Citizenship partial Concession to non-nationals

Premier informs, while updating Capital Investment Programme for Resilient Economic Growth

by Bennette Roach, Contribution – GEM

Davy Hill, MONTSERRAT – On Thursday August 8, 2019 Montserrat’s Premier Romeo held a press conference during which he addressed three main topics. These are:

Premier Romeo at press conference

[1] The £30 million five-year Capital Investment Programme for Resilient Economic Growth (CIPREG) development programme funded by the UK through the Department for International Development (DfID);

One of the electric vehicle charging stations

[2] Cabinet policy decisions to [a] waive customs duty and/or consumption tax regarding the importation of certain environmentally friendly vehicles; (see: Government of Montserrat Offering Tax Exemptions on Imported Electric Vehicles)

Many Montserratians see this British passport as the gateway to becoming a British citizen allowing the bearer to imediately say goodbye to Montserrat

and [b] to waive a savings account balance of EC$ 5,000 for people resident for twelve years in Montserrat and wishing to apply for permanent resident status by June 1, 2020; (see: 12-year non-national residents… )

[3] The upcoming visit to Montserrat by a delegation of the United Nations Committee of Twenty-four (UNC24) on decolonialisation.

The Premier first revealed that negotiations continue with DfID regarding particulars of the CIPREG programme. Further discussions are slated for the week of August 12 and thereafter the reestablished Programme Management Office (PMO) will address further details of the programme and its projects.

The programme

consists of funding to the carry out priority sustainable development, such as the £4.9 millions subsea fibre optic cable replacement project. The Premier reports a preferred bidder has now been selected so that contract negotiations are in progress to set terms regarding installation, operations and maintenance. Agreement on a contract is expected by September to October this year.

A second CIPREG project, Hospital and Health care, projected to cost £15.5 millions is expected to deliver a new hospital of international standard at a site adjacent to the present Glendon Hospital in St. John’s, which uses buildings originally part of a primary school constructed in the 1960’s. Some of these buildings have proved unfit for refurbishment and upgrade and DfID has now come full circle from considering the St Johns site to choosing a site at Hill Top St Peter’s as best of three short-listed “green field” sites, and now back to St John’s.

Starting next week of August 12th Government of Montserrat will seek tender proposals for an updated hospital design for the Glendon site, which will also include the costs associated with the construction.  Once cost estimates are in hand for an agreed design, the next stage would be to agree the funding amount and to move on to detailed design and construction.

According to the Premier, for fifteen years no large sums have been spent on social housing. Under CIPREG, multistory and single-story houses are to be constructed as part of a £4.3 million project. Tender invitations are to be finalised across this month, August.

The A01 road project is slated for three million. Road surveys are already underway, as motorists will have occasionally seen in recent days. Surveys, again, should be completed for the end of this month, August. Design work is to follow, and it is intended to place ducts to carry power and fibre optic cables along the road. This would better protect them from hurricane and similar hazards, enhancing resiliency. The project includes provision for a new hot mix plant.

The MSS dilema (classrooms)

Connected, in June just past, DfID approved the use of CIPREG funds to address urgent facilities needs at Montserrat Secondary School, the sole secondary school in Montserrat. Blocks L and M, a significant part of the school’s buildings, were recently found to have deteriorated and to have become unfit structurally.  Pre-project spend has already amounted to EC$100,000. Under an EC$3 million project, a structural assessment of blocks L and M is to be carried out towards assessing whether and how these blocks can be rehabilitated towards providing needed classroom space. Tendering should have been completed during the week ending August 9.  Once the assessment of blocks L and M is completed, its results will be shared with the public.

The Premier in addressing the MSS aggravated long standing issue, said the project is also intended to cover other critically needed works on the campus, as soon as possible during this year. For example, he said, the government is committed to building four new classrooms on the MSS site. A new toilet building is to be constructed, one with disability access (a new provision). As there is a need to avoid further encroaching on the sports field, surveys will have to be conducted at a suitable site. For speed, T111 will be used for emergency constructions. The Library and Staff Room are to be refurbished. Procurement is to proceed towards provision of a U-drain for the compound.

