Government of Montserrat

The Office Of The Deputy Governor Responds To Comments Made on Social Media Regarding Public Officers Wearing Of Certain Colours During The 2019 Election Season

Brades Montserrat – October 22nd, 2019 – The Office of the Deputy Governor has responded to recent comments made on social media that public officers have been told that they cannot wear certain colours to work during this election season.
 

Deputy Governor, Hon. Lyndell Simpson

According to the Honourable Deputy Governor Lyndell Simpson, such statements are contrary to the official information contained in the ‘2019 Elections Guidance Notes’ circulated earlier this month.
 

She, therefore, advised that if any public officer has been told that they cannot wear red, green, yellow or blue to work, that they should make a formal report to the Senior Assistant Secretary at the Office of the Deputy Governor so the matter could be appropriately addressed.
 

Mrs Simpson stated that there’s nothing in the 2019 Elections Guidance Notes that suggests public officers may not hold their own political views or that they must refrain from activities designed to explain a political party’s platform/manifesto.
 

The Honourable Deputy Governor further said public officers as citizens enjoy certain fundamental rights and freedoms, including the protection of freedom of assembly and association. Therefore, it’s expected that during the run-up to the 2019 General Elections all citizens will use the opportunities provided to directly inform themselves of the issues of the day and the views of the various political parties and candidates on such matters. However, Mrs Simpson said in doing so, public officers must be mindful at all times of the need to safeguard the integrity and impartiality of the Public Service given their role within the Government of Montserrat Public Service.
 

The Deputy Governor further explained that there’s nothing in the 2019 Elections Guidance Notes to preclude or prevent a public officer from attending a political meeting or seeking clarity from any political candidate on any aspect of the platform that he or she articulates.
 

She said public officers are prohibited from wearing political parties’/political candidates’ t-shirts, caps, buttons, pins or any other similar items to work.
 

Mrs Simpson further stated for the avoidance of doubt public officers are not permitted to take part in any political activity when on duty, in uniform or on official premises.
 

The 2019 Elections Guidance Notes to public officers was published on the Government of Montserrat’s website and various social media platforms and is freely available to all.
 

MONTSERRAT’S PREMIER CALLS FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF A PLAN FOR DECOLONISATION

GIU, Davy Hill Montserrat, (Friday, October 18, 2019) – Montserrat’s Premier, Honourable Donaldson Romeo has requested that the C24 and 4th Committees of the United Nations (UN), work in collaboration with the United Kingdom (UK) and the Government of Montserrat to establish a framework, a timeline and an action programme for the full decolonisation of Montserrat.
 

He made the request on Thursday October 10, during his presentation at the UN General Assembly 4th Committee in New York.
 

Premier Romeo at UN GA 4th Meeting

During his address, Premier Romeo highlighted the development challenges facing the people of Montserrat following the onset of the volcanic crisis in 1995. These challenges include loss of life, destruction of key infrastructure, businesses and homes, the mass migration of Montserratians and the ongoing struggle to retain key workers. In particular, he said “The GoM still struggles to retain essential workers, such as teachers, police and nurses. The youth have continued to leave in droves each year while even the adults, including the retired, move to greener pastures in the UK. Pensions, salaries, social welfare benefits are long and way behind the ever-increasing cost of living. The temporary housing stock, especially many built by the government itself dare not face even a Category 3 hurricane never mind a Category 5.”
 
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MONTSERRAT ACHIEVES TARGET FOR RELEASE OF 1ST TRANCHE OF EDF11 FUNDS

Friday, October 18, 2019 (GIU, Davy Hill Montserrat) – Montserrat has achieved the first indicator set by the European Union for release of funds under the financing agreement for the European Development Fund (EDF11), which was signed in February 2018, to support the transition towards sustainable economic development.
 

The European Union (EU) Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Her Excellency Ambassador Daniela Tramacere made the announcement on Thursday October 17, prior to leaving the island, following her courtesy visit which started on Tuesday, October 15. The Ambassador led a two-member delegation during her visit, which also included monitoring the EU funded projects.
 

