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People Speak Up

Chairman of the Premier's committee on the UK White Paper 2012, Mr. Lemuel Hurlston, (right) addresses the meeting, with committee member Pastor Alson Ebanks, at the Sir John A Cumber school hall in West Bay on Tuesday (25 October).

Attendees at a public meeting in West Bay yesterday (Tuesday, 25 October) raised several concerns they want the UK to take into account when preparing the next White Paper for the Overseas Territories.

The sparse audience heard from Mr. Lemuel Hurlston, chairman of the Committee coordinating public input, and Pastor Alson Ebanks, committee member.

The concerns raised included the need to ensure that the voice of indigenous Caymanians gets heard in the UK and that the Premier knows the content of the committee's report before he makes his presentation to the Overseas Territories Consultative Council at the end of November.

Another point touched upon was the pros and cons of independence and the need for Cayman to talk about it. One attendee was vehement that Cayman should remain an Overseas Territory (OT).

Mr. Hurlston outlined actions since the last White Paper in 1999 and the UK's rationale now for the new White Paper. He also spoke about the constitutional changes now in place including new councils and commissions aimed to improve good governance.

He explained that comments for the committee to consider have a deadline of 4 November. However, comments can be made directly to the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office until 31 December 2011. Additionally, the FCO website will remain available for reference until 1 July 2012, he said.

Highlighting the process involved, Mr. Hurlston said responders could complete their answers to the UK's questions electronically, by email to the FCO, as hard copy to be dropped into a box at the Government Administration Building lobby or by post directly to OTs Directorate (Consultation), FCO, King Charles Street, London, UK SW1A 2AH.

The websites available are:

Mr. Ebanks urged all residents to submit their comments to the questions. This is an opportunity that should not be missed, the speakers emphasised.

(GIS)

For further information contact: Bina Mani