‘Shops are silent. There’s disbelief’ – islanders mourn Saint FM

“I just saw Bernice walk up the street.  Everybody, and I mean everybody, stopped her to ask two questions: ‘Why did it close?’ and, ‘How’s Mike?’” The day after St Helena’s independent radio station closed down, JOHN TURNER sent a personal reflection on what it meant to the island, and on the contribution made by founder […]

St Helena Online joins a campaign for transparency

Ignorance may be bliss, but it’s not good for democracy. St Helena’s elected councillors are making decisions that will set the course of the island’s future, but we are rarely told what they will talk about in advance. That means people cannot voice their own concerns, and possibly raise problems that the officials in The […]

Brits to pay 21 times island rate for dentist as fees double

New medical charges on St Helena mean UK visitors must pay 2,000 per cent more than islanders for dental care. The cost of a consultation for expats from the UK will rise by 150%, from £21 to £52.50. Expats from non-UK countries already pay the higher rate. Tourists should be covered by travel insurance. Prescription […]

Facebook page calls for more open government

A campaign page calling for greater transparency from St Helena Government has been launched on Facebook by island commentator John Turner. It follows comments by the Secretary of State for International Development, Andrew Mitchell, who said that he favoured transparency but would not impose it on governments in the overseas territories. He said it was […]

Rat claims discounted as pest control staff are laid off

Claims that rats are on the increase across the island have been discounted by St Helena Government (SHG) – just as the number of pest controllers is being halved. Five of the 11 staff who lay bait are to lose their jobs. Councillors have confirmed receiving complaints, but a statement from The Castle says: “There […]

Media funding must be fair, says John – as MP holds debate

The re-launch of the St Helena Independent – in competition with a government-funded rival – has prompted island blogger John Turner to oppose media subsidies. But in the UK, one Conservative MP has called for tax breaks and financial assistance for local newspapers that cannot survive in the face of competition from the internet. Louise […]

Tourist cash sails away – in a ‘millpond’ sea

She came, we saw, she left – the words of hotelier Hazel Wilmot after the P&O cruise ship Arcadia left James Bay without allowing passengers ashore. Questions are now being asked about why the island traders lost the chance of tourist income,  despite “millpond” conditions at the landing steps. It is understood some passengers were too elderly […]

‘Bring back the Indy’ campaign launched on Facebook

A Facebook campaign has been launched to press for the relaunch of the St Helena Independent, despite new competition from the government-funded Sentinel. Owner Mike Olsson announced that the 30 March 2012 issue would be the last. He said the paper would not be viable because St Helena Government (SHG) was to transfer its advertising and […]

State-funded paper won’t be controlled from The Castle, says founder – as Independent announces closure (updated Tuesday 27 March 2012)

The announcement that the St Helena Independent is to close on Friday, citing government-funded competition – has prompted strong reactions. Read comments here. So far, however – because of personal pressures – this website has not carried any response from the organisation behind the government-subsidised St Helena Sentinel, which launches on the same day. However, the St Helena Herald carried […]