VG pushed too far! Wheatley vexed by sister island’s banking situation
Ninth District Representative Vincent Wheatley has lamented the poor state of banking in Virgin Gorda since the September 2017 hurricanes and has called for action to be taken to remedy the issue.
“We went from no banks in 2017 to one bank about three days a week. No, we have to push that up now. It’s been too long now that we’re here still limping on one bank for three days. In Anegada, [there is] no banking at all,” Wheatley said in the House of Assembly recently.
Wheatley also slammed the poor state of the privately owned Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour, which he called a disaster in the middle of his beautiful island.
“I am happy to see that there is finally action on the ground to where they’re beautifying and they’re cleaning up this disaster in the middle of my transformation; in the middle of our transformation, here is this big disaster,” he stated.
The legislator pointed out that Virgin Gorda was highlighted in the prestigious Forbes magazine as number eight on a list of 23 places in the world to visit for 2023 and said this listing didn’t happen by accident.
According to Wheatley, ever since the hurricanes of 2017, residents have embarked on a journey of transformation for the island to take it to a whole new place.
But the lawmaker argued there were several changes to be made, given the fact that the island should be expecting more visitors ‘coming in droves’ in the face of that listing. “Let’s not be surprised if these persons are going to come to our shores, and a trip to Virgin Gorda or the BVI shouldn’t start when they arrive in Spanish Town,” he said.
The Ninth District Representative commented that the entire territory should be striving to make a future listing in a travel magazine, instead of relying solely on the island of Virgin Gorda which he represents.
Wheatley pointed to the long-term water woes being faced by the sister island and its poor road conditions which he said have to be fixed. He further said the territory needs to look at restructuring its budget to ensure there is equity among all its districts.
He also pointed to the difficulty of getting to Virgin Gorda once visitors arrive in the territory.
“Everybody knows that coming to the BVI, the sooner you get to your destination, the better. But the ports in Virgin Gorda have been closed since 2017 to international traffic. Why is that?” Wheatley asked.
Wheatley said he’s usually a very patient and understanding but felt his district was ‘being pushed too far’.