Barbados Government Penny Wise To The Extreme
THERE is a certain type of person who buys a new vehicle and then never changes the engine oil. We’ve even seen some ZR owners who fall into that category – but not many. The ZR chaps know that if they fail to change the oil or keep those tyres aligned, they will end up paying big time in the long run, and that money comes right from their own pocket.
Contrast the behaviour of most ZR owners with those public servant so-called “managers” who have access to a never-ending pot of public tax money. Why bother to maintain something when you can just buy a new one? Unfortunately though, that pot of tax money now has too many hands grabbing at it – so another flock of chickens (called “the results of never caring about preventative maintenence”) are coming home to roost.
A certain Barbados Free Press frequent contributor sent us the following piece, but forgot to let us know if we should publish it with or without an author’s name. (Let us know if we should put your name on it, please.)
Public Buildings Not Maintained
A large number of Barbados public buildings – including the police stations, post offices and schools – have not been maintained over the years, and have had to be abandoned as being unfit for both employees and the general public.
One of the most recent cases is the police station in Belleplaine, St Andrew, in the Scotland District National Park. After part of the ceiling and roof collapsed, the police have had to relocate to Speightstown, leaving a skeleton crew on site. Next door to that is the post office, the welfare department and the community centre. All of these buildings are closed and in an advanced state of delapidation through a lack of maintenance.
Wrong Priorities For Spending – Parties Instead Of Maintenance
Recently government spent over Bds $1/2 million to celebrate the 40th anniversary of our independence. This included food and drink and cultural events at the Prime Minister’s residence, Ilaro Court. Well-dressed invited guests arrived in designer clothes, paraded themselves before the cameras – but then carried away doggy bags and took home dainties for family and friends.
Then there was the official opening of the west wing of the Parliament Buildings in Bridgetown, both the Heroes Museum, and the Museum of Parliament, which being unfinished has been closed from public viewing since the official opening. Kensington Cricket Oval has been re-built at a cost of Bds $137 million, with the seating having been increased from 14,000 to 26,000 of which 10,000 is a temporary bleacher stand to be removed at the end of the series.
This is a 2 forward/2 back example of mind boggling waste of public money.
New Coast Guard Station – Over Budget & Vulnerable To Storms
The new Coast Guard station at the Flour Mill site which was to cost $60 million is now costing $80 million, and the designers seem oblivious of the fact that about 20 years ago when heavy seas came out of the north-west, the waves broke over the existing breakwater and nearly took away the flour mill. The facility was saved only through a Herculean effort by C.O. Williams Construction, using large boulders that were pushed into position with bulldozers – between lulls after a wave frequency of 7 huge waves and a break before another 7 smashers.
Greenland Garbage Dump – It Won’t Work No Matter How Much More Money Is Wasted
The retrofit at the Greenland garbage dump site is another example of having wasted $30 million, and another $25 million is due to start the retro fit. This is without overruns, which more than likely will bring it up to $37 million.
Barbados Media Failing In Their Public Duty
The Barbados press, newspapers, radio, television are failing in their public duty to keep the public informed of these short-comings. Every time a Minsiter or politician opens his mouth and brays, the press are there to report. Our historians of Cave Hill never come out and publicly condemn this irresponsible action. The Auditor General’s report year after year, which documents these financial shortcomings of taxpayers money, is received by the Speaker of the House of Assembly, minuted in Hansard and put on the shelf with the other unresolved shortcomings, since 1966.
The motto of government seems to be… Don’t Stop the Carnival!