It is no secret the blogmaster fell in love with late Prime Minister David Thompson’s sweet mouth. He seemed earnest about his public spiritedness, especially addressing the introduction of integrity and freedom of information laws. He ran a Democratic Labour Party (DLP) campaign based on a promise to attack corruption in public life. He led the DLP to victory in 2008 and although he fell sick and eventually died in 2010, there was an expectation among the electorate the DLP would have and should have delivered on the promise to enact transparency legislation. A manifesto is a social contract and should mean something to HONOURABLE men and women?Continue reading
Barbados has been fortunate through the years to avoid significant damage from acts of nature. Until Hurricane Elsa and a freak storm struck Barbados last year, one had to go-back to hurricane Janet of 1955.
Many will argue with justification Barbadians were lulled into complacency, observing weather systems veering from Barbados year after year. The consequence is that a touted Building Code was not followed or enforced with any rigour. The reality is that the quality of the local housing stock is questionable, one that includes a high number of chattel buildings owned mostly by the low income segment.
In 2017 the then leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley stated … “one man cannot get a $24 million contract at Valerie, $28 million housing contract at Grotto; a $42 million molasses storage tank, 20-year contract in the Barbados Bridgetown Harbour… Coverley which is over 1,100 houses at which the government is only receiving less than $2.50 a square foot on the land there; 2,300 lots at Bushy Park that have been committed to in an MOU [Memorandum of Understanding] but mercifully the contract has not been signed [by] the National Housing Commission to give them the lots”. See BU blog – Mark Maloney Take Your Advice, Guhlong.Continue reading
The country continues to be embroiled and pitched forked from one issue to the next; transitioning to a republic, pandemic, tanking economy, DLP resurrection, National Insurance Fund (blogmaster’s pick)…
The latest issue choking public conversation-feeds is veteran journalist David Ellis answering the call up to national duty to serve in the role as Covid 19 Public Advisor. The blogmaster has no problem with decisions made by individuals as it affects career and livelihood. Although it is regrettable the single journalist who stands tall in the local arena was first put out to pasture because of company policy, followed by his right to make a decision to leave the profession- he hosted popular talk show 2-days weekly- to serve in his new role. Let us hope for the sake of Barbados he is successful in helping the country navigate the Covid 19 challenge.
Ellis known to ask searching questions of public officials will be missed as it pertains to government’s recent decision to import 150 prefab houses from China. Peter Wickham hosted Minister Duguid last week to discuss the matter and more questions were created than answered from the exercise. When Mr. Ellis called the show to ask more relevant questions, it seems preference was given to reading messages from WhatsAppers.
It has been reported a local company East West Buildings Solutions Barbados promised to complete the setup of the prefab houses within 42 days. This government promised to be transparent therefore Minister William Duguid should be able to answer a few reasonable questions.
- Who are the directors (beneficial owners) of East West Building Solutions Barbados?
- Usually Mark Maloney and Bjorn Bjerkhamn are on the same page, this time both have been reported to be singing from different hymn sheets. What is different this time around?
- Why was Maloney not asked by traditional media if he has been(will be) contracted to supply services and materials as part of the physical preparation for setup of the Chinese prefab houses?
The taxpayers deserve to know.
The BU community is free to add questions or share information to enlighten an unknowing public.
Mr. Mark Cummins
Ministry Of Transport, Works And Maintenance
Please Accept This 4thLetter Only By Email
Dear Mr. Cummins
Sir, When the window is closed to pertinent facts regarding the circumstances of a situation, read an illegally created situation which may lead to a dangerous flooding situation- “unfairness” goes through the door and the disadvantaged become most vulnerable.
Some of the facts why the Clarke’s Road residential area was not a flooding area before 2003 is attributed to exemplary behaviour by locals and Town and Country planning Department. The competent Officers at planning made very wise decisions that protected a vital part of the natural watercourse @Clarke’s Road i.e. from vehicular traffic with deadend roads from the West, North, and South.
The channel was deep enough for capacity and naturally sloped for fast run-off. It never overflowed from heavy rainfall during the years 1978-2003. I confirm this withut challenge BECAUSE of my familiarity with this area. I have resided @Clarke’s Road since 1982. There was never vehicular through traffic from Appleby, Clarke’s Road or Chapel Gap to, across, within, over or along the channel of this natural watercourse.
