By anguillian August 21, 2017 12:22




Governor Christina Scott and  Interviewer Mr. Keithstone Greaves

Governor Christina Scott and
Interviewer Mr. Keithstone Greaves

Despite her well-known traverse across Anguilla and her affinity with the people of this British Overseas Territory, outgoing Governor, Christina Scott, quietly left the island on Thursday, August 17, following the end of her 4-year appointment as the Queen’s Representative.

Her departure followed a series of informal functions mainly at Government House where she entertained several public and private sector groups and individuals to say goodbye to them. In so doing, and now with her departure, she has made way for her successor, incoming Governor, Mr. Tm Foy, OBE, who will be sworn into office on Monday, August 21.
During a one-hour interview with Keith Stone Greaves, on Radio Anguilla on Tuesday, August 15, the former Governor reflected on various challenges and other matters which crossed her desk, and how some of them might be handled in the future. One of the challenges has been the banking situation involving the takeover of the island’s two indigenous banks by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank in August 2013, their eventual closure, and the establishment of a single bank, the National Commercial Bank of Anguilla (NCBA), by the Government of Chief Minister, Victor Banks.
“The Government of Anguilla took a decision and made a commitment that they would seek to sell the bank within three years. That timetable may slip a bit for good reasons, but I don’t see any reason to disagree with their decision,” she stated. “They will have to, when the time comes, think about how it is acting and how best to pitch it so that we have a bank that continues to support Anguilla – and that’s got to be the priority.”

The outgoing Governor continued: “We went through an incredibly difficult bank restructuring but we have now, in the National Commercial Bank of Anguilla, a strong bank – a bank that is well-led and a bank that is really focussed and committed to support the economy of Anguilla.”

Questioned about some calls in Anguilla for the Government to release the ECCB’s banking report about the former National Bank of Anguilla and the Caribbean Commercial Bank, she said in part: “I understand that it got a lot of personal information about individual bank accounts and individual loan holders, and so on, which can’t be really released. I think the Chief Minister said that and I support him in that. The question is whether a redacted version is useful, and what value it would add at this stage. It is a tool to inform certain decisions that have now been taken and I don’t think there is a case for releasing personal financial data at all.”

On other matters, she commented: “We have also seen a range of economic large-scale programmes coming through. Just in the time that I have been here, we have seen new resorts open at the Reef and at Zemi. We have seen in recent weeks the sale, after a long time, of the Cap Juluca Resort and I think that will be incredibly well for the island. We have seen Four Seasons come in and replaced Viceroy. It is a really strong brand which puts us in a global league. There are discussions going on with other people who say they are interested in developing Anguilla, and I think your Ministers are right to explore these opportunities. It is hard work and we here in Anguilla are in competition, not just in the region, but around the world, for investment dollars.

“We have an incredibly good product in our national resources, and we need to continue to make sure that we protect and sell those as well as possible. We need to make sure that we are creating the right kind of attractive environment for people to come and do business here; and that means being as clear as possible about where we are headed and what we think the destination of Anguilla is. So I really support the work the Government is doing, which is being funded by the UK, to take forward the national sustainable development plan.”

Ms. Scott spoke further about the future of Anguilla in terms of constitutional development, integrity in public life and other safeguards.

“I would very much support and hope that Ministers would bring forward a ministerial code which would set out very clearly the role the Ministers play and how they operate – and particularly how public servants operate with them,” she stated. “I really applaud the work of the Constitutional Reform Committee. They presented their proposals almost a year ago to Council for the first time. That draft Constitution has a number of important safeguards – for example the Human Rights Commissioner, the Police Complaints Commissioner, an Ombudsman, and so on. Those are very good suggestions, in my view, as to how we can promote accountability in public life and how we can support good governance. I really hope that Ministers will choose to take forward those recommendations. There has been public debate and discussions, over recent months, and the UK stands ready to help Anguilla put those safeguards right into where they should be, which is in the Constitution.”
Commenting on Anguilla’s relationship with the UK Government and the current situation regarding the UK’s planned departure from the European Union (Brexit), she said in part: “At every level, there is an opportunity for Anguilla to make its views known and that will continue. There will be a further Joint Ministerial Council when all the Premiers and Chief Ministers, from all the Overseas Territories, come to London again later in the year. There will be three opportunities this year where our Chief Minister will really be able to ask whatever questions he wants to make the case for Anguilla.”
She went on: “We have a very close relationship with St Martin/St. Maarten people. I know that link. I have already had two bilateral discussions in St. Martin with the Prefect and she is clear that the close relationship between St. Martin and Anguilla will not be affected by Brexit; and there will not be an impact on how people move between our islands. They will continue to collaborate in key areas such as customs and immigration, police and security, and I am sure that my successor will want to continue that dialogue with St. Martin. All of this needs to be managed, and I think we need to look at what are the opportunities with Brexit for the Overseas Territories – and how can they get a better deal as part of the UK’s new relationship with the European Union.”

Ms. Scott took the opportunity to reflect on the responsible and energetic young people in Anguilla for whom she has had a good deal of admiration. “We need to learn from our young people because they have so many fantastic ideas,” she stressed. “I think Anguilla is in a great place, going forward, if it listens to its young people as they have a passion and a drive that is really second to none.”

Anguilla’s first female Governor disclosed that after having left the island she would be visiting a number of other Caribbean islands such as Dominica, Grenada and the Grenadines. Later on she is hoping to return to Anguilla for Festival Del Mar. She further disclosed that next summer, after a year in London, she would be taking up an appointment as Deputy Ambassador at the British Embassy in China for the UK Government.

By anguillian August 21, 2017 12:22


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