, Public Library and childcare coordination.

Careers Fair
Careers Fair

Kerry Yon, Assistant Director Lifelong Learning said:

“The Education and Employment Directorate has always aimed to provide learning opportunities for all ages and at all stages of life and recently, some restructuring took place within the Directorate to bring lifelong learning under one umbrella.

“To everyone here today, we are all learning each day.  Please take advantage of the opportunities on offer, talk to us, find out about the fields that interest you and remember that it is never too late to learn.”

Careers Fair 2
Careers Fair 2

Careers showcased on the day were from Solomon & Company, Connect St Helena, Bank of St Helena Limited, South Atlantic Media Services, Enterprise St Helena, G – Unique, Dalco, ProArc, Essence, Bliss, George Bennett’s Upholstery, SHAPE, Pat’s Clutch & Brake Bonding Services, Penny Savers, St Helena National Trust, Environment & Natural Resources Directorate, Health and Social Services, Corporate Services, Police & Prison, Fire & Rescue, St Helena Audit Service and the Education and Employment Directorate.

Deputy Chairman of the Education Committee, Councillor Nigel Dollery encouraged those present to excel and be proactive in the job they are in, noting that dedication will pay of in the future.

Three pictures are attached with this release.

SHG

16 October 2014


NEWCASTLE DISEASE VACCINATION – UPDATE

On Monday 6 October 2014 the Agriculture and Natural Resources Division (ANRD) advised the public that the planned Island-wide vaccination programme, for Newcastle Disease in chickens on St Helena, was cancelled. It was found that the vaccines had not been couriered in the right conditions in South Africa and they were therefore unfit for purpose.

SHG reacted quickly to the situation and was able to source an appropriate vaccine from the UK which arrived on-Island on Monday 13 October 2014, with additional supplies due to arrive from South Africa in the near future.

As a result of this a two-phase vaccination programme (alongside a containment programme to remove wild and free-ranging chickens) will commence from Thursday 16 October 2014 to prevent further infection of poultry on St Helena.

The first phase will target the St Paul’s and Half Tree Hollow area where the outbreak currently lies. Due to the high number of chickens in the area this phase is expected to be completed within 3 weeks, providing good owner cooperation is experienced.

The programme will be reassessed after 3 weeks to determine if Phase 2 needs to be fully implemented.

ANRD would like to advise poultry owners that this batch of vaccines require a different application method than the ‘Lasota’ vaccine from South Africa. Chickens must be individually vaccinated which means that the process will be lengthier but the level of protection to individual chickens is higher and will provide cover for the life of the bird.

ANRD will contact poultry owners to advise as and when they will be administering the vaccine in their areas, and would urge owners to be fully cooperative and responsible for having their chickens ready for vaccination. Vaccinating chickens not only protects poultry owner’s flocks but stopping the spread of the disease is vital to the Island as a whole. Without cooperation and owners taking responsibility the consequences are dire for St Helena.

The programme will be monitored and a Tactical Coordination Group, chaired at Assistant Chief Secretary level, is monitoring the situation. The vaccination programme will demand the time of the ANRD team and during this period the public are asked that all queries related to Newcastle Disease be directed to the Emergency Planner, Alistair Smith, on tel: 22721.

ANRD would like to extend their thanks to poultry owners who have cooperated thus far, experts in the UK for their support and guidance on this vaccination programme, Basil Read for logistical support, colleagues on Ascension Island and the crew and Captain of the RMS for the safe arrival of the vaccines.

Although queries have been raised that Newcastle Disease has spread to the pig population on St Helena the UK advice and literature currently available to us regarding Newcastle Disease does not indicate any known cases of Newcastle Disease spreading to pigs or other livestock.

ADVICE TO POULTRY OWNERS

 

  1. Do I have to be involved in the vaccination programme?

 

  1. Stopping the spread of the disease is an Island issue and we want people to be as fully cooperative and responsible as possible.

 

Q. How quickly does the vaccination give protection from Newcastle Disease?

 

  1. It takes the chicken 7 to 10 days to develop immunity and it is vulnerable to infection during this period. So you still need to follow the simple measures already contained in earlier information from SHG on the disease to prevent infection and spread, and to protect your flock.

 

  1. How does the vaccination affect chickens?

 

  1. There may be a drop in egg production for a few weeks. The poultry may also be a little poorly for a few days while they develop immunity. They will return to their normal state in a couple of weeks.

 

  1. How soon can I eat eggs from vaccinated poultry?

 

  1. The egg shell may change colour, from brown to white. However, there is no withdrawal period and eggs can be safely consumed immediately following vaccination.

 

  1. How soon can I slaughter and eat poultry after vaccination?

 

  1. There is no withdrawal period, poultry can be slaughtered and eaten immediately after vaccination.

 

  1. Should poultry be vaccinated with the new vaccines if they have already had the ‘LaSota’ vaccine?

 

  1. Yes, this will give added protection.

 

  1. Will they need revaccination in the future?

 

A. No, this vaccination will last their lives once they have developed immunity, which takes 7 to 10 days.

 

SHG

15 October 2014


FIRST LEMP REHABILITATION PLANTINGS

Planting
Planting

The Landscape and Ecology Mitigation Programme (LEMP) provides compensatory habitats for the ones lost due to the airport construction and works to secure the future of St Helena’s unique flora and fauna. LEMP, in collaboration with Basil Read and the EMD conservation nursery in Scotland, has now started its planting activities on the airport site, with endemic babies’ toes (Hydrodea cryptantha) and scrubwoods (Commidendrum rugosum).

As part of preparation for construction activities on the north-west side of the runway, Basil Read and the LEMP team have now transplanted hundreds of endemic babies’ toes to the terraces nearby. Babies’ toes is an annual plant species that will die during the dry summer period but will come up from seeds after next winter rains. It will hopefully establish a self-sustaining population on the terraces in future.

On 9 October 2014 the LEMP team consisting of Mikko Paajanen, Belinda Thomas, Kurt Plato and Brandon O’Bey carried out the first plantings of endemic scrubwoods between Prosperous Bay Plain and King and Queen Rocks. Plants were provided by the Environment and Natural Resources Department’s conservation Nursery at Scotland.  

LEMP Ecologist Mikko Paajanen, said:

“This area was chosen to give a boost to the original population where most of the scrubwood seed for the airport site rehabilitation comes from. Planting of the babies’ toes and scrubwoods is a good start for our huge task of rehabilitation on the areas affected by the airport construction.”

SHG

14 October 2014


EXCO REPORT – TUESDAY 14 OCTOBER 2014

Executive Council met today, Tuesday 14 October 2014, to discuss two items on the Open Agenda.

The first item was an Application for Outline Development Permission for the proposed Solar Farm at the current site of the rifle range at Half Tree Hollow. ExCo was pleased to approve the proposal but wished to highlight the need to continue, until fruition, the relocation of the rifle range.

The second item requested the discharge of Condition 1 pursuant to Development Permission for the Rupert’s Wharf – Rockfall Assessment. ExCo was of the opinion that an informed decision is difficult at this time and the suggestion was that this be deferred until the completion of a site visit to enable full exploration of potential implications.

The meeting ended at 10.20am.

ExCo

14 October 2014


DFID EDUCATION ADVISER VISITS

Education Adviser, Dr Don Taylor from the Department for International Development (DFID), has been on Island for a week, monitoring progress in raising the quality of teaching and learning in the schools, assessing progress in training and up skilling the labour force, and commenting on draft budget estimates for 2015-16.

This is Dr Taylor’s annual visit to the Island, having last visited in November 2013.

During his stay, Dr Taylor has been visiting the four Island schools and meeting teachers, specialist staff, SHG officials, and Councillors on the Education Committee. He commented:

“This is my third annual visit to St Helena and it is good to see real improvement over the past three years, particularly in the GCSE results at Prince Andrew School.  The schools, Adult and Vocational Education Serviceand Enterprise St Helena are working well together to equip young people with the skills they will need to lead healthy and productive lives.”

Dr Taylor departs the Island tomorrow, Tuesday 14 October 2014, and will produce a short report on his visit for DFID and SHG officials.

DFID provides financial support for education on the Island through the recurrent budget of SHG and technical support through additional funding for teacher training, advisory teachers, and senior managers.

SHG

13 October 2014


EXCO MEETING – Tuesday 14 October 2014

Open to the Public from 9.30 am

Executive Council will meet tomorrow morning, Tuesday 14 October 2014, in the Council Chamber.

The meeting will be open to the public from 9.30am for two Open Agenda items:

 

  • Application for Outline Development Permission for the proposed Solar Farm
  • Request for Discharge of Condition 1 pursuant to Development Permission 2013/92 – Rupert’s Rockfall Assessment

Executive Council Members are: Lawson Henry, Wilson Duncan and Leslie Baldwin.  Councillors Nigel Dollery and Brian Isaac are acting Exco Members while Councillor Christine Scipio-O’Dean and Ian Rummery are on overseas business and leave.

 SHG

13 October 2014


EXCO REPORT – TUESDAY 30 SEPTEMBER 2014

Executive Council met today, Tuesday 30 September 2014 with just one item on the Closed Agenda.

The item was a memo on the St Helena Fisheries Corporation Functional Review, and was presented by the Chairman of the Economic Development Committee, supported by the Head of ANRD and the Chairman of the Fisheries Corporation.

ExCo was asked to agree in principle the St Helena Fisheries Corporation Review recommendations, subject to budget approval. Approval in principle was given.

In Any Other Business the Governor and ExCo recognised yesterday’s successful rescue of the ‘Benguela’ yacht and thanked the Island’s Fire & Rescue Services and Extractor team for ensuring the safety of the yacht and her crew.

At a previous meeting of Executive Council, it was agreed that subject to ministerial approval, the Airport should be named St Helena Airport. This name was strongly supported by aviation industry experts as it has instant recognition for all passengers and will allow potential visitors to easily access information about the Airport, flight bookings and the Island. Council noted today that ministerial approval had been received.

This was a short session and the meeting ended at 10.15am.

ExCo

30 September 2014


NEWCASTLE DISEASE UPDATE

Island-Wide Chicken Vaccination Programme

The Agriculture and Natural Resources Division (ANRD) would like to advise the public that there have been 3 further outbreaks of Newcastle Disease in chickens, in and around the New Ground area.

All live chickens in the affected area have been culled and quarantine conditions established for the associated poultry units.

To help stop the spread of the disease ANRD will from Monday, 6 October 2014 commence an Island-Wide Vaccination Programme to run over the coming weeks.

The programme will begin in St Paul’s and Half Tree Hollow and extend to other districts when these two districts are completed and vaccine supplies become available to ANRD.

The success of the programme is dependent on the support of poultry keepers who are urged to follow the simple measures provided in the attached information sheet.

ANRD will be promoting the vaccination programme via the radio over the coming week.

Vaccination to Protect Chickens Against Newcastle Disease – 29 September 2014

SHG

29 September 2014


FORMAL PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE MEETING

TUESDAY 7 OCTOBER 2014

The second formal session of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) will take place on Tuesday 7 October 2014 at 10am in the Court House, Jamestown.

The meeting will be open to the public and broadcast live via SAMS Radio 1.

The Order Paper for the meeting is detailed below and appropriate officers will answer questions on their respective item.

1.         Chairman’s Address

2.         Enterprise St Helena Financial Statements for Year Ended 31 March 2013

3.         St Helena Fisheries Corporation Financial Statements for Year Ended 31March 2013

4.         St Helena News Media Services Financial Accounts for Two Year Period Ended 31 March 2013

5.         St Helena Currency Fund Accounts 2012-2013

6.         Performance Audit Report: Delivering Government Objectives

7.         Follow-up Action to PAC Report of 10 February 2014

8.         Public Accounts Committee: Terms of Reference

9.         Public Accounts Committee: Reporting Mechanism

 

SHG

29 September 2014


TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN TO SOUTH AFRICA – REVISED DATE FOR CHANGES TO ENTRY REGULATIONS

In July this year an SHG press release highlighted a change in entry regulations for persons travelling with children under the age of 18 to South Africa. The date that was previously announced for this change was 1October 2014.  This date has been changed and revisions will now be put into effect from 1June 2015.

From 1June 2015 parents may be asked to show an Immigration Officer a full birth certificate (including both parents’ names) for all travelling children.  This applies even when both parents are travelling with their own children into South Africa and has been introduced in an attempt to reduce instances of child trafficking through South Africa.  This is not specific to St Helena – it applies to all children travelling through all South African sea and air ports. The revised regulations apply both to South African citizens and to visitors.

For children born on St Helena, birth certificates can be obtained from the Customer Service Centre in Jamestown.  For those children born in the UK, the following address may be used to order a replacement birth certificate: https://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificates/default.asp.   Sufficient time should also be allowed ahead of your departure from St Helena to receive the certificate by post from the UK.  A one day despatch service is available.  Services vary in other countries.

Until the 1 June 2015, there is no country specific guidance for parents travelling with children to South Africa.  However, single parents, or a parent travelling alone with their child or those travelling abroad with children for whom they do not have parental responsibility, should generally obtain an affidavit or letter of authority from person(s) with parental responsibility prior to travel. General UK guidance is available online at: https://www.gov.uk/permission-take-child-abroad.

There remains no change to Ascension Island or UK entry controls relating to children at this time.

Further information is available from the Immigration Office in Ogborn House, Jamestown – telephone no: (00290) 22626.

SHG

29 September 2014

 


ACTS OF BRAVERY AWARDS PRESENTED

A reception hosted by HE Governor and Mrs Capes was held last evening (Thursday 25 September) at Plantation House, to present Acts of Bravery Awards to those involved in the successful rescue of Mr Deon March of Blue Hill on 2 August 2013.

Scott Crowie receiving his award
Scott Crowie receiving his award

Governor Capes welcomed invited guests, including SHG officials and family and friends of awardees, and remarked:

“Deon March will never forget where he was on 2 August 2013, he will always remember that night as the night he was rescued by some very brave Saints.” 

Noting the courage and team spirit that resulted in a successful rescue, Chief of Police Trevor Botting added:

“There are certain jobs, such as fire and rescue where you are expected to go to locations which people are running away from and into buildings where people are leaving.  Tonight’s awardees had to scale some dangerous terrain to assist with this rescue and made a judgement decision to stay the night where they found Mr March.” 

Jason Lawrence with his partner and mum
Jason Lawrence with his partner and mum

Governor Capes then awarded Certificates of Acts of Bravery to those who took part in the rescue mission.

Awards were presented to: Martin Peters, Russell Clingham, Joseph Oliver, Damien Stevens, Kyle Yon, Scott Crowie, Christian Phillips, Daniel Yon, Craig Scipio, Jason Lawrence, Alan Thomas and Michael Pretty (no longer residing on Island).

Governor Capes concluded:

“What you did that night displays your commitment to your job, to the community and to St Helena, thank you.”

Four pictures are attached to this release.

Note to Editors:  On Friday, 2 August 2013, Dion March was rescued after falling from a cliff at Barren Ground.

 

Fire Fighters
Fire Fighters

 

Fire Fighters
Fire Fighters

SHG

26 September 2014


JAMESTOWN HOTEL PROJECT

Following Tuesday’s (23 September 2014) decision in Executive Council to support the development of a Hotel in Jamestown, SHG and ESH are working together to take this project forward.

Councillor Lawson Henry commented:

“In taking this decision, Executive Council was mindful of the risks to Government in making this intervention but these were far outweighed by the benefits to the Island and the enormous investment the British Government made in the Airport project for St Helena.  I was mindful too, of the undertakings that SHG made in the Memorandum of Understanding in doing our part in ensuring that important infrastructure development would be in place by or shortly after our Airport becomes operational. 

“Executive Council sees the hotel development project as a catalyst for other economic development that will complement other local initiatives. I would like to publicly commend  and thank all those officers of SHG and ESH who are involved in this project, for their hard work over many months in bringing this proposal  to the table, to all members of Legislative Council for their advice and finally to our colleagues in DFID for their on-going support.”

Chief Secretary Roy Burke added:

“I am grateful to all my colleagues, politicians and officials alike, for the enormous amount of work that has gone in to getting to this point.  This has been a challenging project to work on and the hard work starts now as we initiate a project to establish a hotel in Lower Jamestown. SHG will seek to ensure that all the appropriate procedures are followed and that we get a facility that we can all be proud of: one that enhances the experience of St Helena for both locals and visitors. We are at an exciting point in our development and this decision sends a clear message that St Helena is open for business.”

Susan O’Bey from Enterprise St Helena concluded:

“We are very pleased at the decision taken in Executive Council to support this Hotel Development. The Jamestown Hotel is an exciting project, it keeps with the heritage of Jamestown and fits very well with our plans to grow the economy organically. 

“At ESH we are now seeing existing accommodation providers coming forward with plans to develop their establishments and we have also had discussions with local investors who are planning to build new accommodation facilities. This means that we will be able to offer tourists a variety of places to stay throughout the Island, ranging from the high quality hotel experience, to guest houses and self-catering facilities. The impact that all of this growth will have on other sectors including construction, agriculture and fisheries is significant.”

 

SHG & ESH

26 September 2014


EXCO REPORT – TUESDAY 23 SEPTEMBER 2014

Executive Council met today, Tuesday 23 September, for a special meeting to consider the development of a hotel in Jamestown. It is well recognised by tourism industry experts that hotel accommodation of a high standard is required to support our tourism sector, post-Airport opening.

Council approved the option to develop the Government-owned property at 1, 2 and 3 Main Street as a 4-star hotel, with a minimum of 30 bedrooms, plus a restaurant and bar to cater for up to 90 people,

In addition to the three buildings on Main Street, there will be a new building constructed at the rear to provide accommodation, including hotel rooms with disabled access.  The development will be subject to planning permission.

This 4-star hotel will complement other local initiatives in developing tourist accommodation, and will serve as a catalyst for economic development, including the involvement of local producers and service providers.

Executive Council also considered an option for the development of a larger hotel at the Waterfront and approved the exploration of this option for the future.

Further detailed design work will now proceed for the development of 1, 2 and 3 Main Street as a quality hotel. The public will be kept informed and will have an opportunity to view the plans and drawings once these have been finalised.

Executive Council also noted a positive meeting last night at the Rock Club to consult on the development of a Solar Farm around the site of the current rifle range at Half Tree Hollow.  A presentation was well received and a number of questions were addressed.  There was overwhelming support for the project and the expected long term benefits to St Helena.

ExCo

23 September 2014


SEXUAL OFFENCES INVESTIGATOR ARRIVES

David Honan
David Honan

David Honan has recently arrived on Island for a two year contract in the Police Service, where he will specialise as a Sexual Offences Investigator.  He will form part of the Safeguarding team, which focuses on law enforcement and education on prevention of abuse crimes.

David said:

“There have been issues raised recently where there have been some inappropriate relationships between teenagers and adults. We are looking at a number of things, including increasing our visibility through the schools.   It is our job to make sure the youth in our society are aware of the risks, allowing them to make informed decisions about their own wellbeing.”

An Achieving Best Evidence course is soon to commence in the Police Service, to assist Police Officers and staff in Social Services to collect the best evidence when carrying out interviews and working together.  David is keen to work closely with all relevant agencies on St Helena, so that the total effort becomes more effective in terms of overall delivery.

David commented:

 

 

“I am keen on local Saint Officers filling the roles within safeguarding.  It is important to build on their experience and local knowledge.  And the Achieving Best Evidence course will help local Officers to build their skills and knowledge, thus helping to increase confidence of their role within the community.” 

David is also an experienced CID Officer, so his secondary role on Island will be to investigate and deal with serious crimes.  David has served with the North Wales Police for the last twenty years, focusing on public protection issues.

The Sexual Offences Investigator is a new role, and David highlighted:

“This appointment demonstrates that St Helena Government is committed to dealing with safeguarding issues that have arisen recently.  SHG takes very seriously the issue of sexual abuse.” 

If you would like to report a sexual or domestic offence, please call:

  • Police Confidential Helpline    22888
  • Emergency Line                        999 or
  • General Enquires                      22626

SHG

23 September 2014


CAREERS FAIR – LESS THAN A MONTH AWAY!

Plans are swiftly progressing for this year’s Careers Fair to be held on Wednesday 15 October 2014 at Prince Andrew School, from 10am-5pm.

The annual Careers Fair is an opportunity for potential job seekers and those interested in career development, to give and receive information on career development and job opportunities on St Helena.

So far 20 businesses and services have signed up to the Fair to deliver the theme of promoting careers and career development post-Basil Read – showcasing the opportunities that will be available on-Island once Basil Read employment has reduced and the Airport is operational.

The Prince Andrew School Hall will be arranged for visitors to browse the various stalls and see what each organisation has to offer, look at their displays and ask any questions.

Throughout the day there will also be short presentations from various organisations including the Police, Fire and Rescue Service, St Helena National Trust, Education, School of Nursing and Enterprise St Helena.

Work Development Coordinator Cynthy Bennett, leading the event, encourages people to attend. She said:

“The Careers Fair is for all, young and old. This is a chance to inspire yourselves and others into personal and career development, looking beyond the Airport opening. Each year, together, we aim to improve over the year before and I have every confidence that this is going to be achieved again in 2014.”

All are encouraged to attend to see what careers are on offer on St Helena and how best they can work towards achieving their own career aspirations.

SHG

19 September 2014


SOLAR FARM PROPOSAL  

PUBLIC MEETING

Connect Saint Helena Ltd is currently seeking outline planning permission for the development of a Solar Farm at Half Tree Hollow, around the current Rifle Range site – which when fully developed could supply up to 40% of the Island’s electricity demand.

Residents, stakeholders and other interested parties are invited to a public meeting to discuss the plans with Connect Saint Helena Ltd, SHG officials and Councillors.  The meeting will take place on Monday  22 September at 7.30pm at the Rock Club, Half Tree Hollow.   

Currently, approximately 20% of St Helena’s energy comes from wind power, with the remaining 80% from diesel generation. Decreasing the use of diesel and increasing the use of natural sources of energy will benefit St Helena’s economy and reduce our dependency on imported diesel.

SHG

17 September 2014

 


PUBLIC TRANSPORT REVIEW 2014

CONSULTANT’S REPORT PUBLISHED

Public transport consultant George Watson has now finalised his report on bus services on St Helena, which has today been published on the SHG website Publications page at http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/

The online report is a slightly redacted version of the full report – omitting just a small amount of commercially sensitive information which could influence forthcoming tender exercises.

SHG accepts the various recommendations made in the report and will now take them forward, with a view to tendering for a more integrated public transport service within the next six months. Increasing prosperity on the Island can only bring more pressure on the highway system, so it is important that a progressive policy is developed that aims to address capacity issues.

Improvements considered include simplification of the timetable, additional journeys, a quantum change in promotional activity and bringing the coordinating role together in one locally recruited SHG post.

Assistant Chief Secretary (Support) Gillian Francis said:

“SHG’s aspiration is to have an efficient and effective public transport service, that will meet the needs of Saints and visitors alike, supporting both social and economic development.

“Although modest improvements have been made since the introduction of revised services two years ago following public comments and operational experience – there is room for further improvements.”

John Scipio will be working with SHG officials on a part time basis taking the recommendations forward in time for the retendering exercise in 2015.

SHG

16 September 2014


EXCO REPORT – TUESDAY 16 SEPTEMBER 2014

Executive Council met today Tuesday 16 September 2014 with five items on the Open Agenda.

The first item was a request for Executive Council to endorse the refreshed Sustainable Development Plan 2014-17 (SDP).  The original SDP was published in 2012, and since then the Island has seen significant development which the refreshed SDP now reflects.

This SDP is a slimmer and more focussed version, primarily reflecting the Island’s commitment to deliver increased economic growth. Executive Council was pleased to endorse the plan and thanked all who worked hard to produce this new version. It is now available on the SHG website at http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/

The second item on the Open Agenda was the relocation and rationalisation of SHG office accommodation. In summary, the agreed relocations were:

  • The Police Service would move from the Grand Parade to the Adult & Vocational Education Centre (AVEC). The AVEC building will be adapted and refurbished for the Police. There will also be a Police reception and an Out of Hours office located at the Castle.
  • The AVEC IT Training Room will move to Carnarvon Court.
  • Councillors’ offices will move from No 3 Main Street to within the Castle, below the Council Chamber.

There was a related submission from the Information Technology department to move towards a ‘Thin Client’ computer service. This will allow each SHG member of staff to log on at any connected terminal and have all of their work saved to a central server.  While this new system is quite expensive to set up, it will thereafter improve efficiencies and save operational costs.  Executive Council agreed the funding for this project.

The next item was an Information Paper on the revised fuel prices.  Fuel prices are now determined by a formula based on the cost of the fuel, the cost of transport and the tax imposed on the fuel.  SHG is committed to a policy of equalising the tax imposed on petrol and diesel, but it is important to note that equalising the rate of tax could still lead to a price differential between the two fuels.

There was also an Information Paper on the Undertakings and Resolutions made at the last formal meeting of Legislative Council.  It is important that decisions made at formal Legislative Council are monitored to ensure that they are properly implemented in a timely manner.  There is now a tracker document as part of the monitoring process.

The recent outbreak of Newcastle Disease amongst chickens on St Helena has made necessary a temporary regulation to prohibit the export of poultry (whether live or in the form of meat products) and eggs from St Helena to Ascension Island. This was agreed, as it minimises the risk of this disease being transmitted to chickens on Ascension. The regulation will remain effective until ANRD gives St Helena the all clear of the disease.

In the Closed Session, the substantive item was a discussion on the disposal of the ex-PWD store. A decision was taken and further information will be released in due course once contract negotiations have been concluded.

A discussion then followed on forthcoming Airport Legislation needed for Certification. This detailed and technical legislation will be presented to formal Legislative Council in December 2014.

Finally, the Governor announced that a DFID team will be coming to St Helena at the end of October 2014 to engage in budget discussions. This mission may not announce an agreed final budget figure on Island at the end of their visit. This may require further detailed work before it is announced. This annual DFID visit was previously known as the Development Aid Planning Mission (DAPM) and will now be known as the Budgetary Aid Mission (BAM).

The meeting concluded at 11.50am.

ExCo

16 September 2014


ADVICE TO ST HELENIAN PASSPORT HOLDERS

Travel to South Africa – Passports


60th COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY CONFERENCE

Councillor Christine Scipio-O’Dean will depart St Helena this week to attend the 60th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference and 34th Small Branches Conference in Cameroon, which will run from 2 – 10 October 2014.

During the course of the conference several workshops will be held, including ‘Unity and Diversity’, ‘Joining Hands for Womens’ Rights’, ‘Parliamentarian in Gender Empowerment’, ‘Development Agenda against the Standards set out in the Commonwealth Charter’ and ‘Good Governance for the 21st Century: (Transparency and Accountability’).  As some of these workshops will be held at the same time Councillor Scipio-O’Dean has chosen to attend ‘Joining Hands for Womens’ Rights’ and one entitled ‘How Can Parliament Ensure that Young People are Placed at the Centre of Sustainable Development’.

Councillor Scipio-O’Dean said:

“I am delighted to attend the 60th Commonwealth Parliamentary and Small Branches Conferences in Cameroon which will allow me to engage with parliamentarians across the British Islands & Mediterranean Regions and beyond, to share experiences, knowledge, ideas and observations.” 

Christine will be taking a lead role by attending the Executive Committee Meeting, and during the Small Branches Conference, Councillor Scipio-O’Dean will lead the discussion on the Challenge of Small States’ Vulnerabilities in relation to Social and Economic Development.

Assistant Chief Secretary (Support), Gillian Francis commented:

“This is an opportunity for Councillor Scipio-O’Dean to network and build relationships with members of the CPA.  Attendance at the conference will also provide opportunity to promote St Helena as a tourist and investment destination in the run-up to the Airport opening.” 

SHG

16 September 2014


DON’T MISS OUT BY MISSING SCHOOL!

A new school year has begun and the Island schools are planning for an exciting year ahead.  There has never been a more important time to make sure that your children make the most of the opportunities a good education gives them.

One of the easiest ways to help your children succeed in school is to make sure that they do attend school regularly. Councillor Christine Scipio-O’Dean said:

“It is the parents’ responsibility to ensure that children attend school from the age 5-16. The majority of the children have strong attendance and hardly ever miss school, but unfortunately some children do not have such a good record and sometimes miss school for trivial reasons.”

The Education Directorate will now be monitoring attendance more robustly and senior officers within the Directorate will not be slow to contact parents if it looks like a child’s attendance record is a cause for concern.

Director of Education Colin Moore concluded:

“We want all our children to enjoy learning and to take part in all the activities their school has to offer. I urge parents to help their children and young people to attend school regularly.  Don’t miss out by missing school!”

SHG

15 September 2014


DISEASED CHICKEN SAMPLES TESTED IN LONDON

INITIAL FINDINGS

With the cooperation of the RMS St Helena, the conservation team on Ascension Island and the RAF, the poultry samples taken from St Helena – consisting of sera, multiple organs, and swabs taken from eight severely affected chickens – arrived in excellent condition at the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations reference laboratory in London.

The laboratory, a world centre of excellence, has now diagnosed Newcastle Disease, also known as Fowl Plague. The laboratory will now grow and isolate the virus, with the intention of identifying the specific strain and potential source.

There is no threat to general public health on St Helena. However, those in direct contact with infected birdsmay develop a very short-term eye infection (conjunctivitis), which passes without treatment. Poultry keepers on St Helena are advised of the possibility of eye infections.

No human cases of Newcastle Disease have occurred through eating any poultry products.

In terms of preventative measures, ANRD has already deployed a vaccine from South Africa to protect the Island’s parent stock and other large flocks around the two initial sites of outbreak. This is called ring vaccination, and if another outbreak occurs outside this ring, it may be necessary to vaccinate other flocks of domestic chickens on the Island. These measures will mitigate risk of spread to wild birds too. ANRD will monitor the situation. The public will be kept informed of any other outbreaks and of the final laboratory findings.

This disease is not confined to poultry. The disease rarely has a fatal outcome for wild birds, but as virulence varies between viral strains and bird species, the potential effect on St Helena’s wild birds cannot be accurately predicted, until the strain is identified.

More will be known about the specific strain and the potential source once the laboratory has completed its investigations.

Measures are also now being put in place to prevent the movement of local eggs and poultry products from St Helena to other destinations.

Vaccination has already been applied to poultry at susceptible sites and application of the simple hygiene measures detailed below will help to reduce the potential spread of the disease.

Any enquiries relating to Newcastle Disease can be made to the Head of ANRD on tel. 24724 or email. darren-duncan@enrd.gov.sh

The public are encouraged to report any unusual bird deaths.

STOP THE SPREAD

 

  • Set up a footbath such as a bucket or washing up bowl filled with disinfectant or bleach at the entrance to the coop. Dip your feet on the way in and on the way out to create a barrier to germs
  • Wherever practical, keep your poultry inside the coop
  • Even if your set-up means you are unable to do this, keep all feed and water inside the coop
  • Do your best to exclude wild birds by blocking holes and using netting, and remove any spilled feed that could attract wild birds
  • Have a dedicated set of boots and overalls for your poultry coop which never leaves your property
  • Wash your hands after visiting the chickens
  • Discourage visitors to your coop and avoid visiting birds at other premises
  • Protective eyewear is advisable during actual outbreaks

Please report any unusual poultry deaths or symptoms to the Veterinary Service at ANRD on tel. 24724. 

Symptoms in chickens may include all or some of thefollowing:

o   Open mouth breathing

o   Coughing and sneezing

o   Discharge from the eyes and nostrils

o   Blackening of combs and wattles

o   Severe yellow and watery diarrhoea

o   Sudden egg drop, combined with paper-thin eggshells

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Newcastle Disease virus?

Newcastle Disease virus is a virus that can cause a deadly infection in many kinds of birds.  There are many different strains and not all are pathogenic.

  • What animals can contract Newcastle Disease?  

Both domestic and wild birds can be affected by Newcastle Disease (ND). Chickens are particularly susceptible. Turkeys, ducks, geese and pigeons are also known to be potentially affected.  ND in wild birds is rarely fatal and susceptibility is highly variable between different species of birds.

  • How can my poultry catch Newcastle Disease?

Newcastle Disease is spread by direct contact with the droppings, body fluids or respiratory discharges of infected birds. The virus can live for a long time in the environment and can also be spread by shoes, clothing, and equipment.

  • How does Newcastle Disease affect my poultry?

Newcastle Disease in birds can vary from no signs of illness to sudden death. Affected birds may have coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge and diarrhoea. Chicken flocks often show a sudden decrease in egg production or produce thin-shelled eggs.

  • Can humans catch Newcastle Disease?

Newcastle Disease is not considered a general public health threat. Infection in humans is very rare and very mild.

People regularly in direct contact with poultry should watch for signs of conjunctivitis (swelling and reddening of the tissues around the eyes). Poultry crews and laboratory workers are at the greatest risk of potential exposure to the virus.

Most medical authorities state that the disease poses no health risk to consumers of eggs or poultry meat. No human cases of Newcastle Disease have occurred from eating poultry products.

Chickens with the disease will be destroyed and will not enter the food chain, and the virus is destroyed by cooking.

  • How can I protect myself from Newcastle Disease?

When working directly with birds or poultry, especially when they are ill, wear gloves and safety glasses. Wash your hands after all contact. Avoid touching your eyes until your hands have been washed.

Please refer also to the preventative measures outlined in the above press release.

SHG

12 September 2014

 

 


EXCO MEETING – Tuesday 16 September 2014

Open to the Public from 9.30 am

Executive Council will meet next Tuesday morning, 16 September 2014, in the Council Chamber.

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

 

  • Sustainable Development Plan
  • Capital Programme 2014/15 – Relocation and Rationalisation of SHG Office Accommodation
  • Information Paper on Revised Fuel Prices
  • Information Paper of Undertakings And Resolutions Made at the Formal Meeting of Legislative Council Held on 11 August 2014

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

SHG

12 September 2014

 


‘A LOOK AT ST HELENA’S MARINE LIFE’ – LOCAL TV

ADDITIONAL BROADCASTS

To further broadcasts of ‘A Look at St Helena’s Marine Life’ – a documentary showcasing St Helena’s marine splendour – will be shown additionally at the following times:

  • Friday 12 September at 5:25pm and
  • Saturday 13 September at 12:05pm

SHG

12 September 2014

 


POLICE PRESENTATION – CONFIRMATION IN RANK

Police Service - Confirmation in Rank Ceremony
Police Service – Confirmation in Rank Ceremony

Five St Helena Police Constables were officially Confirmed in Rank during a special ceremony in the Council Chamber on Wednesday 10 September 2014.

PCs Julianne Benjamin, Jane John, Brianna Yon, Clayton Crowie and Craig Crowie all passed their two year probationary period and initial police training and were recognised for their achievements in the presence of invited family and friends.

The ceremony was opened with prayers from Bishop Richard Fenwick, followed by opening remarks from Chief of Police, Trevor Botting, who said:

“It is my privilege to be the Chief of Police for St Helena and Ascension Island and no more so than today – when I have the pleasure of recognising the achievements of Officers setting out on a career with the Police Service.

“Sir Robert Peel, who founded the Metropolitan Police in 1829, is reported to have said ‘The Police are the public and the public are the Police’. These words stay true for today’s modern policing where I believe it is crucial to have local people policing their local community. The officers receiving their certificates today, to recognise their confirmation in the rank of Constable, are just that – Saints proudly serving their local community.

“This is my opportunity to say thank you to you, the families who support their loved ones in their chosen career and all that this entails. To you my officers I would say this: Congratulations on your achievements during your first two years and in your Confirmation in Rank. You epitomise what the Police Service stands for through our values – Professionalism, Respect & Dignity, Honesty & Integrity, Courage, Supportiveness and Compassion.”

Inspector Jonathan Thomas echoed the Chief’s words and commented on the day as being one of many milestones in a Police Officer’s career and one they should all be proud of. He went on to say that to pass their probationary period, Police Constables had to carry out various tasks including control of the beat, making arrests, attending court, detaining, interview planning, conducting interviews and accident procedures. All Constables carried out these operational duties to a high standard, and were recognised today.

Certificates were presented to the five Constables by Head of the Governor’s Office Sean Burns, who also recognised not only the achievement of each of those present, but the St Helena Police Service as a whole. He remarked on the continuous evolvement of the service and its strive towards excellence and gaining public confidence. He paid tribute to each member of the Police Service for the work they do which can be difficult in a small community but appreciated by all whom they serve.

This was the first time a ceremony has been held to confirm officers in rank and it is planned this will become a normal occurrence in future.

A group photo is attached.

SHG

12 September 2014


PHARMACY BUS TIMES

Further to the press release issued yesterday (Tuesday 9 September 2014) regarding Outpatient Clinics, the Health & Social Services Directorate would like to remind the public of the dates and times of the Pharmacy Bus facility in the districts:

  • Half Tree Hollow Clinic – Every Monday from 10am
  • Longwood Clinic – Alternate Wednesdays (from today, 10 September 2014)
  • Levelwood Clinic – Once every 4 weeks ( the next visit to Levelwood will be on Thursday 25 September 2014)

The Directorate thanks the public in advance for its understanding and cooperation.

SHG

10 September 2014


COUNCILLORS CONSTITUENCY SURGERIES

Councillors Constituency Surgeries continue this Saturday at Half Tree Hollow, St Paul’s and Longwood.  All the surgeries take place between 10am and 12noon.

If you would like to give Councillors advance notice of your concern before attending a surgery, you can do so by contacting the Secretary to Elected Members, Anita Legg, on Tel: 22590 or email: sec.em@helanta.co.sh

Dates and locations of the surgeries are detailed below:

CONSTITUENCY SURGERIES
From 10am to 12noon
Venue Date Councillors Attending
Half Tree Hollow Clinic 30 August Nigel Dollery & Lawson Henry
Kingshurst Community Centre, St Paul’s 30 August Gavin Ellick & ChristineScipio-O’Dean
Harford Community Centre, Longwood 30 August Les Baldwin & Brian Isaac
No.3 Main Street, Jamestown 6  September Brian Isaac & Bernice Olsson
Sandy Bay Community Centre 6  September Dr Corinda Essex & Gavin Ellick

On behalf of St Helena Legislative Council

26 August 2014


NEW TEACHERS FOR EDUCATION DIRECTORATE

Arriving on the RMS tomorrow, Wednesday 27 August 2014, are five new teachers to join the St Helena Education team.

Andy Parkinson and Jonathan Lambdon will be joining Prince Andrew School to teach Maths – both are experienced teachers arriving from successful schools in the UK.

Beverley Tyson will lead on Marine Science, teaching classes at Prince Andrew School but also working across the age ranges including within Lifelong Learning. Beverley’s appointment sees the re-introduction of Marine Studies to the school curriculum.

Beverley will be joined at Prince Andrew School by Alison Laycock, who will be teaching French at Prince Andrew School and across the wider Directorate.

Another new arrival, Christine Blake, will be joining the Directorate to lead on teacher training across all schools.

All five new members, who arrive on two year contracts to fill vacant posts, will also have important roles to play in supporting wider developments within Education, including reforming the curriculum and modernising professional development programmes.

Three of the new teachers are replacing staff who have completed contracts and two are new posts. Due to the specialist nature of these roles, they are all funded by DfID – representing a key stage in developing a 21st century curriculum for the young people of St Helena at a time of massive economic and social change.

Director of Education and Employment, Colin Moore, commented:

“I am very pleased to welcome our new specialist teachers. They join the Directorate at a very important time. We have rising achievement and ambition amongst our children and young people and our new staff will help us to turn these dreams and high ambitions into reality.”

Christine Scipio O’Dean, Chair of the Education Committee, added:

“The strong curriculum that we offer our students requires specialist skills and experience. Our new team of teachers will help us to develop local expertise and specialist teaching provision. We wish them a warm welcome to St Helena.”

SHG

26 August 2014

 


ST HELENA GCSE RESULTS 2014 - BEST EVER RECORDED!  

For young people and their parents, today represents the end of a period of waiting since exams took place a few months ago – today is the day that Prince Andrew School students receive their GCSE results – and they are the best ever recorded.

The 2014 results are the best ever achieved on the Island and are setting new records – with virtually half of Year 11 students achieving five GCSE A*- C grades, including English and Maths.

While detailed analysis of results is yet to be done, Councillor Christine Scipio-O’Dean, Chair of the Education Committee, said:

“I am delighted to offer my personal congratulations to the Year 11 students who have done so well this year. On behalf of the Education Committee, I would like to say ‘Well Done’ to all of the students and their families.”

Headteacher, Paul Starkie added:

“We at Prince Andrew School are extremely proud of our GCSE results this year. They reflect the hard work our students have put into preparing for these exams and also the dedication and commitment of our teachers.

“I hope the success achieved by our students this year will be an inspiration to their counterparts next year and prove to them that with effort and determination, they too can achieve the high results they are capable of.”

The small cohort of students who sat A & AS-level examinations received their results last week.  As in the UK, results were mixed with some students receiving their predicted grades and others missing out.

The Education Committee also met this week and heard from Primary Advisor, Zoe Robinson, on the progress being made in Primary schools. The assessments for St Helena Primary Schools this year were significantly different from those administered last year – because the UK Department for Education has ‘raised the bar.’

For example, Mathematics assessments this year did not allow the use of calculators and English tests did not include a separate writing exercise – instead writing was assessed within the recently introduced Spelling, Punctuation & Grammar test.

The challenging target for St Helena of 60% of all Primary School children achieving a level 4 or above was not met, but Harford School exceeded this target in English and Maths. Overall, the Primary Schools have shown improvements in Reading, Writing and Maths, compared to last year. And bearing in mind the changes in assessments and general raising of standards, this represents significant progress within Primary Schools.

But there is no room for complacency. Boys are still being out-performed by girls, and the next school year will see the Directorate putting in place new strategies to raise achievement, including:

 

  • A new Curriculum in line with changes taking place in the UK
  • The start in September of a Year of Mathematics on St Helena
  • A new approach to training of staff
  • Keeping the focus on teaching and learning

Finally, a word of caution. Percentages only tell a partial tale, particularly when we have such small cohorts of children. In one school for example, one child can represent over 3% of the cohort. We will of course continue to set challenging percentage targets, but our approach must also be to address the individual needs of each young person relative to their unique learning profile.

Next month, the Education Committee will receive a full report on this year’s results.

Colin Moore, Director of Education and Employment, commented:

“Schools have worked very hard over the past year to provide a really varied range of activities for our children and young people. At the heart of everything they do is the key priority of raising achievement. Only good teaching results in successful learning.

“Across all age ranges there is real progress being made.  We know there is a continuing job to be done in building on our previous best.  We will be introducing a ‘Year of Mathematics’ soon to stimulate interest and raise attainment in Maths.

“These record breaking results are the news that the Island has been waiting for. They show that we have young people with the talent and skills that St Helena needs.  We should all join together in saying well done and congratulations to our young people and their teachers.”

Finally giving his reaction to the results, Governor Capes concluded:

“This is really excellent news for St Helena. I offer warm congratulations to students, parents and teachers. The bar has now been raised. I hope that will encourage students taking these important exams next year to redouble their efforts over the months ahead so that they can match or surpass these results.”   

 

SHG

22 August 2014

 


CLOSURE OF LOWER WHARF THIS WEEKEND- UPDATE  

As previously advised on 11 August, the Lower Wharf will be closed from 12.30pm tomorrow, Saturday 23 August 2014, until Monday morning 25 August (Bank Holiday Monday).  This will be a full closure of the Lower Wharf, with no pedestrian or vehicle access for the duration.

However, the Middle Steps and Upper Steps (Thompson’s Crane), and surrounding areas, will be open to pedestrians and vehicles all weekend, including Bank Holiday Monday.  Only the Lower Steps area will be closed.

This closure is necessary to allow new road markings to be painted around the area of the Cranes and the Life Boats, adjacent to the lower steps.  These areas will be cordoned off.

Additionally, there will be no Ferry Service from Jamestown Wharf this Sunday, 24 August.   However, the Ferry Service will operate as normal on Bank Holiday Monday, 25 August – once the work has been completed.

SHG

22 August 2014


OUTBREAK OF POULTRY DISEASE - UPDATE

An outbreak of a serious and highly contagious bird disease has been identified in two specific chicken flocks in Half Tree Hollow and New Ground.  ANRD Veterinary Service is working with a major UK laboratory to diagnose the disease. A broad range of samples has been taken, to leave on the next RMS voyage – world experts will be working on this case for St Helena.

An emergency Quarantine Order was put in place yesterday under the Animals (Diseases) Regulations.  It has now been necessary to extend Quarantine at both properties lasting for a total of eight weeks, dating from today.

Culling of poultry has now taken place at both premises as well as disinfection of affected areas.

Notices have been posted at the two premises and disinfectant points established.

ANRD believes there are no human health issues relating to this specific disease.  But the disease is highly contagious and can easily be spread from one bird to another. In order to help stop the spread of this deadly disease and save St Helena’s poultry stock, it is vital that poultry keepers follow the simple measures below:

STOP THE SPREAD

  •  Wherever practical, try to keep your poultry inside the coop
  • Even if your set-up means you are unable to do this, keep all feed and water inside the coop
  • Do your best to exclude wild birds by blocking holes and using netting
  • Set up a footbath such as a bucket or washing up bowl filled with disinfectant or bleach at the entrance to the coop. Dip your feet on the way in and on the way out – to create a barrier to germs
  • Have a dedicated set of boots and overalls for your poultry coop which never leave your premises
  • Wash your hands after visiting the chickens
  • Discourage visitors to your coop
  • And report any unusual deaths or symptoms to the Veterinary Service at ANRD on tel. 24724.  Symptoms in chickens may include all or some of:

o   Open mouth breathing

o   Coughing and sneezing

o   Discharge from the eyes and nostrils

o   Blackening of combs and wattles

o   Sudden egg drop, combined with pale, paper-thin egg shells

o   Severe yellow and watery diarrhoea

Any enquiries can be made to the Senior Veterinary Officer at ANRD on tel. 24724 or email: joe-hollins@enrd.gov.sh

SHG

22 August 2014


FUEL LEAKAGE IN RUPERT’S

It was brought to the attention of SHG on Wednesday 20 August 2014 that a section of fuel line used for the movement of fuel from the tanker to the fuel tanks in Rupert’s – was damaged. The affected area is directly behind the beach area.

Ben Sansom from the Environment and Natural Resources Directorate reported:

“We have been on site since last night supporting all organisations who responded to the incident. The affected section of fuel line has been isolated and we are ensuring that fuel operations continue at Rupert’s.

“Last night we excavated an area of polluted soil which has been stockpiled at the landfill site for remediation. ENRD is providing technical support to Solomons and we are fully investigating any wider environmental impact. We will continue to monitor the situation with the contractor.”

Investigations are ongoing as to the volume of fuel which has been lost as a result of the leakage but the public are assured there is no impact on fuel supplies on the Island. The next delivery of fuel to the Island is scheduled in early November and there is plenty of fuel on the Island to cover this period.

St Helena Government, Basil Read and Solomons are working together to ensure public safety and resolve any outstanding environmental concerns. Lower Rupert’s and the Rupert’s Wharf area are already closed until further notice to rectify the situation and for offloading operations of the NP Glory 4 ship.

The public are reminded that if they see or are concerned about any pollution problem on the Island, they should immediately contact the Pollution hotline on tel: 22790 to make a report.

SHG

21 August 2014


LUCY FAITHFULL FOUNDATION REPORT - Statement from Governor Mark Capes

Two representatives of the Lucy Faithfull Foundation (LFF) visited St Helena for two weeks in May 2013, primarily to review the way SHG handled child protection cases. Their visit was initiated, contracted and paid for by the UK Government.

Since the St Helena Independent newspaper drew attention to the draft LFF report being available online, some individuals on St Helena have sought to argue that it is right for the public to have access to it. Many others have taken an opposing view.  I thought it right that I, as Governor, should offer my view on this.

It was never intended that the LFF report should be made public, given the importance of protecting the identity of victims of abuse, as well as the identity of those who were asked to provide information to LFF on a strictly confidential basis.  A summary of the LFF’s principal findings, as contained in the final version of the report, was published on the SHG website in October 2013.

The summary, which protects personal and confidential details, provided the basis for public discussion of the main issues covered in the report. The media gave it constructive coverage and Councillors discussed the subject at Constituency meetings. It was acknowledged that, as in the UK and elsewhere, St Helena had problems to address. Drawing on recommendations made in the LFF report, SHG launched a work programme to improve management of this important area of work.

We all know that earlier this year an unnamed individual leaked a draft copy of the LFF report to a UK newspaper. This resulted in a series of headlines which outraged Saints and the many friends of St Helena around the world.  A few weeks ago, it became known that a draft version of the LFF report was leaked to a law firm in London which then published the entire draft report on its website. The St Helena Independent newspaper subsequently printed an ‘anonymous’ letter providing a link to the leaked report on the UK law firm’s website. SHG then took immediate steps to counsel and help protect victims and others identified in this draft LFF report.

It should be understood here that the leaked LFF draft report is just that – an early draft. The final version was produced much later after work to check and filter information gathered from many sources by the LFF representatives during their brief visit to St Helena.

Much of the work of your government, by far the bulk of it, is open and transparent; and so it should be.  I am pleased that over the past few years we have seen much more openness in government than hitherto.  But most people will readily agree that some information must, for important reasons, stay confidential, restricted only to those who need to know.

I have been asked by some in our community whether those who argue that the LFF draft report should be published would be happy if SHG were to publish their medical and social services records, police records, personal financial, tax and employment details and so on. I think not. Or would they agree to the Bank of St Helena publishing their personal expenditure and income statements?  I think not.

The work of Police and Social Service Officers can be seriously damaged and undermined by breaches of trust and confidentiality, even more so in such a small community as ours.  One might think this should be glaringly obvious to most people.  To support publication of a confidential report about child protection, knowing that it would be likely to damage efforts to improve performance in that area and cause grief to victims and families that have had to deal with abuse, is reprehensible.

Nonetheless, the callous attitude of the few will not deter those in SHG and in our community who are working hard to strengthen measures to protect children and the vulnerable from abuse of any sort. We are making steady progress and more expert resources are being allocated to help take forward this vital work.  I am sure that the community as a whole will welcome and support that.

 HE Governor Capes

20 August 2014

 

 

 


QUARTERLY STATISTICAL BULLETIN - August 2014

The Quarterly Statistical News Bulletin, published in August 2014, covers the period April to June 2014 and contains updates for the annual rate of inflation of the Retail Price Index, Income and Imports, Estimated Population, Migration and Vehicles on St Helena.

Annual inflation of the St Helena Retail Price Index (RPI) stood at 1.9 per cent in Quarter 2 2014 – up by approximately 1 per cent from the previous quarter. The major upwards pressure on annual inflation of the RPI was a result in the increased price of purchasing and importing a vehicle to St Helena. Other notable price increases included electricity tariffs, local fish and fizzy drinks – a result of the soda tax introduced in May 2014. The decrease in the cost of broadband internet services and the pump price of petrol compared to the same period last year continue to act as downwards pressures on the rate of annual inflation.

In the second quarter of 2014, the number of people on St Helena averaged 4,500 and the average St Helenian population stood a little over 4,000. This is an expected seasonal decline and both the resident population and the resident St Helenianpopulation both continue to grow in comparison to the same period in any year since the 2008 population Census.

In the second quarter of 2014, there were 40 fewer passenger arrivals than the same period in 2013, a reduction of 5.1 per cent.  An increase in the number of business and transit visitors partially offset reductions in the number of excursion visitors (the traditional St Helenian “tourist” base) and Saints retiring from overseas employment or visiting family and friends.  In the second quarter of 2014, there were 120 additional passenger departures from St Helena compared to the same period in 2013. The increase in passenger departures is a result of a more mobile St Helenian population with an increase in the number of Saints travelling overseas for both recreational and medical purposes.

Statistician, Dr Paula McLeod said:

“The data we are collecting continue to show a growing St Helenian population and economy. The consistent, steady growth in both of these indicators is positive – we are seeing gradual and persistent changes, rather than erratic variation.”

The Statistical News Bulletin, along with other statistical reports, is available for download from the SHG website www.sainthelena.gov.sh/statistics

If you have requested a copy of the Quarterly Statistical News Bulletin via email and have not yet received it, please contact the office on 22138 or by emailing statistics@sainthelena.gov.sh

SHG

19 August 2014

 

 

 

 

 


RMS ST HELENA CREW ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR SOUTH ATLANTIC MEDAL

St Helena Government is pleased to announce that the volunteer crew of the RMS St Helena who, along with HMS Ledbury and HMS Brecon, sailed to the Falkland Islands during the conflict  in 1982, are able to apply to be the proud recipients of the South Atlantic Medal (without rosette).

After a long campaign and case brought to the Medal Review Team and the Honours and Decorations Committee, a decision was reached in June 2014 and the qualifying period was extended from 12 July to 21 October 1982 (when the airport at Mount Pleasant was completed). 32 years later those who served on the RMS St Helena and others who served but missed out on the medal due to the initial cut-off date, are finally able to get the recognition they deserve.

SHG UK Representative Kedell Worboys MBE commented:

“I am delighted that after many years of campaigning, particularly by Ian McVitie, the Officers and Crew of the ‘old’ RMS who volunteered to sail to the Falklands in 1982 will be given the recognition they deserve. Although the conflict had ended by the time the RMS reached the territorial waters of the Falklands, at the time of volunteering the Officers and Crew knew the risk of becoming involved in the hostilities was very real. I hope that those eligible will now apply for the South Atlantic Medal and wear it with pride.”

The names of the volunteer crew who served on the RMS St Helena during this time are attached. Freddie Green and Patrick Williams are still serving on board the RMS.

The volunteer crew are now encouraged to apply for the South Atlantic Medal (without rosette). Those who served on board during this time are eligible to apply (via the attached MOD application form). Applications will be accepted from 1 October 2014 onwards, and should be submitted to the MOD Medals Office (the full address can be found at the bottom of the attached application form).

Applications may also be submitted electronically to

DBS-MODMOHonsAwardsE1a@mod.uk, but electronic applications must contain a scanned handwritten signature.

Application forms must be completed and signed by the veteran him or herself. If deceased, the veteran’s next of kin must complete the form and a copy of the death certificate should be provided. The awards will begin to be despatched towards the end of October and applications will be dealt with in date order.

A campaign for eligibility for the South Atlantic Medal (without rosette) began 30 years ago by Ian McVitie who served on HMS Ledbury and went South with the RMS St Helena and HMS Brecon. He was joined in the campaign by Nigel Morris in 2011 who served on HMS Diomede. St Helena Government has supported the campaign through Parliamentary Questions taken to the House by Sir Bob Russell.

In 2007, the then Governor, the late Michael Clancy, awarded the St Helena Badge of Honour to the St Helenian Officers and Crew of the RMS on the 25th anniversary of the Falklands Conflict.

 SHG

19 August 2014

 


ST HELENA READING AWARENESS DAY 2014

The Public Library in Jamestown hosted its annual Reading Awareness Day on Thursday 14 August 2014.

The goal of the day is to encourage and promote reading – the public and all primary and secondary age children were welcome to attend. Activities included storytelling, word searches, quizzes, a treasure hunt, craft sessions based upon childrens’ favourite book characters, and a talk on St Helena insects by Lisa Fowler from the National Trust.Reading Time

Librarian Jill Young commented:

“The day went really well and many children attended with their parents. We also had Brenda Moors and Jean Corker helping with reading stories to children.”

Children were very engaged and happy doing various activities. Some created clocks based upon the rhyme ‘Hickory Dickory Dock’ and images about the ‘Ugly Duckling’ story. Children read aloud, and silently. The older children were busy creating a wallboard display on Enid Blyton, celebrating her birthday on 11 August. Other activities included analysis of Enid Blyton stories, and colouring printed pictures from her books.

Activities Librarian Lacosta McDaniel added:

 “We hope that this display will be seen by all visitors who come into the library, and that it reinforces the importance of reading.”

The day reminded all of the power of reading. With reading you can gain endless knowledge, and staff at the Library encourages parents, guardians, children and teachers to use all the resources that

Creative Clocks

are available there.

 

Three photos are attached.

SHG

15 August 2014


ROAD MAINTENANCE - REMINDER

As part of the on-going road maintenance program, the Highways Authority has given approval for the road from New Bridge to The Briars junction to be closed for an initial period of 15 weeks, starting on Monday 18 August 2014.  The closure will be for 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, weather permitting.

This closure will allow the Roads Section to carry out clearance of vegetation, repair safety fences, remove potentially dangerous rocks, upgrade and install retaining walls, fit slipper drains and double dress the road.

Residents and businesses living and working within the proposed road closure will have access to their homes and workplace at all times.  Access will be from one end of the road or the other, depending on how work is progressing at the time.

Emergency Services will be permitted access as required, and the road might be open at weekends, depending on progress on the route.

The Roads Team apologises in advance for the inconvenience.

Enquiries about this work can be made on telephone number 23640, during normal working hours.

SHG

13 August 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


COUNCILLORS CONSTITUENCY SURGERIES

COUNCILLORS CONSTITUENCY SURGERIES

Councillors Constituency Surgeries continue this week. All the surgeries take place on Saturdays between 10am and 12noon.

If you would like to give Councillors advance notice of your concern before attending a surgery, you can do so by contacting the Secretary to Elected Members, Anita Legg, on Tel: 22590 or email: sec.em@helanta.co.sh

Dates and locations of the surgeries are detailed below:

CONSTITUENCY SURGERIES
From 10am to 12noon
Venue Date Councillors Attending
St Mary’s Church, The Briars 23 August Cyril George & Ian Rummery
Levelwood Community Centre 23 August Nigel Dollery & Derek Thomas
Half Tree Hollow Clinic 30 August Nigel Dollery & Lawson Henry
Kingshurst Community Centre, St Paul’s 30 August Gavin Ellick & Christine

Scipio-O’Dean

Harford Community Centre, Longwood 30 August Les Baldwin & Brian Isaac
No.3 Main Street, Jamestown 6  September Brian Isaac & Bernice Olsson
Sandy Bay Community Centre 6  September Dr Corinda Essex & Gavin Ellick

On behalf of St Helena Legislative Council

18 August 2014

 

 


PRINCE ANDREW SCHOOL AWARDS CEREMONY

Friday 8August 2014 saw Prince Andrew School hold its end of year Achievement Awards Ceremony, accompanied by musical performances.  Students, parents and invited guests gathered, including HE Governor Capes, Chief Secretary Roy Burke, Councillor Christine Scipio-O’Dean, Director of Education Colin Moore and Father Dale.

Head Teacher Paul Starkie opened the ceremony, highlighting to students the determination needed to achieve their goals and the responsibility of becoming future leaders on the Island.  He referred to the late Mrs Shirley Anderson, who he praised as a positive role model and a person who was compassionate in caring for those in need. PAS 2

An overview of the school’s activities and events during the year was presented by Head Girl Chelsea Young, who encouraged all fellow students to strive towards their ambitions and to never give up.

The first presentation of the day went to joint winners of the House Cup – Mundens and Jenkins.  The Sports Awards then recognised students’ outstanding commitment and teamwork, and were presented to Christian George, Tanisha Benjamin, Alexia Reynolds and Kieran Bowers.  For their dedication to Performing Arts, Alex Vanguard, Shelby Bargo, Deolandre De Jager and Kayleigh Harris collected their certificates and medals.

PAS 4 Councillor Christine Scipio-O’Dean noted the importance of the local community in supporting young people to do their best.  This was echoed with the Heart of Gold Awards, presented to John Dillon and Raymond Young for their help involving swimming sessions, lifeguard duties and in preparing Island and Commonwealth Games participants.  Their dedication towards learning support students was also commended.

The Environment and Conservation Award was presented to Jacob Bowers, the Student of the Year Awards to Chelsea Henry, Christian George, Keegan Yon and Scott George.  Citizenship and Progress Awards also recognised other students.

Father Dale of the Parent Teacher Association, said: PAS 3

“We are very proud of our childrens’ achievements.  A big thank you to all our sponsors, and a special thank you to all students for your commitment to learning.  I also want to pay tribute to Nicky Leo and his team for crafting the awards presented today.” 

Father Dale also praised teachers Jeanette Williams and Daphne Greentree on their imminent retirements, pointing out that they taught him and many other adults in the hall.

PAS 1

 

 

 

 

 

Four pictures are attached to this release.

SHG

12 August 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


COUNCILLORS’ REPORTS NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE

Councillor Leslie Baldwin’s full report on the 44th British Isles and Mediterranean Region annual conference hosted by the Wales Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, in Cardiff Bay, from 27-30 May 2014, is now available on the SHG website.

Also available online is a full report on Councillor’s Baldwin and Ellick’s attendance at the 63rd Westminster Seminar held in London from 16-20 June 2014.

Both reports can be found at http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/committee-reports/

A press release summarising the Councillors’ attendance at these overseas conferences was issued on 8 August 2014.

 

SHG

13 August 2014


EXCO REPORT – TUESDAY 12 AUGUST 2014

Executive Council met today, Tuesday 12 August 2014, to discuss two items on the Open Agenda.

The first item was a request for approval to spend extra funding on Renewable Energy from the SHG Capital Programme. The £1m extra funding is coming from the Department for International Development (DfID). This new funding has been identified specifically to support only renewable energy projects, and must be spent in this financial year, 2014/15.

In meeting these tight deadlines for spending, it is likely that the new funding will be allocated to a new solar farm for electricity generation. Work on identifying the most appropriate location is underway.

ExCo was very supportive of this proposal as solar generated electricity reduces the Island’s reliance on diesel imports for power generation. ExCo welcomed the project, subject to it being entirely financed out of the £1 million pounds allocated by DfID.