The Pupil Support Unit is to be moved to better facilities in rented space at the UWI Extramural Centre.

Major Port development

Two other related projects are the Little Bay Sea Port breakwater and berth project which was recently launched, being funded with £14.4 million from the regional UKCCIF initiative (with the equivalent of £7 million more from the EU) and the European Union (Euros)€18.5 million for funding tourism and renewable energy initiatives, though the EDF program.

Cabinet recently approved by EC$ 6.1 million, to fund efforts to attract visitors and improve the visitor experience.

Among other activities, a new destination web site is to be developed (the present one being four years out of date), trails are to be improved, 180 existing signs are to be upgraded or replaced, hiking and bird-watching amenities are to be upgraded to be passable, safe and in keeping with international standards.  Training initiatives are also to be undertaken, to upgrade skills or those providing tourism related services.

Regarding the upcoming elections, the Premier has still not disclosed a proposed date. Informed views indicate that under applicable law, one would have to be called by January 8, 2020, five years and three months after the first sitting of the new Assembly in 2014.

UN(C24) on Decolonisation

The Premier indicated that he has been in communication with the UN Committee of 24 on Decolonialisation, towards a visit. Such a visit would allow the UN to see for themselves actual conditions on the ground, conditions that have been reported on year by year by the UK. According to the premier, the proposed visit has already had significant impact on the climate of discussions. He is also completing a response to the request put forward by the Russian Federation, one of two Permanent Members of the Security Council that are on the Committee.

Increased job opportunities

 The key infrastructure investments will send a message to serious potential and present private investors, opening up job possibilities and growth. (The implication of increasing demand for labour is that employees have to offer better pay and conditions of work.)

Regarding the upcoming elections, the Premier has still not disclosed a proposed date. Informed views indicate that under applicable law, one would have to be called by January 8, 2020, five years and three months after the first sitting of the new Assembly in 2014.

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Premier informs, while updating Capital Investment Programme for Resilient Economic Growth

by Bennette Roach, Contribution – GEM

Davy Hill, MONTSERRAT – On Thursday August 8, 2019 Montserrat’s Premier Romeo held a press conference during which he addressed three main topics. These are:

Insert Ads Here
Premier Romeo at press conference

[1] The £30 million five-year Capital Investment Programme for Resilient Economic Growth (CIPREG) development programme funded by the UK through the Department for International Development (DfID);

One of the electric vehicle charging stations

[2] Cabinet policy decisions to [a] waive customs duty and/or consumption tax regarding the importation of certain environmentally friendly vehicles; (see: Government of Montserrat Offering Tax Exemptions on Imported Electric Vehicles)

Many Montserratians see this British passport as the gateway to becoming a British citizen allowing the bearer to imediately say goodbye to Montserrat

and [b] to waive a savings account balance of EC$ 5,000 for people resident for twelve years in Montserrat and wishing to apply for permanent resident status by June 1, 2020; (see: 12-year non-national residents… )

[3] The upcoming visit to Montserrat by a delegation of the United Nations Committee of Twenty-four (UNC24) on decolonialisation.

The Premier first revealed that negotiations continue with DfID regarding particulars of the CIPREG programme. Further discussions are slated for the week of August 12 and thereafter the reestablished Programme Management Office (PMO) will address further details of the programme and its projects.

The programme

consists of funding to the carry out priority sustainable development, such as the £4.9 millions subsea fibre optic cable replacement project. The Premier reports a preferred bidder has now been selected so that contract negotiations are in progress to set terms regarding installation, operations and maintenance. Agreement on a contract is expected by September to October this year.

A second CIPREG project, Hospital and Health care, projected to cost £15.5 millions is expected to deliver a new hospital of international standard at a site adjacent to the present Glendon Hospital in St. John’s, which uses buildings originally part of a primary school constructed in the 1960’s. Some of these buildings have proved unfit for refurbishment and upgrade and DfID has now come full circle from considering the St Johns site to choosing a site at Hill Top St Peter’s as best of three short-listed “green field” sites, and now back to St John’s.

