St Helena Headline NEWS- 25 July 2017


Polling Day is tomorrow, Wednesday 26 July 2017.

Polling Stations will be setup in each of the eight electoral districts at the following locations:

  • Blue Hill Community Centre
  • Sandy Bay Community Centre
  • Kingshurst Community Centre
  • Harford Community Centre
  • Half Tree Hollow Community Centre
  • Jamestown Community Centre
  • Judges Lodge in Alarm Forest
  • Levelwood Clinic

The stations will open at 10am and close at 7pm sharp.

Only those persons whose names are on the Register of Electors published on 14 June 2017 for the year commencing 1 July 2017 will be allowed to vote in the General Election.

Voters can only vote at the Polling Station in the electoral district in which they are registered.

There are 12 seats to be filled on Legislative Council and there are 17 candidates to choose from.

Voters are urged to go along to their respective Polling Station as soon as possible after 10am tomorrow to cast their votes for up to twelve candidates. Remember you do not have to vote for twelve but if you vote for more than twelve then none of your votes will be counted. The Polling Station has to close at 7pm sharp and voters will not be allowed into the Station or be given a ballot paper after this time.

Votes will be counted at the St Helena Community College Hall tomorrow evening, commencing at approximately 8pm. Counting of the votes and the results will be relayed live via SAMS Radio 1 and Saint FM.

Governor Lisa Phillips calls for electorate to come out in numbers tomorrow for GENERAL ELECTION 2017

‘Please exercise your right to vote tomorrow. Since I arrived on St Helena I have been encouraging more participation by the public in the decisions made about the island. Consultations about new policies and laws are now broader. My Facebook page gives the public more information about what is going on and comments are noted.
Voting for the people who you want to speak on your behalf is another way for you to engage. Councillors do an extremely important job….one that will be increasingly important given the upcoming changes for St Helena.
I can’t vote. You can. I simply ask that you do.’

Polls open at 10am and close at 7pm.

Saint FM will be running a live election special from 20h00 tomorrow evening. Live results and analysis.


Shark attack on Ascension Island- one person seriously injured

Statement by Governor Lisa Phillips

At approximately 5.30 pm on Monday 24 July there was a serious shark attack at English Bay on Ascension Island involving one person.

Entering the sea on Ascension must be avoided until further notice.

Emergency Services and the Ascension Island Government are working closely together to ensure all necessary actions for the victim and public safety are being undertaken.

A huge thanks to the Sea Rescue team, hospital staff and everyone else who were involved.

A number of comments have been posted on the St Helena News & Travel Facebook page about this latest attack, many referencing to the fact that there have hardly been any shark attacks over the years. The question is why now all of a sudden?

“The sharks are obviously coming in land looking for food as they can’t find any further out!! It’s time that someone/Conservations/Marine Environment does something about it. All those fishing ships you see out on the horizon late at night stealing all our fish and making thousands of pounds from selling it , not only on Ascension but St-Helena as well…It’s time something is done about it!! Like David said above never before has this happened on Ascension, people has always fished off the rocks and swam in the ocean and nothing like this has ever happened…people should be looking at the bigger picture and try to figure out what has changed in the Ascension Island waters for it to now be shark infested!!”

“Very sorry to hear. Can only share these guidelines again! English Bay can be easily made a no-fishing area. Not really sure why people think fishing and swimming in shark territory go well together. They do not.”

Maybe the Marine Environments fish tagging tactics are encouraging these large numbers of sharks so close to shore.”

Think it’s soon gonna be a forgotten Island if tourists find they can’t even swim in the sea and along with all the other problems there. I personally feel so sorry for the people living and working there because the great place we called the Rock is no more. Since 2002 the rock was killed, those who believe they still have a good time r only kidding themselves. These shark attacks are creating interest in Ascension for all the wrong reasons. I doubt if this will be the last one either.”

‘Comfort less cove was the only safe place to swim when I was there many years ago , English bay was known as not to safe , but wasn’t aware of any shark nets been there. The. Mension of sharks seems to be getting more and more. And that’s a great shame. Such beautiful beaches there on tbat beautiful island. Miss it so much’

‘Anybody know who it was…?
All those years withoit any record of shark attack and now 2 in a year…. is this a freak attack or food getting scarce for the sharks to make attack.. in any case it seems not to safe. I was a big diver whilst on Ascension and tgere was quite a few bigs ones out but never did they bother us or attacked..

