26 October 2020
At the monthly Highways Authority meeting members discussed proposed Terms of Reference for the Highways Authority under the 1985 Road Traffic Ordinance. This was followed by a review of the proposed Terms of Reference for a revised 2016 Road Traffic Ordinance due to be implemented at a later date.
Members considered concerns raised by the public with regards to certain accident ‘hotspots’ around the Island. The Highways Authority recommended that the Police remain proactive and visible in the community and working with the Press Office continue to raise awareness around key issues with regards to traffic management.
The monthly meeting of the Environment & Natural Resources Committee included the following topics:
Community and District Roads
Members reviewed the list of applications for community and district roads grant funding. There were 20 applications and, due to limited funding this year, the vulnerable and disabled within our society will be given priority to enable them to improve access to their homes. The Roads Section will assess the applicants’ roads, after which the Committee will appropriate funding accordingly.
Bottom Woods Comprehensive Development Area (CDA) Development
The Committee received an update on the development of the Bottom Woods CDA which will create additional Government Landlord Housing and enable the release of plots for sale to the public. Approximately 65% of the road network in the CDA has been excavated and is now being compacted. Eight building plots have been excavated and an additional five will be started soon. Plots are being compacted to provide a firm base. Soil removed from the site is being given to members of the public who expressed interest. Expressions of Interest will soon be sought from contractors for the construction of a two-storey Government Landlord flat.
Property Disposal Policy & Immigrants Landholding Licence Policy 2020
The Committee continues to review these two key documents and intends to put them out for public consultation following input from the Head of Property and further scrutiny from members.
Saint Helena National Trust Application for Licence to Control Mynah Birds
The Committee was asked to grant a licence for the humane culling of Mynah Birds, in accordance with Section 5 of the Birds Protection Ordinance, 1996, to enable the success of the Saint Helena National Trust’s (SHNT) Darwin Plus Project ‘Community supported multi species invasive vertebrate control on St Helena’.
The SHNT team outlined the history of this species since the introduction of five individuals at the Briars in 1885. Mynahs are on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) top 100 invasive species list and are a cause for concern here on-Island.
Mynahs prey on Wirebirds and also contribute to the spread of invasive plant species such as wild tomato, lantana and wild mango. Farmers also suffer from the destruction of crops. A local survey showed support for the culling of Mynah Birds.
The proposed method of trapping was endorsed by the Committee. The SHNT aims to eradicate around 3000 birds per year for three years. It is envisaged to engage members of the public to assist with this Project. This programme also aims to gather scientific data to further inform environmental research.
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26 October 2020