Official newsletter
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Title: Official newsletter
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Language: English
Publisher: Antigua and Barbuda High Commission
Place of Publication: London, England
Creation Date: November 2011
Publication Date: 04-2012
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April/May 2012 Issue 148 The Antigua and Barbuda High Commission Official Newsletter Inside This Issue Cancer Centre for Antigua and Barbuda 4 mond Jubilee Celebrations 4 New Facilities for Grays Farm and Cedar Grove 5 Barbuda halts Sand Mining 7 Water supply improving for Barbudans 8 Coco Point Lodge Barbuda closes 12 Poultry Farm for Antigua and Barbuda 14 Back Garden Initiative a Success 15 Carnival in Antigua 20 Caribana in Barbuda 20 Endeavouring all Antigua and Barbuda High Commission, 2nd Floor, 45 Crawford Place, London W1H 4LP Telephone:020 258 0070 Facsimile:020 7258 7486 Email: enquiries@antigua barbuda.com A newsletter produced by the Antigua and Barbuda High Commission London for nationals and friends of Antigua and Barbuda My honour is the country's honour, says PM The man who describes himself as the chief servant accepted the honorary doctorate he received from Mid Continent University on behalf of the people of Antigua and Barbuda. Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer spoke at a United Progressive Party (UPP) town hall meeting, said the tribute belongs, not to him, but to the country, for the strides made in regional and international fora over the past eight years. behalf of the people of Rural West, my colleagues and the people of Antigua and Bartold the gathering. He called the honorary doctorate and the one he received in 2009 from his alma mater, the Coady International Institute, St Francis Xavier University in Canada, He said while the populace here might be guilty of failing to repair the twin image in the international community, the outside world is watching, comparing eras and making the assessment. to me is a reflection of what we as a government and a people have been able to do said. 17th May 2012 * * *


2 For the last two budget presentations, I have listened to the Hon Harold Lovell, Minister for Finance, the Economy and Public Administration provide vivid details of the performance of the economy over the proceeding year and the plans for the ensuing year. The Minister has spoken of the challenges faced by the Government of Antigua and Barbuda over the period 2008 2011 and the difficult decisions that had to be taken to ensure a better quality of life for the citizens of our beloved Nation. We may not have agreed with every statement made by the Minister, nor would we have taken the same course of action were we in the same position. One thing is certain some form of action needed to have been taken. plan of action, for we are certain of one thing, life would have been so much more difficult. I remember a discussion I had with a good friend during one of my visits home several years ago. Let me recreate the scenario for you my readers: The government had taken a decision to shake up the Antigua and Barbuda Police Force. It sought help from the Canadian Government and several retired members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) were recruited to re organise, re focus and re motivate the Antigua and Barbuda Police force. My friend heard the outcry from opposing view point around the island asked whether I agreed with the decision to install such persons in the hierarchy of the Force. I trust that he has now seen the wisdom of that decision and better understood my support of it. Over the last three years, the re vitalised and re motivated Antigua and Barbuda Police force has solved 4 of the 5 murders occurring in the island. This is indeed commendable and deserves to be applauded. It shows the new level of cooperation between the Police and the community which it serves. Coupled with the remarkable reduction of incidents of crime (from 2735 in 2008 to 1591 on 2010) things are moving in the right direction. Much has been said of the Sovereign debts of Greece, Ireland and Spain among the member states of the European Union. In fact it has been preferred that the inability of many countries around the world to service their external debt is a major contributor to the greatest economic crisis mankind has faced over the last 100 years. Antigua and Barbuda also has to assess its situation and take appropriate actions to address it. The Governments response to the situation is the National Economic and Social Transformation (NEST) Plan (2010 2014). As the Honourable Lovell, Minister of Finance, the Economy and Public Administration said in his 2012 Budget is certain though, the storm will end. With the steady hand of our Honourable Prime Minister at the helm, we His Excellency Dr Carl B W Roberts, CMG


3 The six overarching strategic objectives of the Plan are: It therefore embodies the following policies and programmes: Let us now continue to examine a few of the results of the Plan to date. In 2009 the assessed total National debt of Antigua and Barbuda stood at EC$ 3.3 billion. This can be further described as 110% of the GDP of the country. The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, like its counterpart in the UK Europe and elsewhere, sets a debt to GDP target figure of 60% for member states of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU). Our National debt has begun to reduce as the initiatives taken by the Government to curtail expenditure, reduce borrowings and re negotiate outstanding debt servicing has paid dividends. At the end of 2012 the National Debt stood at EC$ 2.8 Billion (94% of GDP) and by the end of 2011 had been projected to be reduced to EC$ 2.75 billion (90% of GDP). To examine how this is being driven, let us look at how the government is utilising the money it gets through its various sources Two financial indicators demonstrate the stewardship of the government and the conformity to the mary (Account) Deficit. The Current Account Balance incorporates all of governments income from Direct Taxes (such as Income Tax, Property Tax) Indirect Taxes (Sales Taxes) and other Non Tax Revenue. Government then uses the money to cover its expenses or outflows. A simplified example of this would be a household income and expenses assessment. Wages and Salary are used to cover household commitments. If the commitments are below the total wages and salary of that family, there is something to set aside for savings and emergency. The table below shows the movement in both these indicators. Where the figures are in brackets it indicates a negative balance which means that as a country we are absorbing more than we are producing. This also means someone is lending us money in the form of debt (as we cannot in reality interpret this deficit as depleting on reserves). This has a direct impact on our National debt. and excludes interest payments on its debt. Continued on Page 4 (see over) His Excellency Dr Carl B W Roberts, CMG High Commissioner 1 Fiscal Balance 2 Education for All 3 Enhancing our Social Development Agenda 4 Preserving our environment and building a stronger physical infrastructure 5 Economic Sustainability 6 Antigua and Barbuda The Best Brand A Fiscal Consolidation Programme B Economic Action Plan C Social Transformation Programme D Fiscal Sector Stability Programme


