Is This How Our Tax Dollars Are Spent?

Submitted by islandgal

Government buildings in Holetown in bad state of repair

I was recently in Holetown the “Tourist Capital” to pay my land taxes. As I arrived I looked around and couldn’t help noticing how run down and shabby the place was looking. Now Holetown is the place our founding fathers landed. The buildings that house the Land Tax department, the Police Station and the Magistrates Courts are a disgrace to Barbados. The car park had litter strewn around, the overgrown landscape needed attention and the buildings badly needed a paint job.  Something caught my eye on a wall, as I looked closer there there were electrical boxes and outlets open to the elements with one dangling from wires. Doesn’t this property have a custodian? Why is this building is such a state? It occupies prime real estate and this is how it is maintained?

If government  cannot maintain their properties why don’t they let the private sector step in? Think about  how many jobs or businesses  that will be created? Who is in charge of maintenance of government buildings and grounds? I noticed a pile of sand outside a closed door. I thought that some concrete work was being done only to look closer and see that they were once sand bags, put there to prevent water from flooding the building.  The bags had deteriorated over time and now all that is left is a pile of sand.  It is clear that government cannot maintain and protect our infrastructure. If our infrastructure cannot be properly maintained how can they maintain Barbados’ investments? Why can’t they get it right?

View pictures of the sorry tale:

This is a reflection of both DLP and BLP governments.  I would like to suggest that there should be a department that looks after buildings and grounds in each parish. Each building would have a custodian who will maintain the grounds and report to a head custodian. If there is anything to be fixed or looked at he or she should report to the head custodian. The head custodian should have access to plumbers, electricians, carpenters and masons to call on. As I write I can see the whole dismal scenario unfolding, forget it! This works very well for private management properties. Better still let a private property management company look after these buildings dealing with people who were politically appointed just leads to frustration and corruption.

It is time we name and shame and stop trying to protect people who are taking our money and not doing their job.

0 thoughts on “Is This How Our Tax Dollars Are Spent?

  1. This story could be repeated a hundred times at every single government owned building. Successive governments have had a very poor record in maintaining buildings. I think now, more than ever, with budgets being squeezed, you will find that these buildings will fall into an even worse state of repair. So many visitors are telling me that Barbados is looking very run down and grubby.

  2. And how much does government pays the private sector for the rental of office space all across the island, while government building fall into desrepair ? We know for a long time that the BWA was renting office space in Eagle Hall. Pretty soon that section to the east of the Trimart Complex in Haggatt Hall will be completed and occupied by some government ministry. In Fairchild Street / Independence Square , we have seen government renting space to house the nations public library, while “empiretheatering ” the Heritage Public Library building at Coleridge Street. The Licensing Authority and Land Tax Department are occupying rental space in the privately owned Southern Plaza, and this is after the last administration demolished the partly completed new Oistin Post Office building, to make way for a car park. And this list is by no means complete in anyway. As taxpayers we should be made aware of the rental cost of these buildings, and who owns them.

  3. This whole situation is tired. If you NEVER take a stand for what you want from those that you place in office to support you. You will continue to have this problem. The government officals seem to run the country the way they see fit to benifit them financially .
    I have a friend who has a time share in Barbados. She just returned from Crop Over. Every year she tells me that Barbados is loosing all the places that were once of importance. They will allow historic places to just fall apart. And continue to build new palces.
    I sometimes wonder what the elected officals really feel about the people that has placed them in the positions their are in. To me they seem to forget that they are SERVANTS of the people. But instead they seem to act as MASTERS of the people.
    Nothing will change unless you stand up and allow yourself to be heard.
    They can NEVER do anymore than you the people of Barbados allow them to do. They are working for you. You have a voice in where and how your tax dollars are spent.
    Islandgal, I want to thank you for bringing this to the attention of others. I’m quite sure that many have seen this, and said nothing. And will do NOTHING.

  4. Dear Cadogan Sr.

    In small societies like Barbados, when you take a stand openly you are victimized. Why do u think we blog here anoymously. People will come after you and your relatives with a demoltion weapon. There is a belief among politicians that when u place them in parliament that u r to worship them. I cant wait until elections are called to let them see who is boss.

  5. ” I cant wait until elections are called to let them see who is boss.:

    We are only BOSSES for 24 hours when we select some BOSSES to run our affairs. After that they will do as they like for the next five years!

  6. You know the old saying that even if yuh belly hurting yuh how not a soul would know by the way yuh look pon de outside!

    It seems that we have become very comfortable in our shoite and the attitude is if yuh doan like it lump it!

    • @islandgal

      “We are only BOSSES for 24 hours when we select some BOSSES to run our affairs. After that they will do as they like for the next five years!”

      In a simple sentence you have lashed at the root of our problem. The need for people to participate in all facets of our ‘democracy’.

  7. Legal council for the UWI advised the Principal not to accept the pay back offer that was made by the Min of Fin “because of its origin, (it) might not be binding on a returning or new administration.”

    NO David,
    it is the above “simple sentence” by council, “that has lashed at the root of our problem” …

  8. My once beautiful Barbados is becoming a very tired and sickly looking dilapidated old house overrun with bush with a growing rat population especially in parliament and the public service.
    A sure sign of decay and decadence and a place where tourists will no longer be interested in coming to.
    The streets in the Bridgetown environs are in a bad state with grass growing in the gutters even on Broad St which was previously drawn to the attention of the relevant agencies.

    What is the sense of keeping people employed in the public sector if they are not doing their jobs or don’t have the tools and materials to work with. Is this now a public sector on welfare that our PM finds to be the best in the class of mediocrity?
    Where are the returns from the billions invested in free education? If the degrading state of our island does not shock the sensibilities and sensitivities of our officials you can bet it does those of the visitors to our country, especially those who have visited us over the years and know of a once beautiful and clean place nicknamed “Little England in the Tropics”.
    Sometimes it leaves one to wonder if members of the Cabinet don’t look out of the air conditioned vehicles and see the state of disrepair and despair around them starting with the lower Bay Street.

    • If the government (all governments) want to manage a more effective cost management strategy – if one exist – a targeted property maintenance policy is a must i.e. if we are serious.

  9. islandgal246 | August 29, 2012 at 7:31 AM |

    We are only BOSSES for 24 hours when we select some BOSSES to run our affairs. After that they will do as they like for the next five years!
    As someone once said, the difference between us and the many central and south american countries around us ,is that we freely elect our own dictators.
    Its always a matter of pick one lot,and you wish that you had pick the other.

  10. I have photos somewhere of the Nightengale Nurses Home at the Corner of River Road and Wellington Street take in 2007 and again in 2010. For years this once beautiful building was abandoned, becoming the home of parros and other undesirables,the Government of the day spent millions of dollars refurbishing this building,bringing it back somewhere near to its former glory. That work was completed in 2007. Gradually as one went past this building, it was obvious, that once again it was falling into disrepair ,due to a combination of misuse and bad workmanship in the previous repairs. Windows were falling off and the exterior paint was turning black. Eventually in 2011, just some four years after spending a great sum of taxpayers money refurbishing this building, the government once more embarked on another expensive exercise on a complete re-refurbishment of the building.
    When taxpayers money is wasted like this, heads should roll, but its appear that the only rolling will be done is in heavy bank rolls.

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