PRAISE FOR ST HELENA CRECHES & CHILDMINDERS

The St Helena Safeguarding Children Board is pleased to report that the majority of registered Crèches and Childminders on the Island have successfully passed the necessary inspections required to renew their registration for providing child care services on St Helena.

Inspections ran from 26 April to 13 May 2016 and, during this time, all registered crèches and childminders were visited by a Senior Social Worker and Social Care Officer to assess provision of child care providers and application of all current safeguarding, welfare & wellbeing, and general health & safety procedures. Alongside this, the St Helena Fire & Rescue Service visited the same properties to ensure that fire & safety procedures were also in place.

These inspections were recommended by the Wass Inquiry (2015) and were progressed as a collaborative process between the St Helena Safeguarding Children Board, Children’s Services and crèches and childminders. This was also an opportunity for those caring for children to ask any questions or raise any concerns they might have with staff from Children’s Services.

Children’s Champion Councillor Christine Scipio O’Dean said:

“All children attending a crèche or childminding facility should feel secure and safe while they are away from their home environment – this plays an important role in their development before joining school.”

A presentation will take place soon to present crèches and childminders with their well-deserved registration certificates.

SHG

24 June 2016


EXCO REPORT - TUESDAY 31 MAY 2016

The meeting today was held in the Governor’s Office while the Council Chamber is undergoing some much needed refurbishment. The Governor welcomed Members and in particular Councillor Gavin Ellick who was standing in for Pamela Ward Pearce and Councillor Mike Olsson who was standing in for Lawson Henry.

The first item on the Open Agenda was the extension of the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). The Governor expressed the view that this treaty, which had been ratified by the UK a number of years ago, was an important tool in protecting the rights of women. All Members agreed that the Convention should be extended to St Helena.

The Attorney General then introduced a Draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) concerning closer co-operation between the Governments of British Overseas Territories, Crown Dependencies and the UK Government – to facilitate the joint sharing of information for the purposes of more effective safeguarding of children. The AG explained that this document had been proposed by the Falkland Islands Government at a recent Attorney Generals’ conference and had also been raised at the Joint Ministerial Conference in the UK in late 2015. This MOU encourages all signatories to exchange information and learning from their operations. It was acknowledged that recent experience in St Helena was valuable to other Territories and that we could all learn from each other. It was also acknowledged that there was a great deal of information sharing already happening. Council agreed that St Helena should sign this MOU.

The Financial Secretary then introduced a request from Saint FM for financial assistance. Members had approved a similar request in July 2015 and in anticipation of the media review report – which is expected shortly – agreed to extend further requested funding to Saint FM for this financial year to the value of £15,000. Members recognised the value of Saint FM to the community of St Helena.

ExCo then agreed to adjourn the consideration of Social Security Regulations and the Road Traffic Regulations papers, as more work was needed on both these issues.

The final item on the Open Agenda was the St Helena Capital Programme Performance Improvement Plan. Members acknowledged the relatively poor performance of the capital programme over recent years and welcomed the plan to improve this. It was noted that the plan was in two parts – governance & assurance and project delivery.
Members were also eager to reassure the public that work is continuing on some of the larger projects in the programme such as the Prison at Sundale, the new Fire Station at Alarm Forest, the water storage projects at Harpers III and Hutt’s Gate, sewerage for Half Tree Hollow and Jamestown, Phase 1 of the Rupert’s Development Project, Rockfall Mitigation work and the R2 project for Side Path and Field Road.
All of these projects now have firm timescales and all delivery partners are committed to meeting their targets during 2016. The targets relate mainly to the development of robust designs and consultation where appropriate, including on applications for planning permission. It was recognised that the timescales for some projects are challenging, but failure to deliver was not an option.

The projects would be supported through better governance and assurance measures and consideration would be given to setting up a new Major Projects Support Unit to deal with the capability and capacity issues being experienced by some delivery partners.

In the Closed Session Members were advised of the current progress on exploring options to ensure continued access to St Helena. There had been some significant progress in identifying suitable aircraft and air service operators, although there is no immediate solution available. This work will take some time, and in the meantime the continued use of the RMS is being explored. It is hoped that an announcement on the favoured access option for the immediate future will be made soon, although this is very much dependent on the outcome of a range of discussions currently under way. Naturally, we maintain close contact with colleagues in DFID and with aviation experts who have been contracted to undertake some of this the work.

ExCo
31 May 2016


GOVERNOR VISITS MEN & WOMEN WHO KEEP OUR ISLAND RUNNING

Governor Phillips with Public Works Team
Governor Phillips with Public Works Team

Last week Governor Lisa Phillips continued her programme of getting to know the staff and operations of SHG, with a visit to the Environment & Natural Resources Directorate.

Governor Phillips met staff at the Public Works Yard and Essex House for discussions about housing and property, maintenance, planning and the marine environment. At Donkey Plain she met with the entire Roads Team who were gathered for a ‘toolbox’ talk, and then went up to meet the staff at the Government Garage who were busy at work with repairs to a wide range of vehicles.

The last leg of the visit was to Scotland to meet staff there and discuss forestry, agriculture, bio-security, fisheries and environmental management.

The discussions with staff were quite informal and enthusiastic, with one member of the team remarking that this was the first time a Governor had ever been to Donkey Plain!

The Governor has expressed an interest in going out again soon, to see first-hand some of the good work being delivered on the ground and see for herself the challenges to be addressed in the coming years. This will also give her a chance to meet some of the staff who missed her last week.

Governor Phillips commented:
“It was great to meet the men and women who take care of St Helena – including the roads, cars, housing, waste, environment and many more areas besides. I thanked them for their valuable contribution which is often unseen by the rest of the community.

Governor-Phillips-with-Roads-Team-photo-by-Darrin-Henry.jpg
Governor-Phillips-with-Roads-Team-photo-by-Darrin-Henry.jpg

“Coming new to the Island, it has struck me how well maintained the Island is given the limited resources we have. And, although the state of the roads features regularly at the Constituency meetings that I’ve attended, in my humble opinion, the roads actually seem pretty good thanks to the hard work of the Roads Team.”

Two photos are attached to this release.

SHG
31 May 2016


2016 PROVISIONAL REGISTER OF ELECTORS

Reminder

The public is reminded that the 2016 Provisional Register of Electors for St Helena was published in an Extraordinary Gazette (No. 50) on Monday 23 May 2016. Members of the public now have just 10 days to make any amendments to the Register.
The public can apply to amend the Register if they would like to add or remove their name, remove the name of someone who has died or left the Island, correct the name of someone who has married, change an Electoral District or change an address on the Register.
To register, persons must:
· Be over the age of 18 years with St Helena as their ordinary place of residence
· Have St Helenian status or be the spouse or life partner of a person who has such status.

The 2016 Provisional Register of Electors can be found on the SHG website at http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/government-gazettes/ and hard copies can be inspected between 9am and 12.30pm and 1pm and 4pm on any day (except Saturdays, Sundays, or public holidays), at the Office of the Registration Officer, The Castle, Jamestown.
Copies will also be available, during the respective normal opening hours, at the following locations:
• Customer Service Centre, Jamestown
• Public Library, Jamestown
• ENRD Offices, Scotland, and
• Rural sub-Post Offices.

Copies can also be obtained from Assistant Registration Officers, Gina Benjamin and Desmond Wade, and from the Officers listed below:

HTH – Karen Yon, Michelle Yon, Connie Johnson
Jamestown – Robert Essex, Alicia Thomas, Olive Williams
Longwood – Paula Moyce, Christina Henry
Levelwood – Ronald Coleman, Pamela Joshua
Sandy Bay – Alfred Isaac, Anita Legg
Blue Hill – Elizabeth March, Georgina Young
St Paul’s – Alfreda Yon, Jackie Moyce

On Ascension, Assistant Registration Officer Gerrilyn Crowie, and the office of the Ad­ministrator will also hold hard copies.

Applications for additions or changes to the Register must be made in writing on the correct form (available at each inspection venue), although applications may be made by letter. Applica­tions can be delivered directly to the Registration Officer at The Castle, or handed to an Assistant Regis­tration Officer. The deadline for applications is 4pm on Wednesday 8 June 2016.

If your name is not on the Register you will not be able to stand or vote in any upcoming General or Bye-Election.

The final Register will be published on Friday 1 July 2016 and will be used for the Bye-Election to be held in August/September 2016

Further information about registering and making amendments can be obtained from Assistant Registration Officer, Gina Benjamin, at the Castle on telephone 22470 or via email at: gina.benjamin@sainthelena.gov.sh
SHG
30 May 2016


EXCO REPORT - TUESDAY 15 DECEMBER 2015

Executive Council met today, Tuesday 15 December 2015, with two items for discussion on the Open Agenda.

The first item sought approval for an Application for Development Permission to erect 16 polytunnels, buildings to house a tractor and equipment, and toilet block facilities, in the Ex-ADA Fields, Longwood.  ExCo approved the Application with five conditions as recommended by the Land Development Control Authority.

The second item sought approval to introduce Dark Skies legislation, prior to public consultation on this matter. ExCo supported the idea of having legislation and recognised the value to the Island in being able to achieve Dark Sky status. ExCo also recognised the need for specialist support in drafting the legislation and, once drafted, for this to be subject to public consultation.

The meeting concluded at 10.15am.

ExCo

15 December 2015


SECOND CALIBRATION FLIGHT

The second round of Calibration Flights is planned to take place between Sunday 13 December and Sunday 20 December 2015.  The calibration flights are essential to calibrate navigational aids at St Helena Airport in order that Instrument Flight Procedures can be flown safely.

The calibration tests will be undertaken by Flight Calibration Services Limited who will travel to St Helena on an aircraft leased from TAB in South Africa.

Whilst final confirmation on timing is still awaited, the aircraft is expected to arrive on the afternoon of Sunday 13 December, subject to suitable weather conditions and other factors.

Further updates, particularly on the timing of the flight, will be provided in due course. Interested members of the public are asked to listen out for radio updates.

Vantage Points and Vehicles

The same arrangements will apply as for the first calibration flight on 15 September.  The public is therefore reminded that there is no public access to the Airport Site.

Members of the public will be able to view the landing of the aircraft from vantage points at Millennium Forest, Horse Point and Bradleys.  Other vantage points, such as Woody Ridge, will be available – but there will be no traffic management at those places. The public is therefore asked to take extra care when driving to and parking at other vantage points on the Island.

Basil Read has granted permission for part of the Access Road, normally closed to the public, to be used as part of a one way system on the day to alleviate congestion. To approach the vantage points below, vehicles will be allowed through Longwood Gate and through to Bottom Woods. To return, vehicles will be directed past Reggie’s Takeaway at Bottom Woods, along the Access Road, through to Foxy’s Garage at Deadwood and then back to Longwood Gate (See attached map).

The entrance to Fisher’s Valley will be closed to all traffic other than residents.

Bradley’s Camp/Garage Area

 

  • The Airport site will remain off-limits to the general public.  A barricade will be in place just before the turning to Bradley’s Camp to mark the area that is out of bounds.
  • A viewing area before the barricade will be available on a first-come-first-served basis.

 

Millennium Forest

 

  • A good view can be had from the Millennium Forest. There will be limited parking available.

 Access Road

 

  • Exceptionally, parking will be allowed on this day on the left hand side of the Access Road from the area of Reggie’s Takeaway at Bottom Woods to the barricade at Bradley’s. Vehicles should be parked sensibly to facilitate emergency vehicle access to the Airport and the Waste Management Facility at Horse Point.

 Horse Point

 

  • On the day, Horse Point will only be accessible on foot – this is to protect Wirebird nests and other endemic species from accidental damage. A barrier to vehicles will be in place along the track that leads to Horse Point, just past the Waste Management Facility.
  • Limited parking will be available at the Waste Management Facility itself, but all vehicles will need to vacate the site by 3pm on Sunday 13 December. The Waste Management Facility will be secured at this point and will reopen to the public on Monday 14 December.
  • The public should be mindful that Horse Point is an environmentally sensitive area and care should be taken when moving around that area.

 

SHG

10 December 2015


WASS INQUIRY REPORT PUBLISHED

Thursday 10 December 2015

St Helena Government (SHG) today welcomes publication of the Wass Inquiry Report into Allegations Surrounding Child Safeguarding Issues on St Helena and Ascension Islandwhich follows an independent and comprehensive review of claims relating to child abuse on St Helena and Ascension Island carried out by Sasha Wass QC and the Inquiry team.  The team visited St Helena and Ascension Island in March of this year. The report was published at 09.40hrs today in the UK Parliament, by means of a Written Ministerial Statement by Minister for the British Overseas Territories James Duddridge. Both the statement and the report can be viewed on the FCO website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/484129/51735_Wass_Inquiry_Web_Accessible_PDF.pdf

SHG acknowledges and reaffirms the independence and credibility of this Inquiry – which received its full support and cooperation – and accepts the report’s recommendations.  Executive Council welcomes today’s publication of the report as an essential step towards securing St Helena’s good name.

At this early stage, we note in particular the following broad findings and recommendations:

 

  • The report refutes the claim that child abuse is endemic on St Helena.  It states: ‘The Inquiry Panel found no evidence that child abuse was either endemic or routine’
  • Nor was there a cover up or corruption. The report ‘found no evidence of corruption in the St Helena Police Service, the St Helena Government, the FCO or DFID. Nor was there any evidence of a cover up, as suggested to the public.’
  • The report finds that media headlines in 2014 were sensational and ‘gave a totally misleading and distorted view of the people of St Helena and of the institutions that serve them.’
  • The report acknowledges that child sex abuse does happen on the Island, as in any country in the world
  • The report highlights serious management failings on St Helena going back many years and makes various recommendations, including on recruitment, handovers, induction and training – which SHG accepts and has started to implement
    • The report notes poor standards of facilities, including at the Hospital, CBU and Barn View.  In this context, SHG notes the Ebony View development, and the refurbishment of the Hospital and Barn View
    • The report found no evidence of police corruption or paedophilia on Ascension Island
    • The report notes that attention needs to be given to the travel needs of St Helenians living on Ascension Island post-RMS, although this has recently been overtaken by the selection of Comair to provide an air service between Ascension Island and St Helena
    • The report observes that an anomaly in the jurisdiction between St Helena and Ascension Island relating to the sentencing of offenders to community orders needs to be dealt with.  This will be one of a number of priorities
    • The report recommends that ‘no further reports should be requested by either the St Helena Government or the FCO without first determining whether the area of concern has been dealt with previously by an earlier study.’

Significant progress has been made in safeguarding on St Helena over recent years and months, including the creation of a new dedicated Safeguarding Directorate, improved care facilities, extra specialist staff, and better training for those working with children.  All of this is bringing strong results in case management, protection, investigations and successful prosecutions.

We will continue to work closely with FCO and DFID to ensure we do all we can to protect children and the vulnerable. We know that there are concerns about abuse, as there are in any community, but solid progress continues to be made in improving our safeguarding capabilities.

In conclusion, SHG and the UK Government take all accusations of child abuse extremely seriously and we are committed to ensuring that victims are heard and protected. Child abuse is a scourge that is totally unacceptable, but it is not unique to St Helena. Much safeguarding work was underway here before the Inquiry was established and has been carried out since the team departed the Island – but there is clearly more to be done.

Of course, it would be naive to think that Government can tackle all of this alone. Everyone on St Helena and Ascension Island has a responsibility to work together to help to protect the vulnerable in our community and anyone with information that would assist the authorities is urged to come forward in confidence.

SHG will now study the report’s findings in detail and in response will develop a plan of action and timetable, working closely with all stakeholders. With the Wass Inquiry recommendations on which to build, we will benchmark our delivery against UK standards and continue to strive for further improvements on St Helena, including beyond the scope of this Inquiry.

A copy of the Inquiry report will shortly be made available on the SHG website, and hard copies will be placed in the Public Library, the Human Rights Office and the Public Solicitor’s Office.

Note for Media: A press conference will take place this afternoon at 2pm in the Governor’s Office at the Castle.

Notes to Editors

The Inquiry was commissioned by FCO and DFID Ministers to establish the truth of various allegations by carrying out a multi-disciplinary investigation into the claims made, providing an assessment of their genuineness, and making recommendations as appropriate.  The allegations behind the Inquiry involved claims relating to child abuse in St Helena, police corruption and incompetence, and a conspiracy by SHG, FCO and DFID to cover these up.

The Inquiry was headed by Ms Sasha Wass QC, an accomplished barrister with substantial professional experience of dealing with these types of issues, supported by a multi-disciplinary team of experts.

 

SHG

10 December 2015


ROAD CLOSURE

WHITE GATE TO FRANCIS PLAIN ROAD

The Highways Authority has given approval for the road to be closed from White Gate to Francis Plain Road on Tuesday 15 December 2015 to Thursday 17 December 2015. This is to enable the Roads Section to carry out planned works on ‘Swampy Gut’ Bridge.

The road will be closed from 9am to 3pm, on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Diversion signs will be in place and as normal only emergency services will be granted access.

The Roads Section would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused, and thank the public in advance for their continued cooperation.

SHG

9 December 2015


UPDATE ON SECOND CALIBRATION FLIGHT

Further to the press release of 4 December 2015, St Helena Airport Manager Nigel Spackman has today advised that the second Calibration flight is now due to arrive on Sunday 13 December 2015.

The calibration flight has been rescheduled due to the late arrival of the RMS and the necessity of having the Air Traffic Controller as an Observer in place on the Island when the flight arrives.

It is difficult at present to determine the exact arrival time of the flight but it is likely to be during Sunday afternoon.

As before, the calibration tests will be undertaken by Flight Calibration Services Limited (FCSL), with the aircraft leased from TAB in South Africa.

The public will be kept informed.

SHG

8 December 2015


2016 CENSUS

WOULD YOU LIKE TO COMPLETE IT ONLINE?

The Statistics Office is now in the final stages of preparing the Questionnaire to be used in the 2016 Population & Housing Census.  In addition to the traditional paper questionnaire, there will also be an option to complete it online.

The pilot exercise held in November provided useful feedback which is being incorporated in the design of the final questionnaire.  During the development of the Census consultations have been held and feedback has been given by the general public and key stakeholders. Thanks to the efforts of everyone who took part, the team has been able to develop the best possible Census questionnaire for St Helena.

Dr Paula McLeod, Statistician and Census Supervisor, said:

Online completion may be a better option for some households – many people now prefer to complete and return information online rather than filling out traditional paper forms. For some households, the opposite will be true.  

“Online completion carries advantages for the Statistics Office, as it is cheaper to administer and we have much quicker access to the data.  As a new option, it is natural that there will be some questions and concerns – but we are working to make sure that online completion is easy, secure and at no cost to the respondent.

Additional megabytes will be provided to households to ensure that online completion does not ‘cost’ anything to people taking up this option. To ensure resources are allocated appropriately, the Census team requests that anyone who is interested in online completion registers their interest by providing the team with the following information:

  • A contact email-address and telephone number for you
  • Your District

You can provide this information by email (statistics@sainthelena.gov.sh) or by telephoning 22138.  Alternatively you can call via the Castle switchboard on 22470, or just pop in to the office.

Remember – We Count Because YOU Count.

If you have any questions about any aspect of the Census, or are interested in joining the team as an Enumerator, please get in touch by using the contact details above.  Please note the Statistics Office has now moved one floor up in the Castle, directly above their old office.

SHG

7 December 2015


SAFEGUARDING DIRECTORATE DEVELOPMENTS

L to R - Patra Duncan, Greg Hall and Anna Crowie
L to R – Patra Duncan, Greg Hall and Anna Crowie

As announced on 23 October 2015, the Director of Safeguarding, Greg Hall, will depart St Helena in December this year in order to take up another role in Australia.

Until his departure in mid-December, Greg will continue to implement important safeguarding reforms and the Directorate has been busy rolling out further improvements to social services, including some recent staff additions to Adult Services. Local staff Patra Duncan and Anna Crowie (photo attached) are leading new programs focusing on education and support for residential clients with a disability.

Director of Safeguarding, Greg Hall said:

“Whilst there has been a very important focus on safeguarding children this year, it’s crucial that the Island also improves services for vulnerable adults, particularly those with a disability, those who are elderly and vulnerable, and those with mental health issues. We started a more structured approach to this earlier this year, and further positions and improvements are rolling out.”

Reflecting on a year of rapid and ongoing change, outgoing director Greg highlighted improvements in support around sexual and domestic abuse and professional counselling – and increased training, recognition and development for staff.  He also stressed the creation of new opportunities for Saints:

“In December, we will be seeking a local manager to lead on supporting people impacted by domestic abuse.  This is in addition to the current recruitment of local Heads of Care at the CCC to work with an internationally qualified nurse who arrives next week.”

Greg leaves the Island on 13 December 2015 to pursue a new role in Australia, and hopes that in the future he will see Saints visiting there to pursue study or work exposure visits. SHG is now in the process of recruiting his successor and while this takes place, the role will be temporarily filled by Assistant Chief Secretary Paul McGinnety when Greg leaves St Helena.

Paul added:

“Greg has worked tirelessly to improve Safeguarding on the Island, which has benefited from his expertise. The search for his successor has commenced and I would urge any Saints with the right qualifications and experience to apply for this exciting and challenging role through the recruitment process.

“I would like to place on record our thanks to Greg and we wish him and his family well as they embark on a new challenge.”

The appointment of a new Director of Safeguarding will take place early in 2016.

SHG

1 December 2015


ACTING GOVERNOR SWORN IN

On the morning of Saturday 28 November 2015, Head of the Governor’s Office, Sean Burns, took the prescribed Oaths as Acting Governor in the presence of the Sheriff, Mrs Pat Musk MBE JP, and witnesses, in the Governor’s Office at the Castle (photo attached).  Mr Burns’ appointment was immediately effective on Saturday.

HE Governor Capes departed the Island on Monday 23 November 2015 for onward travel to the UK.

SHG

30 November 2015


UTILITIES REGULATORY AUTHORITY REPORT ON CONNECT

The St Helena Utilities Regulatory Authority has today published its second annual ‘Report on the Quality of Services Provided by Connect Saint Helena Limited, 2014/15’.

On 1 April 2013 the Utility Services Ordinance 2013 came into force. The Ordinance established the Utilities Regulatory Authority and created a legal framework to facilitate the provision of licenses for private sector utility services.

The members of the Authority are the Chief Magistrate (Chairman), Mr Stedson Francis (BEM) and Mr Paul Hickling. The Judicial Services Manager is the Secretary to the Authority, to whom any communications should be made.

The main purpose of this annual reporting is to inform the public of the level of services being delivered by Connect, and to make Connect aware that such services are being monitored, scrutinised and will be publicly reported upon by the Authority. This aims to motivate the sole utilities provider to improve the quality of the services it provides.

The full report relates to the period from 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015, and can be found on the SHG website at: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/

SHG
25 November 2015


SUPREME COURT IN SESSION

Supreme Court
Supreme Court

The formal opening of the St Helena Supreme Court took place today, Monday 23 November, at 10am.  Civil and Criminal cases will be heard by the Supreme Court until Thursday 17 December 2015.

His Lordship, the Chief Justice, Charles Ekins Esq, entered the Courthouse accompanied by the Sheriff of St Helena, Mrs Pat Musk MBE JP, plus the Bishop of St Helena, Dr Richard Fenwick, and Chief Magistrate, John MacRitchie.  Lawyers, JPs, officials, and members of the public were also in attendance.

Attorney General Nicola Moore welcomed several new practitioners on-Island – firstly with the recent addition to the Attorney General’s Chambers of Angelo Berbotto, as Crown Counsel Safeguarding – a post offering support to both the Chambers and the Public Solicitor’s Office in providing specialist advice to ensure protection of the vulnerable in St Helena’s community.  An introduction was also given to the new Public Solicitor, Nicholas Aldridge and Charlotte Collier (Child Care & Civil) to the Public Solicitor’s Office.  Ben Channer, Locum Crown Counsel (Civil), was also welcomed and is currently providing services to the Attorney General’s Chambers until December 2015.

Nicola reflected on the challenges and opportunities of the legal landscape currently on St Helena, in particular referring to the Jury’s Amendment Ordinance, the Environment Protection Ordinance and the Mental Health Capacity Ordinance.

The Chief Justice spoke of his understanding of the challenges that have faced the Public Solicitor’s Office, the Attorney General’s Chambers and Judiciary Services in the run-up to the Supreme Court – and commented that he looks forward to working with them all, to accomplish all sessions in an efficient and effective manner and to ensure proper administration of justice.

SHG

23 November 2015


HEALTH MATTERS

1 DECEMBER 2015 – WORLD AIDS DAY

What is HIV and AIDS?

HIV and AIDS is not the same thing and people who get an HIV infection do not automatically develop AIDS. HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus and weakens your ability to fight infections and disease generally.

Of the 2.1 million new infections recorded during 2013, 70 per cent occurred in Sub-Saharan Africa (WHO). This includes South Africa.

HIV is most commonly caught by having unprotected sex. So to stay safe, use protection!

There is no cure for HIV, but there are treatments to enable most people with the virus to live a long and healthy life.

AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome – a term which covers a range of infections and illnesses which can result from a weakened immune system caused by HIV.

AIDS is the final stage of HIV infection, when your body can no longer fight life-threatening infections. With early diagnosis and effective treatment, most people with HIV will not go on to develop AIDS. There is usually a time lag of several years between first being infected with HIV and then developing infections and other AIDS-related problems. Because Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) has altered the way we think about the condition, the term ‘Late-stage HIV’ is being increasingly used instead of AIDS.

What if I don’t like using protection i.e. condoms?

Condoms have come a long way in recent years and you can now get condoms in different sizes, flavours, and with added features to increase pleasure and heighten sensation. Condoms are still the best way to protect yourself and others from HIV infection, and other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), so if you think you don’t like using condoms, it’s worth trying out some different varieties. Condoms can be found at clinics, the pharmacy and various bars on St Helena.

If you find using condoms or negotiating condom use with a partner difficult, it is worth speaking to your community nurse, doctor, or use the contact details below.

If someone with HIV also has an STI this can increase the amount of virus in their body. The more virus there is, the greater the risk of transmission to another person, so it is a good idea for sexually active people to get regular sexual health check-ups for both HIV and other STIs. 

For further information please contact Marian Kanes, Health Promotion Trainer at hp.trainer@publichealth.gov.sh, or Marian Yon, Health Promotion Coordinator at marian.yon@publichealth.gov.sh. Alternatively you can call tel 22500, ext 211.

Marian Kanes, Health Promotion Trainer

SHG

23 November 2015


SAFEGUARDING COUNSELLOR ARRIVES ON ST HELENA

Jennifer Stephenson Jennifer Stephenson (pictured) arrived on Island on Saturday 7 November 2015 to undertake her role as a Counsellor with the Safeguarding Directorate. Jennifer will be on St Helena for a period of six months, with a view to a possible extension.

Jennifer aims to offer one-to-one sessions in a safe, comfortable and private environment to discuss issues and develop solutions for those on Island suffering from anxiety, depression, abuse, low self-esteem, or any other emotional or psychological concern.

Jennifer said:

“The first thing I would like to do is to try and understand St Helena and its culture as much as possible and to really understand what it is that the people of the Island would like from me. Hopefully I can then start to build up the public’s trust so that they feel comfortable in talking to me.”

Jennifer will have the capacity to see a maximum of fourteen people a week, supporting anyone who thinks they could benefit from counselling, as well as offering support to those going through the Court system. The service is fully independent, meaning that information is not passed on to Social Services, the Police or any other agencies.

Jennifer has worked as a counsellor for four years after completing a BSc Psychology Degree and then an MSc in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy. She has worked in schools, children’s homes, and also set up a counselling service for people in their homes who were unable to access counselling due to poor health, mobility issues, or caring responsibilities. She has also supported 12-18 year olds residing in care due to physical, emotional or sexual abuse.

Jenny added:

“I have amassed a good amount of knowledge to support a wide range of people and issues, but I am also aware of my limitations and always want to learn more and grow.

“I see people as individuals and always have an open mind and a non-judgemental attitude – counselling is a journey we take together.”

Those interested in taking a counselling session or just to have an informal chat can contact Jennifer on 22713 or email: counsellor.safeguarding@helanta.co.sh.

After an initial appointment, a private mobile number will be given to ensure privacy and confidentiality.

SHG
23 November 2015


64th WESTMINSTER SEMINAR

PARLIAMENTARY PRACTICE & PROCEDURE

Councillor (Wilson) Tony Duncan will represent St Helena at the 64th Westminster Seminar on Parliamentary Practice & Procedure, due to be held in the Houses of Parliament in London – running from Monday 30 November to Friday 4 December 2015.

Every year, the five-day programme aims to strengthen the knowledge, skills and confidence of first-term Members of Parliament and newly appointed Clerks, Councillors and Officials in the core aspects of their Parliamentary work.  It provides a unique platform for its participants to meet their counterparts and explore Parliamentary democracy, practice and procedure within a Westminster framework – and share experiences and common challenges in their Parliamentary work.

The 2015 programme covers an Introduction to the Westminster System, an Overview of the Legislative Process, the Role of the Speaker, Giving MPs a Voice, and the Ever-evolving Parliament – Parliamentary Ethics & Standards and Best Practice in Holding a Committee Enquiry.

Councillor Duncan departs St Helena today, Monday 23 November 2015, and will return on 23 December 2015.

SHG

23 November 2015   

 


DETECTIVE CONSTABLE STRENGTHENS SAFEGUARDING TEAM

 

Louise Scott
Louise Scott

Louise Scott (pictured) arrived on Island on 7 November 2015 to take up her role as a new Detective Constable in St Helena’s Police Service – to work on investigations relating to domestic violence, sexual abuse (working closely with the Safeguarding Team), and on other local crimes such as burglary and criminal damage.

Louise, who is initially contracted for a period of two years, spoke of her new role:

“I am slowly meeting new people and learning about the Island, in addition to understanding the local systems in place here as compared to the UK.”

Louise chose policing as a career as she has always wanted to work in an area which focuses on the protection of vulnerable people and children.

 Louise added:

“If I can go some way towards helping these people then I can say I have achieved something in my life.”

Louise has been a Detective for six years, based in East Sussex in the UK. She worked in CID for four years, before moving on to the child protection issues and anti-victimisation crimes.

Louise concluded:

“I have worked in extremely busy areas in the UK and I do believe I have gained a huge amount of experience within a very short space of time. I look forward to bringing this experience and knowledge to policing here in St Helena.”

SHG                                                                                                                                                                                 

20 November 2015


CHARLIE’S EBONY REVIVAL LEDGE

On Saturday 14 November 2015, a small ceremony (pictured)

St Helena Ebony
St Helena Ebony

was held at Ebony Point, near Blue Hill on St Helena, to rename the ledge from which Charlie Benjamin climbed down to collect cuttings of the endemic St Helena Ebony plant, Trochetiopsis ebenus (pictured) – rediscovered by George Benjamin and Quinton Cronk, on 11 November 1980. The ledge, now named as ‘Charlie’s Ebony Revival Ledge’, pays tribute to Charlie (George Benjamin’s brother) for his role in rescuing the endemic Ebony.

Charlie’s stepdaughter, Rosie Peters, and her family were present and planted Ebonies on behalf of Charlie’s daughter Wendy, who was married at Kew Gardens, London, on the same day. Father Dale Bowers gave his Blessing and all who spoke highlighted Charlie’s role in conservation and the importance of the rediscovery and subsequent propagation of the endemic Ebony.

Climbing up from Charleys Revival Ledge
Climbing up from Charleys Revival Ledge

Deputy Director of Environment & Natural Resources, Derek Henry, said:

“This ceremony was held to recognise Charlie’s role in the rediscovery of the Ebony and its rescue from potential extinction. Bearing in mind that this was 35 years ago, Charlie did not have access to proper rock climbing equipment and training and the cliff he climbed down is extremely perilous.”

The new name for the ledge, Charlie’s Ebony Revival Ledge, came about as a result of a competition between Island schools, which saw Year 2 at Pilling Primary School coming up with the winning name.

Councillor Gavin Ellick added:

“Charlie carried out a vital role in the rescue of the endemic Ebony and its subsequent conservation. His effort and contribution symbolises the very nature of conservation and highlights its importance, not only to the Island but also on the international stage.

“Charlie’s contribution has helped to raise awareness of conservation and its importance to the Island. The rediscovery of this plant has been a driver and an inspiration for conservation efforts that have occurred over the last 35 years on St Helena.”

Charlie’s Ebony Revival Ledge

All propagated Ebonies growing on the Island today can trace their descent back to the two plants that Charlie collected material from. Those cuttings were successfully rooted and as a result, thousands of Ebonies are now growing on the Island.

SHG
17 November 2015


DETECTIVE CONSTABLE ARRIVES TO JOIN CID

Phillip Xavier
Phillip Xavier

Phillip Xavier (pictured) arrived on Island on 7 November 2015 to undertake his role as a Detective Constable specialising in assault cases for St Helena’s Police Service.

Phillip, who is on Island for one year, will investigate crimes involving sexual assaults and domestic violence, and will also assist with other investigations as required.

Phillip spoke of his main role on St Helena:

“Policing in St Helena is obviously different to the UK – it is a small Island where everyone knows each other and systems that you would take for granted in the UK are not available here. This means that policing work here is challenging in a completely different way.”

Phillip joined the police in 2004 and became a Detective Constable in 2007. Since then he has worked in a variety of departments in major CID roles. Initially training to become a DC in Brighton, Sussex, which was a very busy office where there were new investigations and prisoners who needed dealing with daily. The investigations that Phillip worked on covered a wide range of offences including robberies, serious assaults, high value thefts, burglaries and sexual assaults. After the CID, Phillip worked in the Anti-Victimisation Unit in Brighton for two years, investigating domestic violence cases and crimes involving vulnerable adults. He then moved onto the Major Crime Team for three and a half years, dealing with murders, manslaughters, stranger rapes and kidnaps – before taking up employment on St Helena.

Phillip added:

“I became a Police Officer and continue to be a Police Officer so that I can help people when they need it and make a difference in their lives. I truly hope that during my time living and working on St Helena, I can help victims of crimes by supporting them and listening to them – which will in turn allow me to investigate the crimes they report, and hopefully lead to a successful outcome.”

Phillip concluded:

“I have been very fortunate to work in a variety of police settings investigating a wide range of offences and working with many colleagues. This has given me a very broad range of skills and knowledge to bring with me to St Helena.

“More generally, I am also looking forward to meeting St Helena residents and experiencing the Island’s culture.”

SHG
17 November 2015


ENUMERATORS WANTED FOR 2016 CENSUS

 

On Sunday 7 February 2016 St Helena will be conducting a Population & Housing Census. The Census is a complete count of all houses on the Island and all the people who are staying in them on Census night.

The Statistics Office, which is developing the Census materials, will need support in delivering the Census and will appoint Enumerators who will be responsible for:

  • Delivering the Census questionnaire to houses in an agreed area
  • Providing support in completing the questionnaire if the household needs it
  • Collecting the completed forms

We are looking for trustworthy individuals willing to act as Enumerators during the Census period. Interested people must be:

  • Friendly, approachable and able to deal with potentially difficult conversations
  • Patient and able to communicate clearly and  provide support to households requiring help in completing the questionnaire
  • Knowledgeable about the area in which you are working (Enumerators will be able to request particular areas in which they wish to work, but we will have to make sure that our team of Enumerators covers all areas of the Island)
  • Reliable and trustworthy when dealing with confidential information.

Enumerators will be provided with training and support to ensure they are comfortable and able to carry out their duties effectively.

Enumerators will be paid at a favourable rate, taking into account their time, the number of households they visit and the amount of support they are required to provide. It is hoped to appoint Enumerators in time for training sessions in late January 2016.

If you are interested in becoming an Enumerator for this important exercise please contact any member of the Statistics team via email: (statistics@sainthelena.gov.sh), telephone 22138 or just pop into the Castle for an informal chat. 

SHG

17 November 2015

 


2016 CENSUS PILOT

In the week beginning Monday 23 November 2015 the Statistics Office will be piloting the questionnaire to be used in the 2016 Population & Housing Census.

The pilot exercise is an important stage of the Census process as this is where the questionnaire is tested to make sure it ‘works’ for St Helena – that the questions make sense, are straightforward and provide the information needed. The information collected in the 2016 Census will be used for many years to come and so we need to make sure that it is accurate and reliable – and the first stage of this is to make sure we have the right questionnaire.

The questionnaire is based on the one used in the previous Population Census in 2008, but has been further developed following consultation with the general public, private sector businesses, Elected Members and Government officials. Some questions have been refined to bring them into line with current international recommendations and best practice, ensuring Census results for St Helena will be of comparable standard to those produced by other countries who follow UN recommendations.

A number of households have been contacted and asked to participate in the pilot exercise and we would like to take this opportunity to thank these people once again for their help and cooperation. If you have not been asked to participate in the pilot but would like an opportunity to look over the questionnaire and provide feedback – then please contact the Statistics Office who will do their best to accommodate your request.

During the pilot, Statistics Officers Kelly Clingham and Justine Joshua will also be conducting fieldwork to verify the housing frame which will be used to deliver the 2016 Census. If you see these officers in your areas with maps do not be alarmed – they will not be looking for you (unless an appointment has previously been arranged) – but any help you can offer in confirming that we have identified all the homes in your area will be much appreciated.

Remember – We Count Because YOU Count.

If you have any questions about the pilot or any other aspects of the Census, please get in touch. The Statistics team can be contacted via email (statistics@sainthelena.gov.sh), telephone (22138) or just pop into The Castle for an informal chat. Please note the Statistics Office has now moved one floor up in the Castle, directly above their old office.

SHG

16 November 2015


GOVERNOR CAPES TO DEPART ON OVERSEAS BUSINESS & LEAVE

HE Governor and Mrs Capes will depart for Ascension Island on Monday 23 November 2015, then onward to the UK.

