29 August 2019
The Social & Community Development Committee (SCDC) held their monthly meeting on Wednesday, 14 August 2019.
Updates from the Equality & Human Rights CEO/Commissioner included:
- The Commission’s Annual Report will be published soon
- 70% of the Commission’s case work from last year had been closed
- The majority of complaints received under the heading Police & Prison over the past year relates to the Police Directorate and is being addressed. Complaints included the execution of searches with and without warrants, the length of time phones and IT equipment may be held, the use of drones for surveillance and the issuing of Tasers to most Police Officers
- The highest number of complaints were private sector employment and benefits issues. The Commission will continue to focus on these this year. It was also noted that the latter will also be incorporated in the review of the Social Security system which should address most of the issues
- The theme for this year’s work by the Commission is ‘Disabilities including Equal Access to Work & Training’ to address issues around disability etc.
The continued non-compliance on employment matters by some sections of the private sector was discussed with the CEO and a series of measures were agreed which the Committee will now take forward.
Work towards having the Immigration Amendment legislation in place by the end of 2019 continues to progress. The public will be consulted on the draft legislation. A draft policy for endorsement on proposed changes is intended to be brought to Committee in September. A request was also made for the Immigration Control Board to consider disclosing to the public the basis of their decision making.
The Committee was also pleased to hear that the review of the Social Security Ordinance was nearing completion and that a report with recommendations would be submitted to the Committee soon. The public will also have an opportunity to comment on the proposed Amendment legislation at a later stage.
The Committee awaits updates from SHG on the work they have undertaken on Data Protection and Freedom of Information.
A list of key new legislation was discussed and updated so that Council as a whole can agree overall priorities that can be undertaken by current support resources. These included:
- Adults Welfare Legislation that outlines the social care responsibilities to vulnerable adults
- Health & Social Care Bill that outlines the responsibilities of the Health Directorate and the Children & Adults Social Care Directorate to vulnerable adults
- Asylum Bill that outlines how somebody claiming Asylum on St Helena will be supported should the need arise.
Updates from the Children & Adults Social Care Directorate included:
- The Directorate continues to make great strides towards recruitment by way of the CARE Campaign which is proving very successful
- The United Nations International Youth Day will be celebrated on St Helena on 13 September; a number of Directorates and individuals have pledged their time to this and it is hoped that the events will be successful in celebrating our youth on St Helena
- The Fostering campaign was launched with great success. This is a significant achievement and will hopefully bring better results for any future looked after children on St Helena.
The Social & Community Development Committee were voting members, Councillors Anthony Green (Chairman), Cyril Leo (Deputy Chairman), Kylie Hercules, Derek Thomas and Gavin Ellick and Non-Voting Members, Acting Director Children and Adults Social Care, Victoria Kellett, and Acting Deputy Chief Secretary, Lindsay Shankland. The Committee’s Secretary is Nicole Plato.
#StHelena #SCDC #MeetingSummary
29 August 2019