The Access Division within the Office of the Premier convened a meeting with key stakeholders on Friday, June 29, to discuss how to bring positive change to Montserrat’s ferry and air operations.
The meeting was held at the Conference Room of the Disaster Management Coordination Agency (DMCA) and was attended by representatives from Montserrat and Antigua and Barbuda’s Customs and Immigration departments, Fly Montserrat and SVG, Jenny Tours, Jemmotte Shipping, The Police and Marine Unit, Montserrat Port Authority, DMCA, John A Osborne Airport, the Tourism Division and the Government Information Unit.
Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Premier, Mrs. Daphne Cassell was also in attendance. She said it was important for this level of interaction to take place so that ideas can be shared and issues identified, with the view of finding solutions which will bring about improvements for access into and out of Montserrat. Mrs. Cassell therefore encouraged the representatives to freely and openly express their views so they can be documented and appropriate decisions and actions can be taken.
The Permanent Secretary’s sentiments were also shared by Access Coordinator, Mr. Ashley Lindsey, who chaired the meeting. In his welcoming remarks, he noted that the stakeholders meeting is part of the Access Division’s strategic objective to facilitate regular dialogue with all relevant stakeholders. Mr. Lindsey told the representatives that the meeting will be first in a series of meetings, aimed at obtaining their input.
During the meeting, the stakeholders spoke about the need for greater collaboration with Antiguan Authorities for sustained improvements to facilitate in transit passengers, and ways in which the processing at Immigration and Customs can be expedited at the Ferry service in Antigua. They also discussed the need to create a more customer friendly environment in Montserrat and Antigua through customer service training, and the need for the airlines to explore new ideas to market their products.
The stakeholders meeting will be held every 6 months.