Her Excellency, Ambassador Daniela Tramacere and Premier, Honourable Donaldson Romeo


 
The EU has contributed a grant of 18.4 million Euros under EDF11, which will be released in tranches (portions) once the EU is satisfied that Montserrat has achieved the required targets which will then trigger the release of funds. One of the first variable tranche indicators is for Montserrat to achieve 10% of the daily electricity peak demand, generated by renewable energy.
 

In announcing the achievement of this target, Ambassador Tramacere said, “So the first indicator of achievement was to achieve 10% of your need of energy via renewable energy, in this case it is solar energy, and this indicator has been achieved; so we are now processing the release of the first tranche.”
 

The Ambassador noted that based on her observations during the tours and meetings, Montserrat is making good progress towards the achievement of the second indicator, which is a target of 40% of the daily electricity peak demand, generated by renewable energy.
 

She said, “The next achievement will be 40% of (all energy needs) by solar, and from what we saw, you (Montserrat) will be able to achieve it, not in two years, but perhaps in 1 year and a half; so even ahead of our scheduled time.”
 

The delegation was hosted by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management. The Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Donaldson Romeo said, “The fact that Montserrat has achieved this target is due to the hard work and dedication of the teams who ensured that all the conditions of the grant were met, in a timely manner. They must be commended for this, and are encouraged to keep the momentum going as we work towards the next target.”
 

While on the island, the delegation which also included the Head of Section, EU Delegation to Barbados and Eastern Caribbean States, Ms. Janet Coto Moreno, had an opportunity to meet with key personnel on island, who are responsible for the implementation of the EDF11, and was taken on tours of various sites for some of the major projects under the EDF11. The tour included visits to Plymouth and potential sites of products to be developed, such as beaches and volcano interpretive centre; Montserrat Volcano Observatory; and newly installed solar panels site and the Port, among others.
 

The funding will support renewable energy, tourism and other backbone infrastructure developments in areas crucial to address accessibility constraints, such as the Port on the island.
 

QUOTATIONS REQUESTED TO SUPERVISE WORKS ON HIKING TRAILS

Friday, October 18, 2019 (GIU, Davy Hill Montserrat) – The Montserrat Tourism Division under the portfolio of the Office of the Premier, is now accepting quotations for the supervision of works aimed at restoring some of the islands trails to international standards.
 

This is part of the Tourism Division’s implementation of a Government approved Tourism Development Project, derived from a tourism sector development strategy, and is financed by the European Union.
 

The quotations are needed to supervise works on the following trails:
• Oriole Walkway
• Blackwood Allen
• The Cot
• Rendezvous
 

Prospective bidders are expected to collect a copy of the ‘Schedule of Works’ to be carried out on each trail and to conduct a tour of each trail. This would be required on a date to be determined, for them to get an understanding of the level of work to be done and this must form part of the overall ‘Quotation’ being submitted.
 

‘Quotations to Supervise the works’, should be submitted in a sealed envelope to Mr. Warren Solomon, Director of Tourism, Tourism Division, Hubert Buffonge Building, Brades, no later than Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019.
 

Persons interested in submitting ‘Quotations for the Supervision’ of the above trails may go in-person to the Tourism Division in Brades, to collect the Schedule of Works.
 

For clarification and further information, please contact Ms Clemence Fergus via clemence.fergus@montserrattourism.ms or via phone on 491 4702/3 or 495 7101 or 415 4700.
 

AG’S CHAMBERS RESPONDS TO CLAIMS MADE BY HARVEY EDGECOMBE ON RADIO MONTSERRAT

PRESS STATEMENT
In July 2019, Mr. Harvey Edgecombe filed an application for permission to apply for Judicial Review in the Administrative Court in the United Kingdom. The case reference is C/O 2723/2019 JW Harvey Edgecombe v FCO and Ministry of Finance and Economic Management Government of Montserrat.

