Enforce Existing Laws Please

A major breakdown of the South Coast Sewage plant leading into the last general election created a ‘black eye’ for the country. It was one of many issues that probably led to the large defeat of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) in 2018. The sight of sewage flowing on the street in Worthing, Christ Church forcing tourists and locals to navigate with caution remains a vivid memory. The government of the day in a PR move designed to assure the public the area was safe saw former Ministers John Boyce and Richard Sealy taking a ‘dip’ in the Worthing Beach. The Barbados Government Information Service soon issued announcements that the beach was closed because of poor water quality.

It is worth mentioning that the Bridgetown Sewage plant is also under stress because of a deteriorating physical plan and it will take millions of dollars to rehabilitate the existing plant or build a new plant to efficiently manage waste in Barbados. The question asked and discussed on BU’s pages is why would a functioning government apparatus have allowed the good management of the sewage plant to have become compromised.

The blogmaster read with interest a report in yesterday’s Nation newspaper Warning: Keep grease from sewerage system. The report highlighted the misuse of the sewage system (after all the problems) by south coast users which has led to creating additional pressure on a failing physical plant.

THERE IS TOO much debris and grease in Barbados’ sewerage system, says Minister of Water Resources Ian Gooding-Edghill, to the point where it is time to take another look at the penalties associated with clogging it up … We [continue to] have a major challenge with grease. Since the plant was constructed in 2003, we’ve had some challenges in respect to that. Here at the South Coast Sewage Plant we haul out about 170 000 US (United States) gallons on an annual basis and at the Bridgetown Plant, I am advised we haul out about 400 000 US gallons annually,” he said.

Nation newspaper 05 Nov 2020

What this blogmaster struggles to understand is why would this government suggest it needs “to take another look at the penalties associated with clogging it up [South Coast Sewage Plant].” Minister Ian Gooding-Edghill had the opportunity – while touring the facility last Monday – to name and shame the offending companies to send a strong message. Why should a few actors operating businesses on the South Coast be allowed to compromise the health of the country, injure the national brand and in the process create a significant financial liability for the country.

The blogmaster can find no evidence that offenders of the sewage system have been fined based on existing laws. What the situation reminds us is the reluctance of successive governments to enforce laws on the books. We have those who withhold NIS and VAT monies into the Treasury. We have the flouting of traffic laws by private citizens and PSV operators. There are many examples available to expose the failing of the authorities to enforce laws on the books. There is a failing of private citizens to exercise discipline to observe the laws of the country.

We can continue to engage in trivial political debate about if BLP or DLP is responsible and see where that leads us at this juncture in our history.

28 thoughts on “Enforce Existing Laws Please

  1. Green light too slow’
    Sir Charles calls for speedier planning OK
    The pace is still too slow for getting projects done, says businessman Sir Charles Williams.
    The 88-year-old director of Williams Industries said planning permission for projects has to be sped up.
    He said he believed that if that was done, there would be some improvements in the local economy. He was speaking to members of the media yesterday after a signing of his book, COW Sir Charles Williams My Story, at the Barbados National Library Service in Bridgetown.
    During a brief interview, Sir Charles highlighted some of the problems he faced before developing the Apes Hill Polo Club and pointed to projects that have taken a while to get off the ground, including the Hyatt Hotel.
    “The projects that are in the pipeline want pushing on, like we have a hotel to be built here. That’s nearly a year now and it’s not building yet although I think COVID had a lot to do with that.
    “But if I had anything to say, it would be to reinforce what the Prime Minister and many other people in the press said [about] the responses to applications for doing projects that would enhance Barbados in employing people, improving the economy and foreign exchange and I couldn’t agree with her more,” he said.
    He said it took him ten years to get the permission for Apes Hill.
    “If I had gotten it in five years by the time 2008 hit us I would have sold all,” Sir Charles said.
    After some controversy and an intervention by Prime Minister Mia Mottley, the Apes Hill Club, which was at risk of deteriorating, was sold and it’s expected to be relaunched. ( TG)

  2. I saw this article and I was wondering why action is not being taken against those food businesses known to be delininquent in the maintenance of grease traps. What is so difficult about maintaining grease traps that leniency would be required?

