Giles Paxman visits Valencia to discuss ways to increase support for British nationals

Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Spain, Giles Paxman, yesterday (Monday 5th March) visited Valencia to meet members of the Valencian Regional Government and discuss issues that affect British nationals living in the region. He was accompanied  by the British Consul for this part of Spain, Paul Rodwell.

During the meetings, the Valencian government emphasised the importance of British tourists and residents to the regional economy, with tourist spending alone estimated at more than 1.3 billion euros a year. The government expressed its willingness to work with the Embassy and its Consulate in Alicante to address the issues facing British residents.

At the meeting with the President of the Generalitat Valenciana, Alberto Fabra, both sides agreed to step up  efforts to help British nationals living in Valencia to integrate more successfully with their local communities. They agreed that language skills were important to making a success of living in Spain and discussed the possibility of developing a language exchange programme.

At a meeting with the Regional Minister for Justice and Welfare,  Jorge Cabré Rico, the two sides discussed ways of reinforcing the role of volunteers in providing support for  disadvantaged members of the British community, building on the success of the Consulate’s  “ConeXiones” project.

One of the key meetings was with Isabel Bonig Trigueros, the Regional Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and the Environment.  The Ambassador and Regional Minister discussed the action being taken by the Valencian authorities to address the property and planning problems being experienced by a large number of British residents. The Ambassador welcomed a proposal from the Regional Minister to set up a working group involving  town halls and planning experts to work towards a solution.


The Ambassador reiterated his commitment to continue to help local councils and the Valencian Regional Government in addressing these issues, for example by facilitating communication with British nationals affected by property problems.

Following the meetings, Ambassador Giles Paxman said:  “It is important to continue to engage with the Valencian Regional Government on issues that affect British nationals who live in and visit the region. We hope  the authorities will take forward the initiatives that we have discussed, namely the working group to look at property issues and the language exchange programme. We hope to see some progress on these issues in the not too distant future.”

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