Councillor Christine Scipio-O’Dean asked the Chief Secretary: How many technical cooperation officers are currently employed by St Helena Government; is their performance against terms of reference monitored, and does the terms of reference include any training element for local staff?
Mr Burke replied there are 67 long term posts, 33 short term and 24 posts in total are being recruited. Budget for long term is £5m and short term £2m. Thirteen of the short term posts have been identified for shadowing and to provide training, and performance against staff appraisals are held.
Councillor Derek Thomas asked the Chairman of Environmental and Natural Resources Committee: What plans are proposed for the development of the Longwood Dairy complex and its surrounding areas?
Mr Duncan said there are draft plans for developing .75 acres including the former abattoir for the retail market and tourism related interests. No funding has been committed but ENRD is looking to DfID, Capital Programme and ESH for this. There is also a study with the French Government to manage Napoleonic interests. A programme has been ongoing for quite some time.
Mr Thomas asked if expressions of interest were advertised for the pig pounds and other areas? Mr Duncan, assisted by the Director of ENRD, Trevor Graham, didn’t have an answer but would reply in writing, and only the CDA at Bottom Woods was advertised.
Councillor Nigel Dollery asked the Acting Financial Secretary: When can we expect the accounts of SHG for 2012/14 to be laid?
Mr Richards said this would happen no later than March 2015.
Mr Nigel Dollery asked the Acting Financial Secretary: What steps have been or are being taken to incorporate subsidiary accounts into those of the SHG in light of the qualification of the previous years’ accounts by the chief auditor and the suggestion made by the last PAC meeting to begin with consolidating the accounts of smaller enterprises, such as the Fisheries Corporation and Currency Fund?
Mr Richards said smaller enterprises can be consolidated in the 2012 statements.
Councillor Gavin Ellick asked the Chairman of Public Health Committee: What plans are in place to investigate the recent situation in the hospital where a number of critically ill people put the service under great strain and what measures are in place to improve the capability of the service to respond to such situations, such as recruitment and retention of doctors?
Mr Rummery gave reasons for the impact on services and said there were lessons to be learnt from this. There were already staff shortages and the critically ill patients required 24 hour nursing care. It is not easy to recruit doctors for St Helena and nurses are not paid enough. Nursing is tough and should be more attractive. He wanted councillors to recall their introduction visit to the hospital last year and especially the theatre where the operating table was unsafe. Some upgrades have happened including purchase of equipment, but DfID should be concerned that equipment without people to operate these is counter-productive. He talked about lacking budget and bold decisions for upgrading the health service. “Are we,” he said, “putting investment of the airport at risk.” Mr Ellick was satisfied with the response.
Councillor Leslie Baldwin asked the Acting Financial Secretary: Whether it is the intention of Government to see International Ship and Port Facility Security certification for the Rupert’s port area?
Mr Richards said this is intended but there is no guarantee that certification will be received.
A full report from Formal LegCo can be found in The Sentinel, 14 August 2014
||This report and more appears in The Sentinel of 14 August 2014