The Social & Community Development Committee (SCDC) held their monthly meeting on Wednesday, 9 October 2019.

The Committee supported the introduction of legislation to protect the vulnerable and disabled people but first wished to clarify the position as to what precisely is required, what already exists in law and might need strengthening (employment legislation) and what the needs are in legislation terms after this review is conducted. The CEO of the Equality & Human Rights Commission who presented the proposal will be taking this forward with the Attorney General’s Chambers. Supporting the discussions were the Inclusion Officer (Education & Employment), Crown Counsel (Community Care) and the Legislative Drafter.

The Committee will consider endorsing proposals expected on the review of the Immigration Ordinance and Immigration Policy after a presentation of the recommendations has been made to all Elected Members.

The recommendations from the Social Security Review had been presented to the Committee which was a very good piece of work undertaken by the Working Group. A further meeting will be held to take the recommendations forward.

The Social & Community Development Committee were voting members Councillors Anthony Green (Chairman), Cyril Leo (Deputy Chairman), Derek Thomas and Non-Voting Member, Deputy Chief Secretary, Gillian Francis. Councillor Gavin Ellick and Non-Voting Member Director Children and Adults Social Care, Tracy Poole-Nandy were excused for this meeting. The Committee’s Secretary is Nicole Plato.

#StHelena #SCDC #MeetingSummary

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SHG

18 October 2019

In a Proclamation issued on Wednesday, 11 September 2019, Governor Dr Philip Rushbrook announced that a Bye-Election to fill the vacant seat on Legislative Council (following the resignation of Kylie Hercules on 31 August) would take place on Wednesday, 27 November 2019.

Following this, a window of opportunity was available to members of the public, who were not registered voters, to have their names added to the Register of Electors which came into force on 1 July 2019.

An updated 2019 Register of Electors has today been published in an Extraordinary Gazette. 

This Register is effective from 18 October 2019 and will be used in the forthcoming Bye-Election.

Only those persons who are named on the updated Register will be eligible to vote, or stand, in the Bye-Election which will take place on Wednesday, 27 November 2019, and only those who are 21 years and over can stand for election.

The updated Register of Electors for 2019 is available on the SHG website at: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/government-gazettes/.

Alternatively, hard copies of the updated Register will be available from the Assistant Registration Officers or from the following locations:

  • The Castle, Jamestown
  • Customer Service Centre, Jamestown
  • Public Library, Jamestown
  • ENRPD Office, Scotland
  • Rural sub-Post Offices

Further information on the 2019 Bye-Election will be issued in the coming weeks.

#StHelena #GeneralElection2019 #RegisterOfElectors

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SHG
18 October 2019

A draft Waste Management Policy for St Helena is out for public consultation until 4pm on Friday, 8 November 2019.

St Helena Government (SHG) acknowledges the need for a Waste Management Policy which plans for short, medium and long term environmental changes that are likely to impact on the quality of Island life if left unmanaged.

Environmental Risk Manager, Mike Durnford, explains:

“If not properly managed waste is a problem because it takes up valuable and limited landfill space, can cause pollution and other negative social impacts, uses up natural resources that could be used again, creates reputational impacts on eco-tourism, creates greenhouse gases which contribute towards Climate Change and creates a lasting problem for future generations.”

 Measures that can be taken to mitigate the potential problems of poor waste management include:

  • Reducing the amount of waste that is produced
  • Re-using items such as plastic bags, clothes and furniture that might otherwise be thrown away
  • Recycling items like glass, cans, plastics and cardboard so they can be made into new products
  • Treating organic waste such as food and green waste to convert biodegradable waste into compost, which can be beneficially used to enhance local soil conditions; and
  • Controlled landfilling of remaining wastes after reducing, re-using, recycling and treating as much as possible.

Waste recycling and treatment also offers opportunities for the establishment of commercially viable private sector businesses on the Island.

Mike added:

Reducing, reusing and recycling more waste will help to reduce reliance on landfill. This increases St Helena’s reputation as the sustainable Island and contributes towards climate change mitigation.”

To achieve the aim and objectives of the draft Policy, several strategic waste management actions will be delivered through an implementation plan including, but not limited to:

  • Embedding the principles of ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ in all aspects of decision making throughout the Island
  • Promoting existing ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ activities and encouraging and supporting the development of new initiatives
  • Converting organic waste into compost and
  • Ensuring that unavoidable landfilling is managed in a manner which does not significantly impact on public health or the natural environment.

