The following is a Public Announcement from the Roads Section:

The Highways Authority has given approval for Shy Road to be closed to vehicular traffic with immediate effect and until further notice. This is to enable the Roads Section to carry out essential repairs on the retaining wall.

Pedestrians will still be able to use the road during this closure.

Appropriate signage will be in place.

The public is thanked for their co-operation and will be kept updated.

SHG
13 August 2018

DARWIN PLUS PROJECT COMPLETED

The Environment & Natural Resources Directorate (ENRD) has recently completed a two-year long Darwin Plus funded project entitled ‘Mapping St Helena’s Biodiversity and Natural Environment (DPLUS052)’, working with project partners Environment Systems Limited, Aberystwyth University and the South Atlantic Environment Research Institute (SAERI).

This project produced a series of high-detail Island-wide maps and datasets, showing a baseline of habitat types, soils, and other associated environmental information. Its purpose is to support Island conservation and future management activities by helping to understand biodiversity, species geographic distribution & dynamic (particularly endemic), protect & restore native habitats, control invasive species, aid sustainable agriculture, aid land resource planning as well as water resource management.

ENRD Director & Project Lead, Derek Henry, said:

“This exciting project has resulted in a detailed set of maps and datasets for the Island which will aid its future development. This resource will provide support for conservation and land resource planning. I am grateful for the contributions of all who have been involved in making this project a success.”

These maps and dataset outputs were derived from a combination of analysis of multi-spectral satellite imagery, ground-truthing field work, and analysis of relevant historical and current datasets available. Additionally, training was provided to local stakeholders in order for this data to be updated over time, via a ‘living map’. Training included an introduction to remote sensing and how environmental data is derived, field work methodology & data collection, and mapping techniques. The data is made available for any organisation involved in decision-making to do with land and species management.

Outputs from the project, including a link to a web map of the output data, can be found on the SHG website at: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/dplus052-mapping-st-helenas-biodiversity-and-natural-environment/.

Project Manager, Samantha Cherrett, added:

“It’s fantastic to see the outputs of this project, and the feedback from people on the potential use for decision-making has been great. The output maps are a great baseline for some of the environmental conditions on St Helena and can be used for planning, development, and resource management, in the future. Creating them has had its challenges and we have learnt a lot about our changing habitats and the soil conditions here.

“I would like to thank Elizabeth Cairns-Wicks and our project partners for their expertise and hard work on the project. I would also like to thank everyone within SHG, particularly ENRD, as well as the Landscape & Ecology Mitigation Programme (LEMP), Saint Helena National Trust (SHNT), St Helena Nature Conservation Group (SNCG), Connect Saint Helena Ltd, and independent contributors who have contributed in time, knowledge and expertise during the project.”

Environment Director at Environment System Ltd, Dr Katie Medcalf, commented:

“It has been a great pleasure working on this project and mapping this extraordinary Island’s soils and habitats. We hope the resources will support land management actions, policy decisions, and resource planning, helping ensure the Island’s sustainable development whilst retaining its ecological resilience into the future.”

Project Manager & GIS Specialist at SAERI, Dr iLaria Marengo, concluded:

“SAERI has been delighted to work alongside SHG to set up a system that not only takes care of the management of the data generated by the project but also allows their dissemination to the wider public through a web GIS service. Making such useful data secure and accessible is a great achievement and evidence of how data are considered valuable by government.”

#StHelena #ENRD #DarwinPlus #DPLUS052

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SHG
13 August 2018

The Landscape & Ecology Mitigation Programme (LEMP), for the St Helena Airport Project (SHAP), has been divested to the St Helena National Trust (SHNT) from 1 August 2018.

The LEMP originally formed part of SHAP’s Environmental Statement and is a planning requirement for SHAP. The LEMP seeks to provide compensatory habitats and landscape treatment to reduce and offset the permanent direct loss of habitat, and the direct and indirect impacts on the Island landscapes, as a result of the airport construction and supporting infrastructure.