  3. A lot of people engage in magical thinking. If it is flushed down the toilet like magic it disappears.

    No it does not. If it is a solid, or something that becomes solid once it cools it stays and clogs up the system. So no grease in the system please, no condoms in the system please, no sanitary napkins in the system please, no diapers in the system please, no dental floss in the system please, no plastics whatever in the system please, no miscarried fetuses in the system please, no wads of drug money in the system please, no packages of marijuana, cocaine etc. down the system please, no guns down the system please. No popsicle systems in the system please. A five year old nephew of mine once flushed a popsicle stick down my toilet. I did not know that he had done this. Subsequent flushes of toilet paper and sh!t wrapped around the stuck stick which was lodged crosswise far down the toilet as the plumber subsequently discovered. It gave the plumber grief to diagnose and solve. It cost me a good bit of money too. But the child was 5. What is the matter with we big people that we still doing five year old foolishness?

    If it is not PEE, POO or toilet PAPER do NOT flush it down the system. Menstrual blood is permitted, but not sanitary napkins or tampons.

    All of the above need to be wrapped, and put out with the garbage.

    And please, please put out the garbage in a garbage can with a locked on lid, or the dogs, rats and other vermin will make a mess of things.

  4. (Quote):
    What the situation reminds us is the reluctance of successive governments to enforce laws on the books. We have those who withhold NIS and VAT monies into the Treasury. We have the flouting of traffic laws by private citizens and PSV operators. There are many examples available to expose the failing of the authorities to enforce laws on the books. There is a failing of private citizens to exercise discipline to observe the laws of the country.(Unquote).

    Now who is “throwing shade on Barbados” other than the same political class (and their lackeys) responsible for the growing risks being posed to public sanitation and health?

    Any further breakdown of the sewerage systems (especially in a Covid-conscious environment) and Barbados can kiss any prospects of tourism recovery bye-bye.

  5. @ David Bu
    What is the connection between the non enforcement of the laws relating to the South Coast Sewerage System and your post on speed of processing real estate development ?

  6. @Miller
    “Now who is “throwing shade on Barbados” other than the same political class (and their lackeys) responsible for the growing risks being posed to public sanitation and health?”

    Excellent catch.

    It appears that only local pedigree persons can comment on problems in Barbados. Similar comments by an overseas non-pedigree individual would have drawn fire.

  7. ” Minister Ian Gooding-Edghill had the opportunity – while touring the facility last Monday – to name and shame the offending companies to send a strong message. Why should a few actors operating businesses on the South Coast be allowed to compromise the



    Can you name some of the companies?

    The enforcing department here should be the BWA. The minister can look at/make as many laws as he want or hold the BWA nothing will happen until the “enforcers” are held accountable. it a bajan condition.

  8. David

    I have not a clue what you are talking about

    However. Shaming is not enforcing.
    Calling name today and the grease still going down the drain will still lead us back to where we were before

    What do you want ? Shaming or enforcement

  9. Sewage was flowing in the streets when I was in Worthing four years ago. I was told the system could not cope and a new system was being considered. I was also told at the time it had been happening for years.
    Fixing sewage systems is a very expensive operation, but it has to be done. I left Barbados where I was booked for a two week stay after only four days. I went to Grenada and spent in the end three months there.

    The tourists are not in Bados at the moment and if you are not coping when the system is not under the extra pressure of overload from tourists then thing must have got worse. I really is a problem that has to be fixed.

  10. They’re only fixing the properites they TIEF from elderly people and their beneficiaries, while busily SELLING THEM OFF TO FOREIGN INTERESTS so the people who they stole them from will NEVER get them back.,,

    …tiefing cow should write a book about that….old FRAUD…only the ignorant slaves in Barbados, will continue to promote his evil dried up dying ass… he is the one called yall slaves ok, publicly and in the local news, that is what the minorities call yall, ah heard them myself more than once,

  11. Have a great day Barbados.
    Wura, it is good to have you reporting for duty.

    “The tourists are not in Bados at the moment and if you are not coping when the system is not under the extra pressure of overload from tourists then thing must have got worse. I really is a problem that has to be fixed.”

