St Helena Headline NEWS- 2 August 2017

The inaugural meeting of the newly elected Legislative Council took place today in the Council Chamber at the Castle, starting at 10am.

The proceedings were opened with the entry of the President, Her Excellency Governor Lisa Phillips, followed by Prayers and the Administration of Oaths. Governor Lisa presided until the Speaker was elected.


Oaths and Affirmations were taken before the Governor, first by Ex-Officio Members, the Chief Secretary, Financial Secretary and the Attorney General, and then by Elected Members.

Governor Lisa then addressed Legislative Council. HE commented:

“The Airport will offer the opportunity for the 10 Year Plan to be achieved, but it will be up to you, as Elected Members, to ensure the benefits of the Airport are realised during the four years you are in office. Her Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom will continue to work with you. Setting aside the Governor’s special responsibilities, I am quite clear that under the terms of the Constitution, it is Elected Members who drive this agenda on behalf of the people.  I am ready to work with you in a relationship that is cooperative, open, and effective.”

The following elections then took place:

Election of Speaker and Deputy Speaker

Eric Benjamin was elected as Speaker of the House, with John Cranfield as Deputy Speaker.

Election of Committee Chairpersons

Elected Members were then asked to elect from amongst themselves Chairpersons for the five Council Committees. The following were elected:

Economic Development Committee – Councillor Lawson Henry

Education Committee – Councillor Christine Scipio O’Dean

Environment & Natural Resources Committee – Councillor Russell Yon

Public Health Committee – Councillor Derek Thomas

Social & Community Development Committee – Councillor Anthony Green

Members of these committees will be appointed by Governor Lisa Phillips after consultation with the relevant Chairpersons.

Election of Executive Council Members

Members elected to serve on Executive Council were Councillors Lawson Henry, Christine Scipio O’Dean, Russell Yon, Derek Thomas and Anthony Green.

Election of Members of the Public Accounts Committee

The final election was for three members to serve on the Public Accounts Committee. Members elected were Councillors Corinda Essex, Brian Isaac and Clint Beard.

The meeting closed at around 1pm following the customary Adjournment Debate.

A photo of the new Legislative Council and a full copy of Governor Lisa’s address to Legislative Council are attached to this press release


2 August 2017

The RMS St Helena

The RMS St Helena eventually left James Bay at 18.05 yesterday evening with 54 passengers and 56 crew on board. She is now en-route to Ascension Island where she is expected to arrive on Friday morning at 7am.

Embraer solves St. Helena connection problem (Air Insight)

For months the inhabitants of the Atlantic island of St. Helena have faced a connectivity problem.  The mailship from Cape Town broke down near the end of its life and the there was no way to get on or off the island as easily as before.  This was despite the fact the British Government had spent £285m on a new airport.

We have previous stories on the problems this airport faced with wind shear.  The first commercial test flight was undertaken by South Africa’s Comair, using a British Airways branded 737NG.  That did no go well as the cross winds made the landing on the island unexpectedly difficult.  But that was in April, by December a new solution emerged.

We anticipated that the success of the Embraer flights to and from the island were going to show the way forward.  The lighter Embraer E-Jet would enable the island to be connected to South Africa again.   This would then enable people to easily transit from Johannesburg to the UK.

Today we understand that SA Airlink has signed a three-year deal to provide scheduled services to St. Helena using their Embraer E-190. The island has been waiting since May 2016 for air service to start.  The proposed flight will occur weekly, from Johannesburg to St. Helena with a tech stop in Windhoek, Namibia.  Total flight time will be six and a quarter hours – the Windhoek stop is included and should be 30 minutes to refuel for the long over water leg.  The plan is for these flights to start in October.

SA Airlink acquired E-190s from NAC earlier this year.  The flight tests on the island by Embraer proved the E-190 to be the right aircraft.  The willingness of SA Airlink to take on this unusual flight will enable it to demonstrate a significant increase in capabilities.