While on Ascension Island the Governor’s programme will include meetings with senior officials, including chairing a meeting of the Ascension Island Council.  In London the Governor will join Councillor Lawson Henry and representatives from Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha at the annual Joint Ministerial Council (JMC), hosted by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO).  During the JMC week, there will also be opportunities for the Governor and Councillors to meet with FCO and DFID Ministers in bilateral meetings.

Following the JMC, Governor Capes will attend various meetings with FCO and other officials in London. Governor and Mrs Capes will then take some leave over the Christmas period before returning to St Helena in January 2016.

While Governor Capes is on Ascension Island, Head of the Governor’s Office, Sean Burns, will become Governor’s Deputy. When Governor Capes travels to the UK Mr Burns will take on the role of Acting Governor until Governor Capes returns to the Island in the New Year.

SHG

16 November 2015


UK STATE PENSIONS MEETING ON ST HELENA

WEDNESDAY 18 NOVEMBER 2015

Councillor Lawson Henry will be attending the annual Joint Ministerial Council (JMC) meeting in London from 2 December 2015, departing St Helena on Monday 23 November.

During the JMC week, UK State Pensions for those in receipt who live overseas will be discussed. This will be an opportunity for Councillor Henry to contribute to the discussion on behalf of pensioners (or those who will qualify for a UK pension in the future) who reside on St Helena.

In respect of this, Councillors Henry, Dollery, and Duncan will be holding a meeting at the Canister on Wednesday 18 November 2015 at 6pm – to hear any views that you may wish Councillor Henry to raise on this subject at the JMC.

SHG

16 November 2015


PROPOSED NEW FOOD SAFETY LEGISLATION

BACKYARD SLAUGHTERING

Why stop the way backyard slaughter has been done for many years?

It is necessary to apply strict law for slaughterhouses and one of the aims of the current draft regulations is to do away with inappropriate slaughtering facilities and unsatisfactory slaughtering techniques often associated with less hygienic backyard slaughtering. As a comparison, food safety standards within the fishing industry are very high compared to those in the current meat industry.

Why the concern?

In many cases, backyard slaughtering is carried out in unhygienic conditions, disinfection is often not carried out and meat is not effectively protected from flies, dust and other deleterious matter. Waste and water are not always adequately disposed off. There is often inappropriate storage and holding of meat, and the mode of transporting meat to sell to the public is sometimes poor, with some vehicles being used for multiple purposes.

In backyard slaughter, animals are often dragged and butchered while still alive. Some sheep and goats are killed without ‘stunning’ first. Animals are at risk of suffering prolonged deaths, sometimes at the hands of untrained and unskilled backyard slaughterers.

This is not to mention the effect on close neighbours.

How do slaughterhouses compare?

A registered slaughterhouse is designed and constructed so as to ensure hygienic slaughter and so arranged to provide adequate space and facilities for the efficient dressing of carcasses, meat inspection and related activities. They permit clean operations to be carried out separately from those liable to give rise to contamination, and they permit functioning of all operations under hygienic conditions. Registered slaughterhouses are also effectively screened from pests and other vermin.

The slaughterhouses are equipped with stunning apparatus and slaughtermen are trained and experienced.

Will backyard slaughter be allowed at all?

The rearing of animals is of great importance both socially and economically. The issue of home slaughter for retail is a sensitive matter, but the establishment of slaughter facilities of sufficiently high standards, simple and relatively inexpensive, would improve matters greatly.

During the forthcoming consultation period on the introduction of this new legislation, we want to hear your views on backyard slaughtering and how you would address the main hygiene concerns. We can then adopt a solution that takes into account local conditions, bearing in mind the primary objective of food safety.

SHG

11 November 2015


TEACHER APPRECIATION DAY A SUCCESS

On Friday 6 November 2015 St Helena celebrated its inaugural Teacher Appreciation Day – when teachers on the Island received thank you notes, handmade gifts and other treats from schoolchildren and fellow colleagues alike – highlighting the value and importance placed on teachers within St Helena’s community.

As a mark of this value, Governor and Mrs Capes hosted an evening reception on the day at Plantation House, where teachers and former students came together to celebrate their joint achievements.

Governor Capes said:

“I am happy to have this opportunity to host an evening for those on the Island who nurture St Helena’s most precious resource, our children. 

 “This reception marks Teacher Appreciation Day, which I am told is the first one to be held on the Island.  If that is the case, then this is well overdue and I would like to say ‘Thank You’ to the Education Committee and the Education Directorate for all their hard work in developing the Strategic Development Plan for Teaching – which results in today’s celebrations. 

 “We often speak about the Airport and it can sometimes seem to dominate our discussions on developing future opportunities.  But what is really important is the role teachers play in equipping young Saints with the skills necessary to take the Island forward.” 

Councillor Nigel Dollery spoke about the return of graduates Stacey Thomas, Derrie Yon and Laura Lawrence who, with their newly acquired skills, will strengthen the teaching profession themselves.

Director of Education, Shirley Wahler, concluded:

“This is our day to say Thank You.  I want to join all those other voices to say well done for overcoming tough obstacles and continuing in your profession.  And tonight we are paying a special tribute for those teachers who have served for over twenty years in continuous service.”

 During the evening, Maureen Plato, Dulcie Herne, Patricia Henry, Edna Richards, Hazel Peters, Barbara Osborne, Nicholas Plato, Carlene Crowie, Elaine Benjamin, Patricia Williams and Eileen Hudson received awards for their continuous service, with Eileen Hudson being the longest current serving teacher at 43 years in the teaching profession.

A new Scheme of Service was also officially launched on the night.  This scheme is designed to encourage career development, develop new skills and competencies and reward current teaching staff.  Further details on this new scheme will follow.

Photo Gallery Attachment

 

SHG

11 November 2015 


REMEMBRANCE DAY SERVICE 2015

Remembrance Day Service
HE Governor Mark Capes

On Sunday 8 November 2015, a Divine Service was held at the Cenotaph, in honour of those who had lost their lives or had been injured during Active Duty. His Excellency the Governor and Mrs Capes arrived at 10.55am, when the Right Reverend Lord Bishop, Dr Richard Fenwick, invited those in attendance to pray, before observing a two-minute silence, signalled by the Last Post.

Wreaths were then laid by the Governor, Representatives from the French Republic, (Mrs Susan O’Bey), the Army (Mr Geoffrey Dawson), the Royal Navy (Mr Jack Horner), the Royal Air Force (Mr Marco Yon), the Merchant Navy (Mr Chedrick Jonas), St Helena Police Service (Constable Christopher Joshua) and St Helena Fire & Sea Rescue Service (Mr Matthew Benjamin). Members of the public, including several schoolchildren, also laid wreaths.

Remembrance Day Service
Remembrance Day Service

Prayers were led by Father Fred, Father Christopher, Lieutenant Coral Yon and Elder Patricia Duncan. During the Service, hymns were sung, including ‘O God, Our Help in Ages Past’, ‘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. The Service concluded with the National Anthem and Blessing, followed by the traditional March-Past outside the Court House, with music from the Get-togethers orchestra and the Salvation Army.

As usual, Remembrance Sunday on St Helena was very well observed and attended.

 

SHG                                                                                                                                     

9 November 2015


BIOSECURITY DETECTOR DOG JOINS THE TEAM

Biosecurity Detector Dog Joins the Team
Biosecurity Detector Dog Joins the Team

From Sunday 1 November 2015, the St Helena Biosecurity Team’s work is being assisted by a four-legged recruit – biosecurity detector dog Harriet (photo attached). Harriet is a locally owned dog who has been trained by Paul Laban to detect honey and certain fruit items, and she will be using her superb sense of smell to sniff out concealed items in baggage and cargo.

Honey is one of the items most frequently smuggled into St Helena. But St Helena’s bees are almost unique in the world in having no diseases – and we are keen to keep it this way. Honey is unprocessed, unlike jam and marmalade, and can harbour bacteria and fungus diseases. Island bananas are also free of diseases and it is therefore important to prevent the import of honey and bananas – to protect our local products.

Pest Control and Biosecurity Officer at ANRD, Jill Key, said:

Having a trained detector dog is a big asset for the Biosecurity Team as it greatly extends our ability to detect concealed restricted items.  Harriet is the perfect dog for this – friendly and gentle, yet a very keen searcher.”

Harriet’s first day of work coincided with the arrival of the MS Amadea, where she proved a big attraction for the cruise ship passengers, who were pleased to meet her and take pictures.

Harriet is a young dog, and her training will continue and expand the range of items she can detect.

SHG

9 November 2015


AIRPORT BOARD GRANTS ADDITIONAL TIME

TO ACHIEVE OPERATIONAL READINESS

The St Helena Airport Programme Board – comprising SHG, DFID, FCO and Basil Read – yesterday recommended that it would be necessary and prudent to grant a short period of additional time in order to fine tune the operational readiness of St Helena Airport.

The Programme Board does not anticipate a significant revision to the commencement date for commercial flights beyond the original projected date of late February 2016, but has recommended this pragmatic step now so that we can conclude the calibration works and other preparations for safe and secure commercial operations. Executive Council Members are in agreement, and we have conveyed this decision to Comair and Penspen.

Subject to final certification and operational readiness, the Board still expects St Helena Airport to be accepting commercial flights before the planned Official Opening of the Airport in May 2016.

As before, a decision on when to sell tickets for Comair flights will be made only when the Airport has been certified. To that end, we expect the regulator, Air Safety Support International, to visit St Helena in January 2016 to carry out a full inspection audit of the Airport’s compliance with aviation regulations and that will inform a decision on ticket sale timing.

SHG
6 November 201


FORMAL MEETING OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE

WEDNESDAY 11 NOVEMBER 2015

The second formal session (for 2015) of the Public Accounts Committee will take place on Wednesday, 11 November, at 10am in the Court House, Jamestown.

The Order Paper for the meeting is as follows:

  1. Chairman’s Address
  2. St Helena Audit Service: St Helena Airport Project Overview Audit
  3. St Helena Line Limited

In respect of Remembrance Day, a one minute silence will be observed at the meeting at 11am.

 The public is invited to attend.

 SHG

9 November 2015


FISHERIES SCIENTIST ARRIVES ON ST HELENA

Dr Martin Collins
Dr Martin Collins

Dr Martin Collins (pictured) arrived on Island on 14 October 2015 to undertake his role as Fisheries Scientist on the Darwin Plus funded project: Sustainable Development and Management of St Helena’s Fisheries and Marine Tourism. Martin is initially on Island until 6 January 2016, and will return three more times during the project which will see him return in March and August 2016 and again in February 2017.

Martin will develop a fisheries science programme that will underpin the sustainable management of St Helena’s fisheries and build into a fisheries management strategy. He will also be analysing historic data to investigate how the sea surface temperature influences the catch of tuna in St Helena waters.

Martin will also be building a new database to store fish catch and to measure and weigh fish. He also plans to establish a tagging programme for Yellowfin Tuna and some of the inshore species.

Martin said:

“I want to help St Helena get better prices for sustainably caught fish on the export market. There is strong demand for sustainably caught, pole and line tuna, and I think there are opportunities for St Helena to meet some of this demand.”

Martin has worked in the areas of fish and fisheries for over twenty years. After he graduated from university, his first job was as a fisheries observer in the Falkland Islands. He then studied for a PhD in Ireland and was a lecturer at Aberdeen University. From there he worked as a marine biologist with the British Antarctic Survey from 2002-2009. His most recent job was Chief Executive and Director of Fisheries for the Government of South Georgia.

Martin added:

“A good fisheries science programme can help demonstrate and improve sustainability and best practice. This job will involve me spending time at the processing plant at Rupert’s and going out to sea on fishing boats – which I am really looking forward to.”

6 November 2015
SHG


SIDE PATH ROAD CLOSURE

WEDNESDAY 11 NOVEMBER 2015

The Highways Authority has given approval for Side Path Road to be closed on Wednesday 11 November 2015 from 1.30 to 3.30pm. This closure will allow the Rock Guards to stabilise and secure a rock above the road, in the interest of public safety. As normal, only emergency vehicles will be granted access.

The Roads Section thanks the public in advance for their continued understanding and cooperation.

SHG

6 November 2015


REMEMBRANCE DAY SERVICE

ROAD CLOSURE

The public is advised that the Highways Authority has given approval for the road and area surrounding the Cenotaph to Donny’s Place, to be closed on the morning of Sunday 8 November 2015 in order for the Remembrance Day Service to take place.

The road and surrounding area will be closed from 3am on Sunday until the ceremony has been concluded.

Appropriate signs will be in place and the public is thanked in advance for their cooperation.

SHG

6 November 2015


AIRPORT MAJOR INCIDENT EXERCISE

Airport Major Incident Exercise - 4 November 2015
Airport Major Incident Exercise – 4 November 2015

A large scale major incident exercise took place at St Helena Airport on Wednesday 4 November 2015, as part of the Airport certification audits.

The emergency scenario simulated a crash landing at the Airport with a total of 55 passengers and crew onboard the aircraft. This exercise was very challenging with many of the people on board suffering a range of injuries. The response was led by the Airport fire fighting team and other staff, supported by the St Helena Police, Fire & Rescue and Sea Rescue teams, Health Directorate staff and senior managers and Directors. The exercise was also made possible by the large number of volunteers who participated as role actors, safety marshals and umpires (see photo attached).

Chief of Police, Trevor Botting said:

“This was a big day for St Helena Airport and was the culmination of much hard work over the last year as we developed our emergency response capability. I was very proud of all the officers and staff from St Helena who responded to the exercise with enthusiasm, commitment and professionalism.

“One of the most impressive parts of the exercise was the way in which teams from SHG worked very closely and effectively with teams and staff from the Airport. I am confident that the collaborative approach taken on Wednesday will stand St Helena in great stead for the future as we strive to keep St Helena and the Airport safe. I also want to say thank you to all of those who gave up their time as role actors and marshals for the exercise and who helped make it a great success.”

Airport Manager, Nigel Spackman added:

This was a very important event in the certification process for St Helena Airport as it’s essential that we instil confidence in the Regulator of our ability to react as a cohesive group in our response to an incident.

“Much planning, development and commitment has gone into preparing for this exercise – and taking place alongside other audits made it all the more challenging.

“The feedback I have received from the Regulator has been very positive indeed, commenting that our interagency working was impressive and our emergency response was better than at many well established Airports.  I am very proud and thankful to all those who contributed to this effort.

“This has established a robust foundation for our continuing efforts to ensure the Airport has the best possible emergency response – and will help to ensure the travelling public are confident in our ability to keep them safe.”

SHG

6 November 2015


PARKING AWARENESS CAMPAIGN

 JAMESTOWN

The Police will be running a Parking Awareness Campaign during November. This campaign has been devised following a meeting between the Chief of Police and Elected Members where concerns were expressed about the abuse of the parking regulations in Jamestown.

In response to these concerns, the Parking Awareness Campaign will seek to encourage motorists to adhere to appropriate use of the two hour parking bays and yellow lines. Elected Members fully support this campaign as we head towards a busy time on the Island over the Christmas period.

Chief of Police, Trevor Botting, said:

“I’m grateful to Councillors for fully supporting our activity as we seek to ensure that the parking regulations are enforced in Jamestown. My officers will be looking for the cooperation of drivers through what will essentially be an awareness campaign. Officers will be handing out leaflets and using local radio stations and newspapers to get their message across.

“But motorists should be warned that where people continually disregard parking regulations they may face prosecution. However, I am confident that we will get the cooperation of the local community in managing these concerns.”

Chairperson of the Highways Authority, Councillor Pamela Ward Pearce added:

“The Highways Authority fully supports this campaign and hopes that the public will help to ensure safer streets for us all.”

SHG


POLICE REQUEST FOR HELP

The Police Service is seeking the assistance of the public to establish the current whereabouts of a vehicle, described as being a blue Ford motor car – possibly an Orion – with the numbers 270 in the registration.

It is believed that the car is no longer being driven on the roads, and may well have been scrapped.

If you have owned this car in the past or know of someone who has owned this car, then the Police would urge you to make contact with them.

Any information provided will be dealt with in the strictest of confidence. If you have any information, please contact Detective Sergeant David Honan at the Criminal Investigations Department on telephone number 22626 or email: Dave.honan@police.gov.sh

4 November 2015                                                                                                          

SHG


ST HELENA AIRPORT PROJECT CELEBRATES 4TH ANNIVERSARY

 

Today, Tuesday 3 November 2015, marks exactly four years since the signing of the Design, Build and Operate contract between St Helena Government and Basil Read to build an Airport on St Helena.

Over these four years, immense progress has been made – evidenced by the number of milestones reached in the past year alone. The appointment of Comair Ltd as Air Service Provider for St Helena, the completion of the concrete paving of the Runway, Apron & Taxiway, the official ‘switching on’ of the runway lights and the announcement of the Ascension Air Service to and from St Helena are just some of the important landmarks achieved this year. The biggest achievement so far of course was the landing of the first ever aircraft at St Helena Airport, on Tuesday 15 September 2015, to take part in a series of calibration flights.

Four years after the signing of the Airport contract, we are now moving away from construction works and into the operational phase of the project. All parties involved in the Airport Project are now working together towards achieving the next important milestone of gaining Airport certification.

HE Governor Capes remarked:

“Four years ago today, on 3 November 2011, I addressed a gathering in front of the Court House in Jamestown to announce that only a few minutes earlier the Airport project contract had been signed in London.  That was a special moment, great excitement matched with no small amount of trepidation about the work that lay ahead. 

“Today the government and community of St Helena can be proud of what has been achieved over the past four years.  In saying that I speak not just of the impressive pace of construction of the Airport itself, but of the performance of the community as a whole in supporting and adapting to change – as we work to raise standards across the board in healthcare, social services, education, environmental protection, policing and in so many other areas.  At times it has not been easy given our remote location and limited resources, but we continue to make strong progress as a community.  

“So I say well done St Helena.  Let us continue to work together to secure a better and more prosperous future for all who live here, paying particular attention to ensure that we remain a caring society, respectful of the values that define this special community.”

To commemorate the 4th anniversary of the Airport Project, a special exhibition will be open at the Museum of St Helena from 4-18 November 2015 highlighting key progress and developments on the Airport project to date. There will also be a photo and film display in the Tourism Office window at the Canister.

Also look out for a bumper colour edition of the Airport Update in this week’s newspapers.

SHG

3 November 2015


CAREERS FAIR 2015

Careers Fair
Careers Fair

On Wednesday, 28 October 2015, St Helena’s annual Careers Fair was held at Prince Andrew School from 10am to 3.30pm and from 6.30 to 8pm.  In a busy hall both the public and private sectors took part, showcasing their activities, making presentations using videos and slideshows – and demonstrating their various business activities.

In her opening remarks, Cynthia Bennett, Work Development Coordinator for SHG, commented:

“There have been many challenges in the run-up to this year’s Careers Fair, but despite these obstacles we have all pulled together to make this event possible. Please enjoy the Fair, which I hope will give you inspiration to develop yourself professionally and achieve your full potential.”

Director of Education, Shirley Wahler, added:

“I would like to thank the Acting Chief Secretary, Government officials, Councillors, presenters and stallholders for being here today.  This event is not just about the careers of individuals but also about the future of St Helena.  As all these options are presented to you, and as you make a choice that suits you, you are also committing to the Island herself.

“This is a big event, an important event about planning for the future, and shaping the Island as a whole. Enjoy today, but take it seriously, think about what you might want to be ten years from now and how you can move in the right direction.”

Speakers covered topics such as Career Progression, Life as a Solicitor, Careers in Management, University Education, and Apprenticeships.

Careers Fair
Careers Fair

Two pictures are attached to this release.

SHG

30 October 2015


SIMON BENNETT TO LEAVE FOR TRAINING ON ASCENSION

Simon Bennett
Simon Bennett

Simon Bennett, SHG’s Senior GIS Surveyor (pictured), will leave for Ascension Island on 2 November 2015 to attend a Remote Sensing workshop – on a three week course run by AIG’s Conservation team as part of its Darwin Project: ‘Mapping Ascension Island’s Terrestrial Ecosystem’.

Simon spoke of what he hopes to gain from his training:

“The workshop will expose me to different methods of data collection and analysis, which will benefit me in future Geographic Information System (GIS) works at our office here on St Helena.  It will also be a good opportunity to see various different approaches to GIS.”

Simon’s main role in SHG is to support the development of the St Helena Environmental Information System (SHEIS), including giving support to GIS users and promoting the use of GIS. He is also responsible for Land Registry surveys and for developing a fully digital map of the Island.

Simon’s trip will be funded by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) Jubilee Fund, managed by the Governor’s Office.

Simon concluded:

“I would like to thank both the FCO and the Governor’s Office for giving me this opportunity.”

Simon will return to St Helena on Saturday 28 November 2015.

SHG

30 October 2015

 

 

 

 


EXCO REPORT - THURSDAY 29 OCTOBER 2015

Executive Council met today, Thursday 29 October 2015, with five items on the Open Agenda.

Governor’s Deputy Sean Burns welcomed all to the meeting.

The first item for discussion was to consider St Helena Government’s Financial Statements 2012/13, together with the Chief Auditor’s Management Letter. The Financial Secretary subsequently signed the Financial Statements and the Chief Auditor gave his Audit opinion.

In the second item, Executive Council approved the Employment Rights (Amendment) Bill.  This Bill amends the Employment Rights Ordinance 2010 to make provision for equal pay for women. It also introduces a complaints procedure for female employees in respect of this right.

For the third item, Executive Council approved the Juries (Amendment) Bill which extends the age of Jurors to allow persons between the ages of 18 and 70 years to serve on a Jury. It also increases the minimum number of Jurors from eight to nine and makes provision for Majority rather than Unanimous verdicts.

In the fourth item, Executive Council approved the Environmental Protection Bill which provides a legislative framework for the protection of the environment, including the conservation of biodiversity, the control of pollution and hazardous substances, the control of litter and waste and the regulation of trade in endangered species.

Finally, Executive Council approved the Mental Health and Mental Capacity Bill, which will replace the existing Mental Health Ordinance. This Bill makes provision for the reception, detention, care and treatment of mentally disordered persons as well as provisions relating to persons who lack mental capacity.

All of these Bills will be presented as Government Business at the Formal Legislative Council meeting on Friday 13 November 2015.

ExCo

29 October 2015

 


ACCESS TO WHARF

HM Customs & Port Control would like to advise that the Wharf will be closed to the public for two hours from 8.30am to 10.30am on Friday 30 October 2015, to enable the Rock Guards to remove the safety barrier and any loose debris above the Freight Terminal.

 

SHG

29 October 2015


MAN CHARGED WITH OFFENCES FOLLOWING DISTURBANCE

Following the report of a disturbance during the early hours of Saturday 24 October 2015 at an address in Two Gun Saddle, a 40 year old man from Two Gun Saddle was charged on Tuesday 27 October with offences under the Firearms, Public Order and Road Traffic Ordinances. He appeared before Jamestown Magistrates Court on the same day and was remanded in custody to Her Majesty’s Prison, Jamestown.

If anyone has any information regarding this matter, they are encouraged to contact the Investigations Team at the Police Station.

Chief of Police, Trevor Botting

SHG

28 October 2015


TEACHER APPRECIATION DAY

The Education Committee has designated Friday 6 November, as St Helena Teacher Appreciation Day 2015.  This comes from a new emphasis within the Directorate on promoting the value of education and educators in the future of St Helena.  On this day, the entire community is encouraged to show their appreciation for the teachers who have contributed and continue to contribute so much to the Island.

Christine Scipio-O’Dean, Chair of the Education Committee, commented:

“The Education Committee and St Helena Government wish to recognise the contributions that educators make to the lives of the students they teach.  Teachers help build up society and education is the foundation on which we build the future.  Our educators deserve our thanks for their hard work.”

Director of Education, Shirley Wahler, added:

“Great teachers make a lasting impact on their students’ lives. When a young person learns from an exceptional teacher, he or she is more likely to do well in school and to succeed later in life. Teachers lift up the next generation and enrich the community.  They deserve our gratitude and support.”

All students and parents are encouraged to find a simple way to say Thank-You to our teachers.  Your appreciation could be expressed with a note of encouragement, a card, a flower from the garden, or even a simple word of thanks.  On this day, the Education Directorate also encourages past students to seek out those teachers who inspired them and who helped to develop the vibrant community that is seen today.

So please use Friday 6 November to say a special thank you to the teaching staff -past and present – across the Island.

Shirley Wahler concluded:

“The work of a teacher is always challenging, but caring, committed and compelling teachers are the foundation of any successful society.  St Helena can be justly proud of the Island’s teachers and I encourage everyone to take this opportunity to show our true appreciation for their work.”

SHG

27 October 2015

 


FORMAL MEETING OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE

WEDNESDAY 11 NOVEMBER 2015

The second formal session (for 2015) of the Public Accounts Committee will take place on Wednesday, 11 November, at 10am in the Court House, Jamestown.

The Order Paper for the meeting is as follows:

  1. Chairman’s Address
  2. St Helena Line Limited
  3. St Helena Audit Service: St Helena Airport Project Overview Audit

In respect of Remembrance Day, a one minute silence will be observed at the meeting at 11am.

The public is invited to attend.

SHG

27 October 2015


MAJOR INCIDENT EXERCISE

 FRIDAY 23 OCTOBER 2015

A Major Incident Exercise took place on Friday 23 October 2015 to test the emergency services’ response to a simulated Airport emergency. The scenario was a challenging one and was the first time the Airport emergency services were deployed with the local teams.

Overall, whilst there were many lessons learned, the exercise demonstrated that the teams can work well together when responding to an incident. Future exercises will test this interoperability further to improve the response to any Airport emergencies.

Chief of Police, Trevor Botting said:

“This exercise was challenging and whilst there are a number of points that will help us to improve the way we work, it demonstrated that the emergency teams from the Airport and from St Helena more generally can work together in an operational context.”

Aerodrome Manager, Nigel Spackman, added:

“These exercises are an essential part of the Airport certification process and are designed to give the Regulator confidence in our ability to operate the Airport safely and to identify areas for improvement.  It was clearly proven that SHG Emergency Services and the Airport teams can work together effectively, albeit that there are – as expected – areas where we can improve. 

“I look forward to working with SHG on making this a success for all agencies.

SHG

27 October 2015

 


APPLICATIONS INVITED FOR CHEVENING SCHOLARSHIPS

DEADLINE – TUESDAY 3 NOVEMBER 2015

“I was awarded my Chevening Scholarship to start a Doctorate as a mature student in 2007. Chevening funded my fares, my fees and my first year of expenses – giving me the opportunity to study social policy at a high level in a top university and to optimise many of the new challenges and experiences that university life brought.

“I was able to meet new friends and colleagues from all over the world and build a network in social policy. Consequently I am able to make a meaningful contribution to social development on St Helena and make a difference in the lives of others.” – Dr Priscilla McDaniel, St Helena Chevening Scholar (2007)

The Chevening Secretariat is accepting applications for 2016/17 Chevening Scholarships via www.chevening.org/apply – until Tuesday 3 November 2015.

Chevening Scholarships are awarded to individuals with strong academic backgrounds who also have demonstrable leadership potential. The scholarship offers financial support to study for a Master’s Degree at any of the UK’s leading universities and the opportunity to become part of an influential global network of 44,000 alumni.

Chevening Scholarships are funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and partner organisations. The scholarships support study at UK universities for individuals with potential to become future leaders, decision-makers, and opinion formers.

There are approximately 1,500 Chevening Scholarships on offer globally for the 2016/2017 academic cycle, representing a significant investment from the UK Government to develop the next cohort of global leaders.

For more information, visit http://www.chevening.org/apply/faqs for details on the eligibility criteria and award specifications – or contact Manager of the Governor’s Office, Sandra Sim, on tel: 22308 or email: sandra.sim@sainthelena.gov.sh

SHG

27 October 2015


UPDATE ON FISH PROCESSING FACILITY

 

Following the press release of 21 July 2015 regarding the future of the Rupert’s Cold Storage & Fish Processing Plant – which called for EOIs for its continued operation – the multi-stakeholder working group has implemented an interim proposal for the plant to continue to support the fishing industry.

After the withdrawal of the existing operator, Argos, on Saturday 31 October 2015, the facility will be operated by St Helena Fisheries Corporation (SHFC) for an interim period of around 18 months.  Argos staff members will be employed by SHFC in order to ensure a smooth transition.

Nautilus Consultants in the UK (Natural Resource Economists) has provided professional advice and guidance to the working group in consultation with Island stakeholders on options for the continued operation of the facility.  The consultants’ final report on options is expected to be delivered in the next few weeks, following which the working group will recommend to SHG a preferred format and way forward for a new operating entity.

SHG remains open to exploring options with local and international businesses with relevant experience who may wish to be considered for the future operation of the facility from a private investment perspective.  Consideration will also be given to the establishment of a multi-stakeholder company.

SHG

26 October 2015


HEALTH MATTERS

MEN’S HEALTH – ‘MOVEMBER’

November is Men’s Health Month and men all over the world are growing moustaches to raise awareness about men’s health issues.  So men, why not join in and become a ‘Mo Bro’.

What is Movember All About?

Movember’s primary objective is to raise awareness around all men’s health issues, but specifically cancers affecting men. We want everyone to know that most cancers are highly curable if caught in the early stages – including prostate and testicular cancer.  Movember aims to increase early detection, diagnosis and effective treatment, as this will ultimately reduce the number of deaths from cancer.

Rules for Movember

  1. Each Mo Bro must start on 1 November with a clean shaven face
  2. For the entire month of Movember each Mo Bro must grow and groom their moustache.
  3. Don’t fake it.  No beards, no goatees, no fake moustaches.
  4. Use the power of the moustache to create conversations about men’s health and raise money for men’s health issues.
  5. Each Mo Bro must conduct himself like a true gentleman.

Startling Facts About Men’s Health

 

  • 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime
  • 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer
  • Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in males between the ages of 15 and 35
  • Poor mental health affects men more than women – three quarters of suicides are by men. The World Health Organisation estimates that 510,000 men die from suicide globally each year. That’s one every minute.
  • On average, across the world, men die six years earlier than women.

 

MOVE

Physical inactivity is a big deal. It’s the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality, causing 3.2 million deaths globally per year.  This year Movember is launching MOVE a 30 day campaign to encourage physical activity.  Although the focus for Movember is men’s health there is nothing to stop women getting involved as well. The aims of the MOVE campaign are to raise awareness of the dangers of physical inactivity and the benefits of exercise for both physical and mental health. It aims to find new ways to encourage physical activity and reduce the impact of a sedentary lifestyle.

St Helena is a beautiful island so enjoy it.  Walking is one of the best activities there is and almost everyone can do it. If walking is not for you, think about joining a football or cricket team.  We are surrounded by the sea and have a public swimming pool so perhaps swimming could be for you.  The important thing is to incorporate some activity into your life.

What about Movember on St Helena?

It would be great if as many men (and women) as possible get involved with this.  The whole reason for Movember is to raise awareness of men’s health issues.  That’s not to say women’s health issues aren’t important, but there is lots of evidence that men are more reluctant to discuss health issues and seek help when needed.  The aim is to get people talking about men’s health to raise awareness of the problems and the importance of seeking help early.

Let’s have lots of conversations about men’s health issues.  It should be as acceptable to talk about impotence and testicular cancer as it is for women to talk about breast cancer and the menopause. It would also be great to see lots of men around the Island sporting moustaches and, if you are a lady, get behind your boyfriend or husband by telling him how handsome he looks in his moustache!

I will certainly be encouraging my husband, although you may have to take our word for it as we are off Island this month.  Let’s fill Facebook with photos, and send pictures to the papers of Movember moustaches and activities on St Helena.

For further information, contact Marian Kanes, Health Promotion Trainer at hp.trainer@publichealth.gov.sh, or Marian Yon, Health Promotion Coordinator at marian.yon@publichealth.gov.sh.

Marian Kanes

Health Promotion Trainer

SHG

26 October 2015

 

 


SPECIAL EXCO MEETING – WEDNESDAY 28 OCTOBER 2015

Executive Council will meet on Wednesday, 28 October 2015, at 11.30am in the Council Chamber, for the following Special Open Agenda item:

 

  • Employment Rights Bill
  • Juries Amendment Bill
  • Environmental Protection – Bill for an Ordinance
  • Mental Health & Mental Capacity Bill
  • Government of St Helena Financial Statements 2012/13

Executive Council Members are: Lawson Henry, Brian Isaac, Christine Scipio-O’Dean, Pamela Ward Pearce and Derek Thomas.

Non-voting members of ExCo are: Financial Secretary Colin Owen, Attorney General Nicola Moore and Acting Chief Secretary Gillian Francis.

SHG                                                                                                                                          

26 October 2015


PROPOSED NEW FOOD SAFETY ORDINANCE

BED AND BREAKFAST ESTABLISHMENTS – Part 2

Although Bed & Breakfasts (B&Bs) do not often provide evening meals and aren’t  likely to have a professional kitchen, there is still legislation to adhere to, and whilst Environmental Health will adopt a policy of less frequent visits to smaller businesses, B&Bs need to show that they are operating to a satisfactory standard.

This week we will give some guidelines on safe food practices for operating a B&B.

Hygiene Conditions

Ensure that your kitchen is suitably designed for safe working practices. The structure of your kitchen should be sound and the surfaces capable of being cleaned and kept clean.  This also applies to any equipment you use for the preparation of food. Your work surfaces need to be smooth and non-absorbent. Carpeting is not really recommended for kitchen floors, but where it is used, it must be kept clean and in good condition.

Ideally washing machines should not be located in the kitchen area, but if an alternative location cannot be found, then these activities should ideally be carried out at a separate time to any food preparation. Dirty laundry should not be stored in the kitchen area.

Food Storage

Check how you store your food. Foods that need to be in the refrigerator should be in the refrigerator. Hygiene regulations require that raw meats should be stored at the bottom of your fridge to prevent cross contamination. Any food in open tins has to be decanted into suitable lidded containers. High risk foods such as cooked meat and ready-to-eat foods have to be kept at 5° or less. It is recommended that a thermometer is available to check fridge temperatures regularly.

Handling Practices

Personal hygiene must be of a good standard at all times. This includes wearing of appropriate clothing and removal of any jewellery. Remember to wash your hands before food preparation, after handling raw meats and after using the toilet.

You should not prepare food when suffering from sickness or diarrhoea, including for 48 hours after the last symptoms.

Pets and Pests

Due to the potential risk of contamination, pets should not be fed in the kitchen. Surfaces should be thoroughly clean before food preparation begins if pets gain entry. Keep an eye out for any pests. Your kitchen should be designed to prevent access by pests, but if you do see any signs of them you must take immediate action to eradicate them.

Remember that registration as a Food Premises with the Environmental Health Section is a legal requirement. Call Environmental Health on 22500 if you need any assistance.

SHG

26 October 2015


DETECTIVE CONSTABLE ARRIVES TO JOIN HISTORIC CASE TEAM

Joseph Phippard
Joseph Phippard

Joseph Phippard (pictured) arrived on Island on 17 September 2015 to undertake his role as a Detective Constable specialising in Historic Case Reviews for St Helena Police Service. ‘Joe’ is initially on the Island for one year, with the possibility of an extension.

Joe will specialise in reviewing historic cases and investigations concerning sexual offences where there has been no prosecution. His job will be to establish whether these cases can be progressed and to identify opportunities to take cases forward with the support of victims. He will also assist with other investigations as required.

Joe spoke of the main challenge in his role:

“The resources that would be available for case reviews in the UK are not available on St Helena, but this is not insurmountable and this work is critical to giving victims a voice in the justice system. All of our investigations will involve close working with the Safeguarding Directorate to ensure that victims and witnesses are supported throughout. Joint working is the only way in which we can make real progress in this challenging area.”

Joe originally joined the Royal Navy, serving for over six years before joining Sussex Police. He was based in a busy seaside town and spent three years in uniform before moving into Criminal Investigations. During this period, he became a qualified Detective, spending many years in specialist investigations dealing with offences around vulnerable people. He also has experience of investigations into sexual exploitation and high-tech crime.

Apart from being an accredited criminal investigator, Joe holds an Honours Degree in Applied Investigations in Policing.
Joe concluded:

“My main strengths are attention to detail and an inquisitive mind. Being a people person as well – this naturally led to a career in serious crime investigations.”

SHG
23 October 2015


GREG HALL TO DEPART ST HELENA

Director of St Helena’s Safeguarding Directorate, Greg Hall, will depart the Island at the end of this year in order to take up another role in Australia. He therefore notified SHG yesterday that he would be resigning from his post.

Greg will continue to implement important safeguarding reforms until Christmas, by which time SHG will be involved in the process of recruiting his successor.

While sad to leave the Island, Greg is looking forward to a new role after a year leading significant developments and improvements to safeguarding on St Helena.

A further announcement about Greg’s departure will be made towards the end of the year.

SHG

23 October 2015


MAJOR INCIDENT EXERCISE

FRIDAY 23 OCTOBER 2015
As part of the ongoing work towards Airport certification and to enhance how the St Helena Emergency Services work with emergency response teams at the Airport, a Major Incident Exercise will be held on Friday 23 October 2015.
The exercise will centre on the Airport site itself, so there should be no disruption to the roads and wider Island community.

However, at various times, there will be emergency service vehicles responding to the Airport exercise as it develops. Of course, normal service will be maintained throughout the day in respect of local emergency services.
Chief of Police, Trevor Botting.

SHG
21 October 2015


Safeguarding Children Board - Guidance for Media on Photographing or Filming Children

Safeguarding Children Board – Guidance for Media on Photographing or Filming Children – 20 October 2015


FREE BULKY WASTE COLLECTION & DISPOSAL SERVICE

Waste Management Services is pleased to introduce a new, free bulky waste collection and disposal service to domestic customers.

