News for Wednesday November 25th, 2015

Government Minister says erected phone towers pose no danger to residents


Telecommunications Minister, Paul Lewis

Montserrat’s Minister of Communications says there is no danger posed to residents by the erection of cell phone towers in various communities across the island.

Paul Lewis gave the assurance during a sitting of the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday.

In response to a question posed by opposition member Dr. Ingrid Buffonge, Lewis stated that the radiation emitted by the cell towers are within safety limits.

Workshop to discuss biodiversity management

A one-day workshop was convened on Wednesday to discuss Montserrat’s biodiversity and ecosystems management.

The primary aim of the workshop at the Montserrat National Trust  (MNT) was to discuss the best initiative for Montserrat and the region and to arrive at a consensus on how the plan of action could be developed going forward.

The Honourable Minister with responsibility for the environment, Claude Hogan expressed the Government of Montserrat’s gratitude to the European Union for identifying the management challenges on island.

Premier on filling vacant positions within public service

Hon. Premier Donaldson Romeo

Premier, Donaldson Romeo

The island’s premier has indicated that unattractive salaries maybe one of the reasons for the government’s challenges in filling key positions in the public service.

In responding to a question posed in the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday Donaldson Romeo said the return of Montserratians from abroad was important to the development of Montserrat.

He stated that the government of Montserrat’s recruitment policy gives Montserratians first preference for jobs.

He however says it is proving difficult to recruit Montserratians living abroad with the salaries on offer.

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News for Tuesday November 24th

Banking Legislation makes safe passage through Parliament


The Eastern Caribbean Asset Management Corporation Bill 2015 has made its safe passage through Tuesday sitting of the Legislative Assembly and into law.

The Bill seeks to give legal effect to the agreement establishing the Eastern Caribbean Asset Management Corporation.

The agreement, which appears as a schedule to the bill, is one part of a regional programme of reform of the financial sector which is being implemented by the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU).

As the Honourable Premier Donaldson Romeo explains the reforms are aimed at bringing the banking and financial services in line with current International standards.

Former Government Minister questions one aspect of new banking legislation

Adelina Tuitt

Former Government Minister, Adelina Tuitt

A Former Government Minister is questioning Montserrat’s ability to raise the 20 million dollars paid up capital under the new banking legislation.

The proposed banking act raises the minimum capital requirement to start or operate a bank from  $5 milion to $20 million.

However, former minister of education Adelina Tuitt does not believe the bank of Montserrat, which will be affected is in a position to come up with that kind of capital.

Sixty persons benefit from recently announced housing programmes

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Minister of Housing, Claude Hogan

News of this has come from the minister with responsibility for housing Claude Hogan.

Speaking in the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday, he stated that these persons are benefiting from an array of initiatives including financial assistance grants, materials grant, home finishing and home improvement grants and the residential housing lots programme.

Regarding the financial assistance grants Mr. Hogan said seven persons were given assistance valued at 40 thousand dollars each.

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News for Monday November 23rd, 2015

Improvements to Juvenile Justice System

Delmaude Ryan

Minister responsible for Social Services Delmaude Ryan

Provisions have been made for technology to be integrated into the courtroom to facilitate the testimony of children.

Minister with responsibility for Social Services Delmaude Ryan says this move will seek to protect children who are intimidated by their offenders.

The protection of child witnesses was one of the recommendations made in a Child Safety Review carried out by the Lucy Faithful Foundation earlier this year.

Former editor says government should’t rush to sign new banking bill

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A former newspaper editor is urging the Donaldson Romeo administration to take its time before deciding to sign up the new banking legislation.

The proposed law, which gives the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank the power to regulate the banking industry in the OECS, is expected to be read for the first time in the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday.

David  believes the government should be vigilant and discuss the implications of the bill thoroughly.

Airline representative believes lower taxes will help reduce cost of travel in the region

Nigel Harris

Nigel Harris

Nigel Harris of Fly Montserrat says taxes can account for up to 50 per cent of the ticket cost.

Mr. Harris’ comments follow similar calls by the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States OECS Chairman and Grenadian Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell, who says taxes must be reduced at the Caribbean Community CARICOM level.

St. Kitts Nevis Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris says a study is needed before taxes can be reduced on regional flights.

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News for Friday November 20, 2015

Minister denounces child perpetrators

Minister, Delmaude Ryan

Minister, Delmaude Ryan

Government Minister, Delmaude Ryan has strongly condemned any act of violence against children in Montserrat

Addressing the nation Friday, Universal Children’s Day, the Minister who holds responsibility for Child protection Delmaude Ryan sent a strong message to perpetrators of crimes against children.

Montserrat could expect even more savings on the procurement of drugs

OECS Heads of Government have approved measures to make the Pharmaceutical Procurement Service more efficient.

This was one of the issues discussed at the November 18th – 19th meeting in Dominica, attended by Montserrat’s- Honourable Premier Donaldson Romeo.

