Moving Beyond Politics

Javon Liburd, Staff Reporter | 0 Opinions
Published: July 13, 2017 4:10 pm AST
Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
A plan being formulated by the local community, which speaks to a more prosperous and fruitful British Virgin Islands, should be adopted by all politicians and community leaders, regardless of their political affiliation. This sentiment was expressed by Hon. Andrew Fahie, Leader of the Opposition, Deputy Governor, Mrs. Rosalie Adams, and other persons of the community.

The plan, dubbed enVision 2040, seeks to engage persons of the local community, in an effort to gather their opinions as to changes that should be made in relation to land use, economic, environmental and cultural aspects of the BVI, in addition to things that should be implemented or enhanced, to advance and improve the BVI as a Territory, by the year 2040.

The first of these community sessions, which are chaired by the Town and Country Planning Department and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour, was held last evening, July 12, at the Cultural Center in Road Town.

The project is led by Dr. Cassander Titley-O’Neal, Principal of Environmental Systems Limited.

Speaking last evening, Hon. Fahie stated that such a plan should be adopted and serve as a guide for many political and community leaders in the Territory.

“We need to move beyond politics,” said Hon. Fahie, who was the only elected politician present at the event.

Other persons of the community shared similar sentiments, including Mr. Kareem Nelson-Hull, who spoke to the need for the government of the day to buy-in to the project, as well as inquiries into the likelihood of such a plan being continued, in the event of a change in government.

“What do we need to get this guaranteed? We are sitting in this room and we are all passionate and would love to see this come to fruition. It’s brilliant to think about the BVI in 2040, but I would’ve been even more impressed if was something the government, the Premier and his elected officials had created for the Territory.”

He questioned, “After we sit here and we all give ideas of what we want to see, and we go home and say we just created a beautiful BVI, what would you need to support you and make sure that it will happen; is it investment, government buy-in? Do you know what the government of the day feel about it?”

In response, Mr. Gregory Adams, Chief Planner with the Town and Country Planning, said it is in the community’s best interest to hold the politicians of the country accountable for the execution of this plan.

“We can’t guarantee it, but our best chance at ensuring the political will doesn’t waiver to far away from the vision. It's to make sure that the vision is crafted by the community; all spectrum of the community.”

He said, “Ultimately, what a party puts forward as a manifesto, as a community leader, they should look at this plan and see things they would want to get done; a cohesive and comprehensive plan set by the people. The way that we ensure that every four years we are not charting a new course is to set this plan in motion, that becomes the road map that we as people can hold our leaders responsible.”

Deputy Governor Adams concurred and noted, “A plan such as this would give the BVI the cohesiveness it needs. When persons are going to campaign, they should have documents and information to speak to the people about. We would be able to see how well they can speak to the topics and if they are the ones who should go ahead as the leaders.”

The project will run until June 2018 and is expected to address various topics.

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