Executive Council met today, Tuesday 11 November 2014, with four items on the Open Agenda.

The first item was the Minerals Vesting (Amendment) Bill for an Ordinance.    However due to required amendments the Bill was withdrawn to be resubmitted in time for submission to the Formal Legislative Council Meeting to be held in December.

The second item was a request to waive fees for the upcoming Governor’s Cup Yacht race.  There was some discussion regarding the loss in revenue compared to the positive impact of supporting such a high profile sporting event.  It was agreed that in line with previous Governor’s Cup races, and as this will be the last Governor’s Cup in its current format, the fees be waived as a gesture of goodwill recognising the boost to the Island’s economy and the positive publicity generated around the race.

The third item was a request to bring forward, from the 2015/16 Capital Programme, commitments to the current financial year funding for hazardous waste management facilities, which include a hazardous waste cell and an incinerator. It is a requirement of the Airport project that hazardous waste generated is disposed of in accordance with international standards.  The reallocated funding will allow for a larger incinerator to be purchased, in conjunction with Basil Read, and this will leave a positive legacy for waste management on St Helena.

The final item on the Open Agenda was an Aviation Bill for an Ordinance.  Prior to the opening of St Helena Airport it will be necessary to establish a system of locally enacted laws dealing with aviation matters.  While these are local laws they must conform to international aviation standards and so the bill has been drafted in consultation with UK aviation experts.  Executive Council agreed that the Bill should be presented as Government Business at the formal Legislative Council meeting in December.

Council discussed a request for a reduction in Customs Duty for the purchase of a boat, this was the fourth such request this year and Members supported the request reducing the duty from 20% to 5%.  The reduction shows continued support for economic development and tourism. It was agreed that similar requests for exemptions of Custom Duty on sea vessels would be supported.

Executive Council observed the two minute silence (for Armistice Day) at 11am and the meeting concluded at 11.10am.

ExCo

11 November 2014

Wednesday 17 December 2014

As previously announced in June of this year, SHG and the private sector are gearing up for a major incident exercise to be held on St Helena on Wednesday 17 December 2014.

The exercise is being split into two distinct elements; the first (morning session) will be a ‘live’ exercise where an incident will be staged with the emergency services and multi-agency partners responding to deal with it.

Following on from the morning session there will be a second exercise in the afternoon which will be a command simulation exercise to put commanders from the emergency services, along with senior SHG officials, through their paces. Also involved will be some of the supporting elements to the command structure which will provide them with an insight into how the process works.

The day will provide an opportunity to validate elements of the Island’s Major Incident Plan and is the first step towards exercises that will take place next year as part of the Airport certification process.

Commenting on the exercise, Emergency Planning Manager, Alistair Smith said:

“17 December allows us to rehearse plans ahead of the formal process in the latter part of next year. With the timing close to Christmas we know there will be some disruption on the day but we hope to minimise this and have some contingencies so as not to inconvenience too many people.

“There is still an opportunity for people who would like to take part to get involved as role players on the day. If you’re around on the morning of 17 December and want to be involved then let us know. We’ll provide you with all the details and brief you beforehand. We’ll also provide lunch afterwards.”

If you would like to volunteer please contact Alistair Smith on 22721 or Alistair.Smith@sainthelena.gov.sh

SHG

11 November 2014

All Islanders will know that Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled to St Helena in 1815, but few will know about the jumping spider Paraheliophanus Napoleon (Napoleon Jumping Spider), named after him, that is unique to the Island. Now, almost 200 years after the Emperor’s arrival on the Island, conservation staff have declared his namesake ‘Critically Endangered’ under the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species™ (IUCN Red List) guidelines.

The ‘Bugs on the Brink’ project, funded by the UK Government’s Darwin Initiative and supported by Buglife UK, the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology UK, St Helena National Trust and St Helena Government, began in February 2013 with its aim to assemble knowledge of the Island’s land-based invertebrates to help protect these overlooked species.

One way of highlighting the plight of the endemic invertebrates, and a key part of the project to help focus conservation efforts, is to categorise the invertebrates under the IUCN Red List guidelines. This uses all the data available on the species, such as the ecology and life cycle of the species, the location and area of its distribution, population size, past or future decline, habitat quality and extinction risk to classify it into one of the threat level categories. These threat levels range from ‘Extinct’ to ‘Least Concern’ and include the three main threatened categories of ‘Critically Endangered’, ‘Endangered’ and ‘Vulnerable’.

 

Once the threat level is known, species on the brink of extinction can be prioritised for conservation action.  This may involve habitat restoration and expansion, species relocation to a better habitat or captive breeding programmes to reintroduce species into newly restored habitats.

The Napoleon Jumping Spider, which has only ever been found from four distinct sites around the Island associated with endemic Scrubwood (Commidendrum rugosum, itself of Vulnerable status), is one of 14 species from St Helena recently added to the IUCN Red List database along with two others that have had their threat level re-assessed. Sadly, the re-assessment of St Helena’s Giant Earwig (Labidura herculeana), the world’s largest earwig, has declared it officially extinct.

