Categorized | Local

Minister Duncan praises Montserrat’s stoicism and determination, commits support

DFID Minister of State Alan Duncan

Last week’s front page featured the Department for International Development (DFID) Minister of State Alan Duncan’s first but brief visit on Dec. 7 – 8 to Montserrat. A visit, which lasted overnight, for less than 24 hours, during which he covered all of Montserrat, with most of the tour conducted by flyover in helicopter with Premier Meade.

The Premier had met the minister in Antigua and arrived in Montserrat via the ferry, a ride which the Premier reported to be the most calm ride he had experienced, since the water was ‘flat’ all the way across from Antigua. The Minister departed on the evening of Dec. 8 at 5.00 p.m. having arrived about 7.00 p.m. the evening before.

He had been scheduled, in addition to the fly-over, to visit the site identified for geothermal exploration in the Devlins/Foxes Bay area, the hospital site as well as the Little Bay/Carrs Bay locations, which for many years, culminating in high level charrette discussions held just over two months ago, have become a great focus for the future of Montserrat’s development.

The Minister had come, as we discovered this week from the Premier, on his request while in London last year. He visited primarily, ”To see the devastation and loss caused by the volcano and understand the economic and developmental challenges Montserrat faces.

Promote the vision of the OTs as part of the British family, flourishing and vibrant, and less financially dependent.

Set the parameters for future self-sufficiency: more efficient management of the public finances, combined with strategic investments aimed at stimulating growth, improving access and facilitating economic activity.

Discuss progress on the Strategic Growth Plan and Economic Roadmap.

Minister Duncan delivered on his purpose. (See front page December 2, 2011 issue) He had more to offer during the brief exclusive interview I had with him only minutes before he departed the island.

We reported his views and statements regarding the exploration of geothermal and further development, along with his views on access, the ferry and port development in line with the discussions on the future development of Little Bay and Carrs Bay. He announced the settlement of the outstanding moneys due to the Social Security Fund for civil servants, who had ceased receiving pension payments since last year November. He also brought news from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office  (FCO) that Montserrat could go ahead and sign the treaty which establishes the OECS Economic Union.

Minister Duncan was asked whether he could be specific about what would be done to change the current situation of Montserratians continuing to leave and those wanting to return not finding it possible because of the poor state of the local economy.

He began by offering hope to correct a situation TMR has expounded on many times prior, and by expressing (new) confidence in Montserrat. “We have enormous confidence in Premier Meade and the partnership that is built up which is very frank, very straight forward, very honest and open on each side, to try and work out the best way forward…” he declared.

Getting to the question he said: “…seeing what we do how it can help the vision the Premier has got for answering his questions, which is making Montserrat a more exciting and attractive place for investment; an area which can attract business activity which then it has got a big new hotel, ships coming in, begin to employ people,” he conjectured, as to a vision.

While offering no direct ready solution or action, he continued. “…So that’s  exactly the vision we’re trying to reconstruct within the parameters we face…only really being able to spend money on those fundamental building blocks which help sustain an economy rather than speculative development ventures which is the proper role of the private sector.” The necessary brevity of the interview prevented further discussion..

Premier Meade was later to be more specific on projects and programs that are expected to bring some activity to the economy, and which were very much based on ‘construction’.

Asked whether they had reconciled with Premier Meade on his frustration over studies and rubbish questions coming from British public servants, he affirmed that this had been done. “Yes, for me too, no more ‘unnecessary’ consultation…” continuing with a, ‘but,’ “…we’ve got to look at what the economic justification…in terms of our contribution to anything that might happen…”

The DFID Minister of State concluded his brief interview and visit to Montserrat by giving his thoughts on Montserrat and his visit. He reiterated the new commitment and an apparent new understanding of Montserrat’s circumstances. “I think the extraordinary events from the volcano place on us an extraordinary obligation to share your unique circumstances to do everything we possibly can to help you historically overcome that catastrophe…,” he said.

He referred to the geothermal potential again. “As I said an opportunity may have come out of it vacating the most exciting green energy source that will make many people very envious.”

He finally expressed how impressed he is regarding how Montserrat has been enduring the volcanic crisis, causing economic hardships, “…extraordinary economic difficulty – and I have been amazingly impressed by the stoicism and determination of everyone here,” he said showing understanding.

Full of praise for Montserrat, he concluded with apparent confidence: “I mean, where else in the world would some face a disaster like that and still come out smiling and determined to get things going again. The admiration we have for that gives us that extra bit of drive.”