The second item on the Open Agenda was the Building Control Commencement Order 2014. The Building Control Ordinance was passed in March 2013, but has not yet been brought into force. While new Building Regulations are still to be finalised, there is no reason why the new Ordinance cannot be brought into force as the Commencement Order will, in the meantime, make transitional provision for the existing Regulations to remain in force. Work is ongoing to finalise the new Regulations and local contractors and other stakeholders will be consulted in the process. ExCo therefore agreed to pass the Commencement Order.

There was only one item on the closed agenda and this related to the disposal of Wrangham’s house. A decision was agreed, and contractual negotiations will now begin with the preferred bidder. A further announcement will be made once these negotiations are successfully completed.

The meeting finished at 10.50am.

ExCo

12 August 2014


ST HELENA’S FUTURE LEADERS URGED TO APPLY FOR UK’S PRESTIGIOUS CHEVENING SCHOLARSHIP

Talented professionals and public servants from St Helena are able to apply for a scholarship award under the UK’s flagship Chevening programme funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Awarded to outstanding individuals with leadership potential, a Chevening Scholarship offers financial support for a Master’s level degree beginning September 2015 at one of the UK’s leading universities.

Those interested have until 15 November 2014 to submit their application.

Governor Capes said:

“A Chevening Scholarship provides a tremendous opportunity for individuals to develop their full potential and I very much hope that we will see a good field of applicants.”

Awards are typically for a one-year Master’s Degree, in any subject at any of the UK’s leading universities.

To be eligible for a Chevening Scholarship, you must:

  • Be a citizen of a Chevening-eligible country, and intend to return there after your studies
  • Hold a degree that is equivalent to at least an upper second-class honours degree in the UK
  • Have completed at least two years’ work or equivalent experience before applying for a Chevening Scholarship
  • Be able to meet the Chevening minimum English language requirement
  • Be able to obtain the correct visa, and receive an unconditional offer from a UK university

The Chevening team are particularly interested to hear from applicants in St Helena who wish to study areas that will benefit the Island’s three national goals.

A Chevening scholarship usually offers tuition fees, a monthly stipend, travel to and from your country, and a thesis or dissertation grant.

How to apply

Those interested should read the online guidance and be able to demonstrate how they meet the Chevening selection criteria before submitting an application. Further details of important dates and priority subject areas are available at www.chevening.org/apply

SHG

12 August 2014


CLOSURE OF LOWER WHARF

The Lower Wharf will be closed from 12:30pm on Saturday 23 August 2014 until the same time on Monday 25 August.

This will be a full closure of the Lower Wharf, with no pedestrian or vehicle access for the duration.  The closure is necessary to allow new road markings to be painted around the area of the Cranes and the Life Boats, adjacent to the lower steps.

SHG

11 August 2014

 


EXCO MEETING – Tuesday 12 August 2014

Open to the Public from 9.30 am

Executive Council will meet tomorrow morning, Tuesday 12 August 2014, in the Council Chamber.

The meeting will be open to the public from 9.30am for two Open Agenda items:

  • Request for approval to spend additional funding on Renewable Energy
  • Building Control Ordinance (Commencement) Order, 2014
  • Executive Council Members are: Ian Rummery, Christine Scipio-O’Dean, Lawson Henry, Wilson Duncan and Leslie Baldwin.

SHG

11 August 2014

 

 


LAURA GRADUATES IN UK  

Laura Lawrence
Laura Lawrence

Laura Lawrence of Half Tree Hollow, has graduated from the University of Hertfordshire with an Upper Second Class Degree (Honours) in English Language and Communication with English Language Teaching.

The Degree lasted three years, and was a joint Honours Degree with English Language and Communication as the Major and English Language Teaching as the Minor.

The English Language and Communication programme dealt with many aspects of language (mainly English), such as: describing and explaining how languages work, how different groups in society use language in their own characteristic ways, how children and adults acquire language(s) in the first place and how languages change over time.

The English Language Teaching programme covered all kinds of English language teaching.  It included teaching English to people who live in the UK, to foreigners and to UK visitors.

During the three years, twenty-four modules were covered by Laura.  She said:

“I found the most fascinating ‘Sounds of English’.  It looked at the physiological apparatus involved with the production of speech and examined how individual speech sounds are made.  This module gave me an important descriptive element for further language study in my second and third years and is an essential tool for my career in teaching.”

Laura also ran an independent project around the module ‘Language and Gender’, in which she investigated how St Helenian women in positions of power carry out workplace interaction with men and women.  The aim was to challenge the stereotype that women are not effective leaders when giving directives, running meetings and challenging views.

“I enjoyed this project immensely.  The participants all willingly gave up their time to be interviewed and offered valuable insight into the way they manage and lead. The most exciting trend I discovered was that all the women I interviewed began their careers in teaching.  An inspiration for me, to say the least. I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who participated – your input was beyond what I needed and produced an intriguing investigation, with a pleasing end result.”

Laura will now undertake a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (Secondary English) through the University of Bedfordshire.  This will be a School Direct route – having school placements alongside university studies.

Laura added:

“During my interview for this course my passion for teaching was rekindled and my enthusiasm must have come across, as they offered me a place on the spot.

“I would like to thank the St Helena Government for this opportunity – Mrs Wendy Benjamin for starting my journey, my family and friends for always believing in me and encouraging me and the staff and students of Prince Andrew School – who motivated me to pursue this venture.”

SHG

11 August 2014

 


COUNCILLORS CONSTITUENCY SURGERIES

16 AUGUST – 6 SEPTEMBER 2014

For their second round of meetings with constituents Councillors will be taking a more personal approach by holding constituency surgeries instead of the normal constituency meetings.

Each surgery will be led by two Councillors in the various districts and will provide an opportunity for constituents to discuss matters affecting them face to face with their Councillor.

Dates and locations of the surgeries are detailed below:

CONSTITUENCY SURGERIES
From 10am to 12noon
Venue Date Councillors attending
Blue Hill Community Centre 16 August Tony Duncan & Lawson Henry
St Michael’s Church, Ruperts 16 August Ian Rummery & Christine

Scipio-O’Dean

St Mary’s Church, The Briars 23 August Cyril George & Ian Rummery
Levelwood Community Centre 23 August Nigel Dollery & Derek Thomas
Half Tree Hollow Clinic 30 August Nigel Dollery & Lawson Henry
Kingshurst Community Centre, St Paul’s 30 August Gavin Ellick & Christine

Scipio-O’Dean

Harford Community Centre, Longwood 30 August Les Baldwin & Brian Isaac
No.3 Main Street, Jamestown 6  September Brian Isaac & Bernice Olsson
Sandy Bay Community Centre 6  September Dr Corinda Essex & Gavin Ellick

If you would like to give Councillors advance notice of your concern before attending a surgery, you can do so by contacting the Secretary to Elected Members, Anita Legg, on Tel: 22590 or email: sec.em@helanta.co.sh

On Behalf of St Helena Legislative Council

11 August 2014


FORMAL LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL – MONDAY 11 August 2014

Formal Legislative Council will sit on Monday 11 August at 10am in the Court House, Jamestown. This session is expected to last a day and will be broadcast live via SAMS Radio 1.

During the meeting papers will be presented including:

  • Enterprise St Helena, Financial Statements for the year ended 31 March 2013
  • St Helena Fisheries Corporation, Financial Statements for the year ended March 2013
  • Government of St Helena Schedule of Special Warrants 2013/2014

The following Bills will be delivered:

  • A Bill for an Ordinance – Protection of Wrecks and Marine Archaeological Heritage Ordinance, 2014
  • A Bill for an Ordinance – Spear Guns Control Ordinance, 2014
  • A Bill for an Ordinance – Customs and Excise (Amendment No. 2) Ordinance,

2014

Six Questions for oral response will also be taken to the House along with five Motions.  The session will conclude with the customary Adjournment Debate.

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

SHG

7 August 2014

 

 

 


FORMAL LEGCO - MONDAY 11 AUGUST 2014

Legislative Council will meet formally on Monday 11 August, at 10am in the Court House – with the session expected to last a day.

The following Bills will be presented:

  1. A Bill for an Ordinance – Protection of Wrecks and Marine Archaeological Heritage Ordinance, 2014
  2. A Bill for an Ordinance – Spear Guns Control Ordinance, 2014
  3. A Bill for an Ordinance – Customs and Excise (Amendment No. 2) Ordinance, 2014

The full Order Paper will be issued next week.

SHG

1 August 2014


ASCENSION ISLAND COMMITS A FIFTH OF ITS LAND AREA TO BIODIVERSITY PROTECTION

 

  • 6 Nature reserves and 1 Sanctuary created to protect a unique blend of wild and plant life, including endemic species.

 

  • 20% of Ascension’s land now covered by special measures to reduce the threat to vulnerable species.

 

The UK Overseas Territory of Ascension Island has committed 20% of its land area to the protection of a diverse range of animal and plant life. The South Atlantic territory, which lies midway between Brazil and Africa, is home to some of the region’s largest sea turtle and seabird nesting colonies, as well as many unique species of plants and invertebrates. On 28 July, His Excellency Mark Capes, Governor of Ascension, enacted legislation that created seven new nature reserves and wildlife sanctuaries to complement the one existing national park.

The Island’s three main turtle nesting beaches, which together support more than a half of all green turtle nesting in the South Atlantic Ocean – as many as 25,000 nests per year – are among the sites protected. The dramatic seabird nesting colonies of the Wideawake Fairs, Boatswain Bird Island and the Letterbox Peninsula, home to more than 800,000 nesting seabirds, also receive legal protection for the first time.

In enacting the legislation, Governor Mark Capes said, “We are committed to enhancing our ability to provide long-term protection of the environment on Ascension Island which hosts an extraordinary range of animals and plants, some of which are found only on Ascension. I commend the Ascension Island Council for their leadership in developing this legislation and for recommending it to me for enactment.”

Councillor Caroline Yon MBE, Chairman of the Island Council’s Biodiversity & Fisheries Protection Committee, said, “Ascension Island’s residents have already demonstrated a deep respect for the biodiversity around us. Creating protected areas takes this commitment a step further and will enable the Government to attract and deploy funding to ensure that these areas are carefully restored and managed for wildlife.”

The decision to protect large areas for wildlife was taken during a two year project funded by the UK Government’s Darwin Initiative to develop a national biodiversity strategy for Ascension Island. The project, which is being led by Ascension Island Government and the University of Exeter, brings together a consortium of organisations with an interest in preserving the Island’s incredible natural heritage.

   Speaking of the new legislation, Drs Sam and Nicola Weber, who are coordinating the project locally, said, “This marks a real milestone in nature conservation on Ascension Island. By restricting development and  irresponsible use, this legislation gives the Government the tools it needs to safeguard the Island’s most iconic wildlife sites for the future.” “The decision to create new nature reserves has received considerable  support from across the community”, the pair added, “which shows how seriously environmental stewardship is currently taken on the Island.”

 Notes

With an area of only 37 square miles and a population of just 800 people, Ascension Island is one of the smallest and least populous of the UK’s inhabited overseas territories. However, the Island has a long history of use as a military base and telecommunications hub: functions that have not always coexisted harmoniously with the environment. In the past, activities such as sand mining and unregulated development have impacted some of the Island’s most important wildlife habitat. Exotic plants and animals, introduced to the Island by people, also continue to threaten many areas.

Contact Point

Dr Sam Weber, Conservation Department (sam.weber@ascension.gov.ac) 00-247-6359.

ASCENSION ISLAND GOVERNMENT

28 July 2014



‘ANNE’ SUITE OPENS

A major step forward in safeguarding procedures on St Helena was taken on Tuesday 29 July 2014 with the opening of the Victim Interviewing Suite in Longwood.

The ‘Anne’ Suite is a newly refurbished centre where victims of sex offences or other abuse can be confidentially interviewed – and represents a significant financial and social commitment from St Helena Government and Councillors to support vulnerable members of our society.

The suite was officially opened by HE Governor Capes in the presence of invited guests. Chief of Police Trevor Botting welcomed all present and stressed the vital importance of safeguarding on St Helena.

Governor Capes said:

‘The opening of the Anne Suite is an important milestone in the work of St Helena Government to safeguard people on St Helena – this suite is part of our ongoing work and commitment to protect the vulnerable in society.

Interviewing Suite
Interviewing Suite

 

‘St Helena doesn’t have all the resources it might like to have and we have to prioritise our money extremely carefully, but despite competing pressures the fact that we put our money into protecting the vulnerable speaks volumes for our commitment and a huge thank you to everyone for putting this together.’

Medical Examination Area
Medical Examination Area

Echoing Governor Capes, DC Veronica Judd spoke of how important it is for the Police Service to have within the community a safe neutral environment in which they can make a report. She said:

We the police recognise that it is a very difficult thing to come forward to us and make a complaint and it takes a huge amount of courage to do so. We would like to assure the vulnerable in our society that we  are here to deal with their reports professionally and want the public to know that every individual will be supported.

  ‘We take every allegation extremely seriously and every report will be fully investigated and, most importantly, will be treated in the strictest confidence – we urge people to come forward and make their report to us.’

  The suite itself is spacious and equipped with state of the art interviewing and video equipment for people to give and have their statement properly recorded. There is also a place for victims to be medically examined if they need to. The rooms have been designed to provide a comfortable, caring and safe environment for victims of abuse.

The suite supports the excellent progress that has been made in the development of safeguarding procedures on the Island by the Police, Social Services, Education and other partners and volunteers in taking care of those in need.

Artwork providing a calming ambience was contributed by Lindsey McGinnety, Andy Crowe, Dave Higgins and Jill Key. Thanks are extended to all those who have made this suite happen.

HE Governor Capes and DC Veronica Judd
HE Governor Capes and DC Veronica Judd

The suite is dedicated to ‘Anne’ for her courage, fortitude and belief in the system to bring to justice a dangerous offender.

SHG

30 July 2014


NEW ROADS MANAGER

Benjamin Hathway
Benjamin Hathway

St Helena Government’s new Roads Manager, Benjamin (Ben) Hathway (photo attached) arrived on Island on Wednesday 23 July 2014 on a three year contract.

Ben is based at Donkey Plain and as Roads Manager is responsible for the entire road network on the Island. His role will include looking after the Island’s roads, managing the workforce, putting together operational programmes and working with other sections of the Environment and Natural Resources Directorate to ensure a joined up approach to roads management.

Ben will be building on the work of the previous Roads Manager, including slightly modifying some production methods, trialling other materials, inspecting roads and producing phased work programmes based on these inspections.

Ben explains:

“My main priorities over the coming weeks will be to understand key issues regarding the roads on St Helena and working to begin to resolve them. There is no quick solution and everything will take time but hopefully I can start to address the challenges we may have.”

Ben added:

‘Roads management on St Helena is vital. The main ways of getting around the Island are using private or public transport, and walking. The roads network on the Island, like anywhere else in the world, is central for business and social uses. It is therefore crucial the network is maintained to a good standard.’

Ben has 23 years roads experience and started his career as a road worker. He worked his way up to Roads Inspector and spent a number of years as a Quantity Surveyor. Prior to his arrival on St Helena, Ben was the Network Manager for Cambridgeshire County Council in the UK.

Ben concluded:

‘I’m looking forward to working on St Helena and serving the Island community – the people of St Helena have made me and my family feel very welcome and we are settling into our new home.

‘During the next few months I will be doing my best to understand issues affecting the roads on St Helena and will be happy to speak with anyone to hear their views.’

SHG

29 July 2014

 


POULTRY BREEDING MOVES TO RODDY’S CHICKEN FARM UNDER PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP

Roddy
Roddy

Poultry breeding on St Helena involves activities such as the importation of chicken parent stock and the production, brooding and sale of 3-week old chicks.  For many years this service has been available from the Agriculture and Natural Resources Division (ANRD) to local egg producers and smallholders.

ANRD has been seeking private sector interest in taking on the key elements of the existing poultry breeding service – so that their Veterinary and Livestock Section can concentrate on delivery of their core services to livestock producers and the general public.  This partnership will also achieve a reduction in subsidy for the poultry breeding service.

On 18 July 2014, Rodney Yon of White Gate, owner of Roddy’s Chicken Farm, entered into a 3 year partnership arrangement with ANRD to manage their current poultry breeding service and establish further egg production housing to increase egg production at Roddy’s Farm to meet the needs of the Island.  ANRD will continue the importation of chicken parent stock as and when required to ensure biosecurity requirements are met, and will provide veterinary support and advice to Rodney to enable chick production to continue.

Head of ANRD, Darren Duncan, commented:

“It is pleasing to see a private sector operator prepared to share risk through partnership with SHG and ESH to deliver an important agricultural service to the community and to scale up egg production.  This will increase production of a product for which we have a competitive advantage and which we rely on as a staple food”.

Enterprise St Helena (ESH) has been instrumental in supporting Rodney to realise this expansion and both ANRD and ESH have provided funding under the SHG/Private Sector Agriculture Partnership Policy to enable Rodney to combine this new service with a larger egg production operation from the ANRD poultry unit premises near Sunnyside.

chickens
chickens

ESH Private Sector Development Manager, Martin George, said:

“This is indeed a proud step in the right direction.  Rodney is one of many individuals that demonstrate enthusiasm in commercial development and is evidence of the success of the public private partnership policy.”

Rodney added:

“I am extremely excited to start this new venture.  I have signed a lot of contracts in my life and this contract tops them all.” 

From 1 August 2014, all requests for pullets (young hens) should be made to Rodney Yon on telephone 23633.

Two pictures accompany this release.

SHG

29 July 2014

 


EMERGENCY PLANNING ON ST HELENA AND MAJOR INCIDENT PLAN

An Island Major Incident Plan is currently being finalised, centred on emergency planning arrangements that need to be in place should a major incident occur on St Helena. While the chances of a major incident occurring on the Island are very low, it is important that the right planning and preparedness are in place to deal with any such situation promptly and effectively.

The Major Incident Plan is being developed around identifying the biggest risks facing the Island and reducing these risks as much as possible. To ensure this, the Emergency Planning team – led by Alistair Smith – are currently identifying the Island’s existing capability to deal with major incidents and fine tuning any gaps in the process. They are putting together both a general Major Incident Plan and also some specific plans where the highest risks have been identified.

The public can be assured that having a robust emergency plan in place for the Island is being taken very seriously. Once completed the plan will not only look at potential Airport-related incidents – although this will be tested as part of the Airport Certification process – but will serve the Island as a whole.

The plan will operate under a ‘one Island’ team effort and in the event of a major incident key functions of the plan will include keeping the public informed, minimising the  impact and ensuring things return back to normal as quickly as possible.

In order for the plan to achieve its intention, over the next few months a series of training and tests will take place across SHG and the Island to ensure its effectiveness. The feedback from the consultation undertaken so far across SHG, utility functions, Basil Read and community groups has been very positive and over the next few months the emergency planning team will be holding further meetings within the community and will be looking to identify individuals who have skills that could be called upon in the event of a major incident.

A major incident exercise will be held on 17 December 2014 which will be an essential part of preparation and implementation of the plan. This will be a whole Island event and people are kindly asked, if at all possible, to avoid planning any major Island activities on this day. The public will be kept informed of developments leading up to December’s exercise and community groups interested in taking part are asked to contact Alistair through the St Helena Access Office, on tel: 22721 or email: Alistair.Smith@sainthelena.gov.sh

SHG

28 July 2014


ST HELENA AIRPORT RUNWAY - INVERTEBRATE, PLANT AND ENDEMIC LICHEN SURVEY

A large area of natural land surface at the Airport site (Prosperous Bay Plain) will of course be lost to construction and associated project works for St Helena’s Airport.

To record the invertebrates present in the area and to get a better understanding of the distribution of endemic, native and non-native (invasive) plant species, in February 2014 the Access Office commissioned St Helena National Trust to conduct a survey of the area prior to its loss, as a part of the Landscape and Ecology Mitigation Programme (LEMP).

The survey has allowed pre-construction mitigation activities to take place, such as lichen translocations, and will inform post construction rehabilitation, such as planting arrangements, in this area.

The findings are contained within the St Helena Airport North Runway Invertebrate, Plant and Endemic Lichen Survey which is now available on the St Helena Access website at http://www.sainthelenaaccess.com/application/

 

SHG

28 July 2014


NEW ST HELENA PORT AUTHORITY

A new St Helena Port Authority has now been established, to replace the former Harbour Board, taking over its functions and responsibilities. The Authority consists of 12 permanent members divided equally into two separate sub-committees:

Port Security Committee

  •       Police Dept (Merlin George)
  •       H.M. Customs (Lionel Joshua)
  •       Immigration (Emerald Newman)
  •       Harbourmaster’s Office  (Steve Kirk)
  •       ANRD Biosecurity Officer (Jill Key)
  •       Private Security Contractor (Paul Laban)

This committee deals with law enforcement, border control and security at Jamestown Wharf and in Rupert’s Bay, fulfilling the requirements of the ISPS Code (International Ship and Port Facility Security Code).

Port Stakeholders Committee

  • Diving Club  (Graham Sim)
  • Fisheries Manager (Terry Richards)
  • Life Boat (Fire Service) (Alan Thomas)
  • Queen Mary & Victoria Stores (Gregory Cairns-Wicks)
  • Solomons & Co (Jason Thomas)
  • Thorpe & Sons (Nick Thorpe)

To allow for a fair and balanced cross-section of the Wharf community, membership of this committee is split equally between the largest merchants and other Wharf users. This committee fulfils the requirements of Chapter 47 of the St Helena Harbours Ordinance.

Both committees will convene every three months, unless events or circumstances dictate otherwise, when emergency meetings can be called. The Chairman of the Port Authority is the Harbourmaster, who may appoint a Vice-Chairman for each sub-committee as agreed by the members.

SHG

28 July 2014


ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL

Morag Stevenson
Morag Stevenson

 

 

On Friday 25 July, Morag Stevenson (Solicitor General) was sworn in as Acting Attorney General, in the presence of HE Governor Capes at the Castle (pictured).  The substantive Attorney General post is currently being recruited.

 

SHG

28 July 2014


OUTPATIENT CLINICS - UPDATE

Due to the continuing need to keep doctors and nurses close to the General Hospital, community nurses are covering shifts there. As a result, the Health & Social Services Directorate advises that with effect from Tuesday 29 July 2014, outpatient and one-stop clinics in the districts will be temporarily unavailable. For the moment, all outpatients will be seen in Jamestown.

The Dispensary Bus will travel to the districts to deliver repeat prescriptions from 10am, as follows:

  • Half Tree Hollow – each Monday
  • Longwood – from Wednesday 30 July, the bus will deliver each fortnight
  • Levelwood – from Thursday 31 July, the bus will deliver every 4th week.

Repeat prescriptions will still be available as normal from the Pharmacy, and once the clinics are back to normal the Dispensary Bus will resume its usual service.

All diabetic nurse-led clinics will continue as usual. Please contact the Diabetic Nurse for an appointment.

The Directorate once again thanks people for their understanding, and wishes to place on record its admiration of Health staff in meeting the demands of the current situation. The public will be updated as soon as possible.

SHG

25 July 2014

 


PUBLIC USE OF THE WHARF – REMINDER

While works continue on the Wharf, access for vehicles and pedestrians will be limited.  The Wharf will remain closed to all private vehicles, between the hours of 4pm and 8.30am, all week, unless otherwise authorised by Port Management.  Pedestrian access will be granted during the same hours.  No vehicles can be left parked between the Freight Terminal and the lower landing steps.

 

Port Management
SHG

23 July 2014


EXCO REPORT – TUESDAY 22 JULY 2014

Executive Council met today 22 July 2014 with two items on the Open Agenda. The first item was the Bill for the Spear Guns Control Ordinance and Spear Guns Control Order. There is an existing Spear Guns Control Ordinance but in order for a prosecution to be successful an enforcement officer would actually have to witness someone using a spear gun during the closed season.

The amended Ordinance will create the offence of possession of a spear gun in the closed season in restricted areas – such as James’ Bay and Rupert’s Bay – for public protection reasons. The Council advised the Governor that this Bill for an Ordinance should be presented as Government Business at the next formal meeting of Legislative Council on 11 August 2014.

The second item on the Open Agenda was a memorandum to endorse the following definition of disability: “A disabled person is someone who has a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day to day activities.”

This definition of disability has been endorsed by the St Helena Disabled Persons Society and Council was pleased to endorse it and discussed how this definition could inform positive public debate about disability. Further publicity will follow. Under Any Other Business, there was a discussion on the recent UK media reports about alleged abuse on St Helena. Executive Council reiterated its belief that these articles paint a totally distorted image of St Helena.

The Governor spoke of the widespread dismay among Saints and friends of St Helena around the world following the sensationalist UK media headlines of the past week. He said that FCO Ministers and officials were aware of the situation and shared the concern of Councillors that the damaging allegations should be addressed in a transparent and objective way. Recalling that in their 16 July statement Councillors mentioned that they would welcome any independent review, the Governor was pleased to report that the UK Government had given approval for the formation of an independent panel to conduct an inquiry into the allegations.

The Governor expected to receive more information soon on the composition of the panel, the terms of reference and the timing of the inquiry. ExCo welcomed this positive development as an essential step towards restoring St Helena’s good name. In the meantime, Councillors said their immediate concern was to reassure the community that, despite the irresponsible reports in the UK media, St Helena Government continued to take seriously its commitment to protect children and the vulnerable.

They had noted a recent statement from the Lucy Faithful Foundation which ‘condemns the sensationalist editorial lines (in the UK media) given the potential negative effect that such coverage is likely to have on efforts to tackle and prevent abuse’. ExCo undertook to give priority to ensuring that the good progress made in recent years on safeguarding children and the vulnerable should not be undermined by such grossly irresponsible journalism. The meeting concluded at 11.00am.

ExCo 22 July 2014


DERRIE YON GRADUATES

Derrie Yon
Derrie Yon

Derrie Yon of the Briars was awarded a BA (Hons) in English Literature and Creative Writing on 17 July 2014, after a 3-year degree course in the UK at Bath Spa University.

During her course, Derrie (pictured) studied numerous areas, including Gothic Origins and Innovations, Gothic Revivals, Modern Gothic, Poetry and Odes, literary criticism and plays such as those of Samuel Beckett and Arthur Miller.  She also studied the works of Shakespeare.

Derrie said:

“The English Literature component of my degree has been one of the hardest but most rewarding challenges of my university experience. My experiences and communication skills have allowed me to gain a place on the Post Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) at Bath Spa University, which will enable me to reach my goal of becoming a teacher.”

Her Creative Writing course included the study of Fiction, Prose Fiction and Professional Writing – a course designed to teach report writing, third sector writing, speech writing and other types of specialist writing.

Derrie commented:

“I thoroughly enjoyed this course and achieved high marks in most of the modules. I started my own novel, based on the legend of Fernando Lopez for my one of my modules.  It was challenging but I produced work that I was proud off.”

Director of Education, Colin Moore, said:

“Derrie is a shining example to the young people of the Island who might aspire to one day become teachers.  St Helena has some remarkably talented young people who will be the future leaders of the Island. Derrie has worked hard and has graduated at a very high level.  On behalf of the Directorate, I would like to congratulate Derrie on her achievements. 

“The Island needs as many as possible of our young people to gain internationally recognised qualifications, so that we can keep pace with an ever changing world economy.  There is so much that St Helena can be proud of when we consider the achievements of our talented young students and graduates.” 
Derrie concluded:

“University has allowed me to have the confidence to be in charge of my own future and make my own goals in life. I have grown as a person, met so many people and had so many experiences. It was a life changing journey at university and I will look back on it with pride.”

SHG

22 July 2015

 


AIR SERVICE PROCUREMENT FOR ST HELENA – END OF PHASE 1

St Helena Government is pleased to announce that the market response to the first phase of the Air Service Procurement process has been very positive.

The first stage of the formal process to procure an Air Service Provider to St Helena began on 13 June 2014. Interested parties were invited to submit various details about their organisation and outline proposals through a Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ). Deadlines for the PQQ closed at noon on Thursday 17 July 2014.

The submissions received will now be reviewed over the coming weeks to establish the parties to be invited to tender for the air service to St Helena. This review process will be completed by 15 August 2014, when successfully pre-qualified parties will be issued with an Invitation to Tender document. Parties that have not pre-qualified will be notified at this time or earlier.

SHG is seeking to award a contract to a suitably qualified organisation to provide air services to St Helena, on a contract period of up to five years. St Helena Government expects to award the final contract for an air service provider in February or March 2015.

Further details will be provided in due course.

Notes to Editors

The Pre-Qualification Questionnaire and Information Memorandum have been available to interested parties on the dedicated website www.flytosthelena.com. All parties that had previously expressed an interest in providing the air service, along with an extensive list of potential air service providers, were notified of the procurement process launch. Advertisements were also placed with aviation publications.

SHG

21 July 2014


REMINDER - NOTICE TO ALL PERSONS TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN TO SOUTH AFRICA

The Immigration Service would like to advise all persons travelling with children under the age of 18 to South Africa of a change in entry regulations.  Parents may be asked to show an Immigration Officer a full birth certificate (including both parents’ names) for all travelling children.  This applies even when both parents are travelling with their own children into South Africa and has been introduced in an attempt to reduce instances of child trafficking through South Africa.  This is not specific to St Helena – It applies to all children travelling through all South African sea and air ports.  The revised regulations apply both to South African citizens and to visitors.

These changes are expected to be implemented on Wednesday 1October 2014.  There is no change to Ascension Island or UK entry controls relating to children at this time.

For children born in St Helena, birth certificates can be obtained from the Customer Service Centre in Jamestown.  For those children born in the UK, the following address may be used to order a replacement birth certificate: https://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificates/default.asp.   Sufficient time should also be allowed ahead of your departure from St Helena to receive the certificate by post from the UK.  A one day despatch service is available.  Services vary in other countries.

Until Wednesday 1 October 2014, there is no country specific guidance for parents travelling with children to South Africa.  However, single parents, or a parent travelling alone with their child or those travelling abroad with children for whom they do not have parental responsibility, should generally obtain an affidavit or letter of authority from person(s) with parental responsibility prior to travel.  General UK guidance is available online at: https://www.gov.uk/permission-take-child-abroad.

Further information is available from the Immigration Office in Ogborn House, Jamestown – telephone no: (00290) 22236.

SHG

21 July 2014


STATEMENT BY GOVERNOR MARK CAPES IN RESPONSE TO REPORTS BY UK MEDIA

Reports last week in the UK media dismayed Saints here and around the world.  The response issued by the five members of Executive Council on 16 July, under the heading ‘St Helena Island Falsely portrayed’, accurately captures the mood of Saints everywhere.

I am sure that the many good friends of St Helena around the world would subscribe to the views expressed by the Councillors.

As Governor of St Helena and Ascension Island, I should draw attention to two important points arising from the sensationalist UK media headlines and the 16 July statement by Councillors.

In their statement the Councillors said: ‘Councillors and Government here welcome any objective and independent review of our current arrangements’.

I want to highlight that remark which I strongly endorse. In recent years, we have openly welcomed and cooperated fully with several independent reviews. As in any small community, we recognise that external assessment is often the best option to establish the facts and, importantly, to withstand any suspicion of a lack of objectivity.  The allegations made in the UK media articles about St Helena and Ascension Island are serious and we must now address them. To that end, we will consider urgently with our partners in the UK Government how to examine the allegations carefully, to establish the facts and, crucially, to do that in a way that will ensure confidence in both the process and the outcome.

The second point I want to stress is that, despite the UK media reports, anyone who is suffering or has suffered because of abuse of any kind, should still have confidence in coming forward to seek help from the Island authorities. As our Children’s Champion, Councillor Christine Scipio O’Dean, noted in the 16 July statement, ’We have taken great steps on St Helena (and Ascension Island) to protect our children and vulnerable people against abuse of any kind’.

That is right and much good work continues to boost resources and to strengthen procedures.   The governments of St Helena and Ascension Island remain firmly committed to protecting children and the vulnerable in society.

Governor Mark Capes

20 July 2014


REMINDER OF DROP IN SESSIONS FOR PROPOSED PAID LEAVE & SICK PAY

The consultation process for proposed paid leave and sick leave in the private sector will form the basis of a report that will identify the next steps forward. Both employers’ and employees’ opinions will be fully considered as part of this review.

The Human Rights Office will be open to assist with the consultation by taking individuals through the simple questionnaire provided.  Private sector employees are urged to attend and make their views known.                                                               

The Human Rights Office will be open at the following times:

  • Monday 21 July to Friday 1 August, 9am – 5pm (normal working hours)
  • Saturday 26 July, 10am – 1pm
  • Tuesday 22 & Thursday 24 July, additional opening until 7pm

The Human Rights Office is situated at the rear entrance to No3 Main Street.  Access can be gained from the road in between St James Church and No 1 Main Street.

A private sector open access event will also be held at the Jamestown Community Centre on Wednesday 23 July at 7pm.

SHG

21 July 2014

 


POSITIVE RESPONSE FROM ST HELENA TO ‘STORYTELLER’

Storyteller at St Pauls School
Storyteller at St Pauls School

Young people on St Helena have been the first to trial and pilot a prototype learning device, called Storyteller, developed by the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool, UK.  This has now been tested at the Island’s three primary schools by Heidi Bauer-Clapp from the Department for Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts in the USA, who is leading the project.

Heidi commented:

“I have received very positive responses from students on St Helena.  Even though this is a prototype device and when tested it does not always work well, the students remained enthusiastic and adaptable – especially liking the photos that were printed by Storyteller.”

Storyteller, shaped like a salad bowl, is activated by students shaking it.  The device then prints text, photos, facts and transmits audio files, in specific chapters – in this case based on the slavery exhibition relating to St Helena currently on display at the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool.  The eventual idea is that the device will be used by schoolchildren who are due to visit the museum, and actually at the museum, to give them a more comprehensive experience of exhibits.

Heidi said:

“The device allows students to be able to think about topics in advance and to better connect with the story told by exhibitions. This particular device is loaded with information based on St Helena’s role in the transatlantic slave trade and the findings in Rupert’s Valley.”  

Feedback from the students included that the pace of issuing information could be quicker, and that you need to be able to go back to a chapter if you wish to hear an audio file again or concentrate on that one area.  The design team will take these suggestions, and others from children on St Helena, into account when designing the final device – that will be linked to the internet and widely used at the International Slavery Museum.

Heidi has also been collaborating with Years 5 and 6 in St Helena’s Primary Schools on an exhibition which will be shown at the Jamestown Museum.  Here, students will showcase what they have learnt about Liberated Africans, the Rupert’s excavation and on what archaeologists do.  Opening times are as follows:

  • Friday 25 July, 10am-4pm (Storyteller device will be on view from 2-4pm)
  • Saturday 26 July, 10am-12pm and 6-8pm (Storyteller device will be on view at both times)
  • Monday 28 and Tuesday 29 July, 10am-4pm
  • Wednesday 30 July, 10am-12pm

One picture is attached to this release.

 

SHG

18 July 2014

 


POLICE CODE OF ETHICS LAUNCHED  

A new Code of Ethics for the Police is launched today, following extensive development and consultation. The Code – based on the UK Code of Ethics for Policing – outlines the standards of professional behaviour that the Police Service is committed to delivering in serving the community on St Helena and Ascension Island. The Code of Ethics is now available from the Police Station and on the SHG website at: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/police-directorate/.

The code sets out the standards of professional behaviour and values that are required of police officers and staff.  These standards are summarised below, with more detail to be found in the full Code of Ethics document. Staff are expected to deliver:

 

  • Honesty and Integrity
  • Respect and Courtesy
  • Equality and Diversity
  • Confidentiality
  • Good Conduct
  • Challenging and Reporting Improper Behaviour
  • Fitness for Work
  • Orders, Instructions, Duties and Responsibilities

 

Chief of Police, Trevor Botting, explained:

‘Our community deserves a service from the Police that engenders trust and confidence, is open and transparent and puts Public Service at the core of what we do. The new Code of Ethics and the values associated with it sets the bar high, but I am confident that the officers and staff working in the Police Directorate will meet and exceed that standard in our work.’

Policing Directorate

SHG

18 July 2014

 


 NEW CHIEF AUDITOR IN OFFICE

Phil Sharman
Phil Sharman

Returns to St Helena after 20 years

Arriving to the Island on 7 July 2014 was new Chief Auditor, Phil Sharman (photo attached). Phil returns to the Island as Chief Auditor almost 20 years after completing his previous four year contract in a similar role.

Phil will be on Island for the next three years and as Chief Auditor his primary function will be to audit and report upon the accounts of Government and state-owned enterprises.

Phil explains:

“The Chief Auditor has a clear mandate to work with the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and Government to promote public accountability and consider whether value for money has been secured in the use of resources.”

An independent and professional public audit function is a fundamental of effective corporate governance across the public and commercial sectors. Supported by a team of nine, one of the key activities of the Chief Auditor is to provide a safeguard over public funds through auditing the accounts of Government and the public sector and undertaking Value for Money reviews, before reporting back to the PAC.

During his first week in office, Phil has been meeting with key colleagues in Government, including some of those he worked with 20 years ago. He has also discussed with his Audit team professional developments and what can be built on and adopted going forward.

Phil said:

“With both professionally qualified and staff undertaking studies, the Audit Office is building capacity and capability in response to the strengthening of audit and accounting standards internationally. There is clear commitment to developing effective audit and Parliamentary oversight across the British Overseas Territories, as underlined recently by the Joint Ministerial Council.”

Personally, Phil is very much looking forward to being on St Helena for the next three years. He commented:

“Both my wife and I loved our previous time on St Helena and have maintained an interest in the Island ever since. Our previous time coincided with the introduction of the current RMS St Helena and it was marvellous to sail with her again. It is a privilege to return to make a further contribution to the development of St Helena at another important moment in the Island’s history, as the Airport approaches in 2016.

 “Professionally, I am delighted to find that Connie Stevens and Liz March who worked with me previously remain part of the team. Connie is now a professionally qualified accountant and member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, and is Audit Manager which is great.  We are investing in our team and the recent development of the St Helena Audit Service has been ably supported by John Gilchrist, who completes his contract as Audit Executive in July 2014.”

Since leaving the Island in 1994, Phil has held leading roles in public audit functions in the Turks & Caicos Islands, the National Health Service in Wales and Scotland, the UK Audit Commission and in New Zealand with the Office of the Auditor General.

Phil concluded:

“I have focussed my career in public audit and have been able to deliver audits around the world in many different sectors. The professional side of the statutory auditor role is vital but it’s how that role is delivered which makes all the difference.  I’m really pleased to be able to bring my skills and experience back to St Helena and make a further contribution to the good governance of the Island”.

SHG

18 July 2014


NOTICE TO ALL PERSONS TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN TO SOUTH AFRICA

The Immigration Service would like to advise all persons travelling with children under the age of 18 to South Africa of a change in entry regulations.  Parents may be asked to show an Immigration Officer a full birth certificate (including both parents’ names) for all travelling children.  This applies even when both parents are travelling with their own children into South Africa and has been introduced in an attempt to reduce instances of child trafficking through South Africa.  This is not specific to St Helena – It applies to all children travelling through all South African sea and air ports.  The revised regulations apply both to South African citizens and to visitors.

These changes are expected to be implemented on Wednesday 1October 2014.  There is no change to Ascension Island or UK entry controls relating to children at this time.

For children born in St Helena, birth certificates can be obtained from the Customer Service Centre in Jamestown.  For those children born in the UK, the following address may be used to order a replacement birth certificate: https://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificates/default.asp. Sufficient time should also be allowed ahead of your departure from St Helena to receive the certificate by post from the UK.  A one day despatch service is available.  Services vary in other countries.

Until Wednesday 1 October 2014, there is no country specific guidance for parents travelling with children to South Africa.  However, single parents, or a parent travelling alone with their child or those travelling abroad with children for whom they do not have parental responsibility, should generally obtain an affidavit or letter of authority from person(s) with parental responsibility prior to travel.  General UK guidance is available online at: https://www.gov.uk/permission-take-child-abroad.

Further information is available from the Immigration Office in Ogborn House, Jamestown – telephone no: (00290) 22236.

SHG

18 July 2014

 


HISTORY MADE ON ST HELENA COMMEMORATIVE STONE PLACED AND TIME CAPSULE BURIED

Prince Andrew School Students Burying the Time Capsule
Prince Andrew School Students Burying the Time Capsule

To mark the construction of the Airport Terminal Building, history was made on Saturday 28 June 2014 in a special Commemorative Stone ceremony at the St Helena Airport site.

To over 100 invited guests, and under clear skies, HE Governor Capes unveiled a Commemorative Stone at the front entrance of the Terminal Building, His Lord Bishop Richard Fenwick blessed the building and a Time Capsule was buried by Prince Andrew School students.

The placing of the commemorative stone, a local basalt rock, marks one of many key milestones of Airport construction. In his speech made on the day (full version attached) Governor Capes spoke of the ceremony as a landmark, one that just over 2 ½ years on since the Airport contract signing between St Helena Government and Basil Read, marks the ‘massive progress achieved by Basil Read’.

Thanking all who have worked so hard on this historic undertaking, particularly ‘the many Saints and the workers from further afield’ Governor Capes spoke of the benefits and challenges to overcome when the Airport becomes operational:

“The big challenge for all of us is to see that St Helena is positioned to fully benefit from air access. Sound economic and social arguments underpin the justification for investing in this Airport. Social gains will come relatively easily – having rapid access to specialist medical care, much easier and quicker journeys to and from the Island by family and friends and, for our sporting enthusiasts, making it possible for St Helena’s sports teams to participate in international competitions.

“The more complex, less easy task, is preparing St Helena to be able to benefit from new economic opportunities. But we can do it. Air access gives us the opportunity to halt the many decades of economic decline. To give St Helena the means to prosper by developing a vibrant economy, to give St Helena a confident, bright future that will reverse the flow of young Saints leaving the Island. That is the goal. That must be the focus for our energy and resources.

“Deon de Jager and his team have shown that – with the right attitude, with determination, with a ‘can do’ mind set – so much can be achieved. That is how this airport is being built.

“St Helena must adopt that same approach to building a new economy. It is happening in the fishing sector. Trevor Thomas and the crew of the Extractor, with determination and a ‘can do’ approach, are showing the way to success.

Sealing the Time Capsule
Sealing the Time Capsule

“It is time for change, to adjust to the new realities and to grip new opportunities.”

Echoing Governor Capes, Deputy Chief Executive for Economic Development, Susan O’Bey highlighted the ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’ the Airport will provide to ‘ensure that there is a viable St Helena in the years to come for our children and for our children’s children’.

Susan said:

“A tourism-based economy will provide opportunities to develop our other key assets; as our economy grows and as more and more people come to the Island, the demand for fresh fruit and vegetables will increase as will the demand for freshly caught fish and St Helena coffee.

“The tourists who will arrive on a weekly basis, will expect to have a variety of activities to participate in and places to visit on the Island, they will also expect to stay in good quality accommodation; be it in a hotel, in a bed and breakfast, in an eco-lodge, or in self-catering. These are the many areas where Saints can take advantage of the business opportunities available for innovation and growth.

“We have young people studying to become doctors, vets, airline pilots, engineers, lawyers and journalists. In 2016 we will open an Airport which will be of a world class standard. Let us also have set out a solid foundation for sustainable economic growth which will set us firmly on the path towards a bright and positive future for us all.”

Bishop Richard Blesses the Terminal Building
Bishop Richard Blesses the Terminal Building

Basil Read Island Director Deon de Jager, Miles Leask from the Project Management Unit and Deputy Airport Director Clare Harris also spoke on project progress and the hard work of all involved.

Clare commented:

“The Airport Project is on time, on budget and to specification. We can see today that a tremendous amount of design and construction work has taken place – achieved through a close working relationship with Basil Read, Halcrow, our Project Management Unit, DfID and SHG. Thank you everyone. It has been challenging at times, but we all have the same end goal: an operational Airport in February 2016.”

Tribute was paid to the late Sharon Wainwright for her dedication and commitment to the project and to ensuring that air access brings lasting benefits to the Island.

To ensure the future people of St Helena are aware of this vision and of the hard work of everyone involved in the Airport project, a Time Capsule was buried on the day to give future islanders a snapshot of life on St Helena in 2014. A full list of the contents of the Time Capsule is attached, a list which was placed in the capsule to guide those who will open the capsule in years to come.

The ceremony continued with a presentation from the St Helena Arts and Crafts Association of limited edition site soil souvenirs to Governor Capes, Deon de Jager and Annina van Neel from Basil Read. Guests were also able to purchase these souvenirs while mingling over refreshments and viewing the display of the interior perspective of the Airport Terminal.

Invited Guests
Invited Guests

Four photos are attached to this release.

Governor Cape’s Speech – Commemorative Stone Ceremony – 28 June 2014

Time Capsule Contents – 28 June 2014

SHG
30 June 2014


CONSTRUCTION OF RUPERT’S WHARF - UPDATE

Rupert’s Wharf ‘No Go’ Area

Construction of the Permanent Wharf in Rupert’s Valley has begun and will continue for a period of about eight to nine months, weather permitting.

During the construction period all boats and vessels will be subject to a ‘No Go’ area around the immediate construction site. All leisure users will be similarly affected and are asked to adhere to the signage on site.

The restricted offshore ‘No Go’ area (map and coordinates attached) will be marked by yellow buoys, and fishermen and other marine users are asked to strictly adhere to these markers and remain outside of them. A Divers’ Boat and Survey Boat will be at work in this area, marked by the internationally-recognised blue and white flag and red flag respectively.

The Fisherman’s Association, Fisheries Corporation and Argos Atlantic Coldstores have been informed about the restrictions and all affected parties are thanked for their understanding and cooperation during this period.

SHG

30 June 2014


UK MUSEUM TRIALS NEW LEARNING AID ON ST HELENA

Heidi in the Field
Heidi in the Field

 Students on St Helena will be the first to pilot and help to develop a new learning aid called Storyteller – developed for the International Slavery Museum (ISM) in Liverpool, UK.  Feedback from St Helena’s students will influence how the final device works, a device which will be used in the Museum for years to come.

This information-based, interactive device – through photographs, text and audio – allows students to come to their own conclusions about archaeological finds, much as archaeologists do themselves. The device (looking a little like a large radio) allows individuals to interact with information on archaeological artifacts that would usually be displayed in a glass case in a museum.

Leading the project for the ISM on St Helena is Heidi Bauer-Clapp (Doctoral Student in Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA) who recently arrived on Island to kick start the design process.  She will be here until the end of July.   

Heidi said:

“I am very interested in the liberated African heritage of St Helena and the current exhibition at the ISM in Liverpool has gained much international media attention – which is where the design team in Liverpool came up with the idea of using it as a trial subject for this development project.”

The Storyteller learning aid was initially going to be tested in schools in the United Kingdom, but on reflection St Helena seemed to be the best starting point to test the pilot project, with information on the device originally gathered byAndrew Pearson (who previously conducted archaeological investigations in Rupert’s Valley).

Councillor Christine Scipio-O’Dean was instrumental in organising the visit, additionally setting up sessions in all three primary schools plus Prince Andrew School.    

About the learning aid, Heidi commented:

“Storyteller is like a radio that also issues reams of information, and it also connects to the internet so you can collaborate and share information at an international level.”

The idea centres around school tours that happen at the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool.  The device will be sent in advance to classrooms, so students can gather historical information on exhibits before seeing them for real, at the museum.

Heidi is also conducting an additional project on liberated Africans in the primary schools, working with year 5/6 students in their history curriculum, with the hope of setting up an exhibition based on student’s work to display to the public.    

SHG

27 June 2014

 

 

 

 


EXCO REPORT – TUESDAY 24 JUNE 2014

 Executive Council met today, Tuesday 24 June 2014.  It has been a little while since ExCo met, so this was a fairly large agenda. There were seven items on the Open Agenda.

The new Chief Secretary Roy Burke was welcomed to his first Executive Council meeting.

The first item discussed was the proposed amendment to the Customs and Excise Ordinance to provide for a duty free shop at the Airport terminal.  Duty free shopping is customary at international airports and Council agreed that a Bill for an Ordinance to amend the Customs and Excise Ordinance should go forward to the next formal meeting of Legislative Council.  Council also agreed to enact Regulations to provide for exemption of customs duties on goods imported for supply and sale in a duty free shop.

The second item was to again amend Customs Regulations to bring into force the appropriate forms to be completed by persons arriving and departing St Helena.  These relate to declaring goods in excess of the current duty free allowances and to declare currency being carried in excess of £6,000.  ExCo approved the forms.

The third item was the application for development permission for the new Fire Station to be constructed at Alarm Forest.  In attendance were the Planning Officer and the new Head of Planning and Development Control to provide technical advice.  Executive Council recognises the need for a new Fire Station as part of the Airport certification process.  There were no major concerns with the building, but issues to be addressed include ensuring that rainwater run-off from the roof is managed and that suitable traffic safety measures are in place. The existing bus stop will also need to be relocated.

The fourth item was also an application for development permission for Constitution Hill Road.  This road is in need of repair and approval for this was given.  It was pleasing to note that certain individuals had given up short strips of land free of charge to create additional road space.  Executive Council commended these individuals for their public spiritedness.  In granting development permission, Council requested an advisory note from SHG for the repair and maintenance of the Run, as it was recognised that storm water could cause erosion to its fabric.

The fifth item was a request for approval to remove unproductive land from the National Forest Estate.  This was approved, as it is important that land not being used for forestry can be released for other developments.

The sixth item was an application to wind up the St Helena News Media Board.  This relates to the previously existing media service.  The application was approved and any assets realised from the previous Media Board will be transferred to SHG.

The last item on the Open Agenda was a request for approval to register the company St Helena Hotel Development Limited. It is vital for the continued economic development of the Island that there are sufficient hotel rooms for visiting tourists post-Airport.  This company would lead negotiations for the financing and construction of a hotel, although it is important to note that this is not giving the go- ahead for a specific hotel and that no monies have yet been allocated.  Executive Council gave approval and there will be further information on any hotel development in due course.

On the Closed Agenda there was a recommendation that diesel for commercial fishing vessels be duty free.  Executive Council recognises the importance of commercial fishing and was pleased to grant this concession. This equates to a reduction in price of approximately 27p per litre, backdated to 1 April 2014 and to run for initially one year.

The meeting closed at 11.30am.

ExCo

24 June 2014


SOCIAL SERVICES UPDATE

The Social Services Section of the Health & Social Welfare Directorate is currently reviewing its existing procedures in order to improve the services it provides.

This, combined with an ongoing recruitment drive, training and other developments means that for the next few weeks it is necessary to prioritise the services available.

With immediate effect, Social Services will:

  • Operate between 8.30am to 4pm, Monday to Friday
  • Prioritise cases based on assessed needs

The Service will continue to meet the needs of the community’s most vulnerable while developing improved and robust services with key partner agencies going forward. Social Services appreciate your cooperation over the next few weeks.

Any enquiries about Social Services can be made to Dr Cilla McDaniel at e-mail: socialservicespolicy@publichealth.gov.sh or tel: 22500

SHG

24 June 2014


INTERIM EMERGENCY PLANNER ARRIVES

Alistair Smith
Alistair Smith

Arriving on Tuesday 17 June 2014 was Interim Emergency Planner Alistair Smith (photo attached). Alistair is on Island until 22 December 2014 to temporarily fill the Disaster Management role previously carried out by Disaster Management Executive Kevin Hornett.

Alistair’s primary aim while here will be to further develop the way we think about disaster planning, refocusing on contingencies and planning for emergencies.

Alistair explained:

“Disaster management focuses on dealing with matters after an incident has actually happened.  Emergency Planning is about building resilience, identifying systems and processes and having them in place before a crisis actually occurs – it’s  a subtle shift towards what we’re trying to achieve and what works best for the Island.” 

The current National Disaster Management plan will now be operationalised and rolled out across the various parts of SHG, other service providers and the general public to raise awareness of the plan – advising people what their role is, what they need to do in the event of an emergency and where they fit in. This will also cover what they might be asked to do and what they should expect to receive in terms of services.

Putting this Emergency Plan into operation will involve extensive stakeholder engagement through public meetings and the media. Keeping everyone updated as the plan develops is very important. And the Emergency Plan is not only about the Airport – it will take into account a raft of issues that could affect the Island and her community.

Alistair said:

“Recognising the full range of risks, those that exist today and those that will come with the Airport, we will develop a workable plan that will enable emergency services and Government to respond effectively and efficiently to any scenario that arises.”

Legislative Council has been briefed on what Alistair will be doing while here and his next steps are to expand on the work already in place and the capabilities on the Island, to understand how best an emergency plan should be drafted.

Alistair commented:

“The key here is about working with people to develop a plan that will stand the test of time.”

Over the coming weeks Alistair will be visiting various sites and meeting different organisations, gathering information on what works well and what doesn’t. This will be an ongoing process to set the basics for a plan which will be continually reviewed and updated against the risks as seen. Having a national emergency plan in place is fundamental for the Island as there are risks here that need to be acknowledged.

Alistair added:

“Having a plan is the starting point. It doesn’t necessarily take away the fact that scenarios will differ but it’s a good foundation on which to act and respond to any crisis that occurs.”

Alistair has a wealth of experience in emergency planning. Prior to coming to St Helena he completed 30 years with Surrey Police. For eight years he was an Inspector and the last seven were spent with the Force Planning Resources Team, where Alistair had responsibility for emergency planning, operational planning, force resources and force duties for the Surrey Police.

Alistair concluded:

“The Island is great. You soon realise how far you are from the rest of the world but many of the challenges here are the same as you would expect back home. Obviously it’s on a different scale with special local variations, but in essence it’s very similar.

“I’ve been made to feel very welcome, it’s a beautiful place and I’m keen to get around and see a bit more. Hopefully when I leave I’ll take away some great memories, and will have contributed something to the Island’s safety.”

SHG

24 June 2014


REMINDER - USE OF THE WHARF

The public are once again reminded that while construction works are ongoing at the Wharf, the area will be open to pedestrians only between the hours of 16.00 & 08.30 Monday to Friday and from 16.00 Friday to 08.30 Monday – ie, open evenings and weekends only.  There will be restricted access to vehicles, and a barrier will be in place.

Authorised users only will be able to drop off/pick up equipment (e.g. diving equipment, fishing tackle etc) at the lower steps – before returning their vehicle to the area beyond the barrier. No vehicle at any time can be left parked on the Wharf between the construction site and the landing steps – this area needs to be kept clear in the event of an emergency.

Port management would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their continued co-operation.

SHG

24 June 2014 


AIRPORT TIME CAPSULE COMPETITION WINNERS

To mark the construction of the Terminal Building at the Airport, the Laying of a Commemorative Stone, Blessing of the Building and Burial of a Time Capsule will take place at the Airport site on Saturday 28 June 2014.

Since early May the St Helena Government Public Relations Office has been running a competition in Island schools for young people to submit a drawing, poem or essay – with winning entries to be placed in the Time Capsule and buried at the Terminal Building.

Other contents of the Time Capsule will include photos and short films showcasing the Island community and Airport progress, Island newspapers, a comments book from all involved in the St Helena Airport project, a special Airport stamp issue, St Helena currency, St Helena crafts, seeds from plants endemic to the Island and the Electoral Roll.

A total of 131 entries were received from the schools and were judged by Lindsay McGinnety, Pamela Murray and Liam Yon. The high quality of the entries meant Judges had a difficult task of choosing winners for each category, and as a result an additional three entries were highly commended.

Competition winners are as follows:

Primary School Pupils – Paint or draw a picture of What St Helena looks like to you in 2014

Age 3-6 years

1st Prize – Leonna Coleman (Picture of the Seafront and RMS St Helena) – Harford Primary School

2nd Prize – Jordi Henry (The STAR Supermarket and Post Office in Jamestown) – Harford Primary School

3rd Prize Zach Robinson (Francis Plain Football Field) – Harford Primary School

Age 7-11 years

1st Prize – Ananda Thomas (Basil Read Road and Rupert’s Hill on St Helena) – Harford Primary School

2nd Prize – Jacob Williams (Airport Site and Dry Gut Fill) – St Paul’s Primary School

3rd Prize – Nesta Yon (Jamestown and James’ Bay) – St Paul’s Primary School

Highly Commended

Ben Crowie (RMS St Helena in James’ Bay) – Pilling Primary School

Charlize Crowie (Bradley’s Camp) – Harford Primary School

Christy Jo Scipio-O’Dean (St Helena, June 2014) – Harford Primary School

 

Lower Age Students, Prince Andrew School – Write an essay entitled ‘How St Helena will Change with an Airport’ of up to 500 words.

1st Prize – Jacob Bowers, Jamestown

 

Upper Age Students, Prince Andrew School – Write a poem entitled ‘St Helena – Past, Present and Future.’

1st Prize – Jodie Scipio-Constantine, Jamestown

2nd Prize – Jordan Stevens, St Paul’s

Commenting on the competition entries, the judges said:

“We’re very impressed with the level of thought that has gone into the entries – there are some really interesting perspectives and viewpoints. It’s very interesting to see what young people see now in 2014 before the changes from the Airport fully appear.

“The poem and essay entries were amazing and it was such a hard decision. In the drawings there is so much quality in all of them, from the younger groups right up to age 11. Everyone draws differently and has their distinct styles, so we’ve tried to choose drawings that are not necessarily the most artistic but those that have ideas, and there are a lot of ideas here.”

First Prize Winners in each category will now receive an invitation to the Commemorative Stone Ceremony on Saturday and their entries will be placed into the Time Capsule to be buried on the day. These entries – two pictures, one poem and one essay – are a snapshot of St Helena and these children will now be an important part of the Island’s history showing how they lived and saw their Island home in 2014.

SHG would like to thank all pupils and students who took part in the competition and for sharing their amazing ideas and views about St Helena. All entries will soon be displayed in Porteous House and members of the public are encouraged to take a look at the talent of the Island’s young people.

Prizes will now be distributed to all schools and presented to competition winners in the coming weeks.

Three photos are attached to this release.

SHG

23 June 2014

Highly Commended
Highly Commended
Winners Age 7-11 Years
Winners Age 7-11 Years
Winners Age 3-6 Years
Winners Age 3-6 Years

EXCO MEETING – Tuesday 24 June 2014

Open to the Public from 9.30am 

Executive Council meets tomorrow, Tuesday 24 June 2014, in the Council Chamber.

Commencing at 9.30am, the meeting will be open to the public for the following Open Agenda items:

  • Amendments to Customs and Excise Ordinance and Customs Regulations (Tariffs and Exemptions) (Amendment No 2) – Duty Free Products
  • The Customs  Regulations 2014 (Arriving and Departing Ships) (Amendment)
  • Application for Development Permission – Fire Station
  • Application for Development Permission for proposed improvements to Constitution Hill Road
  • Request for approval for variation of Order relating to the constitution of land as National Forest, in order to remove unproductive land from the National Forest Estate
  • Winding up of the St Helena News Media Services Board
  • Request for approval to register the company St Helena Hotel Development Limited (SHHDL)

 

Executive Council Members are: Ian Rummery, Christine Scipio-O’Dean, Lawson Henry and Wilson Duncan. Councillor Brian Isaac is temporarily sitting on ExCo while Leslie Baldwin is away on overseas business

 

SHG

23 June 2014


GOVERNOR WELCOMES NEW SENIOR COLLEAGUES

Governor Capes Welcomes Senior Colleagues
Governor Capes Welcomes Senior Colleagues

HE Governor Capes formally welcomed the new Chief Secretary, Roy Burke and his wife Jill, and the new DfID resident Representative Morgan Riley – at a reception at Plantation House on Friday 20 June 2014 (photo attached).

Extending a warm welcome and expressing his own pleasure at being back on St Helena, Governor Capes addressed invited guests, commenting:

“This evening we welcome our new Chief Secretary Roy Burke and his wife Jill, and also Morgan Riley, the successor to Eddie Palmer as DfID’s representative on the Island.

“St Helena is changing – and that’s a fact. Our shared task is to ensure that the change will give St Helena a bright future, a future in which all who live here can share in its progress, in increased prosperity, in new opportunities and to ensure that no part of society is excluded or left behind.

“And we must take care to safeguard, as far as possible, all the things that make St Helena such a special place, not least her precious environment.

“Of course, financial prosperity is not going to happen overnight – it is right that development should be incremental so that St Helena can manage and adapt.

“The challenge is considerable and complex. But the reward is great – the opportunity to make a real difference for the future. To lay the foundation on which the Island can prosper for the benefit of everyone on St Helena.

“That is our goal. That is what we are all about. That is why the British Government is investing over two hundred million pounds here – the biggest ever investment in an Overseas Territory. To give this Island and its people a positive future. To give this Island the means to grow and prosper. To give this Island confidence in itself and about the future. And we must do our part in return for the UK’s investment and vote of confidence in St Helena.

“So change we must, and promoting a positive attitude is the key – for it is a positive attitude that makes the difference between success and failure. People are either can do or can’t do.

“So Roy and Morgan, there is plenty here to keep you busy.  Life on St Helena is never dull.  I welcome Roy, Jill and Morgan and wish you all a happy and productive stay at an exciting time for this extraordinary and much loved Island.”

SHG

23 June 2014


OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ON ST HELENA

The word Occupation refers to practical and purposeful activities that allow us to live independently and give us a sense of identity and self worth.  This could be anything from essential day to day tasks, such as dressing or cooking, to the things that make us who we are – our jobs, interests, hobbies and relationships. 

Occupational Therapists are trained health professionals that provide practical support to enable people to overcome any barriers that prevent them from doing the activities that matter to them, helping them to live as independently and fully as possible.

