Crown Counsel (Community Care), Christine Cooper, was today, Friday 22 September 2017, sworn in as Acting Attorney General.

Christine took the prescribed Oaths in the presence of Governor Lisa Phillips and colleagues in the Governor’s Office, The Castle. Her appointment is effective immediately.

The substantive Attorney General, Angelo Berbotto, departs on the RMS today for overseas business. Angelo will return to the Island in October.

#ActingAttorneyGeneral #SwornIn

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SHG
22 September 2017

St Helena Government and Airlink are pleased to advise that the sale of tickets for the scheduled air service to St Helena will go live at 8am GMT on Friday, 22 September 2017.

 Airlink will operate a weekly service between St Helena and Johannesburg and St Helena and Cape Town (via the stopover at Windhoek International Airport in Namibia). 

 Flights will commence on Saturday, 14 October 2017.

 Tickets will be available online via the Airlink website at https://flyairlink.com/ and through all normal IATA global distribution systems.  Passengers are advised to contact their IATA travel agent.

 For those passengers that are resident on St Helena, ticket bookings can also be made via Solomon & Company (St Helena) Plc’s ‘Shipping & Travel Agency’ at the Malabar in Jamestown.  Passengers can visit the ‘Shipping & Travel Agency’ in person or can contact shipping.manager@solomons.co.sh or telephone: 22523.

 Passengers should note that Airport and Government Infrastructure taxes may not initially be featured on all computerised reservations systems. This means that for a short period only it might not be possible for passengers to distinguish fares and taxes separately on their tickets; instead, passengers will see an overall cost.

 Over the coming days, all computerised reservation system components of the Global Distribution System will feature these relevant taxes which will be included in ticket sale transactions accordingly.

Further information is available in the below Q&A document.

Tickets for St Helena Air Service to go on sale tomorrow – Q and A- 21 September 2017

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 SHG/Airlink
21 September 2017

During this week’s Executive Council meeting, Members approved the Digital Strategy for St Helena.

The Strategy was widely consulted upon on St Helena and its overall aim is to take the Island forward and move it in line with the outside world through improvements in the Island’s health, education, economy and communications.

Assistant Chief Secretary, Paul McGinnety, said:

“Improved and more affordable connectivity for the whole community is a priority for St Helena Government and we are working with our partners to make this a reality. These benefits would improve all aspects of life on the Island from education to economic development to tackling the digital divide.”

Councillor Lawson Henry added:

“Landing this cable on St Helena will be a game changer for the Island. As a Government we must ensure that the benefits are inclusive and reach all sectors of our community and be affordable.”

The Digital Strategy is available on the Publications page of the SHG website: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/.  

#StHelena #STHDigitalStrategy #ConnectingStHelena 

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SHG

21 September 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

An announcement was made on Monday, 18 September 2017, from the Ascension Island Government revealing the ticket prices and schedule for the Air Service between St Helena and Ascension. Click the link below to read their Press Release in full.

Air link schedule and ticket Final

They have also issued a FAQ document that can be found under the Publications section of this website: www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/

 

Public Guardian of St Helena, Paul McGinnety, has submitted his first annual report to Governor Lisa Phillips.

The first Public Guardian for St Helena was appointed by Governor Lisa in September 2016, in accordance with section 124(1) of the St Helena Mental Health & Mental Capacity Ordinance, 2015.

The role of the Public Guardian is to protect vulnerable adults on St Helena who lack the mental capacity to make decisions, including financial decisions.

The first annual report which is now available on the SHG website outlines the current position on St Helena, the challenges faced with introducing a new system and future needs of the Island.

Public Guardian, Paul McGinnety, said:

“The first 12 months have been challenging and also successful in that St Helena has an appropriate system in place and vulnerable people are now finally protected. It is anticipated that the next 12 months will see an increase in applications which will see vulnerable people both in the community and in SHG residential accommodation protected when they lack mental capacity.”

A full copy of the report can be found on the Publications page of the SHG website at: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/

#StHelena #PublicGuardian

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SHG

20 September 2017

 

 

 

Chief Secretary (Designate), Susan O’Bey, was today, Wednesday 20 September 2017, sworn in as Acting Chief Secretary.

Susan took the prescribed oaths in the presence of Governor Lisa Phillips. Susan’s appointment is immediately effective and will run until Chief Secretary Roy Burke returns from overseas leave on 4 October 2017.

Assistant Chief Secretary (Support), Gillian Francis, will depart the Island on Friday, 22 September, for overseas leave. During Gillian’s absence, Corporate Services Executive Manager, Carol George, will take on Gillian’s responsibilities.

#ActingChiefSecretary #SwornIn

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SHG
20 September 2017

 

 

 

 

Executive Council met today with four items on the Open Agenda.

In addressing the meeting, the Governor said that she would, on behalf of Executive Council, send a message of support to colleagues in the Caribbean Overseas Territories who were affected by the recent hurricanes.

For the first item, Executive Council sat as the Planning Authority to consider an application for full Development Permission to carry out refurbishment works at the Swimming Pool complex.  The Chief Planning Officer was in attendance and explained that these works are being undertaken in three phases.  Phase 1 covers the replacement of underground pipework and filters, Phase 2 covers the remedial works that are needed such as replacement of concrete paving slabs and upgrading slipper drains and Phase 3 relates to general improvement works such as reconstruction of a retaining wall and erecting fencing.  It was noted that phases 1 and 2 had been dealt with under the Land Planning & Development Control General Development Order which provide for underground works.  Development Permission was however required for Phase 3.  Following discussion, Council approved the application with conditions as recommended by the Land Development Control Authority.  Council noted that Phase 3 works were not critical to the reopening of the Swimming Pool which is now scheduled for end November/early December 2017.

