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Public Consultation – Draft Marine Protection Legislation

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Notice from the Administrator

Draft Legislation on Protecting Marine Wildlife

Public Consultation

The Island Council is considering draft legislation that will put in place mechanisms for the Administrator, with Island Council’s approval, to protect the Islands’ marine life and biodiversity. This will be used to control fishing or exploitation of our marine life when evidence suggests that not to do so would put its numbers or existence in jeopardy.

The measure arose initially as a result of concern about the harvesting of berried lobsters (i.e female lobsters/crayfish with eggs).  If the legislation is enacted, it would be my proposal to seek Council approval for immediate restrictions with legal effect on the exploitation of berried lobsters.

Key components of the draft law are:

–          Continuation of the current requirement to possess permits for the export of fish products.

–          The Administrator, with Council approval, will be able to designate particular marine species for protection; licenses will be required for their fishing, sale or export.  He or she can also designate areas or seasons where certain species cannot be fished, or ban the use of certain equipment – spear guns, long lines etc.  All decision would be evidence based.

–          Licences can be issued for scientific research of protected species.

–          Penalties are introduced for breaking the terms of any restrictions including sequestration of equipment, and fines up to £20,000.

A copy of the draft legislation can be downloaded here or obtained from Nicola Dillon on 7000 ext 100, or Nicola.dillon@ascension.gov.ac or by simply calling into the Administration Building.

The aim is to protect the most vulnerable of our marine species. There is no intention for these restrictions to impact the small fishing sector on Ascension – nor should they. The numbers of the fish brought in are small. It is the harvesting of all marine life that needs to be carefully monitored and where protection is needed and justifiable, these new measures will provide the means to introduce them.  No-one will want to see a species eradicated from Ascension’s shores.

This proposed legislation brings Ascension into line with other British Overseas Territories, though the measures are much lighter than in most other places.

Written comments for the Council’s consideration will be most welcome and can be sent to Nicola Dillon, or submitted through the Council’s website page.

Deadline: Friday 28 June.

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Notice of Council Meeting

Dear Everyone,

There will be a formal meeting of the Ascension Island Council on Thursday, 23 May at 1.00pm (see notice below).

Members of the public are invited to forward items which they would like raised at this meeting to elected members.  Their contact details are:

Toni Bendall                    toni.bendall@ascension.gov.ac

Cathy Cranfield                cathy.cranfield@ascension.gov.ac

Kitty George                    kitty.george@ascension.gov.ac

Neil Lawrence                  Tel no 6145

Cyril Leo                         councillorleo@cwimail.co.ac

Notice of Council Meeting

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New Flag Ascends on Ascension Day!

Flag FlyingUnder the sweltering sunshine on Saturday morning, 11th May, a large crowd gathered outside the Ascension Island Government building in Georgetown to witness a momentous event in Ascension’s history.

On the same day that Islanders gather each year to celebrate Ascension’s discovery – Ascension Day – the Island’s first ever flag was to make its glorious first ascent to the pinnacle of the AIG Building Flag Pole.  The new flag features the Ascension Island crest, approved by HM Queen Elizabeth II in 2012, emblazoned proudly on blue ensign, depicting our natural treasure, the Green Turtle, and our volcanic landscape, sea birds and endemic plants towered over by Green Mountain.

The ceremony was initiated by Ascension’s Administrator, Colin Wells, who welcomed all spectators.  A short sermon by Rev Squadron Leader Alex Hobson then ensued in which the new flag was blessed.

The honour of raising the flag fell to Brian “Dutch” Lawrence, Mervyn Isaac and Douglas “Auggie” Augustus – three of the islands longest serving residents, Auggie was in fact celebrating the 50th anniversary of his arrival at Ascension on the very same day!

The crowd waited anxiously in silence as the flag was hoisted into position then finally erupted into cheers and applause as it reached the top of the flag pole.

There was a palpable sense of pride and community among the crowd who remained for snacks and refreshments – long may Ascension’s flag fly proudly over us.

P1030685   P1030705

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Raising Ascension’s New Flag

P1030625 - Copy

Come and see history being made. Ascension Island’s flag will be raised for the very first time on Saturday 11 May on the Flag Pole outside the AIG Administration Building.

The event will precede the Ascension Day Fair and will start at 1015am. A few long-serving members of the Island’s community will have the honour to raise the flag in a short and historic ceremony.

The British Government will raise the Ascension Flag on 13 May over the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on Whitehall, and again at the Queen’s Birthday Parade on 8 June.

All members of the public are welcome to attend. Saturday 11 May, 1015am, Administration Building.

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New MUGA Opening Day

MUGA Opening Day A Great Success

Ascension’s community turned out in high spirits at Two Boats Club on Saturday 20th April, all wanting to witness the opening and some to take part in the first sporting events held at the new Multi Use Games Area, or MUGA.  The MUGA was initiated by the Island Councillors in the hopes of creating a more useful facility for the community on the site of an old tennis court.


