Dorothea Hodge & CM: ANGUILLA’S REPRESENTATION IN UK, EUROPE GOING WELL

anguillian
By anguillian May 11, 2012 09:36

Dorothea Hodge & CM: ANGUILLA’S REPRESENTATION IN UK, EUROPE GOING WELL

 

Ms. Dorothea Hodge and CM Hughes

Anguillian national living in London, Dorothea Hodge, on a visit to the island several days ago, said she was pleased with her role as a representative of the Anguilla Government in theUnited Kingdom and in the European Union in Brussels.

“Part of our work is to make sure that the views of the Anguillian Government and people are clearly represented,” she said speaking about other persons serving with her. “Over the last twelve months we have been working inside the Foreign Office raising the issues and concerns here on the island and working alongside the European Union.

“Both the UK Government and the European Union are at the moment reviewing their relationships with the Overseas Territories. There have been a number of consultations and we played a role in making sure that the views both of Anguillians in theUK, theUnited Statesand on the island have been fed into the consultations. We have done that through a variety of means by getting into contact with media outlets and online sources like Facebook for the last year.

“We have also been spending a lot of our time looking for ways in which Anguilla can diversify its economy; so we have been working hand in hand with the European Union on a range of ideas and concepts to support Anguilla’s very difficult time. That is a big challenge.

“One of the fights we have, as well as the other Overseas Territories, is that the European Union has a large amount of funding, which is available to the countries on the mainland such as France, Spain, Italy and Germany, to do a range of things which are all about social development. In the past it has been nearly impossible for the Overseas Territoriesto get access to any of those funds. We are talking about millions of Euros. Now from July this year, Overseas Territories will be able to access all of those horizontal funds will give us incredible opportunities to support our small to medium-size enterprises; to make sure they are engaged in the European Union as a training body; to support our people with social development; to support learning, health infrastructure and a range of other programmes which, until now, have only been available to European countries. Now, Anguilla and other Overseas Territories will be able to benefit as well. I think that has been one of our biggest victories this year. After sustained campaigning inBrussels, there is no doubt that this is a major victory to ensure that Anguilla will be able to start to access the kind of funds that will help with its development. This will take time… and I am confident that within the next 18 months we will be able to access the kind of support that will help us to start to diversify the economy of Anguilla.”

Asked about the other persons working with her, to whom she referred, Ms. Hodge said: “When I said ‘we’, I mean the other representatives from the Overseas Territories such as Cayman and theBritish Virgin Islands. The Anguilla office in London comprises myself, my colleague, Daisy, who works part-time – and many people in Government have been in touch in Daisy Hooper [a researcher] because she is a real advocate forAnguilla. The third member of our team in the UK and Europe is Tina Brooks who works with the Anguillian community in Slough and organizes meetings when we have Ministers of Government visiting; makes sure that persons coming for health treatment are supported and managed; and that students arriving in the UK have a supporting mechanism and structure.”

Ms. Hodge added: “This is very new. It is the first time that Anguilla has had a formal office in London. In the past we have had people working part-time. There are also persons who work on tourism. That is crucial because a lot of our support comes from the EU and Brussels, and we have one of the largest diaspora communities in the UK.”

Commenting on Ms. Hodge’s work, Chief Minister, Hubert Hughes, said in part: “Every country needs an ambassador in a foreign country and, as far as I am concerned,Britainis foreign toAnguillaand we need real, genuine representation. That is exactly what Dorothea is doing. Being an Anguillian, we couldn’t find anybody better to do the job that she is doing. She is doing a wonderful job.

“Of course the British Government nowadays have their own agenda for all the Overseas Territories. They have special territories with a lot of British settlers and they represent them wherever they are. For instance, in the British Virgin Islands they have a big settler community and they will promote the British Virgin Islands. But the settler community is not big enough in Anguilla as yet, so they have no interest in Anguilla other than to exploit it. But we have good representation there with Dorothea.”

 

anguillian
By anguillian May 11, 2012 09:36

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