However, while there are Government-imposed restrictions on crowd sizes due to COVID-19 measures, the community meetings, at least the first few, are not being live-streamed via official Government and the party's social media pages.
The Virgin Islands Party (VIP) regained control of the Government at the February 2019 general elections. In recent months, the administration has publicly taken on the Governor who has said on the record that he has been receiving complaints of political victimisation and has called for more measures to stamp out corruption in public administration.
The Government in its release on the meetings said that residents have been expressing themselves and sharing ideas and recommendations with government officials in a series of community meetings held this week.
Hon. Fahie, Premier and Minister of Finance, and members of his Government have been engaging the public in a series of community meetings to share its plans and receive ideas and recommendations from residents in the further development of the Territory.
“As the Government of the Virgin Islands, we are indeed pleased to hold meeting with the people in their respective districts to hear, share and discuss ways that the Government and the people can move forward in strengthening this economy — our HOME,” Hon. Fahie stated.
During one of the meetings Premier Fahie said, “We wanted to go into the communities to hear your views and share what we are planning to do. But, this is really your time to tell us about your concerns and I have brought my members of Government to address any issues you may have.”
Two days of community meetings were held thus far; in the Fourth and Fifth districts on January 13 and on January 14 in the Second District on Jost Van Dyke and the First District in Carrot Bay.
Present at all the meetings were Premier Fahie and members of his Government including Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture and Seventh District Representative, Dr. the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley; Minister for Transportation, Works and Utilities, Honourable Kye M. Rymer; Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Honourable Vincent O. Wheatley; Minister for Health and Social Development, Honourable Carvin Malone; Junior Minister for Tourism, Honourable Sharie B. de Castro; Junior Minister for Trade and Economic Development Honourable Shereen D. Flax-Charles; Deputy Speaker Honourable Neville A. Smith; and Sixth District Representative, Honourable Alvera Maduro-Caines.
Members of the Government also explained their portfolios and areas of responsibility, along with achievements and future projects to be accomplished at each meeting.
Residents made recommendations and expressed concerns on issues including enforcing stricter penalties and fines for theft and taking into consideration the specialised tools and resources needed by farmers and fishers through the stimulus programme, the yachting industry, as well as the housing recovery programme.
Additionally, persons, where necessary, commended the Government on the traffic turnaround, the Joe’s Hill building projects, school rehabilitation, COVID-19 handling and updates and road works underway in the districts specifically those roads that were damaged since the 2017 hurricanes. They also gave recommendations for improving those initiatives going forward.
Premier Fahie thanked the community for attending and stated that the Government of the Virgin Islands will set forth to address all issues were feasible with possible time frames.
Saturday, January 16
North Sound, Robinson O’Neal Memorial Primary School | 5:00 p.m.
Valley, HLSCC Campus | 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, January 17:
Anegada, Claudia Creque Educational Centre | 2:00 p.m
Monday, January 18
Purcell Estate, One Mart Parking Lot | 5:00 p.m.
East End, East End Park | 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday, January 19:
Sea Cow’s Bay, BVI Seventh Day Adventist School | 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday, January 20:
Long Look, The Stickette | 5:00 p.m.
Hope Hill, Hope Hill Reservoir | 8:00 p.m.
If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.