As its name suggests, the MUGA can be used for a variety of sports rather than just tennis as was the case with the old facility.  Basket Ball, Net Ball, Football, Cricket, Hockey, Tennis, Volley Ball & Hand Ball are among the sports that can be enjoyed within the new MUGA, so there is plenty of opportunity for all members of the community to get involved in one sport or another.

The MUGA was officially opened by HH The Administrator, Colin Wells, with Korben Minto being awarded the honour of cutting the ribbon – he was selected for this duty as he was wearing a T-Shirt bearing an “AIG” logo, very clever Korben!  The opening ceremony was followed by a feast of delicious treats for the crowd provided by Mrs Delphia Leo and staff of Two Boats Club, and several glasses of bubbly were also floating around to mark the occasion.

An afternoon of competitive action then ensued – starting with the children’s 5-A-Side football knock-out, and followed by the fiercely contested adults matches – even the ladies got involved in a Women’s match up.

The RAF lads and lady were the victors of the afternoon, and were awarded a case of beer to celebrate their win.

All in all, an enjoyable afternoon was had by those who attended – spectators and participants alike.  It is hoped that Ascension’s community will continue to enjoy the benefits of the new MUGA.

                                View Gallery 

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EDF10 Roads Update April 2013

Hogan’s Bypass Update: Surface Dressing

What is Surface Dressing; Surface Dressing is the application of a “glue” (Bitumen/Tar) and then applying a layer of stone chippings, this process can be repeated several times to achieve individual design requirements.

The process of surface dressing seals the road against water penetration – the root cause of pot holing, improves skid resistance and extends the life of road networks. This method only works on decent sections of road to protect and extend design life, inevitably some roads are just too badly damaged and the process of complete reconstruction has to be adopted – it is envisaged very little surface dressing will be carried out on this project.

Over the last two weeks the EDF10 Roads Team have carried out surface dressing from the junction at Hogan’s Bypass to birdies garage, approximately 1000m of carriageway, this section has received 2 coats of tar and chippings to protect the existing road and also improve the existing thickness of the road.

The section beyond Birdies has received just 1 coat of tar and chippings as we are awaiting further bitumen tar to arrive on the next RMS on the 8th May, the supplier has not been able to accommodate our full order due to existing manufacturing commitments, however, this will be enough to complete Phase 1 & 2 of the EDF10 Project. Upon arrival of this additional tar we will continue from Birdies towards the junction at English Bay and apply a final coat of tar and chippings to the carriageway. We will then carry out the works to the English Bay junction using the same process of surface dressing.

Whilst we await the arrival of the remaining tar, the completed road will be assessed to ensure that the correct embedment depth of the chippings has occurred prior to sweeping and then carrying out the associated line marking. It is important that the road is trafficked to assist with embedding the chippings into the existing road surface, this can only be achieved with good results if vehicles are driving at reduced speeds of 20mph, avoid braking and steering sharply and don’t overtake, this also protects the road in the early stages of the curing process.

It has been noticed on several occasions that some vehicles continue to speed on this section of road; please can I remind all drivers that whilst we are operating on the road, for the safety of the roads team, the safety of yourselves and to protect the newly laid
surface that you stick to 20mph on the loose surface. Persistent speeding will only cause existing traffic management procedures to be reviewed, which may result in closing certain sections of the road.

If you have any concerns regarding the roads project please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Kind regards
Ed Haynes
Project Manager (External Discrete Works & Development Funds)
Ascension Island Government
T: +(247) 6572
E: ed.haynes@ascension.gov.ac

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First Ever Ascension Flag to Fly

Ascension Island Flag
His Excellency Mark Capes, Governor of St Helena, Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha, has warmly welcomed Royal approval of the design of the first ever flag of Ascension Island, saying:

I am delighted to announce that Her Majesty The Queen has graciously approved the design of the first ever flag for Ascension Island, part of the British Overseas Territory of St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.  Ascension Island now has its own flag, which it will fly with pride.

“The residents on Ascension Island will raise their flag for the first time during a ceremony on Saturday 11 May 2013, when the Island will celebrate Ascension Day, after which the Island was named in 1503.”  

The flag, as for other Overseas Territories, is the Blue Ensign adorned with the Coat of Arms for Ascension Island (see attached picture).  Ascension’s Coat of Arms, which was approved by Her Majesty in May 2012, shows important symbols from the Territory, including a shield emblazoned with the Green Mountain that dominates the skyline, together with three Wideawake Birds, secured by two Green Turtles.

Both the design of the Coat of Arms and the flag emerged from an extensive public consultation exercise on Ascension.

Ascension Island has previously flown the Union Flag on Island and on state occasions.

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