    Well said

    Have a great day Barbados

  12. The problem “jolly” is talking about was solved nearly two years ago, THERE IS NO MORE SEWAGE RUNNING IN THE STREETS OF BARBADOS.

  13. Not that I will change the world. In my home we collect all the used cooking oil and filter it. Use it one or two times more. Then when it is time to dispose, well I have the luxury of living on half an acre of land. Therefore I take the oil and pour it out in different areas on the property.
    Maybe there should be an island wide government/private sector initiative to collect all cooking oil from every restaurant, hotel and food service company and have a single plant that can dispose of it in a “cleaner” way or frankly burn it away and at least generate some electricity.
    There is no perfect clean green answer to this problem, but getting electricity from vegetable oil is I feel a great end use of this product, rather than flushing it down into our sewage system

  14. Also what about the dump.that too is under pressure
    Govt bought new spanking garbage trucks
    However the issue surrounding the dump.and its inability to hold more garbage has been placed on the back burner
    Having garbage trucks to pick.up street garbage although a plausible effort cannot realistically remove a major problem of how the collected tons of garbage would be disposed if the dump is already filled to capacity

  15. Response to Court of Appeal decision
    The following article was written by former Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin.
    The recent decision by the Court of Appeal in a case brought by several officers of the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) for judicial review of the action by the Police Service Commission (PSC) raises matters of law, governance and administration and also invites a look at some factual issues.
    Some background to this matter, in brief, is apposite. I was the substantive Police Commissioner at the time of these events and was actively going through the process that is required to prepare and submit recommendations to the PSC for promotions in the RBPF.
    The procedure is set out in statute. It is a lengthy process, of which interviews with eligible officers is an important part. Each exercise can involve several dozen officers and is done over an extended period to fit in with the other duties performed by the Commissioner in the day to day management of the Force.
    Diverse body
    The RBPF is a large and diverse organisation with a tall hierarchical structure and many different functional areas. It has its own culture. The achievement of rank is highly desired and sought after. Of course, rank brings additional pay. Appointments to the various functional areas require skill and experience.
    From the perspective of the commissioner, these expectations have to be managed. It is a delicate balance. The promotion procedure should therefore be deliberate in order to give each candidate an opportunity to be considered. It is of interest that the most frequent matter that was raised with me when I saw officers in my weekly clinic was the matter of promotion.
    While I was away on a short period of duty leave in 2012, the PSC asked Deputy Commissioner Hinds to submit recommendations for promotions. I later learned of fevered activity to comply with this directive. This was unprecedented. It was a first in the history of RBPF.
    On my return I contacted the PSC to query the decision. I later submitted recommendations. In my submission, I informed the commission that my recommendations were premised on the following factors.
    That several vacancies were occasioned by the retirement of several senior officers. That, ordinarily, such retirements had occurred in a manner to allow for orderly progression. In the then circumstances this was not the case. It was therefore necessary to ensure that the most suitable persons be appointed to avoid compromising the leadership of the force.
    The needs of the force that bear on its ability to successfully carry out its mandate.
    The skills, capability, experience, training, loyalty and commitment of the candidates.
    The internal dynamics of the force, in particular that the number of female officers in the senior ranks should be increased and also the need, in
    making appointments, to achieve relative equity between the various departments.
    The promotions were announced in July 2012. Several officers I recommended were not considered. They were replaced by others from the list submitted by Deputy Commissioner Hinds. Some officers who were serving in key areas were omitted. This caused discord and affected the leadership balance. Career prospects were also affected. The officers made an application for judicial review of the decision of the PSC.
    Much has been made of what has been described as discord between Deputy Commissioner Hinds and then Commissioner Dottin. Those who rely on this and use it to form the basis for decision making should reflect on the extent to which they contributed to this.
    On reflection, these matters (the promotions and related issues) have their genesis in events that preceded the actual promotions exercise.
    During the campaign for elections in 2008 certain events worried me. In particular, the active and open political participation by some officers, some of them in senior ranks. Note that the force is a diverse organisation and that individual members have political preferences. This is natural and is not offensive if it does not influence officers in the discharge of their public and sworn duty. On this occasion under reference, the overt action was striking and alarming.