The project currently has two key remits:

  • Reinstatement of land temporarily disturbed due to airport construction works
  • Compensation for 1.5 times any land permanently lost through airport construction

Over the past few years the LEMP team, in partnership with local organisations, have completed a significant amount of work towards these goals. These include the planting of over 70,000 plants and construction of just under 10km of rabbit-proof fencing. Some of these successful achievements can be seen by road users on the approach to St Helena Airport from Bottom Woods.

Director of SHNT, Jeremy Harris, commented:

“The Trust is thrilled to have been engaged by SHG to undertake the remaining three years of the LEMP project. The LEMP team are a great group of enthusiastic and dedicated individuals who will fit in well at the Trust and we are pleased to have them join us. They have already achieved a great deal and there is much good work still to come that we are proud to be involved with.”

Director of ENRD, Derek Henry, added:

“The divestment of the LEMP to the SHNT is a positive move that will help support and promote the work of the Trust. It will also open up new possibilities beyond the life of the project, to maintain the ongoing excellent work that the LEMP team has done to date. I am pleased that the Trust has embraced this opportunity.”

For more information please contact LEMP Team Leader, Shayla Ellick, at the SHNT office at Broadway House, via email: shayla.ellick@trust.org.sh, or via tel: 22307.

#StHelena #LEMP #SHNT #ENRD #SHAP #StHelenaAirport

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SHG
10 August 2018

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE CORRECT DOCUMENTS FOR ENTRY

St Helena residents planning travel to Ascension Island, the Falkland Islands or Tristan da Cunha are reminded of the following entry requirements. Being aware of the requirements in advance will ensure travel is as smooth as possible and avoid instances such as refused entry.

Ascension Island

Ascension Island has recently introduced a new E-Visa System. The majority of visitors to Ascension will require an entry e-visa. There is no ‘visa on arrival’ facility.

There are seven e-visa categories – Tourist, Business, Scientific/Research visitor, Transit/Double Transit, Contractor, Employment and Employment Dependents and Accompanying Family.

If you are visiting Ascension, you must ensure that you have at least six months sufficient validity on your passport to cover your stay on Ascension from the time you arrive. British Emergency Travel Documents and British and St Helenian Emergency Passports are generally accepted for travel to Ascension Island.

Subject to certain exemptions, it is an offence to enter Ascension without a valid e-visa; if you try to visit Ascension without a valid visa, you may be refused entry and required to leave immediately.

Persons exempted from requiring an e-visa include:

  • Employees of Ascension Island Government on a local contract
  • Civil servants of the UK, Falkland Islands and St Helena who are visiting Ascension Island in their official capacity

A full list of exemptions can be found here: https://www.ascension-visas.com/faq

Entering Ascension Island with criminal convictions

The Ascension Island Government (AIG) has a duty to protect Ascension Island, its residents and those living in or travelling to the Island temporarily.

Historic criminality will not necessarily lead to an unsuccessful e-visa application.

All prior criminality including spent convictions, with the exception of minor road traffic offences should be declared at the point of application.  ‘Minor road traffic offences’ do not include alcohol or drug-related driving offences which should be declared. The Administrator may make independent enquiries to verify the veracity of any statement made.

Applicants found to have concealed material facts about their criminal record may be denied an e-visa or have an e-visa which has been issued revoked and could face a penalty of a fine not exceeding £1000, or imprisonment not exceeding 12 months, or both.

For further information on the Ascension e-visa application process, please visit: https://www.ascension-visas.com/faq. To apply for an e-visa, please visit: https://www.ascension-visas.com/apply. If you cannot find an answer to your question, please contact AIG via: www.ascension-visas.com/contact-us.

Falkland Islands

Entry to the Falkland Islands is controlled by their Customs & Immigration Department, located in Stanley.

Visitors

All visitors to the Falklands are required to apply for a visitor’s permit.

