50 years ago: Electricity inspections raise concerns

NEW Bodden-50-years-logo-final-595x420In the Oct. 26, 1966 edition of the Caymanian Weekly, a precursor of the Cayman Compass, Bodden Town correspondent Haig Bodden wrote:

“Since the publication of the notice relevant to the 24 hours electricity here the inhabitants have become more apprehensive about the inspection of buildings to be hooked up to a source of electricity supply.

“In an interview with Mr. Scotland of the Bodden Town Power and Light Plant he indicated that all premises will have to be inspected before the power can be supplied to them.

“However unless the preposterous inspection rates which I mentioned in an article a few weeks ago are reduced no one will be able to pay the inspection fees.

“It is understood that a move is under way to cut down the exorbitance of the existing rates and substitute something that is within the realms of the pocket-books of this inflated generation.

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“Now the wheels of government, like the mill of God turns slowly, and it is hoped that whatever quirk of the imagination prompted the introduction of such an unrealistic regulation will be removed speedily and not continue to impede the wheels of progress.

“It is noted that buildings are being hooked up every day in George Town and it would be interesting to find out if these rates are being collected, or whether the gods are winking their eyelashes.

“Although at the time of my last article things did not appear to be so bad the plain truth is that they are bad indeed.

“How many householders know that an influential member of the executive council and two other members of the Legislative Assembly are directors of the Light Company. Is it also true that the government inspector is a full time employee of the light plant?

“How does our administration allow these anomalous situations to ‌arise?

“There was a time when a select few were exempted from the laws of the land. Those days are over. These rates must be applied to everybody or scrapped. Why is Government so silent with an explanation for the ridiculous regulation which makes the inspection of a building more costly than the wiring of it?

“One thing that has always been a nuisance to businessmen in this island is that of having to get a Foreign Currency Permit to send off a few dollars to the United States to purchase merchandise.

“The law governing this permit has been on the books a long time. I believe from the time of World War II. In that time it has cost businessmen hundreds of hours of wasted time and hundreds of pounds travelling up to Government House to comply with this law. It has cost government thousands of pounds in stationery and rubber stamps to say that John Brown or Mary Jane can pay for a sack of flour or an automobile.

“What good has come to the tax payer or to the monetary world through our lavish expenditure and our bogging down in trivial red tape? Nothing has been gained from our foolhardiness. Nothing will be gained from continuing such a hollow practice.

“This law, instead of being rescinded has been tightened up. It is foolish to think that the control of our puny trade with a dollar country can help the stability of the pound as a world currency. It just took the loan of several billions from friendly banks to save the jittery situation of the pound sterling. It is because of uncalled for red tape and restrictions why England today is in such poor financial shape. It would look like an attempt is being made to hamper our free trade, at any rate it costs the tax payer to keep up with the exodus of the dollar.”


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