    After the election and following a celebratory event to which some of them were invited, I spoke with then Prime Minister (David) Thompson on the matter and of my concerns. He told me that he had advised the officers that the election was over and that they should settle down.
    It was clear that these matters excited particular expectations in some officers. It was a struggle for me, postelection, to lead the force.
    A comment on Public Service Commissions is in order. In the constitutions of the English-speaking Caribbean, they are assigned an important role. In the celebrated case of Thomas vs Attorney General, Lord Diplock outlined their role as between the executive and public servants, to insulate the latter from political influence. Whether they perform this role is open to question. The record of some of them has been less than stellar. Kenneth Lalla, in his book The Public Service And Service Commissions (Commonwealth Caribbean) has produced an illuminating reflection on this matter, mainly from a Trinidad and Tobago perspective, but it is also applicable to the Commonwealth Caribbean.
    The proper administration of the RBPF is based substantially on work of at least three agencies. The PSC (discipline and promotions), the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry responsible for Police Administration, (Administration) and the Police Commissioner (technical matters).
    My relationship with the PSC during the period in which this matter arose is a matter of record. We had one faceto- face meeting. Communication was by memoranda. My support
    staff and I spent many hours compiling written reports to respond to memoranda from the PSC. I often reflect on how much more I could have achieved in respect of public safety if these matters were handled in keeping with good administration practices.
    To return to the judgement, I make two points. First, I believe there was overreliance on the position put by the PSC in the absence of the factual position. Section 9 of the Service Commissions Act, Cap 34, makes communications with commissions privileged. Lawyers for the aggrieved police officers made an application for this privilege to be waived in that case. It was refused. If it had been granted this would have afforded the court an opportunity to properly assesses certain claims of the commission.
    IN RE RICHARDSON, 157 A.2d 695 (N.J.1960) Supreme Court of New Jersey: in a matter involving attorneyclient privilege, Jacobs, J. made the following observation: throughout their judicial endeavours courts seek truth and justice and their search is aided significantly by the fundamental principle of full disclosure. When that principle conflicts with the attorneyclient privilege it must, of course, give way but only to the extent necessary to vindicate the privilege and its underlying purposes. The matter is truly one of balance and on balance it seems clear to us that there should be removal of the cloak of secrecy which has interfered with determination of the issue. The matter at issue in this case was communication regarding fees paid to an attorney. It was being ontended that by virtue of attorney-client privilege an attorney should not be compelled to disclose who paid him for the legal services he rendered to a named client. As noted, this case deals with attorneyclient privilege, but I think it has relevance to communications with the PSC, with the exception of matters that affect national security.
    Annual parade
    Provisions such as Section 9 can lead to absurd positions as the following example shows. The commissioner’s annual parade is an occasion when he reviews the work of the force and seeks to inspire officers to give of their best.
    On one occasion, being aware of concerns over promotions, in my address I told the officers that I had submitted recommendations and was awaiting the outcome. It was brought to my attention that comments were referred for consideration as to whether I had offended this provision.
    Secondly, as to the procedure adopted by the PSC, I
    make the following observation. It is not expected that they would merely rubber stamp recommendations made to them. They are entitled to consult and make enquiries if they so desire.
    For many years and spanning the tenure of several commissioners, the practice has been for the PSC to consult with the commissioner.
    On occasion, the PSC has also interviewed the candidates. This approach is to be commended as it demonstrates openness and transparency.
    Moreover, the outcome is better decisionmaking, since the PSC is remote from the actual management of the force and unaware of particular nuances pertaining to its administration.
    It is on this score that I disagree with the decision of the Court of Appeal.
    In closing, I return to the matter of openness and transparency for good administration.
    The purpose of
    The Administrative Justice Act CAP 109B is to provide for the improvement of administrative justice in Barbados and for related matters. It is groundbreaking legislation which provides remedies for the citizen against maladministration by the executive. Accessing these remedies is an uphill task with provisions such as Section 9 of the Service Commissions Act.