Mr. Permanent Secretary the facts as to how the Clarke’s Road residential area has become a flooding area are:
In 2002 a British ex-pat name Pat Brayshaw commissioned the services of heavy equipment and wrongfully altered the natural watercourse from Appleby on the South, along an open lot of an absentee. She levelled the channel defined banks from a very vital part of the channel and cut a road across the watercourse to her lot on the North.
Later in 2002 Pat Brayshaw persisted with the illegal act by altering the channel by wall from boulders within the channel to the land mark middle and backfilled. That process clearly narrowed the channel and provided an increase in the land level along the channel that formed a yard-cum-private road, THEN, joined a previously cut across road creating an illegal private road across within and along the watercourse channel.
Even if permission was given by MTW Minister to place a private road in that manner, it would still be wrong, unjustified and discriminatory. Furthermore, by allowing the said private road to stay in this natural watercourse channel for almost 16 years after what happened in less than a year after the alteration, is clearly unconscionable. Due to the fact the build up boulders wall within the channel not only reduced floods fast run-off, it formed the North channel bank for a favourable protection for the wrongdoer side of the channel, while the cut-out for the road across” from the South Channel bank, was callously not replaced. Those callous wrongdoings to the channel clearly caused the first flooding situation that I have experience in my years of residing adjacent to this natural watercourse channel. Thereafter, recurring floods have leaked from the cut-out South channel bank, the narrowed channel obstructs and redirect spread flooding over my property, caused erosion damage to my backyard, front-yard and made Clarke’s Road the new watercourse.
Sir, there is no need for me to repeat details here, how complaining to Drainage Unit Officers turned out, except to note that Officers dilly-dally for over a year until one honest Officer told me that Drainage Unit is not equip to rectify the watercourse channel, He directed me to MTW, Deputy CTO. Philip Tudor.
Sir. It must be stated here for obvious reasons, The actions of Ministry of Transport and Works (MTW- MTW&M) two Top Technical Officers, I will make details short, and to the point.
Sir. During a telephone conversation in 2004 with Deputy CTO. Mr. Tudor in which I outlined what happened to the natural watercourse channel. The altering, building of the private Road, the damage it caused – Mr. Tudor promised to visit the watercourse site in my presence to investigate. Up to this day I have not met Mr. Tudor. After a duration of months, in a follow up telephone conversation with Mr. Tudor, he stated the placing of the private road is illegal, and pledge to have the boulders removed and restore the channel. After many inactions only comfort promises from other telephone conversations with Mr. Tudor for nearly a year. I verbally complained to CTO. Frank Thornhill who officially pledged his agreement and approval of the rectification to be carry-out to the watercourse channel made by Deputy CTO. Mr. Tudor. The rectifying is yet to be done.
Sir. The illegal placing of the private road, clearly contravened the “Prevention of Floods Act 235”. It created a dangerous flooding situation that caused flooding damage. The authority to execute flood work is the responsibility of MTW, CTO. Mr. Thornhill, who had the authority and duty (up to his retirement ) to execute, or authorised an Officer to do flood works to remedy such flooding situation.
Deputy CTO. Mr. Tudor who certainly would have acted as MTW, CTO. during 2004-to-date would have also held the authority and duty of the “prevention of floods Act 235”. Yet, both Top Technical Officers costantly ignored my pleas for a remedy to the illegally created dangerous flooding situation for the past 15+ years. They wilfully neglected their duty by not carrying-out the necessary rectification required of them to stop the wrongful redirecting of floods flow to my property. By doing such they knowingly discriminated against my household by allowing what caused the dangerous flooding situation to prolonged, causing further flooding damage, and continue to pose flooding harms, ranging from damage to property, to loss of life, God forbid.
While the said two Top Technical Officers prolonged their reckless inactions to cause flooding. The broken, narrowed channel was severely altered and made worse to further disadvantage my household. This is because of an obvious biased process, carried-out when laying pipes for BWA by Arthur’s Construction. Mr. Arthur used bullying action, then purposely placed the pipes into a part of my backyard that was damaged by flooding erosion, due to the broken and narrowed channel redirecting spread flooding over my backyard. Mr. Arthur reposition the channel, into that part of my backyard and made it appear as the original channel, aiming at my home, and Clarke’s Road Residential Area.
The then MP for St. James Central, Hon Kerrie Symmonds ontervened, set up a meeting at the watercourse site, both Top Technical Officers or others Officers from MTW were unavailable for the meeting, that turned out to be an exercise in futility. Base on the fact that MTW is responsible for watercourses, also after BWA completed a task. Therefore, the inactions to the risk prolonged, and overlooking of further altering when Mr. Clarke removed the channel banks from the across road to upstream where the floods emerges, that area is now driveway and garden.
