Important issues: Bodden Town district

Arnold Berry: 

Economics, cost of living in general – “The ways to try to reduce the high cost of living would be that the new government should try to reduce the fuel factor that was introduced by the last administration with regard to our CUC bills and the duty increase on food importation and immigration fees on businesses. We need to create some business opportunities, looking after the relevant laws and offering incentives…for people to develop, sustainable small businesses.”  

Farming, agriculture – “I think we need to encourage agriculture and offer incentives to the farmers, with incentives from various government agencies.” 

Crime – “We need to make sure that we always have a zero tolerance for crime.”  

Midland Acres landfill – “The dump has been a major issue. I think that the former members of the parliament should have had the people involved in the decision making process. That is why the Advisory District Council is so important; beautifying the district is important also, by supporting the various established tourism attractions and making sure that they are well promoted by the department of tourism. (The Mission House, Nurse Jose Center, Pirates Caves, Pedro Saint James, etc.)” 

Education, technical and vocational training – “For the young and not-so-young so that we can try to have our people trained for the working environment.” 

Charles Clifford: 

The Unemployment Problem – “New jobs will be created at the district level through the reintroduction of the Go East Initiative in collaboration with the cruise lines and the hotel and condominium sectors. This will facilitate the introduction of additional tourism product offerings at the Coe Wood Public Beach and at the Mission House in conjunction with the Nurse Josie’s Seniors Home. A technical support programme would be established at the Nurse Josie’s Seniors Home where seniors would be able to socialise during the day and collaborate with the Mission House for a programme of story telling as an added attraction for tourists. This would also provide some level of income for our seniors while improving our tourism product offerings. Bodden Town’s status as the country’s first capital would be showcased within a historical context. This will be a welcomed addition to our cultural tourism product and would provide the platform for other small tourism support businesses to be established in Bodden Town, such as cottage type tourism accommodation, bed and breakfasts, snorkelling outlets, kayaking outlets, fishing and scuba diving tours and nature tours.” 

A new primary school – “It is necessary to construct an additional primary school to relieve the overcrowding at the Savannah and Bodden Town Primary schools and to cater to the projected increase in students from the rapid development of Bodden Town. With three streams of year 1 and year 2 classes progressing through the Savannah School, which will eventually continue through all years of that school, the overcrowding in the future will not just be unacceptable, but will be unbearable and certainly not conducive to a good learning environment.” 

Flooding problems in Bodden Town – “Whenever we have a storm passing to the south or approaching from the south of Grand Cayman there is always severe flooding through the Savannah Gully into the Savannah Meadows and Newlands areas and in particular in the Butterfly Circle area of Newlands. Additionally, when we have very heavy rain, the Cumber Avenue and Belford Estates areas of Bodden Town are flooded with the same impact to homeowners as occurs in the Savannah Meadows and Newlands areas. We now need to immediately implement the designed solutions to the flooding problems in the Savannah, Newlands, Cumber Avenue and Belford Estates areas to prevent future flooding and resulting losses to the homeowners in these areas.” 

A new cemetery – “We urgently need to establish a new cemetery for the District of Bodden Town. The Pease Bay Cemetery is at full capacity. The property must be urgently acquired, if it has not already been bought, to establish this new cemetery. The vaults could be built out over time based on demand in order to significantly reduce the initial capital outlay.”  

A Bodden Town fire station – Restart the Bodden Town Emergency Services Centre phased project with the construction of a fire station. The response time to the Bodden Town District, particularly with respect to the Savannah and Newlands areas, from both the Frank Sound and George Town Fire Stations is simply unacceptable. This situation continues to place the residents of Bodden Town at significantly more risks from fire emergencies than the residents of other districts. This is simply unacceptable given the fact that Bodden Town is the second most populated district.” 

The PPM candidates – Anthony Eden, Alva Suckoo, Wayne Panton and Osbourne Bodden:  

The People’s Progressive Movement party candidates chose to submit their answers as a group.  

“The Savannah and Newlands communities, in particular, have a high growth rate and there are limited sports facilities available to the young people. We would like to have a proper recreational facility developed through a public/private partnership, which includes a football field, a basketball court and perhaps even one or two tennis courts in a park like setting, which lends itself to multi-purpose use. 

“We also need to have further economic and entrepreneurial activity in Bodden Town to provide job opportunities within the district. The district has unique features including beautiful sand beaches and prominent rock bluffs, which can lend itself to the development of boutique hotels or bed and breakfast type operations. These scenarios were a part of the PPM’s Go East initiative, which had been initiated in their last term in government but abandoned by the UDP. 

“We plan to implement a programme of incentives for eastern community entrepreneurs in conjunction with a revamped version of the Go East initiative. These will include reduction of red tape and costs to establish businesses as well as incentives to hire Caymanians and in particular residents of the district. Creative financing, business development and marketing support can be accessed through a national small
business development support programme as well. There will also be incentives based on the business plan to hire and train Caymanians and particularly those from the district, which will be assessed on an annual or biannual basis to ensure that the incentives remain applicable and are earned.  

“We share the concerns of residents who are impacted by flooding and poor drainage issues in certain communities in our district. These issues arise in periods of heavy rainfall in the Cumber Avenue and Belford Estates areas of Bodden Town. Although less frequent, the flooding issue is no less devastating in the Savannah and Newlands areas in periods of heavy surf activity in which salt water invades the Gully area and migrates inland through natural drainage channels. Although there are engineered solutions to these issues, which should be reviewed and implemented, in general a district drainage assessment needs to be carried out to identify actions that may be taken to mitigate or resolve these issues. It is, too, a national issue that needs to be addressed from a national drainage perspective and incorporated into the planning laws.  

“The residents of Bodden Town are particularly unhappy with the decision of the government supported by the two Bodden Town former UDP and now PNA representatives to locate a new trash dump in the district and on the edge of an environmentally sensitive area of the central mangrove wetland. While we acknowledge that we must, as a country, begin immediately to resolve the landfill issue in George Town, we are against the proposal to relocate the dump as pla
nned in Bodden Town. There is no national recycling plan and no proposals in relation to waste to energy.  

“The current capacity of the original cemeteries of the district are rapidly being used up and there is a need for at least one new cemetery for the district. We are in favour of and will support the development of a new cemetery by a private developer if necessary. A condition would be that in return for an agreed contribution or subsidy, an agreed proportion of that facility will be available at rates similar to those for government owned cemeteries. 

“Areas of the district also need road infrastructure attention both in terms of improving the surface conditions as well as traffic management. So, for example, Anton Bodden Drive as the alternative route through central Bodden Town is in a deplorable state and needs paving. The speed bumps there also need to be strategically placed to control traffic speed. There are similar needs for speed control bumps on long straight roads such as in North Sound Estates and the northern end of Hirst Road on the way down to the Mangrove Pont/Sunrise Landing area.  

“Subject to funding being available, we think the extension of the East West Arterial Bypass beyond the current Hirst Road intersection is desirable in the near term and we would be open to a public/private proposal to fund and pay for this. Similarly, subject to funding being available or finding creative solution to that, we are in favour of and will push for the proposal of the PPM government of 2005 – 2009 for an emergency centre facility off Anton Bodden Drive, which was phased to include a fire station, ambulance centre and helicopter landing pad.  

“The needs of the elderly and an appropriate facility for them to socialise is important therefore we propose to further develop and enhance the Josie Solomon facility and the park, which will have a significant heritage function as well with the adjoining Mission House of the National Trust.” 

 

Vincent Frederick:  

Lack of development and the need to create a development plan – “Bodden Town has been neglected for the past 40 years and has seen little and in some areas no growth; in others, especially, in sustainable development. If elected, I intend to sit down with the three other representatives and create a 30-year development plan for Bodden Town. This would include, and not subject to, re-zoning of lands for commercial development, agriculture farming and light industrial development. I would support import duty concessions for investors wanting to build small motels/inns or even large hotel developments in Bodden Town. I believe in helping small businesses develop and by encouraging them through programmes, monetary startup loans and a creation of a small business development committee that will have a hands on approach to assist new entrepreneurship. It would include the need to protect what is left of our heritage by beautifying and preserving central Bodden Town, building a trade school with a recreational centre and sports arena for our children to learn, develop skills and to have some form of after school activities.”  