  16. https://barbadostoday.bb/2020/11/07/religious-leader-says-sex-unions-would-put-population-numbers-in-jeopardy/

    “And therefore, same-sex civil unions feminizes our men, masculinizing our women, and we do not think that that is sustainable and productive for this country. Therefore, from the west where we began, to St George Central, to Bridgetown where we were last week, here in St Philip in the east, we are declaring that Government needs to rescind their orders, their laws and step back from those intentions because it will not be beneficial to Barbados, it will be detrimental,”

    (1) Same sex union does not feminize men. There will be no heterosexual men taking part in same sex union.

    (2) lt does not masculinize women. A woman does not get married to a woman and then discover that she loves sex with a woman; that ship passed well before the union.

    Same sex union will have little or no impact on the birth of children…

    It might actually increase the number of children finding good homes, as after marriage these couples may want to be parents to a child.

  17. What we do in Barbados when we have a problem with restaurants clogging the sewage system is to bestow a knighthood on the head of the company and that solves the problem.

  18. Government says no to loan sharks
    GOVERNMENT WILL NOT stand by and allow “loan sharks” to exploit the elderly and other vulnerable people during this time of high unemployment and scarcity of money induced by the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Minister of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship Kerrie Symmonds recently made this promise at Queen’s College, Husbands, St James, when he spoke during the launch of the Financial Literacy Bureau, a new national initiative to get Barbadians to understand how to better manage their money.
    At the same time, he encouraged locals, as far as possible, to move away from the wanton use of credit cards and to start thinking of credit facilities as debit accounts, which would go towards building vital financial reputation.
    “We live in a country where there is an environment of low interest rates, but there is also the predatory type of credit facilities, the exploitative credit facilities, which will approach a man who is the most vulnerable, or induce a man who is the most vulnerable and the least able, and tell him, ‘I gonna give you the $5 000 that you would like to get almost immediately. Don’t bring anything. I gonna give you that $6 000 you want to get’.
    “And he is looking at heaven’s gate, financially. Or, so he thinks. But the interest rate is 35 or 40 per cent, though. Then that person, who is least able and most vulnerable, finds himself before a court because he can’t pay what is basically the equivalent of loan-sharking. It is a reality that we have to guard our society against,” he said.
    The minister cited international research showing that ten per cent of the most financially vulnerable were also most financially illiterate, and that lack of knowledge tended to impact the elderly.
    Pitfalls for elderly
    “Because it is the elderly who, more often than not at this time of our lives, have not had the benefit of the kind of education that will allow [them] to be able to get around some of the pitfalls that can come [their] way.
    “Again, the unemployed, and it makes you think about the reality right here in Barbados,” Symmonds said.
    In light of the Central Bank of Barbados’ 2019 Financial Stability Report released last month that put credit card transactions in the personal sector to the end of 2019 at $604 million, his advice was for balances to be paid off in full at the end of each month.
    “Having a credit card, you shouldn’t use it as a credit card. Rather, you should use it as if it was a debit card. If you have borrowed $500, pay back $500 when the month come so that, starting the next month’s cycle, your balance [has] gone down to zero,” he said. (SNR)