Adele Bailey, St Helena’s Senior Occupational Therapist, based at the Community Care Complex (CCC) in Half Tree Hollow, said:

‘These barriers may be due to a physical or mental illness, an accident, a disability or general deterioration due to simply getting older.  Participation in meaningful activities promotes positive health and well-being because it keeps us physically and mentally engaged.’ 

St Helena’s Occupational Therapy (OT) Service provides a free service to residents of the Island, both children and adults, with physical disabilities, mental health conditions or learning disabilities.  Occupational Therapists work in the Hospital, in the community, at residential homes, SHAPE and all of the schools.   Employers can also access the service for help in supporting their employees with disabilities, and for training, such as moving and handling.  The service is based at the CCC and runs from Monday to Friday 8.30-4.30pm.  Accessing the OT Service is easy, anybody can make a referral.  Adele commented:

‘You can refer yourself by giving us a ring at the CCC, on telephone 23090 extension 216,  and tell us what problems you are having.  You can ask a relative or friend to ring us if you like or you can ask your doctor or any other health professional, such as a nurse or the physiotherapist, to make a referral for you.  If you are having difficulties at work then either you or your employer can give us a ring.’

Employers can also contact the service if they are concerned about one of their employees – but you must have permission from them before you do this.   If you are unable to get hold of the service on the phone you can e-mail either ot1@helanta.co.sh or ot@helanta.co.sh

Other Activities Provided by OT

Craft Group – The OT service is currently providing a craft class at the CCC on Tuesday nights, 5-6pm.  Adele is looking for volunteers to help out, so if you are interested in arts and crafts please feel free to come along and be part of something worthwhile and fun.

Anxiety Management & Relaxation Classes – These will be starting on Wednesday 2 July 2014, from 5-6pm at the CCC, and if these classes prove to be popular they will be rolled out to all other areas.  If you would like any further information about the classes, then give Adele Bailey a ring on 23090, ext. 216.

Volunteer Programme

About volunteering, Adele added:

‘We would very much like to deliver more activities but unfortunately do not have the capacity to do this on our own.   If you have a little spare time – it could be as little as 1 hour per week that you would like to give to help provide meaningful activities for our elderly and disabled people – then please contact the OT team. 

‘You may have a hobby or interest you would like to share with other people or you may like to learn a new skill, and as a volunteer you would be a valued member of the Occupational Therapy team.  ‘You would gain experience of working in Occupational Therapy and access in-service training opportunities – but most of all you would be making a massive difference to individuals’ lives.’ 

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer within the Occupational Therapy team or finding out more about it, then please ring Adele on 23090, ext. 216.

 

SHG

20 June 2014 


ENHANCING MAIN STREET

 

Main Street
Main Street

On 30 May 2014, works were announced to continue the Main Street Enhancement Project on pavement areas in lower Jamestown.  The project was awarded to Brian Leo, project managed by ProArc. 

The work has begun outside Porteous House, gradually moving upwards towards the Consulate Hotel, then working back down the street from the Post Office.  It is expected to take around 20 weeks to complete. 

The work is restorative in nature, aiming to stay true to the character of the town by preserving and replacing cobble stones wherever possible.  The insertion of cobbles between entrances along both sides of Main Street will provide a reference to the dominant historic feature of the street while allowing for a smoother, safer and more accommodating surface for use as the principal walkways.  The installation of bollards is designed to protect and preserve restored surfaces and to avoid vehicles parking in undesignated parking areas on top of the pavement. 

Funding for the Main Street Enhancement Project is provided under tourism development, aided in this particular case by SHG’s capital programme.  

Main Street 2
Main Street 2

A Main Street Project Working Group has been established (see below) to assist the contractor and to ensure that historic features of the streetscape are maintained wherever possible.  Members of the working group are: Trevor Graham, Director of the Environment and Natural Resources Directorate, Jeremy Harris, Director of the National Trust, Lucy Ceaser, Director of the Museum, Cathy Ablerts, Director of Tourism (ESH), Michielle Yon, Director of Resources (ESH) and Paul Scipio of ProArc Ltd.  

Jeremy said:

“It is exciting to see rejuvenation of the Jamestown streetscape. Whilst a few compromises have been made by necessity, I am confident that the finished product will greatly enhance the look and feel of Jamestown and will serve the population well. The St Helena National Trust is proud to have been part of this and we also look forward to enhancing our prominent headquarters, in turn benefitting the local community and those visiting this very special town.”

Michielle continued:

“The Main Street Working Group is committed to ensuring that the final outcome is something that all locals and visitors can admire.  If any person wants to raise their concerns or make enquires please feel free to contact anyone in the group.”

The working group wishes to thank the general public in advance for their cooperation and patience during this work, which will inevitably cause some disruption.   

Main Street Drawing 2014

Two pictures and one illustration accompany this release.

Notes for Editors

Contact details for the Working Group are as follows:

 

Name Telephone Email
Trevor Graham, Director of ENRD 24724 trevor-graham@enrd.co.sh
Jeremy Harris, Director of National Trust 22190 director@shnt.org.uk
Lucy Ceasar, Director of Museum 22845 museum@helanta.co.sh
Cathy Alberts, Director of Tourism, ESH 22158 Cathy.alberts@tourism.co.sh
Michielle Yon, Director of Resources, ESH 22920 Michielle.yon@esh.co.sh
Paul Scipio, ProArc Ltd 23850 PROARC@helanta.co.sh

 SHG

20 June 2014

 

 


SMALL ISLAND STATISTICS IN A WORLD OF BIG DATA

Currently featuring on Statistics Views (a global statistics website) is a feature by St Helena Government’s Statistician Paula McLeod.

The article is entitled ‘Small Island Statistics in a World of Big Data’ and highlights the big changes that St Helena is facing.  With the impending arrival of air access, the Island now, more than ever, needs useful and reliable information – for example on the economy and the environment.

The article states: ‘As we head into this change, St Helena has a higher than ever demand for reliable data on the people, the economy and the environment.’

St Helena’s Statistics Office is continuing to improve the range and timeliness of its outputs, and to establish valuable connections and raise the Island’s statistics profile in the context of data on a global scale.

Paula explained:

“Through promoting statistics on the Island, we are collaborating on a bigger scale and allowing the office to raise its standards alongside those in the United Kingdom.  Improving our systems allows us to be equally matched, so that anyone anywhere can read and trust the data that we produce.”

For the full article please see the link: http://www.statisticsviews.com/details/feature/6163761/Small-Island-Statistics-in-a-World-of-Big-Data.html

SHG

17 June 2014

 

 


ST HELENA AIRPORT COMMEMORATIVE STONE CEREMONY

To mark the construction of the Terminal Building at the St Helena Airport site (Prosperous Bay Plain), a special ceremony will be held on Saturday afternoon, 28 June 2014.

Invited guests from the community, charitable and non-Government organisations, the schools, the private sector, the local media, St Helena Government and Basil Read will witness the laying of a Commemorative Stone by HE Governor Capes and the Blessing of the building by Bishop Richard Fenwick.

Speeches on Airport progress and wider economic development will be made by Governor Capes, Basil Read, PMU, the SHG Access Office and Enterprise St Helena.

The highlight of the ceremony will be the burying of a Time Capsule by the Student President and Vice Student President of Prince Andrew School. Included in the Time Capsule will be photos and short films showcasing the Island community and Airport progress, Island newspapers, a comments book from all involved in the St Helena Airport project, a special Airport stamp issue, St Helena currency, St Helena crafts, seeds from plants endemic to the Island, the Electoral Roll, and an essay, poem and drawing from winners of the ongoing competition in Schools.

This event is the first of many to mark significant milestones of the Airport project.

Unfortunately, due to the area being an active building site (for health and safety reasons), the event is restricted to invited guests.

The event will be filmed and broadcast on local TV in due course.

SHG

17 June 2014 


HM QUEEN’S BIRTHDAY HONOURS 2014

I am pleased to announce the award of an MBE to Mr George Frederick Thomas JP, in recognition of his services to the judicial sector on Ascension Island.

George, affectionately known as ‘Dover’, has served the community of Ascension Island as a Magistrate since July 1988.  George has made a positive contribution to the governance of Ascension Island during that 25-year period. Delivering justice in such a small community requires a high degree of responsibility and civic-mindedness that George has demonstrated throughout the time he has served as a Magistrate, which has been on a purely voluntary basis.

I am further pleased to announce the award of a BEM to Stedson Graham Francis for his contribution to the community of St Helena. Stedson was a voluntary producer for Radio St Helena for some 43 years until its closure in December 2012, providing much welcome entertainment to the community.  Stedson has also served as Chairman of the Blue Hill Community Centre Association for 25 years, one of the few community centres which have continued to function continuously during that period of time. Stedson’s contribution to the community has also included taking on various roles in a number of associations concerned with farming activities since 1984, such as the Beekeepers’ Association, Farmers’ Association, St Helena Growers Cooperative Society and the Man & Horse and Blue Hill Cattle Syndicates. Stedson also served as a Member of the St Helena Legislative Council for a period of 12 years from 2001- 2013, during which time he served on Executive Council for four years.

I am sure you will join me in congratulating both George and Stedson on these well deserved recognitions.

Sean G P Burns

Acting Governor

13 June 2014


Procurement of an Air Service Provider to St Helena

‘Air Access to St Helena – One of the World’s Most Remote Populated Islands’

St Helena Government (SHG) is pleased to announce today the commencement of the official process to procure an air service provider to the Island of St Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean.

SHG is seeking to award a contract to a suitably qualified organisation to provide air services to the Island, on a contract period of up to five years.

The requirement is for a minimum weekly flight to a recognised international hub airport operating throughout the year. Services will commence when St Helena’s Airport opens in February 2016.

Potential air service providers are invited to visit the official SHG website http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/air-access/ or the Fly to St Helena website www.flytosthelena.com to find out more about this opportunity by viewing and downloading the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) and Information Memorandum (IM) relating to the contract.

The PQQ is the first stage of the air service procurement process. The closing date for responses to the PQQ is 12 noon GMT on Thursday, 17 July 2014.

SHG expects to award the final contract for an air service provider in February or March 2015.

Note to Editors

The Pre-Qualification Questionnaire represents the initial stage of agreeing contractual terms for the supply of air services to St Helena. The questionnaire will allow SHG to obtain sufficient information from potential organisations interested in supplying these air services, and to make an assessment of their suitability to be invited to continue in the tendering process. Only organisations that are successful at this stage will be invited to participate in the next stage of the procurement process.

SHG
12 June 2014


ST PAUL’S SWIMMING CLUB RAISES FUNDS

ST PAUL’S SWIMMING CLUB RAISES FUNDS

Over the past year, St Paul’s Primary School has operated its own Swimming Club at the Jamestown Pool on Friday afternoons from 3:30 to 4:30.  Children have grown in speed and stamina and many children who were once strugglers are now becoming competent swimmers, with their technique improving constantly.  The PTA has invested money into the swimming club, with floats and swim caps bought.

For their sponsored swim on 30 May, children were tasked to swim a set number of lengths within a particular time.  The older Key Stage 2 children swam 20 lengths in under an hour, whereas the lower school swam 10 lengths in 40 minutes.  Twenty six children showed how much fitter they have become over the year by completing the lengths in under the time provided.  They did their school proud by completing the lengths with what the instructors described as ‘Style, Speed and Stamina’. The money raised by the 26 swim club members – over £400 – will be put back into the PTA fund and be used to buy future sports equipment.

The prize for the most money raised and most sponsors collected went to Jordana Peters.  Other children who received prizes for most effort were Brooke Yon, Lara Lawrence, Kiera Joshua, Taylor Bennett, Annika Lawrence and Jerome Peters.  Certificates were presented to the children by Mr Johnny Dillon, who also donated two new stopwatches to St Paul’s Swim Club.

St Paul’s Primary would like to thank Mr Colin Williams who transports the children to the pool, to Mr Johnny Dillon who gave two lanes especially for the swimming club during swim sessions, for the support and cooperation of the swim instructors and most importantly for the help of parents and guardians who collect children from the pool. Without your support and help, the Swim Club would not be the success which it has become.

Paul’s Primary

Education Directorate

SHG

10 June 2014 


NEW SENIOR SOCIAL WORKER

Samantha Dunn
Samantha Dunn

Arriving on the Island on Wednesday 28 May 2014 was new Senior Social Worker, Samantha Dunn.

Samantha’s main focus, whilst on Island for a two year period, will be to improve the current system for safeguarding children, promoting their welfare and wellbeing.  She will work closely with the Police and Education directorate on identifying potential cases and carrying out assessments with families – improving the families’ situation and the situation for the children within them.

Samantha hopes that by working closely with the Police, plans can be devised both to protect the community and also to protect those being released from custody.  Samantha also understands that one area of work will be to place emphasis on children being exposed to close family members who are being sentenced and how these circumstances ultimately affect the whole family unit.

Samantha commented:

“The biggest challenge will be putting forward a strong and workable framework for the protection of children on the Island, but this is a positive challenge as improvements need to be made and we need to act.” 

In Samantha’s role as Senior Social worker she will work with all vulnerable groups – for example, these could be younger mums who might want support and guidance.  Bringing relevant services together to improve outcomes for children – but doing so in partnership with families needing support – will be central to Samantha’s role.

Samantha’s background is in working with children and young families in the south of England, looking at need and risk.

SHG

10 June 2014  


DFID RESIDENT REPRESENTATIVE ARRIVES NEXT WEEK

Morgan Riley
Morgan Riley

A new resident representative from the Department for International Development (DfID), Morgan Riley (photo attached), will be arriving to the Island on Tuesday 17 June 2014. Morgan succeeds previous resident representative Eddie Palmer and will be on Island for the next two years working closely with SHG to support the Island’s preparations for the opening of the Airport.

Morgan said:

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to work on the Island.  I visited St Helena many years ago when the Airport was just an aspiration. I understand that thanks to a huge team effort the Airport project and all the preparations for its opening are progressing well and I am very much looking forward to working with all stakeholders during such an important chapter in the Island’s long and distinguished history.”

Prior to his appointment, Morgan has worked at HM Treasury on economic development in the Middle East and North Africa and on international finance. Previously, he has worked in the private sector on development programmes for remote communities.

SHG

10 June 2014


REMINDER - USE OF THE WHARF

The public are reminded that while construction works are ongoing at the Wharf, the area will be open to pedestrians only between the hours of 16.00 & 08.30 Monday to Friday and from 16.00 Friday to 08.30 Monday – ie, open evenings and weekends only.  There will be restricted access to vehicles, and a barrier will be in place.

Authorised users only will be able to drop off/pick up equipment (e.g. diving equipment, fishing tackle etc) at the lower steps – before returning their vehicle to the area beyond the barrier. No vehicle at any time can be left parked on the Wharf between the construction site and the landing steps – this area needs to be kept clear in the event of an emergency.

Port management would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their continued co-operation.

SHG

10 June 2014

 


SPORTS & PHYSICAL ACTIVITY CHAMPION

The Elected Members of the St Helena Legislative Council are pleased to announce that the Honourable Gavin Ellick has been appointed as their Sports and Physical Activity Champion.

Recent debates within the Legislative Council have highlighted the importance of sports and physical activity to the health and well-being of the St Helena Community.  Gavin will actively champion involvement in sports and promote physical activity and will encourage everyone on St Helena, young or old, disabled or able-bodied, to meet the appropriate physical activity guidelines.

Speaking of his appointment, Gavin said he is passionate about sport. In his role as Champion he wants to work with existing organisations and individuals to support them and raise the profile of sport and physical activity on the Island, including participation in international competitions.

Gavin commented:

“I recently watched the primary school athletics competition and the intensity of performance etched on those young faces was inspiring.” 

Gavin will soon be travelling to the UK for the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Westminster Conference.  While in the UK he is planning to meet with sporting organisations and relevant people to create new links between St Helena and the international sporting community.

May 2014


ST HELENA POLICE PUBLIC SURVEY – REMINDER

The St Helena Police Service has put forward measures to ensure that the Police are community and victim focused and that local links across the Island are strengthened.

As part of this community initiative, the Police Service is keen to understand what the public think of the service currently provided.  A St Helena Police Public Satisfaction Survey was thus launched at the end of April 2014.

Survey forms are available across local retailers on the Island, along with boxes to post them.  Survey forms are also available on the St Helena Government Website at the following link: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/forms/.  Once downloaded and completed, please hand them in at the Police Station or give to a Police Officer.

The survey forms are short and will only take a couple of minutes of your time.  The Police will be grateful for your views.  The survey results will be published in due course.

SHG

27 May 2014 


QUARTERLY STATISTICAL NEWS BULLETIN

May 2014

The Quarterly Statistical News Bulletin, published today (27 May 2014) covers the period January- March 2014 and contains updates for the annual rate of inflation of the St Helena Retail Price Index (RPI), Income and Imports figures, Estimated Population and Visitor arrivals.

Annual inflation of the St Helena Retail Price Index stood at 0.9 per cent in Quarter 1 2014 – essentially unchanged from the previous quarter. There was a 0.5 per cent increase in the RPI (the overall cost of the ‘St Helena Shopping Basket’) from Quarter 4 2013 to Quarter 1 2014, following two consecutive Quarters where the RPI decreased.

The St Helena resident population continues to grow. In the first quarter of 2014 the population was estimated to stand at a little over 4,500. This is due to an increase in both temporary and permanent residents and extended visitors. The St Helenian resident population is also continuing to grow and was estimated to stand at a little over 4,100 in the first quarter of 2014.

In the first quarter of 2014 arrival figures were up by 4.3 per cent from the same period in 2013. The increased in arrivals is due to a rise in the number of Saints travelling on the RMS, and a rise in business and tourist visitors. Approximately 45 per cent of tourists were of UK nationality and over 75 per cent were from Europe.

Statistician, Dr Paula McLeod says:

“It’s encouraging to see indications that the St Helena population and economy are growing steadily. The information the Statistics Office publishes provides a small insight in to St Helena and her people. It is important that we gather as much data as we can so that we can monitor changes on St Helena and provide sound evidence for policy makers and businesses to base decisions upon.”

This month the Statistics Office also publishes an analysis of income from employment on St Helena from 2011 to 2013. The figures show a 6.7 per cent increase in the average income from employment, primarily due to a substantial increase in private sector wages, which showed a 14.6 per cent increase versus a 2.5 per cent increase in the average public sector wage.

The Statistical News Bulletin, along with the analysis of income from employment on St Helena from 2011 to 2013, and other statistical reports, is available for download from the SHG website www.sainthelena.gov.sh/statistics

If you have requested a copy of the Quarterly Statistical News Bulletin via email and have not yet received it, please contact the office on 22138 or by e-mailing statistics@sainthelena.gov.sh

Statistics Office, SHG

27 May 2014


REMINDER - USE OF THE WHARF

The public is reminded that while construction works continue at the Wharf, the area will be open to pedestrians only between the hours of 16.00 & 08.30 Monday to Friday and from 16.00 Friday to 08.30 Monday. There will be restricted access to vehicles, and a barrier will be in place at the start of the construction works, adjacent to the freight terminal.

Authorised users only will be able to drop off/pick up equipment (e.g. diving equipment, fishing tackle etc) at the lower steps – before returning their vehicle to the area beyond the barrier. No vehicle at any time can be left parked on the Wharf between the construction site and the landing steps – this area will need to be kept clear in the event of an emergency.

Port management would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone in advance for their continued co-operation.

SHG

26 May 2014


NEW CHIEF EXECUTIVE FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT APPOINTED

Niall O'Keeffe
Niall O’Keeffe

A new Chief Executive for Economic Development (CEED) has today been appointed.

Niall O’Keeffe (photo attached) succeeds Julian Morris and will arrive on-Island on Wednesday 23 July to take up his new position, as Head of Enterprise St Helena, on a three year contract.

As the CEED, Niall will work closely with the private sector, St Helena Government (SHG) and the Department for International Development (DfID) to bring about St Helena’s economic transformation.

Niall’s main purpose will be to deliver the Sustainable Economic Development Plan to maximise the advantages of the investment in air access, to deliver a shared vision for St Helena’s future prosperity and to ensure the Island is ready for the Airport opening in early 2016.

Niall’s remit will be to attract investment from Saint and international investors, promote tourism, fisheries development and to lead on major economic initiatives and support policy development. The CEED’s duties, through Enterprise St Helena, are also to help Saint businesses grow, to up-skill Saints, and to oversee the provision of micro-grants, loans and equity finance for local Saint businesses.

Niall said of his appointment:

“I am delighted to be joining the team at ESH to help build and expand upon the positive work undertaken to date.

“I look forward to working with and for the people of St Helena to strive for sustainable and inclusive economic development. It is a privilege to take on the CEED role at such an exciting time in the history of St Helena and I hope to contribute to maximising the opportunities and minimising the risk associated with such change.

“On a personal level, I am very excited that I, along with my family, will have an opportunity to experience the culture and charms of such an extraordinary place.”

Niall is currently the Chief Executive of NABCO, Ireland’s National Association of Building Co-operatives.

SHG

23 May 2014


ST HELENA’S DAY CELEBRATIONS

DSC_0640Yesterday’s traditional St Helena’s Day celebrations (21 May 2014) were once again organised by New Horizons and held in lower Jamestown.  Activities and stalls were laid out in the Mule Yard and along the Wharf, with busy crowds enjoying the sunshine.  

The festivities began with a parade from the Canister involving the Scout, Brownie, Guides and Rainbows troops.  Speeches were given by Miss St Helena, Sinead Green and the day was officially opened by Acting Governor Sean Burns.

The mini marathon began proceedings, followed by a themed fancy dress competition.  One of the highlights of the day was the much anticipated themed float parade with New Horizons’ Lemon Valley float winning first prize and the St Helena National Trust and Saint FM winning second and third places respectively.

DSC_0659International Day for Biological Diversity is held today on (Thursday 22 May) and this theme was brought forward a day and celebrated on St Helena’s Day.

DSC_0662A firework display ended the day with live bands entertaining onlookers in the Mule Yard and at Donny’s into the evening.

Five pictures of the day’s celebrations accompany this release.

SHG

22 May 2014

DSC_0676  


PROVISIONAL REGISTER OF ELECTORS

4 DAYS LEFT TO MAKE AMENDMENTS

The Provisional Register of Electors for St Helena was published on Friday 9 May 2014, with a deadline of 4pm on Friday 23 May for any amendments.

Members of the public now have four days left to come forward if they would like to add or remove their name, remove the name of someone who has died or left the Island, correct the name of someone who has married, correct an Electoral District or change an address on the Register.  

To register, persons must:

 

  • Be over the age of 18 years with St Helena as their ordinary place of residence
  • Have St Helenian status or be the spouse or life partner of a person who has such status.

Further information about registering and making amendments may be obtained from Assistant Registration Officer, Gina Benjamin, at the Castle on telephone 22470 or via email at: cofcouncils@sainthelena.gov.sh

If your name is not on the Register of Electors you will not be able to stand or vote in any upcoming General or Bye-Election.

The final Register will be published on Tuesday 1 July 2014.

SHG

20 May 2014

 

 


PROVISIONAL REGISTER OF ELECTORS

4 DAYS LEFT TO MAKE AMENDMENTS

The Provisional Register of Electors for St Helena was published on Friday 9 May 2014, with a deadline of 4pm on Friday 23 May for any amendments.

Members of the public now have four days left to come forward if they would like to add or remove their name, remove the name of someone who has died or left the Island, correct the name of someone who has married, correct an Electoral District or change an address on the Register.

To register, persons must:

 

  • Be over the age of 18 years with St Helena as their ordinary place of residence
  • Have St Helenian status or be the spouse or life partner of a person who has such status.

Further information about registering and making amendments may be obtained from Assistant Registration Officer, Gina Benjamin, at the Castle on telephone 22470 or via email at: cofcouncils@sainthelena.gov.sh

If your name is not on the Register of Electors you will not be able to stand or vote in any upcoming General or Bye-Election.

The final Register will be published on Tuesday 1 July 2014.

SHG

20 May 2014


QUEEN’S DIAMOND JUBILEE PROGRAMME – IMMIGRATION

QUEEN’S DIAMOND JUBILEE PROGRAMME – IMMIGRATION

Senior Immigration Officer Emerald Newman
Senior Immigration Officer Emerald Newman

Recently returning to St Helena was Senior Immigration Officer Emerald Newman (photo attached) following a training and front line exposure visit to UK Border Force, funded through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Programme.

Emerald spent a week working alongside Immigration Officers at Stansted airport, shadowing Border Force officers and witnessing interviews and in-depth investigations into a range of cases.  Emerald saw a wide variety of passports and was able to experience handling various EU and rest of the world documents, checking for forgeries and counterfeits.

Emerald said:

“Seeing a wider variety of travellers, passports and travel documents and undertaking thorough investigation of arriving passengers in a time-constrained airport context was a really useful experience as St Helena moves towards air access.”

Emerald’s training follows the exposure visit by Immigration Officers Fiyanna Maggott and Tina Yon to UK airports in November 2013.  Emerald added:

“While some of the working practices at Stansted are similar to St Helena, this trip has highlighted some alternative approaches. The knowledge gained from my visit along with Tina and Fiyanna’s exposure visits to smaller UK airports last year has given us some helpful insights and ideas on processes we can implement on St Helena – to improve both security and the passenger experience.”

Immigration Executive Lewis Evans commented:

“Training visits to airports are an important part of preparing St Helena Immigration for air access, as UK officers manage thousands of passengers from diverse backgrounds.  We are grateful to the Border Force officers involved in the training for the opportunity to benefit from their skills and knowledge.”

Exposure and training visits to the UK allow individuals to experience international best practice in Government services – placing them in a better position to implement new and improved processes on St Helena.

SHG

19 May 2014


MFV Extractor Welcomes Students

MFV EXTRACTOR WELCOMES STUDENTS

Yesterday, Thursday 15 May 2014, the MFV Extractor welcomed aboard children from the three Primary Schools, as well as Prince Andrew students.

Tammy Williams, Community Liaison Manager of Enterprise St Helena, commented:

“One of things we wanted to do as soon as the Extractor arrived was to allow schoolchildren to have that experience of seeing what it’s like onboard. The crew have been tremendous in encouraging interest in the fishing industry, including those whoDSC_0583 will be the next generation of fisherman.” 

Harford Primary students were the first to visit at around 10am.  Once onboard, the children were given a tour by skipper Trevor Thomas, with children allowed to explore the sleeping quarters, engine room and navigation equipment.  They were also given a demonstration of the rods and hooks used for fishing.

Trevor said:

“In collaboration with ESH, we are promoting the traditional industries campaign.  These young children onboard are coping very well in unfamiliar surroundings and conditions, and are obviously extremely excited to be here.”  

 

DSC_0588  Waylon Thomas (crew member) took the helm and gave the children a short dolphin watching trip.  Once back, St Pauls   Primary School students waved to those onboard from the Wharf and were the next group to visit the Extractor.

Waylon Thomas added:

  “It has been nice to see the young kids aboard today.  One boy was particularly interested in all of what was going on      around him.  If by doing this trip, we have enticed one young person to take an interest in the fishing industry, then that’s what we are here for.”

DSC_0604

“Fishing is a tough job and those who follow it have to be passionate about the Industry.”

Three pictures attached.

16 May 2014

SHG

 


PROVISIONAL REGISTER OF ELECTORS PUBLISHED

 7 DAYS LEFT TO MAKE AMENDMENTS

The Provisional Register of Electors for St Helena was published on Friday 9 May 2014 (see press release dated 6 May 2014).

Members of the public now have seven days left to come forward if they would like to add or remove their name, remove the name of someone who has died or left the Island, correct the name of someone who has married, correct an Electoral District or change an address on the Register.

To register, persons must:

 

  • Be over the age of 18 years with St Helena as their ordinary place of residence
  • Have St Helenian status or be the spouse of life partner of a person who has such status.

Further information about registering and making amendments may be obtained from Assistant Registration Officer, Gina Benjamin, at the Castle on telephone 22470 or via email cofcouncils@sainthelena.gov.sh

The Provisional Register (and application forms) is available for inspection at the Office of the Assistant Registration Officer at the Castle, the  Customer Service Centre, the Public Library in Jamestown, ANRD Offices at Scotland and all rural sub-Post Offices. Copies are also held by Assistant Registration Officers, and the Administrator’s Office on Ascension Island.

You can also view it on the SHG website at http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Ex-Gaz-27-2014-Provisional-of-Electors.pdf

Applications to amend the Register must be made in writing (on the correct form or by letter) and submitted to Assistant Registration Officer, Gina Benjamin, at the Castle by no later than 4pm on Friday 23 May 2014.

If your name is not on the Register of Electors you will not be able to stand or vote in any upcoming General or Bye-Election.

A final Register will be published on 1 July 2014.

SHG

16 May 2014


COUNCILLOR BALDWIN TO REPRESENT ST HELENA IN UK

Councillor Leslie Baldwin will depart the Island on Friday 16 May 2014 to represent St Helena at the 44th British Isles and Mediterranean Region Annual Conference (BIMR Conference) – hosted by the Wales Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, in Cardiff Bay from 27-30 May 2014.

The theme for this year’s BIMR Conference is ‘Equality of Access to Democracy’ and during the conference Councillor Baldwin will attend plenary sessions on various issues, including the Campaign for Women in Public Life, Bilingualism and the Role of Official Languages in Parliament, and Youth Parliaments and Engagement of Young Citizens in the Democratic Process.

Councillor Baldwin will also have the opportunity to participate in workshops based around the plenary sessions to discuss women in public life, official languages in Parliament and youth engagement.

Councillor Baldwin commented:

“I am genuinely looking forward to the British Islands and Mediterranean Region seminar, which will give me the opportunity to share information on the engagement of women on St Helena.  I am pleased to have the opportunity, to chair and facilitate a discussion on youth parliaments – to obtain knowledge and assistance in re-establishing our own Youth Parliament.  Council is very keen to emphasise youth engagement.”  

Councillor Baldwin will remain in the UK to attend the 63rd Westminster Seminar and Workshop, being held from 16-20 June in London, where he will be joined by Councillor Gavin Ellick.

The seminar will bring together up to 90 recently-elected Parliamentarians and mid-career Clerks from Commonwealth national and devolved Parliaments for a five-day programme to explore Parliamentary democracy, practice and procedure around the Westminster model. 
 
The evolving programme will highlight current best practice and how Parliaments adapt to changing domestic and global political environments.

 In Councillor Baldwin’s absence, Councillor Brian Isaac will Chair the Social & Community Development Committee, and sit on Executive Council.

 

 

SHG

13 May 2014


ST HELENA MARITIME REVIEW

On 16 April 2014 Executive Council considered the St Helena Maritime Sector Review report produced by Marine Maven (T&T) Ltd, commissioned by St Helena Government.  The scope of the report was to provide advice and guidance on a range of maritime issues, covering the legislative framework, the adequacy of governance arrangements, the operation of vessels, and the system of licensing and improvements in the sector infrastructure. Members considered the report in conjunction with SHG’s response to its recommendations. 

The report has thirty-five recommendations and SHG has commented on each one, giving an indication as to next steps, the person responsible and a timeline.  It is agreed that Officers will report progress against these recommendations to the Economic Development Committee as part of the reporting process.

One of the key recommendations in the report relates to the introduction of a Maritime Services Officer funded through the Technical Cooperation budget.  SHG has reviewed the recommendation and deems it unnecessary at this time. Instead, the new Head of Customs and Port Management (Jonathan Holland) will take up a number of the prescribed duties from the report and ensure implementation of the associated recommendations.

Another key recommendation is the setting up of the St Helena Yachting Association. SHG supports the idea of such an association and the benefits it could bring, including the introduction of a National Yachting Scheme – and welcomes this being established by individuals or the private sector, as this is beyond the core business of Government.

Council advised and the Governor agreed to endorse the responses provided by SHG to the recommendations of Marine Maven (T&T) Ltd.

Copies of the full report and SHG’s response to the recommendations can be obtained from Corporate Finance at the Castle and a copy has been placed in the Public Library, Jamestown. Please note due to the size of the report, only SHG’s response to the recommendations has been placed on the SHG website at http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Formal-SHG-Response-to-Recommendations-in-Maritime-Sector-Review-April-2014.pdf

 

SHG

13 May 2014


AIRPORT COMPETITION LAUNCHED IN ST HELENA SCHOOLS

To mark the construction of the Terminal Building at the Airport the Laying of a Commemorative Stone and Burial of a Time Capsule will take place at the Airport site on Saturday 28 June 2014.

As part of this event, the St Helena Government Public Relations Office has this week launched a competition in Island Schools to encourage young people to submit a drawing, poem or essay – with winning entries to be placed in the Time Capsule and buried at the Terminal Building.

The competition is open to all children from Nursery age to 18 years with four different age categories. There are great prizes to be won and the winners in each category will have the honour of having their work placed in the Time Capsule.

Competition categories are as follows:

Primary School Pupils – Paint or draw a picture of What St Helena looks like to you in 2014 (prizes will be awarded to both lower and upper age primary school pupils).

Lower Age Students, Prince Andrew School – Write an essay entitled ‘How St Helena will Change with an Airport’ of up to 500 words.

Upper Age Students, Prince Andrew School – Write a poem entitled ‘St Helena – Past, Present and Future.’

The Time Capsule will also include Island newspapers, past and present visual accounts of life on St Helena, Island lace, photographs, St Helena currency, Stamp Issues, Electoral Roll, plus a comments book for all those involved in the Airport Project.  A compendium of lifestyle articles and video footage of community events and Airport construction to date will also be included.

Chief Public Relations Officer, Ian Jones, encourages young people to participate in the competition:

“Time capsules are fascinating things – this one will be a snapshot of St Helena in 2014, part of the Island’s history – and you can become part of that history with your winning picture, essay or poem.  Who will gaze at your work in, say, a hundred years’ time?  Time capsules are in fact time machines.

“People will be asking for years to come:  ‘What’s in the Time Capsule?  When was it buried, who buried it and why?  Maybe it contains some coins and stamps.  Maybe an old St Helena flag?  Seeds from forgotten plants, or maybe Saints just emptied their pockets on a given day?’

“But I think when the capsule is eventually unearthed, the most fascinating thing will be how young people lived their lives and saw their home in the year 2014.”

The Competition deadline is Thursday 12 June 2014 and entries should be submitted to class teachers by this date. 

Commemorative Stone Competition Poster for Schools

SHG

13 May 2014

 


LEMP KICK STARTS COMPOST PRODUCTION

demonstration
demonstration

The St Helena Government’s Landscape and Ecology Mitigation Programme (LEMP) – carrying out environmental mitigation works as part of the Airport Project – has recently imported ten local community compost units from South Africa. The LEMP needs significant amounts of compost for the production and establishment of many thousands of plants across the Island, including for the Airport site itself, along the Airport access road, and down to Rupert’s Bay. The composters take everyday kitchen waste and turn it into high quality compost.

Ross Towers, LEMP Project Manager, explains.

“Currently about 25% of domestic waste going to the Horse Point landfill is compostable.  If we can divert this waste and make it useful, there are huge benefits. For example, the lifespan of the landfill itself will increase, the reliance on imported compost will be reduced and on-Island compost should be financially competitive. Pest species such as rats and pigeons will have less of a food source, and on-Island fruit and vegetable production will be supported.”

The composters have been brought to St Helena as a trial and will be managed locally by partners around the Island.  The compost produced will be provided to the LEMP to meet its goals over the next few years.

Ross states:

“Composters like this will outlive the LEMP, reducing kitchen waste going to landfill, and turning it into a useful resource. It is hoped that a small scale private business can be established in the long run.  Potentially, many more units could be brought in if it’s a success.” 

The JK400 Jora composters are specially designed to be able to take cooked food scraps including meat and bones. Composting occurs at a range of temperatures, with different micro-organisms working in different temperature ranges. The temperature of the Jora composter can reach in the region of 70oC or 160oF. Such high temperatures ensure that waste is thoroughly composted and therefore suitable for use straight out of the machine. The temperature also helps to reduce issues such as maggots and bad bacteria, while the correct use of the rotating drums provides good aeration – preventing bad smells.

Ross adds:

“The units are designed and made in Sweden.  But due to the exchange rate and geographic location, we were able to make savings in their procurement by buying from South Africa. They are very sturdy and I’m looking forward to the first batch of compost being created by them, hopefully in as little as 6 weeks’ time. This is a partnership scheme and I would like to thank my colleagues in EMD for their support, and to all the external partners who will be taking part.”

One picture accompanies this release.

SHG

13 May 2014

 

 


ROAD WORKS – HUTTS GATE TO LONGWOOD GATE

LWR3 (2)Repair work on the road from Hutts Gate to Longwood Gate, which began on Monday 28 April 2014, is progressing well.  The road is closed Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays during working hours with short periods allowing traffic to pass.  The original opening time of 4pm for the road each day has been rescheduled to 3pm to reduce the inconvenience to road users.

The work will deliver an outcome where the road will be safe in an interim period, before the road is closed for major repairs once the Haul Road is open and accessible to the public.

The edges of the road are being reinstated where necessary, which involves bringing the edges that have dropped up to the level of the rest of the road and resurfacing the repaired edges.  Under-land drains are also being upgraded – the existing drains are not able to cope effectively with storm water and this causes damage to the road surface.  Addressing this problem now will help prolong the life of the road.

Derek Henry, Deputy Director of the Environment & Natural Resources Directorate commented:

“The roads team, under the direction of Chris Williams, is doing an excellent job.  The repair works on Longwood Road are progressing well with over 1000m² of edging upgraded and repaired.  This involves rebuilding the depressed and broken edges with hardcore and rubble up to the existing road level and sealing with two coats of chip and tar. Five under-land drains have also been upgraded.  It was decided to upgrade the drains now as we are coming up for our winter months and the new drains will better manage any storm water on the road and prolong its life.LWR1 (2)

“I thank all involved for their hard work and team effort in ensuring that the work is completed as speedily as possible to minimise the disruption to road users. The public is also thanked for their understanding and cooperation.’

Two pictures are attached to this release.

SHG

12 May 2014

 


POST & CUSTOMER SERVICE CENTRE HOURS

One Tuesday 13 May 2014, the Post & Customer Service Centre will close for business at 3pm, one hour earlier than usual – to allow staff to carry out monthly checks. 

It will also be closed for business on the morning of Wednesday 14May 2014 to allow staff to attend a staff development session.  Normal business will resume at 1pm.

The Post & Customer Service Centre would like to thank their customers in advance for their cooperation and understanding.

SHG

9 May 2014


PORT MANAGEMENT - USE OF THE WHARF

Due to works currently being carried out, the Wharf will be open to pedestrians only between the hours of 16.00 & 8.30 hrs Monday to Friday and from 16.00 hrs Friday until 08.30 hrs Monday morning (ie, open to pedestrians only, and authorised vehicles only, over the weekend).

These arrangements will commence on Wednesday 7 May, with restricted access to vehicles, due to construction works taking place on the Wharf.  There will be a barrier placed adjacent to the freight terminal where the construction work starts.

Authorised vehicle users will be able to drop off/pick up equipment to and from the lower steps – for example, diving equipment, fishing tackle etc – before returning their vehicle to the area beyond the barrier.

No vehicle at any time can be left parked on the Wharf between the construction site and the landing steps, as this area will need to be kept clear in the event of an emergency.

Port Management would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone in advance for their cooperation.  Further details regarding use of the Wharf will be announced in due course.

SHG

6 May 2014

 


PROVISIONAL REGISTER OF ELECTORS TO PUBLISH

Preparation for updating the Register of Electors for St Helena has now begun. Members of the public are encouraged to come forward if they would like to add their names or amend any details to the current Register, dated 7 February 2014. 

The Provisional Register of Electors will issue on Friday 9 May 2014 and once published any person eligible to have their name on the Register can apply for any changes. Requests will need to be made in writing (on the correct form or by letter) to the Assistant Registration Officer at the Castle within 14 days of the Register being published.

Persons may apply to amend the Register if they would like to add or remove their name, remove the name of someone who has died or left the Island, correct the name of someone who has married, correct an Electoral district or change an address.

Persons eligible to be registered must:

  • Be over the age of 18 years with St Helena as their ordinary place of residence
  • Have St Helenian status or be the spouse of life partner of a person who has such status

 

There are some exceptions, such as mental incapacity or someone serving a prison sentence of 12 months or more.

If you are temporarily absent from St Helena for the purposes of employment, education, or medical treatment, but you are otherwise eligible, you can still have your name registered.  This only applies if you have been absent for less than 30 months and have been absent for less than 625 days in the last 30 months.  There is a special form to be used, and this is available from the Assistant Registration Officer at The Castle, or by email from: cofcouncils@sainthelena.gov.sh

The Provisional Register (and application forms) will be available for inspection at the Office of the Assistant Registration Officer at the Castle or alternatively at the Customer Service Centre and Public Library in Jamestown, ANRD Offices at Scotland and all rural sub Post Offices. Copies will also be held by Assistant Registration Officers and the Administrator’s Office on Ascension Island.

Applications to amend the current Register must be submitted to Assistant Registration Officer, Gina Benjamin at the Castle by no later than 4pm on Friday 23 May 2014.

A final Register of Electors will publish on Tuesday 1 July 2014.

If your name is not on the Register of Electors you will not be able to stand or vote in any upcoming General or Bye-Election.

SHG

6 May 2014


DIRECTORS’ TRAINING PRAISED

Directors Training Sessions
Directors Training Sessions

St Helena Government, working with the UK Institute of Directors (IoD), recently hosted an intensive six day programme (23-29 April 2014) to provide a development opportunity for existing and aspiring Directors of companies, NGOs and charities on St Helena.

The training was delivered by David Buckle from the IoD (photo attached) and covered the Nature of Corporate Entities, the Role of the Board, Corporate Governance and Tools and Techniques for Directors.

41 people enrolled on the programme and comments received highlighted the impact of the training: “Excellent course – clearly delivered in plain English”, “Great overview to Directorship. I leave the course with valuable theoretical and practical pointers”, “Empowered me to undertake my responsibilities with a sense of purpose for the company”, “…dispelled a number of myths about Boards and Board roles.”

During the training, using case studies and open discussions, attendees were able to see some of the key corporate governance concepts in action and think about how these might be applied in their own organisations on St Helena.

Boards of Directors in public, private and third sector organisations on the Island will be at the forefront of change when the Airport is operational.

David Buckle
David Buckle

Director of Enterprise St Helena, Rob Midwinter, a participant of the programme, commented:

It is vital that those serving on Boards and Committees (both private and public sector) have a better understanding of what their corporate responsibilities are and how these should be delivered.”

CEO of Connect Saint Helena, Barry Hubbard said:

“All of Connect Saint Helena’s Board attended the recent training event. Having relevant training is essential in any job and as a Board we recognised the value in receiving this training to help us run the business more effectively. The IoD is internationally recognised for its professional standards and David Buckle proved to be a knowledgeable and very experienced tutor who was able to deliver relevant training to the variety of businesses in attendance.” 

Solomon’s Chief Executive, Mandy Peters added:

“Brilliant two-day course – refreshing approach to covering a range of complex issues in a condensed timeframe and excellent use of case studies help illustrate in a very practical way.”

David Buckle summed up:

“Not surprisingly, some of the concepts surrounding the role of Boards – especially the interaction between Boards and management on the one hand and Boards and shareholders/stakeholders on the other, have not, as yet, been well developed on the Island.

 

“I was impressed by the willingness of participants to engage with the subject matter and get the maximum benefit from it – we worked long hours but everyone was still going right up to the last!

 

“This was just a starting point to show how Boards can provide entrepreneurial leadership to businesses on the Island. Many attendees expressed an interest in carrying out further training – especially in the areas of financial risk management and strategy.”

 

The Institute of Directors (IoD) was founded in 1903, and aims to actively promote best practice and the increased professionalism of Directors by creating a real understanding of the unique nature and requirements of the role.

 

SHG

5 May 2014

 

 


ACTING GOVERNOR SWORN IN

Sean Burns is Sworn in as Acting Governor
Sean Burns is Sworn in as Acting Governor

Head of the Governor’s Office, Sean Burns, was this afternoon sworn in as Acting Governor, taking the prescribed Oaths in the presence of the Sheriff of St Helena, Mrs Pat Musk MBE JP, in the Governor’s Office at the Castle (photo attached).  Sean’s appointment is effective immediately.

HE Governor Capes accompanied by Mrs Capes departed the Island today (30 April 2014) for a period of overseas business and leave. The Governor will return to the Island on Tuesday 17 June 2014.

 

SHG

30 April 2014


ST HELENA POLICE – PUBLIC SURVEY

The St Helena Police Service needs the trust and confidence of the local community in order to be properly effective. Changes are being made in policing style to forge closer links with the community, putting public service at the core, protecting and serving the public and delivering a safe environment for all.

The Police Service, as part of the wider Police Directorate, has developed a clear set of values. These values drive the service and how Officers serve the public. Other measures that are being put in place will ensure that the team are community and victim focused and that local links across the Island are strengthened.

Inspector Johnny Thomas is leading the changes and says:

“The St Helena Police Service is putting the Beat back in the community.

“This programme of change will take time and to help me gauge its success, I am keen to understand what the public think of the service we are currently providing. The voice of the local St Helenian community counts – so a St Helena Police Public Satisfaction Survey is about to be launched.”

Survey forms will be available across the Island in local shops (together with boxes to post your completed surveys) in Jamestown, Half Tree Hollow, Sandy Bay, Blue Hill, Levelwood and Longwood. Alternatively, completed forms can be handed into the Police Station or given to any Police Officer. They are also available on the St Helena Government website at the following link: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/forms/

The survey forms are short and will only take a couple of minutes of your time. The Police Service will be grateful for your views. Once completed, the survey results will be published.

SHG
29 April 2014


ACTING CHIEF SECRETARY

Chief Secretary Owen O’Sullivan departs the Island tomorrow (Wednesday 30 April) on completion of his contract.

Also leaving tomorrow for a brief visit to Cape Town for personal reasons is Deputy Chief Secretary Gillian Francis.

During the period up until the new Chief Secretary is in post, Assistant Chief Secretary (Performance) Paul McGinnety will take on the duties of Acting Chief Secretary. While Gillian is away from the Island, Corporate Services Executive Manager, Carol George will be appointed as Acting Deputy Chief Secretary.

The new Chief Secretary, Roy Burke, will arrive on Island on Wednesday 4 June 2014.

SHG

29 April 2014


SOCIAL BENEFITS FOR LONGWOOD RECIPIENTS

The Post & Customer Service Centre wish to advise Social Benefit recipients, who collect their benefits at Longwood, that due to the Road Closure (between Hutts Gate and Longwood Gate) the issuing of payments from Harford Community Centre will start at 8.45am and end at 9.30am – commencing from this Friday, 2 May 2014, until further notice.

It would be appreciated if recipients could be at the Harford Community Centre between these new times to avoid any delays.

SHG

29 April 2014


GOVERNOR TO DEPART THIS WEEK

HE Governor and Mrs Capes will depart the Island on Wednesday 30 April 2014.  The Governor will participate in a Governor’s Conference and the annual ‘Leadership Conference’ at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London. Governor and Mrs Capes will also attend a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace before taking some leave and returning to the Island in June.

If time permits, on his return journey through Cape Town, Governor Capes will renew contact with officials and business contacts there.

Mr Sean Burns, Head of the Governor’s Office, will be appointed Acting Governor until the Governor’s return on Tuesday 17June 2014.

Also departing the Island this week on completion of his contract will be Chief Secretary Owen O’Sullivan, accompanied by his family.

SHG

28 April 2014 


PREPARING FOR EXAMS TAKES TIME

 A FEW TIPS FROM THE DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION

With the Easter weekend behind us, many young people and their families are beginning to look towards the examinations that will take place in the next few weeks. For our young people who are taking exams in May and June they are now entering the ‘revision season’. This can be a worrying and tense time for all of the family and here are a few tips to help you prepare for those important exams.

 

WORK OUT A REVISION PLAN THAT SUITS YOU

Your teacher will have helped you to work out from your mock exam which areas of study you need to give extra attention to. Once you know the timetable of when your exams take place, try to develop a weekly schedule of which subject you are going to revise and how much time you are going to spend revising each topic.

Once you have drawn up your plan, let your family know how important it is and then stick to it!

 

GET TO KNOW THE WAY YOU ARE GOING TO BE TESTED

Doing past papers or practising how to write an essay in the time that you will have for an exam, is very beneficial.

 

BUILD ON YOUR PREVIOUS BEST AND THEN DO IT AGAIN

Set yourself realistic targets to improve the marks you can get by repeating exercises you have learnt, not only once, but maybe each week and see how you start to improve your scores.

 

DON’T BE SCARED OF MAKING MISTAKES

Making mistakes is how we all learn.  When you check your answers, spend some time working out why you went wrong and practice doing things the right way!

 

DON’T JUST REVISE, BUT RELAX TOO!

It is important that apart from your busy revision schedule, that you have a good amount of sleep each night and also keep fit.  Regular exercise is a great way of keeping fit and alert.  A healthy body makes a healthy mind!

 

LOOK AFTER YOURSELF AND DON’T LISTEN TO BAD ADVICE

During revision time, some people will always pretend they are not doing any revision and might encourage you to do the same.  It is really important that you focus on what you are aiming to achieve and don’t get distracted by people who might want you to develop bad habits. Exams do matter and people who are properly prepared for the exam do better than those who aren’t.

 

SOME ADVICE FOR PARENTS AND FAMILY

For the person in your family who is taking an exam, it can be a very stressful time.

Be patient, be helpful and give your son, daughter or relative lots of encouragement to do their best.  Don’t forget to ask them how it went, when they get home. Once one exam is finished help them to prepare for the next one.

 

And finally……..

 

GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR REVISION!

 

Colin Moore

Director of Education, SHG

28 April 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 


QUEEN’S GARDEN PARTY

   GP - 1On Saturday 26 April 2014, a Garden Party was held at Plantation House to mark the birthday of Her Majesty the Queen.

The weather held out, and with good organisation of the event by Debbie Stroud many mingled and enjoyed the day which included a mixture of St Helenian society; Prince Andrew School Students, Girl Guides, Boy Scouts, private sector individuals, retired public servants, SHG Officials and Councillors attended – with many individuals having their medals on display.  

HE Governor Mark Capes, called the gathering to order by blowing the ‘Bosun’s whistle’, presented to him by the Captain of the French Frigate ‘La Fayette’ on 15 April.

In addition to recognising the commitment and service of Her Majesty the Queen, the Governor also acknowledged individuals on the Island for their dedication and service to the community.  The Queen’s Certificate was awarded to Mr Lionel Lawrence, whose working career commenced in 1949 when, at the age of 15 years, he was employed as an apprentice in the Agriculture and Forestry Department.  Lionel retired in 1991 having served the Department for a total of 42 years.GP - 2

GP - 4The second award for the Queen’s Certificate of Honour went to the late Mrs Shirley Anderson-Leo, who worked for 40 years as a registered general nurse and midwife.  

The achievements of those returning from study were also commended.  Ricardo Fowler, April Lawrence, Nikita Crowie and Tara Thomas, who have recently returned from the United Kingdom, were all recognised for their achievements.  

Also mentioned were Robyn Sim, who will shortly be leaving St Helena on a three year teacher training course at the University of Hertfordshire and Matt Joshua, who will be taking up a place on a three year Diploma in Hotel Management at the International Hotel School in Cape Town. 

GP - 3The Governor highlighted these individuals as examples of those who choose to better themselves to improve the Island’s skill base, vital for the future prosperity of St Helena.

 The Governor’s speech is attached, together with four pictures.

 

 

SHG

28 April 2014


LIFTING OF QUARANTINE AT FARM LODGE

The Agriculture & Natural Resources Division (ANRD) has today announced that the one calendar month of Quarantine applied to Farm Lodge, St Paul’s, will lapse at midday on Saturday 26 April 2014.  Farm Lodge will then be open for business as normal.

The period of Quarantine was applied on 26 March 2014 to the entire premises and land at Farm Lodge, following an outbreak of Fowl Cholera amongst the flock of ducks. In all, 111 ducks died or were humanely destroyed.

The remaining flocks of guinea fowl and chickens have been monitored by ANRD, initially daily, with no signs of any spread of the disease. In the meantime, the duck areas have been cleansed and disinfected, and kept free of any stock.

As a precaution, and based on international data available on this infectious organism, the Economic Development Committee, chaired by Councillor Lawson Henry, has agreed to apply a further five calendar months of Quarantine (until 26 September 2014) on the duck area alone – comprising a pen, yard and small paddock. This small area of Quarantine will remain unstocked with poultry and be out of bounds to the general public.

In all other respects, Farm Lodge will resume for business as usual.  Stephen Biggs and Maureen Jonas are commended for their cooperation and hard work which has provided this successful outcome.

SHG

25 April 2014

 


ASSISTANT CHIEF SECRETARY (PERFORMANCE) APPOINTED

Paul McGinnety, former Interim Director of the Environment & Natural Resources Directorate (photo attached), has today been appointed to the new post of Assistant Chief Secretary, Performance.  This post replaces that of Director of Strategic Policy and Planning, vacated by Susan O’Bey in February 2014.

The post of Assistant Chief Secretary will be vital in supporting SHG in delivering its short, medium and long term strategic goals as the Island enters a defining period in her long and proud history.

To ensure that Government becomes more effective and efficient, the Assistant Chief Secretary will have a strong corporate policy and planning focus, will implement improvements across SHG and build strong relationships between SHG and DfID, ESH, the private sector and civil society.

Commenting on his appointment, Paul McGinnety said:

“It is clear to me that SHG needs to continue to modernise, maximise the impact of all available resources and tightly focus on delivery of our key objectives, while ensuring we protect vulnerable groups.

“It’s vital as the Island moves forward that we achieve sustainable economic, environmental and social improvements, particularly at this time of change. I’m looking forward to leading on this important area of our work, partnering with all our key stakeholders, including the public.”

SHG

22 April 2014


MFV EXTRACTOR ARRIVES

Extractor
Extractor

Saturday 19 April 2014 saw St Helena’s new offshore fishing vessel reach the Island at around 5:30 pm, to an enthusiastic welcome party of around 200 people. 

Terry Richards, General Manager of the Fisheries Corporation, commented:

The seven day journey from Hout Bay to St Helena was uneventful except for a period on Wednesday when the vessel was dead in the water, due to the raw seawater pump malfunctioning.  But thanks to the ingenuity of the Skipper, Trevor Thomas, and Engineer, Errol Thomas, the problem was soon rectified and the Extractor resumed her journey after 2 ½ hours.

“The vessel proved to be very responsive and handled all sea conditions encountered with ease.  Hopefully she will continue to do so and be an effective fishing platform when commercial fishing commences.”

Extractor 2
Extractor 2

The Extractor, built in 1998, is 22 metres in length.  The welcome party was given a brief demonstration in St James’ Bay of her handling ability, followed by clearance by Customs and Immigration officials.

Lead Skipper, Trevor (Otto) Thomas, and crew members Waylon Thomas, Peter Benjamin, Errol Thomas, and Terry Richards, were presented with a St Helena Flag for the MFV Extractor by Cllr Lawson Henry, Chairman of the Economic Development Committee.

Following the presentation, the crew was welcomed by a reception at the St Helena Yacht Club, where Councillor Henry, Terry Richards, Trevor Thomas and Rob Midwinter all commented on the significance of the Extractor’s arrival at St Helena and thanked all who supported the crew during their time away.

Extractor Flag
Flag

Robert Midwinter, Director of Enterprise St Helena, said:

“The arrival of the ‘MFV Extractor’ marks a real turning point in the economic development of the Island’s fisheries.  Not only does it allow local fishermen to target our seamounts, but it also provides us with a platform on which we can re-build the industry, including opportunities for training, scientific monitoring, and the policing of our waters.  The Extractor will also provide a measure of assurance for those smaller vessels that are capable of going further offshore.”    

Four pictures are attached to this release.

Crew
Crew

SHG

22 April 2014

 


NEW YEAR HONOURS 2015 - OVERSEAS LIST

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office invites nominations for the 2015 New Year Honours List.

Persons wishing to submit nominations for the 2015 New Year Honours are reminded that the overriding principle is that honours are awarded on merit for exceptional achievement or any service recently carried out over and above what normally is expected.  

Where possible, nominations should place emphasis on voluntary services.  It should also be noted that age is not a factor in awarding Honours and younger members of the community who have made an outstanding contribution or have given exceptional service should not be overlooked.  It is important that nominations are kept confidential and that nominees are not made aware that they are being proposed for award of an Honour.

Nomination forms are available from Mrs Carol George, Corporate Services Executive Manager.  Completed forms should be returned to the Executive Secretary, Honours Committee at the Castle – in a sealed envelope, marked confidential, by Friday, 16 May 2014.

SHG

22 April 2014

 


THE WHARF OVER EASTER

 The public are advised that from 4pm Thursday 17 April 2014 the Wharf will be closed to vehicles.  Pedestrians are still allowed to pass the barriers, for the traditional Maundy Thursday fishing activities.     

The port authority has authorised this closure until the RMS’s departure – expected to be on Thursday 24 April 2014.

The public are thanked in advance for their cooperation.

SHG

17 March 2013 


UK PASSPORTS – PRICE CHANGE

The price for a full British passport changed on 7 April 2014.  The previous and new prices are as follows:

 

Passport type Previous price New price
Full British (Adult) £124.50 £83.00
Full British (Child) £79.50 £53.00
Full British (48 page) £150.50 £91.00

 

In addition to the above, there is currently a handling charge of £18.80 per passport.  Applications dated prior to 7 April 2014 will be processed at the previous prices. The timescale for delivery of a new passport following despatch from St Helena is three months.

 

St Helena British Overseas Territory Citizen type passports, issued by the Immigration Office on Island, are not affected by this price change.  The price for these passports will continue to be £40 for each adult and £20 for each child.

 

Immigration Office

SHG

14 April 2014


EXCO REPORT – WEDNESDAY 16 APRIL 2014

Executive Council met today, Wednesday 16 April, with two items on the Open Agenda.

The first item was the proposal to increase Government Landlord Housing rental by £1 per week, effective from 1 July 2014.  It was noted that this will have no impact on IRB and BIP recipients. Executive Council approved this proposal.

The second item sought to reinstate the requirement for certain types of development applications to be referred to ExCo for approval. These are generally large scale infrastructure projects that are crucial to the economic development of the Island.  Executive Council agreed that it is important to retain political oversight of such projects and agreed that a directive should be issued to the Chief Planning Officer.

On the Closed Agenda, the St Helena Maritime Sector Review from Marine Maven was discussed.  The report had made a number of recommendations and these had been considered by the Economic Development Committee.  Not all recommendations had been agreed and the report and a press release outlining the agreed actions from SHG will be published soon.

On behalf of Legislative Council I would like to wish you all a happy, chocolaty and safe Easter.

ExCo

16 April 2014


ST HELENA HOSTS FRENCH NAVY VISIT

Disembarkation at the Wharf
Disembarkation at the Wharf

St Helena yesterday hosted a one day visit for two major French warships – the 21,300 ton Force Projection & Command Ship ‘FS Mistral’ and the advanced Frigate ‘FS La Fayette’. The ships have been deployed since March (until July 2014) and stopped at St Helena while on Mission Jeanne d’Arc in the South Atlantic.

Both vessels arrived in James’ Bay at 07.00hrs yesterday morning. Embarkation of Navy personnel took place soon after with over 800 Soldiers and Sailors in full uniform coming ashore for tours of St Helena, including the Napoleonic Sites of the Briars Pavilion, the Tomb and Longwood House.

A programme had been drawn up for the day by the Governor’s Office, working with the French Consul and Officers onboard both vessels.

Activities included a media call to the Mistral where the local press were invited onboard the 199 metre vessel for a full tour. Highlights included viewing the Helicopter Hangar which can house up to 16 heavy helicopters (yesterday the ship carried five), and the Hospital area which is fitted with two surgical units, comprehensive technical facilities and 69 medical beds. The medical facilities can be expanded with additional medical shelter in the Helicopter Hangar. The media were also able to tour the Bridge and Storage Decks – home to all deployment equipment and capable of holding up to 110 armoured vehicles or 13 main battle tanks.

The Impressive Mistral in James'
The Impressive Mistral in James’

Members of the public (who had won tickets by various radio quizzes) and groups of schoolchildren were able to visit the Mistral in the afternoon. HE Governor and Mrs Capes and other distinguished guests were also invited onboard – taken by helicopter – for an official lunch.

A special ceremony was held at the Tomb in the afternoon, with around 150 French Military and many spectators in attendance. Governor Capes made a special address to the French Military where he officially welcomed them to St Helena and spoke of the Island’s connection with France and what a memorable occasion today was for both visitors and residents alike. French Navy Visit – Governor’s Remarks at Napoleons Tomb, 15 April 2014.

Commenting after the ceremony, Captain of the Mistral, Francois-Xavier Polderman, remarked:

“Coming to St Helena is a very rare experience and I think you could feel all around this Tomb that it was very moving for all the soldiers and sailors who were here. We were happy to celebrate our dead soldiers and sailors of all times.

Helicopter Hangar
Helicopter Hangar

“I have definitely enjoyed myself it has been a wonderful experience. I never thought I would be able to live this.”

Captain of La Fayette Serge Bordarier, added:

“It is a great pleasure to be here and a great experience. The discovery of this Island is for us like a dream, when we were children we dreamed of coming here, so for us it was a very emotive ceremony held here.”

Following the ceremony, both Captains answered questions from the media. Navy personnel then travelled to Longwood House where a reception was hosted by Honorary French Consul Michel Dancoisne-Martineau.