A copy of the draft Waste Management Policy is available under the Public Consultations section of the Publications page on the SHG website (www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications).

Comments should be sent to Environmental Risk Manager, Mike Durnford, via email: mike.durnford@sainthelena.gov.sh or tel: 24724.

#StHelena #AltogetherGreener #ReduceReuseRecycle #GoodWasteManagement

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SHG

18 October 2019

11 pupils from Harford Primary School have received Gold, Silver and Bronze awards for entering the Queen’s 2019 Commonwealth Essay Competition.

Awardees are:

Award Name Year Group
Gold Leonna Coleman Year 6
Silver Ava Thomas Year 5
Silver Gabrielle Fowler Year 5
Bronze Raya Francis Year 4
Bronze Bobbi Clingham Year 6
Bronze Jordi Henry Year 6
Bronze Keziana Henry Year 6
Bronze Charlotte Leask Year 6
Bronze Harry Lockley Year 5
Bronze Erik Robbertse Year 5
Bronze Simeon Thomas Year 5

 

Harford Primary School Head Teacher, Carlean Crowie, said:

“I am ecstatic about the results for the school. The Commonwealth Essay Competition is a prestigious one, opened up to all of the schools in the Commonwealth Countries. The writing topics are never easy and for the school to win Gold, Silver and Bronze awards is a major achievement. 

“I would like to thank Key Stage 2 Teachers, Gonny Pitlo and Julia Drozdowskij for initiating, supporting and guiding their pupils into making their entries. I hope this will encourage future pupils to have a go. 

“Like the Gold Award winner of the 2018 Commonwealth Essay Competition, Manka Ennie, said: ‘Enter the competition, you have nothing to lose. In the end you might learn something new and wonderful about yourself.’”

The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition is the world’s oldest schools writing competition, established in 1883 and has had winners from all over the world.

The competition is divided into two categories – Junior (under 14 years) and Senior (14-18 years).

The writing topic for this competition was based on the Commonwealth theme for this year: ‘A Connected Commonwealth’.

The topics for writing in this category were:

  1. a) My cultural connections
  2. b) An overseas visitor is coming to your town for the first time. How would you connect with them?
  3. c) The Commonwealth connects people across borders – what can we learn from our neighbours?

The format for writing was at the discretion of the participant and could be submitted in the form of an essay, poem or letter.

#StHelena #HPS #Commonwealth #EssayCompetition

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SHG

18 October 2019

Data on Population, including total population and arrivals and departures up to September 2019 have been released on October 15, 2019: Population

Additional statistical series and indicators are available on the Statistics Data page, and published statistical reports, including Statistical Bulletins, can be found on the Statistics Reports and Publications page.

We welcome comments and suggestions on any of the statistics published by the Statistics Office. Please email: statistics@sainthelena.gov.sh, call tel: 22138, or visit the office in person on the first floor of the Castle, Jamestown.

Following two years of study and a year’s work placement, Robyn Midwinter of Half Tree Hollow has graduated with a Foundation Science Degree (FdSc) in Veterinary Nursing with Merit from Harper Adams University in the UK.

During her first year of studies, Robyn had to complete all the basic Veterinary modules including Anatomy and Physiology, Companion Animal Management and Large Animal Management. The latter two modules involved handling and caring for a wide range of species and being assessed on these skills. During her second year, Robyn focussed more on Animal Health, Nursing skills, Anaesthesia & Surgery, Animal Medications and Clinical Practice. There was a large number of practical sessions across all these modules.

Robyn’s work placement at a Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) accredited training practice within the UK saw her work at a small Animal Veterinary Hospital in Gloucestershire with a team of 13 Vets, 14 registered Veterinary Nurses, five student Nurses and eight Receptionists in a busy environment, dealing with a variety of caseloads.

Robyn commented:

“My time on placement was the most interesting and rewarding experience as I got to put into practice all the information and skills I had been taught at University, whilst learning from and working with an amazingly talented and knowledgeable team of professionals. During this time, I had to complete a Nursing Progress Log (NPL); an electronic skills list designed and reviewed by the RCVS to support a process of clinical mentorship and learning in addition to recording competent achievement for Vet Nurses. The NPL contained many skills ranging from Laboratory Techniques, Diagnostic Imaging, Nursing Care, Client Communication, Dispensing Drugs, Theatre Practice, Anaesthesia and Infection Control.”

 In her final year of studies, Robyn had to complete the NPL and pass the Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCE). The OSCE are overseen by the RCVS and involve several clinical tasks being performed and examined for correct procedure. Passing these two components allowed Robyn to gain her registration as a qualified Registered Veterinary Nurse on the RCVS register.