The second item concerned the Digital Strategy which Council was pleased to approve.  The Strategy has been subject to consultation and aims to improve connectivity to and from the Island and deliver socio-economic benefits for the community.  It was noted that the Strategy is heavily reliant on improved connectivity and to this end SHG is actively pursuing the landing of a fibre cable in 2020. 

The next item, which complemented discussions that were held at the two previous ExCo meetings, considered ways and means of improving openness and transparency within SHG.  Council noted that whilst SHG is already doing a lot in terms of communicating with the public through press releases, public meetings, radio discussions and publishing certain documents like the Rolling Procurement Plan and Contracts Register, there is still a lot more that can be done.  Council therefore agreed that in going forward SHG should pursue different means of continuing and improving the ‘open government and transparency’ agenda, to include publishing papers and minutes for open session meetings of ExCo and Council Committees, changing meeting times and venues, making better use of social media and, allowing members of the public to suggest a topic for discussion in formal LegCo meetings in line with practice in the UK.  These suggestions will be taken forward in the forthcoming months.

The final item on the Open Agenda concerned the Aerodrome Charges Regulations.  Council confirmed the approval that was given last week for these Regulations to be published and brought into force.  It was noted that these Regulations made provision for an ‘essential infrastructure charge’ to be levied on each arriving and departing passenger at St Helena Airport.  This charge has already been included in the cost of tickets. In confirming the approval, Council noted that IATA had approved this charge and that confirmation had been received this morning from Airlink that the ticketing system will be updated over the next day or two and following required testing, ticket sales will be imminent.

In the Closed Agenda, attention was drawn to a letter that was published in last week’s issue of the Independent newspaper concerning discussions that were held in the recent Public Health Committee meeting regarding fees and charges for medical services.  The letter also referred to an incident whereby a patient had experienced difficulty in paying for a test carried out by the Laboratory.

Currently medical services are paid for at point of use on the Island. While these fees and charges are heavily subsidised, there have been reports from individuals and households where fees and charges at point of use create a financial barrier to accessing healthcare. There is work ongoing to explore a prepayment system as part of a national health contribution/insurance scheme which would ensure that people make prepayments before becoming unwell and can therefore access healthcare when needed. There is work to be done to ensure that the prepayment contributions or premium are set at fair levels and generate revenues. An extensive public engagement programme will be undertaken to ensure that everyone is able to participate and be involved in the final decisions regarding this option for paying for healthcare on St Helena.

Council also noted that shortly after its appointment, the Social & Community Development Committee became aware of issues that could not await the full review of the Social Benefits Ordinance.  A small working group was immediately established comprising Elected Members and officials and working with local charities and frontline services such as Health, the Benefits Office and Safeguarding, the working group has produced draft Regulations which are intended to provide additional exemptions to overcome some of the hardships that are faced by some members of our community.  These draft Regulations were endorsed by the Social & Community Development Committee last week and will be presented to ExCo in October.

The meeting closed at 1.50pm.

ExCo

19 September 2017

 

 

The Health Directorate would like to advise the public that the Environmental Health Section will only conduct normal meat inspections on premises other than a slaughterhouse – referred to as ‘home slaughter’ – on Tuesdays,  starting from  3 October 2017 until further notice. This is to ensure the service runs efficiently.

Any inconvenience caused is very much regretted.

#StHelena #EnvironmentalHealth #MeatInspections #HomeSlaughter

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SHG
19 September 2017

As part of their international outreach programme, Durham University, in the United Kingdom, have generously offered the use of their cutting-edge sports facilities and coaching to future teams travelling from St Helena to compete in international Games or sporting events.

Named ‘Britain’s Number One Team Sports University 2015/16’, Durham University has a variety of top-of-the-range training facilities and venues including an athletics track, artificial pitches, a fitness suite and a rowing tank.

The facilities at the university will offer Saint athletes the chance to train and receive coaching to ensure they are best prepared for their international competition.

The university, founded in 1832, boasts famous graduates such as former England cricket captains, Andrew Strauss and Nassur Hussain.

#StHelena #DurhamUniversity #InternationalOutreach #InternationalAthletes

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SHG
19 September 2017

The Statistics Office will be conducting a Household Expenditure Survey (HES) starting this week and continuing until mid-November 2017.

The primary purpose of this survey is to update the ‘shopping basket’ used to measure the impact of price inflation on households. From time to time, the composition of the basket needs to be reviewed through a survey, to make sure it represents the current average spending patterns of households and so that inflation can be measured as accurately as possible.

Statistics Officers will be visiting households to explain the purpose of the survey, what it entails, and to provide assistance with completing the questionnaires and forms. During the survey, the public can expect Statistics Office staff to be friendly, courteous, and professional, and to treat any information provided with the strictest confidence. They will not divulge any information obtained from participating households to anyone outside of the Statistics Office.

At the first interview, enumerators will use a tablet computer to capture information about household members, the house they live in, and large items purchased or regular bills paid. They will leave a two-week expenditure diary for the household members to record their spending on regular items, and will arrange further visits at the convenience of the household.

Statistical Commissioner, Neil Fantom, said:

“The fieldwork started this week and I’m very grateful to all those households that have already agreed to participate. The information they provide will be kept strictly confidential, and they will also be entered into a raffle for various items kindly donated by The Rose & Crown, Solomon & Company (St Helena) Plc , Thorpe’s & Sons, the Queen Mary Store, Joshua Brothers Covered Production, Essence Beauty Salon, and G-Unique Designs. I’d also like to thank these local businesses for supporting the survey in this way.”

#StHelena #Statistics #HES #RPI

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SHG
19 September 2017