Throughout the day, Island residents were able to glimpse various helicopters as they flew over the Island taking photographs and embarking and disembarking Ships’ personnel. Both ships departed the Island at 19.30hrs last evening after a most successful port call in St Helena.

Army Vehicles in Storage Deck
Army Vehicles in Storage Deck

photos are attached to this release.

Notes for Editors

From March to July 2014 an amphibious group composed of the LHD Mistral and the FLF La Fayette will be strategically positioned in the Atlantic Ocean where military operations and bilateral actions will be conducted. During this time, the trained officers from the French Naval Academy class of 2011, as well as foreign officers, will carry out their first major operational deployment. The aim is to give these young officers a solid foundation in military leadership and seamanship – thanks to the practical and

co-operational nature of the training and the experience of taking real responsibilities.

Military Gathered at the Tomb
Military Gathered at the Tomb

The Mistral is multifunctional. It is an assault helicopter carrier, an amphibious ship (able to deploy troops and vehicles) a NATO-certified Headquarters, a hospital ship (able to provide health support to combat operations or humanitarian emergencies) and a forward base for special forces.

Multi-mission Stealth Frigate La Fayette leads missions centred around knowledge and anticipation, crisis and conflict prevention, the maintenance of sovereignty in national waters and special operations and missions.  

SHG

16 April 2014


ICE PLANT DISCOVERED

Ice Plant
Ice Plant

Recently some eagle-eyed Halcrow-workers (airport project management unit) spotted an unfamiliar plant growing at the airport construction site.  A number of weeds were found growing in a consignment of coarse sand imported from Namibia which have been identified by Island botanist Phil Lambdon as a type of Ice plant new to the Island.

It appears that the heavy rains in March, followed by sunnier weather have prompted the germination of the ice plant seeds in sand which had been unpacked from containers and exposed to the elements.

Basil Read, working with Halcrow and ANRD, has implemented a full-scale biosecurity response:

  • All the growing plants have been pulled up, before they set seed
  • The infested sand consignment has been thoroughly checked over and will be used as quickly as possible in construction
  • Steps are being taken to ensure that future consignments of coarse sand have a lower risk of seed;
  • The construction site will continue to be routinely monitored.

 

Jill Key, Pest Control and Biosecurity Officer said:

Imported sand is routinely inspected for insect pests, and on-site monitoring is in place to check for any weed seeds. We’re very grateful to Halcrow and Basil Read for their quick work in spotting this new weed and literally nipping it in the bud.”

If you spot any unfamiliar plant or insect, call the biosecurity team at the Agriculture and Natural Resources Division on 24724.

SHG

16 April 2014

 

 

 


NEW DEPUTY HEADTEACHER FOR ST PAUL’S PRIMARY SCHOOL

Nicky Adams
Nicky Adams

A new Deputy Headteacher for St Paul’s Primary School arrives on Tuesday 22 April 2014.

Nicky Adams (photo attached) will play a key leadership role in supporting Head Teacher Pat Williams and the team of Teachers and Assistants at St Paul’s Primary.

Director of Education and Employment Colin Moore said:

“This is a crucial appointment for St Paul’s. I am very pleased with the progress that the school has made over the last couple of years and I feel sure that with Nicky’s arrival we will see the school go from strength to strength.

“I know that the staff, pupils and parents of St Paul’s will give Mrs Adams a very warm welcome!”

Nicky is an experienced and successful Deputy Headteacher who has worked in various primary schools in Cape Town.

Nicky added:

“I have had the privilege of teaching for the past 19 years in South Africa – these years being the most challenging but the most fulfilling years of my life. A new chapter in my life is now starting on St Helena and I am excited to continue this journey at St Paul’s Primary School. 

“I am delighted to take up my position beside the Headteacher, staff, parents and pupils who will have my full co-operation and support as we work together. I am coming to the Island to help build the school up, to take it to greater heights and excellence in education.”

 

SHG

15 April 2014


NEW ADVISER FOR PRIMARY SCHOOLS

Zoe Robinson
Zoe Robinson

The St Helena Education Directorate is soon to welcome a new Adviser for Primary Education. Zoe Robinson (photo attached) will arrive on 22 April (succeeding Victoria Stapleton) and will play a leading role in helping the Education Directorate to respond to the many changes and challenges that Primary Education will experience over the next few years.

The English curriculum is one of these areas and Zoe will be working with Head Teachers and staff in the Primary Schools to ensure these changes are made smoothly and that primary schools continue to raise the standard of education for all children on St Helena.

Director of Education and Employment Colin Moore said: “I am delighted that Zoe will be joining us. She will be supporting our hard working and dedicated Primary School staff in a variety of ways, including supporting teaching and learning and advising on curriculum content. Zoe will also provide additional expertise and support to our Head Teachers. It is very fortunate that we also have an opportunity for her to work with Victoria over the next few weeks before Victoria completes her contract and leaves the Island.

“Providing the very best primary school education is a priority for me and the Directorate. We want to make sure that children and young people make the most of their opportunities as the Island’s economy begins to expand. A top quality primary education provides the platform to help us to achieve this.”

Zoe is a very experienced and successful primary school educationalist with extensive experience of working in UK primary schools. She commented: “I can’t wait to join the Education Directorate on St Helena. I am passionate about excellent, inclusive education and look forward to building on the successes already happening in the Primary Schools on the Island.

“My family (husband Jeremy and sons Alfie and Zach) and I are also keen to explore, learn about and become part of the St Helena community… although my youngest son, Zach, just wants to stay with Jonathan the Tortoise!”

SHG

14 April 2014


EXCO MEETING – Wednesday 16 April 2014

Open to the Public from 1pm

 

Executive Council will meet on Wednesday afternoon, 16 April 2014, in the Council Chamber.

Commencing at 1pm, the meeting will be open to the public for the following Open Agenda items:

 

  • 2014/15 Government Landlord Housing Rent Increase
  • Land Planning & Development Control, Applications for Referral to Governor in Council 

 

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

 

SHG

14 April 2014 


Two Warships of the French Navy to do Port Call In

Two Warships of the French Navy to do Port Call in St Helena – 11 April 2014

LHD Mistral
LHD Mistral
FLF La Fregate
FLF La Fregate
Mission 'Jeanne d' Arc'
Mission ‘Jeanne d’ Arc’

EXCO MEETING – Tuesday 1 April 2014

Open to the Public from 11.30am

Executive Council will meet today Tuesday 1 April 2014 in the Council Chamber.

Starting at 11.30am, the meeting will be open to the public for the following Open Agenda items:

  • Sale of Government Landlord Housing
  • Introduction of a new Housing Register and Allocations Policy
  • Request for variation of Order relating to the constitution of land as National Forest, in order to remove land from National Forest to facilitate relocation of Fire Station
  • Animal (Diseases) (Amendment) Regulations 2014
  • Undertakings and Resolutions made at the Formal Meeting of Legislative Council held on 14 February 2014
  • Undertakings and Resolutions made at the Formal Meeting of Legislative Council held on 21 and 24 March 2014

 

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

 

SHG

1 April 2014 

 


EXPERT ADVICE ON AUTISM

 

Jude Ragan
Jude Ragan

 

Jude Ragan (OBE) arrives on Island on 7 April for a month to provide advice to the Education Directorate on Autistic Spectrum Disorders.

Jude, Headteacher of Queensmill Special School in London commented:

“I am very excited about my forthcoming visit to St Helena and the project with staff on the Island.  I hope that it is the beginning of a long and fruitful association between the autism provision on the Island and the work of Queensmill School in London – and that we continue to link both remotely and through visits to develop the important work we all do with children with autism spectrum disorders.”

Director of Education and Employment, Colin Moore said:

“This is a very important visit to the Island and I am delighted that we were able to secure the services of Jude.  Autism is a very complex condition and our hardworking staff are very much looking forward to having the opportunity to learn at first hand from such an experienced educationalist.  For the majority of the time that Jude will be with us, she will be based at Prince Andrew School.

“I am grateful to the Governors of Queensmill for releasing Jude so that she can spend time with us.  I do hope that this visit signals the start of an enduring relationship between ourselves and Queensmill School.”

Jude – an experienced and well known educationalist in the field of Special Needs – is Headteacher of Queensmill School in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.  Queensmill is a specialist school for children and young people with Autistic Spectrum Disorders.  The school is rated as an outstanding school by Ofsted, the English Schools Inspectorate.  In 2010, Jude Ragan was awarded an OBE for her work in Special Education.   

Symptoms of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) vary from one child to the next, but in general, they fall into two areas:

  • Social impairment, including difficulties with social communication and
  • Repetitive and stereotyped behaviors.

One photograph accompanies this release.

 

SHG

31 March 2014


DUNG BEETLE

Basil Read workers assembling new plant in upper Ruperts Valley, have discovered the remains of three very large dark brown beetles among materials packed on an open trailer. The beetles are more than twice as long as a 1 penny piece, broad and distinctly flattened with long wings.

The beetles were promptly reported to the Agriculture and Natural Resources Division (ANRD) and passed onto David Pryce at the St Helena National Trust – who identified them as Giant Flattened Dung Beetles, Pachylomera femoralis. This is a first recording for St Helena.

Active by day, adult giant flattened dung beetles burrow beside fresh dung of various mammals for feeding, as well as rolling away balls of dung to brood their young.  They are attracted to a wide range of dung types, carrion and fermenting fruit. Their native distribution is wide, from South Africa up to the Congo.

Basil Read has mapped the trailer on which they arrived from it’s origin in Port Elizabeth up through South Africa and into Walvis Bay in Namibia. These beetles are believed to be attracted to lights and they probably fell into the open trailer while it was parked under security lights at some point.

Ravi Michael, Logistics Manager for Basil Read on St Helena said:

When rare incidents like this occur, it is crucial that the chain of events is investigated as swiftly as possible – in order to pinpoint the loophole and identify specific corrective and preventative actions that will avoid re-occurrence. The matter was dealt with at an impressive speed, and in a matter of hours the BR team on- and off – Island were working together to resolve the matter.”

If anyone sees any other dung beetles – please call Rosie Peters or Jill Key at ANRD on 24724.

SHG

28 March 2014

 


UTILITY TARIFFS 2014/15

Further to the Directive on 2014/15 Electricity and Water Tariffs issued by the St Helena Utilities Regulatory Authority on 17 March 2014, Connect Saint Helena Ltd has today published the final utility Tariffs for 2014-15, commencing 1 April 2014.  These rates will be published in full in next week’s media, but anyone requiring a copy earlier can either visit Connect’s Seales Corner offices or request a copy by email to callie.leo@connect.co.sh

The delay in publishing the final Tariffs was due to ongoing discussions with St Helena Government regarding the level of subsidy to be provided. The outcome of these discussions, approved by Executive Council this morning, is that a joint funding solution (between SHG and Connect) has been agreed, which will see the level of subsidy increased.  ExCo gave its undertaking to provide additional support to Connect Saint Helena Ltd during the Financial Year 2014-15.  This means that the proposed increases for standing and usage charges for electricity, water and drainage are now reduced from the proposed figures in the Directive (roughly 10%) to approximately 5%.  Councillors were pleased with this outcome.

Quarter 1 bills will estimate readings at 1 April 2014, but customers are invited to make a note of their own meter readings (on 1 April) and either email to angela.scipio@connect.co.uk or alison.wade@connect.co.sh – or advise by telephone on 22341 or 22255 within two weeks of this date, to enable bills to be prepared based on actual readings.  Customers should quote their Customer Number or name and address when doing so.

Please find attached Connect Saint Helena Ltd’s Electricity, Water and Drainage Tariffs, commencing 1 April 2014. 

SHG & Connect Saint Helena Ltd

28 March 2014

 

 


FOREIGN OFFICE REPLACES GOVERNOR’S FLAG CAR

 The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has purchased a replacement flag car for the Governor.  At no cost to SHG, the silver Jaguar XF replaces the present vehicle, which is now over four years old. 

As the profile of St Helena continues to grow, and with the Airport opening in early 2016, more VIP visitors are expected to visit, making it more important that the Governor should have a reliable representational vehicle. 

The new car is due to arrive on the RMS on Monday 31 March. The old Jaguar will be retained by SHG as a back-up vehicle for Plantation House and for occasional use by important visiting figures such as the Chief Justice.

SHG

28 March 2014


OUTBREAK OF FOWL CHOLERA – UPDATE

It was announced on Wednesday 26 March that an isolated outbreak of the serious bird disease, Fowl Cholera, had been diagnosed in the flock of ducks at Farm Lodge, St Paul’s, St Helena.  This disease affects only birds – particularly and most seriously domestic flocks, where it is normally fatal.

Today ANRD has reported that the Veterinary Service has humanely destroyed (by lethal injection) all 75 remaining ducks on the property, and believe all have been accounted for. 

Carcasses were taken to Rupert’s after being double-bagged, sealed, and disinfected and have already been incinerated. Public Health assisted greatly in providing the bags and access to, and operation of, the incinerator.

Foot baths have been set up on the property and permits to enter the Quarantine area are in place (with specific conditions attached) for a small group of persons allowed on and off the site. Gateways have been taped off and the property zoned for movements by permit holders.

Steve and Maureen of Farm Lodge have been very cooperative, and Farm Lodge remains under Quarantine and is being monitored daily by the Senior Veterinary Officer.

No business will be conducted at Farm Lodge during the period that the property is designated a Quarantine area.

For further information please contact the Senior Veterinary Officer Joe Hollins, or in his absence, Head of ANRD Darren Duncan on telephone 24724.

SHG

28 March 2014


OUTBREAK OF FOWL CHOLERA AT FARM LODGE, ST PAUL’S

An isolated outbreak of the serious bird disease, Fowl Cholera, has been diagnosed in the flock of ducks at Farm Lodge, St Paul’s, St Helena.  This disease affects only birds – particularly and most seriously domestic flocks, where it is highly fatal. This disease is not considered by the World Organisation for Animal Health (The OIE) to be a threat to the vast majority of humans.

A Quarantine Order has today been put in place by ANRD which imposes movement restrictions in and out of the Farm Lodge property, designed to confine the disease and minimise the risk of its transfer (see Extraordinary Gazette, including a map of the affected area, on the SHG website at http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/EX-GAZ-No-18-2014-Quarantine.pdf), The Quarantine Order, made under Regulation 13(1) of the Animals (Diseases) Regulations – will initially be set for 4 weeks. Notices will today be posted at the premises and disinfectant points established.

The flock of ducks will be humanely destroyed and incinerated on site, supervised by the Senior Veterinary Officer Joe Hollins – who has confirmed the diagnosis through post-mortem examination and microscopic analysis. The Senior Veterinary Officer believes that this disease has most likely been on St Helena for many years (carried by the wild bird population), but has not previously been diagnosed.  

Enquiries can be made to the Senior Veterinary Officer at ANRD on telephone no. 24724 or email: joe-hollins@enrd.gov.sh

 

SHG

26 March 2014

 


NVQ QUALITY ASSURANCE COORDINATOR TO ATTEND OVERSEAS TRAINING

Joyce Duncan
Joyce Duncan

St Helena’s National Vocational Quality (NVQ) Assurance Coordinator Joyce Duncan (photo attached) is soon to embark on a period of training in the UK.

As the NVQ Quality Assurance Coordinator, Joyce is responsible for managing the approved City & Guilds Centre on St Helena for the delivery of internationally recognised Vocationally Related Qualifications (VRQs) and National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs). Joyce as operational manager of the internal quality assurance function, monitors the service provided on St Helena to ensure it consistently meets specified UK National Occupational Standards. To ensure Joyce is able to do this effectively she will depart the Island on Tuesday 8 April 2014 for an exposure visit and period of overseas training in the UK.

Joyce will be visiting various NVQ Centres including those in Cardiff and in Colwyn Bay in Wales.

This visit will see Joyce meet with the Regional Centre’s team and other Quality Assurance Coordinators, Assessors and Internal Quality Assurers to discuss and compare practices. Joyce will also be participating in events that will enable her to enhance her skills and learn how other NVQ Centres are managed in the UK.

Joyce will also be attending Cardiff Vale College to look at the delivery of their Construction Programme and how this could be adapted for the Apprenticeship scheme on St Helena. She will also undertake training with the Quality Assurance Coordinator from the Falkland Island’s Government Office in Westminster London.

Joyce said:

“This training and exposure visit is very important as I will be able to upskill my team of Assessors and Internal Quality Assurers on St Helena while also developing myself in the management of the Centre in relation to quality assurance and training .

“Being isolated on St Helena is a challenge and I am looking forward to the training and exposure so as to be able to gauge whether I am on par with other centres. It will be great to meet with other Quality Assurance Coordinators, Assessors and Internal Quality Assurance Coordinators to share ideas and experiences which I can then bring back to St Helena to further develop my team.”

Colin Moore, Director of Education said

“Joyce is an exceptionally dedicated professional who runs an excellent centre here on St Helena. This visit will enable Joyce to keep up to date with the ever-changing world of vocational qualifications and assessments. We all wish the very best for her UK visit and look forward to seeing her back here in June.”

The St Helena NVQ Centre offers qualifications for:

Level 2/3 Diploma/Certificates in Business & Administration, Customer Service, Health & Social Care, Hospitality & Catering, Level 1 Land-based studies, Level 2 Crop Production, Level 2 Environmental Conservation, Levels 3 & 4 Training, Assessment and Quality Assurance (TAQA) qualifications.

Vocationally Related Qualifications offered at Prince Andrew School are for Levels 1 & 2 in Automotive, Level 1 in Construction, and Entry 3/Level 1 in Hospitality & Catering.

SHG

25 March 2014


BIOSECURITY - PUBLIC CONSULTATION - REMINDER

 St Helena’s Biosecurity Policy (‘Biosecurity St Helena’) is now out for public consultation.

The document identifies the direction that Biosecurity intends to follow to help achieve sustainable development for St Helena. It forms part of a series of documents, which together will form the Biosecurity Development Framework. The policy covers all activities aimed at policing new species and managing their impacts once on Island.

It includes intentional, unintentional and illegal introductions, and focuses on pre-border, border and post-border activities designed to keep out new pests – central to SHG’s responsibility. It is important to hear the public’s views on the policy proposed by the Island’s biosecurity stakeholders.

To obtain a hard copy of ‘Biosecurity St Helena’ please call Darren Duncan or Dr Jill Key on tel: 24724. For an electronic copy please visit http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/

The closing date for responses is 4pm on Friday 28 March 2014. Please let the Biosecurity policy team have your comments by submitting a completed consultation questionnaire (attached), e-mailing it to Darren Duncan darren-duncan@enrd.gov.sh or sending in a hard copy to the ANRD Office at Scotland.

To encourage the public to give their views, all submissions with name and address details will be entered into a prize draw. The first name drawn will receive a prize of £30.

SHG

25 March 2014


DETECTIVE CHIEF INSPECTOR ARRIVES

Pam Trevillion
Pam Trevillion

The Lucy Faithful Report on the subject of Child Protection on St Helena and Ascension Island was published in October last year. 

Both Islands recognise their responsibility to protect the vulnerable in society, so a new role of Chief Inspector was created in the St Helena Police Service – with one of the main focuses being on Safeguarding regarding domestic and abuse cases. 

Pam Trevillion (pictured) arrived on Island on 18 March on a two year contract.  She will take charge of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Safeguarding and Intelligence.   

Pam commented on the challenge she faces:

“It is extremely important to gain the trust of the community.  I aim to link the Police Directorate with the public by highlighting Community Policing, building high levels of confidentiality and delivering successful cases.”  

Pam will be working closely with Health and Social Services and the Prison, also being a member of the Safeguarding Children Board.  Pam sees safeguarding the vulnerable members of our society as a top propriety.

She added:

“It is important to protect people who are unable to protect themselves – and this is vital across all sectors – including Housing, Health and the Prison Service.  It should be high on everyone’s agenda, including the community at large.  

“My aim is to embed processes and leave a system that can be sustained in the future, a system that can make a difference for the long term.”

If the public have any concerns or issues they wish to raise, Pam (based at the Police Headquarters) is keen to hear your views on working closer together to make the Island safer.

Sensitive matters can be raised on the confidential Helpline on: 22888

SHG

24 March 2014 

 

 


COMMONWEALTH DAY FILM

Commonwealth Day on Monday 10 March was an opportunity for member Nations of the Commonwealth to promote understanding on global issues, international cooperation and the work of Commonwealth organisations.

St Helena marked the day by focusing on the theme of ‘Team Commonwealth’, and a wide range of team–related activities, including with the schools, took place.  

A Commonwealth Day film will be shown on Local TV Channel 1 on:

 

  • Monday 24 March – 18:55
  • Tuesday 25 March – 19:00
  • Wednesday 26 March – 19:00

 

SHG

24 March 2014


BUDGET SPEECH 2014/15

Financial Secretary Colin Owen this afternoon delivered the Budget Speech for St Helena, 2014/15 (photo attached).  The theme of this year’s Budget was the Health of the Nation and Making a Difference.

The budget covered a wide range of health and environmental issues and saw the introduction of Excise and Liquor Duty and a number of changes to the current tax regime.

Highlights from the speech included:

 

  • Total expenditure for 2014/15 of just over £29 million
  • Increased funding for priority areas, including an additional £692k for the Health Service
  • £8.5m to be spent on Capital Infrastructure Projects in 2014/15
  • Planned introduction of Child Benefit allowance from 1 April 2015 
  • Continued equalisation of Fuel Tariffs, with duty on diesel to increase by 5p
  • Tobacco and Spirits Duties increased by 5%
  • Introduction of Liquor Duty at £3.50 per litre
  • New £1 per litre Duty for alcohol 3% or below
  • Changes to Customs Duty on Vehicles, based on CO2 Emissions
  • Introduction of Excise Duty on Styrofoam boxes for takeaways
  • Introduction of Excise Duty on plastic shopping bags
  • 75p per litre Excise Duty on High Sugar Carbonated Drinks

 

Colin Owen commented:

‘The introduction of a new tax on high sugar drinks and higher than inflation increases on tobacco form part of a raft of measures which demonstrate that SHG takes the health of St Helena seriously.’

The full Budget Speech is available on the SHG website at: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/finace/

SHG

21 March 2014


LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL ELECTIONS - RESULTS

Councillor Wilson ‘Tony’ Duncan has this morning been elected as Chairman of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee and a Member of Executive Council. Councillor Corinda Essex has been elected as Member of the Public Accounts Committee.

Elections took place during today’s Formal Legislative Council Meeting where Elected Members were able to put forward their nominations for each of these roles in the House.

The purpose of today’s Legislative Council Meeting is primarily to discuss this year’s Budget Settlement. Also during the meeting there will be six Questions along with seven Motions, six of which are Bills for Ordinances.

Legislative Council is broadcast live via SAMS Radio 1.

SHG

21 March 2014


FRENCH NAVAL SHIPS TO CALL AT ST HELENA

la Fayette

On Tuesday 15 April 2014, St Helena will host a one-day call from two major French warships – the 21,300 tonne Force Projection & Command Ship ‘FS Mistral’ and the advanced Frigate ‘FS La Fayette’.

The ships’ estimated time of arrival at St Helena is 09.00 hrs, departing at 19.00 hrs on the same day.  The Mistral has a crew complement of around 220 and is 199m in length, and the La Fayette has a crew of around 180 and is 125m in length.  Two pictures are attached to this release.

A programme is being drawn up for the day by SHG and honorary French Consul Michel Dancoisne-Martineau, and is likely to include: a Captain(s) call on the Governor, an invited lunch on board, a schools’ visit on board, a ceremony at the Tomb (with many French military in attendance), and a tour of Longwood House and the Briars pavilion – followed by the ships’ departure.

French Consul, Michel Dancoisne-Martineau, said of the visit:

The call of the two main vessels of the ‘Groupe Jeanne d’Arc’ is quite an honour, not only for my team, but for all of us on St Helena.  It will bring back memories for some on the Island who will remember the regular calls of the ‘Jeanne d’Arc’ – the last visit of that importance occurring in 1987. Since then, two French Navy ships have called on the Island – the patrouilleur ‘Albatros’ at the Quincentenary of St Helena in 2002, followed by the ‘Beautemps-Beaupré’ in 2008.

Mistral ship“St Helena owns a great page of our common history and this ’escale’ (port of call) further honours our mutual respect.”

Governor Mark Capes added:

“Our special link with France is firmly embedded in history and I’m sure that the people of St Helena will join me in warmly welcoming this visit by the French Navy. As always, we will do everything possible to ensure that our guests have an enjoyable visit.”

SHG

20 March 2014


FORMAL LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL MEETING – FRIDAY 21 MARCH 2014

The First Sitting of the Fourth Meeting of Legislative Council will take place on Friday 21 March 2014 at 10am in the Court House, Jamestown. This session is expected to last two days, continuing on Monday 24 March, and will be broadcast live via SAMS Radio 1.

The main purpose of the meeting will be to discuss this year’s Budget settlement, where the Financial Secretary will present his Budget Speech to Legislative Council. Six Questions will also be taken to the House along with seven Motions, six of which are Bills for Ordinances.

Nine papers will be presented in the House. They are:

 

  • A Bill for an Ordinance – The Immigration (Amendment) Ordinance, 2014
  • A Bill for an Ordinance – The Second Supplementary Appropriation Ordinance, 2014
  • The Second Supplementary Estimates, March 2014
  • A Bill for an Ordinance – The Customs (Amendment) Ordinance, 2014
  • A Bill for an Ordinance – The Liquor Duty Ordinance, 2014
  • A Bill for an Ordinance – The Interpretation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2014
  • A Bill for an Ordinance – The Appropriation Ordinance, 2014
  • Estimates of Recurrent Revenue, Expenditure and Capital Expenditure 2014/15
  • The St Helena Public Accounts Committee – Report to Legislative Council on the Formal Session of the Public Accounts Committee held on 10 February 2014.

Three elections will also take place during the Meeting. These will be to elect a Chairman of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee, to elect a new member of Executive Council following the resignation from ExCo of Councillor Cyril George, and to elect a member of the Public Accounts Committee.

The meeting will conclude with the customary Adjournment Debate, when Councillors will have the opportunity to raise various issues relating to St Helena.

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

SHG

17 March 2014


MARINE AWARENESS WEEK 2014

Marine Awareness Week is celebrated annually on St Helena to raise awareness of the importance of the Island’s marine environment, underwater habitats and species.

This year Marine Awareness Week is taking place between Saturday 22 – Saturday 29 March – with a number of events dedicated to teaching and learning about St Helena’s marine environment – including this year’s Grand Finale Fishing Festival.
Activities include a presentation at the Museum on ‘St Helena’s Ocean Habitat and Fishing’ on Monday 24 March. On Tuesday evening the St Helena Dive Club will show ‘The little Mermaid’ at the Wharf – with popcorn and juice on sale. Wednesday’s activities will be a marine-themed Quiz Night at the Yacht Club hosted by the St Helena Nature Conservation Group and on

Thursday the Dive Club will be holding a practical introduction to scuba session at the Pool. Saturday 29 March will see the Grand Finale Fishing Festival at the Wharf.

In addition, each day from 10.30am – 6.30pm there will be a display area at the Yacht Club where visitors will be able to speak with marine conservation staff, fishermen, marine tour operators and Traditional Industry Campaign staff from Enterprise St Helena.

Marine Conservation Officer Elizabeth Clingham explains the importance of Marine Awareness Week on St Helena:
“Marine Awareness Week highlights St Helena’s unique marine environment. This year, in collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders, we are really emphasising the significance and importance of our ocean, understanding its uses and respecting its value now and for the future.”

SHG
17 March 2014


DIRECTIVE OF ST HELENA UTILITIES REGULATORY AUTHORITY RELATIVE TO THE 2014/15 ELECTRICITY AND WATER TARIFFS

The St Helena Utilities Regulatory Authority has today issued its Direction under Section 5 (1) (C) of the Utilities Services Ordinance 2013. The Directive can be found at http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/

Issued on behalf of the St Helena Utilities Regulatory Authority

17 March 2014


ST HELENA MEDIA CODE 2014

The St Helena Media Code of Practice 2014 was issued today by the St Helena Media Commission. The Code of Practice, which can be found at http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/  – will come into force from 1 April 2014.

Issued on behalf of the St Helena Media Commission

17 March 2014


COUNCILLOR CYRIL GEORGE RESIGNS FROM EXECUTIVE COUNCIL

Councillor Cyril George today informed Members of Legislative Council that he is to stand down from Executive Council (ExCo) with immediate effect.  Councillor George explained that for personal reasons he felt that he was no longer able to meet the considerable demands of serving on ExCo.

Councillor George said:

“Recognising the importance of Executive Council, I realised that it would be wrong of me to continue to serve on ExCo if I could not meet all of the obligations involved. I have enjoyed my time on Executive Council, and I would like to thank my colleagues for their support and understanding.”

A successor to Councillor George will be elected to ExCo at the next formal meeting of Legislative Council on 21 March 2014.

Councillor George will continue to serve as an Elected Member of Legislative Council.

SHG

14 March 2014


Dr Corinda Essex Sworn in as Legislative Council Member

Dr Essex takes the Oaths of Office
Dr Essex takes the Oaths of Office

Dr Corinda Essex this afternoon took the Oaths of Office for her new role as an Elected Member in the presence of His Excellency Governor Capes at the Castle.

Dr Essex now serves on Legislative Council following her win at yesterday’s Polls.

Dr Essex commented:

“I was quite overwhelmed by the result. In the discussions I had been having with people over the last couple of weeks I was aware that there was a tremendous amount of support amongst the public and so I was anticipating winning the election – but I certainly wasn’t anticipating nearly as many votes as I captured yesterday.

“I would like to say a very big thank you to all of those who voted for me and I look forward to working with them in moving issues forward on their behalf.”

Dr Essex previously served on Legislative Council from 1993 -1996.

SHG
13 March 2014


Dr Corinda Essex Elected As Member of Legislative Council

Dr Corinda Essex of Jamestown has been duly elected to serve as a Member of the St Helena Legislative Council.

Returning Officer Gillian Francis last night announced the results of Polling Day for the Bye-Election, held yesterday.

Dr Corinda Essex
Dr Corinda Essex

The total number of votes for each Candidate was:

Corinda Sebastiana Stuart Essex: 480
Brenda Elaine Moors: 60
Lionel George Williams: 39

The Count took place at the Castle from just after 8pm to just after 9.30pm last night.

In total 579 people cast valid votes. This represents approximately 25.6 % of those eligible to vote.

There were two invalid Ballot Papers.


SHG
13 March 2014


EXCO REPORT – TUESDAY 11 MARCH 2014

Executive Council met today, Tuesday 11 March, to consider five items on the open agenda.

The first item was an information paper on fuel prices implemented on 24 February 2014. This is now a standard agenda item following each change in fuel prices. It was noted that the price of diesel fell by 2 pence per litre and petrol by 4 pence per litre – both lower than the price of fuel a year ago.

The second item was the Wharfage, Warehousing and Customs Miscellaneous Fees Amendment Proposal.  The proposal was for an increase in charges relating to break-bulk cargo and its storage on the wharf after seven working days.  At present, a daily charge is set at 10% of the value of the break-bulk cargo for it to remain on the wharf beyond seven working days. The proposed increase to 25% of the value of the goods was agreed by Executive Council – to encourage prompt collection of cargo.

The next item was the Pensions (Amendment) Regulations, 2014. Tax and Pensions are complex issues and Head of Pensions and Payroll, Enid Joshua, and Pensions Consultant Desmond Wade were invited to attend to help explain the proposed amendments to the tax regulations.  The proposed regulation was to allow SHG staff, who retire through ill health (and are medically boarded), to be able to claim their pension benefits.  As the Ordinance currently stands, only SHG staff over the age of 55 can claim their pension if they retire due to ill health.  Executive Council recognised that the current system is unfair and was pleased to agree the recommendation.

An Amendment to Income Tax regulations was proposed to accommodate making the 25% of any lump sum payment tax free.  While this is already available for people to claim on retirement, it sits outside the Tax Ordinance as an extra statutory concession.  Executive Council agreed the Amendment to make it part of the Regulations, to come into effect on 1 April 2014.

The final item on the open agenda was to give permission to suspend the review on Phase 3 of the Pensions Reform process.  The review was concerned with assessing the implications of a compulsory pension scheme for all employees on St Helena. Given the benefits that would accrue from a contributory pension scheme, the Financial Secretary agreed to explore ways that Government could support people to join such a scheme.  It was further agreed that in anticipation of improved economic development, that this will be reviewed again in two years time.

The meeting ended at 10.55am.

ExCo

11 March 2014


POLLING DAY – WEDNESDAY 12 MARCH 2014

A Bye-Election will take place this Wednesday 12 March 2014 to elect a new Member to fill the vacant seat on Legislative Council.

Candidates for the 2014 Bye-Election are: Dr Corinda Essex of Jamestown, Mrs Brenda Moors of Alarm Forest and Mr Lionel Williams of St Paul’s.

Polling stations will be at the Levelwood, Jamestown, Harford, Blue Hill, Sandy Bay and Kingshurst Community Centres, Half Tree Hollow Clinic and at Judges Lodge, Alarm Forest. Polling stations will open at 10am and close promptly at 7pm.

Only those named on the Register of Electors dated 7 February 2014 will be able to vote in the Bye-Election and you must vote in the Polling District in which you are registered. Half Tree Hollow residents should note that their Polling Station is now at the Half Tree Hollow Clinic (and not at the normal venue of the Half Tree Hollow Community Centre).

Returning Officer Gillian Francis would like to encourage the Electorate to exercise their voting rights and generate a strong turnout.

SHG

10 March 2014


EXCO MEETING – Tuesday 11 March 2014

Open to the Public from 9.30am

Executive Council will meet on Tuesday 11 March 2014 in the Council Chamber.

Starting at 9.30am, the meeting will be open to the public for the following open agenda items:

  • Information Paper on Revised Fuel Prices
  • Wharfage, Warehousing and Customs Miscellaneous Fees – Amendment Proposal
  • Pensions (Amendment) Regulations, 2014
  • Income Tax (Amendment) Regulations, 2014
  • Ceasing Further Review of the Phase 3 Pension Reform

 

Executive Council Members are: Ian Rummery, Cyril George, Christine Scipio-O’Dean, Leslie Baldwin and Lawson Henry.    

 

SHG

7 March 2014

 


QUARTERLY STATISTICAL NEWS BULLETIN

March 2014

The Quarterly Statistical News Bulletin, published in March 2014, covers the period October – December 2013 (Q4 2013) and contains updates for the annual rate of inflation of the Retail Price Index (RPI), Income and Imports, Estimated Population, Visitor Arrivals and information on Dwellings and Planning Applications. Also contained within the Bulletin is a Correction Notice issued as a result of a revision to the RPI from Quarter 1 to Quarter 3 2013. 

Annual inflation of the St Helena RPI stood at 0.8 per cent in Quarter 4 2013 – the lowest recorded rate in over ten years. There has been a 0.7 per cent decrease in the RPI (the overall cost of the ‘St Helena Shopping Basket’) from Quarter 3 to Quarter 4 2013.   

The Correction to the RPI shows that annual inflation of the RPI in 2013 was stronger than indicated by previously published estimates. But the revised figures continue to show a persistent decrease in the headline rate of inflation of the St Helena RPI.

The St Helena resident population continues to grow. December 2013 showed a peak in the St Helena population at just under 4,500, including those temporarily returning from overseas employment. In 2013, the estimated resident population at any time has included approximately 150 more people than the same period in 2012. In 2013, over 150 Saints returned to live on St Helena, having worked or lived overseas for two years or longer. Over 70% of these returning Saints were aged between 20 and 60 years. 

In 2013, the total number of arrivals to St Helena was up by close to 12% from 2012. Tourist arrivals on the RMS were up from 2012 by almost 20% and yacht visitors up by just over 15%.

Statistician, Dr Paula McLeod says:

“It is encouraging to see indications that the St Helena population and economy are steadily growing. The information published by the Statistics Office provides a small insight into St Helena and her people. It is important that we gather as much data as we can so that we can monitor changes on St Helena and provide sound evidence for policy makers and businesses to base decisions on.”

The Statistical News Bulletin, along with other statistical reports, is available on the SHG website at www.sainthelena.gov.sh/statistics

If you have requested a copy of the Quarterly Statistical News Bulletin via email and have not yet received it, please contact the Statistics Office on 22138 or email statistics@sainthelena.gov.sh

SHG

7 March 2014


EXCO REPORT – TUESDAY 4 MARCH 2014

Executive Council met today, Tuesday 4March 2014, with one item on the open agenda.

Council was asked to consider amending the Interpretations Ordinance definition of an Audit, to raise the threshold for bodies requiring an International Standard on Auditing (ISA) approved audit.

This arose out of a concern from the Public Accounts Committee that some Government-funded bodies could be charged for a full ISA approved audit because of their income level.  Any agency in receipt of Government funds is required to be audited, but as more agencies are reaching the holdings threshold for a more comprehensive ISA approved audit, they are facing additional financial costs.  The purpose of the amendment was to raise the holdings threshold to bring it more into line with UK standards for Charitable Organisations.

Executive Council agreed the recommendation to amend the Ordinance as this will be a positive benefit to those Government-funded bodies – while still providing appropriate and sufficient safeguards for monitoring Government expenditure. The amended Bill will now go forward as Government Business to Formal Legislative Council on 21 March 2014.

On the closed agenda, the Appropriation Bill 2014/15 was presented to Executive Council. The Appropriation Bill had been discussed extensively by Legislative Council and Executive Council agreed that the Bill also be presented as Government Business at the next Formal Legislative Council.

The next item was an amendment to the Customs Regulations.  This was in relation to the importation of substances known as ‘legal highs’ (referring to psychoactive substances).  The description of ‘legal highs’ is a misnomer, leading some people to believe that because these substances are not illegal then they are safe to use.  This is not so – they can pose very serious health risks – and there is a suggestion that these substances are being brought into St Helena.  The amended Regulations would prohibit the import of psychoactive substances that have not been prescribed by a doctor.  This is an important public safety issue as at present it is legal to import and sell these substances.  That represents an unacceptable risk to the people of St Helena and so Executive Council approved the amended Regulations.

The meeting closed with a tribute to former Councillor, William (Bill) Drabble.  Executive Council, on behalf of Legislative Council, wished to remember Bill’s service to St Helena.  Bill served for 20 years and represented St Helena at a number of international conferences and meetings.  As current members of Legislative Council noted, Bill’s death reminds us that we are building on the foundations of those who have gone before us.

The meeting ended at 11:30am.

ExCo

4 March 2014


EXCO MEETING – Tuesday 4 March 2014

Open to the Public from 9.30am

Executive Council will meet on Tuesday 4 March 2014 in the Council Chamber.

Starting at 9.30am, the meeting will be open to the public for the one open agenda item: Legal Threshold for the International Standards on Auditing (UK and Ireland) (ISA) Compliant Audit.

Executive Council Members are: Ian Rummery, Cyril George, Christine Scipio-O’Dean, Leslie Baldwin and Lawson Henry.    

SHG

28 February 2014

 

 


OFFICIAL LIST OF CANDIDATES FOR BYE- ELECTION 2014

The Elections Ordinance 2009 provides for Nominations to be delivered to the Returning Officer not later than noon on the last day appointed for the Nomination of Candidates. The closing date for nominations for the 2014 Bye-Election (to be held on Wednesday 12 March 2014) was today, Wednesday 26 February 2014.  

Returning Officer, Gillian Francis, this afternoon announced the names of three Candidates who will be standing for the upcoming Bye-Election and a seat on Legislative Council.  

The Candidates are as follows:

Corinda Sebastiana Stuart Essex:  of “Villa Ajaccio”, Napoleon Street, Jamestown

Brenda Elaine Moors: of Alarm Forest

Lionel George Williams: of Brenville” Nr Half Tree Hollow, St Paul’s.        

The full Declaration, including the names of Sponsors, will be Gazetted as soon as possible and hard copies will be placed at the usual outlets and published on the SHG website.     

Polling Day is set for Wednesday 12 March 2014. Polling Stations will be at the Levelwood, Jamestown, Harford, Blue Hill, Sandy Bay, Half Tree Hollow, and Kingshurst Community Centres, and at Judges Lodge, Alarm Forest. 

Further information, including the importance of voting and how and where to vote will be published as an insert in next week’s newspapers.

SHG

26 February 2014


EXCO REPORT – TUESDAY 25 FEBRUARY 2014

Executive Council met today, Tuesday 25February 2014, with one item on the Open Agenda – an information paper on the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, presented by the Attorney General.  The UK Government has stated that it hopes that the Convention can be extended to all Overseas Territories by the end of 2014.

This is an important Convention which will help protect women against discrimination, particularly with regards to rights in the workplace and in other ways.

On the Closed Agenda, the Capital Programme Manager gave a presentation on the 2014-15 proposed capital programme.  This was held in closed session as it includes budget estimates for various  projects which have yet to go out to tender.  ExCo had previously met with the full Legislative Council to discuss this programme and there was broad agreement on the main priorities. 

Executive Council agreed the capital expenditure programme for 2014-15, with a caveat on the SHG reorganisation and relocations element – to be reviewed once further details are available.

Under Any Other Business, there was a discussion on some difficulties that have occasionally been experienced by some local investors.  It was noted that the new Deputy Chief Executive for Economic Development has been tasked with responsibility for taking forward Enterprise St Helena as a one stop shop for all potential investors.  Executive Council was pleased with the assurances given that this would address the various issues.

In closing the meeting, a tribute was paid to Shirley Anderson-Leo, the former Senior Nursing Officer on St Helena, who passed away last week, aged 61.  In this tribute she was described as St Helena’s Florence Nightingale.  Her work on St Helena, Ascension and internationally, and her dedication to those she nursed, was recognised appreciably by Executive Council.

The meeting ended at 10:40am

ExCo

25 February 2014


NOMINATIONS INVITED FOR CERTIFICATE AND BADGE OF HONOUR, AND ACTS OF BRAVERY AWARDS

Nominations are currently being invited for the Certificate and Badge of Honour Awards, 2014.

These awards are available for the Governor to award to public servants for loyal and valuable service worthy of recognition or, in the case of other persons, for their loyal and meritorious conduct that has provided exceptional benefit to the people of St Helena.

The Certificate and Badge of Honour awards will be presented at the Queen’s Birthday Garden Party at Plantation later this year. Up to six awards can be made at any one time.

Nominations are also invited for the Acts of Bravery Award, 2014.

Nominations should ideally be made to recognise Acts of Bravery that have taken place since the last call for nominations in June 2013.

Nomination forms for the 2014 awards are available from Mrs Carol George, Corporate Services Executive Manager, the Castle and should be completed and returned in a sealed envelope marked “CONFIDENTIAL” to the “Executive Secretary, Honours Committee” at the Castle by Monday, 17 March 2014.

For more information please contact the Corporate Services Executive Manager at the Castle on telephone number 22695 or e-mail:

carol-george@sainthelena.gov.sh

Corporate Services

SHG

25 February 2014


YEAR 9 OPTIONS EVENING AT PRINCE ANDREW SCHOOL

On Tuesday 18 February, Year 9 students together with their parents and guardians were invited to an Options Evening at Prince Andrew School. The evening was well attended, with almost all students represented.

Two weeks prior to the evening, students had listened to detailed talks from their teachers on the various courses available to them. These included GCSE courses, vocational options, the new range of ICT courses and those GCSE courses provided through the Distance Learning programme. 

This is an important stage in the educational development of students. The choices students make now will have an impact on their opportunities for continuing education through to employment.

Following a welcome by Headteacher Paul Starkie, Deputy Headteacher Barbara Osborne spoke about the importance of the options process and factors to consider when making their choices. Advisory Teacher for Science and Curriculum Manager Kerry Lawrence explained the process for students when making their choices and the timelines involved. Head of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Philip Francis then gave a brief outline of the course choices in ICT which, for this year, will be compulsory for all students in year 10. Philip explained the importance of ICT literacy for all students and the various courses that will provide access to recognised ICT qualifications for all.

Headteacher Paul drew the presentations to a close by informing students, parents and guardians of the various levels of support that will be available to them, from Head of Year 9 Nicky Plato and the tutorial teams who will be there to help and, of course, their subject teachers and the school leadership, who will guide and advise students through the options process over the coming weeks.  The presentations were brought to a close with a short interview with Crystabelle Greentree, a student in Year 11, who talked to the audience about the challenges of transition from Year 9 to Year 10 and the start of GCSE courses. She spoke of the importance of being committed to study both at school and at home and the opportunities that studying hard can give you for your future. 

It was then time for the students, parents and guardians, to view the displays and speak with the subject teachers leading the courses. This was perhaps the most important part of the evening. The feedback about the Options Evening was extremely positive from all.

Prince Andrew School

SHG

25 February 2014


SEA RESCUE CAPABILITY

Chief of Police, Trevor Botting, this afternoon stated:

‘It was wrongly reported this morning on Saint FM that the St Helena Sea Rescue Boat was out of service and unavailable for emergencies. This seems to be linked to an incident on Friday morning (21/02/14) when a yacht slipped its moorings in James’ Bay and was drifting out to sea.

‘The yacht in question was recovered by the WideAwake and returned without incident to its moorings. The Sea Rescue Team had deployed to support the WideAwake, but stood down when it was established that this was no longer necessary.

‘Saint FM suggested that the Sea Rescue Boat was not fit for purpose and that no consultation was carried out before its purchase.  Again, this is incorrect, and was broadcast without checking the facts. There was wide consultation with a range of stakeholders before the purchase of the current craft, including with local fisherman, divers and harbour authorities.  Such consultation is critical to ensuring that the most suitable craft is obtained to suit local sea conditions and the types of rescue the boat may have to carry out.

‘Similar work is currently being undertaken to establish what sea rescue craft may be required to enhance our capability prior to the opening of the Airport.

‘To conclude, let me be absolutely clear.  Contrary to the entirely wrong and irresponsible report on Saint FM this morning, the Fire and Sea Rescue Service remains fully prepared to deploy in response to incidents in the waters around St Helena. The safety of Saints, visitors and those passing by remains our top priority.’  

Trevor Botting

Chief of Police

 24 February 2014


BYE-ELECTION - ONLY 2 DAYS LEFT TO SUBMIT NOMINATIONS

The public is reminded that they have just two days to submit candidate Nominations for the 12 March Bye-Election. The closing date for Nominations is this Wednesday, 26 February 2014, at 12 noon.

All Nominations should be delivered within this time to Returning Officer Mrs Gillian Francis at the Castle, Jamestown.

Do not leave it until the last minute to submit your Nomination – the forms will need to be checked by the Returning Officer and you should give yourself enough time to make any corrections if the form has not been properly completed.

Remember candidates nominated for Election must:

  • Be over the age of 21 and,
  • Be named on the Register of Electors dated 7 February 2014.

 

Nomination forms are available from any of the Assistant Registration Officers in the different districts around the Island, who can also provide assistance when completing forms. The names of Assistant Registration Officers were printed in the newspapers dated 13 and 14 February 2014.

Further details on nominating candidates can be obtained from Registration and Returning Officer Gillian Francis on telephone numbers 22470 or 22314, or via email: deputychiefsec@sainthelena.gov.sh

SHG

24 February 2014

 


QUEEN’S BATON COMPLETES BUSY TIME ON ST HELENA

Baton at Rosemary

The Commonwealth Queen’s Baton completes its busy schedule on St Helena today as it comes to the end of its visit.

Today’s programme, organised by the National Amateur Sports Association St Helena (NASAS), saw the Baton visit Pilling Primary School, Plantation House to meet Jonathan the Tortoise, Cape Villa Sheltered Accommodation, Prince Andrew School and the General Hospital – before a final walk through Jamestown.

Louise Martin CBE, Hon Secretary of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Association, who is accompanying the Baton, said:

“Words really can’t describe the reception we’ve had while on St Helena, it’s been second to none and more importantly for us it’s the community spirit that’s here. This is one place that has actually shown what we want to do – take the Baton to the communities and let everyone, see it, feel it and touch it.

“I can’t believe what we’re seeing on St Helena, it’s absolutely fantastic. All I can say to everybody is thank you very much for everything you’ve done for us since we’ve been here and we’ll be very sorry to leave.”

The Queen’s Baton and the Relay Team will depart St Helena this afternoon bound for its next stop at Ascension Island.

Seven photos are attached to this release.

SHG

21 February 2014


EXCO MEETING – Tuesday 25 February 2014

Open to the Public from 9.30am Executive Council will meet on Tuesday 25 February 2014 in the Council Chamber.

Starting at 9.30am, the meeting will be open to the public for the one open agenda item: An information paper on The Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.

Executive Council Members are: Ian Rummery, Cyril George, Christine Scipio-O’Dean, Leslie Baldwin and Lawson Henry.

SHG

21 February 2014


AUDIT OPINIONS

At the Public Accounts Committee meeting held on 10 February 2014, the Financial Secretary gave an undertaking to issue a press release on the differences between Qualified and Unqualified Opinions. This follows the audit of SHG’s Financial Statements for 2011/12 by the Chief Auditor.

What is an Audit Opinion?

An Audit Opinion is a statement by the Auditor as to whether or not the financial statements are materially correct.There are four types of opinions: Unqualified, Qualified, Adverse and Disclaimer.

What is an Unqualified Opinion?

An Unqualified Opinion is the best result, and is often referred to as a ‘Clean Opinion’.  It means that the financial statements are materially correct.  This can be described as either ‘presented fairly’ or ‘true and fair’.

What does Qualified mean?

A Qualified Opinion means that the financial statements are materially correct, except for one or more specific errors (with the rest of the financial statements being fairly presented).

What about Adverse and Disclaimer?

An Adverse Opinion means that there are so many errors that the financial statements are not materially correct.

A Disclaimed Opinion means that the Auditor has not been able to obtain enough evidence to come to a conclusion.

What does this mean for St Helena Government?

SHG’s 2011/12 accounts were Qualified on two matters – the Eligibility of Social Benefit Payments and the Pension Cost Disclosure.  An Adverse Opinion was given in regards to the Non-consolidation of Subsidiary Bodies.

Future Improvements

The Qualification for the Pension Cost Disclosure should disappear in 2012/13, but the other two Qualifications will remain. Work will be carried out on pension legislation in mid 2014 – to remove the Qualification of Pension Costs.  The Adverse Opinion on consolidation requires a detailed review, including of the cost v benefits of such a consolidation and the benefits of this to the general public.

Want to Know More?

SHG’s Financial Statements for 2011/12, the Chief Auditor’s Opinion and his Management Letter can all be found on the SHG website at: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/finace/ or by calling into Corporate Finance at the Castle and requesting a copy.

SHG

21 February 2014 

 


GOVERNOR COMMENTS ON BATON, LITTER AND SAMS RADIO

Invited to SAMS Radio 1 this morning, HE Governor Capes commented on the Queen’s Baton Relay, the problem of litter and the anniversary of SAMS Radio 1. Here is an excerpt of his comments:

Queen’s Baton

‘It’s important that we recognise our sports on St Helena. We are a part of the Commonwealth, of the 70 Nations, and that’s important, but it’s also about profiling St Helena as a very special place. There’s a BBC film crew accompanying the Baton and I’m sure St Helena will feature in their final cut, because everywhere else they go they will be arriving by airplane mostly and next time the Baton comes here it will be by air. So it was really nice to capture the RMS event yesterday – an historic occasion.

‘The schoolchildren made it.  They were very well behaved and patient, a little bit excited, and it all looked very good for St Helena with lots of atmosphere.’

Litter

‘Rubbish is something that has been irritating me. I love going into Plantation Forest and it’s nice to have it on your doorstep to take a walk, but when you see how a few thoughtless people can throw glass bottles into a beauty spot where people go with their children and dogs, you think well, what goes through their mind? What does somebody think when they’re throwing a glass bottle into a public place? Do they really want to hurt and injure people? It’s a minority, but I think it will help if we all make an effort to show that it is not acceptable behaviour, to spoil our beautiful places around St Helena and also to endanger people’s safety and health.  It’s unacceptable that people who do it don’t care about their fellow Saints and their neighbours, it just shows a lack of respect for our community and for St Helena. And if you look at the bigger picture, we were talking about the Baton coming here and a chance to showcase Helena for what it is – a beautiful Island with lovely people – if when they’re filming they see old beer cans and broken wine bottles in a corner, what does that tell you about St Helena?

‘If we’re serious about developing tourism, and that’s what we are doing, then we have to care about our community and our environment. It doesn’t take much to put a bottle, a crisp packet or a cigarette packet in a plastic bag and take it home, so I think we all have a duty to try and encourage the idiots who throw this litter and glass around to persuade them that actually there’s a better way of living.’

SAMS Radio 1

‘You’ve had a very successful year since you kicked off just over a year ago, so congratulations on that and well done – I think you’ve made a huge difference. The people have a choice of listening, a choice of opinion and I think you’ve done a great job in attracting a young audience. A lot of younger people enjoy what you do.  You’ve also had your flagship programmes like Sunrise and Juicy Mango, and Second Chance Sunday is very useful. The outstanding thing you did last year was the Election coverage where you broke some ground with very thorough interviewing of candidates, which was very good. So Happy Birthday to everyone involved in SAMS Radio 1. May there be many more.’

SHG

20 February 2014

 

 


QUEEN’S BATON CONTINUES ISLAND TOUR

QUEEN’S BATON CONTINUES ISLAND TOUR

Commonwealth Queen's Baton at St Helena Airport Site, Prosperous Bay Plain

National Amatuer Sports Association St Helena with Commonwealth Queen's BatonCommonwealth Queen's Baton at Napoleon's House in LongwoodBaton at Harford Primary School

The Commonwealth Queen’s Baton continues on its busy schedule of events today as it journeys around the Island.

The Island programme, organised by the National Amateur Sports Association St Helena (NASAS), will today see the Baton making various stops at Ladder Hill and Half Tree Hollow, Levelwood, Sandy Bay, Blue Hill and St Paul’s, before touring the streets of Jamestown this afternoon.

Chairman of NASAS, Eric Benjamin said today:

“We are very happy to have received the Queen’s Baton on St Helena for a third time and have been much impressed by the enthusiasm of the local people in welcoming the Baton here. The Team accompanying the Baton have also praised the tremendous reception they have received since their arrival.

 “Although the team were exhausted at the end of a long day yesterday, they are enthusiastic and eager to get out again today and explore the rest of the Island with the Baton and to see as much as possible of the St Helena community.”

Four photos are attached to this release. Further photos will follow as the Baton makes its way around the Island.

SHG

20 February 2014

 

 


STOP NUMBER 40 – QUEEN’S BATON ARRIVES ON ST HELENA

The Baton is relayed up Jacob's Ladder

Queen's Baton arrives at St HelenaChairman of NASAs Eric Benjamin andLouise Martin CBE, Hon Secretary of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games AssociationGovernor Capes with Louise Martin CBE, Hon Secretary of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Association and NASAS Chairman Eric Benjamin

The Commonwealth Queen’s Baton has this morning arrived at St Helena Island, the fortieth stop in its impressive relay around the 70 nations and territories of the Commonwealth.

The Baton stops at the Island en-route from Cape Town to Ascension Island and has already begun a busy schedule of events (organised by the National Amateur Sports Association St Helena (NASAS)) during its two day stay on the Island.

Accompanied by Pam Young, NASAS Secretary, Louise Martin CBE, Hon Secretary of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Association, Queen’s Baton Relay team member Shona Purves, plus three members of a BBC team and a Queen’s Baton Relay photojournalist, the Baton was brought ashore from the RMS St Helena and received by HE Governor Capes at the Wharf this morning, with schoolchildren and members of the public looking on.

The Baton was then transferred to participants of past Commonwealth and Island Games at the seafront, before the Primary Schools relayed the Baton across the Wharf to Jacob’s Ladder. Prince Andrew School students relayed the Baton up the 699 steps of the Ladder before it was brought back to Jamestown by members of St Helena youth group, New Horizons.

The Queen’s Baton was then officially received in the Governor’s Office and by Members of St Helena Legislative Council.

HE Governor Capes commented:

“The people of St Helena are delighted to be included in the Queen’s Baton Relay and I am sure that the team accompanying the Baton will receive a warm welcome as the Baton tours our Island. And after the pleasant five day journey from Cape Town on the RMS St Helena, I have no doubt that our visitors will be excited to see the beauty of St Helena and to meet as many as Saints as possible.”

The Baton is now making its way around various assembly points on the Island where the community are encouraged to take part in this international event by touching and viewing the Baton.In its journey around St Helena, the Baton will visit all Schools, Longwood House, the Airport site, the Community Care Complex and Sheltered Accommodation, SHAPE, the General Hospital, and Plantation House to visit the Island’s oldest resident, Jonathan the tortoise. 

The Baton will leave on the RMS St Helena on Friday 21 February, bound for her next stop at Ascension Island.

Note for Editors

This is the third time St Helena Island has participated in the Queen’s Baton Relay celebrations. The first Baton visited the Island in May 2005 and the second in February 2010.

The Queen’s Baton Relay is a much loved tradition of the Commonwealth Games and symbolises the coming together of all Commonwealth nations and territories in preparation for the four-yearly festival of Sport.

The Glasgow 2014 Queen’s Baton Relay is the curtain-raiser to the 20th Commonwealth Games. Over a period of 288 days the Baton will visit 70 nations and territories, cover 190,000 kilometres and involve a third of the world’s population, making it the world’s most engaging relay.The finish line is in the host nation Scotland just in time for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony in Glasgow on 23 July 2014, where Her Majesty The Queen will read aloud Her Message to the Commonwealth.

SHG

19 February 2014


GIANT LIEBHERR CRAWLER CRANE

Footage will be shown of the assembly of the massive Liebherr LR1200 Crawler Crane at Rupert’s on Local TV channel 1.

Voyage 22 of the NP Glory 4 (which arrived on 24 January 2014) brought the crane in 33 separate section, which were assembled after the arrival of two Liebherr technicians.

The footage will be broadcast on Local TV 1 at:

  • Wednesday 19 February – 8:30pm
  • Thursday 20 February – 8:30pm
  • Friday 21 February – 8:30pm
  • Saturday 22 February – 8:30pm
  • Sunday 23 February – 8:30pm

SHG

18 February 2013 


COUNCILLORS’ CORNER ON LOCAL TV

Councillors’ Corner is a new local TV programme involving members of Legislative Council discussing topical matters.    

This Councillor’s Corner will focus on Councillors Derek Thomas and Tony (Wilson) Duncan, answering questions regarding the last round of Constituency meetings.  Topics covered include the Lucy Faithful Report and the Sainsbury Report on social welfare.

The programme will be shown on Local TV 1 at:

  • Wednesday 19 February, 6:40am and 7pm
  • Thursday 20 February,6:40am and 7pm
  • Friday 21 February,6:45am and 6:50pm

 

SHG

18 February 2014 


SPEAKING AND LISTENING AT ST PAULS PRIMARY SCHOOL

Parents
Parents

St Pauls Primary School held its first Speaking and Listening workshop on Monday 17 February 2014. 

A presentation began the evening, which referred to the importance of speaking and listening in the curriculum and the aim of the night, which was to understand strategies taught at school and to transfer that into learning at home.

Sherell Thomas (Advanced Skills Teacher) highlighted that speaking and listening can be learnt and conveyed across a number of subjects – Maths, Science, Physical Education and Art.

With around 24 parents in attendance, the workshop ran a carousel of activities, consisting of spelling, listening and responding, promoting reading skills and role play.

Throughout the evening parents were shown short clips and asked a variety of questions in relation to listening and responding.  A debate of well-known TV and book characters got parents into the idea of role play and a spelling test was given to develop parents understanding of phonics.

Head Teacher, Pat Williams commented:   

Parents discussing role play
Parents discussing role play

“Parents are always asking for workshops to help their children at home.  These are very important and help educate our parents on strategies used in the classroom today compared to the days when they were at school. We have already had a Maths workshop last year and tonight it is an English one.

“It is such a shame when parents evenings are held, and you do not get the numbers you are looking for.  But it is pleasing to note that those who do attend appreciate the hard work staff put into delivering these workshops.”

Cara Joshua (parent) said:

“As English is not one of my child’s favourite subjects, it’s important to learn different techniques for me to use to encourage and help when doing homework.  The way children learn today is very different from when I went to school.  I have picked up new concepts, such as phonology (where some letters are commonly grouped together, and how to pronounce them).

“It also helps that when parents attend workshops, we can see that we are not alone in trying to understand new approaches of teaching children important skills within the English curriculum.”  

The evening rounded of with an evaluation, where parents were encouraged to assess the night and give ideas on improving workshops in the future.  Overall the evening showed that communication between school and home is vital.

Two pictures are attached with this release.

SHG

18 February 2014 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


INSPECTOR ON-ISLAND TO DEVELOP NEIGHBOURHOOD POLICING

Inspector Matt Webb with St Helena Inspector Jonathan Thomas
Inspector Matt Webb with St Helena Inspector Jonathan Thomas

Currently on-Island is Police Inspector Matthew (Matt) Webb (photo attached) from Sussex Police – to develop Neighbourhood (Community) Policing on the Island.

Inspector Webb arrived on 6 February 2014 and is here for three weeks working alongside relevant agencies and authorities to help develop better policing on the Island. He will be working closely with St Helena Police Inspector Jonathan Thomas, to reach out to the Island community and find out what Saints want their Police Force to be doing. Inspector Webb will also be sharing ideas on how to change the way the Police work here to deliver the best service for the community.

Inspector Webb said:

“Rather than be a target driven service we need to provide the very best service for the victims of crime and listen to what they want and need – not necessarily what we think they want and need.”