Robyn added:

“Being on an FdSc course, I also had to complete a ‘mini dissertation’ for which I received a Distinction. For my Professional Research Project, I investigated client awareness of the risk and benefits associated with neutering in canine patients. I found this research area very interesting as the full list of risks and benefits are not always fully explained to clients, and the internet contains such a wide range of information that is not always relevant or true.”

Since completing her studies, Robyn has continued working at the Animal Veterinary Hospital in Gloucestershire to build and expand on her skills and confidence in the various areas of veterinary nursing.

Robyn concluded:

“Being a Veterinary Nurse is challenging, magical, emotional, amazing and heart-breaking. It’s not just a job and it’s not a money maker, it’s a lot of hard work, with often very little appreciation. It’s not cuddling puppies and kittens all day. Every single day is different and unpredictable.

“I would like to extend my thanks to everyone involved with the Scholarship process that gave me the opportunity to embark on the amazing adventure of attending University in the UK, and would encourage anyone contemplating further education overseas to grasp the opportunity.”

Director of Education & Employment, Wendy Benjamin, commented:

On behalf of the Education & Employment Directorate and the Scholarship Awards Committee I would like to extend congratulations to Robyn on her achievement and we wish her well in her career in Veterinary Nursing.”

#StHelena #Student #FoundationScienceDegree #VeterinaryNursing #HarperAdams #University #RCVS

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SHG

17 October 2019

Scheduled recertification training for all existing Rope Rescue Technician Supervisors and the initial training of three potentially new supervisors took place between 6 and 11 October 2019.

The training was delivered by Technical Rescue Training UK Ltd Instructors Neal Pickersgill and Andy Barker. Candidates participating in the refresher and new supervisor courses were Alan Thomas, Matthew Benjamin, Daniel Yon and Jason Lawrence from the St Helena Fire & Rescue Service, Trevor Magellan, Deon Leo and Marc George from the Airport Fire & Rescue team and Rock Guards Darren Francis and Matthew Williams.  

The course is aimed at rescue technicians who are expected to supervise rope rescues operations and any work at height; this includes but is not limited to the requirement to organise, supervise and control rescues of people and animals from Cliffs and Crags, free standing structures and any other remote locations.

The delivery of training was ‘scenario based’ and supervisors were expected to oversee their respective teams, whilst they gained access to difficult locations to carry out work at height from ropes, cableways, or combined rope systems where no actual access could be gained by normal methods. In the event of an

emergency rescue and evacuation from height of an injured person, a variety of rescue techniques were taught. A supervisor’s role entails making risk critical decisions to the benefit of the casualty and to be capable of performing and briefing teams for any emergency rescue from any situation.

All supervisors are expected to sit and pass an additional written examination to enable them to be certified as Level 3 Rope Rescue Operator/Technician (RRO/T) Supervisors.

Brigade Manager, Alan Thomas, commented:

“Overall, the training was enjoyable but intense. For all existing and new Supervisors we are now certified to legally carry out our duties for another three years.

 “As Rope Rescue Technician Supervisors we are expected to maintain and develop our team skills. All new rope rescue operators can also be taught and certified by our current supervisors.

 “The many varied skills and techniques taught and learnt will be used as a basis to stretch the knowledge and develop the skills of the team. Every opportunity will be taken to incorporate other responder groups to help maintain and develop other rope users and responders. This will obviously take some coordination between our services but will ensure that all groups are monitored and have the opportunity to contribute to cross service training.”  

#StHelena #SHFRS #Airport #RockGuards #RopeRescueTraining #Recertification #AltogetherSafer

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SHG

17 October 2019

The stored water volume across all Island reservoirs is currently at 41%. This slight increase of 1% is due to the reduction in consumption which occurred on 11 and 12 October 2019, where the Island’s consumption rate was less than 1000 cubic metres. The public is commended for their efforts in reducing consumption.

There is still irregular surface flows which mean that very little water is naturally entering the reservoirs and not enough to see the desired effects on our stored water volumes.

Connect Saint Helena (CSH) continues to pump water from Chubb’s Spring and Hutt’s Gate to Red Hill to replenish stocks in this area.

The weather forecast for St Helena over the next few days suggest warm weather with little to no rain showers.

