The Premier of Montserrat, Hon. Joseph E. Farrell had an opportunity to meet with Montserratians living in Manchester and Leicester last week to highlight the developments happening on island and to encourage them to invest and or return to the island.
Premier Farrell was in the United Kingdom UK for the annual Joint Ministerial Council (JMC) meeting, and made a commitment to meet with fellow Montserratians while he was there.
The meeting in Manchester was held on Thursday November 18 followed by the meeting in Leicester on Friday November 19, 2021. Both meetings were organised by Head of the Montserrat UK Office in London, Mrs. Janice Panton along with Montserratians Mr. Keith Samuel who lives in Manchester and former City Councilor, Mr. Joe Allen who resides in Leicester.
Mrs. Panton and Director General of the Montserrat Customs and Revenue Services (MCRS) Mr. Peter W.A. White accompanied the Premier to the meeting in Manchester, while the Deputy Premier, Dr. the Hon. Samuel Joseph and Hon. Financial Secretary met with the UK Energy Minister in London during. All members of the delegation attended the November 19th meeting in Leicester.
During the meetings, the Hon. Premier was able to update the attendees on a number developments taking place on Montserrat and answer questions from those present. The delegation also displayed a number of items made on Montserrat and threw out the challenge to anyone who would like to be a distributor for Montserrat made products in the UK.
Some of the topics discussed and information shared were:
- The need for skilled persons to return to the island to assist with the development of Montserrat, with special emphasis on the need for trained nurses and teachers.
- Pensioners were reminded of the need to file their Life Certificates for Government and Social Security Pension.
- Persons who have property on Montserrat were encouraged to look out for their bills and pay their taxes
- Persons with Bank Accounts on Montserrat were advised to keep in contact with their respective banks to ensure their bank accounts do not go dormant.
- The attendees were also told that the Office of the Premier is working on a project to establish a Diaspora Database and that more information on this would be shared at a later date.
The delegation used the opportunity to promote the concession programmes that are currently in place. This includes programmes for returning Montserratians; those who intend to build homes for sale or rent; and the concessions for persons building, repairing or transferring properties in Zone “C” to include places such as Corkhill, Delvin’s, Richmond Hill and Foxes Bay areas.
On arrival in Leicester, The Hon. Premier and delegation were formerly welcomed by the Leicester Deputy City Mayor, Councilor George Cole—first African Heritage Deputy Lord Mayor for Leicester. The Premier expressed his thanks to the Deputy Lord Mayor who also stayed on for the Premier’s presentation, and the question and answer session.
On other occasions previous Heads of Government held meetings in London and Birmingham; this year, the meetings in Manchester and Leicester were chosen to allow for a visit to Montserratians in communities that have not previously benefited from such meetings.
Director General (MCRS), Mr. Peter W.A. White; Premier, Hon. Joseph E. Farrell and Head of the Montserrat UK Office Janice Manton at the head table during the meeting in Manchester.