The residents of the sister islands of Anegada and Jost van Dyke are finally having the dreaded “stepchild” tag removed, thanks to the unconventional initiatives of the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Government.
It has been a forever cry of residents of the two sister islands that governments show scant regards for them, resulting in them having to always travel to Tortola, and in some cases Virgin Gorda, for certain services.
Cabinet meets on JvD & Anegada
Under the leadership of Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1); however, these issues are quickly being addressed.
At the break of the year, two significant and symbolic events took place on both Anegada and Jost van Dyke. The Ministers of Government, for the first time, held Cabinet meetings on the two islands and took the opportunity to interact with the people there at the same time.
Trade Dept holds office on Anegada
For Anegada, on January 15, 2020 it was even more historic as the Department of Trade and Investment Promotion took a team led by Junior Minister for Trade Honourable Shereen D. Flax-Charles, along with the Deputy Director of Trade Maxwell George, to meet with several residents to discuss related issues and even approved and distributed a number of trade licences on the spot.
Keeping the public informed, Hon Flax-Charles posted photos of the issuing of a trade licence to a young entrepreneur in the culinary field, Lakesha Barry.
“I will ensure that our sister islands acquire all the services the department has to offer. My department pledges to invest more time on the sister islands. By this effort investment and entrepreneurship will be encouraged and facilitated,” Hon Flax-Charles wrote.
She further stated, “I’m excited to continue fostering enhanced trade services on the sister islands as well as the main island of Tortola.”
‘Trade will be coming to you’- Hon Flax-Charles
According to Hon Flax-Charles, the team was pleasantly surprised at the many persons who turned up to have discussions with them. She said that in the very near future the department will be posting schedules of what they will be rolling out.
“I will also be posting my schedule. I will be working out of the department at least once per week, physically in the office of trade to deal with trade and economic development matters only.”
The Junior Minister said she will also be posting her schedule for visits to both Anegada and Jost van Dyke for persons wishing to see her in her capacity as At Large Representative.
“And those offices will be at the House of Assembly at the Stoutt Building. Once a week I would be having office hours and then move around the territory. It is very important that we go to the communities.”
She added they will also be spending time visiting business places, “For those persons who might be a bit busy and just can’t find the time to come to us, Trade is going to come to you to discuss issues.”
Meanwhile, the fan out on Anegada also included the Sister Islands Coordinator Sasha D. A. Flax, in addition to the Facilities Manager for the Virgin Gorda Administration Building, Anthony George, who conducted assessments of the Anegada Administration Building.
The team was ably assisted by the District Officer, Shirley Vanterpool, from whom persons needing applications for trade licences can collect. Similarly forms can be uplifted from the administration offices at Jost van Dyke and Virgin Gorda.