 Operation

 Domestic customers can book free bulky waste collection and disposal by contacting Environmental Risk Manager, Mike Durnford, on tel: 24724 or e-mail:

mike-durnford@enrd.gov.sh

The type and volume of bulky waste will be recorded at the time of booking and a collection date allocated to the customer. The customer may be requested to be present on the date of collection to assist with the loading of their bulky waste into the trailer (dependent on waste volume and weight).

 The bulky waste collection and disposal service will initially operate on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning from 7am.

Collections will be available as follows:

 

  • Tuesday – Jamestown and Rupert’s, Alarm Forest and Deadwood
  • Wednesday – Sandy Bay and Longwood
  • Thursday – HTH and St Paul’s

The service will be extended to Levelwood on a Wednesday once trenching works between Levelwood and Sandy Bay have been completed and the road reopened.

No fees or charges will apply to this service.

Acceptable Bulky Waste

 Bulky waste must be able to be safely hand-loaded onto the trailer. Acceptable bulky waste includes:

 

  • Scrap metal
  • Wood
  • White Goods and small electrical appliances
  • Furniture (including mattresses)
  • Vehicle tyres

Non-acceptable Bulky Waste

 Non-acceptable bulky waste includes (but is not limited to):

 

  • Hazardous waste, including vehicle batteries
  • Whole or part of vehicles
  • Garden or green waste
  • Glass
  • Food waste
  • Other waste – as informed at the time of booking

This service is not available to commercial customers.

 For further information, please contact the Environmental Risk Manager, Mike Durnford, on tel: 24724 or e-mail: mike-durnford@enrd.gov.sh

SHG

20 October 2015


CAREERS FAIR 2015

REMINDER

This year’s Careers Fair, led by the Education & Employment Directorate, will take place on Wednesday 28 October 2015 at Prince Andrew School starting at 10am to 3.30pm and re-opening in the evening from 6.30 to 8.30pm.

The annual Careers Fair provides members of the public, students and job seekers with a chance to meet employers face-to-face and gain a real insight into the requirements for different careers on the Island. The Fair also highlights opportunities available and allows people to market themselves to prospective employers.

The Careers Fair is essentially for anyone who is interested in career development.

This year there will be demonstrations by drugs dog Millie and police dog Tommy, and from the Police, Fire and Ambulance response teams. Also Mike Harper and Bevan Youde from 2onMain will be showing off their catering skills. There will also be short presentations by staff members from Solomon & Company, the Public Solicitor’s Office, Enterprise St Helena, Public Health, the Education Directorate and Internal Audit.

The Prince Andrew School Hall will be arranged for visitors to browse the various stalls and see what each organisation has to offer, view displays and ask any questions. Stall holders will include Solomon & Company, Connect St Helena, Bank of St Helena Limited, South Atlantic Media Service (SAMS), Enterprise St Helena, Delco, ProArc, Essence, Stretches Extreme Cuts, Health Directorate, Corporate Services, Police and Prison Services, Fire and Rescue Services, SHAPE and the Education & Employment Directorate.

Careers Fair Coordinator Cynthia Bennett said:

“I am extremely grateful to all participants who are dedicating their time and effort to be present at this Fair. Members of the public are urged to not miss out on this exciting exhibition and the opportunity to broaden your knowledge on careers.”

SHG
20 October 2015


CHANGE TO HORSE POINT LANDFILL OPENING TIMES

At its meeting on 15 October 2015, the Environment & Natural Resources Committee agreed that with effect from Monday 26 October 2015, until further notice, the Horse Point Landfill Site (HPLS) will operate under new opening and closing times as follows:

 

  • Open – Monday to Saturday, 9am to 3pm
  • Closed – Sundays and Public Holidays

On Mondays to Fridays HPLS will be accessible via both the public and commercial entrances, as signposted.

On Saturdays, HPLS will only be accessible via the public entrance. Access to the main site may be provided by the Landfill Operator, depending on the type of waste to be disposed, via the barrier at the Public Recycling Facility.

Site users are requested to kindly follow instructions given by the Landfill Operator.

Waste Management Services is committed to providing a safe and user friendly recycling and disposal facility for the benefit of all residents.

For further information, please contact the Environmental Risk Manager, Mike Durnford, on tel: 24724 or email mike-durnford@enrd.gov.sh.

SHG

20 October 2015


PROPOSED NEW FOOD SAFETY ORDINANCE

POWERS OF ENTRY AND FOOD SAFETY INSPECTIONS

FAQS

What businesses will be inspected?

Any business that prepares or produces food for the public will be inspected. This can range from ships to hotels and B&Bs, to supermarkets, to small retail shops, slaughterhouses to butcheries, to food stalls and vendors, to bakeries, to domestic premises where cakes are baked.

Who will inspect my business and why?

Officers from the Health Directorate’s Environmental Health Section are the Authorised Officers (inspectors) who will check on food hygiene and standards. Businesses will be inspected to make sure that food is safe to eat and that the description of food doesn’t mislead the consumer.

When will my business be inspected?

Inspectors might come on a routine inspection for which they will give ample notice, or if visiting because of a complaint they will visit without an appointment. The officers will have a right to enter and inspect food premises at any reasonable hour.

What will the inspectors do when they visit?

The Inspectors will look how you operate your business to identify potential hazards and to make sure that your business is following the food safety law.  The inspectors will follow the Inspectorate Code of Practice and will show identification if necessary and be polite throughout the visit. They will give you feedback on the inspection, tell you about any hazards they have identified and give necessary advice. When giving advice, the Inspectors will tell you whether you need to do something to comply with the law (a requirement) or whether it would simply be good practice to do something (a recommendation).

The Inspectors will give a reasonable amount of time for changes to be made, except where there is immediate risk to public health. They will also tell you how you can appeal their decisions.

How often will the Inspectors visit?

The frequency of inspections of food premises is based upon risk assessment. Some food premises and businesses will present a higher risk to the consumer than others. This is dependent upon a number of factors, such as the type of food business, the nature of the food, the degree of handling and the size of the business. Those premises posing a higher risk to the consumer are likely to be inspected more frequently than those premises with a lower risk. Food premises will be inspected within the range of at least every 12 months (eg. food manufacturers) to at least every 24 months (eg. vegetable shops).

These are only minimum inspection frequencies and the Inspectors may carry out more frequent inspections where they consider this appropriate.

What further action can the Inspectors take?

When they think it is necessary in order to protect the public, Inspectors can:

  • Take samples and photographs of food and inspect your records
  • Write to you, asking you to put right any problems
  • Detain or seize suspect foods, and
  • Serve Notices

If at any time you disagree with the action taken by an Inspector you can contact the Health Protection Board or appeal to the Magistrates’ Court.

SHG

29 September 2015


STACEY THOMAS RETURNS TO EDUCATION DIRECTORATE

Stacey Thomas
Stacey Thomas

Stacey Thomas left St Helena in August 2011 to embark on her Foundation Degree in Learning Support.  On completing this course with Distinction, Stacey then enrolled on her final year of the BEd (Primary) programme, in which she achieved a First Class Honours Degree.

At foundation level, Stacey focused on behaviour management, ICT for supporting teaching and learning, inclusion frameworks and issues, working with children with specific learning difficulties, speech and language difficulties, autism and a practice-based enquiry.

Stacey spoke of her focus on studying Learning Support:

“The knowledge I gained from the Foundation Degree in Learning Support has proven to be very beneficial to my career, as a teacher, and I believe it will continue to do so.  Having the awareness of different learning difficulties can support early identification and the strategies learnt to support these difficulties can help to reduce barriers to learning.” 

Stacey also undertook work placements as a teaching assistant and taught as an unqualified teacher, at a special educational needs school, for pupils with moderate learning difficulties, gaining valuable experience for her final BEd year.

Whilst studying for her Bachelor’s Degree in Education, Stacey also covered: How to Become an Outstanding Maths Teacher, English across the Curriculum, Developing a Creative Curriculum, Developing Professional Practice Projects and completed her final teaching practice with a year 4 class.

Stacey said:

“My work placements were of paramount importance to my degree as it provided the opportunity to apply my learning from lectures to my classroom practice.”

After completing her BEd, Stacey decided to stay in the UK, to complete her induction year as a Newly Qualified Teacher.  She gained employment in a UK school, as a KS1 teacher. A particular challenge during this year was the introduction of the new national curriculum.

Stacey remarked:

“During this year, we trailed new methods of planning and assessment based on the needs of our school.  I taught all core subjects (Literacy, Maths and Science) alongside of several foundation subjects (History, Geography, Art, D&T, PE…).  Despite being a challenging year, this was the year that I learnt and enjoyed the most as I gained firsthand experience of being a teacher, in the UK.” 

Stacey is now employed as a Year 1 and 2 Class Teacher at Harford Primary School, and is hoping to implement many of the skills she has learnt and used whilst teaching in the UK.

SHG

29 September 2015 

 


EXTENDED FOOTAGE OF FIRST LANDING AT ST HELENA AIRPORT

ON LOCAL TV

History was made on St Helena on Tuesday 15 September 2015, as a Beechcraft King Air 200 aircraft touched down at St Helena’s new Airport.

18 minutes of footage showing the plane approaching the runway, landing on the Island and making history – followed by interviews with key personnel – will be shown on Local TV 2 from this evening (Monday) until Wednesday 30 September 2015, at 7pm each day.

SHG

28 September 2015

 


HEALTH MATTERS

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE OLDER PERSON

Thursday 1 October 2015 is the International Day of the Older Person and we would like to celebrate this by promoting healthy ageing.  This information about activity and diet, although specifically for those over 65, can be used by anyone to pursue a more active lifestyle.

Why is Activity Important?

Physical activity will make you look and feel better.  It will give you more energy, help you relax and generally tone your body.   It is also good for your mind in reducing stress and anxiety, improving concentration and self confidence. Finally, it is good for your body in helping to control weight and a variety of medical conditions.  It also reduces your risk of heart disease, stroke and some cancers.  It will help you maintain your independence as well by helping maintain and increase the movement of your joints and decrease your risk of falls.

How Much Activity do I Need?

It is recommended that older people take 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day.  This will help keep your heart, lungs, muscles and bones in good working order.  If to start with you can’t manage 30 minutes, start with 10 minutes  once or twice a day (or whatever you can manage) and add 5 minutes every two weeks until you reach the 30 minutes a day. If you can manage more than 30 minutes that will help even more.

What Type of Exercise Should I Do?

Try to do exercise in as many ways as possible with a range of exercises such as brisk or uphill walking, gardening, swimming, and housework.  Try to be as active as possible taking the opportunity to stretch and gradually increase your strength, flexibility and balance. Moderate exercise means that you don’t have to puff and pant, but if you do that is OK – although if you have any health concerns check with your doctor or nurse before starting to exercise.  And if you already do regular exercise in excess of this, carry on doing this in a manner to suit your capability.

Balancing Activity with Healthy Eating

It is important to try to balance the energy being used for physical activity with energy going into your body (food and drink).  This will help you to maintain a healthy weight and will help to keep your body working well.  Ensure you eat at least three meals a day. Use the layout of the Eatwell Plate below to guide how much you should be eating of each type of food.  If you would like a leaflet with the Eatwell Plate on, please contact the Health Promotion Team via the details below.

Enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods such as:

  • Starchy foods – bread, potato, rice, pasta and cereals
  • Fruit and vegetables – eat as many as you like but at least 5 a day is recommended
  • Dairy foods – milk, yoghurt, cheese and eggs. Plenty of these for calcium which will slow bone loss as you age.  Choose low fat or calcium enriched where possible
  • Protein – meats, fish, poultry, eggs and nuts.

In addition to this, try to eat a diet low in saturated fat to help your cholesterol level.  Cut visible fat off meat and avoid processed foods as much as possible.  Reduce your intake of foods such as biscuits, cakes and chocolate.  To control your blood pressure, it is also advisable to choose food low in salt and preferably to add no salt when cooking.  Instead add extra flavour by using herbs and spices. Use sugar in moderation in your food and choose low sugar or diet versions of foods or drinks where possible.

It is also important to make sure you drink enough fluid.  If your urine is dark yellow it is a sign you are not drinking enough.  Drinking enough will prevent dehydration, mean that the kidneys do not have to work so hard and will help prevent constipation, urine infections and kidney stones.

If you drink alcohol, limit how much you drink.  As you get older your liver is not able to manage alcohol as well.  You are more likely to have trips and falls if you drink too much.  You also need to know if alcohol is safe with any medication that you take.  If you are not sure, talk to the Pharmacist.

For further information, contact Marian Kanes, Health Promotion Trainer at hp.trainer@publichealth.gov.sh, or Marian Yon, Health Promotion Coordinator at marian.yon@publichealth.gov.sh.

Thanks for reading.

Marian Kanes

Health Promotion Trainer

SHG

28 September 2015

 


SHG WHEELIE BINS

To date SHG have issued 1300 wheelie bins for Island households, 36 communal bins for domestic waste and around 330 wheelie bins for commercial use. St Helena Waste Management Services (WMS) retains 40 blue wheelie bins for recycling use and deployment at Island events.

The public and commercial businesses are advised that WMS has exhausted their supply of wheelie bins for households and commercial use, and WMS now recommends that all new build homes and businesses procure their own wheelie bins, compatible with the Island’s Refuse Collection Vehicles.

Householders and commercial businesses are further advised that bagged waste must be suited for wheelie bins in order to be safely collected for disposal. Recipients of SHG issued bins are also reminded that if a bin is lost or damaged, replacement of the bin is their responsibility and not SHG’s.

Further information can be obtained from Environmental Risk Manager, Mike Durnford on tel: 24724 or via email: mike-durnford@enrd.gov.sh

SHG

28 September 2015


ARCHIVES CLOSURE - TUESDAY 29 SEPTEMBER 2015

The public is advised that the St Helena Archives will be closed from 1.15pm on Tuesday 29 September 2015 for staff development purposes. The service will re-open to the public as normal the following morning, Wednesday 30 September 2015.

SHG apologises for any inconvenience this may cause.

SHG

28 September 2015


ROYAL NAVY TO VISIT ST HELENA

 

HMS Lancaster
HMS Lancaster

HMS Lancaster, one of the Royal Navy’s Type 23 Frigates, and the tanker RFA Gold Rover, are expected to visit St Helena from Tuesday 13 to Friday 16 October 2015 to take part in the bicentennial anniversary of Napoleon’s arrival to the Island 200 years ago (aboard HMS Northumberland). She will take part in the Napoleon anniversary commemorations, and further strengthen existing ties with the Island.

All the ships in the Type 23 class are named after Dukes, in this case, the Duke of Lancaster – who is better known as Her Majesty the Queen.  The British Monarch is the ship’s very special sponsor and Her Majesty takes a keen interest in Lancaster’s activities around the globe.

The RFA Gold Rover, built on the River Tyne in north-east England, entered service in 1974. This is her final deployment after over 40 years of service, replenishing Royal Navy ships with fuel, oil, aviation fuel, lubricants, fresh water and a limited amount of dry cargo and refrigerated goods. Her 56 officers, non-commissioned officers and other sailors departed from HM Naval Base Devonport for the last time with an escort of tugs throwing water spouts high into the air to mark the occasion.

RFA Gold Rover
RFA Gold Rover

Commander Peter Laughton MBE, HMS Lancaster’s Commanding Officer said:

“It is a great honour to visit St Helena and take part in the Napoleonic Bicentenary Week.  I am sure it will be a wonderful experience and also allow us to continue the long and close relationship the Royal Navy enjoys with the Island and its community.”

HMS Lancaster has completed two thirds of her nine-month deployment, and has so far travelled over 24,000 miles with over 14 port visits on four continents. As well as visiting British Overseas Territories, her deployment has also seen a range of other tasks including general defence engagement, maritime security and conducting training with foreign militaries. On leaving St Helena, HMS Lancaster will visit a further seven countries. On returning from deployments, HMS Lancaster is greeted, wherever possible, by a Lancaster bomber of the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, which provides a fly past over Portsmouth harbour.

HMS Lancaster is the first ship in the Royal Navy to deploy with the new Wildcat helicopter and her crew are wearing the newest Naval uniform in 70 years.

Wildcat
Wildcat

The versatile Wildcat, the latest generation of multi-role helicopter for the Royal Navy, is designed for a variety of roles including anti-ship, anti-submarine, ship protection, casualty evacuation, battlefield reconnaissance and general utility.

Three photos are attached to this release, along with an information leaflet on HMS Lancaster.

Further information on the ships’ visit will follow.

SHG

28 September 2015


GRANT OF ST HELENIAN STATUS

In accordance with Section 15(3) of the Immigration Ordinance, 2011, the following persons have been granted St Helenian Status with effect from 28 July 2015:

  • Miss Jennifer Cristie Scanes of  Frith’s Cottage, Napoleon Street, St Helena Island
  • Mrs Fe Resco Scanes of Pink Grove, Levelwood, St Helena Island

SHG

29 September 2015


ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL SWORN IN

Governor Capes and Acting Attorney General Walter Scott
Governor Capes and Acting Attorney General Walter Scott

Walter Scott has been appointed by Governor Capes as Acting Attorney General while the substantive Attorney General, Nicola Moore, is away from the Island on overseas business.

Walter – who is Solicitor General on Ascension Island – took the prescribed oaths for Attorney General before Governor Capes today, Thursday 24 September, in the Governor’s Office at the Castle (photo attached).

The Attorney General on St Helena is the principal legal adviser to the St Helena Government.

SHG

24 September 2015


RETURNING TEACHERS FOR PRINCE ANDREW SCHOOL

Derrie Yon, Laura Lawrence
Derrie Yon, Laura Lawrence

Derrie Yon and Laura Lawrence have recently returned from the UK after completing their university studies and are now employed at Prince Andrew School as English teachers.  Both Laura and Derrie teach Key Stage Three, Four and Five students and specialise in the subject areas of English Literature and Language at A level.

After gaining a BA (Hons) in English Literature and Creative Writing in 2014, Derrie completed her one-year Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) at Bath Spa University in south-west England.

Derrie spoke about her reasons for choosing a career in teaching:

“Whilst doing my A levels, I knew I wanted to be in Education and when I began tutoring a friend I enjoyed it so much and knew this was something I wanted to pursue.  Whilst in the UK, I volunteered for a Church of England School and that reassured me that a career in teaching was the right path for me.”

Laura embarked on a different route into teaching, as she became a locally qualified teacher under the direction of Wendy Benjamin, before her departure in 2011 to study in the UK.  Laura completed her BA Honours in English Language and Communication, with English Language Teaching – allowing her to teach at a higher level in the English syllabus.  She then commenced a Masters in Education, Laura said of her experience:

“My Masters was based around recent school practices, and for my Dissertation I researched around the teaching profession and professional skills testing.  Throughout the course I became more exposed to gaining the relevant knowledge of teaching in the classroom, as well as having an insight into senior management organisation and planning.  I also had the added benefit of studying special needs situations and learning how to deal with children in different ways.”

Laura is now applying what she has learnt in the classroom and applying it to her high level teaching subjects, covering child language development, language acquisition, the history of the English language, phonetics and phonology.

Laura would like to thank her mum, dad, sister, family and friends and the Education Directorate for their support throughout her journey.  Derrie thanks all those on St Helena, and her family – who have offered her support and best wishes on her return to St Helena.

SHG

25 September 2015


DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ORDINANCE

PUBLIC MEETINGS

St Helena’s first comprehensive piece of environmental legislation was released for public consultation on 15 September 2015.

The draft Environmental Protection Ordinance deals with the protection of St Helena’s environment, including the conservation of biodiversity, the control of pollution, waste and litter, consideration of environmental impacts in decision-making and environmental monitoring.

The Environmental Protection Ordinance has been developed over the past four years and includes stakeholder input given prior to legal drafting.  We now invite comments on the final draft version by Friday 9 October 2015.

In order to increase awareness of the policy, conduct wider discussions and share ideas, two public meetings are set to be held in order to gather additional public input.

Public Meetings are due to be held at the following times and locations:

  • Wednesday 30 September, 7pm at the Longwood Community Centre 
  • Tuesday 6 October, 7pm at the Half Tree Hollow Community Centre 

Anyone requiring transport to the public meetings are asked to contact the receptionist at Essex House at 22270.

SHG

24 September 2015


CALIBRATION FLIGHTS COMPLETED

 

Plantation Reception - Calibration Flights
Plantation Reception – Calibration Flights

The calibration flights at St Helena Airport – led by Flight Calibration Services Limited (FCSL) working with TAB Charters – were completed yesterday Wednesday 23 September 2015, and the Beechcraft King Air 200 aircraft will depart St Helena for Namibia between 5am and 6am tomorrow Friday, ten days after its arrival.

Speaking yesterday evening at a reception at Plantation House, held for the crew (photo attached) and others working on the Airport Project, Governor Mark Capes said:

 “Tuesday 15 September 2015 will always be a special day to remember on St Helena. For this entire community it was an exciting day and for some an emotional one.

 “For those who have worked so hard on the Airport project, some for many years, it was hugely rewarding to see their work make possible such a momentous event. There are of course too many people to thank but quite a few are here tonight to share in celebrating their contribution to making it possible for the first flight to land on St Helena. 

 “Thanks of course to Deon de Jager and his Basil Read colleagues, to Janet Lawrence and the Access team, to DFID represented here once again by Nigel Kirby, to Halcrow, to the team that received and processed the flight on landing – Customs, Immigration, Bio-Security, the Emergency Services – and of course to those magnificent men in their flying machine, thank you for that oh so perfect touchdown.” 

 Captain Grant Brighton commented:

“We didn’t know what we were coming to but the runway was very good, solid and conditions were great. When we were first approaching the runway and experienced the turbulence you realise that no one has ever experienced that turbulence before. We probably did a dozen landings over the last nine days.

 “The Island itself far exceeded our expectations. The people are incredible and there’s so much history here which you don’t understand until you research it or are here to see for yourself.”

Until a full assessment of the communication and navigation findings has been made by various parties, the final outcome of the calibration flights will not be known, including any follow-up actions arising from the flights.   Further information will follow in due course.

 SHG

24 September 2015


PROPOSED ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ORDINANCE

 

ONE-TO-ONE SESSIONS

St Helena’s first comprehensive piece of environmental legislation was released for public consultation on 15 September 2015.

The draft Environmental Protection Ordinance deals with the protection of St Helena’s environment, including the conservation of biodiversity, the control of pollution, waste and litter, consideration of environmental impacts in decision making and environmental monitoring.

The Environmental Protection Ordinance has been developed over the past four years and includes stakeholder input given prior to legal drafting.  We now invite comments on the final draft version by Friday 9 October 2015.

To assist with interpreting and understanding the Ordinance, a Plain English guide has been produced and copies of this and the draft Ordinance itself have been placed in the Public Library, Customer Services Centre, Essex House and ENRD’s Scotland Office. Personal copies are available on request. Both the Environmental Protection Ordinance and the user guide can also be found at: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/.

Staff from the Environmental Management Division will be available in Essex House for One to One drop-in sessions with interested persons at the following dates and times:

 

  • Tuesday 29 September, from 11am – 1pm
  • Friday 2 October, from 11am – 1pm
  • Wednesday 7 October, from 2 – 5pm

 

Environmental Assessment and Advocacy Manager, Isabel Peters, said: “We have included drop-in sessions as part of the public consultation to provide additional opportunities for those interested to learn more about the new Environmental Protection Ordinance and raise any issues or concerns on a one to one basis.”

For further information on the drop-in sessions or the Environmental Protection Ordinance in general, please contact Isabel Peters, at Essex House, on tel: 22270 or email: isabel-peters@enrd.gov.sh

SHG

23 September 2015


ST HELENA EXAM RESULTS 2015

The Education & Employment Directorate recently released the results of the 2015 exams and assessments which students sat in May and June of this year.  After a dip in primary results last year, the results of the Year 6 SATs show encouraging progress in primary schools.  At Prince Andrew School, the GCSE results were a mixed picture, with strong results in some subjects and for a number of students, but a significant drop in overall results.

Chairperson of the Education Committee, Councillor Christine Scipio-O’Dean, commented:

“The Education Committee offers congratulations to all the students who have done so well this year.  We would like to particularly acknowledge the primary schools and the Year 6 students who showed dramatic improvements in English.  At Prince Andrew School, there were areas of real success and we encourage teachers and students to celebrate their successes and continue to work hard. 

“The graph shows the underlying improvement in the trend of our Prince Andrew School results. My personal congratulations go out to all those students who did their best and achieved their goals.”

The Education Committee recently received a detailed report and analysis of the results from primary schools and the progress achieved there.  Overall, the results were very encouraging.  After a dip in last year’s results, the outcomes from primary schools on the Island were up in 2015, with very significant improvements shown in Reading, Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar tests.  Results in Mathematics were also up slightly from last year.

The challenging target for St Helena of 75% of all primary school children achieving a level 4 or above was exceeded in Reading, with 78% of students reaching this standard compared to only 59% last year.  In Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar, 59% reached Level 4 this year, well in excess of the 35% who did so in 2014.  Results in Mathematics also went up, but by a smaller margin, with 48% achieving Level 4 in 2015 against 44% last year.

For the 2015/16 school year, primary schools will continue their successful focus on literacy, working to consolidate success in this vital area.  Work is also underway to review performance in Mathematics to look at how students can be taught in a way that makes numeracy lessons more practical and engaging.  Overall, the performances in primary schools were very strong this year – and the improvement in literacy is particularly encouraging as this has been an area of concern for some time.

GCSE results from Prince Andrew School presented a more mixed picture for 2015, with some strong performances across the school but also some unexpected dips.  On the positive side, students did exceptionally well in a number of subject areas, with 100% of students in ICT and Coordinated Science achieving A* – C grades, along with more than 90% of students in Food & Nutrition and Design & Technology doing the same.

In the core subject areas, however, performance dipped sharply from last year, with 34% of students achieving A* – C grades in English and 24% in Mathematics.  This drop means that 29% of students achieved five A* – C grades overall, but only 18% earned five A* – C grades, including English and Mathematics.  Last year’s results, the highest ever in St Helena’s history, had 49% of students earning their five A* – C grades with English and Mathematics.

Historically, the results from Prince Andrew School have fluctuated from year to year, but overall have shown improvement over time as the graph below indicates.

Although the grades in English and Mathematics were disappointing this year, there were also real successes to celebrate.  As noted above, there were very strong performances in a number of subject areas, both academic and practical.  The gender difference between boys and girls, a serious concern in previous years, was much less pronounced than last year – with the top performing students split almost evenly between boys and girls.

There were very encouraging results as well from the A-level students, with an overall pass rate at 87.5% and 93% of students earning at least one grade at A-level.

Director of Education & Employment, Shirley Wahler said:

“We thank all our teachers for their hard work last year and congratulate our students on their successes.  While not all the results this year have been as positive as we had hoped, there is still real reason to celebrate what has been achieved.  The results from primary schools are extremely encouraging, and it is notable that schools far exceeded their target in reading.  We need to work hard to maintain and build on this success.

“At Prince Andrew School, individual students have done extremely well and there are subjects like ICT, Coordinated Sciences, Design & Technology, Food & Nutrition and PE in which the performance is really excellent.  Our goal going forward is to ensure that our schools have a consistent focus on improving attainment and help all students to reach their potential.

“This can only happen if we all work together.  Education is a partnership between teachers, students, parents and the entire community.  If we commit ourselves to excellence, we can achieve it, and St Helena deserves nothing less.”

Headteacher of Prince Andrew School, Paul Starkie, concluded:

“Whilst there were some disappointments in some of the results this year, every cohort of students presents different challenges and our aim is always to ensure that every single student is provided with the right support to help realise their potential.

“We had some very pleasing overall subject results at GCSE and A-level, and we are also pleased to report that 76% of students achieved one A-C grade – which is the highest since records began in 1996.”

SHG

23 September 2015


MENTAL HEALTH ORDINANCE OUT FOR PUBLIC CONSULTATION

St Helena’s Mental Health Ordinance is a comprehensive piece of legislation with the primary aim of protecting individuals with mental health vulnerabilities.

The current Ordinance has recently been discussed in the Public Health Committee and recommendations were put forward to slightly amend the Ordinance. These recommendations relate to Human Rights obligations. For example, currently there are no provisions in the Ordinance for patients who need to have a guardian appointed to act on their behalf.

To ensure that Human Rights protections are in place for all, it is recommended that the suggested changes are made to the Mental Health Ordinance.

A short public consultation, led by Councillor Cyril George and Community Psychiatric Nurse, Ian Rummery, on proposed changes to the Ordinance will run until Friday 9 October 2015. It is hoped that the new Mental Health Ordinance incorporating any comments received can then be taken to the next formal Legislative Council meeting in November.

Community Psychiatric Nurse, Ian Rummery, commented:

“The new Mental Health Ordinance will be a positive development for the care and treatment of some of the most vulnerable members of our community.  It will protect their human rights and bring us into line with other mental health services internationally.”

Councillor Cyril George added:

“It’s a privilege for me to be presenting the Mental Health Ordinance for public consultation. I would like to thank Community Psychiatric Nurse Ian Rummery for his hard work in preparing this legislation.”  

Hardcopies of the Ordinance are available for viewing at the Public Library. The Ordinance can also be viewed under the Public Consultation section of the SHG website at http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/

Comments should be sent in writing to the Secretary to Elected Members, Anita Legg, at the Castle or via email sec.em@helanta.co.sh by no later than 4pm on Friday 9 October 2015.

SHG

23 September 2015

 


SEAFRONT SAFETY RAILS

Following routine inspections at the Seafront, the Roads Section would like to advise the public that work to install new safety rails in the area will commence from Monday 28 September 2015.

Barricades and signs will be in place but drivers are asked to drive cautiously in the area and to be mindful of obstructing this work when parking.

The Roads Section thanks the public for their continued support.

SHG

22 September 2015


TRAINING NEEDS SURVEY - REMINDER

The Education & Employment Directorate launched a Training Needs Assessment Survey on Wednesday 2 September 2015 to gather information on the training needs of organisations on St Helena.

This survey aims to highlight the training needs of private sector companies and the public sector at an organisational level – both for the forthcoming academic year and future years.  The results of the survey will be used to inform the training plan for St Helena and to help develop training provision going forward.

This survey needs your input – so that we can get our training plan right for the long term. 

The Training Needs Assessment survey can be completed electronically via the St Helena Government website at:  http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/education-and-employment/ or you can link to it directly at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SHG_TNA

Hard copies of the survey are also available from the Public Library and Post & Customer Service Centre.  All forms, whether electronic or paper-based, must be completed by Friday 25 September 2015. 

SHG

21 September 2015

 

 


COUNCILLOR THOMAS DEPARTS FOR CPA MEETING

 

Councillor Derek Thomas will depart the Island on Saturday 19 September 2015, to attend CPA Executive Committee meeting and the CPA 61st General Assembly in Westminster, London, running from Thursday 1 October to Monday 5 October 2015.

In addition to the main Executive Committee meeting, there will also be discussions in sub-committees, where Councillor Thomas is a member of the group which discusses Finance.

Councillor Thomas said:

“Participating in both the Finance subcommittee and attending the Executive Committee has developed my understanding of Parliamentary practices and issues involving Commonwealth countries.” 

 As a member of the CPA Executive Committee, Cllr Thomas will be able to follow up on personal discussions with the Executive Committee regarding funding for projects that meet the CPA funding criteria.

On his return to St Helena, whilst in transit on Ascension Island, Councillor Thomas is planning to hold public meetings and one to one sessions including a meeting with Ascension Island Council.

SHG

18 September 2015

 


PROPOSED NEW FOOD SAFETY ORDINANCE – SUMMARY

 

PART 3

On 1 September 2015 SHG announced that St Helena will be updating its food safety legislation. The full legislation comprises the Food Safety (General Food Hygiene) Regulations and Food Safety (Products of Animal Origin) Regulations.

This week we provide the final part in summarising the draft new Food Safety Ordinance.

Enforcement (Part 5)

Powers of Entry

  • These powers apply when authorised officers are undertaking duties specified by the Ordinance or any Regulations made under it. This section ensures the officer can enter any relevant premises.
  • The definition of premises (section 2) includes ships and aircraft, fixed and moveable premises and all food businesses.
  • Power to enter private dwellings under specific circumstances is also included. It should be noted that if a private dwelling is being used to produce food for sale ( e.g. cakes), whether retail or wholesale, this makes it a food business and authorised officers can enter those parts involved in the business without the need for a Warrant or 24 hours notice.

Hygiene Improvement Notices (HIN)

  • Hygiene Improvement Notices are designed to address non-compliance with the details of the legislation, especially with regard to infrastructure, process and management.
  • The Food Business Operator must be given time to comply with the HIN. The minimum time allowed is 14 days but, depending on the nature of the non- compliance, it could be much longer.
  • The authorised officer drafts, signs and serves the notice, and then checks compliance at the end of the notice period. Failure to comply is an offence.

Remedial Action Notices (RAN)

  • These notices can be used to stop production or stop the use of equipment or part or all of the premises immediately. They are issued by the authorised officer and do not require confirmation by the court.
  • RANs do not have any expiry dates. The RAN must be lifted as soon as an authorised officer is satisfied that the breach or contravention no longer exists. ‘As soon as’ is not defined in the legislation but could be considered in the Code of Practice.
  • Subsection 4 is written so that one authorised officer can issue the RAN but another authorised officer can lift it when appropriate. This is included in anticipation that the number of authorised officers on St Helena may need to be enlarged in the future.
  • It is an offence for a Food Business Operator to fail to comply with RAN.

 Fixed Monetary Penalty Notices (FMP)

  • FMP are fines levied directly by the Food Authority. There is no need to serve an improvement notice or take a prosecution.
  • They can be used for low level or minor contraventions and the fine is generally quite low – in the nature of a parking or speeding ticket.
  • The Food Authority cannot prosecute for any contraventions addressed by a fixed monetary penalty where anything subject to a HIN or RAN can ALSO be the subject of a prosecution. Failure to pay the fine levied by the FMP will be the subject of a prosecution.

Prohibition Orders

  • This allows the prohibition of a premises, equipment or processes, for use as or in a food business, following successful prosecution of the Food Business Operator for offences under the Ordinance or Regulations.
  • The prohibition can be revoked by the Food Authority if the premises, equipment or process is improved or replaced in such a way that it no longer poses a risk of injury to health. This requires a visit which should happen within three days of the Food Business Operator requesting it, and once the authorised officer feels the Food Business Operator can demonstrate that the premises/equipment/process is no longer a risk to health – the food authority should issue a certificate allowing the premises to re-open, equipment to be used or the process to re-start. This should be issued within 14 days of the visit.
  • This section also allows the prohibition of the Food Business Operator from participating in the management of a food business, following successful prosecution for offences under the Ordinance. In this case, the Food Business Operator must apply to the court for the prohibition order to be lifted (the Food Authority cannot do it).

Inspection and Seizure of Food

  • Food can be deemed unfit for any number of reasons according to the principles listed in Section 8. Proof that the food is unfit may, but is not required to, rely on the results of sampling carried out under section 20. The authorised officer should determine whether sampling is required and appropriate to determine safety.
  • Food can also be deemed to be unsafe if it has been produced, processed or distributed in or by premises which fail to comply with any of the Regulations made under section 7 of the Ordinance. In this case, the authorised officer should certify that this is the case. Sampling should not be carried out.
  • Authorised officers may also require food not to be moved from the premises or to be moved to a designated place using this section. However, the decision must be made within 21 days as to whether the food is unsafe. If it is found to be unsafe, it must be seized. If it is not unsafe, it must be released. The Food Business Operator may claim compensation for any loss if the food is not unsafe.
  • Once the food has been seized the authorised officer must present the food to a Magistrate and demonstrate to the Magistrate’s satisfaction that the food is unsafe. The Magistrate can then order the condemnation of the food.
  • The advantage of having a two step process is to protect both the Food Business Operator and the authorised officer. Each must or may make representation to the Magistrate who decides the final outcome.
  • The Food Business Operator can be charged for the destruction of the food which should take place under the control of the Food Authority.

 Detention of Food

  • This section allows the authorised officer to detain food or an animal product subject to investigation. When used for food, this section differs from the powers offered in section 18 to hold food in that:
    1. No time limit is set for the decision. This may be required if food has to undergo analysis which takes place off Island where more than 21 days may be needed before results are available.
    2. No compensation is payable if the food is found to be safe.

 Sampling, Examination and Analysis of Food

  • This section allows the authorised officer to purchase or take a sample of food, ingredients or any other substance used in food preparation, food sources, and contact materials. This includes swabbing surfaces and equipment, but not food handlers.
  • It is necessary to be able to both purchase or take as there may be occasions where sampling is required but there is no retail facility, for example where ingredients or raw materials are to be sampled.

SHG

21 September 2015


HISTORIC FOOTAGE OF FIRST LANDING AT ST HELENA AIRPORT

TO BE SHOWN ON LOCAL TV

History was made on St Helena on Tuesday 15 September 2015, as a Beechcraft King Air 200 aircraft touched down at St Helena’s new Airport.

Four minutes of footage – shot from within the cockpit and showing the plane approaching the runway, landing on the Island and making history – will be shown on Local TV 2 from this evening until Monday 21 September, at the following times:

 

  • Today, Friday 18 September, at 6.05pm
  • Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 September, at 10.10am and 6.05pm
  • And Monday 21 September, at 06.50am and 6.05pm

Each short programme with show the four minute footage twice.

SHG

18 September 2015


SHY ROAD CLOSURE

The Roads Section would like to inform the public that Shy Road will remain closed for another three weeks to undertake further essential repairs to the retaining walls. As normal only emergency vehicles will be granted access.

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

SHG

26 August 2015


ST HELENA AIRPORT STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT FORUM

WEDNESDAY 2 SEPTEMBER 2015

The quarterly St Helena Airport Project Stakeholder Engagement Forum (SEF) will take place on Wednesday 2 September 2015 at 6.30pm at the Museum of St Helena.

The SEF is a chance for members of the public to update themselves on Airport progress and find out more information from members of the Basil Read, Project Management Unit and SHG Access Office teams.

