From left, Cora Richardson-Hodge, Victor Banks, Curtis Richardson and Cardigan Connor.
ANGUILLA–“We are here to discuss occurring hot-button issues this afternoon,” said Chief Minister Victor Banks on Tuesday afternoon, September 25. Joining him at the table were Minister of Home Affairs, Cora Richardson-Hodge, Minister of Infrastructure, Curtis Richardson and Parliamentary Secretary responsible for Tourism and Sports, Cardigan Connor.
Addressing the upcoming tourist season, Banks said, “We are getting the sense that we are on track with hotel properties opening on time and that there have been favourable responses to recent job fairs held at three of the larger hotels.” He said the ministers present would provide updates on issues within their portfolios, to include ongoing actions to address recent school issues, labour and electoral law reform updates, infrastructure updates to include the airport expansion, and additional sport and tourism-related issues.
Banks noted, “October 2018 is designated as Financial Information Month where the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank sets aside time to promote financial, economic, business and entrepreneurial education to the citizens of the member territories. The goal of this informational campaign, in effect since 2002, is the fostering of strong and sustainable economic growth and wellbeing improvements for its citizens. This year’s theme is ‘Financial Empowerment through Education’ and numerous related activities are planned during the month.
Banks said it was important that Anguilla stayed abreast of Brexit negotiations and discussions, given Anguilla’s relationship as a border state to French St. Martin and Dutch St. Maarten and its historical, economic and social ties to them.
Banks then addressed issues being discussed on social media, to include the Anguilla Residency by Investment programme Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), signed by the government on September 14, 2018. He discussed the qualifications of the two companies associated with the MOU as well as the services that they will provide.
Richardson-Hodge provided additional details, elaborating on issues being addressed in the new constitutional and electoral reform laws during the question period. She also provided updates on the labour code, the job market and educational issues. In the very near future when the compiled version is received from the Attorney General’s chambers, it will go to the Executive Council for approval and then be taken to the public for final discussion. She said job fairs in the hotel sector had been well attended to date, and there were more planned in the near future. To facilitate employment, the Ministry of Labour is looking at conducting training in areas of resume writing, interviewing skills, dress, and workplace attitudes.
Richardson described his continuing efforts to improve water distribution. He explained his plan to add four new roads in the George Hill area over the coming six months, despite a shortage of funds and warned drivers to be more attentive to their driving responsibilities and actions to avoid major accidents. He also congratulated everyone involved in the hard work of getting the airport certified to accept night flights, and the ongoing efforts to continue the processes required to expand the airport’s aviation capabilities.
Connor ended the conference by announcing an upcoming national clean-up day involving the Ministries of Environment and of Tourism and the general public. It is planned for mid-October and details will become available shortly. He will attend a tourism industry conference in the Bahamas and has been invited to participate on the Luxury Wellness Product panel. He ended by saying, “I believe if we can avoid being hit by a hurricane this season, the year ahead for us will be really positive.”
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/81069-ministers-update-on-several-issues-at-press-conference