This can be obtained on arrival on production of a return ticket, evidence of sufficient funds available for the duration of stay and evidence of pre-arranged accommodation. Medical insurance cover which includes cover for medical evacuation to a third country and is valid for the duration of stay on the Falkland Islands is recommended for all visitors.  Visitor’s permits are normally issued for a maximum period of one month. Permission for a longer stay can be obtained in advance of travel by contacting the Falkland Islands Government Customs & Immigration Office on tel: +500 27340 or email: admin@customs.gov.fk

Working on the Falklands

Any person who does not have Falkland Islands Status or a Falkland Islands Permanent Residence Permit will require a Work Permit to undertake employment in the Islands. These must be obtained in advance of travel. Visitors to the Falkland Islands are not permitted to take employment. For more information, please contact the Falkland Islands Government Customs & Immigration Office on +500 27340 or email: admin@customs.gov.fk

Entering the Falklands with criminal convictions

All applicants for permits to enter the Falklands (other than those just visiting) are required to declare all criminal convictions on their application form.

Spent convictions will need to be declared, in addition to any current ones.   The only exception to this is minor driving offences that did not result in a disqualification from driving – these do not need to be declared.

Any applicant who has a current (i.e. unspent) conviction on their record may be refused a permit. An application is more likely to be refused if the applicant has a history of repeat offending.

Whether or not a conviction is regarded as spent is decided under the Rehabilitation Provisions of the Falkland Islands Criminal Procedure and Evidence Ordinance.

Tristan da Cunha

Before you can enter Tristan da Cunha you will need the prior permission of the Island Council. You should apply to the Administrator’s Office via email: tdcenquiries@tdc-gov.com

You must have a confirmed and fully paid return passage, comprehensive travel and medical insurance that cover the cost of medical treatment and evacuation to Cape Town and sufficient funds to cover the cost of your visit. A landing fee is payable on arrival at the Island.

#StHelena #AscensionIsland #FalklandIslands #TristandaCunha #EntryRequirements

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SHG
9 August 2018

Executive Council approved a change to the Minimum Income Standard (MIS) that is used to determine the rates for Income Related Benefits (IRB) and Basic Island Pension (BIP) on Tuesday, 7 August 2018.

The approved Social Security (Amendment) Regulations, 2018, will come into effect from Friday, 10 August 2018.

The rate for BIP for those with 30 qualifying years or more will increase from £67.30 to £70.20.

The rate for IRB for a single person household will increase from £65.10 to £67.90.

 DETAILS

IRB

BIP

Current rates (£)

65.10

67.30

New rates (£)

67.90

70.20

Increase (£)

2.80

2.90

Increase (%)

4.3%

4.3%

In addition, the rate for IRB for an additional adult in the household will increase from £38.00 to £38.90.

Individuals receiving BIP and households receiving IRB will shortly receive a letter from the Social Security Office detailing how the change in IRB and BIP rates will affect them.

The MIS has been revised as a result of the six-monthly price check performed by the SHG Statistics Office on the predetermined basket of goods and services.  This price collection (referred to as the ‘shopping basket’) was performed at the end of the last financial year but due to the delay in the Government Budget being approved could not be implemented earlier.

Executive Council noted that in line with the policy to review prices every six months, another price collection will take place in September 2018 and any changes that are necessary to the MIS will come into effect from October 2018.

Executive Council also noted that this uplift took account of the recent increases to water and telecommunications tariffs by Connect Saint Helena Ltd and Sure South Atlantic Ltd.

Executive Council also agreed that an ex-gratia payment be made to households and individuals in receipt of IRB and BIP.  The payment recognises the time lapse since the approval of the 2018/19 Government Budget and the approval to uplift the MIS on Tuesday and is equivalent to the increase that would have been received in that week.  This payment, along with the uplift, will be made through the current payment mechanism on Thursday, 16, & Friday, 17 August 2018.

The detailed Executive Council Memorandum that accompanied the Regulations can be found on the SHG website at: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/councils/executive-council/.