St. Helena inks deal with Airlink for Jo’burg, Ascension ops (CH Aviation)

Airlink (South Africa) (4Z, Johannesburg O.R. Tambo) has signed a final agreement with the government of St Helena (SHG) for the provision of both regular and chartered passenger services to/from the island, a British Overseas Territory located in the South Atlantic Ocean.

Following a Request For Proposals issued late last year, Airlink was named preferred bidder for the provision of a scheduled commercial air service to St. Helena Airport last month. However, according to a statement issued on Friday, July 21, Airlink will provide not only scheduled commercial air services to St. Helena Island, but also a monthly charter service between St Helena and Georgetown Wideawake on Ascension Island, located 1,300 kilometres northwest of St. Helena.

Subject to regulatory approvals, the flights to/from Johannesburg O.R. Tambo will operate weekly using Windhoek Int’l, Namibia, as a technical stop on either sector. Service is on-board ETOPS-certified EMB-190 equipment.

“Following the necessary approvals and proving flight, SHG will be able to announce the commencement date for a service between St. Helena Airport and OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa,” the statement said. “It is expected that the monthly service between St. Helena and Ascension Island will start soon after and operate on the second Saturday of each month.”

The contract runs for three years from the date of the first commercial service.

Refuelling Hub for South Atlantic Airbridge confirmed as Cape Verde

Merco Press

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is pleased to announce that a final decision has been taken on the location of the refuelling hub for the South Atlantic Airbridge (SAA). The SAA will continue to transit through Sal, Cape Verde until 2020, when the Ascension Island runway resurfacing project is expected to be complete.

The MoD will continue to provide seats to civilian passengers throughout this period, as per the existing agreement with the Falkland Islands Government.

Passengers are now able to disembark the aircraft during the stopover in Sal and make use of the airside airport facilities.

Ascension Island remains a strategically important site for the MoD and the UK. The 2 mile runway at Wideawake Airfield requires a full-depth resurfacing, but smaller military aircraft, including the RAF C17, C130 and A400M, can still operate safely.

Given Ascension’s isolated location and the resultant logistical challenge, the repair works are not expected to be complete until 2020.

The runway is owned and operated by the US Air Force under the Bahamas Agreement and they are therefore responsible for the design, management and delivery of the resurfacing project.

Brigadier Bennett, Commander British Forces South Atlantic Islands, said: “With this announcement, we draw a line under the uncertainty that has existed about the South Atlantic Airbridge over the past few weeks. I look forward to continuing my close work with the Falkland Islands Government.”


The latest Quarterly Statistical News Bulletin is now available – it includes the latest estimates of the annual rate of price inflation using the Retail Price Index, and the size of the population.

Annual price inflation between the second quarter of 2017 and the second quarter of 2016 is estimated to be 5.1 per cent. The rate has fallen slightly from the estimate of annual price inflation last quarter of 7 per cent, but it remains high compared to the rates recorded over the last four years. Food prices have increased the most compared to one year ago, by 11.7 per cent on average. But in the three-month period since the previous quarter, alcohol and tobacco prices rose the most, by just over 3 per cent. The annual inflation rate for alcohol and tobacco increased from 7.1 per cent in Q1 to 9.3 per cent in Q2.

At the end of May 2017, the on-Island population was estimated to be 4,589. This is a small decline from the end of December, but a small increase of 1.2 per cent compared to May last year. The number of St Helenian residents was estimated to be 4,119.

The full Statistical News Bulletin is available on the Statistics Page of the SHG website at:

Influential Tory MP proposes BOTs elected representation in Westminster

Merco Press

An influential Tory MP has said that increased devolution powers to the Home countries has made lack of Westminster representation for the Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories a great unfairness, and it is time to end the outdated system of treating them like Colonies.

Speaking at the annual reception of the Friends of the British Overseas Territories (FOTBOT) in London on 19th July, Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell, spoke about the progress of the organisation and the political changes which needed to be considered for the future of the British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies ( a total of 17 jurisdictions all over the world).