HE Governor Dr Philip Rushbrook appeals to the community to make every effort to keep water consumption to essential use only. Governor Rushbrook said:

“The availability of water is at the heart of our lives. We all know it is in short supply and we all know how it will affect us if we do not have it. I ask everyone to think twice before using water and follow simple water saving measures: stop taps running; report leaks; re-use water for the garden etc and encourage others to use water wisely too.”

The public is reminded that we are currently under an Island-wide hosepipe ban. If you see anyone using water irresponsibly or notice a burst pipe or leak, then please inform Connect immediately.

Every drop counts, every action counts – save water now to be safe later

#StHelena #WaterShortage #EveryDropCounts

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St Helena Resilience Forum

15 October 2019

Executive Council met today, Tuesday 15 October 2019, to discuss one item on the Open Agenda.

Council approves recommended changes to the Ship Registry Policy with priority given to changes in provisions regarding the registry of yachts and pleasure vessels and a change in fees

Following a presentation by Councillor Lawson Henry, Chairman of the Economic Development Committee (EDC), Council was asked to consider and advise whether the recommended changes to the Ship Registry Policy should be approved as follows:

  • For yachts and pleasure vessels to no longer require applicants from foreign companies/persons to have ‘a close economic connection with the island’ defined as a minimum investment of £500,000 unless a smaller investment offers the potential for significant long-term benefits
  • For fishing and commercial vessels to change the definition of ‘a close economic connection with the island’ to refer to ‘a minimum investment of £250,000 unless a smaller investment offers the potential for significant long-term benefits’
  • For yachts and pleasure vessels ONLY to extend the list of countries from which applications from foreign companies/persons can be accepted to include countries permitted in other Red Ensign registries
  • A change in fees to come more in line with other Red Ensign registries.

The Chief Economist explained that one of the potential growth sectors of the Sustainable Economic Development Plan (SEDP) was the Ship Registry, building on the Island’s maritime history and the fact that St Helena is a Red Ensign Registry.

The difficulties to achieving this growth is that the current policy is very restrictive in terms of registering a vessel which is why we have very few vessels registering on St Helena. Two of the particular barriers have been in relation to the list of countries from which applications can be accepted and the other the requirement of a close economic connection to the Island defined as a minimum investment of £500,000 unless a smaller investment offers the potential for significant long-term benefits.

The changes to the Policy sought to address these issues.

Discussion ensued around new fees proposed and whether they represented full cost recovery. Council was assured that a comparison of fees had been undertaken with other Red Ensign registries and the fees charged by St Helena Government are on par with other countries’ fees. It was agreed that the fees may still be low in some categories but this will be kept under review as part of the annual budgeting process.

Questions were also raised around surveying and whose responsibility it is to complete the necessary ship surveys for registration. Council was advised that it is the Ship owner’s responsibility to pay for the survey and the surveyors used are those registered with the Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA).

Marketing was also discussed but at this stage it was agreed that, until the appropriate Maritime legislation is in place and the UK audit is complete, further details on how to register a ship would only be provided on the SHG website. Once the legislation update has been completed a full marketing exercise will be considered in order to attract more registrations.

Members were reassured that there were no substantive additional liabilities and risks from changing the Ship Registry Policy and were reminded that the reason for not making any substantive changes to the policy for fishing vessels and commercial vessels is a result of the risks highlighted by not having yet reformed St Helena’s Maritime legislation. Specifically, St Helena is planning to develop regulations dealing with safety, crew and pollution prevention measures related to fishing vessels.

Members recognised that the Policy is well overdue for review and is a positive step forward in generating more revenue for the Island. It was therefore agreed to revise and broaden the applicability of our Shipping Register in a modest way and in line with other Red Ensign jurisdictions.

The Policy would be reviewed in the near future subject to the outcome of the continuing work of the MCA to meeting the conditions of the UK audit.

ExCo

15 October 2019

The following is a Public Announcement from the Infrastructure & Transport Directorate:

The Highways Authority has given approval for the road from the Dungeon to Hutt’s Gate to be closed from 9am to 3pm on Monday, 21, and Tuesday, 22, October 2019.

This closure is to allow the Roads Section to carry out excavation works.

While the road is closed the diversion route will be via Gordons Post.

The Highways Authority has also given approval for the road from Blue Hill junction to Blue Hill bus shelter to be closed from 9am to 3pm on Wednesday, 23, Thursday, 24, and Friday, 25 October 2019.

This closure is also to enable the Roads Section to carry out excavation works.

During all closures, appropriate signage will be in place, and only emergency services will be granted access.

The Roads Section would like to thank the public in advance for their continued support and understanding.

SHG
15 October 2019

 

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