Members of the community who would like further information about eligibility for both BIP and IRB can contact the Social Security Office at the Post Office Building, Jamestown, in person by appointment or on telephone no. 22605 during normal working hours.

#MinimumIncomeStandards #BIP #IRB  

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SHG
9 August 2018

Financial Secretary, Dax Richards, and Assistant Financial Secretary, Nicholas Yon, will soon undertake an exposure visit to the UK.

Funding has kindly been provided by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office which is committed to building on expertise in the St Helena Government. The visit will be organised by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK (CPA UK) in partnership with the St Helena Government. Dax and Nicholas will join other participants from: the UK Government, the Crown Dependencies and Local Authorities.  Dax will attend from 4 to 11 September and Nicholas from 18 to 25 September 2018.

The CPA UK has formed a consortium with the UK National Audit Office (NAO) and the UK Government Internal Audit Agency (GIAA) to deliver a three-year project of activities to support UK Overseas Territories (UKOT) in building on their financial capabilities. The programme will bring together stakeholders from the Territory Governments and UK Government to discuss frameworks for robust public financial management.

Both Dax and Nicholas have packed itineraries including meetings with DFID, HM Treasury, the Bank of England and the Ships Registry.

They will also observe the Treasuries of the Isle of Man and Jersey.

Financial Secretary, Dax Richards, said:

‘I’m delighted to have this opportunity for continued professional development and in particular to gain greater exposure to similar senior finance roles within the UK and the Isle of Man Governments. I hope to be able to bring back skills and ideas which will help SHG as we look to strengthen public financial management across the organisation and the Island in this period of significant change.  My thanks are extended to the FCO and the CPA for funding this exposure visit.’

The projected outcomes of the exposure visit are:

  • Increased understanding of the role and functions of Senior Financial Officers/Finance Leads in a range of organisations, sharing best practice with the UK Government, Crown Dependencies, and in a Local Authorities
  • Increased understanding of how HM Treasury and the Bank of England approach decision-making on issues such as fiscal policy, inflation etc.
  • Increased understanding of how the UK manages its shareholder stakes in non-government entities
  • Increased understanding of how different organisations approach budget management and forecasting, manage risk, and manage operations within the Treasury

 Assistant Financial Secretary, Nicholas Yon, concluded:

“This is a great development opportunity for me and one which I am looking forward to attending.  This programme will provide the means to broaden my understanding of public financial management and accountability particularly within UK Government departments, local authorities and other jurisdictions.  I also hope to explore how tax policies are being used to drive development and what other jurisdictions are doing to secure tax revenues. 

“I am grateful to the UK CPA and FCO for organising and funding this programme.” 

 #StHelena #CPAUK #FCO

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SHG

8 August 2018

HM Prison St Helena has recently introduced a new ‘Email a Prisoner’ service. The aim of the new service is to allow prisoners to stay connected with their families and friends, both on-Island and abroad, without having to pay phone call costs which can be high, especially if calling internationally. It is a method that has been introduced in some UK prisons.

HM Prison has set up an email account purely for this service, which is: prisoneremailaccount@sainthelena.gov.sh. The families and friends of a serving prisoner can send them an email to this address and can also attach pictures if they wish to do so. For safety, and the protection of the public, each email is read by the prisoner’s personal officer to ensure that there are no breaches of security. The email content is then printed and passed on to the prisoner.

The prisoner can then either type, using the prison computer, or write out a response to the email. This is then passed to the personal officer who again reads it to ensure decency, security, and safety issues. If it is deemed to be ok, it is then scanned into the system and sent out to the family member or friend.

Prison Manager, Heidi Murray, said:

“This service ensures that prisoners who do not have funds to use the phone, have families who maybe abroad, or have families that may not have easy access to a phone, can still stay in touch with each other. This ensures they maintain and strengthen family links, which is deemed essential for the successful rehabilitation of those in our care.”

