Social and Community Development Committee Meeting – Wednesday, 12 May 2021

  • Social & Community Development Committee Meeting takes place on Wednesday, 12 May 2021
  • Topics include consultation to commence on the Draft Archives Lending Policy, linking the IRB rate to the Minimum Wage and, Draft Public Access to Government Information Bill which is currently out for consultation
  • Draft Asylum Policy endorsed by Committee

The monthly meeting of the Social & Community Development Committee (SCDC) took place on Wednesday, 12 May 2021.

The proposed small scale consultation on the draft Archives Lending Policy had been delayed, pending clarifications on a few issues. This will now be planned for the coming weeks and an opportunity for others to express a view will also be made available.

Following last month’s agreement for there to be annual reviews of the Minimum Income Standard (MIS) which will now inform the Minimum Wage, the Committee agreed to recommend that the Income Related Benefits (IRB) rate should be set at 61.22% of the Minimum Wage. Executive Council will have to give final approval and it will be subject to available funding. The Strategic and Social Policy Coordinator was present for this item.

The recommendations of the Elections Ordinance Review by a sub-committee of SCDC were finalised and approval was given for policy documentation to be drafted in relation to amendments to proxy and postal voting with the caveat that consideration of the latter would need to take account of practicalities. Other recommendations need further consideration in due course. The final report of the recommendations is available on the SHG website at: https://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/government/public-information/.

The draft Immigration (Amendment) Bill is anticipated to be presented to formal Legislative Council in either June or July 2021. 

The draft Public Access to Government Information Bill was discussed with Committee. The draft Bill had previously been considered by SCDC and Executive Council last year but at the request of ExCo, an independent appeals mechanism has now been included in the Bill. The draft Bill is currently out for public consultation and can be accessed on the SHG website at: https://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Public-Access-to-Government-Information-Bill-2021-060521.pdf. Comments on the draft Bill need to reach the Clerk of Councils by Friday, 21 May 2021

The draft Social Care Strategy & Delivery Plan 2021-24 had been updated to reflect the new Portfolio system and the restructure of SHG. This plan will be made available on the SHG website shortly. 

The Committee also agreed for a working group under the new Council to be established to take forward work on identifying the requirements and potential implications of having Equality Legislation for the Island in place as requested by the Equality & Human Rights Commission.

The Draft Asylum Policy was endorsed by Committee at a special meeting on 26 April for legislative drafting. The Policy establishes the framework through which SHG will provide a high quality service that supports SHG’s commitment to meeting the obligations under the Refugee Convention whilst at the same time continuing to ensure effective border control.

A new Team Manager for Children’s Social Care – Paul Brown – arrived on the recent flight. Paul will be introduced to the Committee in due course.

The Committee and other Elected Members would be visiting the Princess Royal Community Care Centre (CCC) the following day, Thursday 13 May 2021, to understand the issues faced at the CCC in terms of the budget.

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SHG
20 May 2021

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470
Email: kimberley.peters@sainthelena.gov.sh