4 Diamond Jubilee Celebrations by Her Excellency Dame Louise Lake Tack, GCMG, Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda, His Excellency Dr Carl B W Roberts, CMG, High Commissioner and Mrs Pauline Roberts, spouse of His Excellency Mr Ulston Richards, Choirmaster, Mr Keith Coates and Mr Antonio Joseph, Members of Antigua and Barbuda National Association Choir To be continued in the next Newsletter His Excellency Dr Carl B W Roberts, CMG High Commissioner TABLE 1 Primary Account Balance 2004 (1.2) 2005 (35.7) 2006 (117.6) 2007 (89.0) 2008 (96.0) 2009 (357.5) 2010 52.9 2011 (2.0) TABLE 2 Current Account Balance EC$M 2007 (24.6) 2008 (23.1) 2009 (307.9) 2010 (58.1) 2011 (71.0) projected


5 The Ministry of Public Works says it is working on the construction a Farm and a new health clinic for Cedar Grove, with both projects expected to come on stream this year. Farm, where a community centre will be erected right next to the basarchitect Wesley James revealed in an interview with OBSERVER Media. He said the building would be constructed from scratch to meet the needs of residents in that community. Over in Cedar Grove, James said he hoped that the construction of a new clinic for the area would begin According to James an area has been allocated and a design approved for the facility. tions and put a contract in place so he said. Once that contract is in place, James said construction of the facility that will also include a day care centre should begin thereafter. The current clinic at Cedar Grove is said to be housed in a building that was not designed for that purpose. Tuesday 24th April 2012 * * * After years of setbacks and much controversy, Transport Board management says that construction of the new Antigua and Barbuda Transport Board headquarters is just months away from completion. OBSERVER Media was granted an exclusive tour of the state of the art facility in Potters and candid interThe one million square foot compound encompasses five buildings including administrative, repairs and maintenance, motor pool, inspections and staff canteen areas. The complex is being touted as the largest on island, with the repairs and maintenance building being the largest governmental building at 450,000 square feet. The crown jewel of the new facility, the repair and maintenance building, is said to be currently the most innovative and advanced facility of its kind in the Caribbean, according to David Bartholomew, the consultant in fleet management who facilitated the design of the building. are putting here you are going to see in any other smaller Caribbean counplan is to offer training and retraining of mechanics in automotive repair maintenance. The training will be offered to mechanics both on island and throughout the Caribbean. The mechanics will learn high tech skills in the maintenance of newer, computer based vehicles. we can offer to the other neighbouring islands; training for their people Sections of the headquarters, including the repairs and maintenance and motor pool divisions will operate around the clock, daily, in order to facilitate daily governmental vehicle inspections and maintenance and mechanics classes that will take place during the evening. The licensing department will house two new automated inspections machines that they anticipate will streamline and allow for a more accurate vehicle inspections process. and let it ride. If the machine says it mew continued. The project, reportedly 85 per cent complete, began construction in 2005 with an 18 month timeline and $16 million budget. Seven years later, the budget has ballooned to $30 million. However Harry Josiah, general manager, says that the facility will be well worth the wait. (Transport Board) started to build this place in 2005. It is true. But when we are finished we are going to be delivering a world class facility that is going to make a difference in terms of how Antiguans and Barbudans and visitors to this country view government purchasing, upkeep and plained. The completion date is slated for late August, when the staff is scheduled to begin work at the facility. The grand opening is tentatively scheduled for November 1, Independence Day. tures five buildings, including a 450,000 square feet repairs and maintenance centre. (Photo by Eustace Samuel/OBSERVER Media


6 Prison on the way to sufficiency in food National Security Minister Dr Errol Cort is boasting that the prison is well on the way to becoming self sufficient as it has begun reaping crops planted at a small farm at the Botanical Gardens. Additionally, the authorities are awaiting the installation of water at Duers Estate where a larger prison farm is to be developed. vanced and it is under the watchful eye of Mr John McKinnon who is the person in the Ministry of National Security in charge of our project implementation. They have ploughed up the area and have started to plant the minister said. Dr Cort said he is pleased with the development and is looking forward to the time when prisoners would also plant and reap at the larger farm because the project could go a long way in not only feeding the prisoners but also help raise funds for the expansion of the penal institution. maybe if possible to sell some of the food so we could raise funds to assist with the rehabilitation prosaid. Efforts to develop the farm began in 2010 and the project has been receiving support from the Ministry of Agriculture. 17th April 2012 * * * New fuel station for Fisherfolk Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer has hailed the commissioning of the Marine Fuel Station for fishermen as a historic day for the country, even as he underscored the importance of the fisheries sector to the twin dreds of persons is dependent on a the opening of the facility at Point Wharf Fisheries Complex late yesterday. continued success of the fishing inthat comprised mainly career fishermen. Construction of the fuel station started in September last year and was built at a cost of approximately EC $300,000 but fishermen say the dream took a long time to become a reality. 30 years but the important thing is Antigua and Barbuda Fishermen Co operative Leonard Mussington recalled. The co operative negotiated with West Indies Oil to provide the fuel at concessionary rate. Government has also waived all taxes on fuel to members of the fishermen co operative in a bid to make the commodity more affordable. Addressing the opening, Fisheries Minister Hilson Baptiste urged fishermen to take care of the facility. The Ministry of Agriculture is anticipating getting a better handle of its agriculture produce, through the initiation of the Production Marketing Intelligence Service (PROMIS), which is tasked with assessing and recording the level of production on the ground. The unit, which went out of commission in 2004, is now working in tandem with the local producers and farmers to ensure that food is imported in the country based on a needs basis. Extension Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture Owalabi Elabanjo told OBSERVER Media that the food importers are now cooperating with the ministry in this regard. the ministry as to what is available and where can they get it and what is the cost attached to it and on our own part too we have been dealing with them through telephone calls on what is available and what they from the field slowed around 2004, when the PROMIS unit went out of commission after its officers took the voluntary separation package. Agriculture Minister Hilson Baptiste, in an earlier interview with OBSERVER Media, said that efforts were being made to revive the unit, but not without an uphill battle, given the conditions outlined in the Uruguay Round of the World Trade Organization (WTO), to which Antigua and Barbuda is a signatory. This WTO regulation restricts any country, which is a signatory from free trade without proper statistics, and evidence to quantify the tariff on the goods imported locally even if it is to protect domestic agricultural services. He insisted however that, the move to protect farmers would which warrants for imports are signed selectively. And the extension officer said this is being achieved. it has assisted in many ways and if it continues like this, I think the joy is extension officer concluded. In 2011, statistic revealed that the ministry imports vegetable commodi t i e s t o t h e t u n e o f E C $ 3 2 m i l l i o n while several farmers reported spoilage of local produce, due mainly to lack of proper storage and proper post harvesting facility. 5th May 2012


