Environment & Natural Resources Committee and Highways Authority Meetings – Thursday 20 June 2019

The monthly meetings of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee (ENRC) and the Highways Authority (HA) took place on Thursday, 20 June 2019.

The Police were commended for reactivating their regular radio programme on local radio stations. The Highways Authority indicated that this would now enable them to get clearer messages concerning traffic issues across to the public.

During the recent Island-wide constituency meetings, several constituents raised matters relating to roads. These matters were discussed and the Roads Manager was able to provide information affecting the operations of the Roads Division, especially the funding from the recurrent budget that is used to procure materials including colas, aggregates, street lights, safety barriers, road side mirrors, signage and road paint to name but a few. He also advised how the budget is managed throughout the year to keep the Roads Team engaged and able to perform their work.

Current works to ascertain the best mix of slurry and areas of use on the Island’s roads are ongoing and although this is expected to cost more than the current method, it will evidently have a longer lasting output, should the decision be made to continue to use Island-wide. Using slurry to seal and rehabilitate the Island’s roads infrastructure will require additional funding but longer term will reduce the amount of repairs required. The majority of the roads on the Island are well over 50 years old and were not designed for the number and type of vehicles that use the roads today.

Introductions was made to the new Chief Planning Officer, Ismail Mohammed, who joined the Environment, Natural Resources and Planning Directorate (ENR&P) earlier in the month. Ismail spoke of some quick solutions which he believes could be made to rectify issues identified. These include improving the quality of plans, internal procedures and services provided, together with more openness and transparency of the application process.

Currently on-Island from Tristan da Cunha are Riaan Repetto and Kelly Swain who are both gaining valuable work experience with the Agriculture and Natural Resources Division. Both are being supported by Senior Veterinary Officer, Joe Hollins. Riaan is currently gaining experience working with Joe in the Veterinary Section and Kelly has been joining the teams in horticulture and hydroponics. They have also taken the opportunity to work with the private sector.

Acting Director of ENR&P Darren Duncan, together with the Chief Environmental Officer, Isabel Peters, and Terrestrial Conservation Officer, Lourens Malan, presented the draft Diana’s Peak National Park Conservation Management Plan for St Helena. This draft was compiled by Andrew Darlow and derived from work undertaken by various stakeholders including the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and University of British Columbia, together with St Helena Government departments and non-Government Organisations.

Agreeing St Helena’s vision for the Diana’s Peak National Park, as outlined in the draft Conservation Management Plan, is key to being able to start raising additional funds for the Peaks. The Committee approved that The Diana’s Peak National Park Conservation Management Plan be put out for the formal 28-day public consultation as per the process required by the Environmental Protection Ordinance.

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SHG

28 June 2019

 

St Helena Government Press Office

Telephone: 22470
Email: liam.yon@sainthelena.gov.sh