MTW, CTO Frank Thornhill and Deputy CTO Philip Tudor not only wilfully neglected their duties by prolonged inactions to the remedying of dangerous flooding situation. The said two Top Technical Officers, or Officers under they authority knowingly Complicit with Hon. George Hutson, DLP, MP for St. James Central leading up to the 2013 General Election, and confirmed to aiding and abetting by discriminatory maintenance.
Tasked MTW work men paved the said illegal private road under the watchful eye of Hon. George Hutson. Even though, the said two Top Technical Officers considered the said private road to be illegally placed, they officially pledge to removing the boulders and restoring the channel. Yet, the said two Top Technical Officers aided and abetted or did not used they authority to stop it. Any which way the two Top Technical Officers grossly neglected they duties.
Whoever the beneficiaries are concerning the concerted complicit aiding and abetting a seemingly wealthy British ex-pat to wrongfully placed a private road across, within, and along a natural watercourse channel. The cover-up have started, Deputy CTO. Tudor have gone as far as lying about his inaction to the dangerous flooding situation, in an email to me, copied to the Hon. Prime Minister. Mia Mottley, and Hon Minister Symmonds, MP for St. Janes Central.
Sir. An Urgent redress to this wrongful dangerous flooding situation is needed.
Resident of Clarke’s Road
The plight of Alden BLACKman was carried by Caribbean News 13/03/2019.
March 12, 2019
Hon. William Duguid JP,
Sir, I write to you as the new Minister of Transport, Works and Maintenance. To informed you, and seek clarification, and rectification of a dangerous situation.
Sir, I lived adjacent to a natural watercourse from 1982, and never once saw the course edges overflowed, until 2002, after a British Expat White Woman, obtained the services of heavy equipment, and encroached onto said watercourse, levelled down the edges and made a path/road across, to prepared her lot for building. That process started the alteration of the course.
In late 2002, nearing completion of building, the heavy equipment returned, entered the said course, and proceeded to further altering, by placing boulders out, up, and along the land marks in the centre. That resulted in narrowing the natural course, for an increased of land from within the course, to form a yard-cum-private road that joined the levelled down path/road across the course on her side. The levelled edge to the outer side was not rebuilt.
Those actions brought the first flooding in 20+years. At that stage, I was the most affected by flooding. Thereafter, I was made to endured the consequences of yearly redirecting flood flows to my home causing damages to house and surrounding.
Sir, years of Complaining to Drainage Unit Officers from 2003 and MTW Officers from 2004, to this day, brought no relieved, no remedy , only comfort promises. The top Officers from MTW. Former CTO Thornhill and present DCTO Tudor, the two Officers, I held hope in, for a remedy to said altered course, showed inaction to the plight of this Black man.
Sir, no need for me repeating what was done by Arthur’s Construction when laying pipes for BWA, in said course. After the pipes were biased laid, the results from heavy rainfall became worse, started to affect the Black Residents of Clarke Road, but MTW/Drainage Unit Officers continued disregarding my pleas, and blatantly overlooked the dangerous situation, and the fact that Black Barbadian lived below the risk.
The effort of MP. Hon. Minister Kerrie Symmonds, did failed by 2008, no remedy was done.
The following 10 years, MTW/ Drainage Unit Officers blatantly continued disregarding the plight of Black Residents of Clarke’s Road, by inactions to the root cause of flooding, for the purpose of allowing a British Ex-pat white woman to have a private road, that was discriminatory maintained with paving, by MTW, leading up to the General Election in 2013.
Sir, the Black Residential Area, road was then, still is deteriorating condition, because it became the new watercourse, due to the altering of the original watercourse in 2002. But was not paved, leading up to 2013 General Election.
While MTW/Drainage Unit Officers kept overlooking the risk. similar actions, were done by a Mr. Clarke in 2010, while preparing his lot behind the White land owner. Mr. Clarke: also got the services of heavy equipment to removed, the remaining edges, from above the across road, to upstream where the floods flow emerges. That deep part of the once natural course, is now a garden.
Its clearly seen by me, and persons with integrity, that the said Officers of MTW/Drainage Unit have afflicted this dangerous situation with blatant disregard, unjustified and discriminatory actions.
