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“I first contacted Paul because we needed an interpreter to help resolve an issue at Sevillana, the electricity company. He was very efficient and effective and the problem was quickly solved. I have since used Paul in other official settings, including my bank, Unicaja, the Provincial Payments Office and the Administrator of our Community of Owners. Excellent value for money.”
Bill Douthwaite, Ronda, September 2009

From Tourist Rep to Diplomat PDF
Tuesday, 23 February 2010 00:00

altA profile of the British Consul in Málaga: Steve Jones talks exclusively to Paul Whitelock

Steve Jones has been the British Consul responsible for Andalucía, Ceuta and Melilla since the start of 2009.


Aged 40 and single, Steve started his career aged 16 as a travel agent for Thomas Cook, before becoming a holiday rep for the same company for four years, spending his summers working in Spain and his winters at ski resorts.

After two years as cabin crew for Monarch Airlines and British Airways, he returned to Thomas Cook where he worked his way up through the company to become Regional Manager for the Canary Islands, a post he held for four years.

He applied for the Consular Service when the Foreign and Commonwealth Office began to make a conscious effort to recruit locally and to look for expertise from other fields, rather than from within their own ranks.

He was successful and his first posting was to the Canary Islands, where he was British Consul for the seven Spanish islands, prior to moving to his current post.

Steve told me: “Since I started in Málaga, one of my priorities has been to find out where our customers, British citizens, live and work and to get out and meet them, hence the series of roadshows we have been running throughout the region.

“It was also important that we re-structured the consular offices, and we have now developed a group of partners, such as the Department for Work and Pensions, the Royal British Legion and Age Concern España, who all work closely together with us.  

“Having two permanent DWP staff plus the RBL co-ordinator based at the Consulate in Málaga has been fantastic.”

Steve’s other priority has been to improve customer service, something he has had huge experience of in his previous careers.  The way in which staff answer the telephone has been changed and they have successfully cut waiting times for telephone callers.

In his leisure time, Steve has two passions: his mongrel dog Oscar which he found abandoned on a beach in Fuerteventa in the Canary Islands; and skiing, although he has been nursing a broken rib from his last trip to the ski slopes and has been experiencing some pain.

©  Paul Whitelock




Paul Whitelock

Paul is a Joint Honours graduate in Spanish and German, a qualified teacher (PGCE) and has a Member of the Institute of Linguists (MIL) qualification.

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