Premier and Minster of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie said that his visit to the Hertfordshire County Council in the United Kingdom was successful. Premier Fahie was speaking during a press conference on Friday, November 26.
He said that while in the United Kingdom, the delegation from the Government of the Virgin Islands was welcomed by the Chairman, Councillors and officials from Hertfordshire County Council on the last day of his visit to the United Kingdom. The visit, almost to the day, marked 10 years since the Virgin Islands and Hertfordshire County Council signed a Memorandum of Understanding to partner and share intelligence.
Over the years, Hertfordshire County Council has been a good friend to the Virgin Islands, hosting the BVI Olympic delegation 2012 for the games in London and then in 2014 also supporting the delegation for the Commonwealth Games. Since then, the relationship has developed to include exchanges on education, the environment and economic development.
More recently in 2014, the Virgin Islands was pleased to welcome a group of educational officials who provided training to newly qualified teachers and shared knowledge on early childhood education, as well as having held discussions between environmental and fisheries officers on environmental management.
Earlier this year, another Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the University of Hertfordshire for the development of tertiary education programmes for students in the BVI to complete at the University, both through distance and in person learning. The next areas the partnership will explore are sharing experiences of supporting those with physical and learning disabilities, youth offending and economic development.
Premier Andrew Fahie said the delegation was pleased to pay a courtesy visit to Hertfordshire County, “We value the friendship extended to us by Hertfordshire County Council, and I am pleased that after a few years of absence, we are able to meet again. Over the last decade our relationship has blossomed from one rooted in sport to extend to education, the environment and economic development and there is still more that we can learn from each other.”
Chairman of Hertfordshire County Council Seamus Quilty said, “We were pleased to welcome Premier Fahie to County Hall in recognition of the partnership born from the London Olympics. It was good to hear that the best practice examples we are able to share to support dealing with local challenges are helpful. The relationship between Hertfordshire and the Islands has many successes to be proud of; in particular the recognition from the BVI government of our expertise in education provision.”
The visit was the last engagement on the Premier’s trip to the United Kingdom for the Joint Ministerial Council.