Categorized | Editorial, Local

What is the plan – number two, for the Strategic Growth Plan?

Editorial – May 31, 2013 :

The final review of the Strategic Growth Programme (SGP) began in Montserrat on Wednesday morning with a review team from the Department for International Development (DFID). It was supposed to be a fi nal review and was agreed by Government of Montserrat GoM that this would take place when they both signed the Memorandum of Understanding which was centred around the SGP.

There was a mid-term review between October 15-22 last year and we reported briefly y about it, mostly with concern that at fi rst there was boast that much progress was being made in achieving the milestones set out in a Matrix of actions. A final report that came early in this year was not as decorative.

The main concern we had even before the signing of the MOU was the suggestion that Montserrat had to perform in a particular way in order to receive the assistance to carry out the SGP. Besides since much or most of it, leaving out the Geothermal development which was already on the way, very special attention should have been shown to what seemed complimentary at first but is turning out to be like noose. “The GoM have identified an ambitious strategy to move Montserrat towards self-sufficiency and away from financial dependence on the UK.”

Then next: “Sustained economic growth focused on the north of Montserrat around Little Bay is only likely to be achieved through significant public investment, if it can be fully justified (including financial and economic justification)…”

Indeed much hinged, not on all those decisions that Cabinet had to take and the laws, SR&Os and Acts that had to concluded, but it was important that the crux of what was signed to in the MOU and the development plans were well on the way to some reality. At least all had to be in place for everything to be a go or going.

In the mid-term review such things like “Good progress has been made in meeting most of the milestones set for September. Particular successes can be recorded in the following areas…” But, it also said, “Performance has not been so strong in the following areas…” – Tax reform (milestone 13) being one of them, Access; and the review of Regulatory functions.

The Review team gave its views, criticisms and recommendations on the way forward, particularly: “UKG and GoM should intensify their joint work on access to consider: how to address the vulnerability of Montserrat’s immediate access arrangements; and whether addressing it can be separated from the medium / long term issues about the port and breakwater.”

And: “MDC should start to develop alternative approaches to Little Bay development, considering various options and scenarios for levels of private sector interest in Little Bay. This calls for strong co-ordination with port plans and other options being developed for Carr’s Bay.”

We believe that efforts have been made but somehow too much credit or belief, wittingly or otherwise are placed in certain capacities or abilities. Real scrutiny will show that agendas and motives are not all together coordinated with the overall goal of a successful Montserrat (all of Montserrat). That does create a blindness that create hazards and a lack of preparation or understanding of the bumps.

We note the UKG later reference to a “six-star vision’ for the development of the Little Bay and Carrs Bay and by extension of course, the new town. Now we have to be asking for more time just to get commitments to support our “ambitious and six-star visions”, because the UKG will only do so much. Some people are hearing the UKG to be saying, “we are not doing anything.” What’s become of the Charrette plans?

The Premier is hopeful to succeed, at least with his agenda, as GoM has been given time before the noose tightens. The question had been asked ‘what if the vision/dream/plan cannot or do not materialise, what is the fall-back plan.” It is not too late, but doing it now might really

send the wrong signal to the psyches, but it better be considered or else 2015-2020 can be a long ways away. That would be a shame because it is now 14 years since this exercise began, life given again in 2008, it is now five years later.

The review team surprised us by saying that we are doing well with the communication situation, but they are somehow being duped on that score and it is for non-beneficial reasons.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Editorial – May 31, 2013 :

The final review of the Strategic Growth Programme (SGP) began in Montserrat on Wednesday morning with a review team from the Department for International Development (DFID). It was supposed to be a fi nal review and was agreed by Government of Montserrat GoM that this would take place when they both signed the Memorandum of Understanding which was centred around the SGP.

There was a mid-term review between October 15-22 last year and we reported briefly y about it, mostly with concern that at fi rst there was boast that much progress was being made in achieving the milestones set out in a Matrix of actions. A final report that came early in this year was not as decorative.

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The main concern we had even before the signing of the MOU was the suggestion that Montserrat had to perform in a particular way in order to receive the assistance to carry out the SGP. Besides since much or most of it, leaving out the Geothermal development which was already on the way, very special attention should have been shown to what seemed complimentary at first but is turning out to be like noose. “The GoM have identified an ambitious strategy to move Montserrat towards self-sufficiency and away from financial dependence on the UK.”

Then next: “Sustained economic growth focused on the north of Montserrat around Little Bay is only likely to be achieved through significant public investment, if it can be fully justified (including financial and economic justification)…”

Indeed much hinged, not on all those decisions that Cabinet had to take and the laws, SR&Os and Acts that had to concluded, but it was important that the crux of what was signed to in the MOU and the development plans were well on the way to some reality. At least all had to be in place for everything to be a go or going.

In the mid-term review such things like “Good progress has been made in meeting most of the milestones set for September. Particular successes can be recorded in the following areas…” But, it also said, “Performance has not been so strong in the following areas…” – Tax reform (milestone 13) being one of them, Access; and the review of Regulatory functions.

The Review team gave its views, criticisms and recommendations on the way forward, particularly: “UKG and GoM should intensify their joint work on access to consider: how to address the vulnerability of Montserrat’s immediate access arrangements; and whether addressing it can be separated from the medium / long term issues about the port and breakwater.”

And: “MDC should start to develop alternative approaches to Little Bay development, considering various options and scenarios for levels of private sector interest in Little Bay. This calls for strong co-ordination with port plans and other options being developed for Carr’s Bay.”

We believe that efforts have been made but somehow too much credit or belief, wittingly or otherwise are placed in certain capacities or abilities. Real scrutiny will show that agendas and motives are not all together coordinated with the overall goal of a successful Montserrat (all of Montserrat). That does create a blindness that create hazards and a lack of preparation or understanding of the bumps.

We note the UKG later reference to a “six-star vision’ for the development of the Little Bay and Carrs Bay and by extension of course, the new town. Now we have to be asking for more time just to get commitments to support our “ambitious and six-star visions”, because the UKG will only do so much. Some people are hearing the UKG to be saying, “we are not doing anything.” What’s become of the Charrette plans?

The Premier is hopeful to succeed, at least with his agenda, as GoM has been given time before the noose tightens. The question had been asked ‘what if the vision/dream/plan cannot or do not materialise, what is the fall-back plan.” It is not too late, but doing it now might really

send the wrong signal to the psyches, but it better be considered or else 2015-2020 can be a long ways away. That would be a shame because it is now 14 years since this exercise began, life given again in 2008, it is now five years later.

The review team surprised us by saying that we are doing well with the communication situation, but they are somehow being duped on that score and it is for non-beneficial reasons.