Concerned persons acted for the safety of me and my family plight. In late 2010 assisted us with erecting a short protection wall, “on what appears to be a drainage course”, is not the original drainage course, but due to years of erosion from redirected floods flows, caused by the narrowing of the original course in 2002, and the directed wash over floods flows, from the road across the course.
Sir, due to statement from you” as the new Minister of MTW&M”, in reply, to a an email from me, on 24 Feb 2019 you stated “I have asked for the Town Planning enforcement notice” this is the first stage.
DCTO Mr. Philip Tudor, email to me, on the 20 Feb 2019, stated “As I had mentioned to you at a site meeting which we had some time ago, this matter was referred to Chief Town Planner, Whose Agency is responsible for issuing enforcement notices. Please note that no demolition of this structure in St. James could have been carried out by the Ministry of Transport and Works without the authorization of Town and country Planning Department. To date, we have received no such authorization. I will however contact the Chief Town Planner in an effort to see if this situation can be remedied before the 2019 hurricane season”.
Sir, I never met Mr. Tudor, my telephone conversations with Mr. Tudor ceased when I realized that my pleading and hoping were misplaced. Clarification Is needed from Mr. Tudor as to what structure is to be demolish, and for what reason.
Sir, I was informed of further Discriminatory practices against me, “to demolish my protection wall, built in late 2010,” as the “MAIN PROBLEM” that caused flooding to my home, and Clarke’s Road Residents since 2002”, and not the White woman private road, “built into and across the watercourse in 2002”.
Did DCTO Mr. Tudor in 2004, seek to obtained an enforcement notice from the Chief Town Planner, to removed, what he told me, is “an illegal boulders wall private road into, and along the natural watercourse”. why was the road across said watercourse allowed?
This is 15+years later in which Mr. Tudor inactions as to this dangerous situation was as blatantly showed, as the others Officers.
Sir, I now appeal to you for a justly, “right to a wrong” that Residents of Clarke’s Road and I had to endured for the pass 15+ years. Please, see this watercourse site that was once a define natural watercourse, and judge for yourself.
The following email (document) was discovered in a court discovery process during the Kingsland Estate court case (those unfamiliar can search BU archives) which has been ongoing for over a decade. The BU household accepts that it is a family feud but the revelations arising from the case so far are of national interest. The document attached is a summary of a telephone call that took place between Barbados Labour Party member of parliament at the time William Duguid and Kathleen Davis in May 2008. Davis is related and associated with Marjorie Knox, a key player in the Kingsland Estate matter.
The document gives an insight into the thinking of the political class as it relates to implementing Integrity Legislation in Barbados. BU is of the cynical view that the enactment/proclamation/operationlizing of Integrity legislation will never be implemented by the political class.
The Nation newspaper carried a news report today the gist of which is encapsulated in the following extract:-
BARBADOS LABOUR PARTY (BLP) CANDIDATE for Christ Church West, William Duguid, is charging that Government has entered into a “secret deal” with an overseas-based company which could cost taxpayers more than $60 million, and a further $20 million over the next 20 years. – See more at: http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/80510/duguid-secret-sugar-deal#sthash.oi9xmxUG.dpuf
The BU family will recall we carried the following blog in July 2015 –David Estwick and CHIRP. Another case of smoke roomed deals by a less than transparent government.
Follow the page numbers.
Submitted by Benny
I am wondering what example is being set in Barbados. The behaviour of four public officials and professionals come to mind. First we had the government Minister Mr David Estwick being accused of either pulling or exposing a gun to Mr Dale Marshall. Second, it was the Commissioner being charged with misconduct in public office and being held up to the people of Barbados as a liar.Yet still these two individuals are allowed to function in public office without being sanctioned I deliberately referred to these as individuals until they are exonerated. They certainly do not deserve the title of gentlemen.
Submitted by William Skinner
Barbados Underground and all locally based blog operators should resist the attempts to silence them, by the so called guardians, of what is acceptable media and by extension acceptable journalism. The simple truth, is that the growth of what is called the new media, has given expression to those, who were once systematically barred from national discourse.
While I will never subscribe to the use of excessive vulgarity in any form, written or oral, I believe that this is being used as a red herring to censor the freedom of expression that blogs such as Barbados Underground are now in the vanguard of ensuring.
Barbados is steeped in intellectual snobbery and I suggest it pains those who always thought that they alone will be the chosen ones to see their names in print, pontificating on all matters, while the rest of the population, worship their superior academic and intellectual skills. They were entrenched as the fountains of all knowledge. That class status has now been forever discarded.