Andrew Rosindell is MP for Romford and is recognised and respected as the main UK Parliamentary supporter of the fourteen British Overseas Territories and the three British Crown Dependencies. He holds several key positions in UK All party Parliamentary Groups, including Chairman of that for UK Overseas Territories, for the Channel Islands and also for the Isle of Man ( Manx) ones. He is also a Member or Vice Chairman of many others.

His knowledge of the British Overseas Territories (BOT’s) and Crown Dependencies (CD’s) (*) is extensive, having visited most of them and met many of their politicians and citizens.

In 2012 he proposed that the CD’s and BOT’s should be represented in the UK Parliament, like Dependencies of Australia, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, and others, are in their national Parliaments.

He further expanded on his proposal at last week’s reception held by FOTBOT, at which the former Director of Gibraltar House in London, Albert Poggio, also spoke.

Andrew Rosindell said that the increased powers given to devolved administrations in the UK, particularly in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, had further changed the political landscape, and made it more necessary to ensure all members of the British family were treated equally in terms of democratic representation.

He said it was unfair for those of the British family living in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to have full representation at Westminster, but those of the British family living in the BOT’s and CD’s to have absolutely none.

It was, he said, an outdated type of colonialism, to perpetuate this unfairness, and there was an urgent need to review the issue of achieving such overdue representation.

MP Rosindell said it was wrong he said, for the BOT’s and CD’s to have no say on crucial matters such as Foreign Affairs and Defence, and indeed to not be able to speak up on their own jurisdictional interests in the national Parliament.

He went further to state that many politicians in the BOT’s and CD’s were of exceptional calibre, well able to be excellent Parliamentarians and a credit to their constituents. There was no reason, he said, why they should not hold Ministerial office in a future UK government, particularly when coalition type government was not uncommon. He also said that such MP’s should be in a position to vote on and influence who would be the Prime Minister, which was also important because Prime Ministers often engage in international negotiations which affect the future of the various individual British jurisdictions.

He re-iterated that having UK Parliamentary representation, would not affect in any way the autonomy and decision making of the BOT’s and CD’s, that their status would not change, and they would simply be given representational rights they should have had a long time ago.

He said he preferred the Danish type system for the BOT’s and CD’s, where Greenland and the Faroes were autonomous and not part of Denmark, but entitled to send representatives to the Danish Parliament.

This was in contrast to the French system, where most Overseas Territories are considered to be part of France.

MP Rosindell added that whilst the process of achieving House of Commons representation for the BOT’s and CD’s could not happen immediately, there was no reason why they could not have Members of the House of Lords straight away, having the same rights as others in the British family.

He pointed out that having MP’s would make clear their British family heritage and deter other countries from having a claim on them.

His proposals were warmly applauded by those attending, which included citizens from many of the BOT’s and CD’s.

Albert Poggio from Gibraltar, agreed the ideas should be considered, even though he was not as enthusiastic for them as Andrew Rosindell.

However, his open mindedness was welcome because it is seen that many in political and public service in the BOT’s and CD’s have wrongly believed their own authority and influence could be diminished if such Parliamentary representation comes about. It is therefore important that the UK government takes the lead in bringing about this proposed improvement in democracy and does not allow it to be stalled in any way.

If this is simply put to the individual British jurisdiction governments for their consideration, it is unlikely to progress. It is something the British government should state they are going to do and they should get on with it. There could be referendums on the subject but should people be asked about being given the same rights as other British citizens?

(*) The three Crown Dependencies are Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man. (Guernsey Bailiwick includes Guernsey and the Islands of Alderney, Sark, Brecqhou, Herm, Jethou and Lihou)

The fourteen British Overseas Territories are: Anguilla, Bermuda, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands, Saint Helena including Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha, Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia in Cyprus, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands.


Rebecca Lawrence of Half Tree Hollow (photo attached), has graduated from the University of Nottingham with a five year Bachelor’s Degree in Veterinary Medicine & Surgery. Rebecca graduated this summer as Dr Rebecca Lawrence MRCVS, and is registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons as a fully qualified veterinarian.

In order to gain her veterinary degree in the UK, Rebecca was required to complete a significant amount of work placements during her course. She spent her final year in practice, rotating around various veterinary establishments and was assessed for practical and professional competencies. This included time in equine hospitals, farm animal practice, abattoirs, small animal first opinion and referral practice.

