Categorized | Editorial

There are so many reasonable arguments to prevent chaos

The sand mining  issue aptly referred to as a resource with potential revenue has continued to be centre of the island’s attention as was highlighted last week, firstly in the Legislative Council on Tuesday, and again on Wednesday morning and evening.

One thing that brought much comment both at home and abroad was the Chief Ministers attempt to make it appear as if there was an us and them affair with the Isle’s Bay and Old Towne residents under the umbrella of the Property Owners Association. To his credit following his irate manner on Wednesday morning on the radio, he placated his pretended adversaries on Wednesday evening. In the course of doing that he repeated however an offensive exchange of some one of the Isle’s Bay residents who ‘threatened’ with ‘deed pockets. He admitted that this person was not  necessarily representative of the disturbed residents.

At that meeting, the Chief Minister strengthened arguments that the sand mining activity is presently conducted loosely and under no regulations whatever. He also revealed that contrary to the perception being spread that the Isle’s Bay location is a ‘done deal’ for a jetty, which such decision will only be made after an Environmental Impact Assessment is made. This was expected to last over a twelve week period. It was not lost on anyone that the preferred option for this jetty by Isle’s Bay. Both the DLN representative  and the Chief Minister made this believable.

There are several persons both on island and overseas who make arguments that support the residents’ position that sand mining in the Belham Valley and a jetty on Isle’s Bay beach would be a negative to the island’s economy. “Please don’t marginalize our Tourism Sector any further by building a commercial sand mining pier in Isles Bay,” writes one very interested party

“12-year residents of Montserrat, currently living off-island, with a house in Lime Kiln write: “This is not a parochial matter impacting the residents surrounding the Belham Valley alone.  All Montserrat will be impacted negatively if this is allowed to occur…..It is unfathomable that Montserrat and, by association and ownership, the UK, would consider it to be without international,”

The arguments recall, ‘Montserrat’s first Chief Minister, William Bramble created/approved the master plan to attract long term residential tourism to the island in the 1960’s as a way to differentiate Montserrat from the other Caribbean islands… to the benefit and comfort prospective ex-pat property owners to an unknown island in an effort to attract international revenues.  It worked. ’

Strong arguments not heard regularly included, “It is unfathomable that the very same MVO risk concerns that were used as the rational to not restore a bridge connection to Isles Bay will now be ignored while officials look the other way and activity on the Valley floor is allowed and, by default, approved, for the sake of a small band of the powerful.”

It is unlikely that reasonable investigations into the benefits, economically or socially can result in a mistake, indeed for a few to ruin for many years Montserrat real road to progress.

As people who love Montserrat and have more than a passing interest in its future, should let themselves be heard on these matters.

We will continue to put DFID and FCO on notice that they will not get away standing by and watching this country to ruin its future.

 

 

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

The sand mining  issue aptly referred to as a resource with potential revenue has continued to be centre of the island’s attention as was highlighted last week, firstly in the Legislative Council on Tuesday, and again on Wednesday morning and evening.

One thing that brought much comment both at home and abroad was the Chief Ministers attempt to make it appear as if there was an us and them affair with the Isle’s Bay and Old Towne residents under the umbrella of the Property Owners Association. To his credit following his irate manner on Wednesday morning on the radio, he placated his pretended adversaries on Wednesday evening. In the course of doing that he repeated however an offensive exchange of some one of the Isle’s Bay residents who ‘threatened’ with ‘deed pockets. He admitted that this person was not  necessarily representative of the disturbed residents.

At that meeting, the Chief Minister strengthened arguments that the sand mining activity is presently conducted loosely and under no regulations whatever. He also revealed that contrary to the perception being spread that the Isle’s Bay location is a ‘done deal’ for a jetty, which such decision will only be made after an Environmental Impact Assessment is made. This was expected to last over a twelve week period. It was not lost on anyone that the preferred option for this jetty by Isle’s Bay. Both the DLN representative  and the Chief Minister made this believable.

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There are several persons both on island and overseas who make arguments that support the residents’ position that sand mining in the Belham Valley and a jetty on Isle’s Bay beach would be a negative to the island’s economy. “Please don’t marginalize our Tourism Sector any further by building a commercial sand mining pier in Isles Bay,” writes one very interested party

“12-year residents of Montserrat, currently living off-island, with a house in Lime Kiln write: “This is not a parochial matter impacting the residents surrounding the Belham Valley alone.  All Montserrat will be impacted negatively if this is allowed to occur…..It is unfathomable that Montserrat and, by association and ownership, the UK, would consider it to be without international,”

The arguments recall, ‘Montserrat’s first Chief Minister, William Bramble created/approved the master plan to attract long term residential tourism to the island in the 1960’s as a way to differentiate Montserrat from the other Caribbean islands… to the benefit and comfort prospective ex-pat property owners to an unknown island in an effort to attract international revenues.  It worked. ’

Strong arguments not heard regularly included, “It is unfathomable that the very same MVO risk concerns that were used as the rational to not restore a bridge connection to Isles Bay will now be ignored while officials look the other way and activity on the Valley floor is allowed and, by default, approved, for the sake of a small band of the powerful.”

It is unlikely that reasonable investigations into the benefits, economically or socially can result in a mistake, indeed for a few to ruin for many years Montserrat real road to progress.

As people who love Montserrat and have more than a passing interest in its future, should let themselves be heard on these matters.

We will continue to put DFID and FCO on notice that they will not get away standing by and watching this country to ruin its future.