$3 million supplemental for de-bushing project criticised


A crying shame!
This is how Opposition Member of Parliament for St. James Central, Kerrie Symmonds, describes the $3 million supplemental for Government’s most recent de-bushing programme that is set to run from this month until March 31, 2017.
Listing several government departments that have units specifically aimed at cleaning up overgrown areas, Symmonds said that this latest de-debushing project showed that those units were not functioning the way they were mandated to.
“The mandate for de-bushing and removal of bush and other material from around Barbados has fallen through the years on the National Housing Corporation, Soil Conservation does it up in the north of the island, the National Conservation Commission does it, Beautify Barbados did it, the Ministry of Health has a de-bushing unit, Social Transformation was involved in it, the Ministry of Public Works… Parliament has to understand the duplication of effort because with six, seven or eight public entities charged with doing this kind of thing, we should never come to a point where we have to scramble hot and sweaty coming to Parliament to ask for $3 million in supplementary because the work that should have been done has not been done,” he stated.
Symmonds further added, “There is no lack of capacity in the Government’s departments now for this kind of work to be done and it is a crying shame on the management of the situation that we have come to the point where we now have to have a supplementary for something like de-bushing when we have so many people who are supposed to be going to work with that as their mandate of operation.”
Commenting on the number of overgrown lots across various neighbourhoods, he also insisted that in cases where Government cleared these, that the full bill was attached to the owner’s land tax bill.
“You have the right to own land, but not to own it and let it be a nuisance to those around you,” he stressed yesterday in Parliament. (JMB)

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