  19. Minister: Lawyers can benefit from financial literacy sessions
    ATTORNEYS in this country should be among the first to access the services of the new Financial Literacy Bureau to get the kind of knowledge that will be their defence from brushes with the law and jail time.
    These sentiments are from one of the fraternity’s own, Minister of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship Kerrie Symmonds, who started his career as an attorney.
    He pointed out that law school focused so much on legal tenets that financial matters, including the handling of client funds, were omitted from the curriculum.
    As he spoke recently at the launch of the bureau, a new department of Government established to roll out intensive financial education and advisory services throughout the educational system, within communities and to businesses, he reflected on his own lack of understanding of the positive outcome of paying off his credit card balance in full each month, which resulted in consistently increased spending limits.
    “I saw this thing happen and I didn’t understand it. And I was a young, young attorney at the time . . . because they didn’t teach you [about that] at law school,” he said during his speech as the featured speaker.
    Just weeks ago, lawyer Cheraine Nicole Parris was sentenced to four years in prison for stealing almost $500 000 from a client, and last year attorney Vonda Pile got a threeyear prison term, which she is currently fighting on appeal while on bail, after siphoning money to the tune of US$96 008 from one of her clients.
    Big problem
    In another off-the-cuff interjection in his talk, Minister Symmonds said: “May I say, my profession needs financial literacy badly because the co-mingling of client funds with private funds is a problem in this country and I’m being very frank with you.”
    This comment aroused light
    applause from the audience that included businessman Ralph “Bizzy” Williams in the auditorium of Queen’s College, Husbands, St James.
    Community outreach activities for the Financial Literacy Bureau began last week and will continue tomorrow and Thursday with satellite clinics in St George, St James, St Michael, St Peter and St John.
    Tomorrow, a session on Surviving On Unemployment Benefits is scheduled for Ellerton Community Centre, St George. Setting Financial Goals And Budgeting For Life
    will be addressed at Frederick Smith Secondary, St James, and
    Introduction To Financial Literacy at Emmerton Resource Centre, St Michael, while the focus will be on Costing And Pricing For Business at Alexandra School, St Peter.
    Introduction to Financial Literacy is billed for Gall Hill Community Centre, St John, on Thursday. (SNR)

  20. How is this when lawyers can already legally give financial advice? What qualifications do lawyers need to act as auctioneers? Do auctioneers need formal qualifications?

  21. Floyd Reifer has already started community projects with the help of the St. George people without asking Mia for any help
    Mia boldly stated that any big works that need to be done in SGN needed her approval and Reifer cant do anything without her say so
    Well so far she is wrong
    The people of SGN and other communities have already given their vote of confidence to Reifer

  22. The fear factor
    Deputy COP says it’s high among Bajans
    VIOLENT CRIMES are down based on police records, but the fear of criminal activity is high among Barbadians.
    That’s according to Deputy Commissioner of Police Erwin Boyce.
    He and Inspector Roland Cobbler were guests on Sunday Brass Tacks on Starcom Network yesterday as they fielded questions from callers and responded to WhatsApp messages to the radio programme.
    Boyce said as of November 7, there were 35 murders, a drop from 41 for the same period in 2019. In addition, there was a 23 per cent decrease in major crimes, with the street robberies dropping by 11 per cent to 154 from 174 for the corresponding period last year.
    However, the Deputy Commissioner said there was not much comfort in the figures since concomitant with that was a rise in the fear of crime, accentuated by conditions in some communities.
    Caused by disorder
    He explained that fear was heightened by disorder in a neighbourhood, overgrown areas or derelict houses which gave rise to the broken-window theory. That concept is that just as a building with a broken window is vulnerable to more vandalism, so is a neighbourhood with minor disorder, such as graffiti and littering, vulnerable to criminal invasion.
    “All of a sudden they become a haven for criminal activity, the overgrown areas giving the impression that neighbourhoods are not safe.”
    He added it would take the action of all involved such as non-governmental organisations, Government departments and communities, but the police were focused on detecting, preventing and ensuring people were prosecuted.
    Some callers questioned why the police were not using the Police Act which was amended to increase their power and allow for stop and search, and the lockdown of communities, while others complained of profiling in the stop and searches and the searches of home. Boyce said the police force’s approach
    was guided by information and intelligence.
    Information driven
    “All our activities are driven by information so we are not just going to pick up and go to a neighbourhood and exercise that sort of authority, that sort of might. Yes, we recognise that there is a fear of crime but when we look at the reported crime there is a downward trend in that regard . . . .
    “We measure our response in a way that allows us to uphold law and order, but we recognise too that the solution is not found in our action but in the action of all. To just zero in on that aspect of enforcement without understanding the bigger picture would tend to give the impression that crime is out of hand,” he said.
    The senior lawman said that some situations needed tough love and if they demanded force, it would be used.
    Cobbler said police understood the increasing fear of crime based on the current situation and emphasised the importance of working closely with communities to ease that fear. He pointed to the force’s juvenile liaison programme, interaction with guidance counsellors and the use of community officers in neighbourhoods as some of the initiatives to head off crime.

The blogmaster dares you to join the discussion.