To develop Neighbourhood Policing on the Island Inspector Webb is adapting UK Policing tactics to fit the smaller population of St Helena. Neighbourhood Policing is important as it forms the basic building blocks of the Police Service.

Matthew explains:

“The problems on St Helena are different to those in the UK, so we need to evolve the work I have done previously to make it more suitable for St Helena. Briefing and instructions are being given to all Officers to encourage the way they think in order to engage fully with communities on the Island and to meet their needs. We have to protect people, protect life and property and we have to make sure that people can go about living their lives peacefully. On top of that we need to be linked as closely as possible with the community we serve.”

The St Helena Police Service are also being encouraged to work more with Schools to ensure they are properly connected with the younger people on St Helena – helping youngsters understand what Police Officers are here for and what they can do.

Matthew concluded:

“In my opinion, if you get Neighbourhood Policing right then you’ll get everything else right – you can reduce crime and friction between people, making it a more peaceful neighbourhood in which to live. By doing that you’re completing all the things a Police Officer needs to do to prevent and detect crime – and keeping people safe.”

Chief of Police, Trevor Botting added:

“I am delighted that Inspector Webb is on-Island to work with my team. I am committed to providing a police service that puts the public at the heart of everything it does, is open, trusted and engages with the community to ensure that we provide policing that the community can be proud of.”

Inspector Webb has 23 years of Policing experience and first started working in Community Policing in 1995. He has served as a Village Policeman for two small villages in Sussex and has worked in Response Policing – dealing with crimes and incidents as they occur. In 2009 he was promoted to Inspector and after a year was asked to run the Community Team in Crawley, Sussex, where he spent two years developing a brand of Community Policing which allowed his team to reach different groups in society and make life better for residents.

SHG

18 February 2014


COMMONWEALTH QUEEN’S BATON ON ITS WAY TO ST HELENA

RMS St Helena Crew Members with Queen's
RMS St Helena Crew Members with Queen’s

The Commonwealth Queen’s Baton is now on its way to St Helena and is due to arrive on the RMS St Helena from Cape Town on Wednesday 19 February 2014 – when it will begin a busy schedule of events.

The Baton was officially welcomed on board the RMS at the Captain’s Cocktail Party on Saturday evening (15 February) and continues to be photographed around the vessel with various crew and passenger members.

Accompanying the Baton is Pam Young, Secretary of the National Amateur Sports Association on St Helena (NASAS), Louise Martin CBE, Hon Secretary of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Association, Queen’s Baton Relay Team member Shona Purves, plus three members of a BBC Team and a Queen’s Baton Relay Photojournalist. 

Captain Greentree and Mrs Louise Martin CBE Hon Secretary of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Association
Captain Greentree and Mrs Louise Martin CBE Hon Secretary of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Association

Two photos are attached to this release.

SHG

17 February 2014

 


BYE-ELECTION – NOMINATION DAY FAST APPROACHING

The deadline for submitting Nominations for the 12 March Bye-Election is fast approaching. The deadline is Wednesday 26 February at 12 Noon and all Nominations should be delivered within this time to Returning Officer, Mrs Gillian Francis at the Castle, Jamestown.

This means that you have just over a week to nominate a Candidate to fill the vacant seat on Legislative Council, following the resignation of Tony Green in December 2013.

Persons named on the Register of Electors dated 7 February 2014 and over the age of 21 years are eligible to stand for Legislative Council. Do not leave it until the last minute to submit your Nomination – the forms will need to be checked by the Returning Officer and you should give yourself enough time to make any corrections if the form has not been properly completed. Remember – Nomination forms are available from any of the Assistant Registration Officers in the different districts around the Island who can also provide assistance when completing forms.

Names of Assistant Registration Officers were printed in last week’s newspapers. Alternatively, further details on nominating candidates and the Bye-Election can be obtained from Registration and Returning Officer Gillian Francis on telephone numbers 22470 or 22314, or via email: deputychiefsec@sainthelena.gov.sh

If more than one valid Nomination is received, a Poll will be held on 12 March 2014. Full details on how to make a Nomination for the upcoming Bye-Election were also published in last week’s newspapers.

SHG

17 February 2014


CONSTITUENCY MEETINGS – SUMMARY PREPARED BY COUNCILLORS

During the period 6-28 November 2013 nine Constituency Meetings were held in various areas on St Helena. A total of 70 members of the public were in attendance, representing an average of eight per meeting.  This attendance is disappointing and we will look to improve numbers in 2014.

Each meeting was led by three Councillors, with the same three agenda items: The Lucy Faithful Foundation Report, the Sainsbury Report and Improving Communications with Constituents. Following summaries of each item from Elected Members, the floor was opened for questions and discussion. 

The Lucy Faithful Report

During discussion of the Lucy Faithful Report, which researched sexual offences against children and young people on St Helena, comments received from the public included:

  • It should be the parents’ responsibility to ensure children are not wandering the streets.”
  • “As no statistics were given, the report could be making more of an issue than it really is.”
  • “There needs to be more education of parents and children on the dangers of grooming of young girls by older men.”
  • “There should be a telephone helpline for reporting sexual offences” (there is – 22888)
  • “People may be more willing to come forward now, rather than there being an increase in offences.”
  •  “Abuse of boys also needs to be highlighted.”

The Sainsbury Report

 

The Sainsbury Report is concerned with the benefits system. Progress on the implementation of recommendations in the report was summarised at each meeting.  Questions raised by the public and answers given by Councillors included:

 

Q. Do the Minimum Income Standards (MIS) actually reflect the true cost of living? 

A. To the best of Councillors’ knowledge – Yes.

 

Q. Will the MIS be reviewed?

A. Yes, the MIS will be reviewed annually to take account of any price changes.

 

Q. Where did the money come from for the increase in BIP and IRB?”

A. The money came from efficiencies and increased SHG revenue.

 

Q. When the BIP increases for one household member, the IRB decreases for another, so some people do not see any improvement – why is this? 

A. These people are ‘transitionally protected’ – their current level of benefit is higher than if they were applying for benefits now.

 

Other comments included:

 

  • “The Household definition for benefit payments is unfair and is forcing some members of the home to leave.”
  • “Some people on benefits cannot afford prescriptions.” (Actually, those on IRB don’t pay and those on BIP pay only for certain medical treatments and not for prescriptions)
  • “Was the report necessary and has it complicated the system?”
  • “There should be a national pension scheme for everyone over the age of 65.”
  • “Benefits for disabled people need to improve.”
  • “People on unemployment benefits should do some form of community work.”

 

Communications

 

A lack of communication between Councillors and the public was raised during the Election campaign and was put on the agenda to allow the public to give feedback and make suggestions on how to improve communications with the new Council.

 

Comments received during the meeting included:

 

  • “Communication has improved, but there is more that still can be done.”
  • “Local TV is not being used enough.”(this is being addressed)
  • “The ExCo report by Councillors is well received.”
  • “Are media services providing value for money?”
  • “During the Election Campaign a lot was said about Freedom of Information, but we do not see much happening.”
  • “All Elected Members should attend each Constituency meeting.”

 

A film will be broadcast shortly where members of Legislative Council will discuss November’s Constituency Meetings. 

 

Other Matters Arising

 

Common issues raised by members of the public over the course of the nine meetings included:

 

  • The cost of electricity
  • The performance of the wind turbines
  • The relationship between Connect Saint Helena Ltd and SHG
  • The condition of the roads
  • The purchase of a fishing vessel for St Helena
  • The need to improve parking in Jamestown
  • The need to have a better public transport service
  • The work required to improve Hospital infrastructure
  • Enterprise St Helena and accountability
  • Problems obtaining affordable and reliable water for agriculture
  • Solar street lights inoperable
  • The state of public toilets.

 

Councillors agreed to provide answers on these and other issues above, along with answering specific questions raised by constituents.

 

Councillors found the meetings extremely useful in gauging public opinion and would like to thank all who attended. A further round of Constituency meetings will be announced in due course.

 

LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL

11 February 2014

 


NEW DEPUTY CHIEF EXECUTIVE FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Susan O'Bey
Susan O’Bey

Susan O’Bey, currently SHG’s Director of Strategic Policy and Planning, has been appointed as Enterprise St Helena’s new Deputy Chief Executive for Economic Development.  Susan’s new role – which she will take up next week – will include supporting the incoming Chief Executive to deliver Enterprise St Helena’s strategic agenda, enabling its business plan to be turned into reality. Susan will take responsibility for the overall day to day management and operation of ESH.

Reporting to the incoming Chief Executive for Economic Development (CEED), the Deputy CEED will have the key liaison role with St Helena Government (SHG), the Department for International Development (DfID), the Air Access Office (AO) and will support the CEED in partnering the private sector.

Priorities will include supporting Saint businesses, developing and promoting tourism, attracting Saint and international investors, up-skilling Saints, growing the fisheries sector and developing local financing packages.

Commenting on her new role Susan said:

I am really looking forward to working with the team at Enterprise St Helena. As the Island continues to prepare for air access, the right decisions and actions around investment and tourism become even more crucial. Enterprise St Helena has a pivotal role to play in supporting the private sector and bringing together the views and actions of all key stakeholders to ensure that the Island is ready in all aspects when the first flight lands in 2016.”

Governor Capes said:

“Susan O’Bey is an outstanding public servant. She will bring to ESH valuable experience and skills to help drive forward our vital work to position St Helena to exploit the opportunities that air access will make possible. Susan will have my full support in her new role.”

SHG

31 January 2014

 


RMS ARRIVAL TODAY

RMS St Helena
RMS St Helena

 

Due to very favourable weather conditions and good speed, the RMS St Helena’s estimated time of arrival at St Helena is now 4.30pm this afternoon (Friday 31 January) – improving upon the 7.30pm timing previously advised. SHG 31 January 2014


HM CUSTOMS AND REVENUE - NEW CONTACT DETAILS

HM Customs and Revenue (HMCR) would like to advise the public that with immediate effect all telephone communication for HM Customs, Port Management and Income Tax should be directed through the HMCR switchboard on telephone 22287.

Please note that all other numbers previously associated with these sections are no longer in use.

SHG

30 January 2014


RMS SHIPPING SCHEDULE

Executive Council met today with one item on the Open Agenda – the new RMS Shipping Schedule for 2015 to 2016.  The proposed schedule was agreed by ExCo and is attached.  The new schedule runs from 25 March 2015 to 12 April 2016.

 For convenience, the current full RMS schedule is below.  

Complete Schedule

2015 to 16 Shipping Schedule

SHG

28 January 2013

 

 

 

 


RMS UPDATE

Following the diversion of the RMS to Walvis Bay, Namibia, on Monday 27 January 2014, due to a medical emergency onboard, the vessel is now en-route to St Helena.

Her estimated time of arrival is 7.30pm on Friday 31 January 2014.

Pending weather conditions, this time might be improved upon slightly. It is intended to disembark all passengers shortly after the ship’s arrival.

The RMS schedule for Voyage 203 has been revised as below:

RMS St Helena – Voyage 203

ARR STH – c19.30hrs Friday 31 Jan

DEP STH – 12.00hrs Sunday 2 Feb

ARR ASC – 09.00hrs Tuesday 4 Feb

DEP ASC – 15.00hrs Tuesday 4 Feb

ARR STH – 15.00hrs Thursday 6 Feb

DEP STH – 14.00hrs Friday 7 Feb

ARR CT – 18.00hrs Wednesday 12 Feb

SHG

29 January 2014


RMS DIVERSION – UPDATE

At 2.30pm this afternoon, local time, the RMS arrived at the pilot station in Walvis Bay, Namibia, as planned.

Shortly after, two paramedics came onboard from a launch, and the patient was prepared for evacuation. The transfer went smoothly and family members accompanied the patient, who has now been transferred to hospital.

At 3.40pm local time, the operation was complete and the RMS departed Walvis Bay for St Helena. The RMS will monitor her speed over the next 12 hours and advise accordingly on the estimated time of arrival at St Helena.

Credit goes to the crew and medical team for a rapid and professional response.

SHG

28 January 2014


EXCO REPORT – TUESDAY 28 JANUARY 2014

Executive Council met today, Tuesday 28 January 2014, at 09.30am.  There was one item on the open agenda.

This item was the proposed RMS Shipping Schedule for 2015-2016.  This schedule had previously been distributed to stakeholders for consultation, and a variety of responses were received. 

A question had been raised about the possibility of a voyage to Tristan, but the expected demand on berths as a result of Airport construction and economic development ruled this out. The schedule post Airport opening has yet to be confirmed and possible voyages such as this will be considered nearer the time, when more information is available.

Executive Council approved the RMS Shipping Schedule from 25 March 2015 to 12 April 2016. SHG will publish the new schedule later today.

During the closed agenda, Executive Council was asked to consider an increase in Freight and Passenger tariffs. In 2012, Executive Council agreed in principle that there would be an annual increase in the tariffs in line with inflation. It was also a condition of the Memorandum of Understanding agreed for the Airport that efforts would be made to reduce untargeted subsidies, which included the RMS. As inflation is currently running at around 1%, Executive Council agreed to this small increase in tariffs, with effect from 1 April 2014.

The next item was that the Supplementary Appropriation Bill be introduced as Government Business in the forthcoming meeting of Legislative Council.  Supplementary Appropriation is required to increase the budget approved in March 2013, to cover unforeseen expenditure.  This will be fully debated in the formal Legislative Council meeting on Friday 14 February 2014.

This relatively short meeting concluded at 10.15am.

ExCo

28 January 2014


PUBLIC MEETING ON ROADWORKS - Harford Community Centre, Wed 22Jan 2014

SUMMARY

 

On the evening of Wednesday 22 January, the Highway Authority and Roads Section held a Public Meeting at Harford Community Centre to seek views on the possibility of a Road Closure to repair the road from Longwood Gate to Hutts Gate. Approximately 65-70 residents and businesses attended to give their views and ideas, and thanks are given to all who contributed.

 

The meeting split into nine different tables, with each asked four key questions.  Responses from each group were written down and afterwards all rejoined for a wider discussion about the options and impacts raised.  The sheets were collected for analysis. The results are as follows:

 What are the 3 biggest impacts to the Community?

 

  • Schools/Nurseries (5 out of 9)
  • Workers (4 out of 9)
  • Private Contractors/Deliveries (3 out of 9)

 The Roads Section really needs blocks of 4 hours of full closure to carry out the works.

 

  • What times during the week are best to allow this?
  • Are there any times during the week when more than 4 hours could be provided?
  • Are there any periods when the road simply has to be open?              (eg. 8-9am to get to work)

Unsurprisingly, there was no consensus reached on these timings.  However, there was a lot of detail provided in the responses which shows what the impacts are at any given time.  This information will be critical in making the decisions.

 How would you feel about Traffic Lights or Delays at other times?

 

  • Traffic Lights or Stop/Go and Delays would not be a problem if properly managed and clear to drivers (5 out of 9 agreed)
  • Traffic Lights and Delays would not be a problem if properly managed and delays kept to 3-4 minutes (1 out of 9 agreed)
  • Traffic lights cause delays & frustration and complicate arrangements (1 out of 9 agreed)

Are there any other ideas for anything we can do to reduce the impact?

Top 3 answers:

 

  • Wait until the Haul Road is available as an alternative route (7 out of 9)
  • In the meantime, patch up, tidy up, clean up (6 out of 9)
  • Open the road from Hutts Gate to Willow Bank, out to the Clinic (4 out of 9)

Work is now underway to consider the information provided and to investigate further some of the ideas – before a meeting of the Highway Authority on Wednesday 29 January.

A second public meeting will then be held at Harford Community Centre on Wednesday 5 February at 7.30pm.  All are welcome to attend.

SHG

28 January 2014


BYE-ELECTION UPDATE

A Bye-Election, to fill the vacant seat on Legislative Council, will take place on Wednesday 12 March 2014.

To vote in the Bye-Election or to stand for Legislative Council your name must be on the Register of Electors. The deadline for additions and changes to the Register closed on Friday 10 January 2014 – eight new names were added and several other changes were made to the Register.

The Register is currently being amended to reflect these changes. Once finalised, the new list will be published and will be the Register used for the upcoming Bye-Election. It is expected that the new Register will be published next week.

The Writ of Election, which will state the last day and time for receiving nominations to elect a new Member to fill the vacant seat on Legislative Council, will be issued once the new Register is published.

Further information on the Register and Writ of Election will be issued shortly. 

SHG

28 January 2014

 


ARRIVAL OF PHYSIOTHERAPIST

Esther Rodrigo
Esther Rodrigo

Newly arrived on the Island is Esther Rodrigo, the new Physiotherapist for the Health and Social Welfare Directorate, on a two year contract.  Esther is based at the Community Care Complex (CCC) in Ladder Hill, Half Tree Hollow.

Supported by Rosie Walton (Assistant Physiotherapist) and Helen Owen (Locum Physiotherapy Manager, and who covers for the Physiotherapist when on leave) the Physiotherapist treats patients daily at the CCC, the Hospital and also conducts home visits for those unable to travel.

Esther commented:

“Physiotherapy treats patients who suffer from physical health conditions, illnesses or injuries – such as orthopaedic or muscle conditions – but it is also used to treat individuals who suffer from respiratory illnesses.” 

“In London I mainly worked with orthopaedic and sport injury conditions.  The main difference between here and the UK is that here you treat a variety of cases, all kinds of patients.  In the UK you are more specialised. 

“The challenge of acquiring adequate resources is also a difference compared with equipment and faculties available in the UK.”   

Esther, originally from Spain, has experience in treating chronic patients before her move to the UK to take on employment with the NHS, working with elderly patients – some in various states of dementia and depression.  Esther then moved on to a private clinic in London before relocating with her husband to St Helena.

SHG

28 January 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


DIVERSION OF RMS

St Helena Line Ltd has this afternoon advised that, as a consequence of an onboard medical emergency, it has been necessary to divert the RMS to Walvis Bay, Namibia, it being the nearest port. The decision was taken this afternoon, Monday 27 January 2014.

The distance to Walvis Bay is 399 nautical miles and with the current speed of just over 16 knots, the ETA at Walvis Bay is approximately 14.30 hours local time on Tuesday 28 January.

Options are currently being pursued to deal with the situation at Walvis Bay.

The distance from Walvis Bay to St Helena is 1,241 nautical miles and at an average speed of 15.5 knots, the ETA for the RMS at St Helena will now be either 20.00 hours on Friday 31 January, or 06.00 hours on Saturday 1 February.

SHG

27 January 2014


HUMAN RESOURCES STAFF GAIN AWARDS

 

Awardees with the Chief Secretary
Awardees with the Chief Secretary

 

In a presentation this afternoon, eleven Human Resources personnel from St Helena Government and Solomon and Company were awarded certificates of qualification in HR Practice, from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

Awardees of the Level 3 foundation certificate – Meliza Knipe, Bronwen Yon, Jackie Moyce, Sharina Williams, Clare O’Dean and Anya Richards from Corporate Human Resources; Karen Thomas from the Environmental and Natural Resources Directorate, Carol Thompson from Education and Employment; plus Marianne Young Crowie and Darryl Legg from Solomon and Company and Liana Kleinhans, a former employee of Health and Social Welfare – were presented with their certificates by Chief Secretary, Owen O’ Sullivan, in the Council Chamber (photo attached).

The course was studied via distance learning with two short programmes of direct tuition provided by a visiting tutor.

During their study staff completed two, five- day modules spaced three months apart. Module 1 covered: Developing Yourself as an HR Practitioner, Recording, Analyzing and Using HR Information, Understanding Organizations and the Role of HR, Supporting Good Practice in Managing Employment Relations and Resourcing Talent. Topics covered in Module 2 focused on Supporting Good Practice in Performance and Reward Management and Supporting Good Practice in Managing Employment Relations. In addition to studying each module, officers also had to produce written assessments, take part in practical skills demonstrations and pre and post workshop activities. They also had to track and document their knowledge and experience in a Continuing Professional Development log.

Director of Corporate HR, Barbara George said:

“All awardees have worked hard to gain this qualification which allows them now to develop essential HR skills and gain the confidence in becoming more effective at work – further adding value to the HR function. Well done to all!”

SHG

27 January 2014

 


EXCO MEETING – Tuesday 28 January 2014

Open to the Public from 9.30am

There will be a special meeting of Executive Council on Tuesday 28 January 2014 in the Council Chamber.
Starting at 9.30am, the meeting will be open to the public for the one open agenda item: The proposed RMS Shipping Schedule for 2015/16.
Executive Council Members are: Ian Rummery, Cyril George, Christine Scipio-O’Dean, Leslie Baldwin and Lawson Henry.

SHG
24 January 2014


Temporary 3-Tonne Restriction on Deadwood Road

The Highways Authority has today implemented a temporary three-tonne weight limit on the Deadwood Road, just beyond Longwood Gate – a sign has been installed to show where the limit starts.

This restriction is required for public and workforce safety while work takes place to construct a retaining wall supporting the side of a recent excavation below the road. The limit will remain in force until this work is complete – expected to be in late February 2014, weather permitting.

Drivers or vehicle operators needing to use this road with vehicles weighing more than three tonnes should contact David Taylor on tel: 22270.

Roads Section
SHG
22 January 2014


EXCO REPORT – TUESDAY 21 JANUARY 2014

Executive Council met today, Tuesday 21 January 2014.  There were four items on the open agenda.

The first item was an information paper on the Repatriation of issue of the British Overseas Territories Passport (St Helena) to the UK.  Due to the need for increased security features on these passports they will be issued from the UK, starting in December 2014.  This process will take longer than the former process and the Immigration Executive has agreed to give further detailed publicity nearer the time.  As there will always be people who require passports at short notice for medical evacuations and other emergencies, a stock of blank passports will be held on-Island for these eventualities.  This means that even after December 2014, St Helena Passports – for emergencies only – will be available within three days.

The second item was the request for removal of land from the National Forest to facilitate the relocation of the Fire Station to an area that will meet the specified response times for the Airport. In this regard, a preferred site has been identified in the Alarm Forest area, near the bus stop. The area required will be up to two acres and at present this area is classed as National Forest.  There is a detailed process before a Fire Station can be built and this is the first step in identifying a suitable piece of land.  Following ExCo approval, the next stage is for a six week period in which the public can make comments on the use of the land for the proposed Fire Station.  These comments will then be taken into consideration by ExCo, which will decide if the land can be used for the Fire Station.  Planning permission will still be required before the Fire Station can be built. ExCo gave approval in principle for the land to be used for a Fire Station and for the public to be invited to submit comments.

The third item was for the Land Planning and Development Control Ordinance 2013 Commencement Order and Transitional Provisions to be implemented from 1 February 2014.  This paper had originally come before ExCo in December for implementation on 1 January 2014 – due to some administrative difficulties it has come before ExCo again.

ExCo was reassured that this had not caused any significant impact, but the consultation period on the Rupert’s Development has been extended for a further four weeks to take into account the delayed implementation.

The fourth item was to endorse a recommendation made in informal Legislative Council that Hon Lawson Henry should remain as the St Helena representative at the Joint Ministerial Council (JMC) and the EU Overseas Countries and Territories Forum during the term of this Legislative Council.  Previously, a different Councillor had attended these very important meetings each year – but it was felt that for continuity and to ensure that a strong and consistent message was delivered by St Helena – that Hon Lawson Henry should attend all future meetings.

Under Any Other Business, there was a discussion on stamps and the Financial Secretary informed Executive Council that the Stamp Advisory Group was open to ideas for new designs.  Important events such as the Bicentenary of Napoleon’s exile or the discovery of new species could be used to promote St Helena through new stamp issues.  The public is encouraged to propose new ideas for designs to the Post Office.

The DAPM visit was very successful and all agreed that it was a very positive start to 2014.

ExCo

21 January 2014


NEW LEMP PROJECT MANAGER

LEMP Project Manager - Ross Towers
LEMP Project Manager – Ross Towers

The Landscape and Ecology Mitigation Programme (LEMP), an important component of the Airport project, has from 1 January 2014 welcomed new Project Manager, Ross Towers (photo attached).

Ross is based at the Access Office and is contracted until 2016 to carry through the activities of the LEMP – aimed at lessening the impact of the construction of the Airport and associated works, through avoidance, reduction and offsetting.

Ross explained:

“On the ground, the LEMP will focus on habitat restoration, creation, and landscaping to provide compensatory habitats and landscape treatment to reduce and offset the permanent direct loss of habitat and the direct and indirect impacts on the landscape, as a result of constructing the Airport and supporting infrastructure.”

The LEMP project will involve the surveying of important habitats and species to ensure their protection, the growing and planting of tens of thousands of endemic and native plants, earthworks (mounding and earth shaping) to complement the landscape and the removal of non-native invasive flora and fauna –  just a few of LEMP’s activities.

Ross added:

“In the first instance the LEMP will safeguard existing habitats and landscapes where possible.  Where this is not possible, it will seek to mitigate against those lost to the Airport footprint for the benefit of people and wildlife.”

As the LEMP Project Manager, Ross will coordinate and facilitate LEMP partners (SHG, St Helena National Trust, SHAPE, the private sector and local community) in delivering the goals and aspirations of the programme. Through the bringing together of all available knowledge, expertise and opinion, balanced against the resources and timescales faced by the LEMP, it is hoped to deliver the best value-for-money results for the environment and the people of St Helena.

The LEMP has a legal requirement for the completion of the Airport project which Ross explains will significantly impact on the legacy which the construction leaves behind: “How will the landscape change as a result of the airport and how would St Helena like it to look in 5, 10, or 20 years time? The LEMP will impact the way the affected lands will look, and ecologically evolve, for generations to come.”

Also arising from the LEMP project will be the creation of several new jobs on-Island. Roles will focus on practical activities, such as seed collecting, propagating (growing) endemic and native plants, the removal of invasive non-native species, and eventually the planting of plants. The LEMP is also keen to build on and facilitate the efforts of others by developing areas of mutual benefit, such as composting of green waste and recycling.

The LEMP started in 2008 and, as with the rest of the Airport project, was put on hold in 2009. It recommenced in 2013 and must now hit the ground running in 2014 to make the most of the opportunities presenting themselves. To date, a great deal of work has taken place on designing the LEMP in conjunction with the Airport project, but there is still a great deal to do.

Initially, Ross will be focusing his efforts on agreeing areas of work with partners and facilitating the up-scaling of current resources, such as increasing the facilities for the tree nurseries at Scotland and the Millennium Forest, and recruitment for environmental roles. 

SHG

21 January 2014

 

 

 


NEW HEAD OF GOVERNOR’S OFFICE ARRIVING SOON

Sean Burns
Sean Burns

Sean Burns (pictured), the previous Administrator of Tristan da Cunha, has been appointed as the next Head of the Governor’s Office and will arrive on Island on Thursday 6 February 2014.

The role of Head of the Governor’s Office now carries additional responsibilities, including the role of Acting Governor in the Governor’s absence, a change that reflects the model on the Falkland Islands.

Sean, like the Governor, is a member of Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Service and his posting to St Helena is expected to be for about three years. He will be accompanied by his wife Marina. Sean’s last posting was as the Administrator on Tristan.

Commenting on his posting to St Helena, Sean said:

“I am delighted to have been appointed Head of the Governor’s Office. Marina and I are both really looking forward to working and living on St Helena and getting to know the Islanders and the Island. Although we have never visited, I have learned something about St Helena from my time as the Administrator on Tristan since 2010, and about the exciting changes that are taking place.”

One photo accompanies this release.

SHG
21 January 2014


DAPM: 2014-15 Aide Memoire Agreed

The visiting Department for International Development (DfID) Development Aid Planning Mission (DAPM) and the St Helena Government have this morning (Saturday, 18 Jan 2014) signed the 2014-15 Aide Memoire (AM). The document was signed by HE Governor Capes and DfID Deputy Head of the Overseas Territories Department, Dr Kenny Dick (pictured).

DAPM – Final Aide Memoire 2014-2015

DAPM Aide Memoire PR

Signing of the Aide Memoire
Signing of the Aide Memoire
Signing of the Aide Memoire plus ExCo Members
Signing of the Aide Memoire plus ExCo Members

EXCO MEETING – Tuesday 21 January 2014

Open to the Public from 9.30am

Executive Council will meet on Tuesday 21January 2014 in the Council Chamber.

Commencing at 9.30am, the meeting will be open to the public for the following agenda items: Repatriation of British Overseas Territories Passport Issuing to the UK, Request for Removal of Land from National Forest to Facilitate the Relocation of the Fire Station, Land Planning and Development Control Ordinance 2013 Commencement Order, and Transitional Provisions, and Attendance at future Joint Ministerial Conferences.  

Executive Council Members are: Ian Rummery, Cyril George, Christine Scipio- O’Dean, Leslie Baldwin and Lawson Henry.    

SHG

17 January 2014


SCHOOL SPRUCE ON LOCAL TV

‘School Spruce’ is a community based project aimed at visually and physically improving St Helena’s three primary schools, and began in August 2013.

St Paul’s Primary School began their physical work in November 2013, building the Early Year’s playground.  Parents, children and volunteers worked on consecutive weekends, sanding, cleaning, and painting equipment for the playground.  Endemics were also planted, providing the school with its own local ‘endemic forest’.

A School Spruce film featuring St Paul’s efforts will be shown on Local TV 1 at: 

  • 6pm Thursday 16 January
  • 6:50pm Friday 17 January
  • 6pm Saturday 18 January
  • 6pm Sunday 19 January

The film shows the progress and the work of volunteers to improve facilities for children on the Island.

SHG

16 January 2014 

 


Development Aid Planning Mission 2014

This year’s Development Aid Planning Mission (DAPM) will run from 11-18 January 2014.

The team, from the Department for International Development (DFID), comprises new Deputy Head of the Overseas Territories Department, Dr Kenny Dick, Human Development Leader, Dr Mary Thompson and Senior Economist, Doug Winslow.

Preliminary discussions will take place on St Helena with the arrival, first, of Doug Winslow on Saturday 4 January. He will hold pre-DAPM meetings with the Finance Team, the SHG Economist and others. Dr Kenny Dick, and Dr Mary Thompson both arrive on Island on Saturday 11 January 2014, when the formal DAPM discussions begin.

The DAPM Team will be supported in the UK by Programme Manager for St Helena and Tristan da Cunha, Suzanne Adcock.

The SHG DAPM Team will consist of the five Members of Executive Council, the Chief Secretary and the Financial Secretary.

This annual visit will build on the three year planning cycle agreed at the DAPM in February 2013. Discussions are likely to focus on SHG’s strategic planning and budgeting process, performance for the current financial year, and proposed outputs and outcomes for the financial year 2014/2015 – following which the budget settlement will be finalised and announced.

SHG
2 January 2014


FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS

Festival of Lights
Festival of Lights

The Festival of Lights Parade organised by Pilling Primary School took place on Friday evening, 20 December.  The parade began from the General Hospital and proceeded through lower Jamestown, finally congregating at the Grand Parade.  This was followed by children being allowed to climb aboard Santa’s sleigh, a light show on the wall of the Rickmers building and carol singing.

The event drew a large crowd of spectators, awaiting the arrival of light-adorned cars, trucks and quad bikes descending into Jamestown accompanied by students, teachers, parents and members of the public who joined in with their festive attire to entertain the crowd and raise money for Pilling Primary School’s PTA.

SHG

23 December 2013


REAPPOINTMENT OF SHERIFF FOR ST HELENA

Reappointment of Sheriff
Reappointment of Sheriff

Greta Pat Musk MBE JP has been reappointed today as Sheriff of St Helena by His Excellency Governor Capes.

Mrs Musk took the prescribed Oaths before the Governor, in his office at the Castle, (photo attached). Mrs Musk’s appointment becomes effective from 1 January 2014 until 31 December 2014.

The Sheriff of St Helena is nominally responsible for enforcing Court Orders, with this being usually carried out by the Police Service on the Sheriff’s behalf. The Sheriff is also responsible for summoning Jurors when a Jury is required either in the Supreme Court or for a Coroner’s Inquest.  Her most conspicuous public role, however, is the swearing in of Governors and Acting Governors.

 

SHG

20 December 2013


BY- ELECTION ON ST HELENA

Following the resignation of Councillor Tony Green from Legislative Council, which took effect from Tuesday 17 December 2013, a resulting By-Election will be held on Wednesday 12 March 2014. The Proclamation to this effect will issue today.

If you are over the age of 21 and interested in the Island’s affairs and her people, and believe that you have the ability to lead St Helena forward as it prepares for the opportunities and changes that the Airport will bring – then you are encouraged to stand for election to Legislative Council. The deadline for nominations is 12 noon on Wednesday 26 Feb 2014.

Only persons who are named on the Register of Electors (dated 24 June 2013) will be eligible to vote, or stand, in the By-Election 2014.

The deadline for additions or changes to the Register of Electors must be made no later than 4pm on Friday 10 January 2014, after which an amended Register will be published and used for the By-Election.

Anyone eligible to be registered (St Helenian Status or spouse/life partner, over the age of 18 years, and normally resident on the Island), can apply to have the Register changed. For example, persons can have their name added or corrected, or have their address or Polling District amended. The necessary forms can be obtained from Assistant Registration Officer Gina Benjamin on tel 22470 or email cofcouncils@sainthelena.gov.sh. These forms are also available at the Customer Service Centre and the Public Library.

Further details on the By-Election will follow in due course.

SHG

20 December 2013


By-Election on St Helena

Following the resignation of Councillor Tony Green from Legislative Council, which took effect from Tuesday 17 December 2013, a resulting By-Election will be held on Wednesday 12 March 2014. The Proclamation to this effect will issue today.

If you are over the age of 21 and interested in the Island’s affairs and her people, and believe that you have the ability to lead St Helena forward as it prepares for the opportunities and changes that the Airport will bring – then you are encouraged to stand for election to Legislative Council. The deadline for nominations is 12 noon on Wednesday 26 Feb 2014.

Only persons who are named on the Register of Electors (dated 24 June 2013) will be eligible to vote, or stand, in the By-Election 2014.

The deadline for additions or changes to the Register of Electors must be made no later than 4pm on Friday 10 January 2014, after which an amended Register will be published and used for the By-Election.

Anyone eligible to be registered (St Helenian Status or spouse/life partner, over the age of 18 years, and normally resident on the Island), can apply to have the Register changed. For example, persons can have their name added or corrected, or have their address or Polling District amended. The necessary forms can be obtained from Assistant Registration Officer Gina Benjamin on tel 22470 or email cofcouncils@sainthelena.gov.sh. These forms are also available at the Customer Service Centre and the Public Library.

Further details on the By-Election will follow in due course.

SHG
20 December 2013


Reappointment of Sheriff for St Helena

Reappointment of Sheriff
Reappointment of Sheriff

Greta Pat Musk MBE JP has been reappointed today as Sheriff of St Helena by His Excellency Governor Capes.

Mrs Musk took the prescribed Oaths before the Governor, in his office at the Castle. Mrs Musk’s appointment becomes effective from 1 January 2014 until 31 December 2014.

The Sheriff of St Helena is nominally responsible for enforcing Court Orders, with this being usually carried out by the Police Service on the Sheriff’s behalf. The Sheriff is also responsible for summoning Jurors when a Jury is required either in the Supreme Court or for a Coroner’s Inquest.  Her most conspicuous public role, however, is the swearing in of Governors and Acting Governors.

SHG

20 December 2013


Call of RMS on Sunday 22 December - Baggage Arrangments

HM Customs wishes to advise the public of baggage arrangements for the next call of the RMS from Ascension, due to arrive on Sunday 22 December 2013.

Baggage can be collected

• On the day of arrival until 6pm (Sun 22 Dec 2013).
• On Mon 23 Dec from 9.30am until 1.30pm, and again from approx 3pm – 6pm (due to the embarkation of outgoing passengers).

This will be the last opportunity to collect baggage before 2014.

SHG
19 December 2013


EXCO REPORT: Tuesday 17 December 2013

The first item under the open agenda was the Application to the Governor in Council to grant development permission under the Airport Development Ordinance 2006 for the revised Wharf, sea rescue facility and fuel pipeline at Rupert’s Bay.

Representatives from Air Access, Halcrow and Basil Read were present for this agenda item.  A presentation was given on the proposed changes and there was a discussion on various details regarding the design and construction of the proposed Wharf.  There has been extensive public consultation on this proposal, which includes a jetty, a slipway from the Shears, a sewage outlet pipe, fuel pipe, sea rescue boat facility and access road to the jetty.

The new Wharf jetty will be constructed from the South West point of the bay projecting in a North Easterly direction.  This is significantly different from the original design where the jetty would have projected into the bay from the beach area.  The Land Development Control Authority had made several recommendations for the Governor in Council to consider, covering actions to be taken both during construction and prior to the Wharf coming into operation.

Executive Council agreed to grant development permission subject to the conditions with minor amendments recommended by the Land Development Control Authority.

The second item on the open agenda was the Rationalisation of the SHG Forest Estate.  This was a recommendation from ANRD which had been endorsed by the ENRD Committee, to release unproductive forestry land to crown estates.  As some of this land could be made available for commercial and residential use, Executive Council was unanimous in endorsing this proposal and praised ANRD for being proactive in releasing land that they no longer require, which will be of benefit to the community.

The next item was the St Helena National Agricultural Policy 2014-2020.  This is a comprehensive document setting out the overarching policy direction for agricultural planning.  It is designed to increase production and the quality of produce, up-skill farmers, and determine infrastructure requirements and partnerships between SHG, ESH and the private sector.  Executive Council was pleased to endorse this plan, as agriculture is one of the main economic drivers for sustainable development.

There was then a discussion on the release of Government buildings for sale, including the ex PWD store.  Paul McGinnety and John Clement outlined the process by which these buildings were placed on the market.  As the ex PWD store is considered to be a significant development under the terms of the Land Disposal Policy, it will need to go through the Estates Strategy Panel prior to any recommendation to Governor in Council for a final decision on sale.  The building will not necessarily be sold to the highest bidder – all factors, including proposed usage, will be taken into account prior to any decision to sell.

The Social Policy Plan was then introduced for endorsement by Executive Council. This plan had been written after a period of extensive consultation and over 300 members of the public had been involved.  Paul McGinnety, the interim Director of Environment and Natural Resources, was commended for a clear and easy to read document which provides comprehensive guidance on the way forward.  Executive Council was pleased to endorse this plan.

An information paper was then presented on the revised fuel prices, which shows a reduction in prices for both diesel and petrol.

During the closed session, a request for approval for funding of a Special Warrant was approved.

Under AOB, the situation regarding trees in the Duke of Edinburgh Playground was raised. Last week a branch fell, landing in Market Street, with no one injured and no damage caused to vehicles.  However the risk to the public remains and it was requested that urgent action be taken.

The Governor reported that he will be leaving the Island on Monday 23December 2013, returning on Friday 17January 2014.  As part of his overseas tour he will be carrying out official duties in the UK and on Ascension Island.

As this is the last ExCo meeting of 2013, on behalf of Executive and Legislative Council I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year.

SHG

17 December 2013

 

 


ST HELENA PLANT COLLECTION, PROPAGATION AND DISTRIBUTION POLICY

The Environmental Management Division (EMD) currently has a ‘Native and Endemic Plant Collection, Propagation and Distribution Policy’ out for public consultation.

The policy and supporting documents can be viewed at the EMD offices at Essex House and are also available on the SHG website at: (http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/).

The policy has been devised after comprehensive consultation with key stakeholders. It aims to provide clear guidance and an enabling framework for those wishing to collect endemic or native seed, and propagate and distribute endemic and native species for restoration or commercial purposes. The policy also provides the licensing system for these activities as required under Section 20 of the (draft) Environmental Ordinance.

As part of this consultation, two public meetings are scheduled:

  • Monday 6January 2014 at the Longwood Community Centre from           7.30 – 8.30pm
  • Wednesday 8January at the Kingshurst Community Centre from             7.30 – 8.30pm

 

These meetings are an opportunity for interested persons to learn more, ask questions and provide feedback about this policy.

The public consultation phase ends on 17January 2014. Any feedback submitted by then will be used to revise the policy, which will then be presented to the Environment & Natural Resources Committee for their final endorsement.

For more information please contact Shayla Ellick, Species Conservation & Environmental Research Officer at EMD on telephone number 22270 or email shayla-ellick@enrd.gov.sh.

SHG

17 December


EXCO MEETING - Tuesday 17 December 2013: Open to the Public from 9:30am

Executive Council will meet on Tuesday 17 December 2013, in the Council Chamber.

Commencing at 9.30am, the meeting will be open to the public for the following agenda items: Airport Development Ordinance 2006: Application to the Governor in Council for Approval of the Wharf proposed at Ruperts Bay; Rationalisation of the SHG Forest Estate; St Helena’s Agricultural Policy 2014-2020; the Social Policy Plan, and an Information Paper on Revised Fuel Prices.

Executive Council Members are: Ian Rummery, Cyril George, Christine Scipio- O’Dean, Leslie Baldwin and Derek Thomas (in Lawson Henry’s absence).

SHG

16 December 2013

 


Roads Progress to be shown on Local TV

 

A short film showing progress on the roads works between the Briars and Gordons Post will be shown on local TV Channel 1 on 17 December 2013.

On Monday 14 October 2013 the public were advised that the road between the Briars and Gordons Post would be closed for a 10 week period. In fact due to the hard work of the Roads team the work was completed nearly two weeks earlier than originally scheduled.

The film displays the final days of work before the reopening including surfacing, patching and work on the Tomb Wall.

The film will air around 8pm tomorrow, Tuesday 17 December 2013 on Local TV channel 1.

SHG

16 December 2013

 

 


Pilling Primary SATS Evening

In a recent open evening meeting at Pilling Primary School, parents of Year 5/6 pupils were given an insight into Secondary Attainment Testing (SATS) and in particular, how their children would be preparing for these tests.

Organised by Head Teacher, Elaine Benjamin and Year 5/6 Teacher, Carol Youde the evening began with a welcome from Elaine who spoke about the purpose of SATS exams and how parents can support their children in the lead up to the sitting of these tests. She then went on to discuss last year’s results and stressed the importance of working harder this year in aiming to reach the set targets.

Parents, accompanied by their children, were reminded of the utmost importance of working as a team (parents, teachers and children) in order to excel in their educational opportunities.

Parents (with the support of their child) were then set a challenge of a Mental Maths Test which required answers to be given in a set response time.

SATS EveningFollowing this, parents were then taken through the steps of a variety of sample papers – Reading, Grammar, Punctuation, Spelling and Maths. This year both the Reading and Maths papers will have slight changes to them.

A few parents expressed concerns about the pressure these tests put on 10-11 year old pupils. As a result, parents were given Maths Skills prompt sheets, enabling them to help their child at home. They were also given a SATS Maths paper as a homework task, allowing the parent and child to work together.

The evening was very successful and an eye opener for those parents in attendance.

Education and Employment Directorate

SHG

16 December 2013


Primary Schools' Advent Services

Advent is a season in the Christian year that begins before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve. Each year, in celebration of Advent, Primary Schools on the Island hold traditional Advent Services for the public to attend.
On 4 December, St James’ Church saw its pews fill with parents, members of the public and invited guests to see Pilling Primary School’s retelling of a version of the Christmas story (the Birth of Jesus Christ).

St Paul's Primary Advent Service
St Paul’s Primary Advent Service

Pilling’s Advent Service began with an Orchestral piece entitled ‘Away in a Manger’ followed by ‘It’s a baby’, ‘Hallelujah We’ve come to see the baby’, and ‘2000 years ago’ sung by early years, nursery, reception and year 1 and 2 pupils.

The Nativity play ‘Off to Bethlehem’ was presented by Key Stage 2 pupils, highlighted with a few musical solo performers.

Pilling Primary Advent Service
Pilling Primary Advent Service

Father Dale Bowers closed the play with prayers, giving thanks to all involved in the production. Head Teacher, Miss Elaine Benjamin wished all in attendance a Merry Christmas, with pupils on stage singing a version of ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas’ in Swedish – reflecting the celebration of Christmas for international students attending the school.
Father Dale commented that many parents know Christmas is approaching when household items go missing to be made into costumes for Christmas Nativity plays.

Harford Primary Advent Service
Harford Primary Advent Service

This could be seen on Sunday 8 December at St Pauls’ Cathedral, when St Pauls’ pupils wore their homemade costumes during presentation of their play ‘Grandma’s Special Birthday’. To a full congregation, the Bishop welcomed those in attendance, followed by a reading from Kyla Joshua. Songs included ‘Long Ago in A Stable’, ‘Close Your Eyes Little Baby Boy’ and ‘I Hear Angels’. Closing the performance, students sung ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas,’ with pupils displaying their language skills by singing a few verses in Spanish.

Rounding up the Primary School’s Advent Services was Harford’s ‘C.H.R.I.S.T.M.A.S spells Christmas’ – on Tuesday 10 December. The Deputy Head commented that during the performance the audience would be transported from the present to the past. The Bible reading was done by Oscar Smyth (whose parents were also present playing the piano). Reception children sung ‘I’m A Little Star’ and ‘Ten Little Angels,’ with years 1 & 2 singing ‘We’re Travelling to Bethlehem’. During the Nativity play, there were outstanding performances from several pupils, which saw a mixture of 21st century culture embedded within the play.

All Primary Schools saw well attended Advent Services where the committed efforts from pupils, parents and teachers really put across the Christmas Story.

SHG
11 December 2013


Counillor Tony Green Steps Down From LEGCO

Councillor Tony Green today informed HE Governor Capes that he will resign from Legislative Council, with effect from Tuesday 17 December 2013.
Councillor Green explained to the Governor that his resignation was for family reasons and that he would shortly travel to the UK.
The Governor thanked Councillor Green for his years of service to St Helena as an Elected Member, and wished him well.

SHG
10 December 2013


St Helena Government Properties for Sale

The Property Division of the Environment and Natural Resources Directorate has recently started marketing three surplus Government properties, as part of SHG’s modernisation programme.

The properties being sold are:

  • Wranghams House, near Sandy Bay
  • Head O’ Wain Clinic
  • Former Public Works Store building, Jamestown.

The properties are all quite different, ranging from a small single story building with conversion potential, to a large prime building in Jamestown with substantial development potential.

Wranghams House was offered on the market in 2011, but the preferred bidder failed to complete the sale.

The sale of the former Public Works Store, located on the west side of the Grand Parade in lower Jamestown, is the first substantial Government asset to be openly marketed in five years. It has the potential to transform the area and possibly set the tone for other regeneration in the area.

The current marketing is aimed to take advantage of the large number of Saints who come home for the Christmas break. Time will tell whether any will make a bid, but the hope is that returning Saints will see that things are changing.

The exercise may also encourage a more open market for houses on the Island to develop. The marketing is an effort by the Property Division to lead the way in creating a more open and transparent property market. As a matter of principle, all surplus Government properties should be openly marketed, firstly on Island, before, if necessary, international marketing. This marketing exercise is the first step in what will be a long process to establish a base going forward.

The use of open tendering in this case is hoped to help establish a pricing level, which is an important element to establishing an effective property market.

The properties are being advertised locally in the Sentinel and Independent newspapers, as well as on the St Helena Government (http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/property-division/) and Tourism websites.

Closing dates for offers have been set as follows:

Wranghams House – offers to be submitted by 5 February 2014

Head O’ Wain Clinic – offers to be submitted by 12 February 2014

Former Public Works Store – offers to be submitted by 26 February 2014.

Enquiries and requests for further information and viewing should be made to Crown Estates Assistant, Gina Henry, in Essex House, Jamestown on telephone 22270, or

by e-mail at gina-henry@enrd.gov.sh

SHG

10 December 2013

 

 


SCHOOL SPRUCE – HARFORD

harford_jungle_gym 

‘School Spruce’ is a community based project aiming to visually and physically improve the Primary Schools play facilities.  

 

The project began in August this year and with the help of St Helena Government, the private sector, St Helena National Trust and Enterprise St Helena – parents, volunteers and children have all been working together to plan improvements, donate materials and conduct the physical work. 

 

Over the weekend of 7 and 8 December at Harford School, a team from Basil Read donated and installed jungle gym equipment drawn from their materials and suppliers.

 BR_Playground_builders

The school had contacted Basil Read logistics team in Johannesburg hoping for advice on the most economical way of making Harford’s plans a reality.  Suppliers then contacted were Ohorongo Cement, Ash Resources and Meihuizens International who came back with a simple suggestion – ‘let us sponsor a piece of equipment’.

 

Paula McLeod, Chairperson of Harford’s PTA, commented:

 

“This is a fantastic show of generosity and kindness from Basil Read and is greatly appreciated by everyone at the school. The children were so excited to arrive at school on Monday and see the new addition to their playground. We would all like to say a big THANK YOU to Basil Read from Harford’s children, teachers, parents and friends, especially to the kind men who gave up their weekend to do something really special for the community.

 

“In the new year we will be asking for parents and friends of the Harford community to get together for a spruce day to give our littlest children a play environment as special as that of their bigger friends.”  

 

Deon De Jager, Basil Read’s Island Director, was gracious in his response:

 

“We are happy to help the Island whenever we can.”

 

The St Helena National Trust is encouraging children to understand the importance of St Helena’s natural resources and culture.  Plans for a “Bug Hotel”, outdoor musical instruments and companion planting tie together Harford’s biggest priorities – ‘our children, our environment and our culture’.

 

Two pictures are attached with this release

 

SHG

10 December 2013

 


NEW REFUSE COLLECTION VEHICLES

On Friday 6 December a contract was signed between St Helena Government and Solomons for the procurement of 2 new Refuse Collection Vehicles (RCVs), expected to arrive on St Helena in April 2014. 

The RVCs are Nissan models, each with a rear loading 12 cubic metre rubbish compactor and each fitted with a high level bin lifter.  This mechanical bin lifter aids the emptying of a range of standard wheelie bins.    

Additional funding has also been identified for the procurement of 1600 x 240 litre wheelie bins for provision to households this financial year. 

With the total costing of the two RCVs at £179,660 and £72,500 for the 1600 x 240 litre wheelie bins (compatible with the bin lift equipment) – the total capital spend is £252,160.

Councillor Ian Rummery, Chair of the Health & Social Services Committee, commented:

 “For anyone who thinks that buying a garbage truck for the Island is a simple process, I can assure you that it is not.  For a long time it has been recognised that the current fleet is no longer fit for purpose and the public are all too aware of the problems that frequent breakdowns cause. 

“It is fantastic news that two trucks have been procured and this, along with the redevelopment of Horse Point Landfill, will result in significant improvements to the management of solid waste and environmental health on St Helena.”

Project Manager Mike Durnford Manager of Environmental Risk Management, working with Environmental Health, will devise a strategy with stakeholders for distribution of the new wheelie bins and the introduction of the new vehicles into the domestic waste collection and disposal service.

Senior Environmental Health Officer, Georgina Young, added:

“We look forward to operating the refuse collection service with the two new  vehicles.  Not only will they contribute to a better service, but they also will aid better occupational health and safety standards for the workforce.”

SHG

10 December 2013

 

 

 

 


HOUSEHOLD LIVING STANDARDS SURVEY 2013

In late October/early November the Statistics Office conducted a Household Living Standards Survey. Two major goals of the survey were to enable an update to the basket of goods and services, monitored for the quarterly calculations of the Retail Price Index, and to be able to link this with information regarding household income. 

Once again, the Statistics Office wish to express their sincere appreciation to everyone who participated – we recognise the effort involved in completing the shopping diary and also the sensitive nature of a lot of the information which respondents provided. All who participated can feel proud of their efforts and be assured that the information will be of great use to their community – ensuring that households like theirs are fairly represented. The evidence provided will inform decisions effecting St Helenian households for many years to come. 

As a small incentive to taking part in the survey, a hamper of goods was offered as a prize to all households who returned completed diaries and questionnaires by Friday 15 November. The winner, drawn at random, was Myra Young of St Pauls. A pleased Myra received her prize on Tuesday 19 November.

Thanks are due to the many generous people who donated to the hamper, including Natalie at Bliss Salon, Joshua Brothers Production, Leo’s Planet, Jodie Mills, Mrs Ruth Pridham, Solomons & Company, Stevens’ Family Butchery, and the Rose and Crown.

In total 88 households participated, representing approximately 5% of St Helenian households. The participants were from all administrative areas and represented a range of household types (families, extended families, couples, and single person households) and income sources (employment, self-employment, pension and income related benefits). The Statistics Office staff are now busy collating results and a report of initial summary results will be available by April 2014.

SHG

10 December 2013


NEW SOLICITOR GENERAL FOR ST HELENA

Morag Stevenson - Solicitor General
Morag Stevenson – Solicitor General

His Excellency Governor Capes has today appointed Morag Stevenson as the new Solicitor General, following Frank Wastell’s recent appointment to Attorney General.

Morag, previously Crown Counsel, takes up her new role with immediate effect.

Of her appointment, Morag said:

“I am delighted to accept the appointment as Solicitor General and I look forward to dealing with the challenges that will come with this new role. In addition to undertaking or supervising all Criminal prosecutions, I will now also be responsible for all Civil Court cases either by or against SHG. The remainder of my time will be spent providing my full support to the Attorney General in dealing with the variety of legal issues that require addressing, particularly in the lead up to certification of the Airport.”  

A photo of Morag is attached.

SHG

9 December 2013

 


REMEMBRANCE DAY POPPY MONEY

Corporate Support would like to extend sincere thanks to all persons involved with the Remembrance Day Service on Sunday 10 November 2013.

Special thanks go to members of the public on Island and on the RMS St Helena who made generous contributions to the Poppy Appeal Fund, and to all the local outlets who continue each year to support the Poppy Appeal by selling poppies on Corporate Support’s behalf.

The sum of £1097.76 was raised this year and will be sent on behalf of St Helena to The Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal in the UK.

Connie Johnson, organiser of the Poppy Appeal Fund and the Remembrance Day Service commented:

“This could not have been accomplished without the help of staff members Alton Isaac and Stephanie Crook who were involved with the preparation and distribution of the poppies and money boxes.  This year’s funds raised were considerably higher than in previous years and it was all down to those who kindly donated to this worthy cause.” 

The Royal British Legion has always been grateful and has previously congratulated St Helena for the amount of funds raised.  

SHG

9 December 2013  


WHEELCHAIR AND PUSHCHAIR ACCESS AT THE POST OFFICE

Passers-by in Main Street, Jamestown, may have noticed the current works taking place at the Post Office building, where a hole is being knocked into the Veranda wall, adjacent to The Star.

Head of the Environment and Natural Resources Directorate, Paul McGinnety explained that this project had been in the pipeline for a long time, but these works – to provide wheelchair and pushchair access to the front of the Post Office – are now taking place.

Paul said:

“There is currently wheelchair and pushchair access to the Post Office building via the rear entrance. But members of the public have raised concerns that this access (which includes buzzing for help to lower the wheelchair ramp) is inconvenient and often time consuming.

“By providing wheelchair access to the front of the building, the more vulnerable members of society, plus parents, grandparents and visitors with push chairs are able to easily access the building, more quickly and conveniently.”

Councillor Les Baldwin, Chairman of the Social Community and Development Committee added:

“I think the major benefit will be that wheelchair and pushchair users will be able to more easily use the facility to watch parade events, beginning this Christmas season, from this major public vantage point. Improved accessibility for all, wherever feasible, will be supported by SHG.”

SHG

6 December 2013


EXCO REPORT: 3 DECEMBER 2013

Executive Council met today to discuss three items on the open agenda. 

The first item concerned a proposal to increase liquor licensing fees following an annual review. ExCo agreed the proposed increases.

The second item concerned a proposal to increase the charges for granting or renewal and transfer of licenses for Gaming Machines.  ExCo agreed the proposed increases.

The third item involved a long and detailed discussion on changes to Regulations and Orders under the Land Planning and Development Control Ordinance 2013.  For this discussion Head of Planning and Development Control, David Taylor, was present.

There were eight subsidiary Regulations and Orders under discussion. 

Six of these Regulations are effectively covered in the 2008 Ordinance.  The purpose of extracting them from the Ordinance and placing them in the Regulations is to provide flexibility and facilitate future revision.  Had these remained in the Ordinance, it would require a formal sitting of Legislative Council to amend them, whereas once they are Regulations any further amendments can be made by Executive Council.

The Land Planning and Development Control (General Development) Order is a new Regulation and this was discussed at some length.   This Regulation allows for relatively minor and uncontentious work to be permitted without the necessity of applying for development permission.  ExCo unanimously supported this as it will reduce the administrative burden on both the applicant and the planning section.

It was made clear that while certain minor developments will not require development permission it will always be advisable for any developer to contact the Planning Officer prior to construction to ensure, in writing, that development permission is not required.  Building Regulations approval will still be necessary for such work.

Also approved was the Land Planning and Development Control Ordinance (Commencement) (No.2) Order 2013, which will bring into effect the Land Planning and Development Control Ordinance 2013, and the Regulations and Orders  from 1 January 2014.

Under any other business there was a discussion about HIV/AIDS and the need to maintain public awareness on this sensitive issue. 

One Member of ExCo enquired if it would be possible for those in receipt of Basic Island Pension or Income Related Benefits to receive a Christmas Advance.  There is no policy or budget for this, and so it was not possible to agree to it.

The Governor gave a summary of his recent trip to Cape Town and Tristan da Cunha. In Cape Town, along with Councillor Lawson Henry and Julian Morris, he had undertaken a number of activities to raise awareness of St Helena as a potential tourism and investment destination.  There had been a positive response from the public, investors and politicians in the Cape. 

The Governor also spoke warmly of his time in Tristan da Cunha and paid tribute to the resilience of the Tristan community. 

The meeting closed at 11.20 am. 

ExCo

3 December 2013


MEDIA STANDARDS COMMISSION PUBLISHES DRAFT MEDIA CODE

 The St Helena Media Standards Commission has today published a Draft Media Code in a St Helena Government Extraordinary Gazette.

 The Commission, consisting of Chief Magistrate John MacRitchie (President), Jennifer Corker, Rodney Buckley and George Stevens, exercises its functions independently from the legislative and executive branches of Government.

 The Commission invites all members of the public or any organisation to comment on the Draft Media Code, which can also be viewed at:  EX GAZ No 58 2013 Media Code

Any comments on the Draft Media Code should be made direct to the Media Standards Commission, by writing to the Clerk to the Commission, The Courthouse, Jamestown (or by email to: judicial.manager@sainthelena.gov.sh), by Friday 27 December 2013.

All comments will be considered by the Commission before a final Media Code is published. This Code will then apply to all media services in or from St Helena, under the Media Standards Ordinance.

SHG

29 November 2013


EXCO MEETING – TUESDAY 3 DECEMBER 2013

Open to the Public from 9.30am

Executive Council will meet on Tuesday 3 December 2013, in the Council Chamber. 

Commencing at 9.30am, the meeting will be open to the public for the first three agenda items: Liquor Fees, Gaming Machine Fees and Regulations and Orders under the Land Planning & Development Control Ordinance 2013.  

Executive Council Members are: Ian Rummery, Cyril George, Christine Scipio O’Dean, Leslie Baldwin and Derek Thomas (in Lawson Henry’s absence).   

SHG

29 December 2013


DFID INFRASTRUCTURE ADVISERS VISIT ST HELENA

John Bowker, DFID’s Infrastructure Adviser and Pauline Scott, DFID’s Deputy Programme Manager, arrived on Island on Monday 25 November.

Their purpose was to review the current infrastructure on St Helena and establish further work to be conducted within the programme.  They also assessed previous recommendations and work to date – looking at progress and the challenges which have been met.  

Pauline and John met with a range of stakeholders, including project managers, SHG officials, and Councillor Cyril George, Chair of the Environment & Natural Resources Committee.  During the week they have examined specific projects, including divestment of water and electricity to Connect St Helena Ltd, the new prison and evaluating essential improvements needed at the General Hospital. 

Shortly before the team departed St Helena this morning, John explained:

“We have met with key stakeholders and gained a clear view of the infrastructure needs of the Island.  One of the key reasons for our visit is to gather information in order to write a business case for St Helena

 “A lot of work still needs to be done but, for example, the work done at the power plant, the new generators, solar power and improvements to the drainage systems on the road network, are investments which will in future cut costs for St Helena Government.”

John plans to visit the Island on a yearly basis and to work closely with relevant stakeholders and help overcome any difficulties that arise in implementing projects.

DFID’s role – working closely with SHG – is to provide advice, support and funding to address priority needs on St Helena as the Airport approaches.

SHG

29 November 2013 


Joint Ministerial Council in London

Councillor Henry at the JMC in London
Councillor Henry at the JMC in London

Councillor Lawson Henry and Assistant Financial Secretary, Dax Richards, this week represents St Helena at the annual Joint Ministerial Council (JMC) at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London.

The JMC brings together political leaders from the Overseas Territories, and this year takes place between 26-28 November – hosted by FCO Minister for the Overseas Territories, Mark Simmonds MP.

Discussions this year focuses on promoting economic growth in the Territories and creating jobs. Other topics include Economic Diversification, Employment and Education, the Overseas Territories’ Links with the Wider World, Green Energy and Environment and International Financial Services Regulation.
Commenting on his attendance at the Council, Councillor Henry said:“The first day of the JMC was a long but interesting session with all Territory leaders making a number of interventions in the subjects that were debated. I came away with the feeling that HMG do really want a partnership with all its Overseas Territories. I was supported by our very experienced UK Rep, Mrs Kedell Worboys MBE and Assistant Financial Secretary Dax Richards.”

The Plenary of the JMC concluded on 26 November with the agreement of a Communiqué. This can be seen on the SHG website at: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/

Councillor Henry with Minister Mark Simmonds
Councillor Henry with Minister Mark Simmonds

Discussions will continue at official level on Health, Environment, Passports and Visas and Criminal Justice. Councillor Henry will attend the meeting with the Environmental Audit Committee this afternoon. The JMC will conclude tomorrow with the Overseas Territories Business Event.
The JMC is the principle forum for reviewing and implementing the shared strategy for promoting the security and good governance of the Territories and their sustainable economic and social development.

