Category: Government

Jacqui Ellick takes oath of office

Jacqui Ellick Takes Oath of Office photo

Ascension Island’s newest member of the Ascension Island Council, Mrs Jacqui Ellick, was officially sworn in on Thursday, 15 January 2015.

Following a by-election on 18 November, Councillor Ellick was elected to Council by a majority of 69 votes to 49 votes.Councillor Ellick’s appointment brings the number of elected members to seven and fills the vacant seat left by Toni Bendall following her resignation on 31 July 2014.

Councillor Ellick is one of Ascension Island’s longest residents and is an active member of the Community.  She is currently one of the island’s longest serving JPs and also serves as Chairman of the Islander newspaper.Councillor Ellick has been actively involved in Ascension Island’s Turtle programme over many years and this year is heading the Turtle Intern Programme in conjunction with the Conservation Office.

Ascension Island Government

15 January 2015

Swearing in of new Administrator

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Marc Holland is sworn in as the 19th Administrator of Ascension Island

On Tuesday 26 August, Mr Marc Holland was sworn in as Administrator of Ascension AdministratorIsland, having succeeded the outgoing Administrator, Mr Colin Wells, whose term in office had come to an end.

A large gathering of invited guests assembled at the Court House in Georgetown for the ceremony which was led by Mr Alan Nicholls, AIG Director of Human Resources. After addressing guests, Mr Nicholls invited the outgoing Administrator to give a speech.

Mr Wells reflected on his term in office during the last three years having arrived in October 2011. When he arrived AIG was going through a period of transition, however, the last few years have seen the organisation’s standing and reputation improve and the island was now enjoying financial stability. Mr Wells paid tribute to the people he had had the pleasure of working with – Island Councillors, Heads of Organisations, AIG staff and in particular he thanked his team at the Administrator’s Office. He also highlighted the events and occasions that he had enjoyed, especially the New Year’s Day Pier Head jump, which saw him pictured on the front page of the Islander in mid-jump!

Mr Wells’ speech was followed by the formal part of the ceremony and Mr Nicholls read out a directive from HE the Governor, Mark Capes, as follows: “I hereby direct you to arrange for Mr Marc Holland, whom I have appointed to succeed Mr Wells, to take the necessary oaths on that day to enable him to assume the role, duties and responsibilities of the position of Administrator of Ascension Island”.

AdministratorThe Oath of Office was administered to Mr Holland by Mrs Jacqui Ellick, JP.

After assuming the office of Administrator, Mr Holland gave a speech. He began by thanking everyone for the warm welcome that he and his family had received since their arrival just over a week ago – a particularly challenging move which came shortly after the birth of their fifth child. Mr Holland paid tribute to the outgoing Administrator and highlighted some of the contributions that Mr Wells had made to Ascension Island, among them the promotion of conservation, the stability of the island’s finances and the work towards safeguarding children.

Mr Holland went on to talk about his family and his background, having worked in the Foreign Office for 12 years with postings to Brussels and Berlin. Before this he worked in education planning in local government and in business as a management consultant. Mr Holland said, “I am also a strong believer in lifelong learning and there will be many new skills for me to pick up in this role”. In his vision for Ascension, Mr Holland spoke about St Helena Airport being on the departure board at Wideawake Airfield, the bicentenary celebration of the garrisoning of Ascension Island and sustainable fishing. “But,” he said “I’m clear about the result I want to achieve – to be a model, well run, small Overseas Territory.”Administrator 3

Mr Holland ended by saying, “I’d like to leave you with three things you could do for me and Ascension. Challenge – if something is not right, speak up. Do come and talk to me and tell me what’s on your mind. I’ll be out and about around the island or come by my office. We should challenge ourselves to deliver our best and become a model Overseas Territory. Community – I’m impressed by the sense of community on Ascension.  Let’s all get involved to make the island a better place to live for everyone. Next year’s bicentenary provides a focus. And if you want to make a personal difference to how things are run, we have a vacancy for Councillor.  Cherish – we live in a special place. Let’s look after it, together.

Following speeches, guests reconvened at the Saints Club to say farewell to Mr Wells and to congratulate Mr Holland on his appointment.

AIG

28 August 2014

Child Protection – Lucy Faithfull Report

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Message from The Administrator

CHILD PROTECTION ON ST HELENA AND ASCENSION ISLAND: REPORT BY THE LUCY FAITHFULL FOUNDATION

The governments of St Helena and Ascension Island recognise their responsibility to protect the vulnerable in society, especially children. Following the improvements that flowed from the ‘Safeguarding Children in the Overseas Territories Programme’, work has continued to strengthen the child protection framework on both Islands, including raising awareness of the need to safeguard children from sexual or physical abuse. As a result, in the past few years several offenders have been detected, prosecuted and awarded custodial sentences.

To help assess progress and identify areas for improvement, two representatives of the independent Lucy Faithfull Foundation (LFF), a UK based charity dedicated to preventing the sexual abuse of children (http://www.lucyFaithfull.org/), visited St Helena and Ascension earlier this year. A summary of the report of their visit is available below. As the substantive report contains data that could identify individual child protection cases, it will be available only to officials involved in child protection work. While the report recognises the progress made, it points to areas where more remains to be done. The recent strengthening of the Police and Social Services Department on St Helena will help take forward this important work.