7 Barbuda Council halts sand mining The governing body in Barbuda announced that it had passed a resolution halting all sand mining operations on the 62 square mile island even as it came under fire from environmental experts for acting too late. The resolution passed on 26th March 2012 seeks to bring to an end a more than 30 year practice on the island. Efforts in the past to bring an end to sand mining were short lived because some people depended heavily on the business for their survival. Barbuda Council Chairman Kelvin Punter acknowledged that there would be financial implications but said the council felt that action was needed to prevent further degradation of environment. economic benefit and look at the Punter told OBSERVER Media. The Barbuda Council said since mining operations will end shortly, into consultation with the people of Barbuda and the Government of Antigua and Barbuda to discuss survival means where finances are concome to this but this is something that was expected over a number of years. But the time has come where enough is enough, the decision has been taken and we have to look at Punter said. Experts have described the mining whose white sand beaches are the Marine biologist John Mussington, who has been following mining operations on Barbuda, has dismissed He told OBSERVER Media that the council went beyond the 2007 benchmark for it to size activity doing that knowing full well what the dangers are it shows the callous disregard they have for the long Mussington, who has been opposed to mining operations from its inception. He has refuted statements that mining on the island is a major economtion of monies made from sand mining goes to concerns who are outAntigua and Barbuda is party to the Bio Diversity Convention, and Mussington believes that authorities acted in contravention of that treaty 31st March 2012 * * * Age is Honor: Street Naming to Honor Centenarians Freetown village on the south east coast of Antigua is home to one of exclusive title awarded to persons who attain the ripe age of 110 years. Irene Carlos achieved this status in January of this year and grand style with many local government officials in attendance. Dame Louise Lake Tack, Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda and representative of Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth was on hand to congratulate Irene Carlos. The Governor also announced plans to rename some of the local streets in Antigua and Barbuda in ans. At the last count, the destination had 18 living centenarians 16 cy rates in A & B do not appear to be significantly higher than other Caribbean countries, but the number of centenarians in a population of less than 100,000 is quite imshow significantly better survival rates among women than men, pointing to better health outcomes honoured to celebrate this Mothdy Evelyn Davis, who recently turned 106. The former school teacher is still in fairly good health, is very cognitive, somewhat mobile and is cared for by her children, family and friends. Deeply religious, she reads her bible every day and also the local newspaper. Her phiSally, the oldest of 11 grandchildren, describes her grandmother as easy going with a simple daily routine. Lady Davis takes a shot of brandy every day, is never indulgent -she eats well but in moderation, about freshness. She believes is eating fresh produce and fresh meat. especially for her every Saturday. * 11 th May 2012 *


8 Distribution of hundreds of plots of land begins shortly The landless will be given priority in the queue when government begins the distribution of approximately 600 plots of land, at concessionary prices, at the end of May. Those left holding the bag owing to failed Land for Youth scheme are also in for a reprieve, Minister of Lands Hilson Baptiste said. The latter group, which has been in limbo for a decade, can expect an announcement shortly, the Minister said. and some paid off for lands they never had. The former administration took their money but never gave He noted that these individuals would be allocated lands in and around the North Sound area. can look out for a plan to come in by Meanwhile, spoke on 15th May 2012 at a United Progressive Party (UPP) town hall meeting at Princess Margaret School (PMS), Baptiste said plots would be available, primarily for first time landowners, starting at the end of May. Though the plots are available across Red Hill will be on offer first. The Minister, in a subsequent interview, said the prices and the sizes would be dependent on location. pography. The shape of the land will determine the size of the lot, but the average size is 5,500 square feet. Baptiste said. tion and the infrastructural needs, so that if the land is on a hill where it is difficult to put water and electricity, it would cost more than land in a flat area, but the prices range from $3.50 added. The tone at the town hall indicated that there is the expectancy of a correlation between first time landowners and the youth. This caused on audience member to ask what systems are in place to ensure that the lands do not remain fallow, owing to a lack of funds to build, or the absence of haste associated with youth. Minister of Finance Harold Lovell said the aim is for the land programme to complement the Construct Antigua and Barbuda Initiative (CABI). Individuals who are approved by the Antigua and Barbuda Investment Authority administered CABI are entitled to tax relief and concessionary rates on building materials and aggregates purchased locally, as well as reduced rates from banks, insurance companies and contractors who are registered with the programme. Responding to the woman, Lovell said while first time landowners would be given priority, the programme is not exclusive to them. 18th May 2012 * * * Water supply improving for Barbudans Construction has started on a reverse osmosis plant in the River area of Barbuda. The plant is being constructed with a $1.2 million loan from Venezuela and is a part of the Petro Caribe (PDV) deal negotiated by Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer. The plant is expected to produce at least 600,000 gallons per day for the village of Codrington and to hotels in the area. Pipes will be laid from River to Codrington and from there to households up as far as the Highland area of the island. This project will also be a major resource for farmers, particularly those with land at Highland and those areas traversed by the pipelines. 15th March 2012 * * * Dear Readers, if you know of any nationals and friends travelling to the UK for London 2012 Olympics please remind them that they need to have appropriate travel insurance to cover the cost of medical care in the event of illness. They will not be entitled to NHS treatment