The St Helena Minimum Wage increase, which was announced in May 2017, comes into effect from today, Tuesday 1 August.

The Minimum Wage was increased from £2.60 to £2.95 per hour for all employees having attained the age of 18 years and increased from £1.65 to £2.00 per hour for all young people having attained the age of 16 and 17 years.

Businesses must ensure that the remuneration they pay is equal to or greater than the new Minimum Wage rates.


The St Helena Police Directorate has today launched a Trust & Confidence survey.

 The survey consists of four headed themes and related questions. The themes are:

  1. Effectiveness in Crime Prevention & Protection
  2. Community Commitment/Engagement
  3. Personal Treatment
  4. Anti-Social Behaviour

 Acting Chief Inspector Jonathan Thomas said:

 “We are using this survey to measure the public’s trust & confidence in the Police Service.

 “Results from the last two surveys we conducted show that a significant percentage of the community did not come into contact with the Police. Therefore, in this survey, even if you have not had any experience with the Police, you are encouraged to give your view of what you might expect that experience to be like.”

 The survey can be completed online at the following link:

Alternatively, hard copies will also be made available at the Customer Service Centre in Jamestown and from outlets in various districts.

 St Helena Police welcome any feedback on how they can improve the service they provide. Please comment on the survey or contact them on Tel: 22350 or via e-mail:  


St Helena is currently experiencing a significant south south-westerly swell that is forecast to last throughout this week, running into the weekend.

The public is asked to use caution when accessing the Sea Front area. To avoid damage to vehicles, drivers are also asked to take care when parking near the safety rails.

The same conditions are expected in Rupert’s Bay and the public is advised to take care in the Beach, Shears and Wharf areas.

Port Control will be monitoring sea conditions and may restrict access to the Sea Front and Jamestown Wharf if conditions worsen.


Great photo from Simon Benjamin- approaching St Helena



The public is reminded that the Safeguarding Directorate is this year launching the first ever St Helena Care Awards. These annual awards will pay tribute to those individuals who have demonstrated outstanding excellence within their field of work across the Social Care Sector.

There are eleven award categories available for nomination, representing all areas of the Social Care Sector – whether it be community, specialist services, residential or home care.

A list detailing all eleven award categories and their criteria can be found on the Publications page of the SHG Website at: Alternatively, hard copies along with posters detailing how to make a nomination can be found in various places of public interest including: The Castle, Public Library Customer Service Centre and at Brick House in Jamestown.

The deadline for nominations is Thursday, 31 August 2017, with the Awards Night scheduled to take place at Plantation House in September.

Manager of Ebony View, David Vago, said:

“The St Helena Care Awards are about the individuals who are working to make life for vulnerable people on St Helena more fulfilled and client focused. I would like to see every person who does this nominated for an award, so if you know of someone who is making a difference please nominate them. Our staff work extremely hard, so this will be much appreciated.”

For more information or for assistance in making a nomination, contact David Vago on tel: 23343 or via email:


The aim of having a Digital Strategy in place for St Helena is to take the Island forward and move it in line with the outside world through improvements in the Island’s health, education, economy and communications.

The draft Digital Strategy is available on the SHG website under the Public Consultations section of the Publications page: Hard copies are also available at the Customer Service Centre and Public Library in Jamestown.

A new Sustainable Economic Development Plan is currently being developed for St Helena. The objectives of the Plan are to:

  • Provide a vision for the Island’s economic growth
  • Help investors understand St Helena’s strengths as a place to do business
  • Provide direction for decision making, to make it easier for businesses which contribute to economic development
  • Help set direction for Enterprise St Helena

The previous Sustainable Economic Development Plan focused on using tourism as the mechanism by which to grow the economy. Whilst that approach is still very valid, it is now time to widen the focus to other sectors.

A survey has been produced to find out what residents think the future for sustainable economic growth will be on St Helena. Please help us by filling in the survey before, Sunday, 10 September 2017.

The survey is available online at:

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