Work is now under way to Red List the remaining 400 endemic invertebrate species on the Island to help prioritise on-going conservation efforts in habitat restoration and species protection.

SHG

11 November 2014

The public is advised that the Customs, Tax and Port Management building will be closed from 2pm tomorrow (11 November 2014) until 8.30am the following day (12 November 2014).  This closure is necessary for Public Health to spray in the offices and passenger terminal building.  Customs, Tax and Port Control apologises to customers for this inconvenience.

SHG

10 November 2014

 

Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day

A Divine Service was held at the Cenotaph, on Sunday 9 November 2014, remembering those who have lost their lives or have been injured during active duty.  The Acting Governor, Mr Sean Burns, accompanied by Mrs Burns, arrived at 10.55am at which the Right Reverend Lord Bishop, Dr Richard Fenwick, invited those in attendance to pray before observing a two minute silence.

Wreaths were then laid by the Acting Governor, Mon. Michel Martineau, representing the French consul, representatives from the Royal Navy, Army, Royal Air Force, Merchant Navy, St Helena Police Force, St Helena Fire and Sea Rescue Service and the St Helena Prison Service.  Members of the public, including several schoolchildren, also laid wreaths.

Prayers were led by Father Fred, Father John and Lieutenant Coral Yon.  During the Service hymns were sung which included ‘The Lord’s my Shepherd’ and ‘Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven’.  The Act of Commitment was made and acts of peace were then offered.

Remembrance Sunday RMS
Remembrance Sunday RMS

The Service concluded with the traditional March Past outside the Court House including music played by the Gettogethers and Salvation Army bands.

An anonymous donation of £220.00 was received on the day for the Poppy Appeal. Corporate Support would like to extend their thanks to this donor/s as this generous donation will contribute greatly to all funds collected for the Poppy Appeal on St Helena and on the RMS St Helena.

4 photos are attached to this release, including a photo of the Service held on board the RMS St Helena.

Remembrance Day Service
Remembrance Day Service

 

 

 

Remembrance Day 2
Remembrance Day 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SHG

10 November 2014

St Helena Government has uploaded its progress report on the commitments made at the Joint Ministerial Conference in 2013.

The 2013 Joint Ministerial Conference – hosted by the FCO Minister for the Overseas Territories, Mark Simmonds MP was attended by Councillor Lawson Henry, Assistant Financial Secretary, Dax Richards and SHG UK Representative, Kedell Worboys MBE.

This year’s ministerial conference which will run from 1-4 December, will be attended by HE Governor Capes, Councillor Lawson Henry and SHG UK Representative.

The progress report can be found at the following link: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/JMC-2013-Progress-Report-Oct-2014.pdf

These commitments cover a number of areas including economic diversification, employment and education, environment, governance and security.  Progress against health related commitments made at the 2012 JMC are also included.

SHG

7 November 2014

 

Open to the Public from 9.30am

Executive Council will meet next Tuesday morning, 11 November 2014, in the Council Chamber.

The meeting will be open to the public from 9.30am for the following Open Agenda items:

  • Minerals Vesting (Amendment) Bill for an Ordinance
  • Waiver of Fees for Governors Cup Yacht Race
  • Request for approval to bring forward capital funding for hazardous waste management facilities
  • Aviation Bill for an Ordinance

Executive Council Members are: Lawson Henry, Wilson Duncan, Leslie Baldwin, Christine Scipio-O’Dean and Ian Rummery.

SHG

7 November 2014

Acting Governor is Sworn In
Acting Governor is Sworn In

Head of the Governor’s Office, Sean Burns, this afternoon took the prescribed Oaths as Acting Governor, in the presence of the Acting Sheriff of St Helena, Mr Harry Legg OBE JP, and senior SHG officials in the Governor’s Office at the Castle (photo attached).  Mr Burn’s appointment is immediately effective.

HE Governor Capes departed the Island today (6 November 2014) for a period of overseas business and leave. The Governor will return to the Island on 3 January 2015.

SHG

6 November 2014

SHG would like to advise the public that the second phase of the vaccination programme for Newcastle Disease, in chickens on St Helena, will commence from Monday 17 November 2014.

Phase 2 will be an Island-wide vaccination programme to protect chickens from catching the disease. The programme will begin in the Longwood, Blue Hill and Levelwood districts using the ‘Lasota’ vaccine.

The vaccine is free and poultry owners are encouraged to collect their vaccines from a collection point in their district. A timetable for the first week of the programme is attached along with simple instructions on how to administer the vaccine.

Poultry owners in the Longwood, Blue Hill and Levelwood areas are asked to contact ANRD on 24724 by Thursday 13 November 2014 with the numbers of their stock to ensure that ANRD make enough vaccine to deliver to each dispensing point.

Alongside Phase 2 a containment programme to remove feral and free-ranging chickens will continue and the public are encouraged to contact ANRD if they know of any feral chickens near their properties.

ANRD would like to reassure the public that if any new or suspected cases are reported during Phase 2 they will be responded to immediately.
Please report any unusual poultry deaths or symptoms to the Veterinary Service at ANRD on tel. 24724.

SHG
4 November 2014