9 Did you know that Antigua and Barbuda will be participating in the London 2012 Olympics? See stories below about two of our Olympians Emily Ward has qualified in the sport of equestrian for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. She will contest the dressage section of the discipline. sent to the National Olympic Committee on Friday, informing them that the national had qualified for the upcoming Games. confirm the eligibility of your country to participate in the Equestrian Sports for the 2012Olympic Games NOC said. ticipate at the Olympic Games with a team; with individuals only; with fewer participants than qualified, or if you do not intend to participate in cation added. This is, however, not the first major qualification for Ward who had qualified for the Beijing Olympics back in 2008 but was forced out of the competition following the death of her horse. The NOC now has until March 31 to indicate whether or not they intend to participate in the field for which the athlete has qualified. The deadline of March 1, 2012 for NOCs/NFs to gain eligibility to take part in the Olympic Games was set by the IOC and FEI. Eligible NOCs/NFs are kindly requested to inform the FEI in writing by March 31, 2012 whether or not they intend to participate at the LonNOC and NF is required, and a positive answer will confirm your NF/ NOC as qualified to participate at the Dressage is a competitive equestrian sport, defined by the International petitions are held at all levels from amateur to the World Equestrian Games. Its fundamental purpose is to develop, through standardised progressive athletic ability and willingness to perform, thereby maximising its potential as a riding horse. * * * At the official launch of Antigua and Barbuda Paralympic Committee (ABPC) on March 15, 2012, Minister of State with responsibility for Sports, Senator Winston Williams Jr anment of ABPC. Senator Williams shared with the gathering his experiences and inspiration gained from working with the founding members in the early stages of discussions on the way forward. He also said that the establishment of 2012 focus on sports for special needs groups and increasing the level of participation of women and girls in the sector. presentation included recognition of two emerging para athletes, Jamol Pilgrim and Spadicia Harris whose courage, in spite of their challenges, was cited for commendation. In the latter case, Harris who is a young amputee has been pursuing training in equestrian sports, sailing and now golf. Pilgrim is expected to make history in Antigua & Barbuda as our first paralympic athlete in the 2012 Games slated for London in September. Minister Williams also reported on his meeting with Maylene Hector and the National Olympic Committee on leading the charge for the re establishment of the National Special Olympics Committee. In keeping the committee, Williams has since continued discussions with representa t i v e s f r o m t h e A B P C e x e c u t i v e o n avenues of assistance for Pilgrim. Coming out of the meetings, it has been agreed that a submission will be made to the Government of Jamaica Athletics High Performance Centre. Williams has given assurances that every effort will be made to assist ABPC in facilitating the participation pic athlete in the Games in September 2012 in London. * * *


10 Clean up at Parham Fisheries scheduled The Fisheries Division will be spearheading a clean up campaign later this month at the Parham Fisheries Complex, in a bid to improve its environs folks and members of the general pubGeneral Manager of the Parham Fisheries Complex Gene Small said the co operation of the fishing community and the general public will be needed for the April 20 exercise to remove abandoned items from the compound. He said items such as boats, trailers, engines and old fishing gear are causing an eyesore. good image, and the abandoned boats, on the other hand, are a health hazard because they are taking in water which has become stagnant and are Vessel owners and other people who fail to comply with the notice after this date will have their items taken to the Cooks sanitary landfill. The entire slipway area of the Parham dock will also be cleared in preparation for the upcoming hurricane season. The aesthetics of the facility is among a number of other challenges the GM pointed out to OBSERVER Media during a tour of the facilities. A critical challenge he noted is that of vandalism of the property and a lack of adequate security. Small said because there is no gate to secure the compound, it is easily accessed after working hours. played a lack of co operation and have continually abused the property, including graffiti all over the compound, tampering with the doors, damaging the bathroom facilities and indiscrimiThe general manager said the fisheries complex was built in a strategic location in 2003 to promote economic diversification and self sufficiency in food supply, hence it should be kept in good order. The $45 million fisheries complex is the result of a joint effort between the governments of Antigua & Barbuda and Japan. * 5th April 2012 * One of the areas on the fisheries compound targeted for clean up. Groundbreaking For State of the Art Cancer Centre in Antigua Antigua and Barbuda is set to become the home of a state of the art Cancer Centre for the Eastern Caribbean. The desire for a Cancer Centre was the brainchild of Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda the Hon. Dr. Baldwin Spencer back in 2009 while attending the 50th meeting of CARICOM in Anguilla. Upon becoming aware of the Cancer Centre of the Bahamas through one of its principals; Dr. Conville Brown, Prime Minister Spencer approached him with the idea of creating a similar Centre in Antigua for the benefit of the citizens of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). The planning for the Cancer Centre of the Eastern Caribbean or CCEC was thus begun. CCEC is a joint venture between Global Health Partners Ltd, The Government of Antigua and Barbuda, the Governments of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States and MEI Healthcare, Inc. Based off the Cancer Centre of the Bahamas model, the CCEC will be fully equipped with state of the art machinery, technology and personnel to effectively and efficiently care for cancer patients within the OECS. The CCEC will provide patients with superb Medical, Radiation and Surgical Oncology services. It is the intention of the Principals and stakeholders of the Institution to have it accredited by the American College of Radiation Oncology (ACRO) Accreditation standards via the Cancer Centre of the Bahamas. It is conceived that the Cancer Centre of the Eastern Caribbean will not only provide high quality care to cancer patients within the OECS but also provide opportunities for Medical Tourism to be a possibility. The construction of the CCEC is set to be fully completed in just under a year. 26th April 2012


