Hon. Cleone Stapleton Simmonds, the only opposition member in the Nevis Island Assembly, and Area Representative for the Parish of St. Thomas, Lowlands, meets for the first time in her official capacity with Hon. Mark Brantley, Premier of Nevis, at his Pinney’s Estate office.

CHARLESTOWN, Nevis — Hon. Mark Brantley, Premier of Nevis, met with with Hon. Cleone Stapleton Simmonds, the sole parliamentary opposition member in the Nevis Island Assembly, on September 4. They had what the premier described as “useful dialogue.”

The premier met with Mrs. Stapleton Simmonds, the Nevis Reformation Party (NRP) representative for the St. Thomas’ Parish, at his Pinney’s Estate office, where he updated her on matters presently affecting Nevis.

“I thought it was useful to convene a meeting with the Hon. Stapleton Simmonds. She had some specific questions and concerns.

“We had an excellent meeting Friday morning. I took the opportunity to update the Hon. Stapleton Simmonds on various matters,” said Hon. Brantley. Topics included Nevis’s preparedness for the reopening of schools, and the economic impact of COVID-19 on our island.

Premier Brantley explained that the consultation afforded them the opportunity exchange views.

“We had a frank discussion, a fair exchange of views,” said Brantley. “I feel in a democracy, and Nevis is a mature democracy, it is important that all sides have an opportunity to contribute to national development, that all ideas contend.

“Of course during an election we will always fight for the seats on offer, but this is now about governance, and I think when one governs one cannot exclude the voice of the opposition,” he stated.

Premier Brantley said informed that he and Hon. Stapleton Simmonds have committed to meet regularly to exchange views and ideas as they work to move Nevis forward.

“We will now seek to have a regular interaction, and so better consecrate our own future here as we strengthen democracy on the island of Nevis,” said Brantley.

Hon. Stapleton Simmonds described the meeting with Premier Brantley as productive and timely.

“The meeting was very productive, especially at this time, with so much happening on the island and Federation on a whole,” said Hon. Stapleton Simmonds. “We were able to discuss how we foresee students dealing with COVID-19 protocols, the state of the economy, and how the reopening of the borders will impact us.

“It was our first official meeting since I was elected in March, and I expect to have more meetings with the premier in the future,” she said.