Rebecca commented:

“It has taken a very long time to get to this point and it would be impossible to describe everything I have experienced and learnt. I am starting my first job as a vet in a small animal practice in a few weeks.

“I am immensely grateful to a huge number of people who have supported me along the way.

“I feel I still have a lot to prove to myself but I can say that taking the RCVS oath at my graduation has been my greatest moment so far.”

Congratulations are extended to Rebecca from all in SHG.




Five out of the ten staff who applied for the SHG Future Leaders Programme have been shortlisted.

Applications were assessed against the following criteria:

  • Applicants’ motivation to join the Future Leaders Programme – whether they are ambitious and career minded and want to develop within SHG
  • Experience and preferences and how these fit with the future leaders abilities, people skills and personality/motivations

 The five successful candidates have attended an Assessment Centre/Selection Day where they were required to complete a total of six online assessments that tested how they fit or matched with the skills, attitudes and outlook of a successful leader within SHG.

The results of the assessments are currently being coordinated by the Occupational Psychology Centre in the UK who will produce detailed reports on the outcomes of the assessments. It is expected that these outcomes will be known by the end of next week.

Before the final candidates are selected onto the programme, they must undertake a group exercise and attend a structured interview.

To find out more about the Future Leaders Programme, please visit the SHG website:




The public is reminded that applications for the Queen’s Young Leaders Programme are open until Monday, 21 August 2017.

The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme is now in its third year and aims to discover, celebrate and support exceptional young people aged 18-29 from across the Commonwealth, leaving a lasting legacy for Her Majesty The Queen.

Young people nominated for an Award should be taking the lead in their community and using their skills to transform their own lives and the futures of others around them.

Each application/nomination must meet the following criteria:

  • Applicants need to have proven experience of working to improve their communities locally, regionally or at a national level and be able to show evidence of their achievements
  • Applicants must be aged between 18 and 29 throughout 2018. The applicant’s date of birth must fall between 1 January 1989 and 1 January 2000
  • Applicants must be citizens of and working in a commonwealth country or citizens of an overseas territory (of a commonwealth member)
  • Applicants need to demonstrate evidence of their leadership qualities
  • All applicants need to be supported by a suitable referee (a professional in one of the following occupations – a teacher or counsellor, a registered physician or nurse, a church or community leader, social worker or family services or business leader). Referees must not be related to the applicant.

Priority will be given to individuals who have overcome challenges to achieve their goals.

All applications/nominations will be considered based on the young person’s achievements to date as well as their potential and their future ambition.




As part of their Neighbourhood Policing Programme, St Helena Police Officers will continue their ‘beat surgeries’ in various places around the Island throughout August 2017.

These surgeries are designed to take place in busy areas where it is easier for more people to attend (see dates & times below).

A questionnaire will also be available so people can tell the Police what concerns them most in their area. This will help the Police identify patterns which will then help them to develop a problem solving plan.

Police Inspector of Operations, Julianne Benjamin, said:

“The Police Service encourage members of the public to come to the surgeries with any concerns they may have.  In order for us to provide the best possible service, we need to know how we can best help you. If we can’t help you ourselves, we will contact other agencies that can. Please take this opportunity to voice your concerns and help us to make St Helena safer.”

 Beat Surgeries – Dates & Times




Tuesday, 1 August 9am – 11am Nr Longwood Supermarket
Friday, 4 August 1pm – 3pm Nr Hospital, Jamestown
Saturday, 5 August 11am – 1pm Nr McDaniel’s Shop, Cleugh’s Plain
Thursday, 10 August 10am – 12 noon Barren Ground
Thursday, 10 August 5pm – 7pm Alarm Forest Bus Shelter
Friday, 11 August 3pm – 5pm Nr Marcus Fowler’s Shop, Levelwood
Thursday, 17 August 12.30pm – 2.30pm Briars Village
Friday, 18 August 11am – 12 noon MTB’s Shop, Half Tree Hollow
Saturday, 19 August 10am – 12 noon Nr Williams’ Shop, Sandy Bay
Friday, 25 August 3pm – 5pm Market Square
Sunday, 27 August 11am – 12 noon Salvation Army Hall, Half Tree Hollow
Monday, 28 August 9am – 11am Longwood Clinic

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