#StHelena #HMPrison #EmailAPrisonerService

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SHG
8 August 2018

St Helena Police are appealing to the public for information about a black litter bin and five bags of donkey dung that was stolen from the St Helena Donkey Home in the Blue Hill/Casons area over the weekend of Saturday, 4, and Sunday, 5 August 2018.

Chairperson of the St Helena Donkey Home, Teeny Lucy, said:

“We have a tiny team of volunteers that work to keep the donkey’s general health and hooves well and their pasture in good condition. We also organise fundraising events in our own time.

“It makes us very sad and disillusioned when some people ransack our shed, steal our bin, and tip the rubbish out everywhere, as happened this weekend.

“We would like to ask anyone in the Blue Hill area who notices any unusual activity at the Donkey Home to please report it.”

If anyone has any information, no matter how small it may seem, they are encouraged to contact the Police via telephone number: 22626.

#StHelena #DonkeyHome #Theft #AppealForInformation

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SHG
8 August 2018

St Helena Police have been consulting with communities across the Island as part of their Neighbourhood Policing Programme. A series of meetings and surgeries were held July which were well attended, and a range of subjects discussed.

Concerns raised in various districts included:

Half Tree Hollow

 Members of the public felt that the junction, near Mr Glen Owen’s residence, could present a risk to drivers as they would have to come out into the main road before they can see traffic coming down. A concern was also highlighted about a blind turning near Mr Mervyn Bagley’s residence.

Police were advised by the Roads Section that the Chairman of the Highways Authority, Councillor Russell Yon, would visit the concerned areas and then take this matter to the Highways Authority Meeting for a decision to be made. In the meantime, the Roads Section is still awaiting the arrival of mirrors.

Jamestown

A concerned member of the public raised an issue about congestion, due to people parking on the double yellow lines, in the Duke of Edinburgh playground area, especially in the afternoon around 4pm.

 This is ongoing problem which is constantly monitored by Police throughout the day. This matter will be addressed in the next Highways Authority meeting. In the interim, Police will work with other agencies to find a solution.

The Briars

Concerns were raised about the retaining wall in front of the embankment, outside of the residence of Mr Brian Young, on Constitution Road in the Briars which was supposed to have been completed as part of the upgrade of Constitution Road. 

 This matter was sent to ‘Report It, Sort It’ who confirmed that the wall was not completed due to the fact that the Roads 1 Project has been exhausted. There are no plans for this wall to go ahead as the purpose would only be to stop the debris coming onto the road. In the case of heavy rains the debris is cleared and picked up by the Roads Section.

Although many areas were visited by Police during the month of July, members of the public did not share any concerns in the Longwood, Levelwood, Blue Hill, St Paul’s and Sandy Bay areas. St Helena Police encourages you, the public, to come forward with any concerns that you may have. If you prefer to have a one-to-one discussion, please don’t hesitate to contact the Police.

Contact:

 Team 1 – leave a telephone message on 25301 or email: policeteam1@sainthelena.gov.sh

Team 2 – leave a telephone message on 25302 or email: policeteam2@sainthelena.gov.sh

Team 3 – leave a telephone message on 25300 or email: policeteam3@sainthelena.gov.sh

 

 #StHelena #StHelenaPolice #YouSaidWeDid #NeighbourhoodPolicing

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 SHG

7 August 2018

The following is a Public Announcement from the Education & Employment Directorate:

The Education & Employment Directorate would like to advise all parents and guardians of children who will be turning three years old that the following change has been made to the times for enrolment into Nursery schooling on St Helena:

  • Children, who have reached the age of three years by 31 August 2018, can start their Nursery schooling at the start of the new school year on Tuesday, 4 September 2018
  • Children, who will reach the age of three years between 1 September 2018 and 31 December 2018, can start their Nursery schooling at the start of Term 2 in January 2019

All children who reach the age of three years after 31 December 2018 will start their Nursery schooling in September 2019.

This decision has been made in consultation with Nursery teachers and the Education Committee in order to enhance teaching and learning opportunities and improve educational outcomes for all children.

SHG
7 August 2018

http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh