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FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH: Some questions

DR FRANCES CHANDLER, [email protected]

FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH: Some questions

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ABOUT A YEAR AGO, a large boat on a trailer was deposited on the layby adjacent to the Coral Ridge cemetery. Apparently, the trailer had collapsed.

After several months, I noticed a staff member from an engineering firm at the site and subsequently saw the boat on its side on the layby. The trailer was then repaired and the boat was again placed on it.

That was a few weeks ago and still the boat is “resting in peace” by the cemetery. I understand that the trailer tyres now need replacing. Not surprising since they’ve been exposed to the elements all this time. Can anyone say when this eyesore will be removed, or will we soon see some derelict vehicle parked behind it, and then another and another . . . as is the custom?

We understand that the ministers want their voluntary salary cut reinstated. Minister of Education Ronald Jones says: “Your salary is your property and you should not deprive anyone of their salary . . . . You may voluntarily give up your salary as we [parliamentarians] did, but if the time has elapsed you have a right to your property.”

Well, Minister Jones, to be logical, when we overpay our income taxes, the overpayment is our property too, so why should we be deprived of it for such extended (and unknown) periods? Also, fair is fair. VAT was supposed to be raised from 15 to 17.5 per cent for 18 months. I think that was in 2011, which by my reckoning is over 48 months ago. When would you consider the “right time” for this reinstatement of the 15 per cent VAT?

Whenever we question why the police force  doesn’t respond to crime calls in a timely manner, or doesn’t station officers in various trouble areas, we’re told the force is understaffed. So, how come it can afford to station officers for days on end to report persons for such petty offences as pausing but not coming to a “complete stop” at intersections where there is a clear view of oncoming traffic for hundreds of yards, and therefore the action doesn’t cause a problem?

I observed this in St George a few years ago, and now it’s happening in the St James area. Have we spent money on training these officers to do this mundane task? Or is Government so hard-up for money it will go to any length to earn some? Then to make matters worse, we haven’t yet been able to institute something as simple as a “ticket” system, so the already backlogged court is further clogged with this nonsense.

Meanwhile, we have an increasing number of bicyclists and motorcyclists doing all sorts of stunts on the highway and there never seems to be any police presence to apprehend them. Similarly, those who zigzag through traffic at high speeds along the ABC and Ronald Mapp Highways, with no regard for their lives or the lives of others, seem to go unnoticed.

Now, back to the chicken wing fiasco which is about three weeks old, and we haven’t heard a word about the outcome of the investigation which was supposedly to have been done by the relevant ministries. Would the ministers of agriculture, health and commerce please state when this will be forthcoming? I trust too, that the investigative journalists will not allow this to become the usual “nine days’ wonder”. Even the Barbados Agricultural Society, which highlighted the situation in the first place, seems to have suddenly gone silent.

Similarly, what about the investigation into the alleged change of expiry dates on labels on products offered for sale in supermarkets? I note the name of the company involved  has been withheld. This type of behaviour fuels rumours of “who is covering up for whom” and so on, so wouldn’t it be better to come clean and “name and shame” those responsible?

Finally, can the Town Planning Department refuse permission for change of use and development of agricultural land, and then a few years later, although nothing has changed, a multitude of houses arrive on the land?

And what of the two half-built eyesores on Hastings Main Road? Who is responsible for taking some action on these? They are certainly more bothersome than the small structure on the Lears roundabout which caused such a furore a few weeks ago.

• Dr Frances Chandler is a former Independent senator. Email: [email protected]

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