Les Baldwin wins a place on Executive Council

The Honourable Leslie Baldwin has been elected to serve on St Helena’s Executive Council. The seat became vacant when Nigel Dollery stepped down from the island’s main decision-making group only weeks after the July 2013 general election, citing personal reasons. Mr Baldwin will also take over the chairmanship of the social and community development committee. […]

Cathy is elected Deputy Speaker

Cathy Hopkins has been elected as Deputy Speaker of St Helena’s new Legislative Council. She immediately took over the conduct of the inaugural meeting of the new council in the absence of the Speaker, Eric Benjamin, who had been receiving medical treatment in Cape Town. She told councillors: “Being a member of legislative council brings […]

Secrecy critics form new Executive Council

The five politicians who polled most votes in the 2013 St Helena general election have been named as the island’s new executive councillors. Each will chair one of the five main committees of the government. They are: Lawson Henry (Economic Development Committee), Christine Scipio o’Dean (Education), Cyril George (Environment and Natural Resources), Ian Rummery (Health […]

Inmates swelter as councillors duck vote on prison move

Efforts to end “human rights violations” in St Helena’s overcrowded prison have been frustrated by executive councillors’ refusal to consider plans for a new gaol at Half Tree Hollow. It is thought the acting governor, Owen O’Sullivan, might exercise his right to approve the plans himself, because conditions in HMP Jamestown are so bad. Any […]

Dear Councillor: do you want open government on St Helena?

The people elected to serve the people of St Helena have been asked to say whether they want to bring democracy on the island out into the open.  Governor Mark Capes has reported that councillors want to see more government information made public. But so far, that has not brought about the kind of transparency […]

Chokers in chokey: prisoners get right to smoke inside (comment added)

Inmates of Jamestown prison have been exempted from St Helena’s new ban on smoking in public buildings, which came into force on 1 September 2012. Under the law, anyone caught smoking in a public building is liable to a fine of £300 – which prisoners would struggle to pay. The prison service would also have […]

Experts help to balance benefits and minimum wage

Advice on setting new benefit levels on St Helena has been sought from a UK university. Executive councillors have been told that the new figure has to be linked to establishment of a new minimum wage, tax reforms and utility prices. Governor Mark Capes said: “Expert advice was being sourced from overseas, including from the […]

I had to stand up for St Helena: Tara looks back

TARA THOMAS is stepping down at 31 August as St Helena’s youngest councillor, to take up a prestigious Chevening Scholarship – awarded to future leaders. Here, she reflects on nearly three years as a dynamic force for change in The Castle – and on a memorable UK holiday with partner Tom.  It’s always good to […]

Stray goat fine set to be a thousand times bigger

The penalty for allowing goats to stray on to government land on St Helena could rise to £250 – from a mere 25 pence. That’s a thousand-fold increase. The “more meaningful” maximum fine is being considered because of the damage goats do to the island’s fragile environment. A committee has also advised that the penalty […]

St Helena airport building is cleared for take-off

Digital impression of the airport building, all on one lever apart from the control tower

A new design for St Helena’s proposed airport terminal has been unanimously approved by executive councillors at a special meeting (31 July 2012). Governor Mark Capes said: “The new design sits well with the surrounding area, using an attractive mix  of glass and natural stone.  It compares very favourably with airport terminals that I have used […]