17 December 2010

Anguilla Chief Minister To Meet With Civil Society on British Territorial Policy

Special to Overseas Territories Review

Chief Minister to meet with various associations and religious ministers in light of UK position on civil service

Chief Minister Hubert Hughes is scheduled to meet with various civil service organisations including the Civil Service Association and Union leaders, Police Welfare Association, Customs and Police Sports Club, Nurses Association, Teachers Association and Union and Church Leaders of various denominations and faiths as representatives of their Churches for discussion on the United
Kingdom (UK)
 position pertaining to the territory's civil service.

The UK Minister for the Overseas Territories, Henry Bellingham has been insisting that the Anguilla Government commit to further taxation and a cut the size of the civil service workforce by at least 30% and also make further cuts to the civil service salaries.

Chief Minister Hubert Hughes and his Government have taken the position that to comply with those directives at this time will have the adverse effect of plunging Anguilla into further financial difficulties and create previously unimaginable social hardships. In addition, the Chief Minister has also maintained that the portfolio for the Civil Service constitutionally resides in the Governor and that as such it is the Governor and not the Political Directorate who is responsible for any action pertaining to the Civil service,. The Chief Minister emphasized that any decision to do what is being demanded must take the human element into consideration.

Chief Minister Hughes is to meet with these various associations and the church leaders directly to discuss and obtain their views particularly in light of the UK’s position that they may not assent to the Anguilla Budget for 2011 given the non-compliance of these directives and if indeed the budget is assented, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) may not agree to any future borrowing unless those demands are adhered to.

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