Councillor Henry and Dax will also form the St Helena Delegation, along with the SHG UK Representative, Kedell Worboys, to attend the 12th OCT-EU Forum in Brussels from 5-12 December 2013.

Councillor Henry and Dax will return to the Island on 17 December 2013.

Two photos are attached to this release.

SHG
27 November 2013


BANK OF ST HELENA YOUTH GAMES OPEN

BOSH Staff
BOSH Staff

On Friday 22 November Bank of St Helena Ltd (BOSH) launched its eighth sponsored Youth Games, which runs from 22 November to 18 December.  Organised by New Horizons Youth Leader, Nicky Stevens, supported by his team and volunteers, the Bank of St Helena Youth Games encourage young people in the community from the ages of 11-18 to develop and show their sporting skills, engage in competition, and interact with their peers.

The Bank of St Helena actively contributes to the social development of St Helena by funding such community activities.  Sponsorship by the Bank is used to purchase medals and arrange activities supporting the Games.  The opening Jamestown Swimming Pool event will be followed by Pool Table Singles held at New Horizons and Shooting at the Jamestown Rifle Club.

Nicky Stevens, at the opening of the Swimming Pool event, thanked the Games volunteers and his staff for creating a successful opening event, commenting that: “In the past, those who have excelled at events in the BOSH Youth Games have gone on to represent St Helena at International levels.”    

Lyn Thomas, Chairperson of the BOSH Board of Directors, opened the Games and commented on the importance of promoting life skills, teamwork, and competition, highlighting that all competitors should approach the Games “feisty, friendly and fairly.”

Supported by onlookers at the Pool, the Swimming Heats held on Friday 22 November saw the district of Jamestown winning the competition, with Longwood second, St Pauls third and Half Tree Hollow, fourth. 

Lyn Thomas
Lyn Thomas

Mercia George, Marketing and Customs Manager of BOSH added:

“The Bank of St Helena is committed to the development of youth, culture and the community.  Sports are a big part of St Helena’s culture and we try to maintain and encourage that as much as possible.  In all of the scheduled events, we will aim to support New Horizons as much as we can.”

BOSH has previously funded the publication of a Marine Awareness Book by Pilling Primary School and most recently contributed funding for the School Spruce Project .  It also provided sponsorship for Island Games Gold Medallist, Simon Henry.

 

SHG

26 November 2013

 


ST PAUL’S PRIMARY SCHOOL’S MATHS WORKSHOP

On Monday evening, on 18 November, a Mathematics Workshop was held at St Paul’s Primary School.

Parents who attended were welcomed by Mrs Patricia Williams, the Head Teacher, followed by an introduction by Advanced Skills Teacher (AST) Mrs Gloria Leo informing and encouraging parents to assist with their child’s educational development at home. 

Teachers gave group workshops and discussed progression in the calculations policy and demonstrated practical methods of equations.  Leaflets were also given to parents to take home to support further learning. 

Parents gave feedback and felt that the workshop allowed them to gain knowledge of different teaching methods used in maths, putting their own skills to the test and raising their understanding of the principles children need to learn.  Many asked for a refresher course for next year.     

Gloria commented: “It was a fun and informative evening.  Parents seemed to have enjoyed themselves.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who attended the workshop and to the staff who helped make this evening a great success.”

Education and Employment Directorate

SHG

26 November 2013


EDUCATION COMMITTEE MEETING, 20 NOVEMBER 2013 – SUMMARY

The Education Committee met on 20 November 2013 at the Education Learning Centre. Present at this meeting were Councillors Christine Scipio-O’Dean, Nigel Dollery, Wilson Duncan, Derek Thomas and Cyril George. Also in attendance were Colin Moore, Director of Education, Beverley Francis, Deputy Director of Education, Jill Young, Librarian, Vivienne Ward, Early Years Adviser, Wendy Benjamin, Education Officer Training and Joy Peters, Committee Secretary.

The first item on the open agenda was the draft Public Library policy detailing the services currently provided, who may use the library, the library’s mission and rules and regulations.        

Vivienne Ward then gave an update on teaching practices in the three primary schools. Vivenne is working closely with two crèches on the Island and funding has been secured for two members of staff at these crèches to undergo online nursery management courses.

The third item on the agenda was the financial statements for October 2013.

Wendy Benjamin gave a comprehensive report on teacher training, that included a continuous professional development programme for the Directorate.

The first item of the closed agenda was a brief update from the Director relating to the scheme of service for teachers.

The next item was proposed Christmas festivity dates for the Directorate. The dates of the Advent services are as follows:

Pilling Primary, St James’ Church – Wednesday 4 December at 12:15pm

St Paul’s Primary, St Paul’s Cathedral – Sunday 8 December at 3pm

Harford Primary, St Matthew’s Church – Tuesday 10 December at 7pm

The third item of the closed agenda was a proposal to exempt teachers from Jury Service.

The final item was the future use of the Jamestown Infant School car park area. The Committee agreed that Pilling Primary School could expand their play area by relocating the existing fence. The Committee also agreed for the untarred space to be used as a garden production area.

Christine Scipio-O’Dean

Chairman

Education Committee

 

SHG

25 November 2013


NEW RECRUITS FOR ST HELENA POLICE

New Additions to St Helena Police and Prison Service
New Additions to St Helena Police and Prison Service

The St Helena Police and Prison Service has recently welcomed four additions to their ranks – a Probation Officer and three Police Constables from the UK (photo attached).

Probation Officer, Victoria Kellet, is based and working at the St Helena Prison. Victoria is here on a two year contract and will be focusing on public protection and rehabilitation, addressing the underlying reasons why people have committed offences and putting processes in place that will hopefully prevent them from reoffending in the future.

Victoria explained:

“There’s been real investment in rehabilitation services on St Helena and trying to better understand what has caused people to commit offences and what has got them into custody. That work that has already started at the prison has been fantastic – and they’ve done really well with the limited resources they have available.”

Victoria will now build on the work that has already been done at the prison and is currently observing processes and meeting with the prisoners to make initial assessments of what their needs are, and where they are in terms of reoffending.

Victoria said:

“My initial impressions have been very positive and things are actually much more progressed than I’d expected. The commitment shown and the motivation to really try and get things moving in the right direction has been fantastic and hopefully during my time here I can extend that.”

Victoria studied Psychology and joined the Sussex and Surrey Probation Trust as a Trainee Officer where she undertook a further degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice studies. Victoria qualified as a Probation Officer in 2007/08 working in a generic offending team supervising caseloads upwards of 60 offenders at a time. Victoria has also worked within the West Sussex Court Service before moving into a training and development role training probation staff. For the last 2 ½ years Victoria has worked in a dedicated team working solely with registered sex offenders, counter terrorism offenders and life sentence prisoners.

Meanwhile, the Police Service welcomes Police Officers John Rigby, an Ex-Merseyside Police Officer, David Brooksbank, an Ex-West Yorkshire Police Officer and Phillip Tester from Strathclyde Police in Scotland.

All will be on Island for the next three months supporting the St Helena Police Service with general policing duties.

John was a general Police Officer for 20 years in Liverpool City Centre, spending some time in the Criminal Investigations Department (CID). John’s work has mostly been based around operational matters but he became a Police Trainer and Training Development Officer while in the Police. John now has his own company offering professional police training to Constabularies in the UK and while on St Helena he hopes to be able to offer training to the Police Officers here. 

David worked in the West Yorkshire Police for 30 years and is now retired.  The bulk of David’s career was spent in CID work and working with sex crimes. David studied Criminology and is particularly interested in managing sexual offences, investigating male predators and the safety of women.

Phillip was a Detective based in Glasgow for 23 years involved in everything from general investigation to serious crime squad to surveillance work. As a Detective Sergeant, Phillip investigated public protection and sex offenders. 

All three commented on the good standard of work by the Police Service, given the limited resources available on St Helena.

David said:

“I think the police service here do a good job with the limited resources they have. There’s obviously a problem with recruitment and retention but I think they do a fantastic job. The intelligence potential is also very good.”

While here, John, David and Phillip will observe the systems in place and suggest areas that might need improvement.  Hopefully they will pass on some of their wide experience to Officers on the Island while also focusing on policing in a small community.

SHG

25 November 2013


SOCIAL WELFARE REVIEW PUBLISHED

Today sees the publication on SHG’s website of the St Helena Social Welfare Review, a report by Roy Sainsbury and Jonathan Bradshaw of the University of York.  The report is available at http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/

The Review, carried out between August 2012 and April 2013, had two principal objectives:

  • To provide recommendations for the next uprating of benefits on St Helena, and
  • To review the benefits system as a whole and make recommendations

Commenting on the report, Paul McGinnety, Interim Director of the Environment and Natural Resources Directorate, said:

‘The review and its recommendations are ambitious, especially when Governments around the world are looking to reduce benefits.  For St Helena to introduce a Minimum Income Standard demonstrates the Island’s commitment to supporting vulnerable people.

‘It is particularly encouraging that we have worked as a community to develop an Island MIS and those members of the public who dedicated their time to this work deserve tremendous credit.’

Councillor Les Baldwin, Chairman of the Social and Community Development Committee, added:

‘I would like to thank all those who worked on and contributed to this Review and the resulting Social Policy Plan which were well received by Council and Government officials alike.  We all recognise the difficulties of the vulnerable in our society, and although many of the recommendations are ambitious they are not unachievable.

‘Evidence of this is the introduction of a Minimum Income Standard (MIS) for the uprating of pensions and social benefits, seeing St Helena becoming one of the first countries in the world to apply this methodology. Work has already begun towards a plan of implementation for other recommendations over the next five years, beginning with Child Benefit for those aged five or under.’

Director of Strategic Policy & Planning, Susan O’Bey, concluded:

‘This review has taken place just two years after the new benefit system was introduced in 2011.  It addresses a number of issues which have been raised by Councillors and by members of the public and the recent announcement on the increase in IRB and BIP is a direct result of this work.

‘The report contains a number of recommendations which will be discussed by Councillors in the coming months. Some of these are about improving operational aspects of the system and can be put in place quite quickly.  Others are much more ambitious and will be implemented over a much longer timeframe.’

SHG

22 November 2013


CONSTITUENCY MEETING REMINDER – LOCAL TV

A reminder of the remaining Constituency Meetings scheduled to be held in November will be shown on Local TV around 8pm each evening until Monday 25 November.

A rundown of the remaining dates and venues will be given by Councillor Gavin Ellick, along with a description of agenda items that have been discussed at previous meetings.  

SHG

22 November 2013 


INCREASES IN BIP AND IRB

SHG is pleased to announce that recipients of Basic Island Pension (BIP) and Income Related Benefits (IRB) will receive an increase in their weekly allowance from 1 December 2013. This was agreed by Executive Council on 14 November 2013.

This increase results from the introduction of a benefit system based on a Minimum Income Standard for the setting and up-grading of Income Related Benefits and Basic Island Pension.

From 1 December, BIP recipients who currently receive £50.05 will receive £53.53 per week, those receiving £37.54 will receive £40.15 and those receiving £25.03 will receive £26.77.

IRB recipients will receive an increase in their weekly benefits from £48.16 to £51.64.

Households receiving benefits under ‘Transitional Protection’ may not necessarily receive an increase in their current overall amount of benefits as this will depend on the amount of benefit they are transitionally protected by. These households will continue to receive the same amount of benefits as they did before the increase.

The Health and Social Welfare Directorate will be distributing letters to all recipients of both Basic Island Pension and Income Related Benefits informing them of the increases and their new weekly entitlement.

SHG

19 November 2013

 


CONSTITUENCY MEETINGS IN NOVEMBER

Legislative Councillors are holding a series of public meetings in November.  During each meeting there will be a minimum of three Members present. 

Agenda items planned to be discussed in the meetings include benefits and the Sainsbury Report, The Lucy Faithful Report and a communications strategy for Councillors.  Members of the public are also encouraged to raise any issues not covered in the agenda. 

The remaining schedule is displayed below.  All meetings will begin at 7.00pm.

Wednesday 20 November, Levelwood (Silver Hill Bar), attended by Brian Isaac, Christine Scipio O’Dean and Tony Duncan

Thursday 21 November, St Pauls (Kingshurst Community Centre), attended by Nigel Dollery, Derek Thomas and Gavin Ellick

Wednesday 27 November, HTH Community Centre, attended by Nigel Dollery, Derek Thomas and Les Baldwin

Wednesday 27 November, Briars, St Mary’s Church, attended by Christine Scipio O’Dean, Brian Isaac and Cyril George

Thursday 28 November, Sandy Bay Community Centre, attended by Tony Green, Cyril George and Tony Duncan 

SHG

19 November 2013


MAGISTRATES’ COURT

From Trevor Botting, Director of Policing:

‘As a result of an ongoing investigation, this morning a 50 year old man of Jamestown, St Helena, was today charged with a number of offences that allegedly took place between 1990 and 2006. These charges relate to allegations of sexual offences against a single victim, who was aged under 10 years when the offending allegedly began.

‘The St Helena Police Service, working with partners, volunteer agencies and the community is committed to the investigation of sexual offences. Anyone affected by this type of crime or who may have information useful to the Police, can speak to one of my team and they will be treated sensitively and in confidence by the Police and the other agencies that provide care and support during and beyond any investigation.’

The Police Confidential Helpline is 22888.

SHG

19 November 2013

 


CHANGES TO PUBLIC TRANSPORT

One of the objectives of St Helena’s Sustainable Development Plan is to facilitate private, public, tourist and business development across the Island through an improved public transport system.

To meet this objective a review of the public transport system was carried out in 2012 and an expanded trial system incorporating home to duty transport for Health shift workers and the public transport system began earlier this year- replacing routes A, B, C and the Rupert’s route.

Since its introduction the trial service, provided by Joshua’s Taxis, has been extended and refined twice and is to be further extended until 31 January 2014. The success of the expanded service will continue to be reviewed.

The trial service does not affect services to Blue Hill and Sandy Bay operated by Solomons and Colin’s Garage. However these routes have also been continuously reviewed and as a result the Blue Hill route will cease to operate from 20 January 2014.

The Sandy Bay route will continue to operate and the contract with Colin’s Garage has been extended to March 2015.

SHG

19 November 2013


GIS DAY 2013

The work of GIS, or ‘Geographical Information Systems’, has been celebrated on St Helena since 2007 in a special, earmarked GIS Day. Held every year on the third Wednesday in November, GIS Day is also recognised in the UK and United States – with the aim of demonstrating to the public how important GIS is and how GIS affects our day-to-day lives.

St Helena has its own GIS Office, run by five staff members. This year the GIS team will hold an Open House Gallery at their Office in Essex House, Jamestown, on Wednesday 20 November 2013. Acting GIS Manager, Murray Henry, explains what to expect on the day: “This year there will be displays about what GIS is and how it works, and the equipment. There will also be some hands on demonstrations on the computers to get the public involved and have a play around with the software.”

In the six years since GIS Day has been celebrated on the Island it has been well received by the public and by children. The GIS team this year hopes that the day will be buzzing, with people wanting to learn more about how the GIS software works and how it helps both the St Helena Government and the general public.

This year’s theme is ‘The Importance of Data Sharing’ which Murray explains is very important to GIS: “Sharing data with the GIS Office is important, for example in terms of water infrastructure on the Island. Currently we do not have as much digital data on water infrastructure as we should and we are now in the process of working with Connect Saint Helena to survey all the water lines and produce a digital map showing the specific location of the various water lines throughout the Island.”

Murray has recently returned from a GIS Conference in Gibraltar where he was able to learn how other Overseas Territories use GIS. He commented: “A lot of the Overseas Territories use GIS in different ways but there was one Territory that worked similarly to the GIS Office here – but using a wider range of technology. It was good to see how everyone uses GIS, for example in planning or environmental work.” Something that Murray learnt while at the conference that he hopes to introduce to the GIS Office on St Helena is a new piece of software called QGIS.

Murray explained: “QGIS is the same type of system we use here but it’s free, so whilst we have to pay for some things you can get real benefits from free software. We will be exploring whether we can implement this into our GIS Office to save costs on software.” Interested to learn more about GIS? Then don’t forget that Wednesday 20 November is GIS Day.

Why not go along to the GIS Office and have a browse, you never know what interesting facts you may discover.

SHG 18 November 2013


EXCO MEETING – TUESDAY 19 NOVEMBER 2013

Open to the Public from 9.30am

Executive Council will meet on Tuesday 19 November 2013, in the Council Chamber. 

Commencing at 9.30am, the meeting will open to the public for the first agenda item, Revoking of Customs Exemption.

 

Executive Council Members are: Ian Rummery, Cyril George, Christine Scipio O’Dean, Leslie Baldwin and Derek Thomas (in Lawson Henry’s absence).   

SHG

15 November 2013


COMMONWEALTH ESSAY GOLD WINNER

Every year, the Commonwealth Essay Competition encourages and inspires young writers to submit their stories from all over the world.  This year was a record breaking year for the competition with entries exceeding 11,000 and over 70 judges involved in selection.

The competition, free and open to Commonwealth citizens worldwide aged 18 or under, offers the opportunity for young people to get their voices heard.  All winners and special commendations of Gold, Silver and Bronze receive certificates before the end of 2013.

This morning (13 November) at Harford School a certificate presentation was held for student David Owen (now attending Prince Andrew School).  David was awarded Gold for his tale ‘Quick Thinking Saved the Day’. 

Head Teacher Carlene Crowie commented that David’s story was in the top 150 entries from a total of 11,000 across the Commonwealth and the only child from St Helena in this year’s competition to achieve this award – making it even more special.

Colin Moore, Director of Education and Employment, commented on David’s success:

“It’s an absolutely fantastic story.  On behalf of Harford we would like to say how proud we are of you and how pleased we are for you and I think there are a few children in the audience this morning who would also like to have a golden certificate one day as well.”

David spoke of his inspiration for the story:

 “I was reading this book, where this guy was going to this night club and he was dressing up as a vampire slayer with electric blue hair and it described him as very skinny and I suppose that’s where I got my inspiration from for the skeleton figures.”

Carlene gave further thanks to David’s previous teachers Ethel Benjamin (sadly no longer with us) and Marilyn Joshua, who helped him progress into a winning storyteller.

SHG
13 November 2013


ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE MEETING, 7 NOVEMBER 2013 - SUMMARY

 An Economic Development Committee meeting was held on 7 November 2013 in the Council Chamber at the Castle. Present at the meeting  was Deputy Chairman, Derek Thomas, Councillors Bernice Olsson, Gavin Ellick and Les Baldwin along with Interim Director of Environment and Natural Resources, Paul McGinnety, Financial Secretary, Colin Owen, Michielle Yon from Enterprise St Helena and Committee Secretary, Connie Johnson.

The meeting commenced with two items held in closed session – Acting Attorney General, Frank Wastell was present for the first item.

Following the discussion of these two items, the meeting was then opened to the public.

On the open agenda a request was made from the Farmers Association, as to what the long-term plans were in relation to water for irrigation purposes.  Connect Saint Helena reported that currently there are no plans to make any significant changes to the irrigation requirements, other than to maintain the systems already in place.  The Farmers Association will be advised that they should identify any future development requirements, which should then be properly costed and submitted for consideration as part of SHG’s Infrastructure Plans as a bid for Capital Project Funding.

The next item was a Fisheries Decision Paper presented by Head of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Division (ANRD), Darren Duncan, seeking support from the committee to prioritise under-spent funding (during the Budget Supplementary Appropriation – due to be held early in the New Year), to support the St Helena Fishermen’s Association. The money would be used for a stake in an offshore fishing vessel and for the St Helena Fisheries Corporation to purchase fishing equipment for the vessel. The committee was supportive of the request.

Finally, there was an update by Michielle Yon on the activities undertaken by Enterprise St Helena (ESH) during the past month.  The ESH annual programme continues to progress in supporting local businesses and agriculture. Under the Public Private Partnership with ANRD and ESH, one application has been approved, with a further three anticipated this month. Support has also been given in fruit tree propagation and work has started with the Growers Co-operative to increase storage for local produce.  In relation to potential hotel developers and investor interests, draft copies of the Cost Benefit Analysis and Independent Investor Study reports had been received – ESH has provided feedback on these reports and is now awaiting the final copies due later this month.

Derek Thomas

Deputy Chairman

Economic Development Committee

SHG

12 November 2013


SCHOOL SPRUCE UPDATE

‘School Spruce’, a community based project aiming to visually and physically improve St Helena’s three primary schools, started in August of this year.

Since then St Paul’s, Harford and Pilling Primary Schools, along with St Helena Government, the private sector, St Helena National Trust, Enterprise St Helena, civil society, parents, teachers and the children themselves – have all been working together to plan how they would like each of their schools to be improved.

One of the main areas identified for improvement is the play facilities at each school and the project will provide a play area for each school with the help of volunteers, and using donated recycled materials.

At Harford Primary School a Sponsored Spell will take place on Monday 25 November to support the school’s literacy programme and raise funds for the project. A working group comprising parents and other volunteers has been established and donations for playground equipment have been received. The school is now organising a building day for early in the New Year.

At Pilling Primary the playground at the Education Learning Centre has been secured for additional play space and a business plan has been submitted and monies approved for improvement. A Sponsored Walk and a dolphin trip has also been organised by the school in partnership with parents to secure additional funding for the project.  A Working Group of parents is now voluntarily building playground equipment with the actual building of the playground due to take place in the New Year.

St Paul’s Primary will this Saturday (16 November), start building the Early Years’ playground. On the day, parents and other volunteers will be preparing the playground, levelling, sanding, cleaning, cutting, painting tyres, and building structures. Endemics will also be planted on the day. A pot of pilau will be provided for all the hard workers.

Project Lead, Paul McGinnety said:

“It’s all good news with the School Spruce project – we are moving forward and it is excellent to see everyone working together to make a difference.”

SHG

12 November 2013


SHG SEEKS COMMENTS ON NEW HOUSING POLICIES

St Helena Government is seeking comments from the public on a range of new housing policies. Among these new policies is an improvement in the way that SHG decides who to house.

Housing Executive, Andy Crowe explained:

“At the moment, we have a complicated points system and we want to simplify it and limit it to those actually in need of housing and those who cannot afford to buy on the open market.

“We would like to give priority to local people in overcrowded, unhealthy housing as well as those at risk of homelessness, with additional priority to people who have a health problem which their current situation makes worse. We also want to direct those who register to the housing opportunities that best suit their needs.

“If an applicant can afford discounted market housing or to build their own home then we will add them to the waiting list for that type of housing. This will then help us to decide how many such homes we need to help create.”

More detail on the new housing policies are contained in a report submitted to the Social Community and Development Committee. To view a copy of the full report or to have a face to face discussion of the ideas being promoted, please contact Andy Crowe at Essex House or by phone on 22270.

The deadline for comments is 30 November 2013.

SHG will be inviting comments on the other proposals over the next three weeks.

SHG

12 November 2013


Closing Date for 2014 Birthday Honours

The public are reminded that the closing date for submitting nominations for the Queen’s 2014 Birthday Honours is Friday, 8 November 2013.

Nomination forms are available from Corporate Services at the Castle and completed forms should be returned to Mrs Carol George, Executive Secretary, Honours Committee, in a sealed envelope, marked ‘Confidential’, by close of play on Friday, 8 November 2013.

Persons wishing to submit nominations should remember that honours are awarded on merit for exceptional achievement or any service recently carried out over and above of what normally is expected. Where possible, nominations should place emphasis on voluntary services. It should also be noted that age is not a factor in awarding honours and younger members of the community who have made an outstanding contribution or given exceptional service, should not be overlooked.

The Castle
SHG

30 October 2013


100 Years for 'Ma Flo'

To celebrate the 100th Birthday of Mrs Florence Richards – better known as ‘Ma Flo’- a tea party was hosted by His Excellency Governor and Mrs Capes on Monday 28 October at Plantation House.

Ma Flo with Governor and Mrs Capes
Ma Flo with Governor and Mrs Capes

Joined by her children, grandchildren and immediate family, Ma Flo enjoyed tea and eats with warm words from Governor Capes, who said:

‘It was a great honour for Tamara and I to host a 100th birthday tea party at Plantation House for such a lovely lady. Ma Flo is a very special Saint, a real treasure. Her warm personality, combined with such a cheerful and positive outlook on life, makes it a pleasure to be in her company. As Ma Flo told me yesterday afternoon, having the celebration at Plantation House had special meaning for her as she used to work here many years ago. Thank you Ma Flo for your great contribution to St Helena and for touching so many lives through your fine example.’

To add to her special occasion, Ma Flo was fortunate to be joined by two of her daughters who had travelled especially from the UK and Cape Town to celebrate this occasion with their Mother. One of Ma Flo’s sons had also visited her recently, but could not stay on for her birthday celebrations.

The tea party was greatly appreciated by Ma Flo and her family and all thanked the Governor and Mrs Capes for their warm hospitality as they enjoyed the afternoon with St Helena’s Centenarian under the St Helena flags.

SHG
29 October 2013


CONSTITUENCY MEETINGS IN NOVEMBER

Legislative Councillors will be holding a series of public meetings in November.  During the Constituency meetings there will be a minimum of three members present at each meeting.

Agenda items planned to be discussed in the meetings include benefits and the Sainsbury Report, The Lucy Faithful Report and a communications strategy for Councillors.  Members of the public are also encouraged to raise any issues not covered in the agenda at the constituency meetings.

The schedule is displayed below.  All meetings will begin at 7.00pm instead of 7.30pm as originally stated.

Wednesday 6 November, Blue Hill Community Centre, attended by Tony Green, Cyril George and Gavin Ellick

Thursday 7 November, Ruperts (St Michael’s Church), attended by Tony Duncan, Bernice Olsson and Ian Rummery

Tuesday 12 November, Jamestown Community Centre, attended by Bernice Olsson, Ian Rummery and Christine Scipio O’Dean

Wednesday 13 November, Longwood (Harford Community Centre), attended by Brian Isaac, Les Baldwin and Ian Rummery

Wednesday 20 November, Levelwood (Silver Hill Bar), attended by Brian Issac, Christine Scipio O’Dean and Tony Duncan

Thursday 21 November, St Pauls (Kingshurst Community Centre), attended by Nigel Dollery, Derek Thomas and Gavin Ellick

Wednesday 27 November, HTH Community Centre, attended by Nigel Dollery, Derek Thomas and Les Baldwin

Thursday 28 November, Sandy Bay Community Centre, attended by Tony Green, Cyril George and Tony Duncan 

These are the first scheduled Constituency Meetings for this elected Legislative Council.

SHG

29 October 2013

 


Quarterly Statistical News Bulletin - October 2013

The Quarterly Statistical News Bulletin, published in October 2013, covers the period July – September 2013 and contains updates for the annual rate of inflation of the Retail Price Index (RPI), Estimated Population and Visitor arrivals to St Helena.

Annual inflation of the RPI stood at 0.5 per cent in Quarter 3 2013 – the lowest recorded rate in over ten years. There has been a 0.05 per cent decrease in the RPI (the overall cost of the ‘St Helena Shopping Basket’) from Quarter 2 to Quarter 3, 2013.

The low rate of annual inflation of the RPI indicates that the size and importance of recorded price changes in the overall shopping basket are largely balanced. The single most noteworthy effect this quarter is a 10 per cent reduction in the cost of Broadband internet services.

The published figures for annual inflation of the RPI reflect the rate of change in price of goods and services in the St Helena Shopping Basket, which represents the weekly expenditure of a “typical” St Helenian household. Individual households will have a differing spending pattern which means that their personal figure for inflation may be more closely represented by inflation in the sub-categories of the RPI. It should be noted that annual inflation in the Food sub-category has dropped for the last three quarters and currently stands at 1.0 per cent, double the headline rate of inflation. However, over the last quarter there has been a 0.3 per cent reduction in the overall cost of items in the Food sub-category. Of all sub-categories in the Shopping Basket, it is price changes associated with Food items which are most obvious to the majority of consumers and are most keenly felt by low income households.

The St Helena resident population continues to grow. There is a temporary long-term increase as a result of increasing numbers of expatriate Basil Read and Government workers living on the Island for an extended period, but we are also seeing a number of Saints returning to live and work on the Island.

Visitor arrivals in the first nine months of 2013 are up by 18.1 per cent compared to the same period last year. The majority of arrivals on the RMS are Saints and Business visitors. Tourist arrivals are up by 10.2 per cent compared to the same period in 2012, an additional 36 people in real terms.

The Statistical News Bulletin, along with other statistical reports, is available for download from the SHG website www.sainthelena.gov.sh/statistics.

If you have requested a copy of the Quarterly Statistical News Bulletin via email and have not yet received it, please contact the office on 22138 or statistics@sainthelena.gov.sh.
Statistics Office

SHG
28 October 2013


EXCO REPORT- 22 OCTOBER 2013

Good Day everyone,

ExCo met today, Tuesday 22October, to discuss three items on the open agenda.

The first item concerned a number of follow up actions pertaining to the Telecommunications and TV Broadcasting Licence that were issued to Sure Atlantic Ltd last year.  Initially it was felt that this item should have been endorsed by the Economic Development Committee before coming to ExCo.  In the open session it was therefore deferred, but upon further discussion it was accepted that this item should be presented by the Chief Secretary, as there were no policy changes but rather operational actions that were necessary to ensure compliance with the licences. The principle of getting political endorsement for policy changes or initiatives from the responsible committee was re-affirmed but considered unnecessary on this occasion.

The Service Level Agreement as provided by Sure for businesses and government subscribers was endorsed by ExCo and the tariffs which were implemented on the 1January 2013 were noted.  It was further agreed that Sure no longer needs to provide Operator Assisted Calls but will do so in cases of emergency.  This was only in relation to international calls and not other operator services such as directory enquiries.

As part of this item ExCo was asked to agree that the Deputy Chief Secretary authorise locally produced material for broadcast on TV.  This is the half hour slot allocated for local TV production each day. Under the previous license there was an informal agreement that the Chief Secretary or Deputy Chief Secretary should authorise such programmes.  There was a discussion as to whether the responsibility should fall to a government official and it was agreed that subject to certain conditions this would be acceptable.  The conditions are that there will be a set of criteria that any programme must meet before broadcast and if a programme is refused then this must be referred to ExCo for a final decision.

The second item was a request from SAMS to allow them temporary use of a frequency for them to overcome difficulties with transmission of the BBC World Service.  There was concern that this could impact on other frequencies and it was agreed that SAMS will report progress and any problems to the next Economic Development Committee. 

The final item on the open agenda was the Application for Development Permission for Proposed Development of 65 dwellings including detailed permission for 14 homes.  For this item, Mr David Taylor, Head of Planning and Building, was invited to join the discussion.

Mr Taylor gave a short presentation on the development and answered specific technical questions.  There were nine planning conditions imposed on this development, which will be made publicly available, and a tenth condition that there be a temporary construction management plan applied to ensure neighbours are not disturbed unduly during construction.

The main points discussed were that:

  • While the 14 houses have reference designs, the actual method of construction will be determined during the tender process.
  • That five self-build plots are included in the original proposal but that this will be reviewed subject to demand
  • The sale of land is not bound to the current pricing structure as proposals for affordable land sales are currently being discussed in Committee.

As there has been extensive consultation on this ExCo agreed to the development.

Under AOB the present situation with the shortage of UK Sterling was raised.  This is of concern to the community as it is causing difficulties for Saints who are travelling overseas.  Importation of UK Sterling is a very complex issue as there are restrictions on transporting currency and significant costs involved.  The Financial Secretary confirmed that he had been in discussion with the Bank of St Helena to help to alleviate the immediate problem.  Longer term, there is a need for a comprehensive review on whether we retain our own currency which will include public consultation.

The meeting closed at 11:45

Thank you for listening.

SHG

22 October 2013

 

 

 

 

 


A NEW CHIEF OF POLICE

Trevor Botting who recently arrived on Island will take on the role as Police Chief for a contract period of three years. Trevor will be responsible for the Police, Prison, Fire, Sea Rescue and Immigration services.

Peter Coll, Trevor Botting
Peter Coll, Trevor Botting

Peter Coll, the current Chief of Police, has served in his role for four years and will depart St Helena on 7 November 2013.  During a two week period Peter will conduct an induction and hand over process, with Trevor officially becoming the Chief of Police on Monday 28 October 2013, supported by Peter until his departure.

Peter said:

“It has been a privilege to serve as Chief of Police. This has been the most challenging and rewarding job in my 33 years in the Police Service. I am very grateful for the dedication and support provided to me by some very good staff and volunteers over that time. It is their sense of duty that very much keeps the Police Directorate running. My wife Julie and I have made many friends during our time here and we look forward to returning to visit to see how St Helena develops. It is a special place with special people.”

Trevor’s role before taking on employment in St Helena was with Sussex Police as Crime Operations Superintendent, responsible for crime investigations, specialist investigations including child protection and the response to emergency calls, managing 500 officers and staff across a large geographical area.  Trevor has nearly 30 years experience as a Police Officer, with accreditations as a Firearms Commander, Post Incident Manager and Hostage and Crises Negotiator.

 

HE Governor Capes commented:

‘‘I am very grateful to Peter Coll for his loyal service to the people of St Helena and Ascension Island.  I have enjoyed working with him and greatly valued his professional and good humoured approach to the many different problems that landed on his desk during his four years here.    

“Trevor Botting brings with him much valuable experience as a senior UK Police Officer, including from a stint in charge of policing at Gatwick airport.

“Trevor will have my full support as he sets about his important work.  I hope too that he will have the support of everyone who lives here to help keep St Helena (and Ascension Island) a safe and pleasant place for all to enjoy.”

During his command at Gatwick airport Trevor carried out a restructuring of the policing operation there.  In a previous role as an Inspector at Gatwick he introduced an airport community policing team to compliment the armed deployments as part of the overall policing operation.

Trevor said:

“My wife and I (who will join Trevor in December) are delighted to have the opportunity to live and work in such a special and unique place. It will be a privilege to lead the diverse teams that make up the Policing Directorate in serving the people of St Helena. I look forward to getting to know the people and the Island over the coming months.” 

SHG

22 October 2013


ROCKFALL ON LADDER HILL ROAD

On Thursday afternoon last week there was a Rockfall that occurred on Ladder Hill Road.  The Rockguards responded immediately to investigate and the rock was found to have landed just above China Lane.  At approximately 50cm across this was one of the largest to land on the road in recent years. 

The road, including that of Ladder Hill, was closed for access whilst the Rockguards investigated the source of the rockfall. Some traffic exited Jamestown using Shy Road, but for most, entry or exit from Jamestown was not possible.

Work on the Road Closure (Briars to Gordons Post) stopped shortly before 4pm, to make preparations to let traffic through the work site. These preparations took until 4:30pm, by which time the Rockguards had found the source of the rockfall and identified that there was no further danger to the public.

Ladder Hill and Two Gun Saddle opened to traffic around 4:30pm with Two Gun Saddle closing again around 5pm.

Dave Malpas, Roads Manager, said:

“I would like to publicly thank the Rockguards for climbing the hill to investigate the cause of the rockfall in high winds.”

“I would also like to thank the Roads Section who responded swiftly in reopening the worksite, as well as the public for their cooperation.”

SHG

22 October 2013


ROAD CLOSURE – WEEK 1 PROGRESS REPORT

The public were advised that with effect from Monday 14 October 2013, the road between the Briars and Gordons Post would be closed for 10 weeks, to allow essential works to take place.  Work has begun on wall repairs, slipper drains, patching, surfacing and laying the new water main.  

Dave Malpas, Roads Manager commented:

“We have thirty five staff members of the Roads Section currently working on site, who have encountered good weather in the first week.  We have also been fortunate that most of the excavations have not hit hard material; however with many still to occur the likeliness of hitting hard rock and slowing down work is possible.  Our progress is slightly ahead of schedule, but we will wait to see if the weather over the weekend has hindered our head start.” 

It has been noted that over the weekend some drivers who were not allowed to access the closure have driven through unauthorised.  These occurrences have been reported to the Police and further monitoring and enforcement will be carried out during the closure.

Dave Malpas added:

“This behaviour is unsafe for the drivers as well as irresponsible, and has direct implications in hindering the work currently being done on the closure.  I would like to thank the public who have continued to cooperate.  Roads Section is working hard to complete the task and reopen the road as soon as possible.”

A short film displaying the work being conducted on the road between the Briars and Gordons Post will be shown on local TV channel 1 from Monday 21 October (at 8pm) to Thursday 24 October.

SHG

21 October 2013

 


ROAD CLOSURE FILM TO BE SHOWN ON LOCAL TV

 

A short film displaying the work being conducted on the road closed between the Briars and Gordons Post will be shown on local TV channel 1 from Monday 21 October at (8pm) to Thursday 24 October.

The public were advised that with effect from Monday 14 October 2014, the road between the Briars and Gordons Post would be closed for a 10 week period.

The closure will cause significant traffic disruption to the Island during this time, with only Emergency Services and residents routinely allowed access along the route.

The film displays the ongoing work of the Roads Section, showing footage of base patching, surfacing and work on the retaining wall structures.  Interviews are also conducted with masons and charge hands working on site.  

The schedule of the film might be subject to slight amendments, due to the current programmes being shown on the local TV channels – but the film will air on local TV Channel 1 each evening until Thursday 24 October. 

SHG

21 October 2013 

 


EXCO MEETING – TUESDAY 22 OCTOBER 2013

Open to the Public from 9.30am

Executive Council will meet on Tuesday 22 October 2013 in the Council Chamber. 

Commencing at 9.30am, the meeting will be open to the public for the first three agenda items: Telecommunications Licence – Service Level Agreement & TV Rebroadcasting Licence (Broadcast Content); South Atlantic Media Services – Request for an Additional Frequency; and Application for Development Permission for Proposed Layout for 65 Dwellings, including detailed Permission for 14 Dwellings.

Executive Council Members are: Lawson Henry, Ian Rummery, Cyril George, Christine Scipio O’Dean and newly elected Member Leslie Baldwin.   

SHG

21 October 2013


FINANCIAL AND FORENSIC AUDIT TRAINER

 

Llewelyn Williams
Llewelyn Williams

On Island for three weeks is Financial and Forensic Audit Trainer Llewelyn Williams.  Llewelyn will conduct a series of training sessions in HM Customs and Revenue in the area of process checking to ensure the local Tax Office staff develop the correct skills and principles to access and analyse information. 

Llewelyn will also conduct training on forensics as well as money laundering.  He commented:   

“Forensics means basically to look at something in detail and to search for something that isn’t apparent to others.

“If you are looking at an individual’s tax records for example, staff need to be keeping an eye out for anything in the books that might be indicative of money laundering.”  

 

Based at the terminal building at the Wharf, Llewelyn will also be checking the current systems and sharing his experiences and knowledge of running a tax office in the UK. 

 

Llewelyn has over thirty years experience in the UK in her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) with specialties in tax fraud investigating and consultancy. LLewelyn said:  

 

“In essence, my job is to make sure the right person pays the right tax at the right time.” 

 

 

SHG

21 October 2013


STEEL FRAMED HOMES

On 27 August 2013, St Helena Government (SHG) held an Open Day at one of the three new steel framed Government Landlord homes at Bottom Woods.

In an interview at the time, Housing Executive, Andy Crowe explained that the three homes took approximately eight months from start on site to completion and cost just over £50, 000 each to build. Included in the cost were a fully fitted kitchen, bathroom, carpeting and tiling.

SHG wish to make it known that the cost was understated and that approximately £66,680 were actually spent on each property to cover various costs including basic construction, pavements and drainage, retaining wall, internal design, project management, plans and landscaping and other minor works.

SHG
18 October 2013


SIX MONTH PROGRESS REPORT ON SHG CAPITAL PROGRAMME 2013-14

The delivery of the 2013-14 Capital Programme has now reached the halfway point and brings to an end the existing DfID business case, with documentation for the remaining six months currently being drafted.
The Capital Programme, made up of 31 individual projects, is managed by the SHG Programme Management Unit (PMU), and has been in place since March 2013. Delivery of the programme is reviewed regularly by elected members and SHG staff and is currently on target with significant progress being made on a number of key projects.

Work has been carried out on all Island schools and contracts have been awarded to local contractors to carry out stabilisation work at Quincy Vale, refurbishment of the Police Victim Suite and the rewiring of the Government Landlord Housing (GLH) flats in Jamestown, alongside additional works to GLH properties as they become vacant.

Cape Villa, the Prison, Half Tree Hollow Housing and the Challenging Behaviour Unit are in the final stages of detailed design work to form the tender documents to be advertised for bids from contractors in the coming months.

Connect Saint Helena have taken delivery of the additional six wind turbines to extend the Island’s use of renewable energy and are continuing with the planned upgrades to water treatment works across St Helena. The report to inform investment and upgrading work on sewerage across the Island is underway and is expected at the end of the year.

Work to improve the Horse Point Landfill facility is expected to commence next month along with work to upgrade the paving on Main Street in Jamestown and major road improvement works. The new ASCUYDA system for Customs will be operational very soon and initial design work for a slipway at the wharf in Jamestown is underway.

DfID On-Island Representative, Eddie Palmer said:

“It’s good to see real progress on improving the Island’s infrastructure, with the problems of the past being overtaken by a much stronger approach to planning, programming and implementation of individual projects. SHG and in particular the PMU are to be congratulated. Long may it continue!”

Eddie was also pleased to announce that DfID had secured an additional £900,000 funding for infrastructure on St Helena for this financial year. This means the total DfID funding for infrastructure this year will be £5.9million.

SHG
16 October 2013


PEACOCK BUTTERFLY

A live Peacock butterfly was found flying in a container from the UK following the arrival of the RMS voyage 198. It was spotted by a member of the public and removed by a customs officer, before being handed over to the Biosecurity Team.

Peacock butterflies are common in the UK during summer. The caterpillars feed on nettles and hop plants, before crawling off to find a secure, dry place for turn into a chrysalis. They will spend up to 4 weeks as a chrysalis before hatching into the adult butterfly, which is large, red in colour and so-called due to the big blue eye-spots on the wings which look like the spots on a peacocks tail.

The butterfly found on the wharf would have hatched before arrival from a chrysalis which is thought to have been carried into the container attached to items being imported, or the caterpillar could even have crawled into the container itself.  It will be put down, pinned and added to our reference collection.

The Peacock butterfly isn’t known to be a crop pest, and this is the first recording for St Helena. If you see any others, please call Rosie Peters or Jill Key at ANRD on 24724.

SHG

16 October 2013


HARFORD SCHOOL PROMOTES DROP EVERYTHING AND READ

Harford Primary School hosted a drop everything and read day (DEAR) on Friday the 11 October.  Drop everything and read encouraged parents, family members and guardians to interact with children, listening to them read and guest speakers were also present reading to pupils.  

All primary schools have taken on reading day initiatives to develop and promote the importance of English and Reading. 

The fancy dress theme day encouraged pupils as well as teachers to tap into their imaginations and bring to life characters written in the pages.  Every class year had a different theme, nursery had Disney, Reception dressed in job roles, Year 1/2 took on the theme of traditional stories, Year 3/4 myths and legends and 5/6 visited the past and dressed in the Victorian era.

Marilyn Joshua, Advanced Skilled Teacher in English commented:

“The children showed real enthusiasm, and worked hard on their objectives for the day.  All classes had different activities relating to their themed topic and followed activities on character descriptions, biographies and identifying vocabulary.”

A show and tell assembly was held at the end of the day so children could display their achievements.

This reading day initiative builds upon the reading champion scheme implemented within the primary schools, of encouraging children to read at home and being rewarded in school through their efforts.  At Harford, bonus points are collated and recorded into the merit system; a reading champion will also be crowned at the end of the school year for the best reader in early year’s key stage 1 and 2. 

Marilyn said:

“It is important to encourage reading as it is essential and can be tapped into whatever path you choose.  The goal is for children when they grow up to pick up any book and be able to understand the language used, understand the story and be able read.”    

Photos attached submitted by Harford Primary School.

SHG

15 October 2013


SAFER PESTICIDE PRACTICES

In August, the four main importers of pesticides to the island, Queen Mary Stores, Solomons, St Helena Growers Co-operative Society and WA Thorpe and Sons signed a voluntary code of practice together with the Agriculture and Natural Resources Division (ANRD), agreeing on standards for the way in which pesticides are stored and offered for sale to the public. The code aims to take steps to protect the public from the adverse effects of pesticides and ensure their safe and effective use to produce high quality pest and disease-free crops.

Pesticides are valuable tools in the battle against pests and weeds, but being poisons can be dangerous if not treated with respect. Risks run from the sales staff who handle the boxes, the sprayers and non-targets.   

Earl Henry of the St Helena Growers commented:

 “The use of pesticides is now a fact of life for us on St Helena; however we must carefully manage their uses to protect both the environment and the food chain.”  

Pesticides are formulated in two grades, home and garden use for the general public, and professional use, which are intended for use only by trained professionals.

Under the voluntary code, in the future professional use of products will only be sold to people who have received the required training. One of ANRD’s commitments is to provide this training for anyone interested in using pesticides and the first course will take place in January 2014, with funding assistance from Enterprise St Helena. A call for expressions of interest in getting training in pesticide use should call ANRD on 24724. Further course information, dates, venues and application details will soon be provided.

Darren Duncan, Head of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Division said:

This Code of Practice is a small but important step towards a more comprehensive pesticide management system for the Island.”

SHG

15 October 2013

 


CONSTITUENCY MEETINGS

Legislative Councillors will be holding a series of public meetings in November.  During the Constituency meetings there will be a minimum of three Legislative Council representatives present at each meeting.

An agenda will be published shortly, in order for core issues involving the Island to be addressed.

Members of the public will also be given the opportunity to raise their concerns with Legislative Councillors. Should any member of the public wish to place an item for consideration on the agenda prior to the meetings please contact Anita Legg on 22590 by Friday the 1 November.

The schedule is displayed below, all meetings to start at 7.30pm:

Wednesday 6 November, Blue Hill Community Centre, attended by Tony Green, Cyril George and Gavin Ellick

Thursday 7 November, Ruperts (St Michael’s Church), attended by Tony Duncan, Bernice Olsson and Ian Rummery

Tuesday 12 November, Jamestown Community Centre, attended by Bernice Olsson, Ian Rummery and Christine Scipio O’Dean

Wednesday 13 November, Longwood (Harford Community Centre), attended by Brain Isaac, Les Baldwin and Ian Rummery

Wednesday 20 November, Levelwood (Silver Hill Bar), attended by Brain Issac, Christine Scipio O’dean and Tony Duncan

Thursday 21 November, St Pauls Kingshurst Community Centre, attended by Nigel Dollery, Derek Thomas and Gavin Ellick

Wednesday 27 November, HTH Community Centre, attended by Nigel Dollery, Derek Thomas and Les Baldwin

Thursday 28 November, Sandy Bay Community Centre, attended by Tony Green, Cyril George and Tony Duncan 

These are the first scheduled Constituency meetings for this elected Legislative Council.

SHG

15 October 2013

 


ENVIRONMENTAL POLICIES – PUBLIC CONSULTATIONS

The Environmental Management Division currently has three draft environmental policies out for public consultation; these are Underwater Blasting, Peaks National Park Management Development Plan and Environmental Research Permitting.

Underwater Blasting provides a procedure for any blasting work to take place in or near the marine environment.  There are a growing number of potential coastal developments which have the potential to impact the marine environment during construction and the policy aims to minimise the negative impact on marine life.

The Peaks National Park Management Development Plan provides a legal basis for this National Conservation Area.  The plan has been devised after consultation involving workshops and meetings with stakeholders and individual land owners.  It aims to incorporate a number of functions and values including ecosystem services, conservation of native and endemic species and habitats, access for the local community as well as tourists.

The Environmental Research Permitting policy provides a framework to establish an environmental research permitting system, the aim of which is to effectively manage environmental research on the Island.  Research permitting systems have been introduced across a number of small islands including UK Overseas Territories.

The environmental research permitting policy recognises the value of environmental research – to the individual researchers themselves; their research institute; the international research community; and to St Helena, our environment and our people.

Acting Head of EMD, Isabel Peters said:

“A lot of preparatory work, led by EMD staff with input from key stakeholders, was done to get the policies to a stage where they could be taken out for public consultation. The draft policies were put forward to the ENRD committee in September and were approved for public consultation, which commenced soon after.”

As part of this consultation a public meeting is scheduled for the 17 of October at the ESH Information and Business Centre, located upstairs at the Canister.  The session which will start at 4.30pm and will provide an opportunity for anyone interested to learn more about the policies and ask questions and provide feedback.

The deadline for the public consultation has now been extended to allow further public input and will draw to a close on the 21 October 2013. 

Comments will then be collated and the documents revised to be presented to the ENRD committee for their final endorsement.  All documents and summaries are available on the SHG website on the following link: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/

SHG

15 October 2013


FINANCIAL STATEMENTS FOR 2011-12 SIGNED OFF

At the most recent open session of Executive Council the first ever set of Financial Statements for St Helena Government (SHG), on an accruals basis, under the International Public Sector Accounting Standards was signed by the Financial Secretary.  The opinion on these accounts was then given by the Chief Auditor.  This was an important step for SHG and further emphasises the open and transparent approach being taken by Government.

The Financial Secretary, Colin Owen, stated:

 “The Financial Statements are the most important financial documents ever produced by SHG. They provide for the first time a comprehensive and detailed picture of Government’s financial position.  The level of detail now being published surpasses anything previously issued and provides an excellent starting position for us to work on and improve.  We will be looking to provide detailed financial discussion and analysis as a forward to the accounts in the future.” 

Since June of this year St Helena Government has issued a monthly Performance Report giving an overview of SHG’s performance, corporate risk management, balance sheet, income and expenditure and capital expenditure.

Colin continued:

 “These Financial Statements add to the open approach being applied by Government and support our monthly report process.

“Overall I believe that the new format provides the reader with a better understanding of how SHG is doing, both financially and also in achieving the priorities set out in the Sustainable Development Plan.  Finally, I would like to thank all the staff within Corporate Finance and the St Helena Audit Service for their great efforts in producing and auditing the Statements.”   

All of the abovementioned documents can be found on the SHG website via the below links:

 St Helena Governments Financial Statements 2011-12

http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/SHG-Audited-Financial-Statements-2011-12.pdf

Monthly Performance Reports

http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/

SHG

15 October 2013


ROAD CLOSURE AND PUBLIC TRANSPORT

 

To reduce the impact of the Briars to Gordon’s Post road closure on members of the public, it has been agreed that there will not be any increase in bus fares for passengers utilising the public transport service routes A and G as a result of the longer journey into Jamestown.

The environmental, social and economic consequences of increasing fares have all been taken into consideration in arriving at this decision.  It is also intended to monitor the usage of these routes to ensure that there are no capacity issues for the public transport service.  Should sufficient demand exist, the possibility of providing an additional bus to cater for extra passengers will be given consideration.

Copies of revised timetables for routes A and G are available from Joshua’s Taxis, the Tourist Office and the Customer Services Centre in Jamestown.

SHG

11 October 2013


New Tristan da Cunha Administrator Appointed

Governor Mark Capes has appointed a new Administrator for Tristan da Cunha, Mr Alex Mitham.

Mr Mitham took up his post on 23 September 2013 and replaces previous Administrator, Sean Burns.

In addition to his post as Administrator, Mr Mitham will also serve as the Island’s Magistrate.

SHG
30 September 2013


New Procurement Regulations Implemented

The Governor has recently approved the new Procurement Regulations which replace the Contract Regulations 2006.

The new Procurement Regulations have introduced a number of new concepts that reflect a more modern procurement approach and are therefore significantly different to the old Contract Regulations, the main changes being:

•The threshold before the regulations apply has risen to £5,000. A number of other thresholds have also risen to reflect the fact that global prices have risen since the previous regulations were published.
•All procurements above £5,000 must be on a Rolling Procurement Plan before any procurement activity can take place. The Rolling Procurement Plan will be published on the SHG Website to ensure suppliers have increased visibility of upcoming procurement opportunities.
•The main procurement decisions with SHG will be based on risk and not value to ensure appropriate scrutiny of higher risk procurements whilst allowing the routine ones to proceed quicker and with less bureaucracy.
•Procurement Services (the old Central Procurement Unit) will play a much greater role in any Procurement classified as Medium or High risk. This will focus procurement skill and expertise where it is required.
•The main procurement decisions will now take place before the procurement commences to ensure appropriate scrutiny and control of what is to be purchased rather than at the end of the process when it is normally too late to affect the decision.
•The Contract Award process is significantly simplified provided the tenders/quotations are within the boundaries agreed at the commencement stage.
•Tender Board will be replaced by a Procurement Board with a significantly different Terms of Reference to focus on strategic decisions and not on process.
•To ensure greater transparency in the decision making process all waivers to the Regulations and a register of SHG Contracts above £5,000 will be published on the SHG website.

As with all major changes the new regulations have been subject to a phased implementation over the past two months, this has allowed approximately 100 SHG staff to be trained in the new Regulations and the Tender Board to complete its business.

The new Regulations will come into full effect on 1 October 2013. However, until the recruitment of the Head of Procurement Services and a number of other organisational changes are implemented there may be some deviation from the regulations regarding who in SHG conducts the procurement in order to ensure capacity constraints do not significantly impact service delivery.

Copies of the new Procurement Regulations, Terms of Reference for the Procurement Board and process maps which will hopefully help guide people through the new processes, can be found on the SHG website http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/, via email from the Financial Secretary on financial.secretary@sainthelena.gov.sh or by visiting Corporate Procurement at the Castle.

Further, officers within Finance and Corporate Procurement will be happy to discuss the new regulations with any interested parties, so please feel free to contact them via the Castle receptionist on telephone number 2470.

SHG
30 September 2013


Successful Phonics Information Evening

A Phonics Information evening was held at Pilling Primary School for parents of children in the Foundation Stage, Nursery and Reception, on Wednesday 25 September 2013.

The evening was led by the Advisor for Early Years Education, Vivienne Ward, who spoke to lots of parents about how the teaching of Phonics helps children learn to read and why parents’ help in this was essential for good progress. Parents were then able to talk to Early Years staff, ask questions and participate in activities their children would encounter in the classroom. The evening was very well attended and ended with refreshments.

Director of Education and Employment, Colin Moore said

“I am delighted that so many parents attended this session. It is really important that parents can follow up at home what our teachers work on with the children in school. It is also very encouraging that so many parents are already asking for follow up sessions.

“By working together we can really give children the best possible start to life.”

Education and Employment Directorate
SHG
27 September 2013


New Members of Media Standards Commission Appointed

With effect from 26 September 2013, Mr Rodney Buckley and Mr George Stevens have been appointed by His Excellency Governor Capes as Members of the St Helena Media Standards Commission.

The St Helena Media Standards Commission was formed under the Media Standards Ordinance 2011 to monitor and enforce media standards on St Helena and oversee media services delivered in or from the Island. Mr Buckley and Mr Stevens will serve on the Commission with President, Chief Magistrate John MacRitchie and fellow Member Miss Jennifer Corker MBE JP.

SHG
27 September 2013


Architect Leaves Post

SHG’s Conservation Architect, James Stewart is to leave his post in October.

James has been employed with SHG since late 2012 and has focused on a number of key infrastructure projects on the Island such as the temporary Challenging Behaviour Unit and the Jamestown Wharf development.

Acting Environmental and Natural Resources Director, Paul McGinnety commented:

“James has worked well on the Island and he has provided a great deal of support for his local counterparts. We wish him well for the future.”

SHG
27 September 2013


EXEMPTION OF WATER BOTTLES LIFTED

The temporary exemption of water bottles (including bottled water) and water containers from Customs Duty has now been lifted.  Throughout the period of the water shortage on Island, there was a raised concern that if the situation worsened retailers could not meet the demand of the public.  Reducing the level of duty was done to encourage retailers to purchase more items to benefit the needs of their customers.   

Due to the current state of the water situation, the exemption will be lifted commencing from the next Cape Town to St Helena trip expected to arrive 10 October 2013, and will no longer apply to retailers’ importing bottled water to the Island.

SHG

25 September 2013

 


OFFICIAL LAUNCH OF THE APPRENTICESHIP SCHEME

The new Apprenticeship Scheme approved in March this year will be officially launched at the Careers Fair during the opening of the Fair at 10 am on Wednesday the 9 October 2013.  This Scheme makes provision for people of differing ages to access work based training and academic studies.  The scheme aims to provide purposeful and interesting training and study programmes to give people an opportunity to develop in their chosen field and improve their employability.

The new Apprenticeship Scheme replaces the Youth Training Scheme which mainly focused on developing practical skills in the work place.  In addition to the development of practical skills, the new Apprenticeship Scheme aims to incorporate opportunities to achieve accreditation.

The scheme makes provision for four bands, in which successful candidates can select the level of training and qualifications they require.  Band 4 requires higher level of assessed training in the workplace and a higher level of qualifications opposed to a lower level in Band 1.

There have been approximately 35 individuals who have made applications for apprenticeships, 23 have been placed within construction, automotive, nursing and clerical fields whilst studying towards their relevant qualifications which includes, Vocationally Related Qualifications (VRQ’s), National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ’s) and General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE’s).  

On completion of the Apprenticeship scheme, those successful receive certificates, assessment of work reports, accredited qualifications and a bonus.

For those interested in taking part in the apprenticeship scheme contact Cynthia Bennett, Work Development Coordinator on Tel: 2607 or Email: development@education.gov.sh  or attend the Careers Fair on the 9 October to learn more through the scheduled Apprenticeship presentation.

SHG

24 September 2013


LIFTING OF BOIL WATER NOTICE

Connect Saint Helena are pleased to advise the lifting of the boil water notice in the Redhill treatment area.  On 12 June 2013 Connect St Helena issued a press release indicating that because of the problems experienced in supplying water to the Redhill Distribution area, the water quality could not be guaranteed and advised customers as a precautionary measure to boil water needed for domestic purposes.

Across the island Connect Saint Helena has now resumed a ‘business as usual’ status and there are no restrictions currently in place.

On behalf of Connect Saint Helena Ltd

24 September 2013

 


CAREERS FAIR 2013

The Careers Fair 2013 is to be held at Prince Andrew School on 9 October from 10am to 5pm.

A Careers Fair was held last year and was the first in 6 years.  Due to the emphasis of private sector development & recruitment, it was evaluated that the Careers Fair should be held more frequently, encouraging promotion and employment within businesses, as well as promoting career progression.

Working closely with private and public sector employers, the Adult & Vocational Education Service (AVES) intends the Fair to provide information from a varied selection of organisations, on what specific jobs entail and skills and qualifications needed to pursue a chosen career.

Attending this year’s event include representatives from Environment and Natural Resources, Police, Education and Employment, Solomon and Company, Enterprise St Helena and Basil Read.  There will be a range of activities, some more hands on than others displaying specialist equipment which is used in selected businesses and sections within St Helena Government.        

Cynthia Bennett, Work Development Coordinator commented:  

“The Careers Fair is designed for everyone, people who seek personal development, students who have finished their academic education and those wishing a change in their career.  The fair is there to inspire individuals and to highlight that learning never stops.”

Along with displays in various stalls, presentations will also be held in a separate space to allow more detailed and one to one discussions with organisations.

A Career Week is anticipated in the week leading up to the fair, to allow individuals to get a firsthand look of how businesses function and operate and to have an insight into the careers within these businesses, enabling them to establish a career path which they would like to pursue. A schedule for this will be published shortly.

Private and Public Organisations who are interested in setting up a stall, presentation or participating in careers week should contact Cynthia Bennett on Tel: 2607 or Email: development@education.gov.sh  no later than the 1 October 2013.

SHG

24 September 2013 

 


AUTOMATED DATA SYSTEM FOR CUSTOMS MOVES AHEAD

 

St Helena is soon to introduce the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA). This web based system will improve efficiency and speed in the acceptance and clearance of cargo, tax and other paper transactions.  As well as improving and developing Government and statistical information; vital for accurate planning and budgeting.

To install and operate the new system, Government Officers, Jeremy Roberts, Head of Corporate IT and Juliette O’Dean, Customs Administrative Officer recently underwent a programme of training in Geneva.

Delivered by one of the key developers of the ASYCUDA system, Fabian Joseph, the training programme taught Jeremy and Juliette how to use the system and how to then pass their skills on to train colleagues on St Helena. Training was delivered in a dual classroom environment incorporating both Customs and IT systems simultaneously.

As Head of IT Jeremy’s training focused on the technical elements of the ASYCUDA system and with the help of his team at IT he will be supporting the system and maintaining the management of the project here on St Helena. During the duration of the project professional support will also be given from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

Jeremy explained:

“The introduction of the ASYCUDA system to St Helena will allow Customs and Revenue to become more efficient and drive innovation across the whole of the Island. However we must recognise that once it gets rolled out it’s not going to be an instant fix to everything. We are therefore fortunate to have the professional support from our trainer in Geneva who helped to develop the system; any changes made to the software will also be filtered through to St Helena if felt it would work with our system.”

Juliette’s role is a more functional one in that she will manage the day to day operation of the system, trouble shooting and dealing with staff, government and public enquiries.  In moving forward Juliette’s first task is to get the system up and running within the Customs and Revenue section and train Customs and Revenue staff to use the system. Next month IT will deliver a live trial version of the system which will allow Juliette to train her staff over the next three months. During this time IT will continue to build the infrastructure needed to operate the system before it is rolled out to the public. Following staff training the Traders and Brokers will then be trained

It is expected that the system will be rolled out within the next six months.

