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Trick or treat? Ascension gets a Hallowe’en election

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When folk speak of The Count come Hallowe’en night on Ascension, it may not be Count Dracula they have in mind.

An election for a new island council is to take place on the spookiest date in the calendar.

The decision has been announced by the aptly-named Governor Capes (no jokes about The Dark Mark, please), in an edict from his haunted castle on St Helena.

The good people of Georgetown and Two Boats can thus look forward to a double dose of ghoulish figures on 31 October 2013: vampires at night, and vote-seeking politicians in the day.

In fact, Mr Capes has praised the councillors who are to lose their seats after just two and a half years in office.

The current council will be dissolved 29 days before polling day, compared with nearly 13 weeks between dissolution and voting in the 2013 St Helena election.

In his announcement of the poll, Mr Capes thanked the five councillors for their hard work.

He said: “They have dealt with some difficult issues, including the financial crisis that beset Ascension prior to 2011.

“The island’s relative financial stability since then is largely a result of the difficult choices and decisions they made.

“Councillors provided effective scrutiny of the administrator and [government] policies and programmes.

“Councillors Kitty George, Cathy Cranfield, Toni Bendall, Neil Lawrence and Cyril Leo deserve our thanks.”

He added: “I am dissolving council at this point primarily because I judge it important that the process of developing the next annual budget for AIG should be taken forward and owned by a new council.”

A difficult trick; no treats guaranteed.

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