Commonwealth Director visits Cayman
Ben Merrick, Foreign and Commonwealth Director for the Overseas Territories visited Grand Cayman on Friday.
Merrick had a full schedule which saw him meet with Premier Alden McLaughlin and key contacts across Government.
The Director started his day at Breakfast with the Premier where amongst other issues Constitutional change requests were discussed. This was followed by a meeting with Cabinet and a subsequent discussion with the leader of the Opposition, Ezzard Miller.
Merrick spent time with the Executive Director of the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre, Ania Milanowska and government agencies dealing with child safeguarding. He congratulated Ms Milanowska on the start of the Kids Helpline and explained that he had worked as a volunteer for six years on the UK’s Childline.
Merrick also met with Director of Hazard Management, Danielle Coleman and her team to discuss disaster management. This followed recent visits he has made to BVI and TCI to review their recovery efforts following Hurricane Irma.
Merrick also met representatives from Cayman Finance to discuss a range of issues currently affecting the industry and had lunch with the Commissioner of Police Derek Byrne, Ombudsman Sandy Hermiston, Auditor General Sue Winspear and Head of Customs and Immigration Charles Clifford.
Merrick ended the day with a tour of the Air Operations Unit where he received a briefing on the Regional Helicopter Project that will see a new helicopter, jointly funded by the FCO and the Cayman Islands Government, arriving in Grand Cayman.
Merrick commented: “This was my first visit to the Cayman Islands and I was pleased to have such a full programme for my short visit. It was a pleasure to meet with the Premier, Leader of the Opposition and the Cabinet and hear their thoughts on a number of topics. The Cayman Islands continues to set the standard across the Overseas Territories on a range of issues and I am very grateful for people freeing up their time to meet with me today and share the latest developments.”