The British Embassy in Spain has announced that Sarah-Jane Morris is to take over as British Consul in Alicante, whilst the current Consul, Paul Rodwell moves to a new role within the Foreign Office.
As Consul in Alicante, Mrs Morris will be responsible for one of the busiest British Consulates in the world, whose team supports the two million British visitors to the region every year, as well as the large expatriate community of over 165,000 who are registered on the Padrón in the provinces of Alicante, Valencia, Murcia, Castellón and Albacete. Every year the team handles around 2,500 consular customers, from victims of crime to individuals in extreme distress.
Mrs Morris will manage Alicante in addition to the Consulate-General in Madrid, where she has served as consul for central and northern Spain for the last two years. The management of Alicante and Madrid Consulates by one Consul follows the model already used elsewhere in Spain and many other parts of the world. The job of a Consul is to focus on strategic issues, such as new ways of preventing and tackling the most common and complex problems that face British Nationals abroad, whilst local teams, led by experienced Vice-Consuls, continue to lead the frontline delivery of consular assistance to Britons in distress.
Sarah-Jane Morris said, “I am proud to have the opportunity to oversee the excellent work of the Alicante team, so ably led by Vice-Consul Lloyd Milen and I am looking forward to seeing what more can be done to improve yet further the service offered to British Nationals. Alicante is one of the busiest Consulates in the world, supporting two million British visitors to the region every year, as well as a very large British expatriate community.”
Paul Rodwell is relocating and will continue to work for the Foreign Office in a global communications role, to design consular campaigns aimed at reducing the number of British nationals getting into difficulties abroad.
Paul Rodwell said, “I have thoroughly enjoyed my four years in Alicante, and would like to thank the team enormously for all their hard work and achievements, as well as the many external partners and charities across the Costa Blanca who work with us and make our job easier. I am looking forward to my next challenge.”
Commenting on the two appointments, British Ambassador Simon Manley said, “I would like to congratulate both Sarah-Jane and Paul on their new roles. Having worked with Sarah-Jane in Central and Northern Spain, I know she will bring her more than 10 years of consular experience to the new challenge. She will, I am sure, be an invaluable asset to the whole region covered by our Alicante Consulate. I look forward to working with her and our consular teams in Alicante and Madrid. I know too from my own visits to the region covered by Alicante the outstanding contribution Paul has made to our consular work there, as well as to prevention campaigns across Southern Europe more broadly. Besides providing assistance to those who most need it, our ambition must be to help Britons help themselves and reduce the numbers who require assistance in future.”
The nine British Consulates covering Spain and Andorra are now managed by three British Consuls, as follows:
Spain Central and East (Consul, Sarah-Jane Morris, based in Madrid) – responsible for consulates in Madrid, Alicante and Bilbao, covering the regions of Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, País Vasco, La Rioja, Navarra, Castilla y Leon, Madrid, Extremadura, Castilla La Mancha, Valencia and Murcia.
Spain North East (Consul-General, Andrew Gwatkin, based in Barcelona) – responsible for consulates in Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca and Ibiza, covering the regions of Cataluña, Aragon and the Balearic Islands, as well as the Principality of Andorra.
Spain South (Consul, Charmaine Arbouin, based in Malaga) – responsible for consulates in Malaga, Tenerife and Las Palmas, covering the regions of Andalucía, Ceuta and Melilla and the Canary Islands.