PMU Manager Andreas Huber commented:

“These quarterly Stakeholder Engagement Forums are held to ensure that everyone is able to access information and updates on the St Helena Airport.

“The Airport will impact everyone on the Island and it is important that all stakeholders are kept informed and have a forum where they can put their questions to project team members. I would encourage anyone with an interest in St Helena Airport to come along on the night.”

Topics for discussion at next week’s SEF will focus on:

  • Calibration Flights
  • Road Safety Awareness on the Access Road
  • Environmental issues surrounding the Airport

The meeting is open to all, and following the presentations, members of the public will be able to ask any questions they may have regarding St Helena Airport.

Anyone requiring further information on the meeting can call PMU Manager, Andreas Huber on tel: 24391.

SHG

26 August 2015


EXCO REPORT - TUESDAY 25 AUGUST 2015

Executive Council met today, Tuesday 25 August 2015.  The Governor welcomed Acting Chief Secretary Gillian Francis, Acting Financial Secretary Dax Richards and a member of the public.

There was one item on the Open Agenda.   Executive Council was asked to consider and approve the Better Life Allowance policy and Amendments to Social Security Regulations. The Better Life Allowance will provide a higher level of allowance based on a needs assessment.  Executive Council agreed payments for each level – using a set of criteria – as follows:

  • Low – £10 per week
  • Medium – £15 per week
  • High – £35 per week
  • Severe – £60 per week

This new policy is designed to help meet the additional costs for people who have various disabilities – giving them a better quality of life.  It will be excluded from the calculation used to determine Household Income Level under the Social Security Ordinance and Regulations – and will therefore be paid over and above any other benefits.

Executive Council agreed that this policy will have a significant positive impact on the lives of some of the most vulnerable people on St Helena.  The new policy will be effective from Tuesday 1 September 2015.

Included in the Closed Session was a request from South Atlantic Media Services Ltd (SAMS) to utilise the daily half-hour television broadcasting slot that is available to St Helena Government under the Television Broadcasting Licence agreement between SHG and Sure South Atlantic Ltd.

Members agreed to this, subject to various conditions – including that SHG would at all times have first call on the slot, and that this approval will run for a period of six months in the first instance after which the arrangement will be reviewed.  This approval is also subject to there being no additional requests from other parties to utilise the SHG half hour daily TV slot.

Executive Council was also asked to consider and approve the Revised Capital Programme 2015-16, which was discussed at length and agreed.

The meeting closed at 11.30am.

ExCo

25 August 2015


POPULATION AND HOUSING CENSUS 2016 - LIVE RADIO PHONE-INS

The St Helena Population and Housing Census will take place on Sunday 7 February 2016.

The Census team is currently consulting with the public and various stakeholders on suggested topics for inclusion, specific questions people would like to see asked, and any concerns, questions or suggestions on how the Census will run.

As part of this consultation, Statistician Paula McLeod and Senior Statistics Officer Justine Joshua will be conducting live phone-ins on local radio to ensure that everyone on St Helena, and even Saints overseas who may have an interest, are able to feed into the consultation process.

Paula and Justine will be on SAMS Radio 1 on Tuesday 1 September and Saint FM on Thursday 3 September. Both radio sessions will run from 6-7pm.

Listen live and send in your questions on the day to have them answered on air, or alternatively you can submit any questions or comments in advance via the SHG Facebook page, contact the Statistics Office on tel 22138 or email statistics@sainthelena.gov.sh.

Your feedback is vital to ensure the process leading up to the Census runs smoothly and that SHG gathers the most complete, accurate and relevant information for St Helena. The Census team is waiting to hear from you!

SHG

25 August 2015


COUNCILLORS’ CONSTITUENCY MEETINGS IN AUG & SEP

Councillors will be holding a series of Constituency Meetings during August and September 2015. Topics for discussion will be Safeguarding, Opening Hours for businesses on Sundays, Public and Bank Holidays, and the 2016 St Helena Population and Housing Census.

All meetings will start at 7.30pm. The schedule for the upcoming meetings is as follows:

Constituency Date Chair
HTH Clinic Wednesday, 26 August Councillor Scipio-O’Dean
Silver Hill Bar Wednesday,  2 September Councillor Thomas
Sandy Bay Community Centre Wednesday, 9 September Councillor Isaac
Jamestown Community Centre Tuesday, 15 September Councillor Henry
Blue Hill Community Centre Wednesday, 16 September Councillor Ward Pearce

 

SHG

25 August 2015

 


DETECTIVE CONSTABLE ARRIVES TO CARRY OUT CASE REVIEWS

Mark Harrington
Mark Harrington

Mark Harrington arrived on Island on 16 August 2015 to undertake his role as the first Detective Constable specialising in Historic Case Reviews for St Helena Police Service.  Mark is initially on the Island on a one-year contract, with a possible extension.

Mark will specialise in Historic Case Reviews, re-examining closed cases and assessing whether further lines of enquiry can be pursued, giving a voice to victims, and ensuring that everything possible has been done in their cases. Lesson learning will also form a part of the work that Mark undertakes, ensuring a legacy to his work. All this work will be done on a multi-agency basis and Mark will be working closely with the Safeguarding Directorate.  He will also support current criminal investigation cases, becoming involved with ongoing work in sexual offence and assault reports.

Mark spoke of the challenges that he faces in the role:

“I want to encourage the community to put their faith in the Police. Victims are at the heart of all we do and I want to work with the public – gaining their trust – as without public support, we cannot progress. Good working relationships with the community are critical and I can assure everyone that any information received will be handled very sensitively – with privacy strongly respected.”   

Mark added that the team have made him feel welcome in his new environment and are “dedicated to making an ongoing difference for the Island, laying down the foundations for the future.”

In 2005, Mark volunteered as a Special Constable and after 18 months joined Essex Police full time.  Following his initial training period Mark committed himself to a career in CID. He has spent five and a half years as a Detective and for the last three and a half years Mark has worked solely in the area of sexual offence investigations – this being his last role until taking up employment on St Helena.

SHG

24 August 2015

 


MAN CHARGED WITH HISTORICAL SEXUAL OFFENCES

“On Monday 24 August 2015, a 55 year old man from Jamestown was charged with a significant number of historical sexual offences relating to offending from the late 1980’s through to the mid 1990’s. The allegations relate to offences committed on St Helena.

“These charges have resulted from protracted investigation both on St Helena and overseas, led by the St Helena Police Service. My team have worked closely with the Attorney General’s Chambers throughout. The person charged is due to appear in Court tomorrow, Tuesday 25 August.

“These charges demonstrate our commitment to bring offenders to justice, irrespective of when offences were committed. I wish to reassure the community that my dedicated team of investigators will work tirelessly to give victims a voice and those victims will be supported throughout the judicial process.

“I urge victims to continue to come forward in confidence and together we can make a difference.”

Trevor Botting, Chief of Police

SHG

24 August 2015


SAFEGUARDING DIRECTORATE TO OPEN SAFE HAVEN

 

The Safeguarding Directorate has signed an agreement with the United Nations for the sum of $150,000 USD to develop a ‘Safe Haven’ for women who are fleeing domestic violence on St Helena.  Project management has already commenced on the initiative – securing planning and development permission and beginning the procurement process for this long planned project.

The location for the Safe Haven will now undergo a renovation to accommodate the shelter.  Further training and development of staff on domestic issues will also occur – in addition to producing awareness campaigns for the wider community.

Policy Development Officer, Cilla McDaniel, said:

“Building a safe haven and offering solace to victims of domestic abuse is an issue that I have pursued over the last two decades and, after many hurdles, funding has finally become available.” 

“Domestic violence and violence against women happens in St Helena as it does in most communities and raised awareness over the last few years has opened up what was once a taboo community issue.  Now, more than ever, women are coming forward for assistance and it is essential to help them.  This Safe Haven will be one aspect of helping these women to reclaim their independence.”  

Under the project, the designated building will be converted to accommodate a three bedroom shelter, with some shared facilities.  In addition to providing safe accommodation for women fleeing domestic abuse, the refuge will provide training and support so that victims are better able to manage their lives and keep themselves and their dependents more safety aware . The project will also target multi-agency and community awareness and policy development to safeguard victims to maximise the sustainability of the Safe Haven.

SHG

24 August 2015


MOVING TOWARDS CALIBRATION FLIGHTS

St Helena Airport’s historic Calibration Flights are scheduled for mid-September.  Prior to this, Basil Read will need to obtain approval from Air Safety Support International (ASSI) for temporary use of the runway.

ASSI’s Senior Aerodrome Inspector, Justin Rothwell, is expected to arrive on-Island on 29 August to carry out his assessment. This involves verifying the Airport infrastructure, observing a table-top exercise for the emergency services, and checking that all safety procedures are in place and adhered to.

If the temporary use of the runway is approved by ASSI and there is a suitable weather window, the calibration flight will be given the go-ahead to take-off from Africa.  The aircraft must land at St Helena Airport in ‘visual conditions’: the navigation aids cannot be used because they will not have been calibrated or approved by ASSI.  As such, a definitive date for the arrival of the flight cannot be given at present, but it is likely to be between Sunday 13 and Thursday 17 September. The calibration tests will be undertaken by Flight Calibration Services Limited (FCSL) who will travel to St Helena on the aircraft which has been leased from TAB who are based in South Africa.

Airport Project Manager Janet Lawrence explains:

“The calibration aircraft will possibly arrive in early afternoon but the actual arrival time will be dependent on the weather – we will probably have around six or seven hours’ notice before the flight arrives. The aircraft will fly from Lanseria Airport in Johannesburg, to Namibia, then Angola and on to St Helena – taking approximately four to five hours for the final leg.”

The exact number of flights that the aircraft will undertake on St Helena has yet to be confirmed, but 15 to 20 hours of flying time is anticipated to calibrate the various navigation aids and check instrument flight procedures.  The duration and frequency of flights will, to a large extent, be influenced by local weather conditions.

The Beechcraft Super King Air 200 aircraft (photo attached) used for the calibration flights will carry five occupants – three from South Africa and two from the UK.

Arriving on the RMS on 17 September will be ASSI Communication, Navigation & Surveillance Inspector, Mark Denny, to ascertain whether all navigation and communications equipment at the Airport is working correctly. DFID Project Manager, Nigel Kirby, will also arrive on this ship.

It is expected that the calibration flights will generate a great deal of public interest, especially to see the first landing.

Airport Manager Nigel Spackman commented:

“We know there will be a huge amount of public interest in the calibration flights – this is of course a very historic occasion for the Island. But I must stress that for security reasons I would urge the public not to make their way to the Airport site, where there will be no public access.

“Instead, we are working closely with the Police Service to manage the anticipated interest and traffic – and to identify a number of different public vantage points where people will get a good view of the aircraft.”

Further information on the calibration flights, vantage points and timing will be issued in due course.

SHG

24 August 2015


ANRD TELEPHONE OUTAGE

The public, SHG Directorates and businesses are advised that the telephone switchboard at the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department (ANRD), Scotland, will be out of service on Wednesday 26 August 2015 for a period of two hours, between 10am and 12 noon.

This outage is to allow SURE SA Ltd to install a new telephone cable.

ANRD apologises in advance for any inconvenience caused and thanks the public in advance for their understanding.

SHG

24 August 2015


NEW DIRECTOR OF TOURISM FOR ST HELENA

Chris Pickard
Chris Pickard

A new Director of Tourism for St Helena, Christopher Pickard (photo attached), was appointed on 20 August 2015.  Chris will be on a two-year contract, and will take up his post on arrival at St Helena on 14 October 2015.

Chris will be working with Enterprise St Helena and the Tourist Office and will build on the work already started in expanding, developing and enhancing St Helena’s tourism industry to be on par with best practices globally and for the benefit of the Saint community, the tourism sector and investors alike.

Chris said of his appointment:

“The opening of the Airport and start of scheduled flights next year will mark the beginning of what should be a new and very exciting chapter for St Helena. I am honoured and delighted to have been chosen to play my small part in this developing story and will be trying to help St Helena and its residents to build and create a sustainable travel and tourism sector – a sector that should bring very real and tangible benefits to the majority of the Island’s population.

“I look forward to learning about everything that the Island currently offers to its residents and its visitors and, in conversation with Saints, I want to understand how they would like St Helena to develop.  By applying my global travel experience and contacts, I will then aim to achieve these objectives through tourism.”

Chris is former chairman of the Latin American Travel Association and is a founder and trustee of its charitable foundation. He set up the Brazilian government’s first overseas tourist office, and has been the director of communications for the World Travel & Tourism Council. In his career, he has worked very closely for and with a number of tourist boards, airlines, cruise lines, hotel companies, destinations, as well as tour and ground operators.

He has also written extensively about travel and tourism and has authored and contributed to a number of guidebooks and travel publications.

SHG

24 August 2015

 


EXCO MEETING – Tuesday 25 August 2015

Open to the Public from 9.30am

Executive Council will meet tomorrow morning, Tuesday 25 August 2015, in the Council Chamber.

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

 

  • Better Life Allowance Policy

Executive Council Members are: Lawson Henry, Brian Isaac, Christine Scipio-O’Dean, Derek Thomas and Pamela Ward Pearce.

SHG

24 August 2015


PRESENTATION TO ST HELENA NURSES

Director of Health Darren Clarke and Jackie Henry
Director of Health Darren Clarke and Jackie Henry

Six Public Health staff were presented with certificates of achievement for completing Stages 1 and 2 of a UK-recognised course in ‘Stop Smoking Cessation and Brief Intervention’ on Wednesday 19 August 2015.

Midwife Rosemary Mittens, Community Nurses Mandy Thomas, Jackie Henry, Ruth Young, Sarah Newman and Health Promotion Trainer Marian Kanes were all presented with their certificates by the Director of Health, Darren Clarke.

Darren said:

“Congratulations to all who have taken the training – it’s a great benefit to the community. Your commitment to achieving the course has been excellent, and the skills are transferrable so you’ll be able to deliver sessions on other health topics as well as smoking cessation.

“I think it’s fantastic that you have achieved this and hopefully you will continue to take advantage of the training opportunities available.  A big ‘thank you’ to our Community Nursing Officer, Christine Laskey, for running the course.”

Christine added:

“Our aim is to encourage people to stop smoking. The nurses have worked very hard and have been very patient doing the course on a weekly basis.  They’re now at a level where they can set up a group and support people within that group to stop smoking.

Certificate Recipients
Certificate Recipients

“But it’s not only about stopping smoking. The course also encompassed motivational training which will also equip the nurses with the skills to help people with any particular health issue.”

The course is updated yearly so recipients can keep abreast of any changing issues. Health Promotion Trainer, Marian Kanes, will also roll out the programme to anyone requiring further training in the future.

Two photos are attached to this release.

SHG

21 August 2015


NEW HEALTH PROMOTION COORDINATOR IN POST

Marian Yon
Marian Yon

A new Health Promotion Coordinator, Marian Yon (photo attached), has been appointed. Marian took up her post on 10 August 2015 and is based at St John’s Villa.

As the Health Promotion Coordinator, Marian will work closely with the Health Promotion Trainer and Community Nurses to deliver various health promotion initiatives on St Helena.

Marian said:

“Health promotion is very wide ranging so I could be doing anything from promoting health in Schools and the workplace right up to being involved in influencing policy and legalisation.”

In her new role, Marian will also be promoting healthy living via radio shows and speaking with businesses about promoting healthy eating options.

Marian added:

“One of the most important things I would like to get across is the importance of healthy eating – as it impacts on so many things like diabetes, heart conditions and obesity.

“I am really keen to educate people on foods that are good for you and foods that are not so good.”

Marian is also available for people to drop in and chat to her if they need advice on a particular issue such as weight management or to stop smoking, for example.

Marian concluded:

“St Helena is a beautiful Island and some people do a brilliant job in keeping healthy. What I would like to say to the public is keep up the walking, keep up the exercise and remember to look at the size of your portions and the types of food you’re eating. Healthy eating and living is possible on St Helena, with a few tips and a bit of organisation.”

Marian can be contacted at St John’s Villa on tel. 22500 or email marian.yon@publichealth.gov.sh

SHG

21 August 2015


REVISED ST HELENA AIRPORT LOGO - FINAL VERSION

Following representation by Councillors Lawson Henry and Dr Corinda Essex on behalf of Elected Members – and subsequent modification of the St Helena Airport logo in accordance with Councillors’ specifications – a revised and final version of the logo has now been endorsed and approved by Executive Council Elected Members.

Illustrated below is the primary (basic) version of the final logo, and attached are images showing this logo in a variety of potential applications.  Also attached, to give context, is an image of the St Helena Airport logo alongside a range of other airport logos.

Airport Logo
Airport Logo

No further changes will be made to the St Helena Airport logo, and it will now be used in various applications – principally by Basil Read.

For those who need to apply the logo, high resolution, downloadable images – together with directions on how the logo can be used – are now available as a web resource at http://sherpa.co.za/clients/airport-guidelines

AIRPORT – Final Logo in Context

AIRPORT – Final Logo Potential Applications

SHG

18 August 2015


APPLICATIONS INVITED FOR UK GOVERNMENT’S PRESTIGIOUS CHEVENING SCHOLARSHIPS

 

The Chevening Secretariat is accepting applications for 2016/17 Chevening Scholarships via www.chevening.org/apply from 3 August until 3 November 2015.

Chevening Scholarships are awarded to individuals with strong academic backgrounds who also have demonstrable leadership potential. The scholarship offers financial support to study for a Master’s degree at any of the UK’s leading universities and the opportunity to become part of an influential global network of 44,000 alumni.

There are approximately 1,500 Chevening Scholarships on offer globally for the 2016/2017 academic cycle. These scholarships represent a significant investment from the UK Government to develop the next cohort of global leaders.

His Excellency Governor Capes said:

“Being a Chevening Scholar marks you out as someone with ambition, drive and ability. It offers students a unique opportunity to gain academic experience and at the same time to broaden their global and social outlooks. The Chevening Scholarship enables a student to acquire the tools to make a great contribution to St Helena’s development.”

Chevening Secretariat Director, Michael Scott-Kline, added:

“A Chevening Scholarship is a mark of honour bestowed on individuals who have been identified as having the qualities to become highly influential global leaders. Not only do award recipients receive a first-rate UK education, through Chevening they join a vibrant community of Chevening Alumni, Foreign and Commonwealth Office staff, UK universities, and partner organisations. Chevening Award recipients will draw on and contribute to this community for the rest of their lives. I am delighted to announce the opening of the 2016/17 competition for Chevening Scholarships and I strongly encourage emerging and established leaders to make an application – it may be the best decision you ever make.”

Chevening Programme Manager, Nyssa Lee-Woolf, concluded:

“As well as an unparalleled academic experience, Chevening Scholars enjoy exclusive access to a wide range of events and opportunities designed to introduce them to the UK, its history, institutions, customs, and people.  Scholars could take in breath-taking views of the Scottish Highlands, come face to face with Britain’s heritage and history in its stately homes and castles, or debate diplomacy and international policy at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.”

For more information, visit www.chevening.org/faqs for details on the eligibility criteria and award specifications.

 St Helena Contact

Manager of the Governor’s Office, Sandra Sim on tel: 22308 or email: sandra.sim@sainthelena.gov.sh

Notes to Editors

 Chevening Scholarships are the UK Government’s global scholarship programme, funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and partner organisations. The scholarships support study at UK universities – mostly for one year Master’s degrees – for individuals with demonstrable potential to become future leaders, decision-makers, and opinion formers.

Chevening began in 1983 and has developed into a prestigious international awards scheme. Chevening Scholars come from over 160 countries and territories worldwide (excluding the USA and the EU), and over 1,500 scholarships were awarded in 2015/16. There are over 44,000 Chevening Alumni around the world who comprise an influential and highly regarded global network.

The name ‘Chevening’ comes from Chevening House in Sevenoaks, Kent – currently the joint official residence of the UK’s Foreign Secretary.

More information is available at www.chevening.org

SHG

18 August 2015

 

 


ACTING CHIEF SECRETARY SWORN IN

Governor Capes and Gillian Francis
Governor Capes and Gillian Francis

Chief Secretary Roy Burke departs the Island today, Tuesday 18 August 2015, on overseas leave.

During the period he is off-Island, Assistant Chief Secretary (Support) Gillian Francis will take on the duties of Acting Chief Secretary. Gillian this morning took the prescribed Oaths of Office in the presence of HE Governor Capes at the Castle.

While Gillian is Acting Chief Secretary, Corporate Services Executive Manager, Carol George, will be appointed as Acting Assistant Chief Secretary (Support).

Roy Burke, will return to the Island on Thursday 8 October 2015.

SHG

18 August 2015

 

 


COUNCILLORS’ CONSTITUENCY MEETINGS IN AUG & SEP

 

Councillors will be holding a series of Constituency Meetings during August and September 2015. Topics for discussion will be Safeguarding, Opening Hours for businesses on Sundays, Public and Bank Holidays, and the 2016 St Helena Population and Housing Census.

All meetings will start at 7.30pm. The schedule for the upcoming meetings is as follows:

Constituency Date Chair
St Mary’s Church, The Briars Wednesday, 19 August Councillor George
St Michaels’s Church, Rupert’s Wednesday, 19 August Councillor Ellick
Harford Community Centre Monday, 24 August Councillor Dollery
HTH Clinic Wednesday, 26 August Councillor Scipio-O’Dean
Silver Hill Bar Wednesday,  2 September Councillor Thomas
Sandy Bay Community Centre Wednesday, 9 September Councillor Isaac
Jamestown Community Centre Tuesday, 15 September Councillor Henry
Blue Hill Community Centre Wednesday, 16 September Councillor Ward Pearce

 

SHG

18 August 2015

 

 

 


HANNA HICKLING WINS JEAN BEADON ART AWARD 2015

 

The Education & Employment Directorate is pleased to announce that the winner of the Jean Beadon Art Award for the Primary Sector for 2015 is Hanna Hickling of Harford Primary School (photo attached). Hanna is congratulated for her achievement and is wished every success as she continues to enhance and develop her artistic talents.

Judging was not an easy task and as a result there were joint winners for 2nd and 3rd places, and a number of children were Highly Commended.

Sharing 2nd place were Kyla Joshua from St Paul’s Primary School and Chloe Young from Pilling Primary School.  In joint 3rd place were Liana Crowie and Katerina Sovjakova from Pilling Primary School.

The following pupils were Highly Commended:

Demi O’Bey                         St Paul’s Primary School

Viktorie Mastna                   Pilling Primary School

Nesta Yon                            St Paul’s Primary School

Kristianne Benjamin          St Paul’s Primary School

Ronaldo Johnson               Pilling Primary School

Danica Ellick                        St Paul’s Primary School

 

This year judging was carried out by local artist Mrs Alice Phillips, Manager of the Arts & Crafts Shop in Jamestown and Miss Pamela Murray from Creative St Helena.  Unfortunately the third judge could not attend due to illness. Special thanks are extended to the judges.

The judges reported that the winning entries showed a high level of technical skills, originality and creativity and captured the personality and mood of the artists.  There was also imaginative use of materials and good use of colour and different types of media.  They praised all who took part in the competition saying that they could see that a lot of effort had been put into producing the art and the art folders.

All children were presented with their certificates and prizes during their schools’ End of Year prize presentations. Art Folders were on display for all to view during each school’s Open Day.

The late Mrs Jean Beadon was particularly interested in the work of young people, and through the Jean Beadon Trust, the encouragement and development of artistic talents still continues.  The Trust presents opportunities for schoolchildren in Year 6 of the Primary Schools and at Prince Andrew School – to win prizes for their art.

The Education Directorate is most grateful to the late Mrs Jean Beadon for giving the opportunity to continue to develop, enhance and encourage the artistic talents and skills of our schoolchildren here on the Island.

Thank you also to all Year 6 pupils for their participation and teachers for their support and coaching.

Notes for Editors

The criteria for the Jean Beadon Art Award competition in Primary Schools is as follows:

SUBJECTS:

STILL LIFE – PLANT, MAN MADE OR NATURAL FORMS (Shells, stones, animals etc)

LANDSCAPES AND SCENES

IMAGINATIVE

  • Pupils are to choose two of the above areas and produce two complete collections of work for their chosen areas.
  • Each complete collection of work will include three pieces of art (six pieces of art altogether will be produced). Included in these six pieces can be any outstanding work (relating to their chosen topic) produced in School Years 3 to 6.
  • The complete collection can be produced in A3 or A4 size using any media chosen by the pupil.
  • Pupils will be evaluated on each area chosen, in addition to an overall evaluation of the year’s work.
  • Pupils are to design their own cover on the folder.
  • Pupils will be required to complete an assessed piece of work of A3 size under exam conditions based on skills learnt, and insert this into their folder at the front.
  • The duration of the exam should be three hours with a 15 minute break.
  • Completed portfolios of all Year 6 pupils will be sent for judging.
  • Two or three Judges (Artists) will be asked to judge the folders.
  • Judging will be based on pupils’ ability to apply skills, techniques and use of different media, and not the subjects studied.
  • The prize, valued at £40 will be given to the overall winner from the Jean Beadon Trust Fund.

 

SHG

17 August 2015

 

 


REOPENING OF LEVELWOOD CLINIC

Following the successful re-openings of the Half Tree Hollow and Longwood Clinics, run by the Community Nurses, the Health Directorate is pleased to announce that the Levelwood Clinic will be re-opening to the public on Thursday 27 August 2015.

Community Nursing Officer, Christine Laskey, explains that the clinic will initially open once a month – on the last Thursday of the month – with the aim to increase to twice monthly in future. The Pharmacy bus will attend Levelwood Clinic on the same days.

Opening times for these Nurse-Led drop in clinics at Levelwood will be from 10am – 12.30pm on the following days:

Thursday 27 August 2015

Thursday 24 September 2015

Thursday 29 October 2015

Thursday 26 November 2015

Thursday 31 December 2015

Councillor Derek Thomas, Chairman of the Public Health Committee, commented:

“I am sure the re-opening of Levelwood Clinic will be much appreciated by the community in Levelwood. It will avoid them having to travel to Jamestown for repeat medical prescriptions and for minor medical ailments.”

SHG

17 August 2015


THEFT OF VALUABLE ENDEMIC PLANTS AT PICCOLO NURSERY

EbonyThe Landscape and Ecology Mitigation Programme (LEMP) team reports that a number of important endemic plants have been stolen from the tree nursery at Piccolo Hill. This serious matter has been reported to the Police and is currently under investigation.

The public is reminded that plants at the nursery are being grown as part of the environmental mitigation for the Airport Project. The specific plants that have been stolen are for the Terminal forecourt area – where larger, more mature plants are needed, to create an area for the Island to showcase its endemic natural heritage for those arriving and departing the Airport. This will be part of our visitors’ first impression of St Helena as they walk out of the Terminal.

The theft of the plants has implications for the Airport Project. With the opening of the Airport just months away, it is not possible to grow replacement plants of the same size as those which have been stolen, and therefore smaller, younger plants will have to be used.

Endemic plants take several months and dedicated hard work to grow, from the initial collection of seeds, through potting out of germinated seedlings, to careful watering and weeding. It is very disappointing for people’s hard work to be treated with disrespect in this way.

The public is reminded that the tree nursery at Piccolo Hill is a place of work and is off-limits to the general public. Signs are in place and the public is asked to adhere to these.

For further information please contact LEMP Project Manager ,Ross Towers, at the Access Office, Jamestown, Tel: 22721.

A photo of the endemic Ebony is attached to this press release.

SHG

31 July 2015


QUARTERLY STATISTICAL BULLETIN

2015 Quarter 2

The Quarterly Statistical News Bulletin for August 2015, covers the period April to June 2015 (Q2 2015) and contains updates for the Annual Rate of Inflation of the Retail Price Index, High-Level Economic Updates, Vehicles on St Helena, Estimated Population, Arrivals and Departures, feedback from the Statistics Office, User Satisfaction Survey and an update on the 2016 Census regarding the Questionnaire consultation.

Annual Inflation of the St Helena Retail Price Index (RPI) stood at 2.2 per cent in Quarter 2 2015 – a decrease in the annual rate of growth of 0.6 percent compared to the last quarter. The major upwards pressures are an increase in Fuel tariffs and also the overall price increase on Food items.  Overall price decreases in the Transport category create a significant downwards pressure, partially mitigating other price increases.

 

In the second calendar quarter of 2015, the number of people on Island averaged 4,614 and the average St Helenian population was 4,078. Compared to the same period in 2015, this represents a 4.2 per cent increase in total population.

In financial year 2014/15, an increase in passenger movements, both arrivals and departures, through St Helena was noted. This is primarily an increase in short term visitors, tourists and Saints resident overseas.

Feedback from the 2015 User Satisfaction Survey was encouraging – suggesting an increase in both the use of and demand for Official Statistics for St Helena.  The biggest perceived improvement over the last year has been in the accessibility of statistical outputs – the ease of finding, interpreting and making use of statistical information and data.

In addition to requests to improve the range of outputs, particularly indicators of social and economic wellbeing, the Statistics Office needs to focus on improving the timeliness of outputs – the speed at which information is released, and to continue to improve ease of access and practical use of these outputs.

Interested parties are asked to review the proposed topics for the Questionnaire to be used in the 2016 Population and Housing Census.  Please let us know if you have comments or suggestions of topics to be included or revised.  This consultation is being co-ordinated by Senior Statistics Assistant, Justine Joshua, who is on hand to answer any questions you might have.

This Statistical News Bulletin, along with other statistical reports, is available on the SHG website at: www.sainthelena.gov.sh/statistics

If you have requested a copy of this bulletin via email and have not yet received it, please contact the Statistics Office on 22138, or e-mail statistics@sainthelena.gov.sh

SHG

31 July 2015


BLUE HILL CONSTITUENCY MEETING POSTPONED

The public is advised that the Constituency Meeting scheduled to take place at Blue Hill Community Centre on Monday 3 August 2015 has been postponed until September. This is due to the Farmers Association’s Annual General Meeting taking place on the same evening.

Further details will be issued when a new date for the Blue Hill Meeting has been set.

SHG

31 July 2015


DRY DOCKING OF RMS ST HELENA - UPDATE

The RMS St Helena did not enter Dry Dock in Cape Town yesterday afternoon as had been planned, due to high winds, which impacted most port operations.  As the weather has improved today, the RMS was due to move into the dry dock around 11.00hrs GMT.

This obviously represents a further delay in her Cape Town schedule, which will impact on her forward programme.  As the ship is now unlikely to come out of dry dock until Tuesday 4 August 2015 (in the evening), it is planned that she will embark passengers on Wednesday 5 August – two days later than originally programmed – then sail after loading cargo on Thursday 6 August.  The estimated date of arrival at St Helena is therefore Tuesday 11 August.

Passengers will be contacted about this delay and, where appropriate, hotel accommodation will be offered in Cape Town from Monday until embarkation on Wednesday.

AWSML will work on the RMS’s forward programme once a firm sailing time from Cape Town is set – and announce this information as soon as possible. Further amended arrangements for passengers may then need to be made, depending on  port call dates.

For further information at this stage, passengers can either contact their booking agent, or:

SHG

30 July 2015


SEA RESCUE TRAINING

During the interim period whilst the Sea Rescue Service is based at Jamestown Wharf, and while training takes place, the Harbour Master has granted the Service an exemption from the Harbour Ordinance regarding launching boats by crane with personnel onboard. This exemption also applies for exceptional conditions and during any emergency launching.

The current sea rescue training (13 July – 14 August) requires the crews to practice launching the boats by crane with two crew members in the boats. This provides crew members with the skills to launch when the ferry boat is not available, either due to the time of the launch or heavy seas.

Once the training period is complete it will be normal practice to launch the boats without crew members onboard and use the ferry boat to access the rescue boats in the water, apart from in the above-mentioned circumstances.

SHG

29 July 2015


HORSE POINT LANDFILL SITE

The Horse Point landfill site will remain open to the public seven days a week, with staff operating at the site during normal working hours, Monday to Friday. The Public Recycling Facility is also open seven days a week.

The new opening and closing times of the landfill site, published on 29 June and due to commence this Saturday, 1 August, are revoked until further notice.

The proposed launch of this facility on Saturday 1 August 2015 has been delayed and invited persons and members of the public who were attending this event are advised to await a further announcement.

The Environmental Management Division thanks the public and apologises for any inconvenience caused.

SHG

29 July 2015


DRY DOCKING OF RMS ST HELENA

The RMS St Helena is expected to enter Dry Dock in Cape Town this afternoon, 29 July 2015, to commence the dry dock section of her refit period. This is later than planned due to the dry dock being occupied by an oil rig support vessel whose refit overran.

Certain refit work – which does not require the vessel to be out of the water – has been carried out whilst she has been alongside in Cape Town, but the RMS does now need a period in dry dock to carry out work on the hull.

It is hoped that this work can be carried out in time for the ship to embark passengers as scheduled on Monday afternoon (3 August 2015) – for a departure from Cape Town after loading cargo on Tuesday 4 August, one day later than scheduled. This would mean a likely arrival in St Helena on Sunday 9 August,  one day late.

This expected departure date will be reassessed once the RMS is in dry dock, and a further update will follow.

SHG

29 July 2015

 


LIVE GECKO FOUND IN CONTAINER

Gecko
Gecko

Workers unloading hold baggage from a shipping container on St Helena, which arrived from Ascension Island, have found a live gecko moving around among the baggage.

Caught by Peter Corker, it was passed to Customs and then to the Biosecurity team. One glance at the animal was sufficient to confirm that it was different to the geckos normally found on St Helena, and this has now been confirmed by international experts viewing the photos.

On St Helena, there exists an Asian House Gecko, while the captured gecko is provisionally identified as an Afro-American House Gecko. Both species are known to occur on Ascension Island.

Since geckos eat invertebrates, they pose a potential threat to the biodiversity of St Helena, as many of the Island’s unique species are invertebrates. Stopping the spread of a new species before it can do any harm is therefore very important.

Shipping containers are well known for their ability to carry new species around the world.  Some people may remember the Peacock Butterfly which was found in a container from the UK in 2013.

Senior Veterinary Officer, Joe Hollins, said:

Finding a live gecko is only one step away from finding a live snake, and we definitely don’t want one of these on the Island. We are very grateful to the workers on the Wharf for their quick action in noticing and catching this animal”.

If you spot any unfamiliar plant, insect or animal, please call the Biosecurity Team at ANRD on 24724.

SHG

29 July 2015


CENSUS 2016 - QUESTIONNAIRE CONSULTATION

A Population and Housing Census will be conducted on St Helena in early 2016 to capture the pre-airport characteristics of the St Helena population.

The date set for the Census is Sunday 7 February 2016 with piloting planned to take place in November this year.

The project team is currently consulting with key stakeholders on the topics to be addressed in the 2016 Census questionnaire. The starting point is the 2008 questionnaire with questions tweaked to be in-line with accepted international standards. It is proposed that some topics such as literacy and number of children born living will be dropped due to the sensitivity of the questions and limited use of the information they will provide. Some additional topics will be addressed to fill some of the most important information gaps in the data held about the Island’s population.

If you have any questions or suggestions of topics that might be included in the 2016 Census please get in touch and make sure your opinions are considered. The information that is collected will be used to monitor developments and inform decision making for many years to come. This is the Island’s data and we need to work together to make it as comprehensive and as high in quality as possible.

Proposed topics to be addressed in 2016 Census questionnaire

Population Housing
Name Tenure (whether the home is owned or rented)
Age Household members living outside St Helena and expected to return within 2 years
Gender Dwelling type (detached house, flat, other)
Relationship to other household members Number of rooms/ bedrooms
Marital Status Bathroom and toilet facilities
Country of birth Type of water supply (treated/untreated)
Religion (optional) Fuel for cooking and lighting
Qualifications Roofing materials (including solar panels/heaters)
Economic Activity (if working or available for work) Sewerage system
If working – Occupation and Industry Household assets (car, fridge, washing machine etc.)
Disability Status* Internet Access*
Caring Commitments*  
Consumption of alcohol and cigarettes*  

Proposed new topic for 2016

The consultation on the Census questionnaire is being coordinated by Senior Statistics Assistant, Justine Joshua, who will be delighted to hear from you and to answer any questions you may have.

Contact: (+290) 22138, email: statistics@sainthelena.gov.sh or visit the team at the Castle.

SHG

28 July 2015


DARKDALE OPERATION - MINOR OIL LEAK - UPDATE

Andy Liddell of MOD’s Salvage & Marine Operations division has given an update on the small release of oil in James’ Bay yesterday, caused by a valve failure during the hot tapping process on the RFA Darkdale wreck.

Andy said:   

 “A second valve was successfully installed into tank 5 Port yesterday afternoon and the pumping operation started as soon as this was in place. 

 “In addition to the leak resulting from the failed valve, it became apparent that there were also several small leaks from other places on this particular tank – all from corroded rivets.  The rivet lines had obviously been very fragile and the disturbance of us installing valves had been enough to make them leak.  All these leaks were patched up with putty and the leaks from the tank were all stopped by late afternoon.

 “We pumped the tank until late evening, when we saw clean water being pumped -indicating that the tank was empty.  We left the tank to settle overnight to allow any remnants of oil to migrate to the top of the tank, before giving the tank a final short pump this morning. 

 “We removed approximately 50 cubic metres of oil from this tank and are now satisfied that it no longer contains any significant oil.  

 “Work is continuing with installing the remaining valves on the wreck today, but using a different system which puts less force on the wreck – so hopefully should not disturb any of the rivets.”

SHG

28 July 2015

 

 


CENSUS 2016 - QUESTIONNAIRE CONSULTATION

A Population and Housing Census will be conducted on St Helena in early 2016 to capture the pre-airport characteristics of the St Helena population.

The date set for the Census is Sunday 7 February 2016 with piloting planned to take place in November this year.