Juliette explained the benefits of the ASYCUDA system:

“Having the ASYCUDA system on St Helena will move us away from a paper based system to an electronic one. This will then enable Customs and Revenue operations to use more streamlined procedures which will not only benefit Customs and Revenue, but the public as well.”

With the new system Customs entries will need to be electronically submitted through ASYCUDA by the importer themselves.

Juliette continued:

“Everyone will be able to access ASYCUDA via the internet, so customers can pre-clear their goods before collecting from Customs, making the process quicker and more efficient.”

Jeremy added:

“The system will enable Customs and Revenue procedures to become more bearable. We recognise that it will take time for merchants and brokers to get used to the new procedures and we are not expecting people to know everything within the first two months. However people will need to learn these new procedures as eventually the system will be expanded to the airport site and Rupert’s.

“This is just the first stepping stone which means that in the near future further personnel will need to undergo overseas training or a trainer from the UN will need to visit the Island in order for the system to grow and develop.”

SHG would like to thank Peter Henderson, Director General of HM Customs and Revenue who recommended introducing the system to St Helena, staff at HM Customs for their hard work, DfID for their financial assistance, the UNCTAD team in Geneva and Jeremy and Juliette for undertaking the training to enable the project to be delivered

Notes to Editors:

The ASYCUDA system was funded by the Department for International Development.

The system to be used on St Helena is the most up to date version of the software and was designed by a dedicated team from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The system can be found in over 100 jurisdictions worldwide but this is the first time for it to be introduced on an Island as remote as St Helena. (NB Montserrat is smaller than St Helena and has the system).

SHG

23 September 2013

 

 


HORSE POINT LANDFILL SITE REDEVELOPMENT

SHG is preparing the documentation for Basil Read to redevelop the Horse Point landfill site. This is an important component of the Airport Project. The redevelopment will reduce the bird strike risk to aircraft by preventing the exposure of organic waste, which is a food source for birds.  This will also extend the life of the site.

This contract has been agreed under the Single-Sourcing (Basil Read) arrangement, the basis of which is:

  • There should be no impact on delivery of the Airport Project, or additional risk
  • Only large or specialist projects should be considered
    • Projects which deliver benefits to the airport project will be prioritised

Additionally, and in order for the airport to meet certification requirements and be allowed to operate, any airport construction works must meet stringent safety and quality assurance standards. Under the Airport Project, Basil Read is already required to operate to BS EN ISO 9001 (or 9002 as appropriate) international construction standards.

Given the urgency of the timescales and certification issues linked to the airport the regulations were waived in relation to this project. However all future projects using Basil Read through a Single-Source arrangement must firstly seek approval from the SHG Procurement Board, in line with the Procurement Regulations. The project has been fully endorsed and approved by DfID.

As the certification process is likely to start at the end of this year, there is also a tight deadline for completion of the redevelopment of the landfill site. Basil Read has the technical expertise, the economies of scale, the plant, a proven supply chain and the necessary internationally recognised quality standards to undertake the complexities of this large scale project. 

The landfill site redevelopment, under the solid waste management strategy, includes a waste reception building, the excavation of waste cells, the installation of specialist bird netting to cover waste cells, a civic amenity re-cycling facility, methods of preventing groundwater contamination, means for monitoring landfill gas, surface water drainage systems, and improvements to the internal roads to ensure all weather access. In addition, Basil Read are able to use spoil from their construction sites to restore the areas of the landfill site that are currently used for waste disposal, as well as areas that are blighted by surface litter.

The Environmental Management Division has been working with SLR Consulting, a specialist waste management and civil engineering company (who were involved in the development of the Solid Waste Management Strategy) for technical support, design and contract cost assurance.

Horse Point landfill will continue to operate throughout the redevelopment works to ensure that there is no disruption to the current solid waste collection and disposal service however public access may be restricted and this will be communicated accordingly.

The Project Manager for the Solid Waste Management Project is Mike Durnford, EMD’s Manager of Environmental Risk (Designate). The Project Manager for the construction phase is Bill Scanes. Bill was appointed through an open process of Expressions of Interest, Formal Application, Evaluation and Selection.  He has a wealth of knowledge and experience amassed from various projects around the world including the UK, Falkland Islands, South Africa, Libya and the Philippines. Notably Bill was employed as the Chief Engineer on St Helena by SHG between 2004 and 2006.

SHG

20 September 2013


ASPHALT PLANT WRITE-OFF

 This press release outlines a high profile case where the previous SHG procurement process failed, resulting in a ‘write off’ of the acquired asset. The procurement in question relates to the Asphalt Plant which has been the subject of much concern in the recent past. Losing money through mistakes is painful but in the round, lessons have been learnt and SHG’s approach to procurement has improved.

New Procurement Regulations developed with the help of TC funding have been approved by the Governor and came into effect on 12 July 2013. These will ensure appropriate measures to mitigate the risks associated with procurement, thus minimising any such waste of resources in the future. The Plant arrived on Island in April 2011 at a total landed cost of £116,119 and in June 2011, engineers from the manufacturer arrived to assemble the Plant and make it ready for use. However, due to vital missing parts, and serious safety issues associated with the different component parts, the engineers were unable to commission the Plant. These issues were raised with the supplier and some of the costs were recovered (around £11,000), with SHG retaining ownership of the Plant. In a report to the Public Accounts Committee in January 2012, the then Director of Infrastructure and Utilities stated that: “the risk of danger to operatives still remains.” And that “concerns about the safe operation of the plant still remain and any sale of the whole plant would have to be to someone who had the knowledge and capability to make it safe before operating the plant.”

Regrettably therefore, SHG has concluded that the Asphalt Plant is not fit for purpose or safe and that it will not be cost effective to take any remedial action when there is no guarantee that the Plant can be made operable or safe. Whilst suggestions have been made as to possible sale of the Plant, it would be irresponsible of SHG to pass on any liability to a third party. Clearly all of this results in a significant loss of public funds emanating from inefficient procurement procedures and poor judgement on the part of officers (no longer with SHG) who failed to undertake the necessary checks before procuring the Plant. However, with the introduction of new Procurement Regulations, SHG now have more robust processes and procedures for officers to follow which should prevent future occurrences of this nature.

The main features of the new procurement system are:

 A major shift in focus from the value of the procurement to the risk associated with that procurement

 Credit checking facilities which must be used for all international suppliers

 More scrutiny of the upfront procurement processes where medium and high risk procurements must be authorised by the new Procurement Board  The Procurement Board will oversee contract specifications to ensure fitness for purpose

 No payment can be made up front, unless specifically authorised by the Financial Secretary

 Clear guidance on the advertising and tender processes, ensuring fair and transparent procurement

 Medium to high risk procurements will be carried out by procurement services, who have the professional expertise and who will exercise due diligence

 Prior to delivery to St Helena, there will be scrutiny by a relevant qualified professional to ensure goods and services for delivery are in accordance with the agreed specification and are fit for purpose

 More focus on these controls prior to the commencement of the procurement process. Compliance with these new Procurement Regulations is compulsory, regardless of the size or timing of a project. If steps are waived or modified, supporting evidence must be provided to the Procurement Board.

SHG will now publish all waivers from the new Regulations. SHG apologises to the public for this failed procurement and significant loss of public funds, and in so doing, assures the public that systems and processes are now in place to prevent this happening again.

SHG

20 September 2013


Ten Week Road Closure Between The Briars and Gordons Post

The public is advised that with effect from Monday 14 October 2013 the road between the Briars and Gordons Post will be closed for 10 weeks.

Approval to close the road on a full time basis (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) has been given by the Highways Authority in order for major road maintenance work to take place during this period.

The closure will cause significant disruption to the Island during this time as only Emergency Services will be permitted through access. Residents in the immediate area of the road closure will still have continuous access to their properties and have been informed of the process.

The road will reopen on 20 December 2013 but pending weather conditions and progress the road may close again on 6 January 2014 for a further four weeks. Details regarding this potential closure will issue nearer the time.

The Roads Section apologises for the disruption during this initial closure but will keep the public informed with frequent progress updates.

Notes to Editors:
Statistics for the section of work between the Briars and Hutts Gate:

Length of Closure: 2.3km (aprox. 1.5miles)
Length of Diversion (Hutts Gate to The Briars): 11.8km (aprox 7.4miles)
Additional distance to travel (Hutts Gate and The Canister): 4.2km (aprox 4.7miles)

During the scheme intended works will deliver approximately:

• 11,500m2 of patching and resurfacing
• 1.1km of slipper drain
• 100m of wall to construct
• 200m of wall to repair
• 10 Manholes/Underland Drains
• 75m of Safety Rails to repair or replace

The Roads Section will also be coordinating with Connect Saint Helena in supporting work to improve the water supply pipelines.

SHG
18 September 2013


ExCo Report: 17 September 2013

Good afternoon,

Executive Council met today Tuesday 17 September to consider one item on the open agenda. There were two members of the public in the gallery.

Executive Council was asked to approve the following appointments to the Electronic Communications Consultative Committee (ECCC) in accordance with Clause 11 of the Telecommunications Licence and the TV Re-broadcasting Licence.

These appointments are:

Chairman: Financial Secretary
Member: Solicitor General
Secretary: Government Economist

The Licensee ‘Sure’ will appoint two members.

This committee is a technical committee to report on Sure’s compliance with the terms of, and conditions of these licences.

Executive Council agreed to the appointments as it is important that Sure’s compliance with the licences is monitored.

A question was asked as to how members of the public might raise any concerns with the committee about the services provided by Sure. At present there is no formal process and the undertaking was given that this will be discussed at the first meeting of the ECCC.

Following this item of business the remainder of the meeting was closed to the public.
Mr Paul McGinnety gave an update on the restructuring of the Environmental and Natural Resources Directorate. This was very informative and Executive Councillors were made aware of the progress in restructuring.

It was noted that further contracts will be going out to tender in the private sector in the near future.

ExCo
17 September 2013


EXCO MEETING – TUESDAY 17 SEPTEMBER 2013

Open to the Public from 9.30am

Executive Council will meet on Tuesday 17 September 2013 in the Council Chamber. 

Commencing at 9.30am, the meeting will be open to the public for the first agenda item; Appointment of Electronic Communications Consultative Committee (ECCC), under the Tele-communications and TV rebroadcasting licence. 

Executive Council Members are: Lawson Henry, Ian Rummery and Wilson Duncan in Cyril George’s absence.  Councillor Leslie Baldwin will also serve on Executive Council in the absence of Councillor Christine Scipio O’Dean who is currently off Island on leave.   

SHG

16 September 2013

 


Write On

From 6-9th September, Prince Andrew School welcomed author, Niall Griffiths, to lead workshops on creative writing. Niall worked with students from Years 7 to 13. In his workshops Niall focussed on the power of the imagination to create ideas from everyday objects and situations. He also encouraged students to think carefully about the language they use to express these ideas in their writing.

Niall griffiths & Year 11

Year 8 student, Chloe Midwinter, commented: “ I learned how to use more complex similes and metaphors in my writing. Working with Niall was inspirational!”

“It was fun!” was how Andreas Caesar-Crowie, from Year 7, summed up the workshop that he attended.

Headteacher, Paul Starkie, who attended some on Niall’s sessions, said: “Niall has been a great success at school and his accessible approach and enthusiasm has gone down extremely well with all the students he has worked with.”

Niall was “writer in residence” on the last voyage of the RMS. He has published seven novels for adults including ‘Grits’, ‘Runt’ and ‘Wreckage’. His latest novel is ‘A Great Big Shining Star’. Two of his novels, ‘Kelly and Victor’ and ‘Wreckage’ have been made into screenplays and filmed for television. Niall also writes non-fiction, particularly travel writing, magazine articles and reviews.

He has a wealth of experience in hosting writers’ workshops and performing all round the world in places as varied as Inuit huts on Arctic ice-fields and prisons in the UK. He can now add St Helena Island to his list of venues.

Prince Andrew School Students
13 September 2013


Register of Electors

The public is reminded that following July’s General Election anyone eligible to be registered on the electoral roll can apply to have the Register changed; in particular, persons can have their name added, or to correct their name, address, or Polling District.

The opportunity to change the register is now possible.

Persons are eligible to be registered if they:

•have St Helenian Status or are the spouse or life partner of a person who has St Helenian Status;
•are over 18 years old; and
•are on St Helena and St Helena is their ordinary place of residence. (If someone’s normal home is on St Helena but they are temporarily absent, they might still be eligible).

There are some exceptions, such as mental incapacity or someone serving a prison sentence of 12 months or more.

In this case persons who are temporarily absent from St Helena for the purposes of employment, education, or medical treatment, but otherwise eligible, can still have their name registered. This only applies if they have been absent for less than 30 months and have been absent for less than 625 days in the last 30 months. There is a special form to be used, and this is available from the Registration Officer at No. 1 Main Street and from the Customer Services Centre and Public Library in Jamestown or via email: cofcouncils@sainthelena.gov.sh.

The current Register of Electors for St Helena was effective from and published in an Extraordinary Gazette on 24 June 2013; copies can be viewed at No. 1 Main Street, the Public Library and at the Customer Services Centre, and on the St Helena Government website www.sainthelena.gov.sh under Government Gazettes.

SHG
11 September 2013


STATISTICAL COMMISSIONER AND STATISTICS OFFICERS TAKE OATHS

In the presence of His Excellency, Governor Capes, Statistical Commissioner, Paula McLeod and Statistics Officers, Kelly Clingham, Justine Joshua and Natasha Stevens yesterday took the required oaths to act as enumerators during the upcoming Household Living Standards Survey.  

The taking of oaths by these Officers is required by the Statistics Ordinance Cap, 169 before they can proceed with conducting any survey work.  

Liz Johnson – Idan and Tessa Roberts, who have also been appointed enumerators will too shortly take the oaths appointing them as Statistic Officers during the period of the household survey. 

Susan O’Bey also took the Oaths in relation to her role as Director of Corporate Policy and Planning, overseeing management of the Statistics Office.   

SHG

11 September 2013


ARRIVAL OF SOCIAL SERVICES TRAINER

Martin Warsama
Martin Warsama

The Health and Social Welfare Directorate has recently welcomed Social Services Trainer Martin Warsama on a two year contract. 

In this role Martin will observe and assess the current systems within Social Services.  He will also train staff through supervision and scenario training.  

Martin commented:

“I will be imbedding systems that can be easily picked up by staff after my contract has finished.  I will be working closely with social workers, identifying any improvements that they wish to see and workable solutions.”

Martin who has been here for several days is busy observing the current procedures within Social Services and adjusting to his new environment.  He will soon focus on drawing up plans to implement changes. 

Martin has been a qualified Social worker for 22 years, fifteen of them at management level.  Throughout his career working within various organisations in the North of the UK, he has been employed across various fields covering that of adult care, emergency duty and child protection, setting up joint investigation teams, early intervention teams and improving systems.    

SHG

11 September 2013  


KEITH MUNNS – PRISON ADVISOR

Kieth Munns
Kieth Munns

Prison Advisor, Keith Munns contracted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) visits the Island every two years.   

During his visits Keith observes the general prison operation, establishes if prisoners are being treated fairly, if the public are protected and that effective rehabilitation efforts are enforced to reduce the risk of prisoners reoffending.  

Keith who has a background in the UK Prison Service as a Prison Governor for 42 years now advises Prisons in Overseas Territories, St Helena, Ascension and the Falklands to ensure that each Island’s Prison Service complies with UK standards but in a way that reflects the size and situation of their Prisons.  This visit saw Keith spend just over a week on Island.

Keith commented:  

“Largely what I do is assessing the treatment of prisoners that all systems are in place, inmates’ educational needs are met and to address the key issues of safety, respect, purposeful activity and resettlement.  I will draft a report on my return and present to FCO with a serious of recommendations and future improvements.

“I can say with confidence that the prison on St Helena has improved since my last visit, with what is being done in terms of offender management, probation and community work.  The training of the Prison staff is also more professionalised.  An event held at Plantation where staff received certificates for training highlights the improvement of the staffs skills.”

The training that was provided was lifted directly from the UK system to allow Prison staff to operate at UK standards.

Keith departs the Island tomorrow Tuesday 10 September 2013.

SHG

9 September 2013


Arrival of Advisory Teacher (French)

Phillippe Prudhomme
Phillippe Prudhomme

Originally from France, Philippe Prudhomme is the first Advisory teacher to introduce French to Prince Andrew School’s curriculum, starting with Key Stage Three students this coming school year, and gradually expanding it to the whole school.

Having gained a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in the UK, Philippe set off to Nairobi to become a linguistic advisor for the French Embassy, developing French in the Nairobi area, and assisting in the training of Kenyan French teachers.

Philippe then progressed to Head of Modern Languages at the International School of South Africa. He moved on to Lagos (Nigeria) where he was part of the Pioneer Senior Management Team (Deputy Head Welfare) to set up the British International School of Lagos, Nigeria.  After working on Curriculum Development in the South of Nigeria with the help of the United Nations body, Philippe took a job in Switzerland for three years (2 years as Co-Head of Boarding and 1 year as a French teacher and Discipline Advisor)

Commenting on taking a job on St Helena, Philippe said:    

“After a return to Europe (Switzerland), where the standards of French are very high, I wanted to go back to similar work that I conducted in Kenya and South Africa, introducing French to students, to an adult audience unfamiliar with the language and making a positive contribution. St Helena offered this new and exciting opportunity.”

Philippe’s main role here will be to teach French at Prince Andrew School and then commence classes into the wider community, building on Judith Moore’s French adult evening classes.  

Director of Education, Colin Moore said:

“The arrival of Philippe Prudhomme, a qualified French teacher, represents a major step forward for education on St Helena. Introducing French to the curriculum will extend opportunity and widen the offer we have available to our young people. Philippe will also be aiming to equip the local business people and the developing tourism industry with the skills to converse in French.

“I would also like to thank the French Consul, Michel Martineau for helping us to establish the basis upon which we could bring the teaching of French to our schools.

“We are all pleased to welcome Philippe to St Helena and wish him well in his new post.”

As this is the first foreign language to be introduced to a young audience on St Helena, Philippe acknowledged the added pressure that students will experience when learning something completely new.  Philippe aims to trigger his classes’ interest with a variety of teaching techniques, setting clearly identified objectives, making the students aware of the importance of learning French and incorporating effective methods to help students cope with the stress of learning a foreign language.

Philippe commented:

“Over time I am confident that many school students and adults will be able to build up a wide range of French vocabulary that will help them in their social or professional life, building up links and facilitating the connection with the global village.” 

Following the introduction of French to Key Stage Three students Philippe hopes to reach younger students at Primary School level, allowing them to learn and develop a foreign language, and extend the teaching of the language to a wider adult audience particularly in the field of tourism and commerce.  

(Picture attached)

SHG

30 August 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Open Day at St Helena's First Steel-Framed Homes

Steel Framed Home - Bottom Woods
Steel Framed Home – Bottom Woods

An Open Day was held on 27 August 2013 at one of the three new steel-framed homes on St Helena.

Located at Bottom Woods the new home is one of the first three Government landlord houses to be built in 10 years. Showcasing modern methods of construction the new home features an open plan layout with two large bedrooms, a bathroom, fully fitted kitchen area, utility room and outside patio. All three new homes are fitted with solar-powered water heating.

Andy Crowe, Housing Executive explained the reasoning behind these steel-framed homes:

“The steel-framed homes built at Bradleys Camp for the airport workers were built very quickly so this was a pilot project to see whether the same technique could be applied for homes to buy and rent on the Island.

“Steel frames are just one of the many modern methods of construction that have been exploited around the world moving to building techniques that can be faster and cost effective, warmer and more free from damp than the traditional forms.”

The purpose of the Open Day was to gather the public’s views on the new homes.

Andy said:

“We have our own views on how the new homes look and work, but the most important thing was for visitors to the home to give their ideas and recommendations.”

Over 150 visitors attended the Open Day and 66 took the time to comment on the house. 60 of these made positive comments such as “fantastic – when can I move in?” “love the space,” “ideal for a small family,” and “very lucky tenants”.

Importantly many commented favourably on the “good workmanship” and the fact that “you could never tell it has a metal frame”. The most common comment was that the home was warm and comfortable even though it was cold outside and the doors were open.

Visitors also took the time to make suggestions on how the new homes planned for Half Tree Hollow might differ – tiling rather than carpeting the floors, more privacy for the bathroom and toilet, some outside storage and fitted cupboards have all now been incorporated into the planning application for Half Tree Hollow, shortly to be submitted.

The three homes took approximately 8 months from start on site to completion and cost just over £50,000 each to build. Included in the cost are a fully fitted kitchen and bathroom, carpeting and tiling.

Andy explained:

“The time to build three houses was longer than anticipated, but we have to bear in mind that this is a learning process. I am sure we can get them completed faster. Equally, we expect the cost to fall now that builders on the Island are more familiar with the skills and materials needed.”

SHG
28 August 2013


DFID’S Otd Environment & Climate Adviser To Visit

DfID’s Overseas Territories Department’s Environment & Climate Adviser, Razi Latif (photo attached) will arrive on Island on 2 September.  Razi is new in post and this visit will be a familiarization one allowing him to become more familiar with the Island both from an environmental and sustainable development view.

Razi will undertake a programme of meetings and site visits with among others, staff from the Environment and Natural Resources Directorate, Enterprise St Helena and the St Helena National Trust. Razi is also keen to meet with the wider St Helena community and a session will be set aside for this.  If anyone is interested in meeting Razi please contact Cherilee Thomas on telephone 2270 or email cherilee-thomas@enrd.gov.sh.

Razi’s visit coincides with the Basil Read/ DfID airport visit and he will also be joining some of the environment related meetings and site visits to gain a general understanding of the airport project and associated environmental issues.    

Razi will depart St Helena on 10September.

SHG

28 August 2013

 

 


Exco Report: 27 August 2013

Good afternoon.

Executive Council met on Tuesday 27 August 2013 with four items on the agenda.

This was an open session of ExCo but no members of the public were in attendance.

The first item of business was the proposal to downgrade Wranghams from a Grade II to a Grade III Listed Building.  

The reasons put forward for the downgrading included that it was currently a Grade II listed building and as such would only be available for long term leasing, whereas downgrading to Grade III would permit sale of the property with fewer restrictions on future development.

Executive Council did not agree that the downgrading procedure was appropriate and rejected the proposal.  ExCo stated that in principle they did not wish to set a precedent for downgrading of properties for ease of sale.  Wranghams is a significant cultural asset for the Island; it is of historic interest and merit. ExCo members recommended that Wranghams should be re-advertised and put back on the market at Grade II for a long term lease and that a survey be done of the building.

The second agenda item was to amend the Medical Practitioners (Qualifications) (Amendment No. 2) Regulations, 2013, to include Guatemala on the schedule.  This was to enable the new surgeon due to arrive in September to practice medicine on St Helena.  ExCo agreed the amendment.

The next two agenda items were for ExCo to consider and advise if two bills should be tabled as Government Business at the next formal meeting of Legislative Council.

One related to the Commissioner of Oaths Amendment Bill, 2013 to enable qualified lawyers to act as Commissioners of Oaths on St Helena.  This will increase the number of Commissioners of Oaths available to the public and follows UK practice. ExCo agreed for the bill to be tabled at the next formal LegCo.

The second bill related to the Welfare of Children Amendment Ordinance, 2013.  At present children who are to be adopted can only be placed for adoption on St Helena.  The purpose of this amendment is to allow a Supreme Court Judge to place a child for adoption outside of St Helena if it is in the child’s best interests.  For example if a child living on St Helena was orphaned and the nearest relative was in the UK then the child could be placed with their relative overseas.  ExCo agreed for the bill to be tabled at the next formal LegCo.

The final item of business was a discussion about the need to have an open agenda in future ExCo meetings where appropriate.  It was agreed that there would be a presumption in favour of openness but that certain matters, particularly those concerning individuals, would be discussed under a closed agenda.

The meeting finished around 10.30am.                  

Thank you for listening.   

ExCo

27 August 2013

 


Examination Results

Results of this year’s examinations have been received bringing with them lots of individual stories of success and celebration.

All over St Helena there are families who are very proud that the hard work of their young people has resulted in some outstanding examination successes.  The good news for the Island’s economy is that almost a half of this year’s school leavers have now achieved GCSE ‘C’ grades in English and Maths.

Director of Education, Colin Moore said:

“Two years ago no students achieved a C grade or better in Maths.  This year almost half of the year group achieved a Grade C or better in Maths. This highly impressive performance reflects the hard work of the students and their teachers.

“In English Language all of the pupils entered for GCSE level achieved a C grade or better. The Directorate’s target was for 30% of students to gain 5 GCSEs A*-C, including English and Maths, and I am pleased to say that this target has been achieved.

“It is important to also recognise the achievement of our young people who follow vocational courses and once again we have some individual success stories that we should all be proud of. The economic developments related to the airport mean that we have an immediate need for a highly skilled workforce. This year’s achievements are just what the Island’s developing economy needs. In some respects this represents ‘Lift Off’.

We now have the evidence that our young people really can take advantage of the opportunities they have ahead of them.

“I am sure all of the Island’s community will want to join me in saying a very big well done to all of the young people and their teachers who have worked so hard over the past couple of years.”

Chairperson of the Education Committee, Councillor Christine Scipio-O’Dean added:

“We all know that Education is one of the highest priorities for the Island. I am delighted to offer my congratulations to all of the students who have worked so hard and achieved these excellent results. This represents real progress for the Island and means that any future investors can have confidence that St Helena has young people with the talent, skills and qualifications to succeed.”

Headteacher of Prince Andrew School, Paul Starkie said:

“We are delighted with the results our students have gained. They have worked very hard and their efforts have been rewarded. There have been some excellent individual successes and all our students have proved what is possible with effort and commitment to study.  I know I speak for every member of staff here at Prince Andrew School when I say how extremely proud we are of each and every one of our students. Vanessa Tissington, Secondary Raising Attainment Partner was thrilled to see the results prior to her departure and asked me to personally convey her congratulations.

“To those former students who are entering work related opportunities, we wish them all the very best in the future. We are also absolutely delighted by the number of students returning to Prince Andrew School to continue their journey with us. Our dedicated and committed team of teachers and support staff are very much looking forward to welcoming them back in September.”

Primary Schools are too receiving their results for the Primary School end of Year 6 assessments, also known as Key Stage 2 SATs.

Compared to last year the overall results show a slight fall in the number of children achieving level 4+.  Level 4+ is the benchmark set for children leaving Primary Schools in England.  This slight fall was not unexpected since the actual tests are different from those that were administered in 2012.

This year, new assessments were introduced in Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation. 

Commenting on the Key Stage 2 SATs results, Colin said:

“The Year 6 children worked very hard throughout the year and there are some examples of really high achievement.

“Making comparisons with last year is quite tricky because new tests have been introduced.  At this stage we do not know what the overall trend is in terms of how schools in England have performed and so we have further analysis to undertake.  There are some indications that our experience of a slight dip in performance reflects what is happening in parts of England but it really is too soon to draw any conclusions.

“It does show however that the Directorate still has a lot of work to do to improve standards in Primary Education. We have a very dedicated team of teachers and support staff who will rise to the challenge and I am delighted that we have a dynamic and enthusiastic Primary Education Adviser, Victoria Stapleton, who is busy supporting our Head and Class teachers.”

Victoria added:

“Our 2013 SATs results show we still have some way to go to improve the children’s progress and attainment but I feel confident that the schools, education team and community will work hard together to achieve this.”

The overall figures of the Primary Schools’ exams along with the full analysis of this year’s public examinations will be reported to the Education Committee in October.

Education and Employment Directorate

SHG

27 August 2013

 


Redevelopment of Sundale - Planning Conditions

Following Executive Council’s decision on 6 August to redevelop the Sundale site into a prison, a public meeting was arranged at Half Tree Hollow Community Centre for all interested persons to discuss the reasons behind ExCo’s recommendations. Councillors agreed at the meeting that the planning conditions subject to which the development permission has been granted should be published.

The conditions (as recommended by the Land Planning Development Control Board to the Governor in Council) are set out below.

1. Development permission relates to the revised drawings submitted on 25 April 2013 and the development shall be carried out in accordance with those drawings apart from any minor amendment submitted subsequently and approved in writing by the Planning Officer. Reason: To define the permission.

2. Roof water is to be collected in storage tanks, not less than 450 litres capacity for re use, with overflows fed into landscaped areas; Reason: To encourage use of natural resources, and planning policy W.2, H.9 g)

3. No roof water or site water is to be fed into, or directed to any foul sewer system. Reason: To avoid unsettling the effective operation of the sewer system.

4. No external lighting shall be used to illuminate the perimeter walls. Reason: In the interest of residential amenity, to minimize light pollution and in accordance with planning policy E.8

5. All drainage pipe work shall be laid underground; Reason: In accordance with planning policy SD.7

6. Insulation shall be incorporated in all new roof spaces. Reason: To ensure energy efficiency in accordance with planning policy E.4

7. No development shall be commenced until a scheme of landscaping in the areas where the height of perimeter walls is to be increased, has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Planning Officer. The landscaping proposal shall be carried out within six months of the development being commissioned and thereafter maintained. Reason: To blend the development into its setting and in accordance with planning policy IZ 1 h)

8. No development shall be commenced until details of wall rendering and finishes has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Planning Officer. Reason: In accordance with planning policy IZ 1 a)

9. The entrance gates shall be of heavy wooden or cast iron materials, details of which shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Planning Officer. Reason: In the interest of security, to be symbolic of their purpose and in accordance with planning policy IZ 1 a)

10. No development shall be commenced until a Construction Management Plan has been submitted to the Planning Officer and approved in writing to demonstrate that the impact of construction work on nearby residents is to be minimized in respect of dust, noise, traffic, hours of working and the handling and disposal of waste materials. Reason: to protect residential amenity in accordance with planning policy IZ.1.

11. The development shall not be brought in to use until the septic tank and its soakaway system have been examined and reported upon to the Planning Officer together with proposals for refurbishment to ensure their effectiveness in dealing with foul sewage from the development. Reason: to ensure avoidance of pollution in compliance with planning policy SD.4.

12. The specification and details of the means of support of all security mesh shall be submitted to the Planning Officer and shall have been approved in writing prior to its installation. Reason: In the interest of security in accordance with planning policies SI.1 and SI.3.

SHG

27 August 2013


ExCo Meeting – Tuesday 27 August 2013

Open to the Public from 9.30am

Executive Council will meet on Tuesday 27 August 2013 in the Council Chamber. 

Commencing at 9.30am, the meeting will be open to the public & agenda items are:

The Downgrading of Wranghams from II to III Listed Building, Medical Practitioners (Qualifications) (Amendment No. 2) Regulations, 2013, Commissioner of Oaths Amendment Bill, 2013 and the Welfare of Children Amendment Ordinance, 2013.

Executive Council Members are: Nigel Dollery, Lawson Henry, Ian Rummery, Christine Scipio-O’Dean and Wilson Duncan in Cyril George’s absence.  

SHG

23 August 2013

 


Senior Adviser For Early Years Education

Vivienne Wood
Vivienne Wood

Arriving on 2 September will be Vivienne Wood, Senior Advisor for Early Years Education. Vivienne’s post is a new one created within the Education Directorate to demonstrate the importance of providing the best possible start to education for all children.

As an Early Years specialist with previous experience working in the UK and most recently in Qatar, Vivienne will work with the full range of providers of early education on the Island.

Director of Education and Employment Colin Moore said:

“I am delighted that we were able to appoint such a strong Specialist teacher to lead our work in early years education. It is so important that we give all of our children the best possible start to their schooling and education.

Vivienne joins us with a very impressive record of success built up over many years and in a number of locations. I am sure that she will help us to build upon the good work that is already taking place.”

Vivienne commented:

“I am extremely excited about my appointment and look forward to meeting everybody. This is such a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate just how important early education is, not just for the children but for the whole community.”

(picture attached)

SHG
27 August 2013


Island-wide Water Restrictions Lifted

Connect Saint Helena is pleased to announce that the Island-wide water restrictions has been lifted.

The rain earlier this week has had a significant effect on reservoir levels and by the end of next week it is estimated that all of the Redhill reservoir storage will be essentially full.

Connect Saint Helena thanks consumers for exercising constraint over the last few difficult months.
The boil water notice in the Redhill area remains in place.

On behalf of Connect Saint Helena Ltd
23 August 2013


Departure of Vanessa Tissington

The Education and Employment Directorate this week said goodbye to Secondary Raising Attainment Adviser, Vanessa Tissington on completion of her contract.

Vanessa has been with the Education Directorate since last September supporting improvements at Prince Andrew School and raising educational standards on St Helena.

SONY DSC

In a farewell reception for Vanessa, Colin Moore, Director of Education and Employment said:

“Vanessa has made an outstanding contribution to education on St Helena during her time here. Vanessa exudes enthusiasm and anyone who came into contact with her couldn’t help but be impressed with her desire to see young people make the most of their opportunities. She is a very tenacious professional with very high standards and a heart of gold.

“I know there will always be a continuing affection that Vanessa will hold for St Helena and particularly for Prince Andrew School. We will also have a continuing high regard and long lasting memory of the contribution that Vanessa has made.

“We all wish her the very best for her future career. She leaves secondary education on the Island in a much stronger state than when she first arrived.”

Vanessa commented:

“The time I spent on the Island has been one of the most rewarding of my professional career. I have enjoyed every minute and hope that I have contributed to the continuing improvement of educational standards on St Helena.”

Vanessa departed the Island on Wednesday to return to the UK where the first thing she will be doing is greeting her new grandchild who was born on Tuesday 20 August.

SHG
23 August 2013


Temporary Reduced Outpatient Appointments

The public are advised that with effect from 21 August until 9 September 2013, the Outpatients Clinic in Jamestown will run at a reduced capacity. This has been brought about by changes in staffing levels.

The new arrangements mean that there will be16 less appointments in Jamestown per day (Monday to Friday) and the usual 12 Jamestown Outpatient Clinics (held Monday to Friday 8.30am to 4pm) will be reduced to 7. There will be no late clinic (4-6pm) today and next Wednesday.

Outpatient Clinics in Levelwood, Longwood and Half Tree Hollow are unaffected and the Emergency appointments and the Triage system will operate as normal.

A new GP will arrive in early September and Outpatients Clinics should return to normal thereafter. In the meantime the public are encouraged to book appointments early.

We thank the public in advance for their cooperation.

SHG
21 August 2013


Photography Competition Awards

Winners of the Photography Competition
Winners of the Photography Competition

Launched at the beginning of June, the St Helena Photography Competition encouraged entrants to submit photos of all types ranging from family snapshots, home surroundings, celebrations and favourite scenic spots on the Island.     

With a steady flow of entries over the following weeks and a slightly extended deadline to encourage younger participants, the total number of entrants amounted to 84.  Averaging 5 photos per submission, the total number of to judge was a staggering and welcomed 420. 

This was a tremendous response and a tough decision for the judges, Robyn Sim, Barbara George, Darrin Henry and Ed Thorpe.

Ed commented:

“The harder decisions were in the older category as there were quite a few favourites.  There were some amazing photographs but they could have been taken anywhere.  The winning entrants were shots that best represented St Helena.  These pictures reflect different viewpoints, unique pictures that we have never seen before.  I was very impressed with the 10–15 age category, as they gave the older groups a real run for their money.”

Robyn commented on how the judges chose their winners:  

“We went through all the photos and jotted down those that stood out to us, we then discussed together and after some deliberation we finally came to an agreed decision.”

A prize presentation was held at Plantation last night (Tuesday 20 August) to announce the winners.  Invited guests included judges, awardees and keen photographers.

The Governor announced the winners in reverse order and presented cash prizes:

10-15 age category:

Third Place: Charlotte Hubbard

Second Place: Caitlyn Leo

First Place: Chrystabel Greentree

16-21 age category:

Third Place: Terri Clingham

Second Place: Josh Hubbard

First Place: Eira Stevens

Over 22 age Category:

Third Place: Mike Thorpe

Second Place: Joe Hollins

First Place: Mark Stevenson

Due to the surprising amount of entries and quality of photos received, recognition was also given to individuals who did not win but submitted exceptional photographs.  Distinctions were awarded to Scott Thomas, Alison Hubbard, Remi Bruneton and Helena Bennett.  

Winners and Distinction photographs will be used for publicity and displayed on the St Helena Government Website – on the photo gallery www.sainthelena.gov.sh

(picture of the winners at plantation attached)

SHG

21 August 2013


HMS Richmond to Visit St Helena

The Royal Navy Type 23 Frigate HMS RICHMOND (photo attached) is due to visit St Helena between 29 and 30 August as part of her current operational deployment. She left her home port of Portsmouth on 5 August. During her 7 month deployment in the South Atlantic she will be promoting British interests and providing a continuous security presence in the region.

HMS Richmond

The Atlantic Patrol Task will see HMS Richmond undertake maritime security operations, including counter-narcotics and anti-piracy patrols, providing opportunities to work with a number of other navies to further strengthen ties and demonstrate the Royal Navy’s commitment to the region.

Onboard HMS Richmond is St Helenian Leading Seaman Jamie Fowler. While the ship is in port Jamie’s family, who he has not seen for 12 years, will be invited onboard to meet him.

A programme of activities for HMS Richmond’s two-day visit is currently being developed.

SHG
20 August 2013


Open Day for St Helena's First Steel Framed Homes

St Helena is to have an Open Day at one of its three new steel-framed homes, on Tuesday 27 August.

Opening at 10am until 6pm, members of the public are invited to view the home, located near the second hole of the Longwood Golf Course.

Housing Executive Andy Crowe said:

“This was a pilot project where St Helena Government commissioned local builder, Adrian Duncan, to design and build the steel framed houses in two locations on the Island. We’ve learnt a great deal from the exercise and this will all be used to inform the bigger project of the Half Tree Hollow Comprehensive Development Area.”

All three homes feature large bedrooms, a small outside patio and fully fitted kitchens and bathrooms. Each home has solar-powered water heating.

Andy commented:

“The cost of heating water is normally very high, but with solar power we will be able to reduce the cost of living for the occupants. Nearly all of the existing Government homes lack an internal hot water supply so this is a pointer for the future.”

People taking advantage of the Open Day will be asked for their ideas on the home. These views will then inform the design guidance SHG provides for its new homes. The event will also provide an opportunity for visitors to comment on SHG’s plans for the development at Half Tree Hollow.

SHG
20 August 2013


Project 'School Spruce 2013'

This week sees the start of ‘School Spruce’, a community-based project which aims to visually and physically improve St Helena’s three primary schools.

Schools are essential hubs of all communities, and during participation work with young people in April of this year, it was recognised that the Island’s primary schools were in need of improved play facilities. Recognising that play is important for the development of the child, a proposal was put forward to improve the three primary schools on St Helena.

This community project involves St Helena Government (SHG), the Private Sector, the St Helena National Trust, Enterprise St Helena, Civil Society, parents, teachers and the children themselves – and will provide a play area for each school, using donated recycled materials. Other improvements have also been proposed, including the building of seating areas and general revamp of the schools – each school has a different set of ideas for improvements ranging from a new lick of paint to renovations that will enhance the learning experience of the pupils.

Each school has £2500 for improvements – £3000 was donated by SHG which was match funded by £3000 raised by the schools themselves, and £1500 was donated from the Governor’s Delegated Fund.
All the work is being done voluntarily.

The schools were approached to find out what kind of playground they wanted from the materials and money available – and then the children were able to design their own playground based on their interests and needs.

Coordinating the project, Rachel Armstrong, from the Corporate Policy and Planning Unit said:

“Play is an essential part of development because it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children. Through this community-based project, we hope that providing new playgrounds in each of the three primary schools will benefit the children significantly.

“The children have been heavily involved in the design of their playground, and each school will have a unique play area suited to their individual needs.”

In addition to new play areas, each school will also have their own endemic garden, featuring an endemic plant from their school’s area of the Island. The idea behind this is to educate the children on the importance of the endemics on St Helena, and allow them to plant and maintain the endemics themselves
.
The School Spruce project kicks off this week with the levelling of the playing field at St Paul’s Primary School in readiness for playground works to begin.

Frequent progress updates on the individual projects will follow in due course.

SHG
19 August 2013


Councillor George Departs For Commonwealth Conference

On Wednesday 21 August, Councillor Cyril George will depart for the 59thCommonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Conference in Johannesburg, scheduled to take place between 28 August and 6 September.

Cyril George
Cyril George

Cyril is the first Councillor from the newly elected Council to attend a CPA Conference – aiming to develop effective solutions to Commonwealth development challenges.

The plenary sessions include members discussing Separation of Powers and Good Governance in Small States and whether Education is Meeting Local Employment Needs in Small States.

 Workshops held will include topics such as:

  • Land Access and Ownership, Progress and Challenges Experienced by Rural Communities in Accessing Land. What could be the Role and Intervention of Parliamentarians?
  • Should there be Parliamentary Intervention in the Informal Economy and Entrepreneurship Sectors?
  • The Challenges of Attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015; and
  •  Inequitable Resource-Sharing: A Threat to Democratic Governance

 Commenting on the conference, Cyril said:

 “I am looking forward to this interesting but new challenge, and although this is something that I am not familiar with I am grateful for the opportunity to take on this experience to contribute and learn from it. 

 We were all informed initially that as Councillors we would get opportunities to attend meetings in other Countries.  When the CPA team arrived on Tuesday 30 July they informed us that the next meeting would be held in Johannesburg.  The selection process began, will all interested Councillors putting their names forward.  A draw took place and the first name picked was mine.”

The conference will close on 5 September, beginning with a General Assembly and receiving of plaques, followed by the final plenary session with the Parliamentary Response to the Commonwealth Charter.

SHG

19 August 2013


Quarterly Statistical News Bulletin - August 2013

The Quarterly Statistical News Bulletin, published August 2013, covers the period April – June 2013 and contains updates for the annual rate of inflation of the Retail Price Index, Estimated Population, Visitor arrivals, Building and Rainfall statistics and a summary of other high-level economic information on St Helena.

Annual inflation of the St Helena Retail Price Index (RPI) stood at 0.8 per cent in Q2 2013 – the lowest record in over ten years. There was a 0.3 per cent decrease in the RPI (the overall cost of the ‘St Helena Shopping Basket’) from Quarter 1 to Quarter 2, 2013.

The fall in both the RPI and annual inflation of the RPI is due to a combination of:
•Reduction in price of expensive occasional purchase items, such as a vehicle and white goods
•Smaller price decreases in more regular purchases such as fuel, internet services and building materials
•Delay in the expected annual increment of utility bills, meaning last year’s price increases no longer features in our calculation of annual inflation of the RPI

Despite the noted decreases, important price rises are also noted, particularly in the cost of Services -namely childcare, hospital stay and domestic services. Increased labour costs within the construction industry are also noted. These rises are primarily due to increased staffing costs following the welcome introduction of a Minimum Wage on St Helena on 1 June 2013.

The St Helena resident population continues to grow. There is a temporary long-term increase as a result of increasing numbers of Basil Read and expatriate Government workers living on the Island for a period of six months or longer. We are also seeing a steady trickle of Saints returning to live and work on the Island.

Visitor arrivals in the first six months of 2013 are up the same period last year. The majority of arrivals on the RMS are Saints and Business visitors. Tourist arrivals are up by 5.5% compared to the same period in 2012.

The Statistical News Bulletin, along with other statistical reports, is available for download from the SHG website www.sainthelena.gov.sh/statistics

If you have requested a copy of the Quarterly Statistical News Bulletin via email and have not yet received it, please contact the office on 2138 or statistics@sainthelena.gov.sh

Statistics Office
SHG
19 August 2013


RECEPTION FOR SCHOLARSHIP STUDENTS AT PLANTATION

Sasha Bargo and Chloe Terry
Sasha Bargo and Chloe Terry

On Thursday evening, 15 August, invited guests, including returning university students, parents and teachers bid farewell to two previous Prince Andrew School students, Sasha Bargo and Chloe Terry, as they embark on their journey to the UK through the St Helena Scholarship Scheme.   

Sasha Bargo has chosen to study a foundation Degree in Ecology and Conservation.  On her return to the Island she hopes to put her skills to use within the St Helena National Trust.  Speaking about picking this particular subject, Sasha commented:

“I have a keen interest in the outdoors and with my career I wanted a balance between working within an office environment and working outdoors.” 

Although Sasha is anxious about the new challenge she is about to face, she is excited about being given this new opportunity.

Chloe Terry will attend Loughborough University to study a Bachelor of Science Degree in Air Transport Management, for three years. 

Commenting on her choice, Chloe said:

“The Island is moving forward and I wanted to be a part of that by becoming involved in the airport project.  I am nervous about leaving my parents as I know I will miss them as well as my friends, and the lifestyle the Island offers.”

HE Governor, Mark Capes gave a short speech during the reception, congratulating returning scholarship students who all received first class honours degrees in their chosen fields.  He wished Chloe and Sasha luck in their university studies and drawing from his previous speech at the Prince Andrew School awards ceremony, the message was one of achievement through having the right attitude.  Both students will be leaving their families to study in the UK and the Governor recognised the difficult task that they are about to face.  He encouraged them to talk with returning students to draw from them their experiences – and to make the most of their time in the UK.      

Throughout the rest of the evening Chloe and Sasha mingled with guests who offered their congratulations.  They also chatted with previous university students about the difficulties and benefits of studying for a Degree.   

(Four pictures are attached with this release)

SHG

16 August 2013


PRINCE ANDREW SCHOOL ANNUAL AWARDS CEREMONY

Prince Andrew School held its annual awards ceremony on Friday 9 August, where students who had worked hard and achieved well over the last school year were awarded for their efforts.

In celebration of these achievements, His Excellency Governor Capes, present at the ceremony, spoke to the students about the importance of achievement and having a positive attitude.

Governor Capes remarked:

“…a sense of achievement feels really good. To do something well, to achieve what you set out to do, what you set your mind and heart on, that is a satisfying feeling. It makes us feel good about ourselves. It also makes others feel good, our families and our friends, to see that we have achieved our goals, achieved success.”

Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year were awarded to Ronan Legg, Sunna Thomas, Jordan Yon and Chelsea May Young.  Music awards went to Jade Leo, Nandeli Pelembe, Lisa Joshua and Lizemarie Robbertse.  Student of the Year for Year 7 was presented to Nandeli Pelembe, Year 8, Scott Thomas, Year 9, Scott George, Year 10, Lizemarie Robbertse, and Year 12 went to Lisa Joshua, Kyle Yon and Curtis Peters.  Prizes also encompassed Citizenship and Outstanding Progress. 

Paul Starkie, Head teacher of Prince Andrew School, commented: 

“At PAS we want all our students to enjoy and achieve, to be inspired and to contribute to their own learning and the learning of others. We as teachers are driven by the desire to ensure all our students fulfil their true potential and are successful in everything they undertake.”

Governor Capes continued that much of what we do in life depends on our attitude.  He added that resilience and determination are only ingredients of the right attitude. Negative people with a bad attitude instead of doing something about their problems, find excuses not to do something and forever criticise and find fault in others. Whereas those with a positive ‘can do’ attitude will encourage, support and lift up others to help them to achieve too, and will gladly celebrate the achievements of others.

Governor Capes encouraged students to be that positive person who will face up to  a challenge and grip it with confidence – to achieve success and move on to the next challenge.  A full version of Governor Capes’ speech can be found on the SHG website at: www.sainthelena.gov.sh

SHG

15 August 2013

 


NEW CLINICAL DIRECTOR (SMO)

Dr Atilla Frigyesi
Dr Atilla Frigyesi

Dr Attila Frigyesi (picture attached) has arrived on Island to serve as the new Clinical Director (SMO). Dr Frigyesi comes from the Intensive Care Unit of Lund University Hospital in Sweden. He has also previously worked in Greenland and the Faroe Islands. He is a certified specialist in anaesthesiology, intensive care medicine, cardiology and internal medicine.

Although Attila is foremost a clinician, his new post on St Helena will see him taking on a more administrative role, which Attila commented: “has a large bearing on the standards of healthcare.”

Dr Frigyesi added: “I see David Jenkins (Director of Health and Social Welfare) and myself as a team. We need to make provisions for better healthcare on St Helena, to benefit as many patients as possible. We have the same goals, though coming from different areas of expertise.”

As a cardiologist, Attila will be running a Cardiac Clinic in parallel with the nurse – led clinic already in place.

Dr Frigyesi is accompanied by his wife Emma (a Pediatrician) and their four children aged two to nine.

SHG
13 August 2013


INAUGURAL EXCO MEETING – TUESDAY 6 AUGUST 2013

INAUGURAL EXCO MEETING – TUESDAY 6 AUGUST 2013

Open to the Public from 11am

The inaugural meeting of Exco will be held on Tuesday 6 August 2013. 

In the first part of the meeting, Members will discuss issues which include Immigration.  This part of the meeting is closed. 

The second half of the meeting will be open to the public, commencing at around 11am, in the Council Chamber at the Castle.  This part of the meeting will deal with the planning application for relocation of the Prison from Jamestown to Sundale, in Half Tree Hollow.  

Executive Council Members are: Nigel Dollery, Lawson Henry, Cyril George, Ian Rummery and Christine Scipio-O’Dean.  

SHG

5 August 2013

 


Photography Competition - Deadline Extended

 

Despite the strong public response to the Photography Competition, we would like to see more entries from the younger age categories. The deadline for the competition has therefore been extended. All are still encouraged to participate, especially those in the younger age categories of 10–15 and 16–21 years old.

If any students would like to participate in the competition but are unable to get their entries to Jamestown please call 2368 for assistance and further information.

The new closing date is Friday 9 August at 4:00pm

Remember there is a chance to win AMAZING prizes.

£150 for first place

£75 for second place

£50 for third place

This is for each age category.

A maximum of 5 photo’s should be submitted for judging and should (ideally) be stored on a CD or a memory stick, and placed in an envelope with a description of the pictures and approximate date/s taken, together with your name, age category, and contact details.  Entries should be addressed to Ian Jones, Chief Public Relations Officer, 1 Main Street. They can be posted or you can drop it by the office.

Once the competition has been judged and the results announced (in August) all entrants are welcome to collect their CDs and memory sticks will be given back to participants.

 

SHG

31 July 2013


Eric Benjamin Sworn In as Speaker

Mr Eric Benjamin is Sworn In as Speaker of the House
Mr Eric Benjamin is Sworn In as Speaker of the House

Mr Eric Benjamin, of Market Street, Jamestown, has today been officially Sworn In as Speaker of the House of Legislative Council.

Due to being off-Island when he was duly elected at the inaugural meeting of Legislative Council on 24 July, Mr Benjamin took the prescribed Oaths of Office in the presence of His Excellency, Governor Capes, this morning in HE’s Office at the Castle.

Mr Benjamin has already begun his official duties as Speaker following today’s arrival of the delegation from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, who begin their programme of sessions with Councillors this afternoon.

SHG
30 July 2013


Social Policy Plan - Futher Participation Events

The first draft of the Social Policy Plan was due to be completed and shared at scheduled community meetings during May and June, following the series of participation meetings that took place earlier in the year.
With around 300 people taking part in developing the Social Policy Plan, it is important that the community gets the chance to consider the plan that they have developed and to provide feedback.
Following the end of Purdah, a draft of the Social Policy Plan is now scheduled to be released to the public.
Meetings will be held from 7pm to 8pm in the following venues; to discuss the draft plan:

• Monday 19 August – Kingshurst Community Centre
• Tuesday 20 August – Jamestown Community Centre
• Thursday 22 August – Levelwood Community Centre
• Wednesday 28 August – Half Tree Hollow Community Centre
• Thursday 29 August – Sandy Bay Community Centre
• Monday 2 September – Longwood Community Centre
• Thursday 5 September – Blue Hill Community Centre

As part of the consultation, and from 30 July 2013, copies of the plan (also available in a larger font) will be available in all of the Island’s Community Centres, the Public Library, local shops, the CCC, Prince Andrew School and the Hospital. In addition to these hard copies, an electronic copy will also be made available on the SHG website.
Following this period of consultation with the public and stakeholders, the plan will be revised before moving through the political process for endorsement by Executive Council.
SHG
30 July 2013


St Helena Ethics at Work Survey Report Published

St Helena Government has today released the findings of the Ethics at Work Survey carried out for SHG by the UK’s Institute of Business Ethics (IBE) from January to March 2013.

SHG commissioned IBE to survey attitudes to ethics at work on St Helena. The survey forms part of SHG’s work to strengthen good governance and provides baseline figures for SHG to improve its ethical environment.

The survey was carried out primarily for SHG but was also extended to larger private sector businesses and civil society organisations. This allowed SHG to gain an overview of how ethics are perceived at work across St Helena as a whole.

This is the first ethics survey for St Helena and the results are invaluable for ensuring improvements are targeted towards priority areas in the future. SHG’s Ethics Working Group, who managed the project, would like to extend their thanks to all those who took the time to respond to the survey. The Group will now work to address issues raised during the survey.

A summary of the Ethics at Work Survey report (including a forward-looking SHG action plan) along with IBE’s full report can be found on the SHG website under Publications.

SHG
30 July 2013


Water Situation Remains Serious

Consumption Must Stay Low to Maintain Stored Water Levels

Despite the intermittent rainfall currently being experienced on St Helena, the water situation in affected areas remains serious.

This week’s headline message is consumption has to remain low to maintain stored water levels in the Redhill distribution zone. These levels, although higher than earlier, are only being maintained by intermittent rainfall and reduced consumption – If the rain stops and consumption levels rise, we could easily slip back into a critical situation.

The public are therefore urged to maintain efforts to reduce domestic water consumption wherever possible and stretch this resource, until we return to normal rainfall patterns.

Members of the public wishing to use untreated water for construction and agricultural purposes are reminded that they need to liaise with Connect St Helena, who will advise them on how much water can be used and where it can be used from.

Connect Saint Helena continues to monitor and collect water volume and consumption data. Contingency measures remain in place should rainfall reduce to a point where it seriously affects stored water levels.

The latest weather forecast indicates a dry day today, turning wetter towards the end of this week. Ahead of us lies the dry period between September/October and March.

Hosepipe Ban and Water Quality

Lowered water consumption in Levelwood is causing water quality issues. Because of the possible health implications which could arise from water staying in the system longer than usual, it has been decided to lift the Hose Pipe ban in the Levelwood area as a temporary measure to flush the system and lower the risk of bacterial water contamination. The Hosepipe ban remains in place for all other areas of the Island.

Residents in the Redhill water zone are also reminded to continue to boil their water as a precautionary measure. Persons consuming the water from Casons do so at their own risk and should heed the signage there.

SHG
30 July 2013


National Photographic Competition

ST HELENA GOVERNMENT

NATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPETITION

COMPETITION RULES

Eligibility

Entries are invited from the age of 10 years and upwards.  Images submitted must not be given to any other organisation on or off the Island to use for publicity.   

Subject, categories and numbers of images

All images must be of St Helena.  There are no set categories, but all images of people, places, wildlife and scenery should capture the sights, atmosphere and culture of the Island. 

Image ownership and copyright

All entries must be the original work of the entrant and must not infringe the rights of any other party. The entrants must be the sole owner of copyright in all photographs entered and must have obtained permission of any parents/guardians if children under 16 are featured plus any other relevant third party permissions.  Further, entrants must not have breached any laws when taking their photographs.  Winning images will be displayed on the St Helena Government Website and may be used, without charge in publicity and advertising by SHG, at SHG’s sole discretion.   

Images

Images submitted for judging must be on CDs placed in an envelope accompanying a description of the picture, date taken, photographer’s name, age and contact details and addressed to Ian Jones, Chief Public Relations Officer, 1 Main Street.

Editing and manipulation

Photo-editing software (such as Adobe Photoshop) may be used to edit images.  If an image consists of composite elements from more than one file or image, all parts should be the sole work of the photographer, with no third party involvement. 

Deadline for entries

The closing date for applications is Wednesday 31 July 2013, before 4pm.

Judging panel

The judging panel will consist of photographers experts from a range of specialisms and experience.  

Prizes

Prizes will be awarded for first (£150), second (£75) and third (£50) in the age categories of 10 – 15 yrs, 16 – 21 yrs and 22 and over.


Inaugural Meeting of Legislative Council - TV Broadcast

The inaugural meeting of the newly elected Legislative Council took place on 24 July 2013 in the Court House, Jamestown, commencing at 10am.

The proceedings were opened with the entry of the President, His Excellency Governor Capes, followed by Prayers, the Administration of Oaths and Governor Capes’ address to the Council.

The TV broadcast of the first LegCo meeting after the General Election highlights the swearing in of Councillors, the Governor’s Address and the results of the various elections that were held.

The highlights will be shown on Local TV 1: 

Friday:  7: 30pm

Saturday: 7:30am and 7:30pm

Sunday: 11:00 am

Monday:  8: 00 pm

SHG

26 July 2013


CPA To Brief New Councillors

At Governor Capes’ invitation and financed by the Governor’s Delegated Fund, a Delegation from the UK Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) will arrive on-Island on Tuesday 30 July.  The Delegation, working with senior SHG officials, will hold a series of seminars for newly elected Councillors, as a major part of their induction process.

The seven-day induction programme has been designed to strengthen and promote good governance in St Helena. 

Members of the Delegation will brief Councillors on their role as Councillors, the leadership required from them, strategic policy making and the function of Committees, dealing with conflicting pressures, working with officials, the importance of keeping the community informed, effective communication, scrutiny and the accountability of Councillors, and the ethical behaviour and standards that are expected from Elected Members. 

Governor Capes said:

‘I am grateful to the CPA for responding so positively to my request for a small team to visit St Helena at this important moment, to help prepare our recently elected Councillors to carry out their new responsibilities.

‘I recognise that it represents a significant commitment from the visiting team in terms of time away from their many duties in the UK and I much appreciate their willingness to assist. Although it is quite costly to bring the team here for a week, I believe it makes good use of the Delegated Funds provided to me by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Our Councillors have a heavy agenda ahead and I want to give them the best possible start.’       

Members of the CPA Delegation are: 

  • Lord Shutt of Greetland OBE FCA (a former Deputy Chief Whip in the House of Lords)
  • Barry Paint (an Elected Member – or ‘Deputy’ – on the Island of Guernsey)
  • Tim Crookall (a Member of the House of Keys on the Isle of Man)
  • Joyce Watson (Welsh Assembly Member for Mid and West Wales since  2007), and
  • John Grimes (former Head of Governance at the National Assembly for Wales)

 

SHG

26 July 2013


Reminder - Refinements to Bus Timetable

The public are reminded that as of Thursday, 25 July 2013, slight changes have been made to the bus timetable.

Changes to the timetable are:

On Route C the two trips from Jamestown leaving at 11.30am and again at 12.30pm are now merged. Currently the trip which leaves Jamestown at 11.30am travels to Ladder Hill, Half Tree Hollow, New Ground and White Wall, returning to Jamestown at 12.20pm. The bus which leaves Jamestown at 12.30pm travels to Ladder Hill, White Wall, New Ground and terminates at White Gate.

Now, the merged, single trip leaves the Grand Parade, Jamestown at 12 noon, travels to Ladder Hill, Half Tree Hollow, White Wall, New Ground, Cleughs Plain, Rosemary Plain, and Scotland, before terminating at White Gate. Following this termination, the normal Route B runs, beginning at 1.35pm (details of this run can be found on the existing timetable).

The public should note that this newly merged trip from Jamestown will not run on a Wednesday and Sunday. Similar trips running on these days will leave Jamestown at 8.30am, 3pm and 9pm. These trips on a Wednesday will now only travel as far as the CCC. But subject to the demand of Hospital staff also using this run, the bus might travel further, to take staff home.

These changes to the revised timetable will cut out less frequently used routes and offer more ‘in demand’ routes.

SHG
26 July 2013


Inaugural Meeting of Legislative Council 2013

Legislative Council 2013
Legislative Council 2013
Inaugural Meeting of Legislative Council 2013
Inaugural Meeting of Legislative Council 2013

The inaugural meeting of the newly elected Legislative Council took place today in the Court House, Jamestown, starting at 10am.

The proceedings were opened with the entry of the President, His Excellency Governor Capes, followed by Prayers and the Administration of Oaths. Governor Capes presided until the Speaker was elected.

Oaths were taken before the Governor, first by Ex-Officio Members, the Acting Chief Secretary, Acting Financial Secretary and the Attorney General, and then by Elected Members.

Governor Capes then addressed Legislative Council (see earlier press release) after which the following elections took place:

Election of Speaker and Deputy Speaker

Mr Eric Benjamin was elected as Speaker of the House, with Mrs Cathy Hopkins as Deputy Speaker. Following these elections and due to Mr Benjamin currently being off-Island, Madam Deputy Speaker assumed chairmanship (once the appropriate Oaths had been taken).

In her address to the House, Madam Deputy Speaker reminded Members of the weight of responsibility they now carry during their term in Office as leaders of the community – how the Island progresses will be theirs to frame. She wished them well and offered her full support.


Election of Committee Chairmen

Elected Members were then asked to elect from amongst themselves Chairmen for the five Council Committees. The following were elected:

Economic Development Committee – Councillor Lawson Henry

Education Committee – Councillor Christine Scipio-O’Dean

Environment & Natural Resources Committee – Councillor Cyril George

Health &Social Services Committee – Councillor Ian Rummery

Social & Community Development Committee – Councillor Nigel Dollery

Members of these committees will be appointed by Governor Capes after consultation with the relevant Chairmen. Detailed allocations of responsibilities will be dealt with separately to allow for consultation with the new Councillors on the detail of which Committees cover which areas.