Director General of the OECS Commission Dr. Didicus Jules says apart from making the PPS more efficient, the leaders looked closely at the financial

Plans in progress for National Tree Planting Day 2015

The Department of Environment (DoE) is finalizing preparations for the 25th consecutive hosting of the annual National Tree Planting Day exercise early next month.

A press statement from the DoE says National Tree planting Day this year will be on Wednesday 9th December.

According to the release, distribution of plants will begin at 7:00 a.m. at the plant nursery in Brades. The Department of Environment is asking residents to bring along a cardboard box to safely transport their plants.

 James White Jr. presents these and other stories…..

News for Thursday, November 19, 2015

Governor warns against complacency amidst Paris attacks

Her Excellency, Elizabeth Carrier

Her Excellency, Elizabeth Carrier

Montserrat’s governor has joined in solidarity with the relatives and friends of those who have suffered tremendous loss due to recent terrorist activities around the globe.

Her Excellency the governor Elizabeth Carrier says the cowardly acts of these individuals should no doubt be detested.

She is however warning against complacency saying that criminal activity is a real threat to Montserrat and the rest of the Caribbean.

Epidemiologist says more to be done to lower diabetes numbers

Epidemiologist Dorothea Hazel

Epidemiologist Dorothea Hazel

A Public Health Professional has called for a change in attitude and behaviour in an attempt to reduce the cases of type two diabetes in Montserrat.

This was the message by Epidemiologist in Ministry of Health Dorothea Hazel during the annual general meeting of the Montserrat Diabetes Association on Wednesday.

Hazel also offered a word of advice to parents on proper nutritional practices for children.

The Epidemiologist commended the Montserrat Diabetes Association for its work over the past ten years and called for a collaborative effort with other agencies going forward.

Montserrat to observe Universal Children’s Day

Montserrat joins the rest of the world on Friday in celebrating Universal Children’s Day.

The occasion will be marked by an address by the Minister responsible for Social Services Delmaude Ryan.

The social services department will also team up with the Montserrat Children Society to organize a fun day for the children on Saturday.

The event will be held at Little Bay Park at 2PM.

Tanisha Christopher presents these and other stories



News for Wednesday November 18, 2015

The Governor addresses letter by Leader of the Opposition on Geothermal Well

Her Excellency, Elizabeth Carrier

Her Excellency, Elizabeth Carrier

The Governor has broken her silence on a letter which was written to her by the Leader of the Opposition concerning the proposed site for the drilling of the third Geothermal Well.

The Honourable Leader of the Opposition Rueben T. Meade recently spoke publicly of his concern about the lack of  transparency surrounding the proposed site and demanded a response from the Governor.

However, during her monthly press conference, Her Excellency the Governor Elizabeth Carrier said she along with the DFID Country Representative, Martin Dawson, met with Mr. Meade to discuss not only the proposed site for drilling, but various land deals.

GIS at work in Government Ministries


Geographical Information Systems (GIS) have enhanced the operations of the Ministry of Agriculture, Trade, Lands, Housing, and the Environment.

That’s the view of the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Daphne Cassell.

She made the remarks at a ceremony held to commemorate GIS Day 2015 observed Wednesday November 18, 2015.

Supreme Court rules in favour of prison rights

Her Majesty's Prison

Her Majesty’s Prison

The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court has described as unlawful one aspect of the prison’s visiting procedure.

This was highlighted in a High Court challenge by Warren Cassell against Her Majesty’s Prison.

Cassell who spent sixteen months in prison, asked the court to declare as unlawful, the prison’s procedure to record in writing the content of conversations between prisoners and their visitors.

During the trial, the evidence revealed that prison officers would take down in writing, matters discussed between the prisoners and their visitors.

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News for Tuesday November 17, 2015

Government to pay Galloway’s Group over 100,000 dollars in damages

The Galloway Group has been awarded a fairly sizeable sum in damages, cost and other relief in a recent Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court case versus the Minister of Communications and Works.

The high court ruling was handed down following and application by  the Galloway Group for judicial review which stemmed from the procurement of a dredging contract of the Plymouth Harbour on Montserrat.

In the judgment, the court awarded $66, 032.27 to the Galloway Group for the loss of profit, $19,262.50 as the sum for the incurred expenses, and costs amounting to $15,000 for a grand total of $100,294.77.

Government to look at more alternative energy options

solar energy

The Government of Montserrat (GoM) is aiming to maximize every available resource at its disposal to ensure the island moves to 100 per cent renewable energy generation.

The Honourable Minister with responsibility for energy, Paul Lewis says there exists a window of opportunity for the island to explore the possibility of developing solar energy to compliment its Geothermal and wind resources.

Mr. Lewis says Montserrat is blessed and therefore each resource should be utilized as much as possible.