11 NOTICE PLEASE APPLY AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE TO OBTAIN A NEW CARIBBEAN COMMUNTITY ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA MACHINE READABLE PASSPORT New Style Caribbean Community Antigua and Barbuda Passport Antigua and Barbuda National Association London Family Fun Day Sunday 15th July 2012 Peter May Sports Centre 135 Wadham Road, Walthamstow, London E17 4HR To All Antiguans and Barbudans and Friends of Antigua and Barbuda a Service of Thanksgiving To Celebrate the 45th Anniversary of Antigua and Barbuda National Association London (ABNA) Took place on Sunday 24th June 2012 at 3.00pm N16 9ES Please Join us Notices and Announcements Antigua and Barbuda High Commission, 2nd Floor, 45 Crawford Place, London W1H 4LP For more information or to make an appointment please Telephone 020 7258 0070


12 Hotel closure places more strain on Barbuda Coco Point Lodge The closure of Coco Point Lodge in Barbuda at the end of the tourist winter season, last week, has raised concerns that the cash strapped Barbuda Council will face further financial woes. The fear was expressed by Chairman of the Council Kelvin Punter, who said several hotel workers, though not more than a dozen, are expected to join the council in order to secure an income to provide their basic needs. While some of the hotel workers have already approached the council, Punter said he expects more will follow when the few workers remaining at the lodge are sent off at the end of May. The hotel is expected to reopen in late October or November. closed last week, so that puts a lot of pressure on the council with everybody looking for a job. Some of the workers that went off to work with the hotel actually came back out to the council and with sand mining not going on anymore, we are also further cash Punter said the council proposed new measures just over a week ago and he hopes the plans get under way as soon as possible so the body can meet its expenses. behind by three weeks and we are wages (yesterday) and I hope we can do that and also be able to pay shortly to bring it up to only two weeks workers) for the month of April have not been paid as yet, but Punter hopes it would be done by tomorrow. The weekly payroll is about $168, 000 while the monthly payroll is approximately $300, 000. The Barbuda Council employs 419 people, which represents about 80 per cent of the working population on the sister isle. Meantime, Deputy Chairman of the Council Fabian Jones is of the view that the body can continue to manage its expenses using monies from sand already mined and waiting to be sold; the Antigua and Barbuda Sales Tax (ABST) to be collected from the two hotels in Barbuda for March and April; and the transfer grant from central government. Jones said government has only handed over half of the amount of the grant for the first quarter of the year. 3rd May 2012 * * * The 45th Antigua Sailing Week got off to a start with a mix of activities April 2012 when hundreds turned out for a night of partying and to welcome sailors from around the ing regatta. Joining in the festivities was the Minister of Tourism John Maginley who expressed his delight at yet another nowned sailing conditions and the warmth of hospitality with the visiting competitors. He further encouraged the sailors to return to the island for other racing dar, which runs from November right into May. The changes that were introduced to Antigua Sailing Week this year were prompted mainly by the wishes of the sailors. The Minister noted the value of constant feedback as the committee and government are making a much greater effort to listen to everyone involved in Sailing Week. He urged the community to make their voices heard as the organisers continue their work in developing and improving the product, not only for the sailors, but also for residents. Chairman of the Regatta Organising Committee Kathy Lammers also welcomed the yachtsmen and women and wished them good luck and a fun time in the next few days of what has already turned out to be an exciting time of racing in Antigua Sailing Week. The various winners in the Yachting World Round Antigua Race were handed their awards by Editor of Yachting World Magazine, David Glenn, and Maginley. A cocktail reception in the Copper and Lumber Hotel attracted top local officials, dignitaries and press. It was held against the backdrop of the Marine Art Exhibition and the showcase of some of the top entries and winners in the annual LIAT sponWith formalities over, the partying continued as the Vision Band played well into the night delighting the hundreds who gathered for the English Harbour Rum Welcome Party. The after race activities returned to the Dockyard yesterday with the Imobile Dockyard Day. Big bands and giveaways were a part of the entertainment line up. Sir Vivian Richards was on hand signing autographs and presenting prizes to the winners of the first official day of racing at Antigua Sailing Week. 30th April 2012 * * *


