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Submitted by Saint Helena Herald (Public Relations Information Office) 26.10.2013 (Article Archived on 23.11.2013)

The first item concerned a number of follow up actions pertaining to the Telecommunications and TV Broadcasting Licence that were issued to Sure Atlantic Ltd last year.


Good Day everyone,


ExCo met today, Tuesday 22 October,
to discuss three items on the open agenda.


The first item concerned a number
of follow up actions pertaining to the Telecommunications and TV Broadcasting
Licence that were issued to Sure Atlantic Ltd last year. Initially it was felt
that this item should have been endorsed by the Economic Development Committee
before coming to ExCo. In the open session it was therefore deferred, but upon
further discussion it was accepted that this item should be presented by the
Chief Secretary, as there were no policy changes but rather operational actions
that were necessary to ensure compliance with the licences. The principle of
getting political endorsement for policy changes or initiatives from the responsible
committee was re-affirmed but considered unnecessary on this occasion.


The Service Level Agreement as
provided by Sure for businesses and government subscribers was endorsed by ExCo
and the tariffs which were implemented on the 1 January 2013 were
noted. It was further agreed that Sure no longer needs to provide Operator
Assisted Calls but will do so in cases of emergency. This was only in relation
to international calls and not other operator services such as directory


As part of this item ExCo was
asked to agree that the Deputy Chief Secretary authorise locally produced
material for broadcast on TV. This is the half hour slot allocated for local TV
production each day. Under the previous license there was an informal agreement
that the Chief Secretary or Deputy Chief Secretary should authorise such
programmes. There was a discussion as to whether the responsibility should fall
to a government official and it was agreed that subject to certain conditions
this would be acceptable. The conditions are that there will be a set of
criteria that any programme must meet before broadcast and if a programme is
refused then this must be referred to ExCo for a final decision.


The second item was a request from
SAMS to allow them temporary use of a frequency for them to overcome
difficulties with transmission of the BBC World Service. There was concern that
this could impact on other frequencies and it was agreed that SAMS will report
progress and any problems to the next Economic Development Committee.


The final item on the open agenda
was the Application for Development Permission for Proposed Development of 65
dwellings including detailed permission for 14 homes. For this item, Mr David
Taylor, Head of Planning and Building, was invited to join the discussion.


Mr Taylor gave a short
presentation on the development and answered specific technical questions.
There were nine planning conditions imposed on this development, which will be
made publicly available, and a tenth condition that there be a temporary
construction management plan applied to ensure neighbours are not disturbed
unduly during construction.


The main points discussed were


While the 14 houses have reference
designs, the actual method of construction will be determined during the tender


That five self-build plots are
included in the original proposal but that this will be reviewed subject to


The sale of land is not bound to
the current pricing structure as proposals for affordable land sales are
currently being discussed in Committee.


As there has been extensive
consultation on this ExCo agreed to the development.


Under AOB the present situation
with the shortage of UK Sterling was raised. This is of concern to the
community as it is causing difficulties for Saints who are travelling overseas.
Importation of UK Sterling is a very complex issue as there are restrictions on
transporting currency and significant costs involved. The Financial Secretary
confirmed that he had been in discussion with the Bank of St Helena to help to
alleviate the immediate problem. Longer term, there is a need for a
comprehensive review on whether we retain our own currency which will include
public consultation.


The meeting closed at 11:45

Thank you for listening.


22 October 2013


This article is the Property and Copyright of Saint Helena Herald.

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