Earlier today, Chief Minister Julie Thomas held a bilateral meeting with Minister Rutley. Minster Rutley is the UK Government Minister with responsibility for the Overseas Territories.




The Chief Minister is currently in the UK primarily attending the annual Joint Ministerial Council, however she is also undertaking a number of other engagements, which included meeting with Minister Rutley.


Chief Minister, Julie Thomas, said:


“It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to have an inaugural meeting with Minister Rutley. We discussed the challenges St Helena is currently facing, most notably our declining working age population and the knock-on effect this is having on demands for public services, public revenues and our ability to focus scare resources on other areas. Emphasis was also placed on our increasing aging population, significant prevalence of non-communicable diseases, and the impact this has on our annual budget. In setting out these challenges I was able to highlight the need for continued collaboration in a number of key areas if we are indeed going to be able to implement our desire to achieve building an effective infrastructure and creating an enabling environment, which demonstrates our commitment in focusing on the need for economic development.”


“However, we agreed that actions to grow the economy must take account of our Island’s focus on sustainability. I was therefore pleased to provide the Minister with an update on our plans to transition to at least 80% of our power being generated from renewable sources and the need to grow the population.


“It was noted that declines in our annual budget meant it was becoming increasingly harder to deliver not only what we have to, but also what we need to in order to grow our economy and improve the lives and prospects for everyone on our Island. In closing, I relayed to Minister Rutley the importance of us to continuing to work together with him and the UK Government to deliver on the priorities for St Helena through the proposed new OT strategy.”


#StHelena #JMC #Bilateral


13 November 2023




Chief Minister, Julie Thomas, is due to depart St Helena on Saturday 11 November 2023, to travel to the UK to attend the annual Overseas Territories (OTs) Joint Ministerial Council (JMC).


The JMC takes place every year in London and is hosted by the UK Government. It brings together elected leaders and representatives from all of the OTs, as well as UK Ministers, and provides the principal forum for political dialogue and consultation between the UK and the OTs.


The JMC will run over two days and is due to begin on 14 November 2023. The Chief Minister will also have a number of official engagements before and after the event itself. These engagements will include meetings with the Labour Party spokesperson on the OTs, Stephen Doughty MP, meetings with other OT leaders and representatives, and a roundtable with the UK Parliament Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC), amongst others.


The Chief Minister will also be joined by key officials, including Governor Nigel Phillips CBE, SHG UK Representative Kedell Worboys MBE and Minister of Health and Social Care Martin Henry.


Minister Henry’s visit is being facilitated by Professor Ian Cummings, the Health Ambassador for the OTs. As well as accompanying the Chief Minister to the JMC, Minister Henry will attend a number of conferences in London and visit Gibraltar for meetings with health officials, including the newly appointed Health Minister Gemma Vasquez.


The Chief Minister is due to arrive back on St Helena on Saturday 18 November. Whilst the Chief Minister is off-Island, Minister Mark Brooks will be appointed Deputy Chief Minister.


Minister Henry is due to arrive back on Saturday 25 November. Minister Christine Scipio has kindly agreed to be the point of contact for Health and Social Care during Minister Martin Henry’s absence from the Island.


#StHelena #JMC


10 November 2023