13 Barbuda police stretched to the limit Residents on the sister isle are complaining about the shortage of police officers at the Barbuda Police Station as reports indicate the facility is staffed with about half the number it is supposed to have. A senior official in Barbuda told OBposed to have about a dozen lawmen but at the moment I believe there are six or seven of them. There were more but it seems they have been moved and no replacements were sent for a year or so now, from my population is bordering on 2,000 people and crime is very minimal, the source said more police officers are still needed. A current serving senior member of the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda revealed that the station on the sister isle is supposed to have seven constables, two corporals, one inspector and one sergeant. However, at the moment there are five constables, one corporal and one inspector. each time a flight comes in and leaves. Someone has to remain at the station; they have to do security runs at Coco Point and they have to do field investigations for old matters and new ones and they have to patrol the place every day all day. Their weakness in numbers keeps showing the source said. When contacted about the alleged shortage of staff, the officer who anspeak to Commissioner Vere Browne who was long ago informed of the situation. The officer said he could not discuss the matter any further. 27th April 2012 * * * Requirement for completion of Declaration Forms when persons are travelling with more than US $ 10,000.00 Travellers are reminded that there is a legal requirement to complete a Declaration Form of any country when travelling with currency valued at more than US $10,000.00. In accordance with the Customs (Currency and Goods Declaration) Regulation section 2 (1) and (3), the Money Laundering (Prevention) Act sections 18 (1) and (3), the currency may be seized if it has not been declared or if there is reason to suspect that it is the proceeds of crime, or is intended for use in unlawful activity. Persons leaving or entering Antigua and Barbuda with more than (US$10,000) or its equivalent in EC dollars or in any other currency whether in cash or negotiable bearer instruments should make a declaration in the form prescribed. The following process has been established to complete the declaration forms when taking currency out of the country. Step 1. Notify Ministry of Finance by letter in duplicate of your intention to transfer the currency and obtained a receipt. Step 2. Submission of Form 1 in triplicate to ONDCP by Applicant and obtain approval Step 3. Submit a copy of the ONDCP approval to the Ministry of Finance Step 4. Present the approvalsto Customs and Excise Division The individuals are advised to make their application at least five (5) business days before the travel date. The ONDCP recently had signs installed at the VC Bird International Airport to ensure that all travellers are notified of the legal requirements when travelling with currency valued at more than US $ 10,000.00. 18th May 2012 * * * Antigua and Barbuda Airport Departure Tax Did you know that retired (60 years and over) citizens of Antigua and Barbuda are exempt from Antigua and Barbuda airport departure tax? To be exempted you must present as evidence of citizenship an Antigua and Barbuda passport


14 New Disciplinary Measures for School System With a view to alleviate the problem of violence in schools, the Ministry of Education is set to implement strict disciplinary measures in the upcoming September school year. In 2011, the number of incidents of violence in schools created headlines and were a cause for concern amongst parents, teachers, fellow students and the country in general. The Ministry of Education has since undertaken a number of initiatives in an attempt to solve the problem. Minister of Education, the Hon. Dr. Jacqui Quinn Leandro in an address during the recently held UPP Town Hall meeting, says that the upcoming school year will see the Ministry implementing new anti violence initiatives. Dr. Quinn Leandro said these initiatives include: a 6:00 pm curfew for tary Cadet Corps programme along with a mandatory Boot Camp. These initiatives are the result of meetings between the Ministry of Education and National Security, the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force and the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda. With respect to the mandatory Boot Camp, Dr. Quinn Leandro says regime of punishment for children children displaying negative and anti The Boot Camp will be at the disposal of Principals to use as a form of discipline for wayward students. Unlike the Boot Camp, the Cadet Corps will be voluntary and will be used to boost team spirit, civic and national pride. According to the Education Minister, these initiatives are especially geared towards repeat (violent) offenders. 17th May 2012 * * and Barbuda A United States based company has agreed to invest in a poultry farm a move expected to create much needed jobs, Minister responsible for the economy, Harold Lovell said. He told supporters at a recent rally of the United Progressive Party that for the past four months, the Antigua and Barbuda Investment Authori t y h a s b e e n i n d i s c u s s i o n w i t h o n e of the largest poultry producers in The Minister said although talks were in the preliminary stages, construction was expected to begin by poultry farm anywhere in the Caribmore chicken than anybody else. begin to produce our own chicken and we will be able to export for the Lovell told supporters that this latest project demonstrated governeconomic difficulties and provide jobs for citizens. people, we need to make sure that we have the investment. I can tell you that we are doing everything to move investments locally forward and to bring foreign investments to The California headquartered Zacky Farms LLC is a food production company incorporated in 1955. site, it currently employs 1500 people in the Los Angeles area. 8th May 2012 * * * Boxing Club starts on Barbuda Here is a new initiative of the sports department of the Tourism, Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs Committee of the Council a boxing programme. The club meets every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 5pm 7pm and recently acquired new equipment from a generous sponsor in Antigua. The first outing is scheduled for June this year against another amateur club in St Johns, Antigua Excerpted from www.antiguabarbuda.com; caribbeannewsnow, caribbean360news


15 The Ministry of Agriculture is moving full speed ahead in its quest to further advance backyard farming. The programme launched in 2011, seeks to address the issue of food security and the availability of wholesome foods to all citizens by encouraging all to grow what they eat. According to Agriculture Minister Hilson Baptiste the ministry will be intensifying its campaign to increase the level of production from backyard farmers. Baptiste, who was speaking at the launch of National Backyard Gardening Day, said the aim is to see at least 4 million pounds of food produced annually from the programme. would not have to buy anything from the supermarket, you can grow your own and share with you neighbours, I grew up where my mother would send some pumpkins to someone and they would send back two fish we build better communiThe minister said his ministry will be stepping up the support given to backyard farmers to ensure that the needs of everyone are met. To this end, the ministry will be dividing the country into zones, to better support the initiative. three or four zones to focus on each zone once per month to ensure that we assist you to better supply yourself and your family with all the vegeed. Over 300 new and existing backyard headquarters on Queen Elizabeth Highway to participate in the programme. At the close of business day yesterday the ministry distributed over 15,000 vegetable seedlings to the anxiously awaiting crowd. Among the seedlings distributed were tomatoes, butternut squash, zucchini, sweet peppers, season pep Seen above H E Dame Louise Lake Tack GCMG, Governor General and Honourable Mr Hilson Baptiste, Minister of Agriculture pers, and an assortment of fruit trees were available for sale at a minimal cost. Also present at the ceremony on Wednesday was Finance Minister Harold Lovell, who made remarks on the behalf of Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer. Lovell, who spoke highly of the initia t i v e c o m m e n d e d M i n i s t e r B a p t i s t e for his drive and commitment to the programme over the past year. He said years ago the society turned its back on agriculture and this void was filled with the importation of foods and vegetables at a high cost to the country. tive is very important from the point of view of food security and we must get back to that position where even if we do not produce everything that we eat, we should produce substantially what we eat and we should also eat what we proLovell added that agriculture is very and should be recognized as the most important form of culture. The event was declared opened by Governor General Dame Louise Lake Tack. According to officials with the Ministry of Agriculture in 2010, the twin island nation imported approximately 16 million pounds of vegetables and serious moves are being made to slash that amount by half. Governor General Dame Louise Lake Tack was amongst the more than 300 new and existing backyard gardeners who turned up yesterday for activities which marked National Backyard Garden Day, where 15,000 seedlings were distributed to budding farmers. Among the seedlings distributed were tomatoes, butternut squash, zucchini, sweet peppers, season peppers, and an assortment of fruit trees. * **** 10th May 2012 Useful Telephone Numbers in Antigua and Barbuda Registrar of Births, Marriages, Deaths 001 268 462 3725 Land Registry 001 268 462 3745 0r 562 3943 or 562 3894 Excerpted from www.antiguabarbuda.com; caribbeannewsnow, caribbean360news