In relation to Ascension Island, the reviewers have welcomed initiatives like the Child Helpline and the introduction of a Counseling Service at the school, as steps in the right direction, but question their effectiveness to date.  They welcomed the “Children in Bars” legislation. But, they have drawn attention to the degree of distrust between parents and Government institutions. In addition, they note that the working nature of Ascension may inhibit victims of sexual and domestic abuse from coming forward – out of a perceived fear of the impact it might have on their employment and entry control status or that of their family members. The Reviewers fear this may mask the true extent of this behavior on Ascension and recommend an education campaign to raise awareness in all parts of the community about the impact of sexual and domestic abuse on the victims, families, communities and even those who perpetrate it.

I welcome this report and believe more needs to be done to address both sexual and domestic abuse on Ascension. I look forward to working with the new Council, voluntary groups, employers and professionals from all parts of Ascension society to take this forward. The aim must be to stop abuse from happening but where it does, for victims to believe they can come forward and receive the support they need without fear of repercussion.

Colin Wells
Administrator
14th October 2013

Lucy Faithfull Foundation – Report Summary
Lucy Faithfull report

Next Administrator for Ascension Announced

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Message from the Administrator

Marc Holland to be next Administrator of Ascension Island

 

I am delighted to be able to inform you that His Excellency Mark Capes, Governor of Ascension, has appointed Mr Marc Holland as the 19th Administrator of Ascension Island. Marc, who is 39 and a member of HM Diplomatic Service, will replace me in October 2014.

Marc has kindly sent us an introduction to himself and his family.

“I joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in 2002 and have worked at the UK Representation to the European Union in Brussels (negotiating EU social & employment legislation on behalf of the UK) and at the British Embassy in Berlin, where I worked on EU, agricultural and employment issues. I am currently Deputy Head of the Future of Europe Department in London. Before joining the FCO, I worked as a management consultant and briefly for Department of Trade & Industry. I also worked in local government, where I was responsible for school place planning for a London borough.

New AdministratorI met my wife Rachel at Oxford University and we married 7 years later. We both studied German, she also Portuguese and I, history. She has worked in publishing, website content management and for an oil multinational. Recently she qualified as a primary school teacher. We have four children – Annoushka (11), Jemima (9), Luca (7) and Noah (18 months). They will all be coming with us to Ascension and look forward to attending Two Boats School and getting involved in island life. As a family we especially enjoy walking and swimming in our free time and we hope to continue doing these as well as trying out some new skills and hobbies during our time on Ascension.

We are all thrilled to be coming to Ascension. We look forward to taking full part in the community and sharing
with you the unique experience of living and working in such a fascinating place.”

I hope Marc will visit Ascension early next year and in the process meet as many of you as possible. I know he is keen to do so.

Colin Wells
Administrator
9th October 2013

Public Notice – Vehicle & Equipment Tender

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PUBLIC NOTICE

The Ascension Island Government invites tenders for the following items:

 

LOT NO. DESCRIPTION PREVIOUSLY REGISTERED AS:
1 SEDDON ATKINSON TRACTOR UNIT A728
2 SEDDON ATKINSON TRACTOR UNIT A309
3 LEYLAND FIRE TRUCK A770
4 LEYLAND FIRE TRUCK A424
5 WINGET DUMPER A365
6 WINGET DUMPER A565
7 CATERPILLAR TRACK LOADER A798
8 FORD CARGO MULTI BODY TRUCK A622
9 FORD CARGO MULTI BODY TRUCK A989
10 FORD BANTHAM PICK-UP 1999 1.3L A275
11 ISUZU REFUSE TRUCK 3.9L DIESEL TURBO INTERCOOLER A574
12 NISSAN CABSTAR 4.0L DIESEL 25 SEATER BUS A485
13 IVECO MULTI BODY TRUCK A1038
14 BENFORD ROLLER A558
15 FIORI CONCRETE MIXER  
16 MOBILE COMPRESSOR  
17 AUTOMOTIVE TYRE CHANGER SICE 415 (changes tyres up to 24” wheel)  
18 MIG WELDER SIP IDEAL 180  
19 WATER TANK 800 LITRES  

The plant and vehicles are no longer licensed or insured and the registration number as shown is purely for the purpose of identity.  All items will be sold on an ‘as is’ basis with no warranty given or implied.  Viewing may be arranged with the Transport Team Leader, Mr Mark Thomas, on telephone no. 6791.

There are a number of spare parts available at AIG’s Store for Lot No’s. 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13 and 15.  For queries on spares that are available, please contact Gerrilyn Crowie on telephone no 6561.

All tenders, with a clear description of the item, must be submitted in a sealed envelope and marked ‘Tender: Lot No. __’  to the Administrator’s Office by no later than 4pm on Friday, 19th July 2012.

 

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.

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

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.

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Raising Ascension’s New Flag

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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.