 
Responses to the application for permission, were filed with the Administrative Court by the Counsel for the Government Legal Department in the UK on behalf of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office; and by Counsel from the Attorney General’s Chambers on behalf of the Government of Montserrat. On 20th September 2019, the parties were served with the Order of the Administrative Court. That order dated 20th September 2019, indicated that the Court had refused Mr. Edgecombe permission to apply for Judicial Review in the Administrative Court in the United Kingdom.

 
The Judge in his order refusing permission, indicated that “the nature of the allegations in this case are preeminently ones for pursuit in the local courts comprising the High Court and Court of Appeal of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court with any final appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.” The Court expressed therefore that to bring proceedings in the High Court of Montserrat is an adequate alternative remedy to bringing judicial review proceedings in the United Kingdom against the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ministry of Finance.

 
In addition to noting the fact that Mr. Edgecombe had filed his application for permission to apply for Judicial Review out of time, and that had also served the application outside of the United Kingdom without the permission of the Court; the Judge indicated that he was “not satisfied that any arguable allegation of a violation of the Constitution by Premier Minister Romeo, or good reason: for an extension of time to bring such a challenge, has been evidenced in the documents lodged including, in particular, the transcript of the telephone call of 21 February 2019”.
 

Apart from the order of the Court of 20th September 2019, refusing Mr. Edgecombe permission to bring his application, neither the Attorney General’s Chambers, nor anyone representing the Ministry of Finance, has been served with any further court documents related to this matter. Therefore, there has been no request made for any further time to respond to anything. The Attorney General’s Chambers is also not aware of any court hearing date set in this matter for 18th November 2019.

 

2020 NATIONAL HONOURS AND AWARDS NOMINATIONS NOW OPEN

Tuesday, October 15, 2019 (GIU, Davy Hill, Montserrat) – Submissions for the 2020 National Honours and Awards opened on Monday October 14, 2019 and will close on Friday November 8, 2019.
 

Members of the public can therefore submit the names of individuals they wish to nominate for awards in the following categories:
1. The Order of National Hero
2. The Order of Excellence
3. The Order of Distinction
4. The Order of Merit
 

All submissions should include the following information:
• The nominee’s name;
• The category nominated for; and
• Background and supporting information to justify the nomination, including significant accomplishments and achievements.
 
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WINAIR TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL AIRLIFT IN PEAK PERIODS STARTING 2020

Monday, October 14, 2019 (GIU, Davy Hill Montserrat) – Arrangements are in place for Windward Islands Airways International (WINAIR) to provide air transportation services to and from Montserrat, during peak periods in 2020.
 

The Access Division in the Office of the Premier has confirmed that arrangements for WINAIR to provide twin otter flights have been made in an effort to ensure additional airlift is available during the year-end festival and St. Patrick’s festival periods, as increase passenger arrivals are expected during those times.
 

The flight schedule for January 2020 and provisionally for March 2020 is as follows:
JANUARY 
• January 2 and 3 – Departing Antigua at 8:15a.m. arriving in Montserrat at 8:35a.m.
• January 2 and 3– Departing Montserrat at 8:55 a.m. and arriving in Antigua at 9:15a.m.
 

MARCH
• March 11, 12 and 13 – Departing Antigua at 5:05p.m., arriving in Montserrat at 5:25p.m.
• March 11, 12 and 13– Departing Montserrat at 5:45p.m. arriving in Antigua at 6:05p.m.
• March 18, 19 and 20 – Departing Antigua at 8:15a.m. and arriving in Montserrat at 8:35a.m.
• March 18, 19 and 20 – Departing Montserrat at 8:55a.m. and arriving in Antigua at 9:15a.m.
 

The above listed schedule for March 2020 is an early indication and is subject to change.
 

