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Did Premier misfire again as he reports to LegAss

by Bennette Roach

 

Premier Meade, Montserrat

Premier Meade, Montserrat

Instead of doing what is more normal and perhaps more productive, holding press briefing, Premier Reuben T. Meade chose to deliver via a Ministerial Statement in the Legislative Assembly Meeting, held Tuesday, December 17, 2013, Montserrat Cultural Center Conference Room, Little Bay. In that statement, there is the perception that he once again sought to belittle the Leader of the Opposition.

The premier told the Assembly, “I think it’s incumbent on me to report on my most recent visit.  Madam Speaker I have recently returned from a three-week visit to Europe, partially funded by the European Union.”

He reported in his statement of meetings with the Minister for DFID and his team in London followed by a meeting with the DFID Montserrat team in East Kilbride, Scotland.  “We discussed, among other things, the aid program for Montserrat, both project related and recurrent budget support,” mentioning also that the matter of a pay rise as requested by the Civil Service Association was also raised.

He said that further detailed discussion on this matter will take place during the budgetary aid mission scheduled for mid-February of 2014.

His visit to Europe followed, the annual Joint Ministerial Conference where he said matters, among other things, relating to Montserrat, such as lobby for pensions indexing for UK pensioners retiring to Montserrat; request consideration for the procurement of pharmaceutical products through their Health Trust or National Health Service; were discussed, along with matters relating to the Overseas Territories.

He reported that a one-day investment forum, previously reported, attended by the MDC was also included this year to expose the prospects for UK investors seeking investment opportunities in the overseas territories.

He reported: “The Premier of Montserrat has been elected as chair of the Caribbean OCT Group with Aruba’s Prime Minister as the Deputy Chair.  Our teams will draft the program and provide management support for the EDF 11 Regional Program.”

But he inserted the following: ”And Madam Speaker, I carefully indicated to them that Montserrat’s chairmanship could very well end in September next year because of elections.,” mentioning once again this time in the international arena, that he is planning for elections in September, 2014.

However sources out of the UK have said that he has told close associates of the MCAP team that the elections will take place by the end of April, next year. That would be the third hint of a date for the elections. It is reported that he made the statements saying he is aware of the constitutional requirements for calling an election that must involve the Governor and the Electoral Commission.

His statement seemed to strolling well as he mentioned in doubtful but hopeful terms, the biggest challenge that Montserrat faces. “Despite all of the challenges, Madam Speaker, Montserrat has a very good investment possibility.  We will continue to develop our international profile while seeking to bring those possibilities into reality in the very near future.  The future is ripe for Montserrat but we must be willing to go out and be positive in competing successfully for the investment capital that could become available.”

The following was supposed to be good news, the matter of funding by HMG, his government’s approach, criticised repeatedly by the Leader of the Opposition, Donaldson Romeo. He said, that in a  follow-up meeting in East Kilbride with the DFID technical team, “We have been able to obtain additional funding, the terms of which, will be discussed at Cabinet.”

He noted that the matter relates to statements made by the Leader of the Opposition as it pertains to DFID being willing to provide additional funds, that “I was the hold-up,” he said.

The Premier continued on the matter of the additional funds. “I have been informed that as a consequence of these misrepresentations by the Leader of the Opposition, future meetings with the Opposition must be considered as inappropriate since they wish to use these meetings to discredit both DFID staff and the government of Montserrat.”

Opposition  leader,  Donaldson Romeo

Opposition leader, Donaldson Romeo

Mr. Romeo has said that he has enquired of DFID whether the Premier’s statements has any truth in it and that he has been told that DFID did not so intimate. The Opposition Leader reported that he has taken the statement to its obvious conclusion and has written to the local DFID representative Dr. Kato Kimbugwe, asking him to officially, “…confirm whether the (following) statement made by our Hon Premier in House of Assembly on Tuesday past reflects your sentiments or those of your colleagues in England.”

He concluded his statement still on a political strain what may be the focus of his election campaign. “We (MCAP) have been bold in transforming the way we, as a government, does business.  We have developed relationships over the past four plus years.  The journey has not been smooth but the ship of Montserrat has gone through the rough waters and we are starting to see smoother waters and a bright future.  We do not have the luxury of handing over the management at this critical time in our development to an inexperienced group who have no proven track record.

