February 27, 2007
At a recent political meeting in St Andrew, the newspaper reported that the Prime Minister, Owen Arthur, was against poor people being made to move to accommodate rich people building up-market housing in their area. It was dealing with the developments at Apes Hill and Waterhall by Sir Charles Williams, whom he described as “silly”.
The public record will show that about 6 years ago a number of persons living in chattel houses in Speightstown, on lands owned by government, where most of the families had lived for over 50 years, were forced to re-locate against their will, to a development at Mount Brevitor, near Mile-and-a-Quarter, St Peter, in the Prime Minister’s constituency. These residents were not happy to be moved as most were old, and it was a settled community. This land was part of the old Sanitation Services truck depot. However, when Schooner Bay was built, it was decided that this up-market development did not wish to look out on chattel houses.
I recall that in about 1995, when government announced that the new garbage dump would be sited at Greenland in the Scotland District National Park, Penny Hynam, CEO of the Barbados National Trust, wrote to the press objecting, as it is the Trust’s mandate to protect places of historical significance and beauty for the people of Barbados. The President of the National Trust, Mr Paul Altman, received a telephone call from the Prime Minister that the Barbados National Trust must not object publicly to his plan, and the President of the National Trust ordered the CEO of the National Trust to write a letter withdrawing this objection. This was done.
The Minister of Health of the day made a public statement that her government would listen to responsible agencies like the Barbados National Trust, in making a policy decision on the site of the garbage dump at Greenland, and the National Trust had not objected.
Basic investigative journalism would show that the President of the National Trust at that time is also one of the major developers of Schooner Bay. It is a classic case of you scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours. I love to watch politicians ballet dancing and fooling the Barbados public. Perhaps history will show who are the real Barbados heroes.
photo courtesy of Barbados Photo Gallery.Com (link here)