Leave a Reply

TMR print pages

Newsletter

Archives

CARICOM – Staff Vacancy

CXC HEADQUARTERS - Executive Search

https://indd.adobe.com/embed/2b4deb22-cf03-4509-9bbd-938c7e8ecc7d

A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

DFID Minister of State Alan Duncan

Last week’s front page featured the Department for International Development (DFID) Minister of State Alan Duncan’s first but brief visit on Dec. 7 – 8 to Montserrat. A visit, which lasted overnight, for less than 24 hours, during which he covered all of Montserrat, with most of the tour conducted by flyover in helicopter with Premier Meade.

The Premier had met the minister in Antigua and arrived in Montserrat via the ferry, a ride which the Premier reported to be the most calm ride he had experienced, since the water was ‘flat’ all the way across from Antigua. The Minister departed on the evening of Dec. 8 at 5.00 p.m. having arrived about 7.00 p.m. the evening before.

Insert Ads Here

He had been scheduled, in addition to the fly-over, to visit the site identified for geothermal exploration in the Devlins/Foxes Bay area, the hospital site as well as the Little Bay/Carrs Bay locations, which for many years, culminating in high level charrette discussions held just over two months ago, have become a great focus for the future of Montserrat’s development.

The Minister had come, as we discovered this week from the Premier, on his request while in London last year. He visited primarily, ”To see the devastation and loss caused by the volcano and understand the economic and developmental challenges Montserrat faces.

Promote the vision of the OTs as part of the British family, flourishing and vibrant, and less financially dependent.

Set the parameters for future self-sufficiency: more efficient management of the public finances, combined with strategic investments aimed at stimulating growth, improving access and facilitating economic activity.

Discuss progress on the Strategic Growth Plan and Economic Roadmap.

Minister Duncan delivered on his purpose. (See front page December 2, 2011 issue) He had more to offer during the brief exclusive interview I had with him only minutes before he departed the island.

We reported his views and statements regarding the exploration of geothermal and further development, along with his views on access, the ferry and port development in line with the discussions on the future development of Little Bay and Carrs Bay. He announced the settlement of the outstanding moneys due to the Social Security Fund for civil servants, who had ceased receiving pension payments since last year November. He also brought news from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office  (FCO) that Montserrat could go ahead and sign the treaty which establishes the OECS Economic Union.

Minister Duncan was asked whether he could be specific about what would be done to change the current situation of Montserratians continuing to leave and those wanting to return not finding it possible because of the poor state of the local economy.

He began by offering hope to correct a situation TMR has expounded on many times prior, and by expressing (new) confidence in Montserrat. “We have enormous confidence in Premier Meade and the partnership that is built up which is very frank, very straight forward, very honest and open on each side, to try and work out the best way forward…” he declared.

Getting to the question he said: “…seeing what we do how it can help the vision the Premier has got for answering his questions, which is making Montserrat a more exciting and attractive place for investment; an area which can attract business activity which then it has got a big new hotel, ships coming in, begin to employ people,” he conjectured, as to a vision.

While offering no direct ready solution or action, he continued. “…So that’s  exactly the vision we’re trying to reconstruct within the parameters we face…only really being able to spend money on those fundamental building blocks which help sustain an economy rather than speculative development ventures which is the proper role of the private sector.” The necessary brevity of the interview prevented further discussion..

Premier Meade was later to be more specific on projects and programs that are expected to bring some activity to the economy, and which were very much based on ‘construction’.

Asked whether they had reconciled with Premier Meade on his frustration over studies and rubbish questions coming from British public servants, he affirmed that this had been done. “Yes, for me too, no more ‘unnecessary’ consultation…” continuing with a, ‘but,’ “…we’ve got to look at what the economic justification…in terms of our contribution to anything that might happen…”

The DFID Minister of State concluded his brief interview and visit to Montserrat by giving his thoughts on Montserrat and his visit. He reiterated the new commitment and an apparent new understanding of Montserrat’s circumstances. “I think the extraordinary events from the volcano place on us an extraordinary obligation to share your unique circumstances to do everything we possibly can to help you historically overcome that catastrophe…,” he said.

He referred to the geothermal potential again. “As I said an opportunity may have come out of it vacating the most exciting green energy source that will make many people very envious.”

He finally expressed how impressed he is regarding how Montserrat has been enduring the volcanic crisis, causing economic hardships, “…extraordinary economic difficulty – and I have been amazingly impressed by the stoicism and determination of everyone here,” he said showing understanding.

Full of praise for Montserrat, he concluded with apparent confidence: “I mean, where else in the world would some face a disaster like that and still come out smiling and determined to get things going again. The admiration we have for that gives us that extra bit of drive.”