Montserratian named Dementia Personality of the Year in the UK

National Dementia CareFormer Home Care Manager at the Margetson Memorial Home Constanshaw Anang was selected from among four other pioneers in the field of dementia care in the UK.

She received the award during the 6th National Dementia Care Awards in Birmingham on Friday.

The Former Nurse was selected for her creativity in the field and her huge heart for caring for people living with dementia and their relatives.

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News for Monday November 15, 2015

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28 reported cases of child abuse in 2014

Child Abuse

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This has been revealed by the Department with responsibility for Child Protection. Physical abuse accounted for 12 cases, while neglect and emotional abuse accounted for 10.There were six recorded cases of sexual abuse.

The 2014 numbers indicate a slight increase over the 2013 figures. In 2013, there were 20 reported cases, 17 in 2012, 10 in 2011 and 1 in 2010.

In light of last year’s statistics, the Department of Social Services says it has started to put several measures in place to ensure that the islands children are safeguarded.

Some of the initiatives include awareness raising through the Break the Silence programme, sensitization of child abuse issues in the community and ensuring that there is more effective collection of accurate data relating to child abuse here.

Economist says serious implications for Montserrat if it fails to sign Banking Act

Peter Queeley

Economic Analyst Peter Queeley

Economic and financial analyst Peter Queeley said among other ramifications, failure to sign the act threatens the viability of the island’s participation in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union ECCU.

He is therefore urging the government to engage with the principles of the Bank of Montserrat (BoM) into producing a plan that demonstrates how the banks shareholders intend to achieve compliance with the new paid up capital requirement in the act.

The economic analyst said given Montserrat’s small open economy, retreating from its long standing currency union arrangement with the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States OECS is not an option.

This he says, will have extremely serious economic, financial and even political consequences.

Montserrat’s Governor has given the thumps up to the literary festival

Her Excellency, Elizabeth Carrier

Her Excellency, Elizabeth Carrier

The seventh edition of the Alliougana Festival of the Word wrapped up on Sunday, and Elizabeth Carrier said the five day event has become an important part of the island’s tourism product.

She said it has gained in popularity and fame over the years attracting local, regional and international participants.

Ms. Carrier said the literary festival also gives an opportunity to young and aspiring writers and artistes on the island.

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News for Monday morning November 16, 2015

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Tourism Strategy to be produced next month


The Government says it will soon have a clear idea of what measures to take to get the industry back on its feet.

The first draft of the new tourism strategy will be in the hands of Ministers as early as next month.

According to reports the consultants, Tourism Associates are planning to submit their draft inception report by the end of December.

This follows consultations with stakeholders here recently.

Environment Minister endorses meetings on marine resource management

claude hogan 2

Minister of Environment. Claude Hogan

The Honorable Minister of the Environment Claude Hogan has welcomed the announcement of a series of community meetings to discuss the management of Marine Resources.

The Meetings are organized by the Waitt lnstitute in collaboration with the government of Montserrat as part of Montserrat’s Blue Halo ongoing island-wide Listening Tour.

Mr. Hogan says the government is in support of the Waitt Institute’s impressive approach to combining one-on-one consultations together with group sessions as part of the Blue Halo Initiative on Montserrat.

The Diabetes Week of Activities officially launched

Delmaude Ryan

Health Minister, Delmaude Ryan

The islands Minister of Health Delmaude Ryan  launched the week  on World Diabetes Day observed on Saturday, November 14, 2015.

World Diabetes Day also marked the 10th anniversary of the Montserrat Diabetes Association.

The week of activities is organized to educate the public about the warning signs and risks associated with the disease.

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News for Friday November 13, 2015

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Government Ministers visit households across the island


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The Government of Montserrat (GoM) has embarked on a campaign to determine the concerns of residents on island in an effort to gauge its level of assistance going forward.

The village to village visiting initiative got underway earlier this week in Salem.

The Honourable Premier Donaldson Romeo told ZJB News that it was important to get a clear understanding of the plight of residents to be able to make informed decision as to how the government would channel its assistance to them.

Further increase in stomach illness cases


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The Ministry of Health is reporting a further increase in the cases of gastroenteritis here.

Community Nursing Manager Violet Brown says some persons have been hospitalized as a result of the illness.

Earlier this week, The Ministry reported that close to sixty people were treated for the illness within the last two weeks.

 Nurse Brown says children are accounting for the majority of cases.

Montserrat’s reigning Calypso Monarch addresses recent arrest


Keithroy Morson

Keithroy De Bear Morson has made his first public statement following his arrest for breaching immigration rules at the Port in Little Bay earlier this week.

The reigning Calypso Monarch was arrested at his home on Sunday for entering the island without due process.

After arriving on the ferry, Morson reportedly left the Port without receiving clearance from Immigration Officers.

The calypsonian said while he accepted that he violated the law, the matter could have been resolved differently.

 Tanisha Christopher presents these and other stories