16 A local farming group is responding favourably to a US $14,000 seedling programme funded by the Australian government. The initiative, which is set to begin shortly, will result in the planting of 24,000 tomato seedlings, 32,000 cucumber seedlings, cabbage, lettuce, sweet peppers and watermelons utilising 20 acres of land throughout Antigua & Barbuda. The project will be executed by Team Fresh Produce, a group of farmers with a wealth of experience. Gomes said the group was able to secure the funding after written and verbal communication with the government of Australia. The project, which will be conducted in two phases involving 14 farmers, is expected to be completed by June. be self sustainable and to add to the GDP as well as add to the during an appearance on OBSERVER AM Gomes said the farmers will be monitored on the planting of selected crops, which he indicated are needed on the market. melon, tomatoes, sweet peppers, cabbages that we know the industry would take. What we are also doing is to allow individuals in the group to actually sow out these seeds, show them how, get them up and get them going so that they Gomes explained. lings from the grant to sell to the market, have a revolving fund and use that to grow Team Fresh produce so that in the long run we The vice president also added that his group will also be looking to forge a partnership with the Central Marketing Corporation (CMC), who has indicated interest in purchasing the produce. 25th April 2012 * * * On March 27 th Burger King fans present and future were able to sample the offerings of the first BK outlet in Antigua and Barbuda. Owner, Island Burger, officially celebrated the opening of its new restaurant located at the Deluxe Cinema Building, Cross and High streets. Representatives from the company and Burger King in Miami, Florida joined the community to commemo r a t e t h e o p e n i n g a t 1 0 a m ate more than 50 jobs in the commanaging director. their favourite flame broiled prodThe new restaurant features a menu of popular guest favourites, such as burgers, chicken sandwiches, desserts, ice cream and, of course, the Whopper sandwich, the Burger Additionally, the new restaurant menu offers BK Kids Meals which include an entre and side dish such as a burger, cheeseburger or chicken tenders, along with a beverage. The Burger King restaurant, nestled within the Deluxe Cinema faade, features an updated exterior and interior design, keeping with Island its guests with a dining experience that rivals all other casual dining restaurants in the area. It also features the Duke Flexible Batch Broiler, a new broiler that maximises cooking flexibility and facilitates a broader menu selection while reducing operational and energy costs. Founded in 1954, Burger King is the second largest fast food hamburger chain in the world, operating more than 12,250 locations serving over 11 million guests daily in 76 countries and territories worldwide. 27th March 2012 * * *


17 Laws coming to manage gold and copper rush The United Progressive Party (UPP) administration will table legislation in Parliament to deal with increasing crime associated with the cash for gold and copper schemes, Minister of National Security Dr. Errol Cort said. Dr. Cort was speaking Tuesday night at a UPP town hall meeting at Princess Margaret School (PMS). Antigua and Barbuda, like many of its neighbours, has been grappling with an increase in criminal enterprise related to the sale of copper and gold, reports indicate. Construction sites and unoccupied buildings have been the main targets for those rummaging for copper, which is sold to dealers for export. Police spokespersons have also recently linked muggings and break ins to the cash for gold market. Dr. Cort said, Tuesday, the stiff penalties included in the law would serve as a deterrent. and as a government we intend to bring legislation to Parliament to deal The minister acknowledged that the drafting process would take some time, and said a meeting will be convened with the respective business persons to establish a framework for trading. standing, so that proper records are kept in respect of persons bringing in This would include, he said, photographs and adequate descriptions of the items sold. Eleven Graduate from GRACE Programme tial and Care for the Elderly and Eligible (GRACE) programme is looking ahead towards greater advancement of Elderly Care Assistants who work under the initiative. Director of the programme Brenda Bennett is hoping that Elderly Care Assistants could be registered so they can be nationally recognised which will develop in them a sense of self worth to effectively carry out their duties. Bennett was speaking at the graduation of eleven Elderly Care Assistants at the Simon Boulevard Centre, who completed a course in care for the elderly and home nursing. The individuals were taken through topics like the United Nations Principles for older people, understanding your job, protection of vulnerable adults, nutrition, personal care and hygiene. Top student Nora Namygwanya said the course provided a sense of confidence, skills and the necessary knowledge to be efficient on the job. Minister of Health and Social Transformation Wilmoth Daniel, under which the programme falls, says government will spare no effort to strengthen such programmes. He said government is now working on regulations to protect the elderly from all forms of abuse and should be applauded for looking after the The Minister congratulated the gradu a t e s a n d e n c o u r a g e d t h e m t o l e t this be a stepping stone to future development. 17th May 2012 * * * To Our Readers The next issue of the newsletter will cover June only