 

 

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

by Bennette Roach

 

Premier Meade, Montserrat

Premier Meade, Montserrat

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Instead of doing what is more normal and perhaps more productive, holding press briefing, Premier Reuben T. Meade chose to deliver via a Ministerial Statement in the Legislative Assembly Meeting, held Tuesday, December 17, 2013, Montserrat Cultural Center Conference Room, Little Bay. In that statement, there is the perception that he once again sought to belittle the Leader of the Opposition.

The premier told the Assembly, “I think it’s incumbent on me to report on my most recent visit.  Madam Speaker I have recently returned from a three-week visit to Europe, partially funded by the European Union.”

He reported in his statement of meetings with the Minister for DFID and his team in London followed by a meeting with the DFID Montserrat team in East Kilbride, Scotland.  “We discussed, among other things, the aid program for Montserrat, both project related and recurrent budget support,” mentioning also that the matter of a pay rise as requested by the Civil Service Association was also raised.

He said that further detailed discussion on this matter will take place during the budgetary aid mission scheduled for mid-February of 2014.

His visit to Europe followed, the annual Joint Ministerial Conference where he said matters, among other things, relating to Montserrat, such as lobby for pensions indexing for UK pensioners retiring to Montserrat; request consideration for the procurement of pharmaceutical products through their Health Trust or National Health Service; were discussed, along with matters relating to the Overseas Territories.

He reported that a one-day investment forum, previously reported, attended by the MDC was also included this year to expose the prospects for UK investors seeking investment opportunities in the overseas territories.

He reported: “The Premier of Montserrat has been elected as chair of the Caribbean OCT Group with Aruba’s Prime Minister as the Deputy Chair.  Our teams will draft the program and provide management support for the EDF 11 Regional Program.”

But he inserted the following: ”And Madam Speaker, I carefully indicated to them that Montserrat’s chairmanship could very well end in September next year because of elections.,” mentioning once again this time in the international arena, that he is planning for elections in September, 2014.

However sources out of the UK have said that he has told close associates of the MCAP team that the elections will take place by the end of April, next year. That would be the third hint of a date for the elections. It is reported that he made the statements saying he is aware of the constitutional requirements for calling an election that must involve the Governor and the Electoral Commission.

His statement seemed to strolling well as he mentioned in doubtful but hopeful terms, the biggest challenge that Montserrat faces. “Despite all of the challenges, Madam Speaker, Montserrat has a very good investment possibility.  We will continue to develop our international profile while seeking to bring those possibilities into reality in the very near future.  The future is ripe for Montserrat but we must be willing to go out and be positive in competing successfully for the investment capital that could become available.”

The following was supposed to be good news, the matter of funding by HMG, his government’s approach, criticised repeatedly by the Leader of the Opposition, Donaldson Romeo. He said, that in a  follow-up meeting in East Kilbride with the DFID technical team, “We have been able to obtain additional funding, the terms of which, will be discussed at Cabinet.”

He noted that the matter relates to statements made by the Leader of the Opposition as it pertains to DFID being willing to provide additional funds, that “I was the hold-up,” he said.

The Premier continued on the matter of the additional funds. “I have been informed that as a consequence of these misrepresentations by the Leader of the Opposition, future meetings with the Opposition must be considered as inappropriate since they wish to use these meetings to discredit both DFID staff and the government of Montserrat.”

Opposition  leader,  Donaldson Romeo

Opposition leader, Donaldson Romeo

Mr. Romeo has said that he has enquired of DFID whether the Premier’s statements has any truth in it and that he has been told that DFID did not so intimate. The Opposition Leader reported that he has taken the statement to its obvious conclusion and has written to the local DFID representative Dr. Kato Kimbugwe, asking him to officially, “…confirm whether the (following) statement made by our Hon Premier in House of Assembly on Tuesday past reflects your sentiments or those of your colleagues in England.”

He concluded his statement still on a political strain what may be the focus of his election campaign. “We (MCAP) have been bold in transforming the way we, as a government, does business.  We have developed relationships over the past four plus years.  The journey has not been smooth but the ship of Montserrat has gone through the rough waters and we are starting to see smoother waters and a bright future.  We do not have the luxury of handing over the management at this critical time in our development to an inexperienced group who have no proven track record.