Anfi Hosts British Consulate Open Day
16/03/2012 - The British Consulate recently held an open day in Anfi for British ex-pats living in the Gran Canaria with the aim of providing advice about services and benefits.
Maria Leng, the British Consul for the Canary Islands, welcomed the public before introducing Carmen Rosa Hernandez who represented the borough of Mogán. Councillor Hernandez explained the different services and grants which the town hall offers to all residents, including ex-pats, and pointed out the importance of registering in the town hall via the Padrón.
The Padrón allows boroughs to gauge how many residents from each country live in the area. On the bases of these statistics, the town halls can then apply for funding from central government to finance services specifically for those ex-pat communities.
Of the approximately 80,000 British citizens living the Canary Islands, only 30,000 are registered with the Padrón, hence each year there is a significant shortage of funding meaning the boroughs must subsidise those Brits who have failed to register but still receive services.
The Consul, Ms Leng explained the role of the consulate and how it can and can’t help UK citizens, emphasising that local residents must look to the Spanish government bodies for services and assistance.
The meeting was then handed over to Lorna Geddie, from the Consulate’s Pension, Benefit and Healthcare Team. Ms Geddie, who is based in Malaga spoke about services and benefits that Brits abroad could receive from British authorities. She then went on to speak more in-depth about pensions before opening the meeting up to a question-and-answer session.
The main message that came from the meeting is that it is vitally important for all existing residents, or those planning to move to Spain, to do plenty of research to understand their rights and responsibilities.
Human Resources Director, Santiago Zerpa stated, “It’s is vital that British Anfi staff be made aware of their rights and responsibilities as residents in Gran Canaria. We have provided the consulate staff with the ‘Welcome to Anfi’ pack, which we present to every new member of staff, this includes detailed information on those rights and responsibilities of our staff.”
He continued, “Anfi is keen to promote this incentive from the British Consulate and the content of the open day correlates perfectly with the information that we are currently providing to our staff.”
If you are a resident in the Canary Island or are thinking about moving you can further information on the points raised:
British Consulate in Spain: http://ukinspain.fco.gov.uk/en/
Lorna Geddie: Pension, Benefit and Healthcare Team, British
Consulate, Malaga Tel: 952 352 300
International Pensions Centre (deals with all enquiries regarding the payment of state pensions for those living abroad) 0044 191 218 7777 Mon Friday 8am-8pm
Information on the certificate of Padrón: http://www.mogan.es/