Election of Executive Council Members

Members elected to serve on Executive Council were Councillors Lawson Henry, Ian Rummery, Cyril George, Christine Scipio-O’Dean and Nigel Dollery.

Election of Members of the Public Accounts Committee

The final election was for three members to serve on the Public Accounts Committee, Members elected were Councillors Brian Isaac, Tony Green and Leslie Baldwin.

The final business of the morning was the customary Adjournment Debate, allowing Members to speak on issues they wished to take forward. This was followed with a response from Acting Chief Secretary, Gillian Francis in which she congratulated newly Elected Members, the Speaker and Deputy Speaker and thanked Directors and employees of SHG and ESH for their ongoing hard work and support.

The meeting closed around 12.30pm.

SHG
24 July 2013


Governor Addresses Legislative Council

This morning HE Governor Capes addressed the first meeting of the St Helena Legislative Council since the General Election held on 17 July 2013. Here is the Governor’s Address in full:

“My Lord Bishop, I thank you warmly for your presence here this morning and for inviting God’s blessings and guidance. Thank you also, for all that you do, with such enthusiasm, love and compassion, for our community.

Honourable Members, colleagues, I welcome this opportunity to address you at the beginning of the term of this new Legislative Council. I should like first to congratulate each one of you for standing for election and on winning the confidence of those that you are here to represent. I offer special acknowledgment to Councillor Olsson who I believe is here to serve on Council for her fifth term. I should also acknowledge those that stood unsuccessfully at the General Election. I thank them for their willingness to serve the people of St Helena.

It would be most remiss of me not to pause here, to mention the excellent work of the Returning Officer, Mrs Gilly Francis. She, and her team, managed the preparations for the election and the count itself quite superbly. Mrs Francis, currently our acting Chief Secretary, is an outstanding public servant and trusted colleague whose professionalism sets the high standard that others may strive to achieve; I am most grateful to her.

My thanks also to our hugely capable and experienced Attorney General, Ken Baddon, for his invaluable input to the election process and for the steady supply of sound advice that he so readily provides to guide our work. That I have enjoyed every single day of my work here is due in large part to having such first class colleagues.

During the run up to the General Election, one often heard the remark that this would be the most important General Election in the history of St Helena. I would not disagree. The status quo of seemingly endless dependency on DfID has gone forever. St Helena is on a new compass bearing now, one that steers away from reliance on the taxes of people 5,000 miles away. We are approaching a new era, an era that will bring many challenges, as well as new opportunities. At the dawn of air access in 2016, this Legislative Council will be in the driving seat. Whether St Helena is well positioned, ready to prosper and benefit from this new era, will depend on you. Whether the people of St Helena will be properly prepared, ready to face that new era with confidence, without fear, will depend on you. The people of St Helena have put their trust in you to guide the Island.

I believe that they want you to deliver greater opportunity and prosperity, ensuring that all who live here can share in that prosperity, ensuring that those who need extra help and care will receive it and ensuring that the environment and cultural heritage is properly safeguarded. I believe that is the essence of the challenge that you face. And the people of St Helena, to whom you are accountable, will rightly judge you on your performance.

You will have your own ideas on how to meet the challenge ahead. But I should like to offer to you a few thoughts on laying the foundations for progress; thoughts that are drawn from my observations over the past year or so.

The people look to you for leadership. They want to see leadership. I urge you to provide that leadership and the accountability that must accompany it. That involves being prepared to explain and stand by your decisions. When the going gets tough, it is important to resist taking the ignoble route of looking to officials or others to provide cover for your decisions. You make the decisions, you own them, you explain and justify them.

Encourage good communication and trust between each other and with public servants. Avoid being labelled as one of those that constantly criticise and find fault. How idle it is, how utterly unhelpful and negative it is, to just criticise and blame others. How much more constructive, how much more intelligent, to work, to work together, to find a remedy.

Tell the people where you are taking St Helena. An absolutely vital and continuous part of your job must be to make the time to explain fully to the people where we are heading and why; and crucially, what that will mean for them.

I offer these thoughts for you to consider as you prepare to take on the heavy responsibility of government. You may choose to disregard them of course, but if you were to heed them I believe that you would soon improve the historically poor image that many people have of Councillors, and by extension of government. My challenge to you, starting from today, is to improve the reputation and worth of Councillors in the eyes of the people of this Island.

For my part, as Governor and head of the government, I commit to working with you and with officials to help meet the challenges ahead to serve the best interests of all the people of St Helena. Let us work together, in partnership, to build a stronger St Helena, to deliver the full potential of this wonderfully special and much loved Island.

Thank you.”

Governor Mark Capes
24 July 2013


Reminder - Photography Competition

 

There are only 9 days left before the closing date of the St Helena photography competition – on Wednesday 31 July.  So be quick if you want to enter!

If you still have any questions, then feel free to contact 2368.

All photos submitted must be taken on St Helena, but otherwise there are no conditions.  Existing photographs will be accepted, or those taken especially for the competition, and can be of any subject.  For example, your family or friends, your home surroundings, a celebration or your favourite spot on the Island.  Indoors or outdoors, high quality or not – please feel free to submit all types of photographs that reflect any aspect of your life on this Island.  We’re not just interested in beautiful photographs – we want the day to day images too.

A maximum of 5 pictures can be submitted for judging and should (ideally) be stored on a CD or a memory stick, and placed in an envelope with a description of the pictures and approximate date/s taken, together with your name, age category, and contact details.  Entries should be addressed to Ian Jones, Chief Public Relations Officer, 1 Main Street. They can be posted or dropped off at the office.

Remember – terrific prizes for first place (£150), second (£75) and third (£50) will be awarded in each of three age categories.  These are those aged 10-15, 16-21 and 22 years and over. 

This is your chance to show what your Island is all about!

SHG

23 July 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


End Of Year Concert Held At Prince Andrew School

Alex Vanguard singing Cottage On A Hill
Alex Vanguard singing Cottage On A Hill

To celebrate the end of another school year, Prince Andrew School held its annual End of School Concert and Melodrama Evening on Friday 19 July 2013. Those who participated included the lunchtime and after school musical groups, the GCSE music group, the after school Melodrama Club and Made in St Helena (the School’s rock band).

Head Girl Eira Stevens hosted the evening and introduced the acts. Also attending were, Cathy Hopkins, Flute and Clarinet tutor and Pastor Graeme Beckett, Trumpet tutor.

Although entrance was free, money was donated generously by the public to put towards the School’s fund for music education. There was also a sale of CDs with the talents of the Schools very own vocals group.

Paul Starkie, Head Teacher of Prince Andrew School, opened the evening by welcoming members of the public and guests, including HE Governor Capes, accompanied by Mrs Capes.  Paul said that they were in for “a musical feast”.

There was a challenge for most students, as those who were part of the GCSE Music group performed a solo for their coursework.

The Melodrama Club provided entertainment to the audience by performing “I Wish I Was Our Sammy” and excerpts from “Blood Brothers” – both by Willy Russell.

The evening was rounded off with a performance by Made in St Helena, with the group singing Emeli Sande’s “Next to me”.

Music teacher and director of the evening, Teeny Lucy commented:

“I am very pleased with the concert overall, especially the standard of the performances from the students. They’ve worked hard over the past year learning various instruments, plus choir and drama. They produced an enjoyable evening for all. With the money collected from purchasing of the vocals CD and the donations on the night, there is a total of over £300. being put towards the music education fund.”

Picture attached

SHG

23 July 2013


Royal Birth - Congratulations from St Helena

Speaking on receiving the happy news from London yesterday evening, His Excellency Governor Mark Capes said:

‘On behalf of the people of St Helena, Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha, I send warm greetings and congratulations to Their Royal Highnesses, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, on the birth of their son.’

The Governor,
St Helena, Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha,
23 July 2013


ESH Open Day Marks 1 Year of Operation

Attendees Gather for ESH Official Opening
Attendees Gather for ESH Official Opening

Just over a year since its launch, Enterprise St Helena (ESH) hosted an official Open Day on Friday 19 July 2013 to mark its first year in operation.

Governor Capes Unveils ESH Cornerstone
Governor Capes Unveils ESH Plaque

Attended by His Excellency Governor Capes, newly Elected Members and other distinguished guests and officials, the Open Day, held at the ESH Business Park at Ladder Hill, sought to inform attendees of what ESH has been doing over the last 12 months, showcase the opportunities and activities that will be available in the next 32 months (the estimated period until the airport opening), and showcase opportunities for development and business growth.

Governor Capes officially opened the ESH Offices at 3pm, and commented:

“The opening of the airport in early 2016 will give St Helena a chance to halt the economic decline of past decades, turning it around so that it can begin to grow and support the needs of St Helena. It will do this by providing good jobs and the revenue we would like to see spent on our Health Care, Schools and Social Services.

“This means that Saints need to take advantage of new business opportunities that air access will make possible, by either improving and expanding existing businesses here or starting new ones – that is why we need ESH who are here to help Saints to get involved and to share in growing our economy.”

Following a blessing by Bishop Richard, Governor Capes unveiled the plaque at the cornerstone of the ESH Offices and declared the Enterprise St Helena offices officially opened.

A specially made cake for the occasion was cut by the oldest and newest tenants of the Business Park, after which attendees were able to browse the ESH offices and visit the tenants to find out more about the services they offer.

The work of ESH focuses on six key areas:
• Tourism Promotion
• Up-skilling Saints
• Helping Saint Businesses to Plan for Growth
• Assisting Saint Businesses with Finance
• Fisheries Development
• Attracting Investment (Both local and international).

SHG
22 July 2013


Further Refinements to Bus Timetable

The revised bus timetable, introduced on 22 May 2013, will see further changes later this week, as a result of information collected since the trial bus service started on 11 February 2013.

Changes to the revised timetable will cut out less frequently used routes and offer routes that are more ‘in demand’. These changes will take effect from Thursday 25 July 2013.

Changes to the current timetable are as follows:

On Route C the two trips from Jamestown leaving at 11.30am and again at 12.30pm will be merged. Currently the trip which leaves Jamestown at 11.30am travels to Ladder Hill, Half Tree Hollow, New Ground and White Wall, returning to Jamestown at 12.20pm. The bus which leaves Jamestown at 12.30pm travels to Ladder Hill, White Wall, New Ground and terminates at White Gate.

From Thursday, the merged, single trip will leave the Grand Parade, Jamestown at 12 noon, travel to Ladder Hill, Half Tree Hollow, White Wall, New Ground, Cleughs Plain, Rosemary Plain, and Scotland, before terminating at White Gate. Following this termination will be the normal Route B run, which begins at 1.35pm (Details of this run can be found on the existing timetable).

Exact times for each stop on the newly merged route can be obtained from Joshua’s Taxis on 3648.

The second change to the timetable is the removal of the Route B public transport run on a Wednesday. The bus which leaves the Grand Parade at 8.30am, 3pm and 9pm will now only travel as far as the CCC. But subject to the demand of Hospital staff also using this run, the bus might travel further, to take staff home.

Acting Deputy Chief Secretary, Derek Henry, said of these changes:

“The reason for further refining the current trial bus timetable is to better cater for public demand.

“We received suggestions about certain routes and taking these comments into consideration we have tried to arrange routes to benefit the majority of our users. These changes will hopefully provide the best mix for our final timetable, which will be published once the trial service finishes at the end of August.”

SHG
22 July 2013


Students Experiencing The World Of Work

Thirty-two year 11 students of Prince Andrew School have from 1 July volunteered to take part in the work experience programme provided by the Adult Vocational Education Service (AVES).  Having completed their compulsory schooling and GCSE examinations – for the next six weeks these students will be working in various organisations across the Island. A number of these students have decided to work for St Helena Government and related bodies – including in the Police Directorate, Environmental Management Directorate (EMD), Primary Schools, and Health and Social Welfare.

Students have also shown interest in the Tourist Office, a part of Enterprise St Helena, which has a strong link with SHG.

Alexandria Thomas
Alexandria Thomas

The experience gained from working in these Directorates will give students an insight into an actual working environment, providing them with more knowledge and experience about the career path they might choose.

We caught up with two students on the programme.

Alexandria Thomas (photo attached) has an interest in tourism and has chosen to work five days a week in the Tourist Office, Jamestown. Alexandria says that so far her work is satisfying, but she has a challenge to overcome her shyness and become more confident. At the end of the programme, Alexandria will have gained experience of what is like to be in the working world, and then hopes to work towards a career in travel and tourism.

Candice Thomas
Candice Thomas

Another student, Candice Thomas (photo attached), chose to work at Pilling Primary School as she would like to have a future in teaching. Being a former student of Pilling Primary, Candice is familiar with her working surroundings. Candice enjoys working three days a week and has learnt how to cope with different behaviours and how to be a good role model to those younger than her. Candice is sure that the work experience programme will help to prepare her for the future, as she is also interested in counselling children and says that she would like to work as a full time employee at Pilling Primary.

Cynthia Bennett of AVES organised the programme for students as part of the Careers Guidance Programme to help them choose the right job to suit their personality and to gain knowledge of what is needed to continue their career path.

Before the programme started, a one to one interview was conducted between Cynthia and each student to discuss their career plans and their choice of work experience. From there, Cynthia contacted the employers of each chosen workplace to ask for permission and to set a programme for the student. In addition to this programme, Cynthia will conduct an in-depth interview/job search programme that will last for four days and which she encourages all students, particularly those who will not be returning to school, to participate in.

So far Cynthia says that she has had positive feedback from all trainers. She commented:

“I am very pleased with the way the programme is going and, that all the students have taken this seriously and have realised the benefits.

“I am also pleased about the support I’ve had from the training providers and all the employment organisations. A lot of people have really come on board with it and have been very supportive.

“We ask the employers to come up with a work programme so that the students will have some idea of what is expected of them – each employer has done that. An assessment is made at the end of the programme – and that is an important reward to the students as they can keep it as a reference when they seek employment.”

 

SHG

22 July 2013


New Councillors Begin Work

St Helena’s newly elected Councillors started their term in office today, with a briefing from senior officials.  This is in preparation for the first formal meeting of the new Legislative Council (LegCo) on Wednesday 24 July 2013.  The new Elected Members are:

  • Leslie      Paul Baldwin, Nigel Dollery, Wilson Charles Duncan, Gavin George Ellick,      Cyril Robert George, Anthony Arthur Green, Lawson Arthur Henry, Brian      William Isaac, Bernice Alicia Olsson, Ian Sebastian Rummery, Christine      Lilian Scipio-O’Dean, and Derek Franklin Thomas.

 

At this inaugural LegCo, Oaths of office will first be administered.  Following this, Councillors will elect a Speaker and Deputy Speaker, and also elect Committee Chairmen and Members to serve on Executive Council (ExCo).  Finally, three Members to serve on the Public Accounts Committee will be elected.  The Governor will preside over this inaugural meeting of the Legislative Council, but steps down as soon as the Speaker is elected.

The first meeting of ExCo will take place on Tuesday 6 August 2013.

As part of the Induction process for Elected Members, a Delegation from the UK branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) will arrive on-Island on Monday 29 July. 

 

CPA Delegation

Members of the Delegation will work with Councillors over an eight-day programme to strengthen and promote good Governance in St Helena.

Members of the CPA Delegation are:  Lord Shutt of Greetland OBE FCA (a former Deputy Chief Whip in the House of Lords and Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard), John Grimes (former Head of Governance at the National Assembly for Wales), Barry Paint (an Elected Member – or ‘Deputy’ – on the island of Guernsey), Tim Crookall (a Member of the House of Keys for Peel on the Isle of Man), and Joyce Watson (Welsh Assembly Member for Mid and West Wales since May 2007).

The post-Election seminar for Councillors will cover a range of subjects, including their role as Councillors, the leadership required from them, strategic policy making, the vital Councillor/community link, scrutiny and accountability, and the ethical behaviour and standards that are expected from Elected Members. The CPA will work with senior SHG officials in covering these subjects.

 

Notes for Editors

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association’s mission is to advance Parliamentary democracy by enhancing the knowledge and understanding of democratic Governance.  It seeks to build an informed political community able to deepen the Commonwealth’s democratic commitment and promote co-operation among its members.

SHG

19 July 2013


St Helena Wins First Ever Gold at Island Games

Marksman, Simon Henry
Marksman, Simon Henry

St Helena has won its first ever Gold Medal at the Island Games in the 2013 competition, currently being held in Bermuda.

Marksman, Simon Henry (pictured), took the Gold in the 10m Air Rifle Event emerging in top position with a score of 567 points, ahead of Gotland with 565 and Jersey with 558.

Simon also won a Silver Medal on Wednesday in the 50m Three Position Small Bore Rifle Open Event and on Tuesday both him and Carlos Yon won Silver Medals in the 50m Three Position Small Bore Rifle Team Event.

SHG
19 July 2013


St Helena Takes Another Silver At Island Games

For the second time in two days, St Helena has won a Silver Medal in the NatWest Island Games 2013, currently being held in Bermuda.

Marksman, Simon Henry (picture attached), came second place in the 50m 3 Position Small Bore Rifle Open Event with a score of 535, just 29 points behind Gotland (564) and 4 points ahead of Guernsey (531).

Simon Henry
Simon Henry

 

Fellow St Helenian Carlos Yon followed closely behind in 6th position out of 11 shooters.

These results make this St Helena’s best ever performance in the Island Games, with several events still to come.

SHG
18 July 2013


General Election 2013 - Results

Returning Officer, Gillian Francis this morning announced the results of Polling Day for the General Election 2013 and has accordingly declared that the following candidates have been duly elected to serve as Members of the St Helena Legislative Council:

Leslie Paul Baldwin, Half Tree Hollow

Nigel Dollery, St Pauls

Wilson Charles Duncan, Longwood

Gavin George Ellick, St Pauls

Cyril Robert George, St Pauls

Anthony Arthur Green, St Pauls

Lawson Arthur Henry, Alarm Forest

Brian William Isaac, Longwood

Bernice Alicia Olsson, Jamestown

Ian Sebastian Rummery, Alarm Forest

Christine Lilian Scipio-O’Dean, Longwood

• Derek Franklin Thomas, Half Tree Hollow

The Count took place from just after 8.30pm last night to just after 4.00am this morning.

The votes awarded to each candidate were as follows:

• Leslie Paul Baldwin 608

• Audrey Mavis Constantine 419

• Nigel Dollery 845

• Wilson Charles Duncan 536

• Gavin George Ellick 511

• Cyril Robert George 711

• Stedson Robert George 355

• Anthony Arthur Green 570

• Cyril Keith Gunnell 230

• Earl Hilton Henry 338

• Lawson Arthur Henry 857

• Brian William Isaac 678

• Brenda Elaine Moors 405

• Bernice Alicia Olsson 502

• Ian Sebastian Rummery 894

• Christine Lilian Scipio-O’Dean 771

• Derek Franklin Thomas 594

• Lionel George Williams 188

• Raymond Kenneth Williams 153

• Mervyn Robert Yon 202

In total 1264 people cast valid votes. This represents approximately 55 % of those eligible to vote – compared with 58% in 2009, and 47% in 2005.

There were 7 invalid Ballot Papers.

SHG
18 July 2013


General Election 2013

The General Election 2013 will be held this Wednesday, 17 July 2013.

Each voter will be able to select up to 12 candidates, from the 20 listed on the Ballot Paper. You do not have to use all 12 votes – you can just select your one favourite, or two or three – in fact any number up to 12. If you select more than 12, your Ballot Paper will be invalid, and none of your votes will be counted.

A green leaflet on the voting process, including the list of candidates, and examples of valid and invalid Ballot Papers can be found in the following outlets:
• The Public Library
• The Customer Service Centre
• Jamestown Spar
• A&D’s Mini Mart
• Half Tree Hollow Spar
• Phillip John’s
• Sandy Bay (Thorpe’s)
• Sandy Bay (Solomon & Company)
• Silver Hill (Solomon & Company)
• Longwood Supermarket

Polling Stations at the Levelwood, Harford, Jamestown, Blue Hill, Sandy Bay, Kingshurst and Half Tree Hollow Community Centres and at Judges’ Lodge, Alarm Forest, will be open from 10 am to 7pm, they will close promptly at 7pm.

Counting of votes will begin in the main hall at Prince Andrew School at approximately 8 pm – after which the results will be declared, with candidates and supporters in attendance.

SHG
15 July 2013


GENERAL ELECTION 2013

GENERAL ELECTION 2013

There will be one Election on Wednesday 17 July 2013, to elect 12 Councillors to represent the whole Island.  This means that all the candidates’ names will all on one Ballot Paper.

Each voter will be able to select up to 12 candidates.  But you do not have to use all 12 votes – you can just select your one favourite, or two or three – in fact any number up to 12. If you select more than 12, your Ballot Paper will be invalid, and none of your votes will be counted.

Polling Stations at the Levelwood, Harford, Jamestown, Blue Hill, Sandy Bay, Kingshurst and Half Tree Hollow Community Centres and at Judges’ Lodge, Alarm Forest will be open from 10 am to 7 pm. 

Counting of votes will begin in the main hall at Prince Andrew School at approximately 8 pm – after which the results will be declared, with candidates and supporters in attendance.

 SHG

9 July 2013 

 


Official List Of Candidates For General Election 2013

Returning Officer, Gillian Francis, this afternoon announced the names of 20 Candidates who will be standing for this year’s General Election. This year, with a single constituency, the electorate will have the opportunity to vote for up to 12 Councillors to represent the whole Island.

The candidates are as follows:

Leslie Paul Baldwin: of Half Tree Hollow

Audrey Mavis Constantine: of Maldivia, Jamestown

Nigel Dollery: of “Pleasant View Cottage”, New Ground, St Pauls

Wilson Charles Duncan: of Old Millsite, Nr Harford Community Centre, Longwood

Gavin George Ellick: of New Ground, St Pauls

Cyril Robert George: of “Clifton Cottage”, Sapper Way, St Pauls

Stedson Robert George: of “Utopia”, Two Gun Saddle, Alarm Forest

Anthony Arthur Green: of “Oltonia”, Knollcombes, St Pauls

Cyril Keith Gunnell: of “Cashem House”, Napoleon Street, Jamestown

Earl Hilton Henry: of Thompson’s Hill, St Pauls

Lawson Arthur Henry: of Sea View, Alarm Forest

Brian William Isaac: of “Elizium”, Longwood Road, Longwood

Brenda Elaine Moors: of Alarm Forest

Bernice Alicia Olsson: of “Association Hall”, Main Street, Jamestown

Ian Sebastian Rummery: of Alarm Forest

Christine Lilian Scipio-O’Dean: of Black Field, Longwood

Derek Franklin Thomas: of Cow Path, Half Tree Hollow

Lionel George Williams: of “Brenville”, Nr Half Tree Hollow, St Pauls

Raymond Kenneth Williams: of “Saddle Cottage”, Nr Horse Pasture, Blue Hill

Mervyn Robert Yon: of “High View Cottage”, Nr Red Hill, St Pauls

The full Declaration, including the names of Sponsors, will be Gazetted as soon as possible and hard copies will be placed at the usual outlets and published on the SHG website.

Polling Day is set for Wednesday 17 July 2013. Details on how and where to vote will be set out in an insert in both local newspapers this week.

SHG
2 July 2013


Sean Burns To Be Next Head Of Goverment's Office

Next Head Of Governor's Office
Sean Burns – Next Head Of Governor’s Office

Sean Burns To Be Next Head Of Governor’s Office

Mr Sean Burns, presently serving as the Administrator on Tristan da Cunha, has been appointed as the next Head of the Governor’s Office and will take up the position in January 2014. The role has been upgraded and will carry additional responsibilities, including that of acting as Acting Governor in the Governor’s absence, a change that follows the model used in the Falklands.

Governor Capes said:

‘I have worked with Sean in his current role over the past 18 months and have been impressed by his excellent work on Tristan da Cunha. He will bring to the Governor’s Office valuable skills and experience to help manage an increasing workload at this exciting period in St Helena’s history. He will replace my colleague Clive McGill from whom he will inherit a modernised and well-functioning office with fine support provided by Sandra Sim, Manager of the Governor’s Office and from Linda Glanville, PA to the Governor.’

Sean, who will be accompanied by his wife Marina, has served as the Administrator on Tristan for the last three years. Commenting on his new posting, Sean said:

‘I am delighted to have been appointed Head of the Governor’s Office from January 2014. Marina and I are both really looking forward to working and living on St Helena and getting to know the islanders and the Island. Although we have never visited, I have learned something about St Helena from my time as the Administrator on Tristan since 2010, and the exciting changes that are taking place.

‘I have also yet to visit Ascension Island but I hope to make an early visit to meet with the Administrator and Councillors there.

‘I joined the FCO in 1978 and have done a range of jobs, including corporate services, management, consular, immigration, project management and HR. My other postings have included Tanzania, Antigua, Bangladesh, Senegal, Kenya and South Korea as well as peiods back in London.

‘My wife Marina is a qualified TEFL teacher and has spent the last 17 years teaching English and other subjects, mainly for the British Council. We have two children, Damian (21) and Kelly (23) who both hope to visit us at some point in the posting.’

SHG
28 June 2013


Revised Bus Timetable - One Month On

Following a mid-term review of the trial bus service, a revised timetable was introduced on 22 May 2013 and has now been in operation for just over a month.

Operated by Joshua’s Taxis, the trial bus service replaces the previous A, B and C routes and the Rupert’s run. The introduction of the revised timetable has seen new routes and times, including an additional late night departure from Donny’s at the weekend and a quicker home-to-duty journey between Longwood and Jamestown. The removal of the least used journeys has also brought a more efficient and convenient service for the majority of users.

Speaking with Jeffrey Joshua, who manages Joshua’s Taxi Services he said:

“The public have received the trial service and the revised timetable very positively. We haven’t had any complaints so far and numbers have also picked up, especially with the current school holidays. Overall I would say everything is going well to enable this system to become a permanent fixture in the future.”

Monitoring of the trial service and revised timetable to date has resulted in the discontinuation of less frequently used routes, such as the cross country and the Rupert’s routes.

The trial service will be extended until the end of August 2013 to enable the effects of the revised timetable to be fully monitored and assessed. This will ensure that when a permanent service is introduced, it provides the best possible service for its passengers.

SHG
26 June 2013


ExCo Report - 25 June 2013

Good afternoon,

A short EXCO today that started at 9.30 and finished at 11 o’clock.

We began with a brief status report on the airport project for which we were joined by Janet Lawrence, Airport Director. Many of you will be aware from the regular airport updates that Basil Read are considering design changes in Dry Gut and are currently working on a proposal to develop an open channel, instead of the culvert and attenuation dam. Executive Council was given an update on the status of the proposed design variation and the process that is being followed. There will be a more full discussion of the proposal at a meeting of Executive Council scheduled for next week.

Moving to our next item, the Attorney General presented a paper inviting EXCO to confirm that the number of Committees should be reduced from 8 to 5. The principle having been agreed some time ago, EXCO had no difficulty in approving the recommendation. This clears the way for an orderly transition when the current Committees stand down at the first meeting of Legislative Council after the General Election. EXCO accepted that the new Legislative Council may wish to ‘fine tune’ the titles and scope of one or more of the five Committees.

Our final paper today sought approval to add Italy to the list of countries specified by Regulations under the Medical Practitioners Ordinance. This was to enable a specialist gynaecologist from Italy, due to arrive here next month, to practice medicine on St Helena. Council approved this straightforward request.

And with that we closed our meeting. I am very pleased to be back on St Helena after my visit to the UK. I have been following with much interest the media interviews of many of those standing for election at the General Election next month. One of the advantages of providing a longer run up to the election is that it allows time for the media and the public to thoroughly explore with candidates how they view some of the important challenges ahead. It has also allowed good time for those standing for election to formulate their opinions and to communicate them properly to the electorate.

For anyone still considering whether or not to stand it’s time to make up your mind as the nominations have to be submitted by noon on Tuesday next week, 2 July.

It’s not a difficult process and the Returning Officer, Mrs Gilly Francis, or one of her team, would be pleased to offer guidance where it is needed. I believe that as of today there are about 16 people who have indicated that they will be standing for election, some of whom have already submitted their nominations.

But whether you are standing for election or not, please do make the effort to turn out to use your vote on polling day, 17 July. This year we will have just one constituency and that means that you will be able to vote for up to 12 candidates. It’s your time to choose who you trust to best represent you and to guide St Helena forward at this time of considerable change. If you don’t vote you lose your opportunity to secure the sort of leadership that you would like to have shaping St Helena’s future. So please do vote on 17 July. Put it in your diary and, rain or shine, vote on 17 July.

Thank you for listening and a very good afternoon to you all.

Mark Capes
Governor
25 June 2013


St Helena Government Website

St Helena Government is pleased to announce the launch of its new website, which has gone live at the same address: www.sainthelena.gov.sh

This website replaces the previous one and is designed to be more user friendly and visual than its predecessor, featuring a themed deep blue colour from the St Helena Crest and many more striking images of the Island.

The site will appeal to users on and off Island with an interest in St Helena affairs, her people, the Airport, the Island’s wonderful environment and rich heritage – with subject areas such as News, About Us, Visitors, Investors and Saints Overseas all more easily accessible from the Home Page.

Ian Jones, Chief Public Relations Officer said:

“We wanted a better, more visual site with a clearer layout and more intuitive navigation – so users can find their way around quickly. Despite a very limited budget we have worked with local company Lupa Designs to achieve this. We will now work to improve this website and add new material and services, but it’s already a much better platform.”

During this initial trial period we are still making additions and amendments to the site (for example, some services, such as video streaming will come online shortly). If any user sees a factual error, please contact:

Kerisha Stevens – publicrelationsofficer1@sainthelena.gov.sh or

Kimberley Yon-Roberts – publicrelationsofficer2@sainthelena.gov.sh or

SHG
25 June 2013


Karen Yon Returns from Overseas Training

Work Colleagues at Shipping Registry in Jersey
Work Colleagues at Shipping Registry in Jersey
Recieving the UK Ship Register Plaque from Graeme Carnegie MCA
Recieving the UK Ship Register Plaque from Graeme Carnegie MCA
Going onboard a fishing boat to conduct a survey in Bridlington
Going onboard a fishing boat to conduct a survey in Bridlington

Post and Customer Service Manager, Karen Yon, recently returned from overseas training under the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Fund.

Karen’s training was focused around her role as Registrar for Shipping and was arranged with the Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA), Department for Transport, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the Registry of Shipping and Seamen, the Beverley Marine Office (all in the UK), the Ships Registry Office, Coastguard Office, Marine Leisure Office and Legal Office in Jersey, plus the Ships Registry Office, Harbour and Marine Office and Sea Fisheries Office in Guernsey.

These placements gave Karen a wide oversight of managing maritime matters and allowed her to ascertain whether procedures and practices on St Helena are up to date and complying with UK standards.

Karen gained an insight into:

• The policies, procedures and standards of operation for small commercial vessels, fishing vesselsand pleasure vessels
• Coding and licensing of vessels
• Surveying of fishing, pleasure and commercial vessels
• Codes of Practice
• Quality Management
• Security Management
• Documentation for registering differently coded vessels
• Mandatory, basic training for fishermen
• Pollution prevention
• Legislation
• International conventions and protocols
• Registration of births and deaths on board vessels
• Carrying out enquiries into deaths on board vessels
• Procedure for apostilled birth and death certificates
• Processing of discharge books and requirements
• Maintaining a small ships registry
• Coding for areas of operation, berthing charges and local registration for jet skis.

During her time in the UK Karen also attended the Category Two Monitoring Meeting of the St Helena Shipping Registry and met with the Chief Executive of MCA to discuss the regulatory scheme, the Annual REG Conference and the completion and signing of the MOU which would then allow the Maritime Accident Investigation Branch to carry out investigations on St Helena’s behalf.

While in Jersey, Karen was invited to the Highlands College to speak about St Helena as a microstate and in Guernsey she visited The Greffe to meet HM the Greffier/Registrar General, John Torode. While there, Karen gained an insight into Guernsey’s systems for registering and recording births, deaths and marriages, including the requirements for civil ceremonies. She was privileged to go into the Royal Assembly (which operates similar to our Legislative Council) where Karen was surprised to be welcomed by the Bailiff Richard Collas.

Karen said:

“The training I received on Shipping procedures was truly constructive and my visit to the Channel Islands, which like on St Helena, operate Category II Shipping Registries, was incredible. There I gained the most valuable experience and skills to be able to effectively manage our Registries in line with MCA requirements.”

Karen was also placed at the Office of Telecommunications in London, where she received training on policies and procedures, licensing conditions, clarification of call signs and Maritime Mobile Service Identity digits for the Island, frequency allocations and processing and approval of applications. Karen said: “It was very rewarding and beneficial to know that St Helena allocations are registered and to gain additional skills and information which will allow me to provide a better service”.

Karen also visited the Royal Mail, Heathrow Worldwide Distribution Centre (HWDC), in Slough and The 288 Group in Poole.

Karen commented:

“These placements were very beneficial, especially when I will be working with our designer on some new ideas for future stamp products. We will be able to improve our products and increase sales opportunities.

“This was also my first time leaving St Helena and I was apprehensive. But I quickly adjusted to the (normal) hectic travelling, was privileged to meet and work with some very helpful people, and have benefitted from this self-development and the contacts I have made.”
Attached to this release are three photographs.

SHG
25 June 2013


General Election 2013: Eight Days Left to Submit Nominations and Proxy Voting

Standing for Election

The public are reminded that they have just eight days to submit candidate nominations for this year’s General Election – the closing date for nominations is Tuesday 2 July 2013 at 12 noon.

If you are considering whether to stand, the time to decide is now.

If you are over the age of 21, genuinely interested in the Island’s affairs and its people, and believe that you have the ability to lead the Island forward as it prepares for opportunities and changes that an airport will bring – then you are encouraged to step forward and submit your nomination.

The process for submitting a nomination is very simple, all you need to do is:

• Make your nomination on the prescribed form, available from the Returning Officer at No. 1 Main Street, The Customer Service Centre or Public Library.
• Make sure that each form contains the signature of the Candidate, two Sponsors and five Supporters, (all of whom must have their names on the new Register of Electors, (published today 24 June 2013). Each Signature must be witnessed (except that of the Candidate) – and the signatures of the two ‘Sponsors’ need to be witnessed by the Returning Officer, Gillian Francis, or a Justice of the Peace.
• Submit completed forms to the Returning Officer by noon on Tuesday 2 July 2013. Early submission is recommended to allow time to correct any errors.

Nomination forms are available from the Returning Officer, at No. 1 Main Street who is also available to answer any questions you may have on the nomination process (Tel: 2314).

Proxy Voting

If more than 12 nominations are received then a Poll will be held on Wednesday, 17 July 2013. The law allows a voter who will be absent from St Helena on polling day, or is by reason of illness or physical incapacity, unable to attend the polling station – to appoint a person (a “Proxy”) to vote on his or her behalf.

The Proxy must be a person who is also eligible to vote – i.e. have their name on the Electoral Register. The new Register of Electors, which will be the one used in this year’s General Election, was published today. It should be noted that no person can be a Proxy for more than one absent or sick elector.

Application forms for voting by proxy are available from the Returning Officer at 1 Main Street, the Customer Service Centre and the Library. Completed forms must be submitted by 10am on Monday 15 July (that is, 48 hours before the start of the poll).

If proxy forms cannot be collected in person, and individuals are unable to submit completed forms by hard copy, you can do so by receiving and sending the forms by email to the Returning Officer, Gillian Francis on deputychiefsec@sainthelena.gov.sh. Completed forms may be delivered directly to the Returning Officer at No 1 Main Street, or can be sent by fax or email to Gillian Francis. However, the email or fax must contain the fully completed form, with an original (hand-written) signature.

SHG
24 June 2013


New Register of Electors Published

The 2013 Register of Electors was published today, 24 June, 2013 in an Extraordinary Gazette. The Register is effective from 1 July 2013.

Only persons who are named on the Register will be eligible to vote, or stand, in the General Election 2013 which will take place on Wednesday 17 July. Those aged under 21 years cannot stand as Candidates.

Further information regarding Polling Day was published in an Insert in both newspapers in the week commencing Monday 10 June. More information will follow.

SHG
24 June 2013


Gillian Francis Appointed Acting Chief Secretary

Deputy Chief Secretary, Gillian Francis, has this morning taken the role of Acting Chief Secretary, after taking the prescribed Oaths of Office in the presence of His Excellency, Governor Capes, in his office at the Castle. Gillian’s appointment as Acting Chief Secretary becomes immediately effective.

Chief Secretary, Owen O’sullivan and his family departed the Island on Friday 21 June for a period of overseas leave. The Chief Secretary will return to St Helena on Monday 2 September 2013.

Gillian Francis takes the Oaths for Acting Chief Secretary

SHG
24 June 2013


Visitors To South Africa

The Immigration section would like to advise the public departing for Cape Town that the Foreign Office guidance to travellers carrying British or British Overseas Territories passports in South Africa recently changed – with the following statement added to their information for travellers:

“Always carry your identity documentation or a copy of your passport. You’ll need to be able to produce valid identification on request by South African officials.”

It is recommended that travellers carry a photocopy of their passport with them while in South Africa. If you decide to carry your original passport, you should ensure it is kept in a safe place and that you retain a copy of it.

SHG
20 June 2013


Water Shortage On St Helena Remains Serious

 Stored Water Levels in Redhill Zone Sufficient for 12 Days

The water shortage on St Helena, though still severe and serious in the affected areas, has eased slightly with this week’s bowsering efforts and the continued reduced level of consumption in the Redhill distribution area.  Although there have been irregular rain showers over the last few days, this has made no significant change in the amount of stored water levels. 

Stored water levels at Redhill remain exceptionally low, but have extended slightly to around 12 days of supply. The Contingency Planning Group (CPG) again thanks the public for responding to the water situation and reducing consumption, as this has helped greatly in stretching the stored water supply. 

An additional bowser from Ascension Island arrived on the RMS this week.  Donated to SHG by MOD at no cost, it will become fully operational at the beginning of next week.  The CPG thanks the MOD for the bowser, which will further increase stored water levels in the Redhill Distribution area.    

The laying of pipework to pump raw water to the Scotts Mill Reservoir area from Hutts Gate, via Grape Vine Gut, will also become effective next week.  This water will then be treated at Redhill, before entering the main system.

This message goes out to the Island as a whole, as bowsering and pumping from reliable sources clearly has implications for the totality of St Helena’s water supplies. Water is ultimately a finite resource on this Island and we thank all districts for reducing their water consumption.

Please continue to reduce your water consumption and use only for essential domestic needs for the foreseeable future.

SHG

21 June 2013


First Ever Gravity Rush A Huge Success

Gravity Rush1                                                                                                   Gravity Rush2

St Helena’s first ever Gravity Rush race event took place in front of an estimated 800-strong crowd on Sunday 16 June 2013.

Organised by SHAPE (St Helena’s Active Participation in Enterprise), the event encouraged the participation of homemade Go-Karts to race down Main Street, Jamestown, finishing on the Bridge in the market place area.

The thrilling and at times hilarious event saw eight entrants, and several spills during the qualifying races.

Cable and Wireless emerged the overall winners, finishing in a remarkable time of just over 40 seconds in their Company inspired Land Rover-styled Go-Kart. Following closely behind was Prince Andrew School’s ‘Renault’ and third place went to Thorpe’s Stores.

SHAPE itself also picked up a prize for best design but had to withdraw from the competition later due to technical difficulties.

Sharon George, Assistant Manager of SHAPE said:

“We were very happy with the afternoon’s event. Lots of hard work went into its preparation and we were really pleased with the turnout and overall success. Our thanks are extended to all those who took part and to the public for their great support.”

Total monies raised on the day were £1628 which will now go towards the £10,000 needed each year to help with SHAPE activities.

The success of the event has now earmarked it as an annual activity. 

SHG

19 June 2013

 


DFID-Funded Health Projects Meet Objectives

The Health and Social Welfare Directorate has received notification from DfID of overall ‘A’ ratings for two major projects indicating that both programmes have met their overall objectives.

The Healthlink 3 and Health Strategy projects started in October 2008 and ended in March 2012.  The main focus of Healthlink 3 was to ensure that key professional personnel for Health and Social Services were provided for St Helena and Tristan da Cunha.  The Health Strategy project complemented Healthlink 3 and – looking forward – focused on developing and improving overall health and social services provision on the Island. The project funding enabled staff training and investment in equipment which have helped to raise standards in health and social care services.

Director of Health and Social Welfare Mrs Carol George said: 

“We are extremely pleased with the ratings received for these projects.  This is the result of hard work and commitment from everyone and I thank all staff involved.  The Directorate is committed to maintain and where necessary further improve health and social welfare services on the Island.”

SHG

19 June 2013


Short Term Return To St Helena For Eddie Palmer As DFID Representative

INTERIM MEASURE

Eddie Palmer, who left the Island in April 2013, is to return to St Helena as DfID Representative on 29 July 2013.  This is an interim measure, following the withdrawal of the selected candidate for the post. Eddie’s return will allow DfID and SHG time to consider all options for strengthening and developing their relationship as partners in St Helena’s future.

Eddie is familiar to many on St Helena, having previously served as DfID Representative from 2006 to 2013. He is likely to remain on-Island until around the end of October 2013.

Set to depart Glasgow on 22 July, Eddie said

‘Although only a temporary return to St Helena, I’m delighted to continue to help out at such an important time in the Island’s development. My familiarity with the important issues and with the SHG team will obviously help and I think this also demonstrates DfID’s continuing commitment to the economic development of St Helena.’ 

SHG

18 June 2013


Biosecurity – Protecting St Helena

In 1998, the inspection of fresh produce arriving on St Helena was formalised.  The Biosecurity Team job is to protect the Island from new invasive species that can have a disastrous effect on St Helena’s crops and agriculture – and perhaps more importantly, on St Helena’s unique species.  

Dr Jill Key, Pest Control and Biosecurity Officer said:

“The fruits and vegetables that are imported onto St Helena come in at two different temperatures, enabling the products to store better.  Once the containers arrive, we open the boxes and inspect a sample of each type of vegetable and fruit.”

Some produce are lower risk than others.  Carrots, for example, are medium, as opposed to high risk peaches, plums and clementines which have the potential to carry varied species of fruit fly.  Potatoes are also high risk to import as they can contain diseases picked up in South Africa.

Jill said that all fresh produce that arrives from South Africa must carry a Perishable Products Export Control Board Certificate (PPECB), which means products come passed for export with the same standards as used for Britain and Japan.  Crops are grown by certified farmers who abide by a strict regime of high levels of inspection for diseases.

Once samples have been collected from the refrigerated containers (situated near the customs buildings) they are taken to the inspection room where every single piece of fruit or vegetable in the sample is checked. 

If a quarantine pest is found, the inspection team are faced with two options – to destroy the entire lot of that fruit or vegetable, or go through every single item in the lot.  This is the preferred option. However, in instances where the pest cannot be seen and a 100% inspection therefore can’t be done, all of the lot has to be destroyed, at the risk and cost of the retailer.  

With the winter season produce – mostly medium risk – it takes us about 5 hours to complete the inspection, once the produce is landed.  The product is then available to retailers.

Jill commented:

“Retailers who import products to the Island all have import licenses.  It is extremely important to have all the relevant documentation in order to verify fresh products imported and to enable us to stop new pests and diseases from coming in.”

A quarantine pest was found in the last voyage.  The team found a caterpillar in a sample of the sweetcorn, tentatively identified as the Spotted Stemborer which, isn’t something found on Island.

Jill explained:

“We then did a 100% inspection of the sweetcorn and found a total of 4 cobs infested. The caterpillars have been taken to the biocontrol unit to breed up into adults for identification.”

Jill explained that due to the nature of the Island – although levels of invasive species are quite low – there is a high risk to the unique biodiversity on St Helena.  The Biosecurity and Pest Control team plays a vital role in safeguarding St Helena’s environment.

SHG

18 June 2013

 

 


St Helena Photography Competition - Reminder

Entries are invited from the ages of 10 and upwards for a national photography competition.  The photos submitted must be images taken of St Helena.  There are no set categories, but all images of people, places, wildlife and scenery should seek to capture the atmosphere, beauty and culture of the Island.  There are 3 age categories (see below).

Images submitted for judging (a maximum of 5 photos per entry) must be on CDs placed in an envelope with a description of the pictures, date taken, photographer’s name, age and contact details – addressed to Ian Jones, Chief Public Relations Officer, 1 Main Street.  Entries will be judged by a panel of St Helena residents.

The closing date for entries is Wednesday 31 July 2013, 4pm.

Prizes will be awarded by HE The Governor for first (£150), second (£75) and third place (£50) in each of the age categories of 10-15 yrs, 16-21 yrs and 22 and over.  Winning entries are likely to receive substantial publicity as well as being displayed on the St Helena Government Website. 

SHG

18 June 2013


St Helena Customs To Introduce Automated Data System

St Helena, one of the remotest jurisdictions in the world, is introducing ASYCUDA (Automated System for Customs Data).

This web based system will improve efficiency and speed in the acceptance and clearance of cargo, tax and other paper transactions. It also provides for the clearance of goods and for payment online. The system allows for a one-stop gateway for HM Customs and Revenue business, providing Government with trade figures and statistics in real time which is invaluable for budgeting and planning.

The development of the ASYCUDA system on St Helena signals the continuing improvement of HM Customs and Revenue’s service to the trade, public and Government, all of which will assist the Island in its future development.

Peter Henderson, Director General of HM Customs and Revenue on St Helena said:

“The ASYCUDA system will allow for simplified procedures that are clearly understood and transparent, while providing the level of service the community requires and deserves in the modern world. ASYCUDA will continue to develop in the future and we can look forward to further innovations.”

He added:

“While accepting electronic systems can improve our lives, we should never forget that there is an important human element in operating them and we are fortunate to have dedicated and professional staff, plus assistance from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).”

Reaching this point has taken a lot of hard work and dedication but now that the planning and procurement phases have been completed, St Helena staff – Juliette O’Dean, Customs Administrative Officer and Jeremy Roberts, Head of Information Technology – are now undergoing training by UNCTAD in Geneva to ensure the system can be installed and rolled out effectively on the Island.

The Introduction of the ASYCUDA system signifies a further step in the provision of E-government and ‘green’ government, and is important to the modernisation of the Island and its growing economy.

 Notes for Editors:

At present St Helena is only accessible by sea on the Royal Mail Ship St Helena (RMS), which runs from Cape Town, South Africa, and Ascension Island. This however is changing with the building of an airport on the Island, scheduled to open in early 2016.

St Helena, one of the most isolated Islands in the world, was for centuries an important stopover for ships sailing to Asia and South Africa. The Island was also used as a place of exile, most notably for Napoleon, Dinuzulu kaCetshwayo (King of the Zulus) and more than 5,000 Boer prisoners.

St Helena is Britain’s second oldest remaining Overseas Territory. 

HM Customs and Revenue

SHG

18 June 2013

 


Water Shortage on St Helena Remains Serious

Stored Water Levels in Redhill Zone Sufficient for 10 Days

All St Helena Residents Urged to Continue Saving Water The water shortage on St Helena, though still severe and serious, has eased slightly with this week’s bowsering efforts and the continued reduced level of consumption in the Redhill distribution area.

Stored water levels at Redhill remain exceptionally low, but have extended slightly to around 10 days of supply. The Contingency Planning Group (CPG) again thanks the public for responding to the water problem. We are seeing reduced usage from the Redhill treatment plant, but also in Jamestown and Levelwood. This is very welcome. Consumption in the affected areas has settled at around 250 cubic metres per day (down from the normal 400), setting an example to the rest of the Island. But, with the Bank Holiday weekend approaching we must all continue our efforts to conserve this valuable resource.

Please continue to reduce your water consumption and use for essential domestic needs for the foreseeable future. This message goes out to the Island as a whole, as bowsering and pumping from reliable sources clearly has implications for the totality of St Helena’s water supplies. Water is ultimately a finite resource on this Island. The bowsering teams will take a break this weekend in order to allow the replenishment of their raw water sources. An additional bowser from Ascension Island will be arriving on 20 June.

A more technical media briefing will take place this afternoon, as well as the regular water overview. This will explain what the CPG is doing to secure supplies for the Redhill zone in the medium term. All of this is aimed at securing reliable and sustainable sources for residents, with July and August in mind. In the longer term, some permanent infrastructure changes on St Helena as a whole are likely.

Notes to Editors: A leaflet – Your Top Ten Tips to Saving Water – is now available in local shops, and in this week’s newspapers. Please keep a copy to hand. The leaflet reminds you that you can save water in numerous ways, including: • Not flushing the toilet on every occasion • Using washing up water on the garden or vegetable patch • Using the washing machine sparingly and only when full • Taking a short shower instead of a bath – you can save up to 90 gallons of water a week • Turning the tap off while brushing teeth – this could save 25 gallons of water a month • Using a bowl when washing vegetables or fruit instead of using running water • Checking your taps for leaks and fixing them – a small drip can amount to 20 gallons a day.

SHG

14 June 2013


Water Shortage on St Helena Remains Serious

WATER SHORTAGE ON ST HELENA REMAINS SERIOUS

Still Just Over One Week’s Stored Water in Redhill Zone

All Residents Urged to Continue Saving Water

The water shortage on St Helena remains severe, with stored water levels at Redhill still exceptionally low. Meanwhile, the lack of significant rainfall is forecast to continue.

Consumption in the affected areas has settled at around 250 cubic metres per day (down from the normal 400), and we thank residents in the Redhill distribution zone for their efforts in reducing consumption. This is recognised and significant. But we must continue stretching this valuable resource in the Redhill zone and across the Island.

Please continue to reduce your water consumption and use only for essential purposes for the foreseeable future.

This message goes out to the Island as a whole, as bowsering and pumping from reliable sources clearly has implications for the totality of St Helena’s water supplies. Water is ultimately a finite resource on the Island.

The Contingency Planning Group (CPG) is examining all water sources on St Helena and doing everything possible to extend planned supplies to Redhill. Piped and pumped solutions are now part of the picture, as well as secure bowsering. An additional bowser from Ascension Island will be arriving on 20 June. A technical plan, including some procurement of equipment, is also in place – and the media is invited to a briefing on this and the overall picture on Friday 14 June at 2pm, in the Council Chamber.

All of this is aimed at securing reliable and sustainable sources for Redhill, with July and August in mind. In the longer term, some permanent infrastructure changes on St Helena as a whole are likely.

Bearing in mind the ultimately finite nature of domestic water on the Island – and the current weather – we continue to urge all residents to please use less of this precious resource.

Notes to Editors:

A leaflet – Your Top Ten Tips to Saving Water – is now available in local shops, and in this week’s newspapers. Please pick up a copy. The leaflet reminds you that you can save water in numerous ways, including:

• Not flushing the toilet on every occasion
• Using washing up water on the garden or vegetable patch
• Using the washing machine sparingly and only when full
• Taking a short shower instead of a bath – you can save up to 90 gallons of water a week
• Turning the tap off while brushing teeth – this could save 25 gallons of water a month
• Using a bowl when washing vegetables or fruit instead of using running water
• Checking your taps for leaks and fixing them – a small drip can amount to 20 gallons a day.

SHG
12 June 2013


Water Quality in Redhill Distribution Area

WATER QUALITY IN REDHILL DISTRIBUTION AREA

Because we are still experiencing problems supplying water to the Redhill Distribution area, the water quality cannot be guaranteed during this period. It is a wise precaution to advise all consumers to boil water intended for drinking and cooking until further notice. Please note that sterilisation tablets should not be used in this area because we are still adding chlorine at the Treatment Works. Untreated water zones should still be boiling or adding sterilisation tablets [as per previous advice].

The affected area includes:

• Half Tree Hollow
• Cowpath
• Ladder Hill
• Redhill
• Sapper Way
• New Ground
• Clay Gut
• Pounceys
• Kunjie Field
• Scotland
• Plantation
• Cleughs Plain
• Rosemary Plain
• Francis Plain
• Crack Plain
• Guinea Grass

Just to repeat, this is a precautionary measure.

On behalf of Connect Saint Helena Ltd
12 June 2013


Water Quality in Redhill Distribution Area

WATER QUALITY IN REDHILL DISTRIBUTION AREA

Because we are still experiencing problems supplying water to the Redhill Distribution area, the water quality cannot be guaranteed during this period. It is a wise precaution to advise all consumers to boil water intended for drinking and cooking until further notice. Please note that sterilisation tablets should not be used in this area because we are still adding chlorine at the Treatment Works. Untreated water zones should still be boiling or adding sterilisation tablets [as per previous advice].

The affected area includes:

• Half Tree Hollow
• Cowpath
• Ladder Hill
• Redhill
• Sapper Way
• New Ground
• Clay Gut
• Pounceys
• Kunjie Field
• Scotland
• Plantation
• Cleughs Plain
• Rosemary Plain
• Francis Plain
• Crack Plain
• Guinea Grass

Just to repeat, this is a precautionary measure.

On behalf of Connect Saint Helena Ltd
12 June 2013


General Election 2013 - Sick Or Absent Voters

The law allows a voter who cannot attend the Polling Station due to:

  • Absence from St Helena on Election Day, or
  • Illness or physical incapacity

to appoint a person (a “Proxy”) to vote on his or her behalf.

The Proxy must be a person whose name is on the Electoral Register for the same Polling District as the sick or absent elector.  No person may act as Proxy for more than one sick or absent voter.

Appropriate forms are available from the Returning Officer (at 1 Main Street), the Customer Care Centre and the Library.  Completed forms must be submitted to the Returning Officer by 10am on Monday 15 July 2013, or earlier.

SHG

4 June 2013


Countdown To Water Shutdown Continues

Residents Urged to Conserve Water

The countdown to a partial water shutdown on St Helena continues as stored water levels remain exceptionally low. Consumption from the Red Hill Treatment Plant has reduced slightly (at 232 cubic metres today, compared with an average of roughly 400 cubic metres) and this is positive – we thank the public for stretching this precious resource. But stored levels still only give us about 6 days’ supply. 

Rainfall over the past few days has not raised levels of stored water in any of the Harpers reservoirs.

This weekend, we urge residents served by the Red Hill Treatment Plant to do all they can to use less water.  A leaflet – Your Top Ten Tips to Saving Water – is now available in local shops (see below).

The new long term weather forecast indicates only light, intermittent rainfall over the next couple of month, which is not good news.  So the Contingency Planning Group (CPG) is mobilising resources in anticipation of a possible shutdown of domestic water in:  Half Tree Hollow, Cowpath, Ladder Hill, Red Hill, Sapper Way, New Ground, Clay Gut, Pounceys, Kunjie Field, Scotland, Plantation, Cleughs Plain, Rosemary Plain, Francis Plain, Crack Plain and Guinea Grass.

This would see public water tanks at key locations in the affected areas, plus other public sources (for example, in Jamestown) to ensure that the public can access the water they need.

Specific sites for public water tanks are being identified and tanks deployed (an ongoing process). CPG has been discussing this and other matters with third parties, including merchants, retailers, Faith groups and Basil Read. Residents will no doubt be thinking of family and friends who might be vulnerable and may need help.

A Control Centre, which will be manned during the day, evenings and weekends, is now in place ready, should shutdown go ahead.

Finally, any reports of water wastage will be investigated by the Police.

Notes to Editors:

The public will wish to note that since November last year, St Helena has received only about a third of the rainfall it would normally expect – not at all like the seasonal norm.

The Island-wide hosepipe and sprinkler ban (imposed on Friday 24 May 2013) remains in place until further notice. All St Helena residents are reminded that they can now use water for domestic purposes only.

NOTE:  Customs Duty Exemption on Bottled Water and Water Containers:

Following public representations, a proposal was put to the Collector of Customs and to ExCo, that all bottled water and water containers be made exempt from Customs Duty.  The Acting Governor in Council agreed that from 30 May 2013, no Customs Duty would be payable on such imports from that date.   

It is strongly hoped that this reduction in Duty will result in a comparable reduction in the price of water sold by retailers, once the ship returns from Cape Town.  We wish to see the full 20% reduction passed on to customers. The price of water will be closely monitored by SHG. This exemption is for a temporary period, until drought concerns are lifted, and will be assessed by Customs on a ship by ship basis.

The CPG today also thanked the RMS for donating 4 pallets of bottled water as a further contingency measure

St Helena residents – particularly those in the problem areas – are urged to exercise real care and consideration when using water. A leaflet Your Top Ten Tips to Saving Water – is now available at:

Public Library, Jamestown, Customer Service Centre, Jamestown, Health and Social Welfare Directorate, Upper Jamestown, and Consulate Hotel,

Plus Half Tree Hollow Supermarket, A & D’s Mini Mart, Half Tree Hollow, Andy’s Shop, Half Tree Hollow, MTB’s Pick and Pay, Half Tree Hollow, and Godfather’s Rock Club, Half Tree Hollow.

And Phillip John’s Shop, St Paul’s, McDaniel’s Shop, Cleugh’s Plain, New Ground Shop, Sydneyray’s Shop, Cow Path, and Red Hill Shop,

The leaflet reminds residents that they can save water in numerous ways, including:   

Not flushing the toilet on every occasion

  • Using washing up water on the garden or vegetable patch
  • Using the washing machine sparingly and only when full
  • Taking a short shower instead of a bath – you can save up to 90 gallons of water a week
  • Turning the tap off while brushing teeth – this could save 25 gallons of water a month
  • Using a bowl when washing vegetables/fruit instead of using running water
  • Checking your taps for leaks and fixing them – a small drip can amount to 20 gallons a day.

More water saving tips can be found online at http://www.thameswater.co.uk/home/540.htm

Residents not served by the Red Hill Treatment Plant may use water for agriculture if they are growing on a large scale for commercial purposes. Such residents should ask ENRD to answer any specific questions they have.

The use of fresh water on a small scale, such as on household vegetable patches, is prohibited throughout the Island.

SHG

31 May 2013


Countdown to Partial Water Shutdown Continues

The countdown to a partial water shutdown on St Helena continues as stored water levels remain exceptionally low. The light rains over the past two days have helped very slightly but have not raised stored levels.

Consumption from the Red Hill Treatment Plant is disappointingly high at 373 cubic metres today, compared with a normal average of roughly 400 cubic metres. We must stretch this precious resource – please use less water in this area. Stored levels still only give us about 6 days’ supply.
The medium term weather forecast shows no substantial rainfall over the next few days, so the Contingency Planning Group (CPG) is progressing the plan for shutting off domestic water in specific areas if necessary. This will see water tanks at key locations in the Red Hill Treatment Plant area and other public sources (for example, in Jamestown) to ensure that the public can access the water they need.

The affected areas would be Half Tree Hollow, Cowpath, Ladder Hill, Red Hill, Sapper Way, New Ground, Clay Gut, Pounceys, Kunjie Field, Scotland, Plantation, Cleughs Plain, Rosemary Plain, Francis Plain, Crack Plain and Guinea Grass.

Specific sites for public water tanks are being identified and tanks deployed (an ongoing process). CPG has been discussing this and other matters with third parties, including merchants, retailers, Faith groups and Basil Read.

Residents in the affected areas will now want to consider whether they have suitable clean containers to collect water, and will no doubt also be thinking of family and friends who might be vulnerable and needing help. If we have to take the step of shutting off supplies, we have been examining phasing options.

A Control Centre, which will be manned during the day, evening and weekends, has now been assembled and systems are being put in place should actual shut down happen.

Some specific reports have been received about water wastage, which are now being investigated (principally by the Police). We urge the public to continue to think very carefully about their water usage.
The public will wish to note that since November last year, St Helena has received only about a third of the rainfall it would normally expect – not at all like the seasonal norm.

A water conservation leaflet will soon be available from Health and Social Welfare, the Customer Service Centre and various other outlets, including local shops. Further details will follow.

Notes to Editors:
The Island-wide hosepipe and sprinkler ban (imposed on Friday 24 May 2013) remains in place until further notice. All St Helena residents are reminded that they can now use water for domestic purposes only.
St Helena residents – particularly those in the problem areas – are urged to exercise real care and consideration when using water.
Residents are reminded that they can save water by:
• Not flushing the toilet on every occasion
• Using washing up water on the garden or vegetable patch
• Using the washing machine sparingly and only when full
• Taking a short shower instead of a bath – you can save up to 90 gallons of water a week
• Turning the tap off while brushing teeth – this could save 25 gallons of water a month
• Using a bowl when washing vegetables/fruit instead of using running water
• Checking your taps for leaks and fixing them – a small drip can amount to 20 gallons a day.

More water saving tips can be found online at http://www.thameswater.co.uk/home/540.htm
Residents not served by the Red Hill Treatment Plant may use water for agriculture if they are growing on a large scale for commercial purposes. Such residents should ask ENRD to answer any specific questions they have.
The use of fresh water on a small scale, such as on household vegetable patches, is prohibited throughout the Island.

The water storage situation at Harpers remains severe.

The Contingency Planning Group includes members from Connect SH Ltd, Health and Social Welfare, ENRD, the Police and other senior SHG officials.

Leaks in mains supplies remain a priority and any problems should be reported promptly to Connect Saint Helena Ltd on telephone 2255 during working hours, or 2522 out of hours.

SHG
29 May 2013


Minimum Wage in force from 1 June 2013

All employers on St Helena are reminded that a Minimum Wage for all employees will come into force on 1 June 2013.
The hourly minimum wage rates agreed by Executive Council on 26 February 2013 are:

• £2.30 per hour for all employees having attained the age of 18 years;

• £1.45 per hour for all young people having attained the age of 16 and 17 years.

Under the Employment Rights ordinance 2010, employers must from 1 June 2013 ensure their employees are paid at a rate that is at least the minimum rate they are entitled to receive.

SHG
30 May 2013