Employment – “Unemployment in some way or another is affecting all of us and Bodden Town is no different. If elected, I would push for road access to the interior section of Bodden Town and build a proper road system to encourage growth in commercial and agriculture, fish farming, lobster farming and conch farming could all become viable if we only had the proper programmes in place like the trade school and the small business development committee. Encouraging hotel development would certainly see a demand for hospitality jobs and the domino effect of having a trade school with such programmes would create a perfect relationship to tackle unemployment within the district. The money given away through the Nation Building Fund would be better serving the public if it was spent on developing such projects in the country.” 

High cost of living – “Cost is killing the country and we need to find a national solution and it will have to take all 18 of the elected representatives to tackle it head on. If elected, I intend to introduce a new renewable energy measures law that will see all business, houses, hotels, etc… investing in solar energy for up to 50 per cent of their energy needs and directing the overflow back into the electrical grid to cut down on fossil fuel imports by 60 per cent in 15 years. I would introduce a consumer price index law. This would control cost on certain food items. I would seek to introduce high tariffs on locally produced items like chicken eggs, chickens, etc. depending on total demand to help encourage business growth and opportunities in new entrepreneurship businesses locally.”  

Bodden Town proposed dump – “As a former leader of the Committee To Keep Bodden Town Dump Free, I was vocal in the media and passionate on the dump issue when it first came to light. I stood up for the people with the other committee members, when no one else did. Where was the opposition? Suddenly it is the hot topic for those at the last minute trying to gain fame for what others did years before. Arriving on the scene when the battle is over is disrespectful and embarrassing and I want to remind the people of Bodden Town that it was Vincent Frederick and the rest of the members from the Committee to Keep Bodden Town Dump Free that fought the government over the dump issue and It was we who pressured the minister and his colleague for months and no one else. If elected I would continue my legacy and I remind the people that I was the their voice then, I am their voice now and I intend to be their voice going forward.”  

Quality of representation – “Every four years Bodden Towners go to the polls to elect new leaders or to return those currently serving. During the last 12 years we have seen a wide disconnection between the people and the politicians in the district. The politicians have no shame, no guts, no respect and no honour. It is a disgrace to see what has transpired in the district over this period and it is time to end the political mess and get serious. Bodden Town needs leaders that will work together, communicate with the people, that are productive, reasonable, understanding and who will stand up and fight for the people regardless of what or who gets in the way. If elected, my doors and arms would be open to all. I will use the district elected committee to ensure that the people’s voices and needs are taken into consideration. I will fight any issues in the Legislative Assembly that would negatively impact the people of Bodden Town. I will hold quarterly public meetings to keep the citizens abreast of current legislation. I would implement and strive for development growth that will create jobs, careers and new businesses and I promise to rebuild back the connection between the politicians and the people of Bodden Town and to represent the people with respect, pride, dignity and honour. “ 

Dwayne Seymour:  

Economy/unemployment – “There’s a lot of people unemployed in BT, a lot of young people unemployed. We need to ensure we create entrepreneurial opportunities within the district of Bodden Town. Re-tooling our unemployed, trying to fit them in other areas of employment – that is really a big one.” 
 

Quality of life – “We need to continue to progress in creating an enhanced community with a quality of life, continuing with our other plans with parks and a boxing gym/sports centre at the civic centre. Ensuring the quality of life for our elderly.” 
 

Emergency preparedness – “Increasing our hurricane shelter capacity. As the fastest growing district we have the least capacity.” 
 

Expand schools – “We need an additional primary school, there has been a significant growth in the amount of students that are attending Savannah Primary and Bodden Town Primary.”
  

Development – “Continue to work with the developers of two hotels in Bodden Town, whi
ch will continue to employ hundreds of people.” 
 

Gregg Anderson:  

A lack of economical and social development – “Very little if any economic activity is occurring in the district that produces jobs/careers for the residents. There is very little cultural or entertainment venues for residents to attend either during work or leisure hours or on weekends. We need to change this and make the district more vibrant and attractive both to residents and visitors and provide opportunities for small businesses to provide these services.” 

Crowded primary schools – “Both Bodden Town and Savannah Primary schools have become or are becoming overcrowded – we either need additional classrooms built at the existing sites or build a new primary school if funds are available.” 

Infrastructure challenges – “Belford Estates and Cumber Avenue both have drainage problems and what is of major concern is that the low cost houses are being built adjacent to the Belford Estates area at a site that is prone to flooding and doesn’t have any proper or natural drainage system in place. In my opinion our government is only compounding the problem in this area by building the homes in this area.” 

