Home » Bournemouth in the United Kingdom received its first consular presence — DNOTICIAS.PT

Bournemouth in the United Kingdom received its first consular presence — DNOTICIAS.PT

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Bournemouth in the United Kingdom received its first consular presence — DNOTICIAS.PT

The Portuguese community in Bournemouth, in the south of England, experienced a historic moment last week with the first consular presence of the Portuguese Consulate in London. Half of the Portuguese community in Bournemouth and surrounding areas originate from the island of Madeira.

The initiative was the result of a request made by the person responsible for creating the Associação Portuguesa Lusófona Insular 1373 in Bournemouth, Nuno Custódio, to the Consul General of Portugal in London, Luis Leandro da Silva, due to the number of Portuguese and also the costs for emigrants they traveled to the consulate in London.

The city of Bournemouth is approximately 150 km from the center of London and to make this journey takes approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes and the travel and food costs for one person to carry out a consular act at the London Consulate can cost more than 200 euros per person.

To overcome all these situations for emigrants, the consular presence took place for a week at the restaurant “Madeira Palace” owned by Madeiran native of Câmara de Lobos, Luis Freitas, who gave part of the restaurant space for consulate employees to carry out consular activities. and which included the voluntary collaboration of emigrant Nuno Custódio.

Volunteer Nuno Custódio began by explaining to DIÁRIO that it was something he really wanted to happen in the Bournemouth community, the consular presence. “This is due to the geographical location and the number of Portuguese who live in this location in the south of England. It is estimated that there are more than 30 thousand Portuguese people living there, 50 percent of whom come from the island of Madeira and 50 percent from the mainland,” he said.

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He further clarified that this consular presence began after lunch last Monday until Friday, with around a hundred consular acts having been carried out. The balance is extremely positive. There were people who left almost with tears in their eyes because they were doing their documents so close and also because of the speed with which the consulate responded to emails to schedule the respective consular acts. It was a success,” highlighted Nuno Custódio.

Emigrant Nuno Custódio explained that the most difficult thing was finding space to carry out the consular presence for a week. He reported that he contacted several spaces, from a local shopping center, but the administration said that the minimum time to rent a space was for three months and it was immediately out of the question, because he only needed it for a week.

Another solution would be the city library, but it was under construction and they didn’t know when it would be ready. Then, another solution was local churches, but they also had different activities throughout the week and did not have space and time available at the times desired by the consulate.

Nuno Custódio, faced with the insistence on finding a location, spoke to those responsible for three Portuguese establishments, where he said that the consular presence would take place but the only thing missing was the space. And it was then that the owner of the “Madeira Palace” restaurant asked what was needed and then offered the space. At first, some Portuguese did not believe in the consular presence in Bournemouth and even thought it was a fraud, explained Nuno Custódio and that was when he explained that it was not and that the consular presence would actually take place in the city.

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The Consulate of Portugal in London sent three employees to carry out this first consular presence in the city of Bournemouth for a week. This consular presence was also attended by the Social Security Attaché, Renato Tiago, last Thursday, where he provided various services to Portuguese emigrants throughout the day.

Consulate employees worked beyond normal hours

The three employees of the Consulate of Portugal in London had their hands full to serve so many people who wanted to take advantage of the consular presence in Bournemouth, even though everything was organized in advance with appointments for the days and respective times.

On every day they were in the locality to carry out the consular presence, they worked beyond normal hours in order to assist all people who wanted to renew their citizenship card, passport or even nationality registration, among other services. .DIÁRIO was present last Thursday at the place where the consular presence took place and noted the support of the Portuguese and followed until the end of the work, which ended at around 6:15 pm.

Madeiran family saved another 600 euros

A family from Curral das Freiras told DIÁRIO that with this consular presence in Bournemouth they saved around 600 euros if they had to go to central London to renew their passports and identity cards. , said he has been in the United Kingdom for 17 years and this was the first time he saw this consular presence in the city of Bournemouth.

“In the morning my three children renewed their passports and this afternoon my husband and I did so,” explained the Madeiran emigrant. He also added that “if we had to go to the Consulate in central London we would have to pay train and metro tickets which are not cheap and still lose a day of work and spend money on food for the five of us, with this presence consular office in Bournemouth we saved more than 600 euros.”

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