UK White Paper seeks stronger bond with Overseas Territories

The UK government says a new strategy paper “renews and strengthens Britain’s relationship with the Overseas Territories.”   However, much of the material in the paper – which runs to over 100 pages, and was due out last month – will already be familiar to people who follow affairs in Britain’s far-flung islands. For instance, […]

What the nurse said to the governor: Andrew Gurr looks back

When Andrew Gurr arrived on St Helena in 2007 as the first governor to be appointed through open competition, he found an island civil service that was financially adrift. It needed to undergo surgery – and so, later on, did Mr Gurr himself. In the fourth and final extract of an address to the Friends […]

Foreign Secretary ‘wants hands-on help for islands’ – report

Britain’s Foreign Secretary is said to want a more hands-on approach to the way the UK deals with its overseas territories, including St Helena. An early report on a White Paper stategy document – expected to be made public within days – says William Hague wants the territories to benefit from expertise across the entire […]

Experts, expats and what England expects: a governor’s view, part 2

Andrew Gurr, immediate past governor of St Helena, has been sharing his insights from his recent four-year stint behind the big desk in The Castle in Jamestown. See part one of his talk to the Friends of St Helena here. In part two, below, he talks about attitudes to expats, experts, the Foreign and Commonwealth […]

The inside story on St Helena, by former governor Andrew Gurr

While cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell was in Swindolena in May 2012, telling Saints about their island’s bright opportunities, Andrew Gurr was just 30 miles away in Oxford, sharing insights from his four years as governor (2007-2011). The two men were speaking at exactly the same time. A recording of Mr Gurr’s talk has now been […]

Island life is tough, report finds – but a Lottery win would help

Corruption, crime, poor education, and lack of transparency in island governments have emerged as key issues in the UK’s overseas territories. They are picked out in an independent report on the results of a public consultation, held in 2011 by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London. The 43-page document only sets out what people […]