The project team is currently consulting with key stakeholders on the topics to be addressed in the 2016 Census questionnaire. The starting point is the 2008 questionnaire with questions tweaked to be in-line with accepted international standards. It is proposed that some topics such as literacy and number of children born living will be dropped due to the sensitivity of the questions and limited use of the information they will provide. Some additional topics will be addressed to fill some of the most important information gaps in the data held about the Island’s population.

If you have any questions or suggestions of topics that might be included in the 2016 Census please get in touch and make sure your opinions are considered. The information that is collected will be used to monitor developments and inform decision making for many years to come. This is the Island’s data and we need to work together to make it as comprehensive and as high in quality as possible.

Proposed topics to be addressed in 2016 Census questionnaire

Population Housing
Name Tenure (whether the home is owned or rented)
Age Household members living outside St Helena and expected to return within 2 years
Gender Dwelling type (detached house, flat, other)
Relationship to other household members Number of rooms/ bedrooms
Marital Status Bathroom and toilet facilities
Country of birth Type of water supply (treated/untreated)
Religion (optional) Fuel for cooking and lighting
Qualifications Roofing materials (including solar panels/heaters)
Economic Activity (if working or available for work) Sewerage system
If working – Occupation and Industry Household assets (car, fridge, washing machine etc.)
Disability Status* Internet Access*
Caring Commitments*
Consumption of alcohol and cigarettes*

*Proposed new topic for 2016

The consultation on the Census questionnaire is being coordinated by Senior Statistics Assistant, Justine Joshua, who will be delighted to hear from you and to answer any questions you may have.

Contact: (+290) 22138, email: statistics@sainthelena.gov.sh or visit the team at the Castle.

SHG

28 July 2015

 


COUNCILLORS’ CONSTITUENCY MEETINGS IN AUG & SEP

Councillors will be holding a series of Constituency Meetings during August and September 2015.

Taking into account comments from the public, topics for discussions at the meetings will be Safeguarding and Opening Hours for businesses on Sundays, Public and Bank Holidays. The 2016 St Helena Population and Housing Census will also be an agenda item.

Roads and Health issues were also requested for discussion at these meetings but, due to the Roads Manager and the Director of ENRD being currently off-Island, the Roads topic will be left until the next round of Constituency meetings and Health issues will be discussed via local radio programmes.

The schedule for the upcoming meetings is as follows:

Constituency Date Chair
Blue Hill Community Centre Monday, 3 August Councillor  Ward Pearce
Guinea Grass Community Centre Wednesday, 12 August Councillor Olsson
Kingshurst Community Centre Monday, 17 August Councillor Essex
St Mary’s Church, The Briars Wednesday, 19 August Councillor George
St Michaels’s Church, Rupert’s Wednesday, 19 August Councillor Ellick
Harford Community Centre Monday, 24 August Councillor Dollery
HTH Clinic Wednesday, 26 August Councillor Scipio-O’Dean
Silver Hill Bar Wednesday,  2 September Councillor Thomas
Sandy Bay Community Centre Wednesday, 9 September Councillor Isaac
Jamestown Community Centre Tuesday, 15 September Councillor Henry

 

SHG

28 July 2015

 

 


PUBLIC HEALTH MEETING

The Health Directorate will be holding a Public Health Committee meeting on Wednesday 5 August 2015 at 9am in the Public Health conference room in the Hospital administration building.

The meeting begins with an open session which is open to the public. Open Agenda items include:

  • Matters arising from Open Session of the meeting held on Wednesday, 1 July 2015
  • Aircraft Dis-insection
  • Community Clinics Update
  • Ambulance Audit

 

SHG

27 July 2015


PUBLIC HEALTH MEETING

The Health Directorate will be holding a Public Health Committee meeting on Wednesday 5 August 2015 at 9am in the Public Health conference room in the Hospital administration building.

The meeting begins with an open session which is open to the public. Open Agenda items include:

  • Matters arising from Open Session of the meeting held on Wednesday, 1 July 2015
  • Aircraft Dis-insection
  • Community Clinics Update
  • Ambulance Audit

 

SHG

27 July 2015


DARKDALE OPERATION - MINOR OIL LEAK

A valve failure during the hot tapping process on the RFA Darkdale wreck has today caused a small release of oil into James’ Bay, estimated at 100 litres. The oil released is on the surface and is currently all flowing offshore.

Andy Liddell of MOD’s Salvage & Marine Operations division said:

“A valve that was being installed on the Darkdale wreck has failed to seal in the way it is designed to – which has caused oil to leak around the base of the valve.  Immediate action was taken to minimise the leak, but we estimate that about 100 litres of oil was released. 

“Divers are now installing a second valve onto the tank, adjacent to the failed one.  As soon as this is installed, we will be pumping the contents of this tank into the Pacific Dolphin and Pacific Supporter as a contingency measure.

“The leaked oil is being taken out to sea by the current but we will continue to monitor the situation, in case we need to deploy our boom.”

SHG

27 July 2015


SHY ROAD CLOSED

The Roads Section would like to inform the public that, following a collapsed wall, Shy Road is closed to all vehicle traffic and pedestrians until further notice. Only emergency vehicles will be granted access.

The Roads Section would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused, and thank the public in advance for their continued cooperation. A further announcement will be made when the road reopens.

SHG

27 July 2015


SAINT STUDENT GRADUATES IN UK

Sasha Bargo
Sasha Bargo

St Helenian student, Sasha Bargo, of Half Tree Hollow (photo attached), has graduated from Sparsholt College (verified by Portsmouth University) with a FdSc (Distinction) in Ecology and Conservation Management.

Funded through the Post-School Scholarship Programme, Sasha left the Island in August 2013 to embark on her two-year course. During her first year, Sasha studied modules on Global Ecosystems, Habitat and Species Identification Skills, Land-based Ecology and Fundamentals of Science. Year 2 covered Applied Industrial Research, Applied Ecology, Field Ecology Techniques, Countryside Law and Policies, Applied Work Practice and Conservation Land Management.

As part of her Dissertation Sasha will be completing a habitat suitability study on an endangered species of butterfly – the Duke of Burgundy (Hamearis lucina) – focusing on four study sites within Winchester, Hampshire.  The findings from her project will then be donated to Butterfly Conservation.

Alongside her theory work, Sasha also undertook practical placements with the Environment and Planning Section of Hampshire County Council as an ecological consultant, as well as with Butterfly Conservation, working as a team member. Each work placement was for a period of three weeks.

Sasha will now complete a top-up year in the same course to achieve a BSc.

Sasha said:

“I am very pleased with my achievements and was overwhelmed to be awarded for the best overall performance for my two years of study.  I am now looking forward to my third year – and to completing my challenging end-of year thesis.”

Director of Education Shirley Wahler, concluded:

“On behalf of the Education & Employment Directorate, I would like to congratulate Sasha on her outstanding achievement so far in a field of study which is very important to St Helena’s future.  We wish her continued success as she moves on to complete her Degree!”

SHG

27 July 2015


REVISION OF ST HELENA AIRPORT LOGO

Following representation to St Helena Government by Councillors Lawson Henry and Dr Corinda Essex on behalf of Elected Members – and constructive discussions and suggestions – SHG has agreed to modify the recently announced St Helena Airport logo.  A revised final version of the logo is now being developed and will go to Executive Council Members for final endorsement at the earliest opportunity.

This process is likely to take two to three weeks, at which time a further announcement will be made, together with the final agreed version of the logo.

SHG

24 July 2015


ELECTIONS AT LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL

At today’s formal meeting of Legislative Council (Friday 24 July 2015) Councillor Pamela Ward Pearce was elected as Chairperson of the Environment & Natural Resources Committee (ENRC).

A ballot also took place to determine the new member of the Public Accounts Committee, which saw Councillor Cyril George voted in as a new member of the PAC.

SHG

24 July 2015

 


COUNCILLORS’ CONSTITUENCY MEETINGS IN AUG & SEP

Councillors will be holding a series of Constituency Meetings during August and September 2015.

Taking into account comments from the public, topics for discussions at the meetings will be Safeguarding and Opening Hours for businesses on Sundays, Public and Bank Holidays. The 2016 St Helena Population and Housing Census will also be an agenda item.

Roads and Health issues were also requested for discussion at these meetings but, due to the Roads Manager and the Director of ENRD being currently off-Island, the Roads topic will be left until the next round of Constituency meetings and Health issues will be discussed via local radio programmes.

The schedule for the upcoming meetings is as follows:

Constituency Date Chair
Blue Hill Community Centre Monday, 3 August Councillor  Ward Pearce
Guinea Grass Community Centre Wednesday, 12 August Councillor Olsson
Kingshurst Community Centre Monday, 17 August Councillor Essex
St Mary’s Church, The Briars Wednesday, 19 August Councillor George
St Michaels’s Church, Rupert’s Wednesday, 19 August Councillor Ellick
Harford Community Centre Monday, 24 August Councillor Dollery
HTH Clinic Wednesday, 26 August Councillor Scipio-O’Dean
Silver Hill Bar Wednesday,  2 September Councillor Thomas
Sandy Bay Community Centre Wednesday, 9 September Councillor Isaac
Jamestown Community Centre Tuesday, 15 September Councillor Henry

 

SHG

21 July 2015


APPOINTMENT OF PRESIDENT AND JUSTICES

TO ST HELENA COURT OF APPEAL

On Tuesday 23 June 2015 – and after conducting an open and rigorous recruitment process – Acting Governor Sean Burns appointed a President of the St Helena Court of Appeal, together with three Justices of Appeal to the Court – under the 2009 Constitution of St Helena, Ascension & Tristan da Cunha.

The Constitution establishes a Supreme Court and a Court of Appeal for the Territories of St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.  Although three separate Territories, they are one territorial grouping under the Crown, so the same Supreme Court and Court of Appeal preside over all three Territories.

The Supreme Court is presided over by the Chief Justice who is responsible for the administration of justice in all three Territories and who also sits as a Recorder in England.

The Court of Appeal has jurisdiction to hear and determine appeals from the courts of St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.  Appeals normally lie to the Court of Appeal from the Supreme Court on questions of law or with the leave of the Supreme Court from cases where it has exercised its criminal, civil or appellate jurisdiction.

Appeals may also be heard on questions of general or public importance or where the Court of Appeal grants leave.

On 23 June 2015, and with immediate effect, the following persons were appointed to the St Helena Court of Appeal:

  • Sir John Henry Boulton Saunders, as President of the Court of Appeal
  • His Honour Judge Michael Paul Yelton, as Justice of Appeal
  • His Honour Judge Rupert Mayo, as Justice of Appeal, and
  • Ms Lorna Alison Drummond, as Justice of Appeal.

SHG

30 June 2015


E-SAFETY GUIDES FOR PARENTS AND YOUNG PEOPLE

 

As part of St Helena’s safeguarding projects, the Safeguarding Children’s Board has this week launched two leaflets – one for parents & guardians and one for young people – providing information on the safe use of the internet and using the internet wisely.

Parents Guide to Online Safety

Parents Guide to Online Safety

There is a quick guide for young people to help them enjoy the internet safely – this includes making sure they know who they are talking to online, setting their accounts to private, not being victims of online bullying and not posting personal contact details online.

The leaflet designed for parents and guardians highlights the benefits of the internet for their children’s educational and social development but also provides advice on understanding the internet, the risks it poses to their children, and protecting their children in the virtual world. Topics covered include cyber-bullying, identity theft, inappropriate and harmful content and grooming.

Helping your child understand the risks of using the internet ensures they can make sensible and informed choices and get the most positive experience from going online.

Children’s Champion, Christine Scipio-O’Dean, said:

“The internet provides many fantastic opportunities for children and young people, provided it is used safely. We have developed sensible advice and guidance for children, young people, parents and guardians to enable them to use the internet and social media, while being aware of some of the dangers.”  

 Chairperson of the Safeguarding Children’s Board, Sean Burns added:

“The internet is a wonderful tool that improves the way we work and enjoy ourselves. But there are dangers out there in the virtual world. This is a timely reminder about what some of those dangers are, how you might identify them and guidance on what to do if you have any concerns. I commend it to all, especially young people and parents.”

Copies of both leaflets will be published in this week’s newspapers and printed versions will also be distributed to Prince Andrew School for students and their parents or guardians.

 

SHG

30 June 2015


CELEBRATING LIFELONG LEARNING

Business Management
Business Management

The Education Learning Centre’s Lifelong Learning Awards were celebrated on Wednesday 24 June 2015.  Presenting the awards were Councillors Christine Scipio-O’Dean, Nigel Dollery, Dr Corrinda Essex, together with Dr Niall O’Keefe, Head of Enterprise St Helena.

Awards were presented for Functional Skills in Mathematics and English, GCSE English, AS Design & Technology, Business Management, NVQ’s in Business & Administration, Unit Certifications in Health & Social Welfare, Environmental Conservation, and Professional Cookery.

Director of Education, Shirley Wahler, commented in her speech on the importance of lifelong learning in a small community like St Helena – offering a diverse range of qualifications for a diverse range of candidates.  She said:

“You hear a lot about sustainable development and building the economy, but a sustainable economy depends on developing the people of the Island.  It takes a lot to go into training as an adult, where you have effectively put your school days behind you.  But when you commit to further developing yourself, you are also improving the Island and the community, and you are setting a very positive example for those still at school.”

Candidate receiving certificate
Candidate receiving certificate

Assistant Director of Lifelong Learning Services, Kerry Yon, spoke of the importance of gaining certificates in Functional Skills:

“For some awardees this is the first chance to gain internationally accredited qualifications in their lives and this programme provides them with an opportunity to enhance both their work and their interpersonal skills.”

Dr Corrinda Essex offered her congratulations to all candidates and added that receiving qualifications is a tremendous milestone in anyone’s life that should be celebrated.  

Kerry Yon extended thanks to employers, assessors, tutors and internal quality assurers for their dedication in assisting candidates.  Kerry ended the ceremony offering a quote from Harry S Truman:

It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.’

Two pictures are attached.

SHG

30 June 2015


COUNCILLORS’ CONSTITUENCY MEETINGS IN AUGUST

Councillors will be holding a series of Constituency Meetings during the month of August 2015.

Members of the public are invited to submit topics for discussion to the Councillors’ Office at The Castle by no later than Friday 17July 2015. Topics can be submitted via telephone no: 22590 or email: sec.em@helanta.co.sh.

A summary of answers which Councillors were unable to deal with during the February and March meetings will be published next week.

SHG

30 June 2015


OIL REMOVAL FROM DARKDALE - UPDATE & TV PROGRAMME

Andy Liddell of MOD’s Salvage & Marine Operations division – currently on St Helena to lead on the operation to remove oil from the RFA Darkdale wreck – has issued a revised arrival time for the main vessel for the operation, the Pacific Dolphin – and has repeated the recent presentation that he gave at the St Helena Museum for use on local TV.

Andy said;

“Our start date for the operation has been slightly delayed, as I am now expecting the Pacific Dolphin – the large offshore support vessel from which most of our work will be conducted – to arrive in James’ Bay this Thursday, 2 July. 

 “The second vessel, the Pacific Supporter, is expected on Sunday 5 or Monday 6 July, to assist with other tasks, including laying the moorings for the tanker. The large tanker itself will subsequently arrive in mid-July, and will be quite a sight in the Bay.”

 Two pictures of the Pacific Dolphin are attached.

TV

Andy’s presentation, including multiple illustrations and underwater footage, can be seen on Local TV 2, at the following time:

 

  • Approximately 7pm each day from this Wednesday, 1 July 2015, until and including Sunday 5 July.  On Friday and Saturday, the Darkdale film will follow immediately after the SAMS News

SHG

29 June 2015


WASTE MANAGEMENT ON ST HELENA

The Environmental Management Division of the Environment & Natural Resources Directorate (ENRD) has this week launched an information leaflet on St Helena’s Waste Management Services.

Waste Management Services – Information Leaflet

ENRD became responsible for the Solid Waste Management Strategy and all regular operations on 1 April 2015 and will be introducing new and improved services on the Island. These will include a public recycling facility, incinerator, hazardous waste disposal point – plus further redevelopment of the Horse Point Landfill Site. The purpose of the information leaflet is to inform the public of the new services and improvements being made.

The leaflet outlines the importance of waste management services on a small Island such as St Helena – and its link to goal three of the Island’s Sustainable Development Plan – Effective Management of the Environment. To this effect, communal and individual wheeled bins were recently introduced and distributed throughout the community – proper use of these bins will prevent scavenging by animals and birds and will reduce litter.

Information is also provided on acceptable domestic waste (e.g. paper, cardboard, plastic film, kitchen waste) and unacceptable domestic waste (e.g. vehicle batteries, motor oil, and electrical equipment) – including advice on the safe disposal of these items. There is also information on composting, recycling and news on the Horse Point Landfill Site redevelopment.

Environmental Risk Manager, Mike Durnford, said:

“Effective waste management is crucial anywhere and no more so than on St Helena, to maximise efficient use of landfill space. Providing a safe environment for both public and commercial users of the Horse Point Landfill Site is also of paramount importance.

“Some of the changes and improvements to the waste management service are a direct result of the training and exposure through the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management undertaken earlier in the year.

“I hope the public will enthusiastically engage with the changes being made to minimise waste and promote ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’, which is a significant step in the right direction for St Helena.”

From 1 August 2015, there will also be new public opening times for the Horse Point Landfill site. Opening times will be as follows:

Monday to Saturday – 9am to 3pm

Sundays and Public Holidays – Closed

For personal safety, visitors are asked to please comply with signage and any directions given by the landfill staff.

A copy of the information leaflet is attached to this press release and will be published in this week’s newspapers.

SHG

29 June 2015


NEW SENIOR AUDIT MANAGER

St Helena’s Audit Service has recently recruited a new member to its audit team, Gavin Barlow.  Gavin is currently on Island for a 2 year contract and will be in charge of the office’s operational delivery as Senior Audit Manger.  He will supervise the financial audits of SHG’s financial statements, and will assist with training and provide general assistance to the Chief Auditor as well as the current local staff.

Gavin Barlow
Gavin Barlow

Gavin explained:

“The most pressing aspect of the role is completing our backlog of audits.  Currently we are focusing on audits for 2012/13 – due to SHG moving to an accrual based system and operating in line with IPSAS (International Public Sector Accounting Standards) – and the Audit Service is working hard to complete this build up of assignments.

“I am looking forward to this challenge and assisting in improving work and the Audit Office in general – I feel it is the right step in my career and that it offers a really unique experience.”

After completing his Honours Degree in Accounting, Gavin completed his traineeship at PricewaterhouseCoopers in South Africa.  He then moved to the offices of the Auditor General of SA (AGSA) – auditing the National, Provincial and Local Public Sector accounts.  He spent two years with the AGSA’s International Business Unit, who served as external auditors of several United Nations agencies, and is well travelled, having visited over 13 countries, including America, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Liberia.

SHG

29 June 2015


PUBLIC HEALTH MEETING

The Health Directorate will be holding a Public Health Committee on Wednesday 1 July 2015 at 9am in the Public Health conference room in the Hospital administration building.

The meeting, is open to the public.  Agenda items include:

  • Theatre Nurse – Introduction
  • Community Clinics – Update
  • Driving licence for over 70’s – a way forward

SHG

29 June 2015 


NURSERY PROVISION

 

Since 2012, the Education & Employment Directorate have trialled the admission of children, approaching their third birthday, into Nursery classes in the Primary Schools. On review of this temporary policy some changes have been made to the admission arrangements in order to better meet the needs of these very young children.

The Education & Employment Directorate would therefore like to advise all parents and guardians of pre-school children that with effect from this academic year, commencing 1 September 2015, all children must have reached the age of three years before they can be offered a place in Nursery.

Admission into Nursery education will be via a staged approach. Therefore from 1 September 2015 places will be offered in the Nursery classes as follows:

 

To start in September 2015 To start in January 2016 To start in May 2016

 

Children born before 1 September 2012 Children born on or between 1 September and 31 December 2012 Children born on or between 1 January and 30 April 2013

The Directorate will be in contact with parents and guardians of those children born on Island who are eligible to enter Nursery education in the school year September 2015 – August 2016 – to offer a place and give details of school placement and date of admission.

It would be appreciated if parents of children who were not born on St Helena, and who will not be on record with the Education & Employment Directorate, could submit the following information in writing to:

Assistant Director Schools

Education & Employment Directorate

Education Learning Centre

Jamestown

 

(i)         The child’s FULL NAME AND DATE OF BIRTH

(ii)        NAME and ADDRESS OF PARENT/S or GUARDIAN

(iii)       TELEPHONE NUMBER and EMAIL ADDRESS (if applicable)

Once all required information has been received, parents will be advised of their child’s Nursery placement.

Based on St Helena education policy, a child must attend school in the catchment area where he or she is resident.  However, for non-compulsory schooling, exceptions can be made for regular attendance outside the identified catchment area if numbers in the requested school are low enough to accommodate the extra intake.  In such cases, parents must be willing to take responsibility for transporting their children to and from school.

Further details can be obtained from the Assistant Director (Schools) on telephone number 22607 or email wendy.benjamin@education.gov.sh

 

SHG

29 June 2015

 


MARINE RESTRICTIONS AT RUPERT’S WHARF

Permanent Wharf Buoys
Permanent Wharf Buoys

Further to the Press Release issued on 30 June 2014 informing the public of the ‘No Go’ area around the Permanent Wharf, it has been brought to the attention of the Harbour Master that boats are coming too close to the restricted area.  It appears that marine users are increasingly ignoring the marker buoys despite their strategic positioning to guide boats around the dive area. Earlier this week a boat came particularly close, posing a serious risk to divers’ safety, despite the visible Alpha Flag –the internationally recognised blue and white flag, signifying there are divers in the water.

Marine users are reminded of the restrictions currently in place at Rupert’s and are asked again to adhere to the signage and to note the ‘No Go’ area – marked by yellow buoys – ensuring that all operations take place outside of them. Anyone seen not complying with these limitations will be dealt with under the Harbours Ordinance, Section 14 – Enforcement of Directions to Vessels in Harbour Waters.

Marine users are also reminded of Section 13.1 of the Harbour’s Ordinance which states: ‘The Harbour Master may give directions applicable to a particular vessel, to all vessels, or to a specified class of vessels in harbour waters for the purpose of ensuring the safety of moored vessels at, or to property at, or forming part of, any landing place, or of securing the efficient conduct of the business of boarding, unloading, arriving at or departing from any landing place, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing.’

A map of the ‘No Go area’ is attached to this press release.

SHG

26 June 2015


CODE OF PRACTICE FOR PUBLIC ACCESS TO SHG INFORMATION

After nine months of operation, St Helena Government’s Code of Practice for Public Access to SHG Information has so far received a total of eight requests for information. The Code, launched on 1 September 2014, relates to requests from the public for information held by SHG where it is not already available by other means.  It also offers a central enquiry point for such requests.

The key elements of these requests are outlined below:

  • Eight requests have been received since the Code was launched.  Two were received in September, four in January 2015, one in February and one in March
  • Four requests were approved and answered, with the requested information published on the SHG website at:  http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/public-access-to-information/
  • One request was dealt with by the Access Office, and three by Corporate Services
  • The request dealt with by the Access Office related to the 2013 Habitat Survey Report – Dry Gut and the Southern Ridge of Prosperous Bay Plain
  • Requests dealt with by Corporate Services related to copies of public transport agreements, Sure TV and telecoms license agreements and Councillors’ expenses.
  • Four requests were declined under Exceptions in the Code.  One related to the  BFI agreement between Solomons and SHG, and was dealt with by the Financial Secretary.  One requested a copy of a report on the escape of Captain Willem Merk, and was dealt with by the Police Directorate.  The third refusal related to a legal request and was dealt with by the Attorney General.  A fourth request was for a copy of the contract of license between SHG and Connect Saint Helena Ltd, where no such agreement exists.
  • Reasons for non-disclosure included the Exceptions that: the information requested is not actually held by SHG; release of the information could prejudice the administration of justice; that release could be likely to allow individuals to be identified (where there is a legitimate and reasonable expectation that their identity should remain confidential); and where the information would be likely to prejudice someone’s legitimate commercial interests or where disclosure could lead to improper gain or advantage or would prejudice the competitive position of a public or private body.
  • Seven of the eight requests were answered within the 20 day initial time period and the average response time was 17 working days.  The only request which was not answered within the initial 20 working days period was that relating to the agreements with Sure, where the additional 20 day period was invoked in order to take legal advice.

SHG will provide a further update after a full year of operation of the Code.

The full Code of Practice for Public Access to SHG Information can be found at: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Public-Access-to-SHG-Information-Code-of-Practice-1-September-2014-F.pdf

SHG

26 June 2015

 


SEA FREIGHT SERVICE POST-RMS

SHG is pleased to announce that AW Ship Management Ltd (AWSML) has been selected as Preferred Bidder for the sea freight service to St Helena after the RMS St Helena leaves service next year.  SHG has reached this decision after much deliberation and discussion, in large part due to the high standard of tender submissions received from all short-listed bidders.

AW Ship Management Ltd said:

“AW Ship Management is delighted to have been appointed as the Preferred Bidder to provide a marine cargo service to St Helena into the future. We look forward to further detailed discussions with SHG in order to quickly move this project forward.

“Using its current experienced agency arrangements, AWSML will provide as seamless a transition as possible between the current St Helena Line service and the new operations, whilst also providing the improvements proposed as a part of our tender.

“AWSML and its staff have close to fifteen years’ experience in the provision of cargo services to St Helena under the management of the St Helena Line service. We will continue and build upon the reliability of the SHL cargo service that the Island has enjoyed to date, and we look forward to playing a part in the Island’s future growth and prosperity as it enters a new era.”

There will now be a period of detailed discussions between AWSML and SHG to confirm the arrangements, the ship that will be deployed, and the precise service to be provided.  Further details will be announced shortly.

SHG

24 June 2015


LIMITED CRANE OPERATIONS AT THE WHARF

 

The public and businesses are advised that due to the illness of the substantive Crane Operator, crane operations at the Wharf will be limited for the immediate future. Subsequently, Port Control requires 24hrs advance notice of any activities requiring use of the Crane.

Please contact the Deputy Harbour Master, Steve Kirk, on email: Deputy.Harbourmaster@hmrc.gov.sh or tel: 22287 for further information.

SHG

23 June 2015


DARKDALE PROJECT - RESTRICTIONS IN JAMES’ BAY

 

A team led by the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MOD) is currently on St Helena to remove remaining fuel oil from the wreck of the RFA Darkdale in James’ Bay (see press release of 14 April 2015).

During this marine and environmental operation there will be certain restrictions in place at particular times, which will be announced. There will be:

  • No diving allowed on or adjacent to the Darkdale wreck
  • No swimming allowed immediately around the Darkdale
  • No boats allowed within a 200m zone surrounding the wreck
  • No swimming or diving in James’ Bay at periods when shells are being recovered.

The application of these restrictions will be announced once the timing of operations is confirmed. The public is kindly asked to adhere to these limitations, both for their own and the team’s safety.

The first of three vessels to be used in these operations is scheduled to arrive on Tuesday 30 June 2015, with exploratory dives taking place shortly after.

Further information will be provided shortly.

SHG

23 June 2015


EXCO REPORT – TUESDAY 23 JUNE 2015

Executive Council met today Tuesday, 23 June 2015.

There were three items for discussion on the Open Agenda, the first of which was an application for full development permission for the General Hospital external alterations and extension. ExCo were pleased to advise that full development permission should be granted which will see an extension to the surgical theatre, a new diagnostics suite, and a new bed lift. We look forward to the improvements to healthcare and facilities that this development will bring.

The second item sought approval of the finalised Development Plan for Rupert’s Valley. Recognising the significant changes from the original draft plan, ExCo advised that a further public consultation process be carried out for a minimum period of six weeks, before approval could be granted.

The third item sought ExCo approval for the Aerodrome Regulations 2015. These Regulations relate to access to and activities at the Airport and had previously been discussed in detail with Members. ExCo was therefore able to approve the Aerodrome Regulations 2015.

The meeting concluded at 10.20am.

ExCo

23 June 2015


PASSAGE FARES – FINAL VOYAGES OF RMS ST HELENA

In its meeting of Tuesday, 12 May 2015, Executive Council approved the RMS Shipping Schedule from April 2016 to July 2016. A press release detailing the final voyages of the RMS St Helena and the associated booking policy was issued on 19 May 2015.

Further to this press release, SHG would like to advise the public that the passage fares and freight tariffs for these final voyages remain unchanged from the levels set in April 2014, apart from those relating to the UK leg (last set in August 2011), which have been adjusted for inflation as normal.

The RMS St Helena passage fares for the final three voyages in 2016 are attached to this press release.

The final voyages of the RMS include the following four key components:

  • A final voyage to Tristan da Cunha in April 2016
  • The RMS being anchored in Jamestown for the proposed official opening of the Airport on 21 May 2016
  • A final voyage to the UK and – after disembarking her passengers – the RMS making a promotional trip up the River Thames and mooring alongside HMS Belfast near the Tower of London
  • The RMS being anchored in Jamestown for five days prior to its final sailing to Cape Town.

Passenger fares UK 2016

Tristan fares for V241 April 2016

SHG

23 June 2015


LOCAL OFFICERS PROMOTED TO SERGEANT

The Chief of Police has announced this week that, following a challenging promotion selection process, two local officers will be promoted to the rank of Sergeant within the St Helena Police Service. Constables Julianne Benjamin and Jane John who have been with the St Helena Police Service for around three years will take up their posts on 1 August 2015.

Constable Benjamin, Chief of Police Trevor Botting, Constable John
Constable Benjamin, Chief of Police Trevor Botting, Constable John

Chief of Police, Trevor Botting said:

“I am delighted to be able to promote two local Police Officers to Sergeants within the St Helena Police Service. Whilst officers from the UK are required for a number of specialist posts within the Police Service I am committed to having local officers providing local policing wherever possible – and the promotion of Constables Benjamin and John will play a key role in delivering local community policing. I look forward to seeing their development as leaders within the Service.”

Chief of Police, Trevor Botting

SHG

23 June 2015


BILLS TO BE TAKEN TO FORMAL LEGCO

 

A formal meeting of Legislative Council will take place at the Court House on Monday 6 July 2015.  The following Bills for Ordinances will be presented in the House:

 

  • Equality and Human Rights Bill
  • Social Security (Amendment) Bill
  • Legislative Council (Remuneration and Allowances) (Amendment) Bill

 

All bills can be viewed on: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/committee-reports/

SHG

23 June 2015

 


SAFE USE OF PERSONAL WATER CRAFT

DRAFT RULES – COMMENTS WELCOME

At their meeting of 6 May 2015 Port Control and key stakeholders agreed the following draft set of rules and regulations for the safe use of Personal Water Craft (PWC), such as jet-skis and speedboats, in and around the waters of St Helena:

Draft Rules and Regulations:

  • All Personal Water Craft (PWC), including jet-skis, water scooters, seadoo jet-skis and speedboats must use an engine safety cut-out switch (kill switch/emergency kill cord) at all times.
  • Buoyancy aids must be worn at all times by PWC users and by all users being towed by a speedboat or using any water toy.
  • PWC, speedboat users or those using any water toy, are not to come within 50 metres of the shoreline (access to the Wharf Steps, Middle Steps and Thompson’s Crane Steps is allowed to pick up people).
  • All PWC and speedboats are to go in an anti-clockwise direction in the defined area, and all drivers must be over the age of 16 years.
  • There is an exclusion zone from the bow to the stern of the Papanui wreck for all PWC and water sports craft.
  • All towing speedboats must have a minimum of two crew (driver plus observer/flagman on-board) and a red flag must be flown.
  • There will be a no wake zone and a speed limit of 5mph implemented in the access channels in and around the moorings, and around the Wharf Steps at the end of the wharf.
  • There will be no towing or use of any water toy at any time within the no wake zones.
  • No person involved in the above activities must be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • The use of all PWC, water toys and all towing is prohibited after dark – dusk to dawn.

The public is now invited to make any final comments to the draft rules and regulations by 4pm on Friday 3 July 2015. Comments should be submitted to the Deputy Harbour Master, Steve Kirk, on email: Deputy.Harbourmaster@hmrc.gov.sh or tel: 22287.

Adherence to these rules will be monitored by the Harbour Master and anyone seen not complying with these regulations will be dealt with under the Harbours Ordinance, Section 14 – Enforcement of Directions to Vessels in Harbour Waters.

A map of James’ Bay detailing the different zone areas is shown below.

Map of James Bay
Map of James Bay

 

SHG

23 June 2015


St Helena Statistical Yearbook 2013-14

Updates to the St Helena Statistical Yearbook 2013-14 are now available on the St Helena Government website: www.sainthelena.gov.sh/statistics.  A printed copy is also available in the Public Library.

The Statistical Yearbook is a collation of the main data streams for St Helena, covering themes such as Population and Vital Statistics, Production, Imports, Public Finance and Key Economic Indicators.

The Yearbook is published in both Excel (spreadsheet) and a PDF format to appeal to a broad range of users. Some may prefer a hard copy of the Yearbook, but at 64 pages, there will be a small charge for printing.  Anyone who wishes to have a copy can contact the Statistics Office on 22138 or email statistics@sainthelena.gov.sh by Wednesday 1 July to request a copy.

Justine Joshua, Senior Statistics Assistant, said:

“It is important that we publish the data people need in a format that they can access. Some people may wish to use the Excel tables to pull out the information for further analysis. Others may wish to pick up a hard copy that they can leaf through and refer to as needed.”

Paula McLeod, St Helena Statistician, added:

“The team have worked hard to update and improve on our regular data streams. This year we thoroughly reviewed our historic data and this has resulted in several small changes – as a result of correcting some inaccuracies and improving our methodologies. We would encourage everyone to make sure they are referring to the latest data.

“The Statistics team is continually striving to improve the quality, range and timeliness of our outputs and making sure we meet user needs. One of our priority goals is making data available much sooner – so our users can look forward to more timely data updates in the future.”

Ways to access Statistics on St Helena:

Website: www.sainthelena.gov.sh/statistics

Public Library: Hard copies of our most important material is here

Twitter: Follow @Stats_SHG to hear the latest news from the office and selected international updates

Office: Call on 22138 or visit us in the Castle Courtyard.

 

SHG

22 June 2015


COMMENTS INVITED FOR DRAFT SOCIAL SECURITY (AMENDMENT) BILL

 

 

The public is invited to make comment on the draft Social Security (Amendment) Bill, 2015.

The Bill seeks to amend the Social Security Ordinance, 2010, to allow years after age 65 as qualifying years for purposes of determining the Basic Island Pension.

The draft Bill is available on the Public Consultation section of the SHG website http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/

Members of the public wishing to comment on the draft Bill should do so to the Chairman of the Social Community and Development Committee, Councillor Les Baldwin, by no later than 4pm on Friday 5 June 2015.

SHG

29 May 2015

 

 

 


BOOK LAUNCHED BY THE MARINE CONSERVATION SECTION

The Marine Conservation Section held a short presentation on Tuesday, 26 May 2015 at 12noon at the Canister in Jamestown, launching their newly published book ‘Marine Life of St Helena’.

A short overview was given to various guests by the Head of Environmental Management Ben Sansom, on the origin of the book, followed by Marine Conservation Officer, Elizabeth Clingham extending a big ‘thank you’ to all those who made it possible for the book to be published.

At the Book Launch
At the Book Launch

Elizabeth also read an email sent from author of ‘Marine Life of St Helena’, Dr. Judith Brown, who has recently completed her two year contract on-Island. She said:

“It was an absolute pleasure to spend two years on St Helena and explore the treasures that lie beneath the waves. Working alongside a fantastic group of people in the marine team as well as Islanders, divers and fishermen of the Island has made this book a possibility.  I hope this book provides everyone with an insight into the lives of the amazing marine animals and plants, and that the photographs highlight the beauty and uniqueness of this very special Island.”

It has taken two years for the book ‘Marine Life of St Helena’ to be put together, and the design is similar to that of previous books launched by the St Helena National Trust, such as ‘Flowering Plants and Ferns of St Helena’, authored by Phil Lambdon.

Marine Conservation Team
Marine Conservation Team

On this special occasion the book was being sold for £15, and within an hour 45 copies were sold. From today the book’s retail price will be £15.50 and can be bought from the St Helena Nature Conservation Group in Jamestown.  Other retailers such as the Museum will also have copies to sell on-Island.

Elizabeth commented:

“I’m very excited about the launch of our book, and I’m very impressed with the final version.  My team are also very proud to be a part of this achievement. I think this book is the grand finale of all the marine awareness we have been doing over the years and this wouldn’t have been possible without Judith.

“I think the book will be popular as it is targeted to a varied audience. The book also has beautiful and colourful photos of marine life which makes it even more attractive.”

Two pictures are attached to this release.

SHG

27 May 2015

 

 


ST HELENA ARCHIVES CLOSURE

The St Helena Archives would like to inform the public that they will be closed tomorrow Wednesday, 27 May 2015, due to a Staff Development Day.

Opening hours for the Archives will resume as normal on Thursday, 28 May 2015.

Any inconvenience caused is very much regretted.

SHG

26 May 2015


PUBLIC MEETING

PROPOSED NEW RULES AND REGULATIONS

Safe Use of Personal Water Craft (PWC)

The Port Control Section invites members of the public to attend an open discussion on the proposed new rules and regulations regarding the safe use of PWC in St Helena waters.

The meeting will take place on Wednesday 27 May 2015 at 4pm in the Passenger Terminal/ Customs Building at the Wharf.

Port Control encourages as many stakeholders or interested persons to attend. Your input and ideas will be most welcome.