Starting next week of August 12th Government of Montserrat will seek tender proposals for an updated hospital design for the Glendon site, which will also include the costs associated with the construction.  Once cost estimates are in hand for an agreed design, the next stage would be to agree the funding amount and to move on to detailed design and construction.

According to the Premier, for fifteen years no large sums have been spent on social housing. Under CIPREG, multistory and single-story houses are to be constructed as part of a £4.3 million project. Tender invitations are to be finalised across this month, August.

The A01 road project is slated for three million. Road surveys are already underway, as motorists will have occasionally seen in recent days. Surveys, again, should be completed for the end of this month, August. Design work is to follow, and it is intended to place ducts to carry power and fibre optic cables along the road. This would better protect them from hurricane and similar hazards, enhancing resiliency. The project includes provision for a new hot mix plant.

The MSS dilema (classrooms)

Connected, in June just past, DfID approved the use of CIPREG funds to address urgent facilities needs at Montserrat Secondary School, the sole secondary school in Montserrat. Blocks L and M, a significant part of the school’s buildings, were recently found to have deteriorated and to have become unfit structurally.  Pre-project spend has already amounted to EC$100,000. Under an EC$3 million project, a structural assessment of blocks L and M is to be carried out towards assessing whether and how these blocks can be rehabilitated towards providing needed classroom space. Tendering should have been completed during the week ending August 9.  Once the assessment of blocks L and M is completed, its results will be shared with the public.

The Premier in addressing the MSS aggravated long standing issue, said the project is also intended to cover other critically needed works on the campus, as soon as possible during this year. For example, he said, the government is committed to building four new classrooms on the MSS site. A new toilet building is to be constructed, one with disability access (a new provision). As there is a need to avoid further encroaching on the sports field, surveys will have to be conducted at a suitable site. For speed, T111 will be used for emergency constructions. The Library and Staff Room are to be refurbished. Procurement is to proceed towards provision of a U-drain for the compound.

The Pupil Support Unit is to be moved to better facilities in rented space at the UWI Extramural Centre.

Major Port development

Two other related projects are the Little Bay Sea Port breakwater and berth project which was recently launched, being funded with £14.4 million from the regional UKCCIF initiative (with the equivalent of £7 million more from the EU) and the European Union (Euros)€18.5 million for funding tourism and renewable energy initiatives, though the EDF program.

Cabinet recently approved by EC$ 6.1 million, to fund efforts to attract visitors and improve the visitor experience.

Among other activities, a new destination web site is to be developed (the present one being four years out of date), trails are to be improved, 180 existing signs are to be upgraded or replaced, hiking and bird-watching amenities are to be upgraded to be passable, safe and in keeping with international standards.  Training initiatives are also to be undertaken, to upgrade skills or those providing tourism related services.

Regarding the upcoming elections, the Premier has still not disclosed a proposed date. Informed views indicate that under applicable law, one would have to be called by January 8, 2020, five years and three months after the first sitting of the new Assembly in 2014.

UN(C24) on Decolonisation

The Premier indicated that he has been in communication with the UN Committee of 24 on Decolonialisation, towards a visit. Such a visit would allow the UN to see for themselves actual conditions on the ground, conditions that have been reported on year by year by the UK. According to the premier, the proposed visit has already had significant impact on the climate of discussions. He is also completing a response to the request put forward by the Russian Federation, one of two Permanent Members of the Security Council that are on the Committee.

Increased job opportunities

 The key infrastructure investments will send a message to serious potential and present private investors, opening up job possibilities and growth. (The implication of increasing demand for labour is that employees have to offer better pay and conditions of work.)

Regarding the upcoming elections, the Premier has still not disclosed a proposed date. Informed views indicate that under applicable law, one would have to be called by January 8, 2020, five years and three months after the first sitting of the new Assembly in 2014.