Saints get free calls to UK helpline – thanks to SURE

A confidential telephone support line for people in distress on St Helena has been set up in partnership with the UK’s Samaritans charity. The calls will go straight through to trained counsellors in Britain. SURE St Helena has agreed to cover all the costs of the calls, in a deal organised by St Helena Government […]

Hospital and child safety highlighted as aid talks end

An aid grant of £13.55 million is being recommended for St Helena for year 2014/15 – a slight rise of £150,000 on the current year. That is a drop in real terms, once inflation is taken into account, but St Helena Government (SHG) says the island is forecast to earn more money for itself. An […]

St Helena 1, UK nil: writer marks the score on welfare reforms

St Helena’s welfare reform programme has been used as a tool to chide the UK government on its own drive to reduce social benefits, in a column in the UK’s Guardian newspaper. Hugh Muir notes that executive councillors have “taken the best advice” and “agreed to introduce a new system based on minimum income standards, […]

Candidates wanted to fill Tony’s seat… if not his shoes

A by-election is to be held on St Helena on 12 March 2014 to fill the Legislative Council seat left vacant by the resignation of Tony Green. Mr Green resigned with effect from 17 December 2013 in order to travel to the UK to support his family. He worked for many years in government, rising […]

Governor and politicians top ‘not trusted’ list

Politicians have been named as the least trusted people on St Helena, along with journalists. But the governor has come second in a list of the most distrusted people on the island – and that fact was left out of a summary of the findings that was issued to media by the government. Governor Mark […]

New leaders vow to end ’embarrassment’ of secrecy

St Helena’s new political leaders have called for an early end to the “embarrassment” of excessive secrecy within the island’s government. They also voiced strong objections to having to sign an oath of confidentiality, blocking them from sharing any information with the public without the governor’s consent. The acting chief secretary, Gillian Francis, acknowledged calls […]

Expert quit island three days after drink-drive ban

Fisheries adviser Mark Brumbill was convicted of drink-driving only three days before leaving St Helena without serving out his contract, it has been confirmed. St Helena Government reported that “serious threats” had been made against his family when it announced his departure – but made no mention of the court case. There has since been […]

Lords hear island works are ‘not value for money’

The House of Lords in London has been told that works being funded by the UK on St Helena were not progressing as expected. Baroness Northover told peers that progress on energy improvements was good but most infrastructure projects were not providing value for money. However, her comments appeared to be based on a strongly […]

Politicians are free to campaign – except when they’re not

Displaced councillors on St Helena have been left confused about whether they can exercise their political freedoms under pre-election “purdah” rules. St Helena Government has issued a statement saying they are not constrained by the rules – which it says are not rules at all. But it also says that they are limited in what […]