For a copy of the draft rules & regulations please contact the Deputy Harbourmaster, Steve Kirk, on telephone 22287 or email deputy.harbourmaster@hmrc.gov.sh

SHG

26 May 2015


LAUNCH OF BODY WORN CAMERAS BY THE ST HELENA POLICE SERVICE

Body Worn Cameras
Body Worn Cameras

The St Helena Police Service will soon be patrolling wearing new ‘body worn cameras’ (photo attached). The cameras have been introduced following a recommendation in the Lucy Faithfull report from September 2013, and as their use are considered best practice across policing in other parts of the world. The use of the cameras have a number of potential benefits including a reduction in complaints against police, greater accountability of police activity and a rise in the number of guilty pleas at court through the availability of the camera footage as evidence.

The cameras record sound and vision and their use is supported by a guidance document. The cameras are not permanently switched on and the intention is not to record every conversation the Police Officer has with the public. The cameras will be turned on when Police Officers are deployed to incidents or when something happens spontaneously whilst they are on patrol.

Any footage obtained by Police Officers is either retained as evidence or automatically deleted after 30 days. The system the video footage is retained on is protected by password access and no officer will be able to view the footage without an operational reason. Routine checks will be made as to who is accessing the system and why.

Some consultation regarding the cameras has already taken place as part of their introduction to policing on the Island and, in addition, members of the public, media and Elected Members are invited to an ‘open evening’ where the cameras will be available for viewing and a demonstration of their use and storage will be available. The Chief of Police, Trevor Botting, and Sergeant Matt Breeze who has led their introduction will be available to discuss any concerns or answer any questions. The open evening will be held at Ogborn House on Tuesday 2 June from 5-8pm.

Chief of Police, Trevor Botting, commented:

“The introduction of body worn cameras will enhance what evidence can be gathered during an incident which is likely to lead to an increase in guilty pleas at court. This can save the courts time and increase the efficiency of the criminal justice system. In addition, the cameras will make the St Helena Police Service more accountable to our community as well as providing protection to my officers when dealing with public disorder or situations of conflict. I would encourage anyone with any questions or concerns about the use of the cameras to come along on the evening of 2 June and speak to Sergeant Breeze and I about the cameras and their use.”

Trevor Botting, Chief of Police

26 May 2015


COUNCILLOR THOMAS RETURNS FROM CPA EXECUTIVE COMMITEE MEETING

Councillor D Thomas
Councillor D Thomas

Councillor Derek Thomas returned from Sabah Malaysia on 9 May 2014, having attended the mid-year Executive Committee Meeting of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) which was hosted by the Sabah Branch.

The Executive Committee Meeting commenced on Tuesday, 28 April with introductions, confirmation of minutes and matters arising from the previous meeting.  This was followed by the official opening ceremony which was led by the Chief Minister of Sabah and included  a display of attendee’s national flags and colourful traditional dance.

Councillor Thomas was elected to serve on the Finance sub-committee group, which was chaired by the Hon Request Muntanga, Treasurer of the CPA.

Councillor Thomas explained:

“As an act of independence the CPA had appointed an Independent Chairperson to audit the accounts, who then presented the accounts and reported that he was pleased with the outcome that 60% of agreed activities had been completed. The remaining 40% would be progressed and monitored by the audit sub- committee.”

The Executive Committee covered topics including CPA’s reserves, funding to member branches, and relocation of the CPA’s premises in London. Reports for discussion included the Chairman’s Report, Membership Report and the membership of the Executive Committee.

The format and topics for the CPA Small Branches Conference due to be held in Islamabad from 2-3 October 2015 were also discussed.  St Helena recommended some of the topics and will be expected to lead on at least one at the next Conference.

Councillor Thomas also attended a one-to-one meeting with the Acting Secretary General on how St Helena can best benefit from being part of the CPA and the difficulties currently faced in terms of its isolation and budgetary constraints.

Councillor Thomas said:

“I found the session to be of real benefit.  It has given me a much clearer and comprehensive understanding of the CPA and it is an honour to be a part of the Executive Committee.”

The next meeting will be held during the annual Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in Islamabad, Pakistan in October 2015.  As a member of the CPA Executive Committee, Councillor Thomas will be expected to attend.

SHG

26 May 2015


THE ISLAND MAPPING PROJECT

In July 2014, as part of the lead up to air access to the Island, the need for an Island map showing the new Airport and Access Road was identified. The existing map is now 25 years old, and even excluding the extensive changes to the Airport site at Prosperous Bay Plain, there have been enough developments on the Island during this time that the map is out of date and unsuitable for purpose.

As part of the map update, the GIS Section is reviewing what else might have changed, what is new and what might be missing.

An Open Day was held in March allowing the public to contribute to these amendments, asking opinions on changes and showcasing some potential designs. Following feedback, the consultation period has been extended until the end of June, and if anyone has any suggestions on amendments or additions to the map, please get in contact with the GIS Team. The team are particularly interested in any historical and potential near future changes. A further consultation period will be held around September when the first draft appears.

To get in contact, call Essex House on 22270, post suggestions to Essex House, or email samantha.cherrett@enrd.gov.sh or murray-henry@enrd.gov.sh

SHG

19 May 2015

 


‘MOMENT DE MEMOIRE’

A Commemoration of Napoleon’s Death on St Helena took place at Napoleon’s Tomb on Saturday, 2 May 2015, at 10am. A short film will be shown on Local TV Channel 2, covering the ceremony led by Father Dale Bowers.

During the Commemoration, the UK and French National Anthems were sung, along with a musical recital.  Wreaths were laid on behalf of the French Nation, La Fondation Napoleon and for the Island of St Helena.  .

Broadcast times on Local TV Channel 2 are as follows:

  • Wednesday 20 May – 19:00
  • Thursday 21 May – 19:00
  • Friday 22 May – Broadcast after the SAMS News Bulletin at 19:00
  • Saturday 23 May – Broadcast after the SAMS News Bulletin at 19:00
  • Sunday 24 May – 19:00

SHG

19 May 2015


REBECCA LAWRENCE ACHIEVES FIRST CLASS DEGREE

St Helenian student, Rebecca Lawrence of Half Tree Hollow (photo attached) has recently achieved a First Class (BVMedSci) Degree in Veterinary Medical Sciences at The University of Nottingham.

Rebecca’s Degree lasted three years, but forms a part of her five-year veterinary qualification.  In order to qualify as a Veterinary Surgeon, Rebecca has to complete a further two years of study and clinical experience.

Rebecca Lawrence
Rebecca Lawrence

Over the last three years Rebecca has covered ‘pre-clinical’ aspects of veterinary science, including normal animal anatomy and physiology, husbandry and practical techniques. Rebecca’s final year consisted of completing a dissertation, where she focused on the effects of essential oils on influenza virus infection.

Rebecca explained:

“I enjoyed this project a lot, it allowed me to work in an area I was very interested in, structure my own work routine, and take responsibility for producing results.”

On the back of her dissertation, Rebecca has also been recognised for having the highest thesis marks in her Year Group.

Chief Secretary, Roy Burke, said:

“Rebecca has achieved something truly outstanding in a very demanding subject.   Our sincere congratulations and best wishes for the next phase of her programme.” 

During her time in the UK, as part of the requirements for her course, Rebecca undertook work experience.  In years one and two she completed 12 weeks of Animal Husbandry EMS (Extra Mural Studies), which involved working on several farms including a sheep, dairy and pig farm, and horse yard.  She also spent three weeks in France studying animal behaviour with llamas.  In the next two years, Rebecca will complete the 26 week requirement of Clinical EMS in various veterinary practices, applying the knowledge and skills learnt in Vet School.

Rebecca commented:

“Thank you to everyone at home who have been very supportive up to this point, my friends and family in the UK, especially my sister Laura who has been invaluable during the last three years, the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission, whose scholarship enabled me to undertake this course; and to Mrs Kedell Worboys MBE and her Office.”

After passing her third year, Rebecca immediately began her fourth year, with year five to begin in May 2016.

SHG

19 May 2015

 


PUBLIC MEETING - PROPOSED NEW RULES AND REGULATIONS - Safe Use of Personal Water Craft (PWC)

The Port Control Section invites members of the public to attend an open discussion on the proposed new rules and regulations regarding the safe use of PWC in St Helena waters.

The meeting will take place on Wednesday 27 May 2015 at 4pm in the Passenger Terminal/ Customs Building at the Wharf.

Port Control encourages as many stakeholders or interested persons to attend. Your input and ideas will be most welcome.

For a copy of the draft rules & regulations please contact the Deputy Harbourmaster, Steve Kirk, on telephone 22287 or email deputy.harbourmaster@hmrc.gov.sh

SHG

19 May 2015

 

 

 


POLICE INVESTIGATION

Just after 11pm on Saturday 22 April 2006 a man was found lying in the Run at the rear of the Standard Public House, Jamestown. The man, Mervyn Crowie, was subsequently declared deceased soon after 11.30pm that same evening.

An investigation into Mr Crowie’s death was carried out and it was concluded that his death was accidental.

Following a recent further examination of this case, the circumstances that led to the death of Mr Crowie are to be the subject of a further investigation.

The family of Mr Crowie are aware of these developments and are being supported and kept up-to-date by local Officers.

No further details will be released at this time but if any person has any information in relation to the death of Mr Crowie they are asked to contact the St Helena Police Service.

Trevor Botting, Chief of Police

19 May 2015


BOOKING POLICY – FINAL VOYAGES OF THE RMS ST HELENA

RMS Shipping Schedule April – July 2016

The current RMS St Helena Shipping Schedule comes to an end in April 2016, just under 12 months away.

In their meeting of Tuesday, 12 May 2015, Executive Council approved the RMS Shipping Schedule from April 2016 to July 2016 and noted the proposed booking policy for the final voyages (241-243) of the RMS St Helena.

The new schedule includes the following four key components:

  • A final voyage to Tristan da Cunha in April 2016.
  • The RMS being anchored in Jamestown on the proposed official opening of the Airport on 21 May 2016.
  • A final voyage to the UK and  after disembarking her passengers RMS making a promotional trip up the river Thames and mooring alongside HMS Belfast near the Tower of London.
  • The RMS anchored in Jamestown for five days prior to its final sailing to Cape Town.

The focus of these final voyages is to commemorate the life of the RMS over the last 25 years and its strong links to the local community. Consequently, priority booking will be given to residents on St Helena, Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha. In order to enable the maximum number of people to travel, group bookings will not be accepted (families will not count as a group) and St Helena Line will be looking to fill all available berths onboard.

For the UK voyage the following arrangements apply –

From Monday 1 June at 9am, for a period of two working weeks ending on Friday 12 June at 4pm, bookings will only be accepted for the St Helena to and from the UK and Ascension to and from the UK sectors. Bookings will only be accepted from residents (With a current residential address) on St Helena and Ascension (including those who do not have St Helenian Status).

Bookings will require a deposit to be paid. All bookings during these two weeks can only be made through Solomon’s office on St Helena or AIG on Ascension and will be on a first come first served basis.

At the end of the two-week period, the schedule will be advertised internationally and bookings taken through normal channels with the requirement for a deposit to be paid at the time of booking in accordance with current terms and conditions.

For the Tristan voyage the following arrangements apply –

From Monday 1 June at 9am, for a period of one working week ending on Friday 5 June at 4pm, bookings will only be accepted from residents on St Helena and Tristan (including those who do not have Islander status). Bookings will only be accepted from people whose current residential address is on St Helena or Tristan and once a deposit has been paid. For those resident on St Helena there will be a limit on the allocation of cabins. All bookings during this week can only be made through Solomon’s Office on St Helena and will be on a first come first served basis.

For a period of two working weeks commencing Monday 8 June at 9am and ending on Friday 19 June at 4pm bookings will only be accepted from members of the Tristan Association. Prior notice of this arrangement will have been issued to the Association. No group bookings will be accepted and a deposit will be required as per current terms and conditions. All bookings during these two weeks can only be made through the AW Shipping Management Office in London.

At the end of this two-week period, the schedule will be advertised internationally and bookings taken through normal channels for the remaining berths with the requirement for a deposit to be paid in accordance with current terms and conditions.

It is hoped by adherence to these arrangements the maximum number of residents on St Helena , Ascension and Tristan can benefit from these final voyages on the RMS which is due to be withdrawn from service in July 2016.

The shipping schedule for April – July 2016 is attached to this release.

SHG & St Helena Line

19 May 2015


MARINE SECTION BOOK LAUNCH

The Marine Section of the Environment and Natural Resources Directorate will officially launch their book ‘Marine Life of St Helena’ on Tuesday, 26 May 2015.  The book costing £15.00 (a special price for the launch), comprises of images displaying to its reader what’s ‘under the sea’ on St Helena.

Marine Conservation Officer, Elizabeth Clingham, said:

“This book is extremely visual as we wanted it to be engaging to the general public, maximising reader potential.  Many will be familiar to the species shown in the film ‘Marine Life of St Helena’ however there are a few that some might not expect to be in St Helenian waters.” 

The project was lead by Dr Judith Brown, previous Darwin Marine Biodiversity and Mapping Project Manager and Marine Section Manager, who along with her team collected images for the book.

In collaboration with the Nature Conservation, the book will be launched at the Canister (upstairs), open to the public at 12noon.

SHG

19 May 2014


PROVISIONAL REGISTER OF ELECTORS PUBLISHED

Four Days Left to Make Amendments

The public is reminded that a Provisional Register of Electors was published on Friday 8 May 2015 and there are now just four days left to make any amendments to the register, before a final version is printed on 1 July 2015.

Members of the public who are eligible to have their names included in the Register can now make application if they would like to add or remove their name, remove the name of someone who has died or left the Island, correct the name of someone who has married, or correct any error in the details recorded in the Register including change of address and/or electoral district.

To register, persons must:

  • Be over the age of 18 years with St Helena as their ordinary place of residence
  • Have St Helenian status or be the spouse or life partner of a person who has such status.

Further information about registering and making amendments may be obtained from Registration Officer, Gillian Francis, at the Castle on telephone number 22470 or via email gillian.francis@sainthelena.gov.sh

The Provisional Register (and application forms) is available for inspection on the SHG website and various outlets (full details were published in last week’s newspapers).

Applications to amend the Register must be made in writing (on the correct form or by letter) and submitted to Registration Officer, Gillian Francis, at the Castle by no later than 4pm on Friday 22 May 2015.

SHG

18 May 2015

 


PROVIDING INVOICES TO H.M. CUSTOMS & EXCISE UPON IMPORTATION OF GOODS TO ST HELENA

Providing Invoices to HM Customs and Excise upon Importation of Goods to St Helena 


NEW HEAD OF INTERNAL AUDIT

John Kanes
John Kanes

Recently arriving to the Island was newly appointed Head of Internal Audit, John Kanes (photo attached).  John is contracted by St Helena Government for a period of three years.

John faces a challenge in his new role, with his main priority being to recruit an Internal Audit Team.  John will also focus on future recruitment and envisages developing ways to attract students still at school to develop careers in Internal Audit and thus secure a future for the section.

John commented:

“While here I hope to help people do their jobs better. I am not an expert in specialised jobs but am an expert in risk and control and can provide an outside eye on how things might be done differently and more effectively.”

John hopes that the job of Internal Auditor will be looked upon as a ’Trusted Adviser’, working together with people to solve problems, and from whom colleagues openly seek advice.

During his first week John has met colleagues within Corporate Services and attended meetings with the Acting Governor, Chief Secretary, Financial Secretary, and Chief of Police. He has also met the Chief Auditor and his team and previous employees of the Internal Audit Office.

John is a qualified Chartered Internal Auditor.  Previously he has worked as a Senior Internal Auditor for the House of Commons and has vast experience working within the public sector.  For the first 16 years of his career John worked for the Church of England covering matters of Finance, Procurement and Copyright.

SHG

15 May 2015

 


GRANT OF ST HELENIAN STATUS

In accordance with Section 15(3) of the Immigration Ordinance, 2011, the following persons have been granted St Helenian Status:

  • Mrs Mylyn Walton of Rockside Lane, Cow Path, Half Tree Hollow – with effect from 17 March 2015.
  • Miss Anna Coletta Chiduku of Sydenham Cottage, St Paul’s – with effect from 20 January 2015.
  • Miss Nicola Diane Chapman of Sea View, Alarm Forest – with effect from 19 August 2014.

SHG

13 May 2015


THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE ST HELENA SEA RESCUE SERVICE

Sea Rescue 1
Sea Rescue 1

As Airport accreditation and opening nears, the St Helena Sea Rescue Service continues to develop. This service will not only support Airport operations on flight days but will significantly enhance sea rescue operations for St Helena.

Two new boats are being provided as part of the Airport contract. The boats (Gemini Waverider 850s) will provide a fast response to marine emergencies and rescues. It is anticipated that the boats will be delivered in July 2015, but their construction is very advanced and they are looking very impressive. The new boats will complement the current sea rescue boat, the ‘Lima’, which of course will remain as part of the sea rescue fleet.

Recruitment is underway to identify both full-time and auxiliary staff to crew the boats, with extensive training planned for July and August to prepare the team for sea rescue operations. The training will be provided by the  National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), from South Africa, who are very experienced in sea rescue operations.

Chief of Police, Trevor Botting, commented:

“Sea rescue is an important service provided by the Police Directorate and the new boats, full and part-time crew, and the extensive training planned for July and August will ensure that Airport operations and the wider marine leisure activities around St Helena are supported by a professional and well trained Sea Rescue Service. I am very pleased to have Simon Wade in post as the Sea Rescue Manager and look forward to welcoming the new crew once recruitment is completed.”

Sea Rescue 2
Sea Rescue 2

Two photos, courtesy of Basil Read, are attached to this release.

Trevor Botting, Chief of Police

SHG

13 May 2015


INTERNATIONAL NURSES DAY 2015

International Nurses Day was celebrated on St Helena today, Tuesday 12 May 2015, with an event held at the General Hospital, open to the public from 12noon.  International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world on the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth.

Director of Health and Acting Governor
Director of Health and Acting Governor

Hospital Nursing Officer, Lisa Rhodes explained the idea behind the event:

“I thought it would be a nice idea for the event to be held at the Hospital so those who worked here could also attend and display to the public our place of work. 

Nurses in new uniforms
Nurses in new uniforms

“Displays today focus on newly introduced uniforms, plans for the Hospital Development, opening of the Education Centre and information on Hospital and Community staff.  We also would like people to get involved in the scenarios we have set up around resuscitation procedures which one day could help save a life.”  

Director of Health, David Jenkins opened the event and highlighted the importance of the new Post Graduate Education Centre, scheduled to open in a few weeks.  The Centre moves staff development in the right direction by improving on the competencies within the Health Directorate and in turn providing adequate facilities to meet them.

David said:

“This year we will see dramatic improvements made to the Hospital premises; these include the new operating theatre and diagnostic suite, with better health care provision for Saints.”  

Councillor Derek Thomas concluded with thanks to the Director and Health Service staff for their commitment to driving the service in a positive direction, attracting more qualified staff and developing their training needs.

CPR Simulation
CPR Simulation

International Nurses Day recognises the contribution that Nurses make to society.  On St Helena it also highlighted the dedication of the Directorate and staff to improve competencies across the board of the healthcare profession.

Three pictures are attached.

SHG

12 May 2015


EXCO REPORT – TUESDAY 28 APRIL 2015

Executive Council met today, Tuesday 28 April 2015, with two items on the Open Agenda.

The Acting Governor welcomed the Honourable Cyril George to the meeting as a temporary Member of Executive Council, in the absence of the Honourable Derek Thomas who is currently on overseas business.

The first item was to seek approval for an amendment to the Water Regulations to create an offence where a person fails to comply with water restrictions imposed by the Utilities Provider in the event of a water shortage. This was approved by Executive Council.

For the second item, Executive Council approved the Coroners (Allowances, Fees and Expenses) and the Coroners (Investigations) Regulations, which will become effective from 1 May 2015.

It was noted that the Honourable Wilson Duncan and the Honourable Mrs Pamela Ward Pearce will depart the Island on Monday, 11 May 2015.  The Honourable Duncan will be attending the CPA 45th British Islands and Mediterranean Regional Conference in Cyprus and the Honourable Mrs Ward Pearce will be attending the Caribbean Regional Seminar in Managua, Nicaragua, which is being organised and funded by the United Nations.  Members wished them both a successful conference.

ExCo

28 April 2015


DEVELOPMENT OF SUNDALE INTO A NEW PRISON

 

The current Prison in Jamestown is believed to be around 180 years old and is no longer appropriate as a Prison, both for the staff who work there and the prisoners who are held there. A new site has been identified and planning consent approved for a new Prison at Sundale in Half Tree Hollow.

This plan has been approved by Elected Members and is crucial in the development of the Prison Service on St Helena. During the planning phase, the local community in the area of Sundale voiced their concerns at the choice of the site for a new Prison and this was raised during consultation and through Elected Members.

Whilst the plans were approved, the concerns were acknowledged and taken into account. Now that work will shortly start at Sundale, in order to provide information and reassurance to the public, a communications and engagement strategy has been developed. It should be emphasised that the work in relation to the strategy is not further consultation as to the decision to site the Prison in Half Tree Hollow but it is to allow concerns to be raised by the local community and information to be made available regarding the progress of the development.

A Liaison Officer (Acting Prison Manager, Nicholas Crowie) has been identified and will be the point of contact for the community to raise any concerns about the project. The following email address can be used to raise any concerns regarding the project as it develops and moves forward: sundale@police.gov.sh

In addition, the following activity is planned to keep the local community informed and updated with the development and relocation of the new Prison:

  • Letter drop to residences around Sundale – April 2015 and as required
  • Access to the plans and to senior Prison staff by the local community to discuss the Prison and alleviate any concerns through an Open Evening at the local community centre – May 2015
  • Access to the Prison itself (at an appropriate time) during the build process and on completion to see the facilities and security arrangements – To be confirmed once the development is underway
  • Ongoing public meetings during the build phase – Quarterly commencing from May 2015
  • A security plan will be developed as the project nears completion but it is too early at this stage to have a completed plan in place. Safeguarding will of course be a specific area within the Security Plan.

Local residents or anyone else across St Helena are encouraged to make contact with Nicholas Crowie if they have any questions or concerns about the development of Sundale. The Police Directorate is committed to keeping local residents informed of progress throughout the development and, in due course, allow the local community to see the facilities and security for themselves.

Details of the events outlined above will be circulated in due course.

 

Chief of Police, Trevor Botting

SHG

28 April 2015


FORMAL MEETING OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE

WEDNESDAY 29 APRIL 2015

The first formal session (for 2015) of the Public Accounts Committee will take place tomorrow, Wednesday 29 April, at 9.30am in the Court House, Jamestown. The public is invited to attend.

The Order Paper for the meeting is as follows:

  1. Chairman’s Address
  2. St Helena Bulk Fuel Installation – Audited Financial Statements for Year Ended 31 March 2014
  3. St Helena Fisheries Corporation – Audited Financial Statements for Year Ended 31 March 2014
  4. St Helena National Trust – Audited Financial Statements for Year Ended 31 March 2014
  5. Performance Audit Report 2014: Delivering Government Objectives

 

SHG

28 April 2015


ACTING GOVERNOR SWORN IN

Head of the Governor’s Office, Sean Burns, was yesterday afternoon sworn in as Acting Governor, taking the prescribed Oaths in the presence of the Sheriff of St Helena, Mrs Pat Musk MBE JP, family and colleagues in the Governor’s Office.

Sean’s appointment is effective immediately.

HE Governor Capes accompanied by Mrs Capes, departed the Island on (27 April 2015) for a period of overseas business and leave.  Governor Capes will return to the Island on 8 July 2015.

 

SHG

28 April 2015

 

 

 


EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST TO SERVE ON BOARDS & COMMITTEES

Corporate Support is in the process of updating its register of persons interested in serving on statutory and bona fide Boards and Committees.

The register records previous experience and interests together with any training undertaken – this proves useful when selecting individuals for appointment to any of the various Boards or Committees.

Corporate Support would like to hear from persons who wish to register their interest. It should be noted that registering does not mean that a person will be automatically appointed as this will depend very much on specific statutory requirements and the individual’s background experience and interests.

Appointees are paid an attendance allowance of £20 per meeting and a mileage allowance of 60p per mile.

The relevant application form to register an interest may be obtained from Mrs Carol George, Corporate Services Executive Manager, at the Castle on Tel No: 22695, via email: carol.george@sainthelena.gov.sh or on the SHG website at http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/forms/.

SHG

27 April 2015


EXCO MEETING – Tuesday 28 April 2015

Open to the Public from 9.30am

Executive Council will meet tomorrow morning, Tuesday 28 April 2015, in the Council Chamber.

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

 

  • Water (Amendment) Regulations, 2015
  • Coroners (Allowances, Fees and Expenses) Regulations, 2015, and Coroners (Investigations) Regulations, 2015

 

Executive Council Members are: Lawson Henry, Wilson Duncan, Leslie Baldwin and Christine Scipio-O’Dean. Councillor Cyril George is a temporary Member of ExCo while Councillor Derek Thomas is on overseas business.

SHG

27 April 2015

 

 


CALIBRATION FLIGHTS

Press release – sent on behalf of Basil Read

Basil Read is re-scheduling the date of the Calibration Flights for navigational aids, which will now occur in or around September 2015.

The revised date will comfortably meet the schedules of all involved organisations and has no effect on the Certification process in November, nor on the Contract Completion date of February 2016.

 

Basil Read

25 April 2015

 

 


QUARTERLY STATISTICAL NEWS BULLETIN

April 2015

The Quarterly Statistical News Bulletin for April 2015, covers the period January to March 2015 (Quarter 1), and contains updates for the annual rate of Inflation of the Retail Price Index, Income, Estimated Population and Arrivals to St Helena. The bulletin is available on the SHG website at:  www.sainthelena.gov.sh/statistics

Annual inflation of the St Helena Retail Price Index (RPI) stood at 2.8 per cent in Quarter 1 2015 – a decrease of 0.5 per cent from the previous quarter. The major upwards pressures continue to be increases in electricity tariffs and the price of purchasing and importing a vehicle to St Helena. This quarter the decease in fuel tariffs are noted as the largest downwards pressure on the rate of annual inflation. In financial year 2014/15 the rate of annual inflation averaged 2.6 per cent, up from an average rate of 1.2 per cent in 2013/14.

In the last calendar quarter of 2014, the number of people on Island averaged 4,665 and the average St Helenian population was 4,170. Compared to the same period in 2013 this represents a 5.5 per cent increase in the total population and a 1.7 per cent increase in the St Helenian population.

Passenger arrivals to St Helena in the first three quarters of financial year 2014/15 were essentially unchanged from the previous year. An increase in RMS passengers has been balanced by a decrease in the number of overnight visitors from yachts and other vessels.  There has been a 38 per cent, 360 bed-night, increase in the number of tourist visitors staying on Island during the eight-night turn around of the RMS to Ascension Island. A 52 per cent, 487 person increase, in the number of day-visitors from cruise ships is also noted during the same period.

Finally, the Statistics Office is now conducting its annual user satisfaction survey. If you would like to contribute your views on priorities relating to the development of statistical services for St Helena, please visit the statistics office website (www.sainthelena.gov.sh/statistics) for an online link to the survey, or contact the office to arrange collection of a paper copy of the survey questionnaire.

If you have requested a copy of this bulletin via email and have not yet received it, please contact the Statistics Office on 22138, or e-mail statistics@sainthelena.gov.sh

SHG

24 April 2015

 


SUPREME COURT JUDGMENT PUBLISHED

Chief Justice Charles Ekins has today in Open Court given permission for the Judgment in the case of Re R. to be published.  The Judgment can be found on the SHG website at: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/supreme-court-judgments/

In future and where appropriate, Judgments will be published in the same location on the SHG website.

24 April 2015 

 

 


AMENDMENTS TO REGISTER OF ELECTORS

An SHG Extraordinary Gazette Notice has this afternoon been issued seeking to amend the Register of Electors by adding names of persons who wish to be registered and removing the names of persons who are no longer resident on St Helena.

These proposed amendments to the Register of Electors are in accordance with regulation 7 of the Registration of Electors Regulations 2009 – and persons wishing to comment or object should do so in writing to the Registration Officer, Gillian Francis, at the Castle, by no later than 4pm on Wednesday 29 April 2015.

The Gazette Notice is available on the SHG website at http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/government-gazettes/

SHG

23 April 2015


GOVERNOR TO DEPART ON BUSINESS & LEAVE

Next Monday, 27 April 2015, HE the Governor will depart for Cape Town, en-route to the UK.

The Governor will be taking a period of leave, but whilst in Cape Town and London he will meet with colleagues and others with an interest in St Helena.

The Governor will return to the Island in July.  In his absence, Sean Burns, Head of the Governor’s Office, will serve as Acting Governor.

SHG

21 April 2015


GOVERNOR HOSTS GARDEN PARTY FOR QUEEN’S BIRTHDAY

As is customary on St Helena, HE Governor Capes hosted a Garden Party at Plantation House on Saturday 18 April 2015 to celebrate HM Queen Elizabeth II’s Birthday (which falls on 21 April).

Despite changeable weather invited guests gathered under a large marquee in front of Plantation House to enjoy drinks and refreshments.

Sarah Botting, Lyn Thomas and Tara Thomas
Sarah Botting, Lyn Thomas and Tara Thomas

In his speech on the day, Governor Capes spoke about the imminent Airport opening and the new opportunities and challenges it will bring for St Helena.

Governor Capes said:

“In July, just a couple of months from now, an aircraft will land at St Helena Airport for the equipment calibration tests. That will be a day for the history books and a hugely symbolic moment for St Helena as we approach a new era of air travel connecting this Island with the rest of the world – a new era that will also bring with it new opportunities and new challenges. 

“Because, just as St Helena stands on the brink of that new era of air travel, so too it stands on the brink of a journey to growth and prosperity – a journey that leads away from the years of decline to the prospect of a vibrant, confident and successful St Helena – a St Helena that offers a promising future for all who live on this jewel of an Island. That is the vision, that is what we are working for.

“Of course, we must expect some obstacles on the journey… But at last, St Helena has the opportunity to grow and to make her way in the world. Understandably, the Airport and the coming of air access is the big story, the exciting story, but as I mentioned at the recent ESH Opportunities Fair – or ‘Good News Friday’ – there is much important work underway, across the board and on many levels, to help strengthen and modernise vital services for the community.

“For example, a major upgrade of our General Hospital will begin this year. Just across the way from here, at Cape Villa, construction is already well advanced to provide additional, modern accommodation for those in our community who need a little extra care and support – and of course, the former residents at Sundale are already enjoying fine new accommodation at Ebony View. Our new Safeguarding Directorate has expert staff and additional funding to ensure that a quality service is available to all who need it. And so much more is underway, or in the pipeline, to improve services to the community.

Young Guests at HM Queen's Birthday Garden Party
Young Guests at HM Queen’s Birthday Garden Party

“On the education front, last year we saw the best ever GCSE and A level results. We must always invest as much as possible in our young people so that they are properly equipped to participate in the opportunities ahead. 

“I know that several hard working Saint graduates will be returning to St Helena this year, to take up employment, putting their education to good use, to help St Helena advance on its new journey. I warmly congratulate them – and others before them – for their achievements.” 

Governor Capes also congratulated Aldhelm Garner for his achievement of becoming St Helena’s first locally trained and recruited Solicitor.

Governor Capes took the opportunity to highlight an event to mark the reopening of High Knoll Fort, following essential repairs, which will take place on Saturday 25 April 2015.

Jeremy Roberts, Father Dale Bowers and Dax Richards
Jeremy Roberts, Father Dale Bowers and Dax Richards

Following HE’s speech, he invited guests to join him in a loyal Toast to HM The Queen which was immediately followed by the National Anthem courtesy of  the Gettogether’s Orchestra and the Salvation Army Band.

 

 

SHG

20 April 2015

 


NEW DIRECTOR OF HEALTH APPOINTED

Dr Darren Clarke
Dr Darren Clarke

A new Director of Health, Dr Darren Clarke (photo attached), has been appointed on a two-year contract and will take up his position on St Helena in June 2015.

Darren’s professional background spans more than 30 years in State and Commonwealth Government health-related organisations in Australia, initially as a clinician and then predominantly in management, quality improvement, regulation and academia.

Commenting on his new role, Darren said:

“This role represents an outstanding opportunity and I am keenly looking forward to improving healthcare on the Island and building on the excellent achievements of the current Director, David Jenkins.”

Prior to commencing his present role in 2008, as an Assistant State Manager with the Australian Government’s Department of Social Services, Darren gained extensive experience from 1995 onwards as a Director of Nursing and Health Service Manager in acute and sub-acute services. This included residential and community care activities.

Encouraging a collaborative and team-based approach to healthcare, Darren says that he actively advocates for the adoption of contemporary evidence-based medical practices, particularly through the continual professional development of staff.

Darren commented:

“To enable sustainable, flexible and responsive health systems, it is imperative that appropriate strategies are implemented to address key challenges, such as the increasing demands of an ageing population and rising rates of chronic diseases.  Improving the health and wellbeing of St Helenians will be my key objective and can be achieved through dynamic, multifaceted interventions, with greater levels of cooperation, collaboration and integration between the health service and consumers.

“Change is inevitable – there are always new opportunities to embrace and new challenges to overcome.  Quality and safety are also inextricably linked and I will be very focused on ensuring that all areas of the health system in St Helena achieve and sustain the highest possible outcomes.”

Chief Secretary, Roy Burke said:

“I am delighted to be welcoming Darren and his daughter to St Helena, especially at this time when our health system is facing significant challenges and changes. Darren brings leadership and a wealth of experience from his previous roles in health.” 

During the 1980’s, Darren undertook general nursing training and midwifery training at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Adelaide, South Australia.  He then completed a Bachelor of Nursing degree, followed by a Master of Nursing degree at Flinders University in South Australia. In 2010 Darren completed a Doctor of Health Science degree at The University of Sydney in New South Wales.

Outcome focused, his interests include organisational and cultural change, organisation development and performance optimisation. Darren is a Senior Member of the American Society for Quality.

Darren is married to Dina and they have three daughters – Alexandra (20), Sophia (16) and Isabella (14). Due to family commitments, Dina is remaining in Australia with Alexandra (who is studying medicine at Monash University in Melbourne), and Sophia (who is undertaking studies toward an International Baccalaureate). Isabella is excitedly accompanying her father to St Helena in June.

SHG

17 April 2015

 


ST HELENA UTILITIES REGULATORY AUTHORITY DIRECTIVE

RELATING TO 2015/16 ELECTRICITY AND WATER TARIFFS

The St Helena Utilities Regulatory Authority has issued its report on a Direction under Section 5 (1) (C) of the Utilities Services Ordinance 2013 – relative to 2015/16 electricity and water tariffs. The report can be found at http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/

 Issued on behalf of the St Helena Utilities Regulatory Authority

16 April 2015

 

 

 

 


MOD TO REMOVE OIL FROM DARKDALE

A major marine and environmental operation to remove remaining oil in the wreck of RFA Darkdale in James’ Bay – led by the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MOD) – will commence mobilisation in Cape Town on 1 June 2015.  Three vessels will be readied for the operation and the salvage group – including a team of Royal Navy divers – is expected to arrive at St Helena around Thursday 25 June, possibly a day or two earlier if mobilisation goes well.  The team plans to complete all phases of the work in James’ Bay by 1 August, with some flex built in to cover adverse weather and technical issues.

On 2 December 2013, the recommendations of an MOD report were published and accepted – including a recommendation that the remaining oil be removed from the wreck.  Since then, MOD, FCO and SHG have worked to bring the operation together – all designed to safeguard St Helena’s precious marine environment for the future.  Given the scale of the operation and St Helena’s remote location, planning for this work has taken some time.  Up to 5000 cubic metres of oil is believed to remain in the wreck and this will now be removed.

The team will be led by Project Director Andy Liddell of MOD’s Salvage & Marine Operations division, supported by Jim Griffiths, MOD Project Manager, and James Brewin, Project Director of  prime contractor Swire Salvage. A team of UK Royal Navy divers, lead by Lieutenant Oliver Shepherd, will initially clear ammunition that is on and adjacent to the up-turned hull of the wreck prior to commencing the operation.

The contract awarded to Swire Salvage is to the value of £6.87m which – as the owners of the wreck – is being paid by the UK Ministry of Defence.

Andy Liddell said:

‘The wreck of the Darkdale first came to our attention in 2010 and I am pleased that we are now taking positive action to remove oil from the wreck and minimise the risk of pollution to the beautiful Island of St Helena.

Head of the Environmental Management Division, Ben Sansom said:

‘We welcome this operation, which will ensure the protection of our wonderful marine environment from this legacy pollution risk. The removal of the oil from the wreck will ensure that in the long term there are no ongoing pollution risks from the RFA Darkdale.

‘In the meantime, EMD will continue to provide local knowledge and assistance when requested by the MOD.’ 

The majority of the work will be carried out from the Pacific Diligence, a large offshore support vessel.  In addition, there will be an oil tanker and a smaller offshore support vessel to assist with other tasks, including laying the moorings for the tanker.

The oil will be removed by divers and remotely operated vehicles from the Pacific Diligence, using a technique known as hot tapping, involving the fixing of valves to the hull and pumping of oil without leakage to the marine environment.  At the end of the task, the valves will remain on the hull, but otherwise the wreck will remain unaffected. The removed oil will be pumped onto the tanker and taken for safe disposal.

The MOD team has said that although outside of UK waters – and therefore not protected in statute in the same way as some of the wrecks around the UK coastline – the Darkdale is the final resting place of the majority of her crew and will be treated with utmost respect.

Andy Liddell will be delivering a talk on the operation whilst on St Helena (details to follow).

Notes for Editors

The RFA Darkdale was a fleet fuel tanker stationed at St Helena in World War II. In October 1941, she was attacked and sunk by a U-Boat in James’ Bay and since that time she has been slowly seeping oil – visible as a light sheen over the wreck site.

