ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE AND HIGHWAYS AUTHORITY MEETINGS

The monthly meetings of the Environment & Natural Resources Committee (ENRC) and the Highways Authority were held on Thursday, 21 February 2019.

The process for requesting and approving road closures was discussed. The Committee agreed that all requests should be submitted at least seven days prior to the planned closure date, unless it is an emergency. The policy will be circulated to all parties that regularly request road closures and published for public information.

The safe use of Ladder Hill Road was deliberated, with some members feeling that not enough information is being published to advise motorists of road conditions, safe use of roads, and road courtesy. The replacement of signs identifying passing bays was requested and additional signage addressing safe and courteous use of our roads will be looked at. The feasibility of making Ladder Hill Road safer in certain areas was also discussed.

ENRD was made aware of the unwelcome pollution caused by the build-up of litter in the Jamestown Run. It was decided that a public announcement would be issued reminding members of the public to refrain from disposing of waste in The Run.

Johnathan Hall and Sarah Havery of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) gave a presentation on Management Planning for Diana's Peak National Park, addressing issues such as biodiversity, climate change and water security. The aim is to have one project with all stakeholders working together and implementing a 20-year plan for the future of the peaks and identifying funding to support this project. In all, 300 endemic species grow on the peaks alone.

Head of the Agriculture & Natural Resources Division (ANRD), Darren Duncan, together with Forestry Officer, Myra Young, submitted a proposal for the excision of selected land parcels from the SHG Forest Estate. ANRD has completed their phased exercise to rationalise the SHG Forest Estate and redefine its boundaries towards streamlining its management responsibility for an Estate that is both productive and environmentally suitable for long-term forestry benefits for the Island. A total of 2,117.292 acres is proposed for excision. The Committee agreed that ExCo approval should be sought to excise those parcels of land from the SHG Forestry Estate.

An update of the Heritage Report was presented by members of the Heritage Sub-Committee, led by Chairperson, Pamela Ward-Pearce. ENRC will now use this report, once it has been officially accepted, to support and address the upkeep, maintenance, and development of our historical buildings and monuments, and seek funding for this work.

Source: St Helena Government

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