§ Baroness Young
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What were the conclusions of the review of policy and management for the Caribbean Dependent Territories.
§ Baroness Chalker of Wallasey
We have reviewed our policy on, and the management of, the Caribbean Dependent Territories—Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Montserrat and the Turks and Caicos Islands. For the time being the present constitutional relationship is unlikely to change.
Our record in assisting the economic development of these territories is good, although their economies remain vulnerable. They need to attract more sound private investment, as well as continuing to develop their infrastructures, so as to stand more securely on their feet. Continued economic progress must be supported by the strengthening of good government.
We have decided that we should make changes in our existing management structures for these territories. As the Minister responsible, my honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs will chair a ministerial board of management for the territories to bring together those government departments and agencies which have a part to play in the territories' affairs to improve co-ordination within Whitehall. A new secretariat for the territories will be set up in the region to co-ordinate all official funding programmes and provide on-the-spot support and advice for governors and territory governments.
We wish to encourage the elected government of the territories to work closely with us in a spirit of partnership and common enterprise. Our governors will play a vital part in achieving that aim.