Since 2020, the House of Assembly (HoA) has been temporarily housed at the Save the Seed Energy Centre’s indoor basketball court in Duff’s Bottom. This was due to spacing issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Government had mandated 6 feet of space for social distancing during the height of the pandemic. Therefore, work had to be done on the HoA building located below the High Court in Road Town.
It is our understanding that the cost of the project was estimated to be over three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000). The total figure for the rent of the space at Save the Seed Energy Centre for over two years is unknown.
Social critics and talk show hosts have complained for years about the
image of the highest law-making body conducting Sittings in a gymnasium,
as they claim it undermined the dignity of the Legislature.
The Speaker’s area has been pushed back, with an addition to the existing House of Assembly building in Road Town.
The building in Road Town has since been renovated to allow more space and the Speaker’s area has been pushed back, with an addition to the existing building. There have also been some new electrical fixtures, a new Air Condition Unit, new ceilings and tiles and other upgrades to the interior of the building. Some work has also been done on the external building, reorganising the entrance to the press gallery and work has also been done to mitigate flooding in the yard.
The Clerk of the HoA, Mrs Phyllis Evans told the Standing Finance Committee last year that there were five contractors on the project. They are MacMillan Construction, Lawrence Wheatley Construction, Tarris Hill, Northam Construction, and Accurate Construction Limited.
It is our newsroom's understanding that the renovation project was championed by former HoA Speaker Julian Willock. Upon Willock's departure from office in May of last year, Deputy Speaker and Territorial At Large Representative Hon Neville A. Smith took up the baton and saw phase one of the project to completion.
Work has also been done to mitigate against flooding in the yard of the House of Assembly building in Road Town.
The countdown to dissolution
Honourable Members will return to the Chambers for the meeting of Tuesday, February 21, 2023, which is the continuation of the Third Sitting of the Fifth Session of the Fourth HoA.
It is unclear if the controversial Police Bill that strips residents of their human rights will receive its Second and Third readings. The Bill is being pushed by the UK-appointed Governor John J. Rankin, CMG and Police Commissioner Mark Collins.
Meanwhile, the EZ Shipping and Claude O. Skelton-Cline’s contracts with Government will be laid on the table of the House.
Less than three weeks remain in the life of the Fourth HoA, as it must be dissolved by March 12, 2023.
Honourable Members will return to the
Chambers for the meeting of Tuesday, February 21, 2023, which is the
continuation of the Third Sitting of the Fifth Session of the Fourth