Pettingill Questions West End Housing Project

May 30, 2012

After years of Government “squandering tens of millions of taxpayer dollars on capital projects,” it’s appropriate to question the plans for the Ireland Island housing project, Shadow Minister for Public Works Mark Pettingill said.

Responding to Public Works Minister Michael Weeks remarks yesterday [May 29], Mr Pettingill said it’s “rubbish” to say the project is not a Government project.

Minister Weeks had said, “Let’s clear up one falsehood right now. The opposition keeps harping on about Government’s project. This is not, let me repeat, not a Government project.

“This project has been initiated, managed and financed by the West End Development Corporation – a quango. The involvement of Government is simply to provide a guarantee on the project, with strict terms and conditions outlined in case that guarantee is triggered,” said the Minister.

Mr Pettingill said, ”The Government controls Wedco and the fact that Minister Weeks has been front and centre announcing the Ireland Island housing project says all you need to know about the role Government sees for itself in this. In making the disclaimer, the Minister is trying to avoid public scrutiny.”

“All political parties support better housing for people in need, but the OBA reserves the right to ask how that housing is going to be built: Is taxpayer money being wisely spent? Are decisions on who is selected to build the project openly and fairly arrived at? Are people being inconvenienced? Are affected residents being consulted?

“In this particular instance, we think

  • The Government and its quango need to answer how this US company was selected and who selected it.
  • The Government also needs to justify the size of the project. 100 new housing units in a market that has a massive glut of empty apartments and houses across the Island looks like a plan that did not take into account market conditions.

“These are fair questions in the absence of clear information. This is, after all, a $36-million project. And after years in which the Government squandered tens of millions of taxpayer dollars on capital projects, the questions are appropriate.”

“There is nothing wrong with questions. They are part of open, transparent government. It may seem messy at times and troublesome for the government that has to answer them, but that’s democracy. The Government just has to answer them,” concluded Mr Pettingill.

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Comments (13)

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  1. Serious says:

    We are all entitled to ask questions and shouldn’t be accused of spreading untruths when we are asking for clarification. This government are so intent on doing whatever they want even at the expense of the people of Bermuda. When are we going to stand up and insist on being treated with respect. STOP THE DOCKYARD PROJECT. I nor anyone in my family will cast a vote for the PLP as they have shown that they do not represent the people of this island..

    • We Like says:

      OK Buddy, so you prefer people to live in 140 year old housing, than to build new buidlings putting people to work and raising the standard of living for those in the West End.

      And you say the PLP don’t represent the people, i think that you are confused.

      Just for the record, asking for clarification is one thing. Making a false accusation and asking someone to confirm or deny it is not the same thing.

      Think about it and remember the season!

      • Cha says:

        They want to build prefab housing that given the location will likely blow down in the next storm. The structures are solid just renovate them.

        • LMAWTFO says:

          To renovate costs more money than to build. Its a proven fact that every construction firm on this island will affirm. I know too as i recently assesed my property for a renovation versus a knock down and rebuild.

  2. Amazed says:

    No one can disagree that asking questions is a good thing but unsupported speculation is not. And when you have made a mistake you need to own up to it. Bob Richards publicy said that the units would cost $800,000 each but even though this was an error he has said nothing. The public could do with honest debate on issues. Right now there is little to choose between the two parties. What the people want is BETTER government not just different Government.

  3. SAUCE says:

    we are entitled to ask questions for sure….but the sad part is…….these questions will more than likely go UNANSWERED!!……..

  4. We Like says:

    OBA repeating the UBP mistakes.

    Remember when during the last recession UBP didn’t build homes because they said there were enough on the market and people were not able to afford the rents that existed. What heppened after the recession there was NO supply in the market to meet the demand and rents skyrocketted making a problem worse.

    Now the OBA wants us to beleive that Bermuda should do the same thing and stop building. There are still many in Bermuda who need access to quality and affordable housing. Landlords having to compete on price and quality is a GOOD THING.

    Why doens’t the OBA get this? That’s right, they aren’t concerned with those that may be struggling to make ends meet, they are more concerned about the family with 2 investment homes, who are having trouble keeping up. Sounds just like the UBP.

    Those who don’t know their history are doomed to repeat it!

  5. navin johnson says:

    We like I would venture that the policies of your Government have put more Bermudians out of work and installing some American made prefab buildings will not help unemployment in Bermuda since the work will likely go to friends and family as is often the case…..Much of the money will not stay on the island as we will be sending it to Coastal Prefab or whatever their name is….Years from now they will make a case study of the PLP Government of Bermuda and how they destroyed the local economy from 1998 until 2012 by driving out IB and driving rents down to collapse the local real estate market……

    • LMAWTFO says:

      I got you buddy. Doubt there will be a case study in the future on PLPs destruction of the economy. I base that off of when the UBP stole all of Triminghams Hill, Fairy Lands and Tuckers Town for their own benefit. No case study has been done nor will it be done either because people of today want the past to just die and go away. Remember, you cannot build a building without a foundation! There is no future without the present and more importantly the past. In my own humble opinion, I think our current debt pales in comparison to those stolen properties; which if you do a rough estimate equates upwards of the 10 billion mark!

      • Serious says:

        Are you implying that two wrongs make a right? And are you better off now than you were 5 years ago? No one is saying the buildings should be built, the debate is whether the timing is right and why the plans have been made clear to the populace. And I am not for either party, but do have a right to an opinion and I am not your buddy.

        • LMAWTFO says:

          Never called you buddy, buddy. And I am not saying we are better off. Simply pointing out that there will be no case study done in the future as governments seem to always skate on their wrong doings. And i think they should be built. Have you or anyone you know ever been inside one of those buildings? Have you all seen the asbestos thats up there? Not to mention the faulty plumbing and electrical wiring?

      • Eraser says:

        Stop trying to re-write history buffoon .. All of those neighbourhoods existed long before party politics.

        oops , I forgot .. to people like you the UBP is still not only alive it’s 500 years old .. LMFAO

        • LMAWTFO says:

          HAHAHAHAHA, looks whos trying to re-write history now. Easy to spot a former UBP supporter, always resort to name calling when they have nothing of substance to say. Grow up man!