The unfortunate comment uttered by William Duguid MP has rightfully upset right thinking Barbadians. We are upset because his comment is reflective of a free fall in values and morals afflicting our society. Yes it was an aside (although not whispered) in parliament but the public heard so deal with it. It is ironic that Duguid’s tagline sposted on his website is Do Good and good shall attend you…
Days after the incident Duguid apologized. BU joined many Barbadians to applaud him for taking responsibility for his action. In his apology he revealed that he was taunted in a crass way by Minister Donville Inniss, if the grapevine is accurate, it has caused many to sympathize with Duguid while not condoning his behaviour. Minister Inniss will get a chance very soon to test if his political stock has been negatively affected by the episode which occurred last week.
The old people favour a saying that behind every dark cloud is a silver lining. Here was an opportunity for the government and opposition to expose the silver lining. If after this incident members of parliament from both sides of the House had joined hands – figuratively or literally – and condemned the behaviour with the assurance that better would be done. Imagine the potential for positive outcomes if such a scenario had played out on the population of Barbados. Talk about turning a negative into a positive!
Submitted by Brandford Padmore
The Democratic Labour Party agrees with the very first line in the BLP’s column last week: “Tuesday, November 20, will go down in Barbadian political infamy as the date when” MP William Duguid showed his and his party’s true colours. His constant taunting of Minister Donville Inniss in Parliament is an almost weekly offensive. The difference this time was that the cameras and mike captured it. Since then, Mr. Duguid’s party has been urging him to issue a public apology “to save face”. This he eventually did three days after his vulgar outburst. But, that apology was self-serving, and was made only because video of the repulsive assault, and the vile and detestable language used, went viral. The “gentleman’s” lame excuse was that he was provoked. Well, people who live in glass houses shouldn’t hurl boulders!
Indeed, we wonder what one would call the constant abuse hurled at Minister Inniss about ownership of an alleged porno website, which local ‘fact-check’ has disproved since 2007; and Mr. Duguid’s assertion that “the Member for St. James South is immoral and can’t qualify as a camp director”. That is what started the to-and-fro.
But, who was really provoked? We wonder! Was it a seasoned two-term MP, whose weekly and weakly slings and arrows at Minister Inniss are like water on a duck’s back, suddenly snapping and going on a tirade, despite the Chair’s earnest pleas to desist? Or, was it a decent, first-term MP who is constantly peppered with vile comments; and whose sotto voce retorts are understandable? After all, he is still human. Watch the video of what transpired, and you be the judge!
BU has to agree with former Opposition leader Owen Arthur when he described the current parliament as poorakey. Never in the history of our parliamentary system have we assembled such a motley crew of MPs. BU disagrees however that the poorakey label should not excuse former Prime Minister Arthur from taking his seat in that august chamber.
Submitted by Anne Onime
The Barbados Labour Party is becoming a war zone with the ‘gang of five’ now trying desperate measures to destroy “the decent four.” They cannot get Mia Mottley or William Duguid because they have pedigree so the soft targets in that mix are Rawle Eastman [sic] and Cynthia Forde. We have already told you that Clyde Mascoll will be the BLP’s candidate in St. Thomas, while Douglas Skeete (George Payne’s cousin) will replace Rawle Eastman [sic] in St. James North., hence a scheme had to be hatched and carefully executed, to discredit Forde and Eastman [sic].
Of the two, Rawle’s illness (serious diabetic) makes him the softer target. Everyone knows that Rawle Eastman [sic] was seriously ill for a long time and was even given long leave from Parliament, ever since his appearance on the call-in-programme sounding incoherent. Our reports are that he often has to rely on strangers when he fails to eat properly and on time and that makes him vulnerable to be exploited. George Payne knows that and enters Haniyfa Reza White, stage right.
Who is paying the legal fees for murder accused Haniyfa Reza White (the woman now stalking Rawle Eastman [sic]) in her counter suit against St. James North M.P., Rawle Eastman? [sic] Is it George Payne? Is it true that Haniyfa Reza White was one of the persons down to vote in the elections George Payne rigged? Is this then part of the master plan to discredit Eastman [sic] for pointing out to the country last year that George Payne was engaged in electoral fraud, election rigging, which is corruption and organized crime? Why would Owen Arthur and George Payne feel they would get away with this when the BLP benefits from taxpayers money, which give the electorate the right to demand accountability and answers?