The wreck of the Darkdale lies in two parts. The stern section lies on its port side and has suffered substantial torpedo damage. The bow section lies inverted and is in very good condition given the age of the wreck and the time submerged. This section is estimated to contain between 2,326 and 4,952 cubic metres of oil.   The 2012 survey also showed that while there were a small number of shells on or very close to the wreck, there was no evidence of ordnance being scattered more widely across the bay.

The wreck continues to corrode and the eventual release of the oil is inevitable unless this action is taken to remove oil from the wreck.

The most recent background to this operation began in 2010, when the Darkdale leaked a larger than normal amount of oil.  Following representations from SHG asking for action to be taken to protect the Island from pollution, MOD surveyed the wreck in 2012 and found that there was likely to be a significant amount of oil remaining on the wreck (see detailed 2012 report on the SHG website at: www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/). 

SHG

14 April 2015


NOMINATIONS INVITED FOR CERTIFICATE AND BADGE OF HONOUR

&

ACTS OF BRAVERY AWARDS

Nominations are currently being invited for the Certificate and Badge of Honour Awards, 2015.

These awards are available for the Governor to award to public servants for loyal and valuable service worthy of recognition or, in the case of other persons, for their loyal and meritorious conduct that has provided exceptional benefit to the people of St Helena.

The Certificate and Badge of Honour awards will be presented later this year. Up to six Awards can be made at any one time.

Nominations are also invited for the Acts of Bravery Awards, 2015.

Nominations should ideally be made to recognise Acts of Bravery that have taken place since the last call for nominations in February 2014.

Nomination forms for the 2015 awards (and further information) can be requested by e-mail from Mrs Carol George, Corporate Services Executive Manager on email: carol.george@sainthelena.gov.sh or telephone: 22695.

Completed forms should be returned in a sealed envelope marked “CONFIDENTIAL” to the “Executive Secretary, Honours Committee” at the Castle by Friday, 15 May 2015.

SHG

14 April 2015


FCO OFFICIALS ON FAMILIARISATION VISIT

Two Foreign Office officials with responsibility for St Helena will pay a brief visit to the Island from the morning of Sunday 19 April, departing via Ascension Island on Tuesday 21 April.

Alex Cameron, Head of the Falklands and Southern Oceans Department, and Mairi McKinstry, Desk Officer for St Helena and Ascension Island will meet a cross section of the community, including Councillors, officials, and representatives of the business community and NGOs.

Having spent some time on official business in Cape Town, Alex and Mairi will undertake a short programme on Ascension Island before returning to the UK.

SHG

14 April 2015


AIRPORT PROJECT ENVIRONMENTAL REPORT 2013-14 RELEASED

Basil Read has published its Annual Environmental Report (AER) 2013-14 on the St Helena Airport Project.  This report provides an overview of the environmental performance of the Airport contractor, over the reporting period 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014.

Performance is monitored against a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), grouped under the following headings:

  • Legal Compliance
  • Environmental Structures
  • Environmental Systems, and
  • Environmental Performance (Social and Biophysical)

Of the 30 KPIs, 17 (57%) indicators have been fully attained. Nine are unachieved, three have been partially met and there is one indicator (hectares rehabilitated) that is not applicable, as planting plans had not been developed at that time.

Overall there has been significant progress since last year, with improved performance against seven indicators, with thirteen remaining positive. However, performance against five indicators had dropped. These include:

  • More than four complaints received on average per month (against a target of three or less) with five of them serious (against a target of nil)
  • Four incidents of drunk driving (against a target of nil incidents of anti-social behaviour and crime)
  • Two level-three incidents relating to biosecurity and rare and endangered species respectively (against targets of no level-three incidents) and
  • The annual number of days that dust limits can be exceeded was breached (during the short period that rock crushing took place on Pipe Ridge).

The AER also presents information relating to the following aspects of the project:

  • Environmental governance structures
  • Progress in building relationships with our stakeholders
  • Overview of studies undertaken during the year, with a report-back on the outcomes of studies described last year
  • Environmental monitoring activities
  • Targets and challenges for the 2014-15 reporting period

The AER is available online at: http://www.sainthelenaaccess.com/news/publications/ as well in hard copy from the Public Library and the Access Office.

Halcrow will present an overview of the AER to interested parties at the Stakeholder Engagement Forum on Thursday 16 April at 7pm at the Canister, Jamestown. 

Further information can be obtained from Robert Kleinjan of Halcrow via email Robert.Kleinjan@ch2m.com or on tel: 24258

SHG

14 April 2015


FORMAL MEETING OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE

WEDNESDAY 29 APRIL 2015

The first formal session (for 2015) of the Public Accounts Committee will take place on Wednesday 29 April at 9.30am in the Court House, Jamestown. The public is invited to attend.

The Order Paper for the meeting is as follows:

  1. Chairman’s Address
  2. St Helena Bulk Fuel Installation – Audited Financial Statements for Year Ended 31 March 2014
  3. St Helena Fisheries Corporation – Audited Financial Statements for Year Ended 31 March 2014
  4. St Helena National Trust – Audited Financial Statements for Year Ended 31 March 2014
  5. Performance Audit Report 2014: Delivering Government Objectives

 

SHG

14 April 2015


REFURBISHMENT OF CAPE VILLA ON TRACK

Purpose Built Bathroom
Purpose Built Bathroom

The Cape Villa complex of sheltered housing units, near Plantation Square, has recently been refurbished to provide seven improved one-bedroom self contained units which are fully wheelchair accessible. In addition to these improvement works an extra six one-bedroom units have also been constructed.

This refurbishment activity is being funded through the DFID Capital Programme and residents of the new units will benefit from the same on-site support and facilities as existing residents – extending the availability of supported accommodation on St Helena.  The new facilities include two larger units designed for two people to live together providing, for the first time, sheltered accommodation for couples in need of extra support.

The design work has been led by Paul Scipio at ProArc, who has also project-managed the works on site, which have been carried out by Ambledale who, after spending just over 12 months on site, have completed the work on time and on budget.

New occupants are soon expected to move into their new homes to join the existing five residents at Cape Villa.

Kitchen Area in new Units
Kitchen Area in new Units

Director of Safeguarding, Greg Hall, said:

“It’s great to see what has been delivered at Cape Villa. The recent work here is a real achievement and something that people should take pride in.”

Manager of Cape Villa, Loretta Clifford, added:

“The new units are coming along very nicely and have all the necessary facilities for those in need. Sheltered accommodation provides independence, but also support for people in the community who need it, and we welcome the changes taking place at Cape Villa.

“The work hasn’t been too disruptive to the existing residents and they are delighted with the improvement work to their own homes.”

Two photos are attached to this release.

SHG

14 April 2015


KEDELL WORBOYS MBE ELECTED AS PRESIDENT OF OCTA EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

At the recent Ministerial Forum held in the British Virgin Islands from 25-27 February 2015, SHG’s UK Representative, Mrs Kedell Worboys MBE, was unanimously elected as President of the Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA) Executive Committee.

Prior to her election as President, Kedell has served as Vice-President on the Executive Committee for two years.

As President, Kedell will have oversight of the OCTA’s objectives to:

  • Provide a discussion forum for ideas and debates on subjects of shared interest
  • Work for the mutual interest of the members
  • Share specific information on subjects of shared interest benefiting all Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
  • Make recommendations when necessary to the Governments of all OCTs and Member States to which they belong concerning appropriate measures to be taken
  • Develop effective working relations, as a group, with the institutions of the European Union, the group of African, Caribbean and Pacific countries and its secretariat and other relevant international, multinational and regional organisations
  • Share successful experiences with members in areas of shared interest
  • Defend the joint interests of members and represent these interests to institutions of the European Union and others.

Kedell commented on her new role:

“St Helena is one of the smallest OCTs and to take on the Presidency at this pivotal point in time is both a great responsibility and an honour. The profile of St Helena will be significantly raised and the increased contact with the EU benefits also the preparation of documentation to secure the funding allocated under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF). I can also ensure that all OCTs, especially the smaller ones such as St Helena, are not left out of the decision making process and can access all funding mechanisms.”

Governor Capes warmly welcomed Kedell’s appointment:

Kedell has accumulated much valuable experience that makes her a perfect fit for this role. Her understanding of the dynamics involved in the relationships between the OCTs and the EU will be of great benefit in meeting the challenges ahead.” 

This year is an important one for OCTA and OCTs. The EC agreed at the Forum that OCTA would be the Regional Authorising Officer for the Thematic Budget Line of the 11th EDF. OCTA will also prepare a new Strategic Plan to enable the EC to extend the Technical Assistance project using unspent funds, and this will also form the basis on which activities are agreed and funding sourced. This will include a discussion on membership fees and a possible further project funded through the European Commission.

OCTA was founded in 2001 and formally constituted within Belgian law in 2002 – St Helena was a founding member. 22 OCTs are linked to the four Member States – the UK, France, Netherlands and Denmark are members of OCTA.

SHG

31 March 2015

 

 


CHANGE OF NAME FOR DIRECTORATE

The public is advised that with effect from Wednesday 1 April 2015, the Health and Social Services Directorate will be renamed as the Health Directorate. This follows the establishment of the new Safeguarding Directorate on 1 December 2014, which absorbed social services and safeguarding functions from the Health and Social Services Directorate.

The separation of Health and Social Services, although intrinsically linked, ensures that the right support, leadership and service delivery will be obtained from both functions.

The Safeguarding Directorate will focus purely on social services and safeguarding, whilst the Health Directorate will be able to devote its resources in a targeted way to the provision of healthcare on St Helena.

SHG

31 March 2015

 

 

 


INCREASE IN BASIC ISLAND PENSION AND INCOME RELATED BENEFITS

SHG is pleased to announce that all recipients of Basic Island Pension (BIP) and Income Related Benefits (IRB) will receive an increase in their weekly allowance from 3 April 2015. This was agreed by Executive Council at its meeting today, Tuesday 31 March 2015.

The new rates will be paid from Thursday 9 April 2015, and result from a revision of the Minimum Income Standard used for the setting and up-grading of Basic Island Pension and Income Related Benefits.

From 3 April, BIP recipients currently receiving £53.53 will receive £56.80 per week. Those receiving £40.15 will receive £42.60 and those receiving £26.77 will receive £28.40.

From this date, IRB recipients will receive an increase in their weekly benefit from £51.64 to £54.90 and additional adult members of the household will be awarded £31.90.

Households receiving benefits under ‘Transitional Protection’ may not necessarily receive an increase in the current overall amount of benefits, as this will depend upon the amount of benefit they are transitionally protected by. These households will continue to receive the same amount of benefits as they did before the increase.

Corporate Finance will be distributing letters to all recipients of Basic Island Pension and Income Related Benefits informing them of their new weekly entitlement.

SHG would also encourage those who believe they may be entitled to IRB or BIP to contact the Benefits Team to discuss their enquiry further. The team can be contacted on 22605 or through its office on the 1st floor of the Post Office Building.

 

SHG

31 March 2015

 

 

 

 


EXCO REPORT – TUESDAY 31 MARCH 2015

Executive Council met today, Tuesday 31 March 2015, with six items on the Open Agenda.

The first item was to seek approval to publish a Bill for an Ordinance to amend the Legislative Council (Remuneration and Allowances) Ordinance 2010, to give effect to the recommendation made by the Independent Commission that was appointed to review the current remuneration paid to Members of Legislative Council. The Commission had recommended that Deputy Chairs of Council Committees should be paid an additional £500 per annum to compensate them for the extra duties they undertake.  Council agreed that the Bill should be published and presented to the next formal Legislative Council meeting with a view to this increase becoming effective from July 2015.

The second item was to seek approval for the introduction of a minimum five days paid annual leave and five days paid sick leave to be incorporated in the Employment Rights Regulations 2015, effective from 1 April 2015. This was approved by ExCo.

For the third item, Council agreed the lease arrangements for Bertrand’s Cottage to Enterprise St Helena. This will enable the hospitality training base currently at No. 2 Main Street to be transferred to potentially more appropriate accommodation. It will also allow for the refurbishment and maintenance of an established Grade 2 listed building. Works should be completed by February 2016.

Executive Council also agreed the recommendation of the Employment Rights Committee to increase the current minimum hourly wage of £2.30 to £2.60 for those over 18 years of age, and from £1.45 to £1.65 for those aged 16 and 17 years. This will become effective from 1 July 2015.

ExCo also agreed to increase the rate of Basic Island Pension and Income Related Benefits to the new Minimum Income Standard.  The basic level of IRB for a first householder will increase from £51.64 to £54.90 per week, and people on BIP with a full complement of years worked will see an increase from £53.53 to £56.80 per week.

An item on an amendment to the Extra-Statutory Concession 2014 for charities in respect of Withholding Tax will be dealt with directly between officials and the party concerned.

For the final item, Executive Council considered the Capital Expenditure Programme for 2015/16, acknowledging the contractual commitments and bringing forward £1.5 million from 2016/17, as agreed with DFID. Further discussion will be held on prioritisation of the remaining Capital Programme budget.

Under Any Other Business, and as agreed at a recent constituency meeting held at Half Tree Hollow, the new prison proposed at Half Tree Hollow was discussed. Executive Council confirmed its earlier decision for the project to go ahead and recommended that the Prison Liaison Officer facilitate ongoing engagement with residents, as previously agreed.

It was also noted that the Honourable Derek Thomas will depart the Island on 7 April 2015 to attend the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association to be held in Malaysia, returning on 4 May 2015. Members wished him a successful conference.

On behalf of Legislative Council, Executive Council would like to wish the public a happy Easter period.

ExCo

31 March 2015

 

 


LARGE ENDEMIC TEA PLANTS RE-DISCOVERED IN FISHER’S VALLEY

The Landscape and Ecology Mitigation Programme (LEMP) for the Airport development has re-discovered a population of St Helena’s endemic Tea Plants (Frankenia portulacifolia) in Fisher’s Valley. Some of the specimens in this population are larger than any currently known Tea Plants on the Island, reaching over 1.5m in height.

LEMP-Project-Manager-Ross-Towers-collecting-seeds-from-one-of-the-Tea-Plants-in-Fisher’s-Valley
LEMP-Project-Manager-Ross-Towers-collecting-seeds-from-one-of-the-Tea-Plants-in-Fisher’s-Valley

This handsome Tea Plant population is not mentioned in any of the current literary sources or species records, and no seed is known to have been collected from it before now. The Environmental Management Division’s Conservation Nursery at Scotland believes this population is one which George Benjamin knew of many years ago, but the knowledge was not recorded. It can be said that for the wider conservation community this population has thus been effectively re-discovered.

The St Helena Tea Plant is one of St Helena’s wonderful dry land endemics, with petite white flowers, tiny leaves and delicate branches. The species is currently listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, but that status is under re-consideration. Thus, the inclusion of this population in Island records is extremely important.

Tea plant populations are known in the dry coastal areas in both south-west and north-east St Helena.

Close-up-of-several-petite-Tea-Plant-flowers
Close-up-of-several-petite-Tea-Plant-flowers

LEMP Ecologist, Mikko Paajanen, commented:

“The Tea Plant population at Prosperous Bay Plain has naturally been affected by Airport construction activities so it is very positive to see this little known population in Fisher’s Valley doing so well. Seeds collected from six of the plants are already germinating in the LEMP’s Nursery in Half Tree Hollow. Plants produced will be used in the LEMP restoration activities.”

 

SHG

31 March 2015

 

 

 

 


TRADING ON GOOD FRIDAY & EASTER MONDAY

Can I trade as a business on Good Friday or Easter Monday this year? 

The opening of businesses on Good Friday and Easter Monday is currently governed by the Public Holidays Ordinance, which states that on both of these days, offices, shops, workshops and factories are prohibited from opening.

However the Attorney General’s Chambers has confirmed that temporary market stalls, taxis and bus tours etc, do not fall within the definition of ‘offices, shops, workshops and factories’. Such businesses can operate as normal on Good Friday and Easter Monday.

SHG

30 March 2015


SAINT QUALIFIES AS REGISTERED DENTAL NURSE

Dental Nursing Assistant, Mandy Fowler, has successfully completed a National Diploma in Dental Nursing, making her a Qualified Registered Dental Nurse.

Mandy has worked with the St Helena Dental Department since 2009 and has always been keen to improve her knowledge in dentistry and provide patients with better care. She began her National Diploma in April 2013 and completed the course on the 31January 2015 through distance learning.

The course comprised twenty-one modules representing different aspects of dental nursing, and a practical test which evaluated Mandy’s skills

Registered Dental Nurse Mandy Fowler
Registered Dental Nurse Mandy Fowler

during dental procedures. The practical section was completed at the Dental Clinic and consisted of 40 assessments. The final practical and written examination was completed in the UK, during eight weeks of work experience at Kings College in London.

Mandy commented:

“The highlight of the course, apart from achieving my Diploma, was travelling to the UK where I had the opportunity to observe dental procedures not carried out here on St Helena.

“I would like to thank my online tutor and our resident Dentist,  Wayne Badier, and Registered Dental Nurse, Charmaine Buckley, for all their help and assistance during my course. I would also like to thank SHG for sponsoring the diploma and giving me this opportunity.”

Having gained this qualification Mandy wishes to further extend her dental skills, and would like to study Oral Health Education in the future.

SHG

30 March 2015

 

 


EXCO MEETING – Tuesday 31 March 2015 Open to the Public from 9.30am

Executive Council will meet tomorrow morning, Tuesday 31 March 2015, in the Council Chamber.

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

  • Bill for an Ordinance to Amend the Legislative Council (Remuneration and Allowances) Ordinance, 2010, to adjust certain allowances and benefits to which Members of the Legislative Council are entitled
  • Employment Rights Regulations, 2015
  • Bertrand’s Cottage Leasehold Agreement with Enterprise St Helena
  • Review of the Minimum Wage
  • Increase of the Minimum Income Standard for the Up-rating of Income Related Benefits and Basic Island Pension
  • Extra Statutory Concession for Charities in respect of Withholding Tax

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

SHG

30 March 2015


GOVERNOR’S REMARKS AT ESH ‘OPPORTUNTIES FAIR’  - 27 MARCH 2015

Good afternoon and welcome to this ‘Opportunities Fair’ that we might also call Good News Friday.

In November 2011, just a few days after I first arrived on St Helena, we received a green light from the British Government for the St Helena Airport project to go ahead.  That set in motion a massive amount of work and not just on the Airport project itself, but right across the board, to prepare this Island for what is unquestionably a turning point in her history.

Basil Read of South Africa was quick off the mark and has had a boot pressed firmly on the accelerator ever since. They have performed superbly and are approaching the last lap, as they prepare our Airport for commercial operations in less than a year from now.  Well done to Deon de Jager and his team from Basil Read, plus all the Saints and others who have worked so hard on the project.

In 2013, with Airport construction well underway, we received a visit by a team from the Mantis Collection luxury hotel group, led by its Chairman Adrian Gardiner.  Adrian and his colleagues quickly recognised the great potential St Helena holds for quality tourism development.  They saw a good fit with the Mantis portfolio and wanted to be involved as we geared up for air access and the growth of our tourism sector.

Just a few days ago I was delighted to learn that Mantis is now the preferred bidder to manage the important new hotel development on Main Street in Lower Jamestown.  This is great news for St Helena. It represents a powerful vote of confidence in St Helena by one of the world’s leading, luxury hotel companies.

Thank you and well done to Adrian and his talented team at Mantis – we look forward to working with you.

To add to the great news about Mantis came the exciting announcement that Comair of South Africa is to become our air service provider, with weekly flights between St Helena and Johannesburg.  Comair has a fine and well deserved reputation as one of the most reliable carriers in the world. Through its close operational association with British Airways it brings us access to a massive and well-established global network of flights and marketing.  My congratulations and thanks to all at Comair who were involved in the bid process.

As we continue to steer St Helena towards new opportunities, to shape a prosperous future for the benefit of all who live and work on St Helena, we are indeed fortunate to have on-board two strong partners of the calibre of Mantis and Comair.

But as I said a few moments ago, in November 2011 we began work across the board to prepare for the changes ahead.

That meant working to improve education, to improve healthcare and social services, and to make sure that nobody is left behind. While there is still much more to do, I am pleased that we have made steady advances in these areas as well. To offer a few examples:

  • Last year we saw the best GCSE results ever
  • The adult and vocational education provision has steadily improved with increased participation
  • In a few days time, residents of the Challenging Behaviour Unit will move into fine custom built facilities, developed to an excellent standard by a local contractor
  • We have introduced a minimum wage and the MIS, the Minimum Income Standard
  • There is now a separate Safeguarding Directorate, with professional and experienced  staff  devoted to safeguarding the vulnerable in our society
  • Our Police Service is now more professional, better trained and equipped to protect our community

To add to the good news, I am pleased to announce this afternoon that, after much detailed hard work, your Government has just this week signed off on a major contract worth £2.8 million for the refurbishment of our General Hospital. A project that will greatly enhance the medical services available here on St Helena.

So much more is also underway in other areas, such as waste management, renewable energy and environmental protection.

And we should not overlook the significant economic benefits that construction of the Airport has already yielded. Unemployment is at a record low level. Over the last two years, high levels of employment have seen average local incomes increase by more than 18%.  The number of businesses is increasing. Over 100 Saints returned to live on the Island last year.

These are all encouraging steps in the right direction. Even before the Airport opens we have been able to improve services and the support we give to the most vulnerable in society, as we endeavour to ensure that everyone benefits from economic development.

By any reckoning, we have achieved a great deal in just a few years and I am immensely grateful to our Councillors and public servants for all their hard work and commitment that has made this possible.  For such a small community, with limited resources, we can be proud of the progress made in such a short time.

I thank Dr. Niall O’Keeffe and his team at Enterprise St Helena for organising this event.  Now I’ll stop there and hand over to Dr. O’Keeffe. I’m sure he will be happy to talk to you about what  ESH is doing, to provide a wide range of support to existing businesses, to those wishing to invest here and to tourism linked initiatives.

 

Governor Mark Capes

27 March 2015

 

 


HOSPITAL REFURBISHMENT CONTRACT SIGNED

St Helena Government is pleased to announce the signing of the Hospital Refurbishment contract, worth £2.8m, with Basil Read on Wednesday 25 March 2015.

This major refurbishment of the Hospital will provide St Helena with an Intensive Care Unit and a significant investment in new equipment, including a Medical Diagnostic Suite, including a CT Scanner (computerised tomography), a new Operating Theatre (with an associated central sterilising department), and a new radiography suite, plus ultrasound equipment. The new equipment will be of the highest international standards.

Director of Health, David Jenkins, commented:

“I am delighted that we have been able to agree the terms of the contract for the refurbishment of the General Hospital. This is a significant landmark for St Helena and for the health of the nation. This refurbishment will provide top of the range equipment in areas essential for St Helena and allow us to make more accurate clinical diagnoses and detect illnesses which we may previously not have had sight of.

“Some of the equipment, such as the CT Scanner, will allow us to provide better care to patients in St Helena and reduce the number of patients who need to go overseas.

“Sincere thanks are extended to all those involved in the project, in particular to the former Senior Medical Officer, Dr Atilla Frygesi, and other clinical staff at the Hospital who have worked very hard to articulate our clinical requirements. Thanks also to the programme and procurement teams, the AG’s Chambers and to Elected Members for their support.”

Chairperson of the Public Health Committee, Derek Thomas, added:

“The refurbishment of the Hospital is very positive for the Island.  It will allow better care for the critically ill and more appropriate treatment. It will also provide a better patient experience and reduce the number of patients who may have previously needed to be sent overseas for their diagnoses.”

Refurbishment works will start in May 2015 and are expected to take around ten months to complete.

The Health Directorate will endeavour to minimise the disruption at the Hospital and thank the public in anticipation of their patience and cooperation.

 SHG

27 March 2015


BUDGET SPEECH 2015/16

Financial Secretary Colin Owen this morning delivered his third Budget Speech for St Helena, following agreement of the BAM budget settlement with DFID on 23 March 2015. The settlement sees DFID continue to support SHG’s recurrent expenditure at the same level of last year, £13.55m.  DFID has, in addition, allocated £1.2m to support safeguarding. Improving the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults is a priority for SHG.

DFID will continue to subsidise the running of the RMS St Helena.  The subsidy for 2015/16 is expected to be £2.68m, reflecting increased use of the RMS and the lower cost of fuel.

Total support provided by DFID for 2015/16 will be £19.43m, including TC funding.

The budget speech outlined significant increases in expenditure and increases in revenue through a number of tax changes.

Highlights from the speech included:

  • Total expenditure for 2015/16 of just over £32 million
  • Increased funding for priority areas, including an additional £252K for Health, an increase of over £944k in the past two years
  • An additional £1.2m for the new Safeguarding services
  • A further £326k allocated to the Police and Fire Service, reflecting the investment in front line services required for Airport certification and operations
  • £6.5m from DFID to be spent on Capital Infrastructure Projects in 2015/16
  • Tobacco duty for the second year running is increased by 5%
  • Duty on all alcohol imports increase by 3%
  • Full equalisation of duty achieved ahead of time on diesel and petrol at 39p per litre
  • Liquor duty increased to £4 per litre
  • Duty on each takeaway styrofoam box and plastic shopping bag increases to 10p
  • Increase in the basic level of income tax to 26%
  • Introduction of a higher rate of tax at 31% for income over £25,000

Colin Owen commented:

‘We have introduced a number of changes in this year’s budget which will not be appreciated by all, but the changes are being made for good of the nation rather than just the individual. This will allow us to put additional monies into areas such as benefits and further improve our Health Service’.

The full Budget Speech is available on the SHG website at: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/finace/

BUDGET SPEECH 2015 16

SHG

27 March 2015


ST HELENA MOVING FORWARD - Air Services to be Provided by Comair and Mantis Chosen as Preferred Hotel Operator

AIRPORT – Air Services Hotel Management for St Helena – 27 March 2015

AIRPORT – St Helena Air Services to be Provided by Comair (Aviation Only) – 27 March 2015

St Helena Air Services Q and A – 27 March 2015


ROAD CLOSURE AT BUTTON-UP CORNER

Following a recent road traffic accident, the Highway Authority has approved the closure of the Seaview Road from Gordon’s Post to Corner of the Wall Junction (the Briars/Constitution Road) on Sunday 29 March 2015. This is necessary to repair the damage to the wall at Button-Up Corner.

The road will be closed from 8am until 2pm and during this time diversions will be in place.

The Roads Section would like to apologise for any inconvenience this closure may cause, and thank the public in advance for their continued understanding and cooperation.

SHG

25 March 2015


COUNCILLOR HENRY REPORTS ON 13TH OCT-EU FORUM

Councillor Lawson Henry returned to the Island on Tuesday 10 March 2015, having attended a series of trilateral meetings, the Ministerial Conference and the 13th OCT-EU Forum (Overseas Countries and Territories – European Union) in the British Virgin Islands from 25-27 February 2015. Councillor Henry was accompanied at these meetings by SHG UK Representative, Kedell Worboys MBE, and Tristan UK Representative, Chris Carnegy.

A wide range of topics were discussed ranging from unlocking the value of the OCTs, sustainable use of natural resources, renewable energy, climate change and disaster risk reduction. For the first time, Joint Conclusions from the OCT-EU Forum were also agreed by OCTs, the European Commission and Member States.

Renewable Energy, Climate Change, and Disaster Risk Reduction were agreed as the themes for the Thematic Budget line under the 11th European Development Fund -which St Helena will be able to access in addition to the Territorial Allocation.

Ministerial Conference Group Photo
Ministerial Conference Group Photo

Councillor Henry found it very useful attending these meetings, both for the discussion and for networking with colleagues from other territories with similar issues to St Helena – hearing how they are working towards overcoming some of these issues.

Councillor Henry commented:

“This was the second time I have been nominated to attend this forum and was thus better placed to understand how the EU works with the Territories – the more knowledge we gain the stronger St Helena can be represented at future forums.

 “We receive substantial funding from the EU which is very important to St Helena. It is only right that we attend these forums to account for how we are spending the funds and reporting the difference these projects make to residents’ lives.”

 Councillor Henry also had the opportunity to meet the new Commissioner responsible for International Development and Cooperation, as well as witnessing the unanimous vote for SHG’s UK Representative, Kedell Worboys MBE, as President of the OCTA Executive Committee (a separate press release will issue shortly on Kedell’s election).

Councillor Henry concluded:

“I always feel very honoured to be representing the Island and am grateful to my colleagues for having the confidence in nominating me.  I must of course mention the support from Officers in SHG but also from our UK Representative, Mrs Kedell Worboys MBE. I would also like to mention too that we had the privilege of having Tristan’s new Representative, Mr Chris Carnegy attend, as part of the St Helena delegation and I would like to pay tribute to him for his support.”

SHG

24 March 2015

 

 


FORMAL LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL MEETING – FRIDAY 27 MARCH 2015

A formal meeting of Legislative Council will take place this Friday, 27 March 2015, at 10am in the Court House, Jamestown. The meeting is expected to last two days, continuing on Monday 30 March 2015.

The main purpose of the meeting will be the Budget Session when the Financial Secretary will make his Budget Speech to Legislative Council. Ten Sessional Papers, including two Bills for an Ordinance – The Appropriation Bill, 2015 and the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2015 – will be presented in the House along with fourteen questions and five Motions on Friday.  Five questions will be asked on Monday.

The Order Paper is available on the SHG website at http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/committee-reports/

The meeting will conclude with the customary Adjournment Debate, when Councillors will have the opportunity to raise various issues relating to St Helena.

The last formal meeting of Legislative Council took place on 23 January 2015.

SHG

24 March 2015

 

 


PARENTS PROTECT AWARENESS SESSION

A Parents Protect Awareness Session will be held at the Jamestown Community Centre tomorrow evening, Tuesday 24 March 2015, starting at 7pm. This particular session, for parents, carers and other adults of Pilling Primary School, centres around a 90-minute presentation.

The Safeguarding Directorate, in conjunction with the Police, has been organising these sessions since December 2014 on St Helena and Ascension Island.

The presentation raises public awareness of child sexual abuse and provides positive messages about what can be done to protect children. The session focuses on dispelling common myths about child sex offences and offenders, while at the same time providing parents and carers with sound information which will help them to keep their children safe.

The presentation also offers a better understanding of how convicted sex offenders are managed by the Police, probation and other statutory and voluntary bodies on release into the community.

SHG

23 March 2015


FINAL BLAST AT AIRPORT SITE

The final rock blast for the St Helena Airport Project took place at the Airport site, Prosperous Bay Plain, at 5.20pm on Friday 20 March 2015. The final blast was carried out as part of creating safer slopes in an existing borrow pit near the Navigational Directional Beacon site on the eastern side of the Runway. The final blast used 975kgs of explosives and yielded approximately 3700 tonnes of blasted rock.

Final Blast with Runway in foreground - 20 Mar 2015
Final Blast with Runway in foreground – 20 Mar 2015

The operation went well, achieved its objective, and marked three years of safe and efficient blasting from the Basil Read Blasting Team and the end of all blasting operations required for the Airport Project.

A total of 383 controlled explosions have taken place for the Airport Project with no safety or misfire incidents.

Basil Read’s Production Manager, Deon Robbertse, paid tribute to Blasting Supervisor, Alan Hudson and his team. He said:

“The Blasting Team has been an integral part of the Airport Project and directly responsible for us to move over 10million m3 of material to create a safe and usable Access Road, complete all the fills including Dry Gut and getting the Runway to the right level.”

A photo of the blast is attached to this press release.

SHG

23 March 2015


WHARF ACCESS MAUNDY THURSDAY - 2 APRIL 2015

As is normal, there will be some limitations to accessing the Wharf on Maundy Thursday, 2 April 2015.

Access for vehicles will be restricted unless authorised by Port Control. Only pedestrians will be able to access the lower Wharf area.

At this time break-bulk cargo will be stored at the lower end of the Wharf and security officers will be on patrol. Members of the public will be allowed to drop off or pick up fishing equipment etc before returning their vehicle to the car parking area, beyond the Port Control barrier.

Port Control would like to take this opportunity to thank the public in advance for their cooperation.

‘HAPPY FISHING’.

SHG

23 March 2015


INCOME TAX (AMENDMENT) BILL 2015

The Income Tax (Amendment) Bill 2015 will be presented at the next Formal Session of Legislative Council, on Friday, 27 March 2015.

This Bill seeks approval to amend the Income Tax Ordinance 2012, to adjust the tax rates, introduce a higher rate tax band and to introduce tax on dividends.

In the lead up to the Formal Legislative Council Session next week, it is planned to hold an Information Session on the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, with employers and other interested parties, on Wednesday, 25 March 2015, at the Information Centre in the Canister, starting at 4pm. 

It is also planned to hold separate information sessions via local radio.

The Income Tax (Amendment) Bill 2015 can be viewed on the St Helena Government Website at http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/

SHG

18 March 2015


BR CERTIFICATION & OPERATIONAL READINESS MANAGER VISITS

Basil Read’s Certification & Operational Readiness Manager, Simon Walker, arrived on St Helena, today Tuesday 17 March 2015, to discuss plans for Airport Certification and Operational Readiness.

Simon is a familiar face to the St Helena Airport Project, having previously provided aviation advice to DFID and SHG.

In his new role, Simon joins the team in Basil Read working on Airport Certification.  During his visit, Simon will work closely with Basil Read, the Project Management Unit and the SHG Access Office to review key responsibilities and tasks required for Airport Certification and the operation of the Airport.

Further details on Simon’s visit and work programme will be published in the March Airport Update.

Simon will depart the Island on Wednesday 1 April 2015.

 SHG

17 March 2015

 

 

 

 

 


VOTING BY PROXY – DEADLINE MONDAY 2 MARCH 2015

The electorate is reminded that if they are ill or physically incapacitated and cannot make it to the Polling Station on Polling Day (Wednesday, 4 March 2015), there is provision to vote by Proxy.

To vote by Proxy you must obtain advance permission from the Returning Officer, Gillian Francis, at the Castle.  To get permission you must complete the relevant form (available on the SHG website http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/) which must be handed to the Returning Officer by no later than 10am on Monday 2 March 2015 (any forms received after this time will not be valid).

If you are voting by Proxy on Polling Day, your Proxy must be on the current Register of Electors and in the same Polling District in which you are registered.

For Proxy forms or to inspect the current Register of Electors you may contact the Returning Officer, Assistant Returning Officers or Assistant Registration Officers. Copies of the Register are also available at the Customer Service Centre, Public Library and on the SHG website.

 SHG

27 February 2015

 

 


POLLING DAY NEXT WEEK  

The public is reminded that a Bye-election will take place on Wednesday 4 March 2015 when St Helena will go to the Polls to elect a new Member to fill the vacant seat on Legislative Council.

Candidates for the 2015 Bye-election are: Anthony Arthur Green of St Paul’s, Geoffrey Patrick George Knipe of Sandy Bay, Pamela Ward-Pearce of Longwood and Lionel George Williams of St Paul’s.

Polling stations will be at the Blue Hill Community Centre, Half Tree Hollow Clinic, Harford Community Centre, St Mary’s Church at the Briars, Kingshurst Community Centre, Levelwood Community Centre, Jamestown Community Centre, and Sandy Bay Community Centre.

Constituents in the Alarm Forest electoral district should note the change in venue for the Polling Station i.e. St Mary’s Church.

Only those named on the Register of Electors dated 4 February 2015 will be able to vote in the Bye-election and you must vote in the Polling District in which you are registered.

If on Polling Day you cannot make it to the Polling Station, you may vote by Proxy – providing you obtain advance permission from the Returning Officer, Gillian Francis, at the Castle.  To get permission you must complete the relevant form (available on the SHG website http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/) which must be handed to the Returning Officer by no later than 10am on Monday 2 March 2015 (any forms received after this time will not be valid).

If you are voting by Proxy on Polling Day, your Proxy must be on the current Register of Electors and in the same Polling District in which you are registered.

For Proxy forms or to inspect the current Register of Electors you may contact the Returning Officer, Assistant Returning Officers or Assistant Registration Officers.The names of these Officers were printed in newspapers dated 19 and 20 February 2015. Copies of the Register are also available at the Customer Service Centre, Public Library and on the SHG website.

Further information on Polling Day was published as an insert in last week’s newspapers.

SHG

24 February 2015

 


EDUCATION DIRECTORATE - ADVICE TO PARENTS

The Education Directorate notes that there has been an increase in the number of absentees in Island Schools, in recent weeks, as a result of the Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), currently present on St Helena.

The virus spreads easily, and to limit further spread, the Education Directorate encourages parents of children experiencing any symptoms of RSV, to keep them at home until they are comfortable they have recovered.

Island Schools will be considerate to the situation and acknowledge that children will not be able to attend School if they are unwell – a parental note will be accepted in this situation.

SHG

23 February 2015

 


COUNCILLORS’ CONSTITUENCY MEETINGS IN FEBRUARY/MARCH

Councillors are holding a series of constituency meetings during February and early March 2015.

Topics for discussion are Health and Water, but members of the public are encouraged to attend the meetings in their districts to raise any issues they might have.

The schedule for the remaining meetings is displayed below. All meetings will begin at 7.30pm.

Date Venue Chairperson
Thursday 26 February 2015 St Mary’s Church, the Briars Councillor Nigel Dollery
Thursday 26 February 2015 St Michael’s Church, Rupert’s Councillor Les Baldwin
Monday 2 March 2015 Kingshurst Community Centre Councillor Tony Duncan
Monday 2 March 2015 Guinea Grass Community Centre Councillor Cyril George
Monday 9 March 2015 Blue Hill Community Centre Councillor Brian Isaac
Wednesday 11 March 2015 Jamestown Community Centre Councillor Christine Scipio-O’Dean
Monday 16 March 2015 Half Tree Hollow Clinic Councillor Corinda Essex

SHG

23 February 2015

 


STATEMENT BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF ST HELENA

In view of recent media speculation regarding criminal investigations into former employees of the St Helena Government it is appropriate that I confirm that those investigations have now concluded.