The fare for travel from Antigua to Montserrat is a total of US$137.00 which includes a fare of US$98.00 and taxes/VAT of US$48.00. Individuals traveling from Montserrat to Antigua will pay US$122.00 (fare US$84.00 and taxes US$38.00).
 

Interested persons are now able to log on to the WINAIR website and book the January dates. To book on these flights, please visit https://www.fly-winair.sx
 

TEAM FROM THE EU DELEGATION TO THE OECS WILL VISIT MONTSERRAT THIS WEEK

Monday, October 14, 2019 (GIU, Davy Hill Montserrat) –  A team from the European Union (EU) delegation to Barbados, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States OECS, and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM)/Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) will be on island from Tuesday October 15 to Thursday October 17, 2019.
 

Her Excellency, Ambassador Daniela Tramacer

 

The team will be hosted by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management, and includes Head of The EU Delegation to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean States, Her Excellency, Ambassador Daniela Tramacere, and Head of Section, EU Delegation to Barbados and Eastern Caribbean States, Ms. Janet Coto Moreno.
 

The visit is part of the Ambassadors’ tour to the Overseas, Countries and Territories (OCT’s) which fall under her remit, subsequent to taking up her post in 2018.  While here, H.E. Daniela Tramacere, will be meeting with key personnel on island, who are responsible for the implementation of the European Development Fund 11 (EDF11).   Additionally, she will be taken on tour to the various sites for some of the major projects under the EDF11.

 
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TOURISM DIVISION ACCEPTING REGISTRATION & QUOTATIONS FOR HIKING TRAILS IMPROVEMENT PROJECT

Friday, October 11, 2019 (GIU, Davy Hill Montserrat) – The Tourism Division under the portfolio of the Office of the Premier, is implementing a tourism development project to restore some of the islands trails to international standards.
 

The project is financed by the European Union and aims to develop the tourism sector by improving the tourism product which is expected to result in an increase the tourism arrivals, enhanced visitor satisfaction and an increase in spending. As part of the implementation of this project, the Tourism Division is seeking quotations for restoration works on the following trails:
 

• Oriole Walkway
 
• Blackwood Allen
 
• The Cot
 
• Rendezvous
 

Interested persons or companies are required to register with the Tourism Division no later than Friday, October 18th, 2019. Once you have registered, you will receive a copy of the Schedule of Works. A tour of the trails will also be conducted on a date to be determined. This will allow bidders to get an understanding of the level of work to be done.
 

Following this, the registrants will be required to submit quotations to upgrade one or all of the above trails to the standards which will be outlined in the ‘Schedule of Works’.
 

Persons interested in registering to be considered for these projects may visit the Tourism Division in Brades, or for clarification and further information, please contact Ms. Clemence Fergus via email to, clemence.fergus@montserrattourism.ms or by phone on 491-4702/3 or 495-7101 or 415-4700.

 

PREMIER ROMEO’S PRESENTATION AT THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY 4th COMMITTEE IN NY

Presented On October 10, 2019
 
(Following his presentation to the subsidiary C24 on Decolonisation;
made on the 22nd Anniversary of the fatal volcanic eruption of June 25, 1997)
 
Mr President,
 

Premier Romeo speaking at the UN GA 4th Committee Meeting

On behalf of the Government and People of Montserrat, I must first express thanks for allowing me to address you today. Secondly I wish to use this opportunity to thank the United Kingdom for agreeing to allow the UN C 24 Committee to visit Montserrat in the month of December, 2019.
 

I am very impressed with the wisdom, foresight and compassion which members of the UN demonstrated some decades ago when they put in place the UN 4th Committee and the UN C24 committee, whose task, as I understand it, is to see that “the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners could sit together at the table of brotherhood” to reconcile their painful past. Apart from educating the People of Montserrat face-to-face in December concerning its true purpose under Article 73, the C 24 Committee will at last be in a position to assess firsthand what has been done in nearly half a century to remove Montserrat from its list of Territories to be decolonized.
 
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