British Virgin Islands

Thursday, Jan 27, 2022

Unsightly! Go Cut The Bush - Fraser Tells Malone

Unsightly! Go Cut The Bush - Fraser Tells Malone

Government is being challenged to address the issue of overgrown bush along the roadways which is not only unsightly but a hazard to road users.
However, Health Minister, Hon. Carvin Malone has outlined reasons why the Department of Waste Management is unable to cut the bushes.

“This is one of the questions that I am at the mercy of the written answer…and for the fact that grass is pulling me out of the car also,” the Minister said as he prepared to respond to questions from Hon. Julian Fraser, Third District Representative in the House of Assembly on Monday, August 16.

He said that the government has not abandoned the grass cutting programme, but the programme has, however, experienced some challenges due to staffing issues that have not only affected this area of the department, but other areas as well.

“The challenges arose as a result of non-replacement of staff by the department who have left; members of the cutting crew submitting medical certificate excusing them from this kind of work and some members of the staff from the street cleaning crew reporting sick on a regular basis which results in the cutting crew being redeployed to carry out their duties,” he explained.

The Minister further stated that the department is in the process of addressing the issues and hope to have them resolved by the end of this summer.

“I shouldn’t have to be doing this; if you drive from west to east and you pass through Sea Cows Bay you know what I am talking about,” a visibly upset Hon. Fraser said.

During an exchange on the matter, the opposition member said, “You are going to tell me how to ask the question Mr minister? I think you ought to go cut the bush off the sidewalk instead of arguing with me…when my constituents are telling me that they can’t go walking in areas they have been frequenting for years before 2016…”

Hon. Fraser who said it is unacceptable, said that both the minister and the persons responsible for cutting the bushes are seeing the condition of the sidewalks.

“I submitted my question for a sitting (House of Assembly) that supposed to take place on May 27; I would imagine that once they saw the question they would go and cut the grass. Now the sidewalks are completely covered,” Hon. Fraser said.

He added, “This is nothing personal this is what you signed up for, you campaigned in my district telling the people you will take care of them, they took care of you, and I expect to see those sidewalks clean.”

Minister Malone said he knows that the bushes need cutting and noted that the issue is mostly in district one and three. He mentioned that the Queen Elizabeth II Park was in a bad state as well, but it recently received attention.

“…It has to be done…this bush cutting issue is a problem we must solved,” Hon. Malone said.

Hon. Fraser said he has no issue with the Works Ministry programme where they cut bush and clean drains since they receive specific allocations to allow for the latter, “but something like this when it comes solid waste, they have a standing crew who does this kind of work.”

He insisted that the Minister provide some form of commitment as to when the areas in his district will be cleaned up. Hon. Fraser also advised that the minister should not have read the response in public.

“I don’t know how many ways I can say this…I read it (answer) only to pinpoint to the staff (solid waste) the fallacies in their answers…these items have been cut so drastically I will have to ask for some donations or weed eaters,” the Minister said, assuring that they will try to get it done as soon as practical.

Related Articles

British Virgin Islands