The investigation was instigated by St Helena Police following a family case heard in the Supreme Court where the Chief Justice concluded:

“So troubled am I by what has occurred that I shall direct that a copy of this judgment and addendum be sent to HE The Governor. I shall recommend that experienced independent Counsel should urgently be engaged to review the papers in this case and to advise on whether the evidence is such as to disclose reasonable grounds for suspecting the commission by any member of the Applicant’s staff of any criminal offence pertinent to attempting to pervert the course of justice or perjury.”

 

HE The Governor followed the Chief Justice’s recommendation and appointed an independent Queen’s Counsel, experienced in family and international matters, to complete the review. It was as a direct result of that review that the St Helena Police Service was requested to undertake an investigation into allegations of criminal conduct.  The investigation was led by St Helena Police and supported by Merseyside Police in the UK.

The matters were rigorously and thoroughly investigated. The evidence from this investigation was reviewed by a second independent Counsel, appointed as Public Prosecutor of St Helena specifically to undertake this task. Counsel concluded that some of the actions of the suspected persons were ill-advised, unprofessional and showed poor judgment but that there was insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction.  Counsel applied the test set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors as would be applied by the UK Crown Prosecution Service.  There will therefore be no criminal charges preferred following this investigation.

The criminal aspects of the investigation are now concluded and relevant evidence in this matter will be shared with the professional regulatory bodies concerned.

Attorney General

20 February 2015

 

 

 


RECEIVING POST FROM AND VIA SOUTH AFRICA

The St Helena Post Office would like to advise their customers that they have not received any official report from the Authorities in South Africa as to the reasons for the delays in receiving post from and via South Africa.

The Post Office would also like to inform customers that the Ascension Island Post Office does not have any authority to open or break any seals on post bags dispatched from the UK for St Helena.  However, there could be missent mail included in either the Ascension or St Helena post bags which is then sorted and forwarded on.

The following are approximate postal times:

 POST VIA SOUTH AFRICA

Surface mail to the UK, including other destinations takes approximately 13-15 weeks.

Airmail to the UK including other destinations takes approximately 4-5 weeks.

POST VIA ASCENSION ISLAND

Airmail to the UK including other destinations takes approximately 3 weeks.

 It should be noted that these times are from the date of departure of the RMS St Helena from St Helena Island.

 SHG

20 February 2015

 


Respiratory Syncytial Virus

Respiratory Syncytial Virus


Voting in the Bye-election 2015

Voting in the Bye-election 2015


OFFICIAL LIST OF CANDIDATES FOR BYE- ELECTION 2015

The Elections Ordinance 2009 provides for Nominations to be delivered to the Returning Officer by no later than noon on the last day appointed for the Nomination of Candidates. The closing date for nominations for the 2015 Bye-election (to be held on Wednesday 4 March 2015) was today, Wednesday 18 February 2015.

Returning Officer, Gillian Francis, this afternoon announced the names of four Candidates who will be standing for the upcoming Bye-election and a seat on Legislative Council (photo attached).

Returning Officer Gillian Francis Announces Candidates for 2015 Bye-election
Returning Officer Gillian Francis Announces Candidates for 2015 Bye-election

The Candidates are as follows:

Anthony Arthur Green: of ‘Oltonia’, St Paul’s.

 Geoffrey Patrick George Knipe: of Perkin’s Gutt, Sandy Bay.

 Pamela Ward-Pearce: of ‘Panorama’, Longwood.

 Lionel George Williams: of ‘Brenville’, Nr Half Tree Hollow, St Paul’s.

The full Declaration, including the names of Sponsors, will be Gazetted as soon as possible and hard copies will be placed at the usual outlets and published on the SHG website.

Polling Day is set for Wednesday 4 March 2015. Polling Stations will be at the Blue Hill Community Centre, Half Tree Hollow Clinic, Harford Community Centre, St Mary’s Church at the Briars, Kingshurst Community Centre, Levelwood Community Centre, Jamestown Community Centre, and Sandy Bay Community Centre.

Further information about Polling Day, how and where to vote and voting by Proxy will be published as an insert in this week’s newspapers.

SHG

18 February 2015

 

 


SAFEGUARDING STATEMENT FROM CHAIRMAN OF SOCIAL AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE

As you will be aware, St Helena has attracted considerable negative publicity recently, depicting our Island as a place where child abuse is tolerated and not properly addressed by Government agencies. This is simply not true!

As Chairman of the Social and Community Development Committee I have seen first-hand the impressive improvements in Safeguarding arrangements over the past few years. Key agencies are now working well together to support survivors of abuse, rigorously investigating every report of abuse, and successfully prosecuting those who have committed such horrible offences.

I am also aware that the media reports have had a negative impact on many innocent people on the Island. We need to work across our community to support each other while bringing to justice people who have done wrong.

It is a fact that St Helena, like the rest of the world, has perpetrators of abuse. But, the Island is committed to robustly dealing with these issues head-on, and our staff on the front line have my full support and that of all my fellow Councillors.

Our proud community has been damaged by these allegations. The solution is for us to continue to work together, to support victims and be tough on perpetrators of abuse.

Far from being an Island that tolerates abuse we should be proud of the way in which we are dealing with new and historic allegations of abuse of any kind.  As a community we should welcome the opportunity that the Wass Inquiry brings to establish the facts. If you do have a concern, or any important information, then please come forward to the Inquiry team or to our local services. I can assure you that all information will be dealt with in the strictest of confidence.

We are investing in additional staff and training to underpin our commitment to safeguarding which is further evidenced by the development of a specialist Safeguarding Directorate. As an Elected Member I will continue to give my all in leading the Committee in relation to safeguarding and ensure that this issue stays at the top of our agenda. My mission, as your representative, is to support the victims of sexual abuse, to see that offenders are brought to justice and to repair the damage done to our community by unbalanced, distorted and sensational reporting.

To put this into perspective, my family returned to our beautiful Island in 2001 and one of our main reasons for doing so was that we considered it a better and safer environment to rear our child than that offered in South London. There are, at this moment in time, very few names on our sex offenders register and although we may see an increase in this statistic, I would consider these facts alone justify my earlier statement that press coverage, as you might expect in the commercial world, has been unbalanced, distorted and sensationalist.

 

Councillor Les Baldwin

Chairman of the Social and Community Development Committee

17 February 2015

 

 

 


ORGANISATIONAL CHANGES IN PORT CONTROL SECTION

The public is advised that due to organisational changes within the Port Control Section (Office of the Harbourmaster) St Helena, the following personnel can be contacted via their new email addresses, detailed below.

Assistant Harbourmaster, Steve Kirk, has been promoted to Deputy Harbourmaster and can be contacted via email address Deputy.Harbourmaster@hmrc.gov.sh

Assistant Harbourmaster, Brian Greentree, is now the Logistics Coordinator (Wharf-Side Operations) and his new email address is Logisticscoordinator@hmrc.gov.sh

Former email addresses for the above personnel are no longer valid and members of the public are asked to please use the new contact details as listed above.

The telephone number remains the same and all Port Control, Tax and Customs Officers can be contacted via the switchboard number 22287.

SHG

17 February 2015

 

 

 


ELECTED MEMBERS AND SENIOR SHG OFFICIALS VISIT AIRPORT SITE

On the DVOR Platform
On the DVOR Platform

Elected Members visited the St Helena Airport site on Friday, 13 February 2015, following their quarterly Airport Project progress presentation by the SHG Access Office.

Elected Members were joined by Senior SHG Officials on the site visit, hosted by Basil Read, Halcrow and the Access Office.  Together they visited Prosperous Bay Plain, Bradleys, the Airport Access Road, and Rupert’s Valley.

The group of 34 visitors had the opportunity to look around the Air Traffic Control Tower within the Combined Building.  They then viewed the areas of the Terminal Building, including the new restaurant area on the first floor, before driving onto the Runway where they saw the paving machine in use.  They were then taken along the Airport Access Road, stopping first of all at Bradleys to view the Camp and DVOR Platform (Doppler Very High Frequency Omnidirectional Radio Range Measuring Equipment Platform).  The next stop was Rupert’s where they viewed works in Upper Rupert’s and witnessed the offloading of the NP Glory 4 at Rupert’s Wharf.

Viewing the Control Tower
Viewing the Control Tower

There was much interest in the visit to the Air Traffic Control Tower as Thales (Basil Read’s Subcontractor) is currently installing equipment there.

Elected Members were pleased to see the significant progress made since their last visit to the site, in mid-2014, and were assured that everything is on track for calibration flight trials in July this year.

Site visits are periodically organised for Elected Members and Senior SHG Officials, enabling them to observe Airport progress.

SHG

16 February 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


BYE-ELECTION - DEADLINE FOR NOMINATIONS - WEDNESDAY 18 FEBRUARY 2015

The public is reminded that the last day and time for receiving Nominations to elect a Member to fill the vacant seat on Legislative Council is 12 noon on Wednesday, 18 February 2015. All nominations should be delivered within this time to the Returning Officer, Mrs Gillian Francis, at the Castle, Jamestown.

Don’t leave it until the last minute to submit your nomination.

Further information on nominating a Candidate was published in newspapers dated 5 & 6 February 2015.

If more than one valid nomination is received, a Poll will be taken on Wednesday 4 March 2015.

Only those persons with their name on the amended Register of Electors, dated 4 February 2015, will be eligible to participate in the Bye-election, with those who are 21 years of age and over being able to stand for election.

 

SHG

16 February 2015

 

 

 

 

 


COUNCILLORS’ CONSTITUENCY MEETINGS IN FEBRUARY/MARCH

Councillors are holding a series of constituency meetings during February and early March 2015.

Topics for discussion are Health and Water, but members of the public are encouraged to attend the meetings in their districts to raise any issues they might have.

The schedule for the remaining meetings is displayed below. All meetings will begin at 7.30pm.

Date Venue Chairperson
Wednesday 18 February 2015 Silver Hill Bar Councillor Corinda Essex
Monday 23 February 2015 Harford Community Centre Councillor Gavin Ellick
Thursday 26 February 2015 St Mary’s Church, the Briars Councillor Nigel Dollery
Thursday 26 February 2015 St Michael’s Church, Rupert’s Councillor Les Baldwin
Monday 2 March 2015 Kingshurst Community Centre Councillor Tony Duncan
Monday 2 March 2015 Guinea Grass Community Centre Councillor Cyril George
Monday 9 March 2015 Blue Hill Community Centre Councillor Brian Isaac
Wednesday 11 March 2015 Jamestown Community Centre Councillor Christine Scipio-O’Dean
Monday 16 March 2015 Half Tree Hollow Clinic Councillor Nigel Dollery

SHG

16 February 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 


CONTROLLED ROCK REMOVAL – WEST ROCKS

On Wednesday morning, 18 February 2015, Rock Guards, from the Environment and Natural Resources Directorate (ENRD), will conduct a controlled rock removal operation in the West Rocks area.

As a precautionary measure, the area from the Sand Yard will be cordoned off to pedestrians and traffic with immediate effect.

The public is advised to please refrain from trying to cross the cordon.

ENRD would like to thank the public in advance for their cooperation.

SHG

16 February 2015

 


MAJOR INCIDENT TRAINING EXERCISE COMPLETED

The public is advised that the major incident training exercise, which took place this morning, has been completed.

The Wharf is now open to the public and Hospital Services have resumed as normal.

Today’s exercise was organised to allow the Island’s Emergency Services to practice their processes for dealing with someone who arrives on-Island with a suspected highly infectious disease.

The public is thanked for their cooperation.

SHG

12 February 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


CALL FOR INFORMATION – VANDALISED BOAT AT THE WHARF

During the weekend of Saturday 7 Feb & Sunday 8 Feb 2015, vandal/s sprayed graffiti over a local fisherman’s boat, located in the Coal Yard at the Wharf.

The graffiti has caused significant damage to the boat’s paintwork, resulting in an extra two days work for the owner and additional personal costs of £250.00.

This behaviour is unacceptable and the Port Authority would appreciate any information which could help towards identifying the person/s responsible.

If you have any information relating to this incident please contact the Deputy Harbour Master, Steve Kirk, on email asst.harbourmaster1@hmrc.gov.sh, tel: 22287 or drop into his office at the wharf.

SHG

11 February 2015


BYE-ELECTION – WEDNESDAY 4 MARCH 2015

A Bye-election to fill the vacant seat on Legislative Council (following the recent resignation of Ian Rummery on 8 January) will take place on Wednesday 4 March 2015.

To stand for election to Legislative Council or vote in the Bye-election your name must be on the Register of Electors printed in the Extraordinary Gazette Notice, No. 10, dated 4 February 2015.

The last day and time for receiving Nominations to elect a Member to fill the vacant seat on Legislative Council is 12 noon on Wednesday 18 February 2015 and all nominations should be delivered within this time to the Returning Officer, Mrs Gillian Francis, at the Castle, Jamestown.

Nomination forms are available from Corporate Support at the Castle and the Assistant Registration Officers in the different districts around the Island. Don’t leave it until the last minute to submit your nomination.

Further information on nominating a candidate was issued in last week’s newspapers.

If more than one valid nomination is received, a Poll will be taken on Wednesday 4 March 2015, at the following Polling Stations:

  • Blue Hill Community Centre
  • Half Tree Hollow Clinic
  • Harford Community Centre
  • St Mary’s Church, the Briars
  • Kingshurst Community Centre
  • Levelwood Community Centre
  • Jamestown Community Centre, and
  • Sandy Bay Community Centre

 

Returning Officer, Gillian Francis urges the electorate to participate in the upcoming Bye-Election. She said:

“It is important that the vacant seat on Legislative Council is filled by someone who you feel will best represent you and the Island. Make sure your nomination form is properly completed and returned before 12 noon on 18 February 2015.”

SHG

10 February 2015

 

 


CHUBBS SPRING ROCK STABILISATION

On the afternoon of Thursday 5 February 2015, while out on routine inspection, Rock Guards, from the Environment and Natural Resources Directorate (ENRD), discovered a rock, approximately one cubic metre in size that required stabilisation – the rock was located above Chubbs Spring.

At approximately 8.30am the following day (Friday 6 February 2015), the Rock Guards re-inspected the site with the SHG Roads Manager for approval to carry out stabilisation works.  Due to the potential hazard the unstable rock presented to the safety of residents and their properties, the Roads Manager initiated the Rockfall Emergency Plan.

A collaborative meeting chaired by the Police Directorate and including Rock Guards, the Roads Manager, Fire Service personnel and the Emergency Planning Manager, was held to discuss the operational plan to deal with the hazard. The operational plan consisted of planning road closures, informing affected households of the works at short notice, evacuation of residents, providing temporary welfare for the affected households, and dealing with the actual rock stabilisation.

Police Officers visited the affected households and residents on Friday to inform them of the work that needed to be carried out and the arrangements made for their safety and welfare.  The decision to evacuate households was a necessary precautionary measure.

Stabilisation works took place on Saturday, 7 February 2015. At 6am residents were evacuated from the affected houses to the Jamestown Salvation Army Hall. The Police and Fire Service closed Constitution Hill Road and remained on standby.

Stabilisation work started at 6.30am and was completed at 9.30am, when residents were given the ‘all clear’ to return to their properties.

ENRD, the Police and Emergency Services would like to thank the residents for their cooperation and understanding and the Salvation Army for their excellent selfless work.

ENRD Rock Guards inspect the Island on a regular basis, monitoring and making safe potential hazards for the protection of the Island community, visitors and infrastructure.

SHG

10 February 2015

 

 

 

 


MAJOR INCIDENT TRAINING EXERCISE - 12 FEBRUARY 2015

The public is reminded that a major incident training exercise will take place on the morning of Thursday, 12 February 2015. This exercise is being organised to allow the Island’s Emergency Services to practice their processes for dealing with someone who arrives on-Island with a suspected highly infectious disease.

The exercise is expected to run from 9am to 12noon and, during this time there is likely to be some disruption to vehicular traffic and pedestrians at the Wharf. Due to the nature of the training some services at the Hospital, including Outpatient Clinics, will also be affected.

The public is thanked in advance for their cooperation.

Thursday’s exercise forms part of a wider strategy to ensure that St Helena can cope in the unlikely event of a highly infectious disease being diagnosed. It will allow SHG staff to practice the procedures already in place and familiarise themselves with specialist equipment.

SHG

9 February 2015


DEREK HENRY DEPARTS FOR OVERSEAS PLACEMENT

Deputy Director of the Environment & Natural Resources Directorate, Derek Henry (photo attached), departs the Island tomorrow, Saturday 31 January 2015 – to undertake a six week placement with the Government of Jersey in the Channel Islands. This placement is funded by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s Diamond Jubilee Fund.

The placement will allow Derek to widen his experience and understanding of the workings of Government, particularly in relation to his current role. Derek will be attached to a number of teams and departments, including those relating to environment and infrastructure. He will also spend a week in London gaining similar experience on visits organised by the SHG UK Representative’s Office.

Derek Henry
Derek Henry

Derek said:

“I am very much looking forward to this visit. I am hopeful that the experiences from this visit will enable me to further develop my own role and contribute to the ongoing development of our Directorate and SHG more widely.”

Derek will return to the Island on Sunday 19 April 2015.

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Fund was created as a result of the 2012 Overseas Territories (OT’s) White Paper, which supported in principle and in practical terms the exchange of expertise between public servants in the UK and OTs.

Note for Editors

The Environment & Natural Resources Directorate was formed in December 2012, amalgamating three former Directorates, Infrastructure and Utilities, Environmental Management and the Agriculture and Natural Resources Directorate.

SHG

30 January 2015


UPCOMING BYE-ELECTION – WEDNESDAY 4 MARCH 2015

The electorate is reminded that there is one vacant seat on Legislative Council and because of this a Bye-election will take place on Wednesday 4 March 2015.  The Writ of Election will issue next week and this will state the last day and time for submitting nominations along with Polling Station details if a poll has to be taken.

In the meantime, please take time to consider who you would like to nominate to fill the vacant seat.  Further information about eligibility and procedures for nominations will be published in next week’s newspapers.

SHG

30 January 2015


EXCO MEETING – Tuesday 3 February 2015 Open to the Public from 9.30am

Executive Council will meet next Tuesday morning, 3 February 2015, in the Council Chamber.

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

Request for Approval of the United Nations Development Programme – Funded Project Proposal: Tackling Domestic Abuse.

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

SHG

30 January 2015

 

 

 


STATEMENT BY GOVERNOR ON SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS

Many of you will have seen the recent articles in the international and local media concerning reports of child abuse and other sexual offences on St Helena. You will also be aware of media reporting about similar offences occurring in the UK and in other countries. St Helena is not alone in having to confront issues emanating from sexual abuse.

Let me assure you that any allegations of abuse are taken most seriously. They must be investigated and on St Helena we are doing this.

We have achieved significant progress in improving the capacity and capability of your Government to safeguard individuals and to investigate allegations. We have secured specialised resources for the police, social services and the judiciary – some are here already and we have more on the way. The results are already clear for all to see, with more cases reported, properly investigated and offenders sentenced to significant sentences of imprisonment. We are also working with our UK partners to obtain expert support to investigate historical cases and, if the necessary evidence can be found, to bring those cases to Court.

A new Safeguarding Directorate was created on 1 December 2014 with structures and resources now coming together to ensure that all of those who are vulnerable in the community are supported, not just now but into the future. We recognise too that we need better resources to help the victims of these crimes and to ensure that those who offend do not do so again.

Of course, it would be naive to think that Government can tackle all of this alone. Everyone on St Helena has a responsibility to work together to help to protect the vulnerable in our community and I urge you to come forward if you have any information that would assist the authorities.

I turn now to the very serious allegations made by two former employees of SHG who, as widely reported in the media, have alleged that the FCO, DFID and SHG conspired to cover up sexual abuse and other offences on St Helena.

In response to those serious allegations, the UK Government, with full support from SHG, quickly concluded that the only way to deal with these allegations was to appoint a strong, independent Inquiry to investigate them. The Inquiry, which I and my colleagues in Executive Council and in SHG fully welcome, is now established and chaired by respected English Barrister, Ms. Sasha Wass QC. Ms. Wass will receive 100% support and cooperation from SHG and I am entirely confident that her team will conduct a thorough and professional inquiry to establish the facts. I hope that all on St Helena will welcome them here and do everything possible to assist them as they set
about their important work. There will be announcements shortly to explain how you can contact Ms. Wass and her team should you wish to bring any matters to their attention.

Certain media reports of the allegations to be examined by Ms. Wass have mentioned a number of individuals, some of whom are serving or former employees of SHG. It is important that people should be aware that due to ongoing legal proceedings in the UK and to avoid cutting across the work of Ms. Wass, those identified are, at this point, unable to reply to the allegations. Of course, that position will change once those constraints are removed.

In closing, I know that many people – here and overseas – were dismayed by some of the media reports over the past year. While I think we must be prepared to see more uncomfortable media reporting in the weeks and months to come, St Helena has a resilient and proud community that I feel sure will emerge from this stronger and with renewed confidence.

Governor Mark Capes
29 January 2015


HEAT AFFECTED ROADS ON ST HELENA

Due to the recent hot weather, the Roads Team has been treating the effects of overheated roads around the Island. The bitumen in the roads will start to melt when the road temperature reaches over 50 degrees Centigrade.

The Roads Team will apply dust to heat affected roads and warning signs will be placed on the affected sections.

Please drive carefully when travelling on the treated roads, as you may potentially experience skidding on the treated surface, especially when travelling around bends.

Enquiries about this work can be made to telephone number 23640 during normal working hours.

Thank you for your cooperation.

SHG

28 January 2015

 

 


CORRECTION - CARGO & BAGGAGE COLLECTION - FRIDAY 30 JANUARY 2015

It was announced yesterday that HM Customs would be closed on Friday 30 January 2015 between 8.30am and 11.30am for cargo and baggage collection.

HM Customs would now like to advise the public and merchants that due to a change in circumstances, the service will not be closed and instead baggage and cargo may be collected as normal.

HM Customs apologises for any confusion.

No baggage or cargo will be issued on Saturday 31 January 2015 due to dealing with baggage from embarking passengers and passenger embarkation itself. Business will then resume as normal on Monday 2 February 2015.

SHG

28 January 2015

 

 

 

 


OUTPATIENT CLINICS

The public will be aware that outpatient clinics in the outlying districts have been temporarily out of operation due to staff shortages at the Hospital, and in the immediate term these clinics will remain closed.

Taking into account the problems these closures have created for some patients – those having to travel to Jamestown to see the doctor – from Tuesday 3 February 2015, the Hospital will be offering a free bus service to people who have an appointment in Jamestown on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. These patients will be transported to the Jamestown outpatient department.

Bus times for patients in the country are as follows:

Levelwood – Tuesdays

A bus will collect persons in Levelwood, leaving at 9am from the Flag and then stopping at Silver Hill Shop, Levelwood School, Woody Ridge, Alarm Hill, and Wells, going on to Jamestown by 10am.

Longwood – Tuesdays

A bus will leave Longwood Green at 10.30am, stopping at Longwood Gate, Longwood Clinic, Hutts Gate, the Alarm Forest Police Post, going on to Jamestown by 11am.

The bus will leave Jamestown at 11am to take Levelwood patients back to their area, before returning to the Hospital to collect Longwood patients.

Sandy Bay, St Paul’s and Half Tree Hollow (HTH) – Thursdays

For patients who attend the HTH Clinic, a bus will leave Sandy Bay Chapel at 9am, stopping at Bamboo Hedge, Milestone, Sandy Bay Community Centre, White Gate, Rosemary Plain, Cleughs Plain, and New Ground – going on to Jamestown by 10am.

The bus will then return to Red Hill, departing at 10.30am and stopping at Half Way, White Wall, HTH Clinic and HTH Community Centre on the way into Jamestown.  It will then return patients to Sandy Bay and St Paul’s, before returning the HTH patients.

This arrangement will continue until the outlying clinics resume normal operation.

The public is thanked in advance for their continued understanding and cooperation.

SHG

27 January 2015

 


CARGO AND BAGGAGE COLLECTION - FRIDAY 30 JANUARY 2015

HM Customs advises the public and merchants that cargo and baggage will not be available for collection at the Wharf between 8.30am and 11.30am on Friday 30 January 2015 (because of a meeting).

Cargo and baggage collection will resume at 11.30am (to 5.30pm) on the same day.

No baggage or cargo will be issued on Saturday 31 January 2015 due to dealing with baggage from embarking passengers and passenger embarkation itself. Business will resume as normal on Monday 2 February 2015.

HM Customs would like to thank the public and merchants in advance for their cooperation.

SHG

27 January 2015

 

 


LIFELONG LEARNING AWARDS

SHAPE Clients with their Awards
SHAPE Clients with their Awards

An awards ceremony was held at the Jamestown Community Centre on Tuesday, 20 January 2015, organised by Lifelong Learning Services (previously AVES). Attending the ceremony was Director of Education & Employment, Colin Moore, the Education and Employment Committee, awardees and invited guests.

The ceremony awarded certificates to recipients who have completed Functional Skill Maths, English Entry Levels (1-3 and 1 & 2), GCSE Maths, GCSE English Language and Literature, GCSE Statistics, GCSE Accounting and GCE Advanced Level English.

In his speech on the day, Colin Moore commented on the accomplishment of all recipients:

“On behalf of the Directorate I would like to thank you all for your hard work and congratulate you on your deserved success in achieving your certificates. Adult learners are just as important as pupils and students in school and all of you are a real credit to the Island for the way in which you are self-improving.

Awardees
Awardees

“As Director of Education, I would now like to set each and every one of you the challenge of coming back next year to gain further qualifications and show the wider community the talent, energy and continued commitment to lifelong learning that you have so confidently demonstrated today. Well done to everyone!”

One of the highlights of the ceremony was the awarding of certificates to clients from SHAPE for completing Entry Levels in Functional Maths.

Deputy Director of Lifelong Learning Services, Kerry Yon, concluded:

“What a positive occasion and a great opportunity to celebrate the achievements of so many certificate recipients. Congratulations to all learners.”

 

SHG

27 January 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 


TEMPORARY PROCUREMENT ADVISOR ARRIVES

Marc Lockley
Marc Lockley

Recently arriving on-Island on 16 January 2015, was Marc Lockley (photo attached) to take up the temporary position of St Helena Government Procurement Advisor, while the substantive post holder, David Woosey, is off-Island working on air and shipping tenders. Marc is contracted for nine months to provide support to SHG procurement projects.

Marc will work closely with Corporate Finance and other SHG Directorates, supporting SHG on key projects, such as the General Hospital, Prison, Fire Station and Roads projects – ensuring compliance with regulations and that tender routes deliver value for money.

Marc will be joined by his family in February. He commented:

“I hope to put my procurement skills and knowledge to the benefit of the Island, as well as taking part in all the activities St Helena has to offer. I am enjoying my time here and everyone has been very welcoming.”

Previously Marc has worked in the construction, finance and healthcare sectors in both public and private sector procurement roles.

SHG

27 January 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 


COUNCILLOR HENRY TO ATTEND 13TH OCT-EU FORUM

Councillor Lawson Henry departs the Island on Friday, 6 February 2015, to attend a series of trilateral meetings, the Ministerial Conference and the 13th OCT-EU Forum (Overseas Countries and Territories – European Union) in the British Virgin Islands from 25-27 February 2015. Councillor Henry will be accompanied by SHG UK Representative, Kedell Worboys MBE, and Tristan UK Representative, Chris Carnegy.

Councillor Lawson Henry
Councillor Lawson Henry

Agendas for the meetings are still being finalised but there will be discussions around regional cooperation and the 11th European Development Fund.

This will be the second time Councillor Henry has attended these meetings, having previously taken part in 2013.

Councillor Henry said:

“I was elected by Executive Council to attend this Forum as (having previously attended) we recognise that continuity is important. As always I am honoured to be part of the delegation to represent St Helena.

“The EU is important for us on St Helena and we are fortunate over the years to have received significant EU funding. On this visit we will update the Commissioner on what we are doing with the current EU funding and what our plans are for the next round in 2016. 

“I am looking forward to taking part in the discussions and ensuring that St Helena’s voice is heard.”

Councillor Henry will return to the Island on Wednesday 11 March 2015.

SHG

27 January 2015

 

 


ROAD RESURFACING – HUTTS GATE TO LONGWOOD GATE

As part of the ongoing road maintenance programme, the road from Hutts Gate to Longwood Gate will be resurfaced, beginning on Monday 9 February 2015.

To minimise disruption, the road will remain open to traffic during the works – but some delays may be unavoidable. There will also be a temporary speed limit in place.

Work will be carried out from 9am to 3.30pm daily.

Traffic control measures will be in place to ensure both the public’s safety and the safety of the roads workforce. Users are kindly asked to adhere to the instructions given and to plan extra time for journeys if intending to travel on the road during the road works.

Some preparation works will be carried out before actual surfacing works commence.

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

Any enquiries about this work can be made to telephone number 23640 during normal working hours.

SHG

26 January 2015

 


 2015 BYE-ELECTION – LAST CHANCE TO GET YOUR NAME ON THE REGISTER OF ELECTORS

Persons wishing to take part in the Bye-election and whose names are not yet on the Register of Electors, should make an application to the Registration Officer on the prescribed form by no later than NOON on Monday 26 January 2015.

Forms can be obtained from the Registration and Assistant Registration Officers at the Castle (tel. 22470) or from the Post and Customer Services Centre. The forms can also be downloaded from the SHG website at http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/

Remember – you can only apply to be registered if you are 18 years of age and have St Helenian status (or are the spouse or life partner of someone with such status). You will also need to be ordinarily resident on St Helena.

The Writ of Election will now be issued during the week beginning 2 February 2015.

 

SHG

22 January 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 


PRINCE ANDREW SCHOOL FASHION SHOW

 

Prince Andrew School Fashion Show
Prince Andrew School Fashion Show

In celebration of Prince Andrew School’s 25th Anniversary, a much anticipated Fashion Show took place at the School on Thursday, 18 December 2014.

The show featured 37 Prince Andrew School students modelling styles from the 1980s right up to the present day. Student models included boys and girls across the age range of 11-18 years.

The programme for the evening involved ten scenes and started with a parade of the School uniform, followed by a cheerleading presentation by the four Houses at Prince Andrew School.

The audience were then treated to 2014 fashion highlights, followed by an exciting array of stars from the 1980s up to the present day. Other scenes included a Gothic theme, a stunning Evening Wear parade, a Neon theme with fluorescent clothes and accessories, all culminating with a Silver Final to celebrate Prince Andrew School’s 25th Anniversary.

The music accompanying the various scenes kept the audience of 350 tapping their feet and clapping throughout. Headteacher, Mr Paul Starkie, echoed an appreciative audience by congratulating the students on a wonderfully entertaining evening.

Paul also thanked the many staff, students and members of the wider community who helped with the organisation of the event. He paid special tribute to the organising team, including Barbara Osborne, Carine Young, Annalene Young and Abby Kirk for all their hard work in helping students prepare for the show.

 

SHG

21 January 2015

 


PROCLAMATION ISSUED FOR BYE-ELECTION

In a Proclamation issued today, 20 January 2015, Governor Mark Capes has announced that a Bye-election to fill the vacant seat on Legislative Council (following the recent resignation of Ian Rummery on 8 January) will take place on Wednesday 4 March 2015.

The public is reminded that to vote in the Bye-election or to stand for election to Legislative Council your name must be on the Register of Electors. The Register of Electors as published in the Extraordinary Gazette on 1 July 2014, will be updated with those amendments printed in the Extraordinary Gazette Notice, No.4, dated 16 January 2015.

The Writ of Election, which will state the last day and time for receiving nominations for election of a new Member of LegCo, will be issued early next week.

SHG

20 January 2015

 


EXCO REPORT – TUESDAY 20 JANUARY 2015

Executive Council met today, Tuesday 20 January 2015, to consider three items on the Open Agenda.

The first item was a request to waive a Work Permit fee. Executive Council did not agree to the waiver and further agreed that the regulations requiring the need for ExCo to approve waivers should be reviewed.

The second item was an Information Paper related to the Undertakings and Resolutions made at the Formal meeting of Legislative Council held on Thursday 11 and Friday 12 December 2014.

The third item was an Information Paper on the recently revised Fuel Prices. The price reductions, effective from Tuesday 13 January, were noted and welcomed by ExCo.

Under Any Other Business it was agreed that the date of the forthcoming Bye-election would be Wednesday 4 March 2015.

On behalf of Legislative Council, ExCo strongly encourages members of the public with an interest in St Helena’s future and who think they can make a difference to stand for election in the March Bye-election. Further details will be issued shortly.

The meeting ended at 10.25am.

ExCo

20 January 2015


SUCCESSFUL HEART SURGERY ON ST HELENA

For the first time on St Helena, a heart surgery operation has been conducted at the General Hospital, Jamestown (on Friday 16 January 2015) – carried out by Senior Medical Officer Dr Attila Frigyesi and Surgeon Dr Carlos Soto – assisted by the theatre nurses.

This emergency and life-saving heart surgery was successful and the patient is doing well and now recovering at home.

Dr Atilla said:

“Friday’s operation highlights the fact that it is possible to perform relatively advanced healthcare on St Helena if we have appropriate trained staff and suitable equipment.

“I would like to thank all of the team involved for their efforts in saving the life of this patient.”

SHG

19 January 2015

 


UPDATE ON CUSTOMS DATA SYSTEM (ASYCUDA)

Customs Officers Juliette O’Dean and Rosemond Fowler recently undertook four weeks of training in St Lucia to gain a greater understanding on the implementation of St Helena’s first Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA World).

This web based system will set a platform for e-Government and will improve trade facilitation and avoid delays. Significant improvements will become evident in the future in terms of faster and more streamlined clearance of goods processes, better accounting and statistical capabilities and a paperless system.

Juliette and Head of Information Technology, Jeremy Roberts, had previously undergone initial training in Geneva to ensure that the system was appropriate and could be installed on St Helena, and to undergo initial implementation training. The most recent training has now enabled Juliette and Rosemond to see ASYCUDA in practical real-time operation and learn about the different features of the system, especially the International Harmonised System Codes, risk management, rates and rules.

Juliette explained:

“The training in St Lucia was very productive and involved both practical and theory – with the focus on understanding the International Harmonised System Codes and other operational features. Currently on St Helena, we use SITC Codes (Standard International Trade Classification Codes) which are not compatible with full implementation of ASYCUDA World. This training has enabled us to learn and understand these new codes and implement them in ASYCUDA World here on St Helena. All Customs staff and relevant stakeholders will now be trained on how to classify goods through classroom sessions.”

The ASYCUDA World system will now be fully implemented on St Helena – firstly with the online manifest submission procedure to be used by carriers and others. The next stage will involve putting in place the declaration module, which involves the new international harmonised codes, selectivity and the rates and rules. This phase will affect major stakeholders and importers.

There are significant benefits for traders and the public, including online trade input, fair trade practices, real time statistics, faster clearance and simplified procedures.

Juliette added:

“Stakeholders are aware of the benefits of ASYCUDA World and have been open-minded and optimistic. Change is always difficult, but we hope to make this transition as smooth as possible. It is important that we make the system as user-friendly as possible, adapted to our environment here on the Island.”

Juliette and Rosemond would like to thank their colleagues in Customs and SHG for enabling this training, and the St Lucia Customs team who were very welcoming and helped establish a positive, professional link between the two Islands.

The system to be used on St Helena is the most up to date version, developed by a dedicated team from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). It can be found in over 100 jurisdictions worldwide.

 

SHG

19 January 2015

 

 


FORMAL LEGCO MEETING – FRIDAY 23 JANUARY

A formal meeting of Legislative Council will take place on Friday, 23 January 2015 at 10am in the Court House, Jamestown.

The purpose of the meeting will be to elect a Chairman of the Public Health Committee and Member of Executive Council, following the resignation of Ian Rummery on 8 January 2015.

The Order paper for Friday’s meeting is available on the SHG website at http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/committee-reports/

SHG

19 January 2015

 


EMERGENCY PLANNING FOR ST HELENA

Arriving on the RMS on Saturday, 10 January 2015, was Ian Johnson (photo attached) to take up the permanent emergency planning position, vacated by interim Emergency Planner, Alistair Smith, in December.

Based at the Access Office, Ian is contracted by SHG for two years and will be responsible for all emergency planning on the Island. This will include new risks brought about by the Airport, new infrastructure and the new Bulk Fuel Installation site, as well as the normal day-to-day risks the Island faces. Ian’s role will be to ensure that emergency plans are current, in place and ready to deal with any incident.

Ian explains:

“We have in place a Major Incident Response Plan. Now that the December major incident exercises have been completed we’ll be putting together an overall debrief report and reviewing the plan to see if we need to enhance it or improve on any learning points.”

The Major Incident Response Plan is a ‘live’ document and will be reviewed regularly – after future exercises and after any major incident. Ian will look at all the risks identified by the Island Risk Register and make sure that there are plans in place to deal with each of them. These individual plans will then form part of the overall Major Incident Response Plan.

Ian added:

“An emergency plan is very important for St Helena, as in worst case scenarios, if something happens, we’ve got a plan there and everyone knows their responsibilities. Working together, both in SHG and the private sector, is absolutely vital – because we’re limited in resources on the Island.”

Ian has 40 years experience in Fire & Rescue Services, having spent 33 years in Manchester as a Supervisory Officer for Operations and in the last seven years as a Contingencies Officer in Cumbria, responsible for emergency planning for the Fire Service, plus responsibility for the Cumbria Emergency Plan.

Ian hopes his fire and rescue experience will be of real benefit to these services on St Helena. In addition, he is pleased to have been able to arrange for a gift of some specialist equipment for the Island’s Fire & Rescue Services – donated from the Cumbria, Lancashire and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Services. Further details will follow on this.

Ian concluded:

“I am looking forward to my new role and to utilising my knowledge and experience in major incident planning here on St Helena. The Island is brilliant, the people are lovely and friendly and I’m eager to get around and meet everyone.”

SHG

16 January 2015