The so-called waste management facility – “If done, this will cause environmental damage, economic depression , health hazards, property devaluations and other attendant ills to our district.” 

Traffic congestion – “All of the eastern districts traffic, heavy trucks with quarry loads etc., traverses the narrow streets of Bodden Town central and poses a hazard to residents. Since the district has grown rush hour traffic congestion also occurs on significant stretches of the road leading into George Town. This needs addressing in the medium to long term by extending the East-West arterial road – funds permitting of course.” 

Theresa Pitcairn: 

According to Kant “People are ends, not means”. That we have unemployment, some families living below the poverty line and other forms of social dislocation in an economy such as ours is not rhetoric, but unacceptable. I will support not merely “good” policies but ones that are relevant, responsible and justifiable to address this; respect the fact that we should not treat people as means to be manipulated.  

Unemployment – Creation of jobs and educational opportunities through an immediate/ emergency job programme; improvement of young adult ‘job readiness’ education; establishment of programmes (for example, microloans) that encourage entrepreneurial opportunities (especially for retirees on attrition packages). 

Empowering women – Working in partnership with the ministry for women’s affairs, labour and relevant stakeholders to increase maternity leave with proper protections and weigh the cost of such policy from the perspective of the employers and the community. 

Special needs community/early intervention programmes/health insurance – Looking at strategies to address some of the pressures and resourcing challenges that various government institutions face (especially with respect to staffing) and having a further review of the Health Insurance Law. The Revised Standard Health Insurance Contract, for example, fails to address developmental and other behavioural disorders and evidenced based therapeutic interventions. Our special needs citizens form part of our society and their concerns are important. Although the recent amendments to the HIL provided in-patient mental health benefits ($25,000 per lifetime), occupational and speech therapy where medically necessary, it did not specifically address developmental disorders and relevant therapies.  

Developing a Community Legal Clinic in Bodden Town to provide support to persons in Bodden Town requiring certain legal services but who are unable to afford them 

Teen pregnancies and young inmates – Revisiting the Yolande C. Forde Report on Pre-disposing Factors to Criminality in the Cayman Islands, review our existing policies on interdiction, adjudication and the reintroduction of inmates to the community and the support (including educational support) system that we have for teen mothers. Thirty per cent of inmates had mothers aged 17-19. 

Ethics and political responsibility – Building on the civic awareness programmes taught in the primary schools and expanding the life skills programmes in the high school.  

Sentencing for certain crimes, eg rape/molestation/incest – Review the penalties and sentencing for rape, molestation, incest, indecent assault and similar offenses and advocate for changes, which include police officers being required to register every case of reported rape; changing the humiliating medical examinations endured by rape victims; and strengthening legal requirements for persons charged with related criminal offenses to get off with a slap on the wrist.  

Energising the Bodden Town economy – Developing ideas for tourism awareness in Bodden Town, establishing projects that will encourage a thriving and sustainable service-based tourism product relevant to the Bodden Town community and experience and encouraging students to own service based industry ideas through mock tourism inter school debate competitions. 

Mark Scotland:  

Economic progress – “The continued economic development of the district is the one that comes to mind first. The district continues to grow and needs to develop in a way that encourages persons to continue to come there.”  

Public safety – “We want the district to remain relatively safe. We want to encourage continued police coverage and expansion of the CCTV project in Bodden Town. There’s a few [cameras] but obviously it’s not a bigger part of the project because the first phase concentrated on George Town.” 
 

Unemployment – “Unemployment is related to the whole economic development scenario. We need sustained opportunities. There’s areas we want to grow in, but we certainly don’t want to develop in the way Seven Mile Beach developed in. We want to develop in a planned way.” 
 

Environmental protection – “We want to be very cognizant of the natural elements of the district. We still have a lot of green areas in the district.” 
 

Public projects – “We need road development, schools, and health care facilities. As the district grows, does it need another health centre in the district? We’ve done five parks in the past four years. We want to continue that development.”  

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1 COMMENT

  1. Every one is standing with the glue gun in there hand to patch a whole they have allowed to become too big. Where were those people when the whole was widening. Just as I thought just watching. Now there is a quick fix with a glue gun. Bodden Towners if I were you I would not let them do it.

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