18 He served in two administrations, decades apart, and is being remembered both for his political acumen and devotion to nation building. Hugh Theodore Pigott passed away peacefully at his Wireless Home residence yesterday morning at the age of 78 years. Pigott was one of the earlier entrepreneurs in the tourism field as he was proprietor of Pigottsville Hotel which opened its doors in 1975 and which continues to operate to this day. Among his dreams, which grew to fruition, is the Orange Valley Nature with a wide assortment of exotic birds and other flora and fauna. Pigott is, perhaps, best known for his activities in the political arena and his contribution to the public service. He was one of the earlier chairmen of the Carnival Committee. He worked at the Transport Board and the Tourism Department and was a senator in the PLM administration and an advisor and confidante of the late Vere Cornwall Bird, Father of the Nation. Son, Andre Pigott, told Observer Media that his father only complained of feeling unwell on Sunday and that yesterday he collapsed on leaving the bathroom. He died before the ambulance could transport him to hospital. one of the things which stand out for me is his honesty and his love any time he would trade his country Chairman and Deputy Political Leader of the Antigua Labour Party Gaston Browne described the deceased as a stalwart of the Antigua Labour Party and a very effective organizer who was well respected in the institution. Vere, his contribution to the Labour Party is well known and respected. His integrity was impeccable and he took principled positions. and membership of the ALP, I would like to express sincerest condolences. that the knowledge of his contribution to the ALP and the advancement of our country will help to On a personal note, Browne said Pigott was a good friend who believed in him and would advise him from time to time. that he would say to me, he would have wanted me to become leader Pigott was frequent caller to WinVoice of the People programme. Derrick said his contributions would be missed as one who was willing to share his knowledge and to give advice. Pigott is survived by his wife of 53 years Naomi, eight children, 22 grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. 10th May 2012 * * * Antigua and Barbuda At The Commonwealth Fair Saturday 3rd November 2012, 11.30am to 6.00pm Kensington Town Hall, Hornton Street London W8 7NX Music Food Crafts Entry: Adults £5.00 Children up to 12 years old £3.00


19 Ministry of Information Launches Arrive Alive Campaign The Ministry of Information, Broadcasting, Telecommunications, Science and Technology has launched paign designed to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving. The Safe Driving Promotion which will run throughout the summer will look at road safety in terms of discouraging persons from texting and driving, the importance of using seat belts and recognizing that alcohol can impede judgment while driving. is the first message that has been launched in the series. The campaign comes as Government seriously looks at enacting legislation that will prohibit the use of cell phones while driving. It is geared at raising public awareness about distracted driving by urging drivers to put down their phones and focus on the road, the series sends a clear message that drivers need to keep their attention on the road, not on their cell 21st May 2012 ************ st Battalion Caribbean Regiment in 1943, and was honourably discharged after serving three years. He leaves to mourn his wife, Fernella Peters, five children, 12 grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. 22nd May 2012 * * * Antigua and Barbuda is among six Caribbean countries expected to benefit from an agreement to continue the battle of violence against women. The Organization of American States (OAS) and the Government of Chile signed a Letter of Intent to strengthen capacities in the area of violence against women. The Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda to the OAS, Deborah Mae Lovell, said Caricom thanks the Government of Chile for its continued assistance for social development. Ambassador Lovell said that the example of the Government of role played by the OAS in the efforts to address issues of common concern. Chilean Minister of Foreign Affairs Alfredo Moreno said his government recently contributed US $1 million for social development in the Caribbean countries, of which US$113,000 will be aimed at strengthening capacity in the area of combating violence against women in the Eastern Caribbean. Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia, St Kitts & Nevis, and St Vincent & the Grenadines are the countries who will benefit from the initiative. 10th May 2012 * * * London 2012 Olympics Friday 27th July 2012 to Sunday 12th August 2012 London 2012 Paralympics Wednesday 29th August 2012 to Sunday 9th September 2012


20 Caribana 2012 tions, will run as usual over Whit Weekend (24th May to 28th May2012) Antigua and Barbuda High Commission, 2nd Floor 45 Crawford Place, London W1H 4LP,Tel: 020 72580070,Fax: 020 72587486, enquiri es@ antigua barbuda.com www.barbudaful.net A website with information just about Barbuda Carnival 2012 Officially Launched Members of the various media houses were present, along with CDC committee members, Government officials, sponsors, Mas leaders and artistes. Minister of Carnival the Hon. Eleston Adams congratulated the new C.D.C. Chairman Mr. Kayode ment but his efficient handling of the position. Minister Adams said that committees should be commended for building on the foundation laid over the previous years and carnival 2012 promises to be successful. welcomed those at the Carnival launch and while noting some of the difficulties the CDC faces, menmer festival successful. commitment of his team and the inclusion of the National Festivals Committee to work along with the CDC. He expressed his appreciation for the Sponsors who have returned to assist the festival and also to the artistes and Mas Bands who have once again committed themselves to Carnival 2012 despite previous grievances. The audience was treated to perforMonarch winner Hard Knaxx and his crew, as well as former Party and Groovy Soca Monarch winner Tian Winter. Repeat Party and Soca Monalso took to the stage and gave the audience a sample of her new releases. Mas Bands brought color and vibrancy to the already charged atmosphere with their beautiful costumes and head pieces. The atmosphere was one of anticipation, revelry and good vibes. theme for Carnival 2012 and by all accounts it promises to be the greatest summer festival. 10th May 2012