BEST: Cross Island Suggestions Not Revealed

May 16, 2016

Since WEDCo held its first public consultation meeting on the end-uses for the Cross Island landfill a list of the suggestions put forward has not been publicly revealed which “suggests that  WEDCo is setting itself up to repeat the mis-steps that resulted in the Supreme Court quashing their original application,” the Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce [BEST] said today.

BEST said, “In the seven weeks since WEDCo held its first public consultation meeting [23 March 2016] on the end-uses for the Cross Island landfill, the Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce [BEST] has noticed that a list of the suggestions put forward has not yet been posted on  WEDCo’s website or otherwise publicly revealed.

“This omission suggests that  WEDCo is setting itself up to repeat the mis-steps that resulted in the Supreme Court quashing their original application for the end-uses of the landfilled area once the America’s Cup is complete and departed.

“Regarding that decision, WEDCo’s public statements have seemed to imply that the rejection of their original plans was a random act of the Minister, and had no good reason. The facts do not bear this out.

“The plans for the end-uses of the landfill were rejected — quashed actually — by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Aerial footage of the infill at Cross Island early in the construction phase

“The reasons the plans were quashed were unmistakable:

  • “1.  WEDCo did not have a credible Environmental Impact Assessment/Statement [EIA/EIS] done on their plans.
  • “2.  WEDCo also knew they had to engage in public consultation — they publicly promised to host public meetings, but did not do so before submitting their application.
  • “3.  WEDCo gave little or no response to requests that they quantify the economic costs/benefits for the end-uses.

“The result is that  WEDCo has to start again from scratch.

“What  WEDCo needs to pay attention to are the reasons their previous attempt failed which, if ignored, will line up to be the reasons their next attempt will run into problems.

“Presently,  WEDCo still seems to be entertaining resurrecting its former end-uses and, as we mentioned above, seems already to be tilting the field to its favour. We suggest that the relevant Minister advise WEDCo that the public’s purse cannot afford to be paying out more for further mis-steps in this process.

“BEST wasn’t asked for our opinion on what the consultation process should look like, but there are numerous guidelines available.

“Most include admonitions to a] set out the entire process to participants right from the start, b] provide clear and accessible analysis and feedback on all the ideas put forward, and c] if there are finances to be considered, clearly set out the specifics, preferably via an Economic Impact Assessment.

“We will post links to several consultation guidelines on our website in the upcoming week.”

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Comments (22)

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  1. aceboy says:

    Let’s give it to a friend for a 262 year lease.

  2. Jim says:

    If it wasn’t for BEST, I’m sure WEDCO would just go about their business doing whatever they want, and never be held accountable for mistakes and/or mismanaged money.

    This is the kind of nonsense that goes on in Bermuda all the time, too bad there is not a group like BEST to police all the other departments operating without any accountability.

    • archy says:

      Looking at the background to this I don’t think that is true – they’ve already had one public meeting and there is another one tonight. they’ve also set up a special committee to look at all the options.

      • smh says:

        Yes…all after the fact

      • George says:

        Archy you should actually read the article in question before commenting. It clearly lays out the history of this development and BESTs challenging of it – the main fact being NO consultation took place during the initial stages(prior to the current round of consultations). This, along with the fact that the EIA for the development was flawed resulted in WEDCO losing the court case to BEST and why WEDCO have had to go back to the drawing board.

    • Terry says:

      But there is.

  3. Lois Frederick says:

    I liked the original proposal.

  4. archy says:

    1. Did anyone from BEST go to the last public meeting. 2. are they going tonight 3. have they submitted their ideas to the special committee set up to look at suggestions 4. did he contact anyone at WEDCo before going public with this criticism? I think no to all.

    • To Archy from WEDCo
      1. Yes. We also publicly encouraged people to attend.
      2. Maybe. We will certainly be looking at their website to see if there’s more info than last time and a list of any suggestions.
      3. Not yet. We would prefer that our comments will be included in an open and transparent process, hence our PUBLIC comment today.
      4. No, but I think we have their attention.

      • archy says:

        To Stuart from BEST. I am not from wedco,however I have and do read a lot to keep abreast of current affairs and I always like to try and keep a balanced story :) Plus, from what I have read it does seem like wedco have learned from past mistakes. Maybe I’m wrong but just saying it like I see it

  5. serengeti says:

    The PLP should make an announcement thanking Cross Island for its service.

  6. archy says:

    “Presently, WEDCo still seems to be entertaining resurrecting its former end-uses and, as we mentioned above, seems already to be tilting the field to its favour.” This is rubbish – WEDCo has consistently stated that all ideas are on the table, ie nothing is being pre-ordained.

    • George says:

      Archy give up the ruse mate! Stuart already called you out as a member of WEDCO and now your subsequent comments have proven him right. Nothing like a disingenuous employee/member of a quango masquerading as a concerned citizen whilst “trying to keep a balanced story” “saying it like I see it”?! (sic) There’s nothing balanced about accusing someone of doing or not doing something when you have no evidence to support it i.e. “I think no to all”

  7. Triangle Drifter says:

    Moving M&P down to that area is probably the best use of it. This would free up the M&P shop for more touristy things.

    The boatyard is another issue. To me the boatyard adds a very definite nautical flavour to the area.

    • Terry says:

      Just checking your tax return Triangle.
      We need to talk.

      • Triangle Drifter says:

        ??? You need more rum & you are not getting any of mine.

  8. wahoo says:

    Has anyone consulted Jahmal?

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Yup, the PLP would turn it into a marina & clubhouse for friends & family, with taxpayers footing the bill for maintenance of course.

  9. Curious says:

    I believe that Wedco should be transparent about their consultation process and accept all forms of feedback including all public engagement meetings. Are minutes of these meetings published? Is there a schedule of public meetings?

    There is still so much we don’t know about the creation of this very expensive real estate.

    It would be helpful if Wedco’s published their financial projections, terms of reference for the public engagement process, how feedback will be acknowledged, made public and used in the decision process and what the public engagement timelines are.

    Why the mystery Wedco?

  10. no name says:

    WEDCO needs to toe the line and some of it’s top people need to quit or be forced out because they are not doing their job!