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Questions in the House as erosion threatens homes

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The plight of people whose homes are at risk from soil erosion is to be raised at the first full meeting of St Helena’s Legislative Council.

The problem is affecting a stream embankment in the lower parts of Sandy Bay, and could mean residents are unable to use a bridge that links their homes to the road up the steep valley.

Councillor Brian Isaac has raised the issue in a question to the Hon Cyril George, chairman of the government’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee.

He asks: “What is government’s policy for the prevention of soil erosion along the embankment of the stream in Lower Sandy Bay and the bridge access to residents’ homes in the affected area?”

In another question, he confronts the issue of unused equipment bought for work on the island’s roads.

Roads equipment was highlighted in the St Helena Independent
Roads equipment was highlighted in the St Helena Independent

It comes after the government issued a public apology over the loss of more than £100,000, spent on an asphalt machine that proved too dangerous to use.

The St Helena Independent published a double-page spread of pictures in June 2013, putting a price on vehicles and equipment at the roads depot.

The state of roads on the island has been acknowledged to be “terrible” in recent times, though that has been partly because of the immense difficulties of using modern techniques on a remote island.

They have also suffered under pressure from the increasing number of vehicles on the island – many of them heavier than in the past.

A programme of improvements is now in hand on main routes across the island.

But in an another question being put forward at the LegCo session, councillor Derek Thomas asks what is being done to secure funding for district and community roads.

It’s not just the roads themselves that will come under scrutiny by councillors, but also the vehicles that run on them.

The Hon Gavin Ellick has put forward a question, asking whether the island’s public transport system is geared up to meet both current and future demand, with the island’s population already growing as work progresses on its first airport.

Brian Isaac asks about the cost of solar lighting that was erected around the island, and what is being done to ensure the light all work.

SEE ALSO: Road to regret: Castle says ‘sorry’ over asphalt machine loss


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