Column: ‘Upbeat About Future In St. George’s’

April 24, 2017

[Opinion column written by  Minister Nandi Outerbridge]

Wednesday’s Peppercorn Ceremony was a good opportunity to see what makes St. George’s special – a community gathering in which the past gives life to the present.

The sun was shining, the music was playing, the Regiment looked great and the Masons paid their due. People enjoyed the show.

There’s a good feeling in St. George’s these days, with more and more residents anticipating big developments that promise positive impacts on the entire community.

It’s going to be a big year. Think about what’s happening.

Work on waterfront improvements is nearing completion, setting the stage for the arrival of the first dedicated cruise ship visits in more than a decade. Where once we were told there would be no more calls, Norwegian Cruise Line ships will visit 12 times, with irregular callers adding four more. It’s the first year of a five-year agreement with NCL that will return the cruise ship season to St. George’s.

Nandi Outerbridge April 23 2017

The waterfront is also being upgraded to receive NCL ferries carrying visitors from its ships berthed at Dockyard.

These visits will inject a lot of business into the Old Town, which is going to help shopkeepers, job seekers and the Corporation.

Before the month’s out, ground will be broken for the new Airport. This will be a three- to four-year project that will benefit the East End generally and the town in particular, through apartment rentals, shops sales and more jobs.

Soon after that groundbreaking, ground will be broken for a new St. George’s hotel, providing a permanent boost to the local economy. Where the previous government could only demolish, we’re going to build.

Other things are happening. The plan for a marina just east of Ordnance Island will move a step closer to reality. Legislation to make it happen is set for the next session of Parliament.

St. George’s will also have its share of America’s Cup activities, with Tall Ships in the harbour at the end of May; not to mention the many America’s Cup visitors who will take the opportunity to visit the Old Town.

These happenings — cruise ships, Airport, a new hotel — are game changers, ending years of neglect, drift and decline that took St. George’s to a low point.

The turnaround has taken a huge amount of effort by the Government, driven by its determination to make a difference. Some of my colleagues have been stand-outs in this regard – can-do people so different from the naysayers of the past: Kenny Bascome whose spirit is irrepressible, Finance Minister Bob Richards who’s been a rock, and Premier Dunkley who’s brought a ton of optimism and energy to the task.

The record will show that we pushed through all sorts of disappointments and setbacks to fulfill our promise to end the doldrums and bring new life to the Old Town.

Some of our work has been nuts-and-bolts stuff like providing the Corporation with emergency funding to meet its expenses, or enabling it to collect wharfage fees for civic improvements, or forming a UNESCO fund to strengthen St. George’s attraction as a World heritage Site.

There is still much to do and challenges emerge all the time. The guesthouse invasion last week where a group of men robbed contract workers in the dead of night is one of those challenges and it has raised the issue of a St. George’s Police station.

A few years back, the Commissioner made a strong case that the Police would provide security for St. George’s from its base in Southside. We deferred to their expertise, and I’ve regarded the issue ever since as a patrol issue, not a building issue. If Police patrols are adequate, then there should not be a problem. But today, a lot of residents say the Police are not patrolling enough.

I’ve contacted National Security Minister about this with a view to filling whatever gaps need to be filled.

In 2012, we promised recovery for St. George’s and to be a reliable partner in making that happen. It was a big promise, but it’s happening and that’s good reason to believe in and feel upbeat about the future.

- Nandi Outerbridge


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Comments (13)

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  1. wassup says:

    “St. George’s will also have its share of America’s Cup activities, with Tall Ships in the harbour at the end of May; not to mention the many America’s Cup visitors who will take the opportunity to visit the Old Town.”

    Actually, in this regard I think St George’s has been shamefully let down.

  2. East Wind says:

    The one way traffic on the bridge is really a pain – we don’t get any information on when i will end and its been two years!! Would it be so hard to put up a sign that says whats happening? Or tell the guys who are there in the morning directing traffic to stand where they can give information to drivers?
    See the trucks driving from there instead of pennos wharf is also very disturbing. It feels like their weight is much too much for the bridge and could easily damage the repairs.

    Also, could we not have a commuter ferry? The old one was underused but what do you expect – it left Hamilton at 5.20 PM for heavens sake! Maybe 10% of people can leave the office at five! Have it at the right time and reliable –
    it could be a great success and a huge improvement in life for us in the East End who work in Hamilton.
    Finally, how about a morning bus that goes middle road so our kids can take the bus to school at Elliott, Whitney and Somerfield. Right now, busses go north shore only in the morning, so they have to change at Grotto Bay and thats a pain.
    St George feel like its the red headed step child in Bermuda but its seats got the OBA in last time around and a little love would not be out of the way.

    • Onion Juice says:

      You deserve what you get.

      • Earth watch police says:

        Yes juice plp got them good they blew up the hotel used the rubble in dockyard and charged government for our own rubble they closed the golf course and knocked down the clubhouse.they closed the police station then they took the corporations income lastly they kicked Kenny bascome out of tobacco bay we east enders will never forget! Ps forgot they also took the cruise ships from us.

  3. watching says:

    Ask anyone in St George’s how much of a presence Nandi Outerbridge has been since 2012 and they will say ‘who?’. She has been virtually invisible save for ceremonial occasions. Now the OBA are trying to push her in front to salvage what looks to be a likely losing effort in the next election.

    Just this weekend there was a robbery at an ATM machine. That, compounded with other crime, is a worrying trend that the OBA seems to not take seriously.

    Minister Outerbridge surely should have found another constituency to run in as the St. George’s community does not have much affinity for her.

    • skinnydipper says:

      As i was a eye witness to the event in St George’s next to the ATM machine..tell me how do you turn a fight next to the ATM machine …between to people into a rubbery… really what are you watching

  4. Kiskadee says:

    If Nandi Outerbridge is running in St George in the next election my family and most of my neighbours will NOT be voting for her

  5. Bajan Queen says:

    Nandi has done very little for the St George community and now coming that we are moving towards a pending election, she appears to be vocal than ever before, oops I forgot, she doesn’t write the speeches, she reads them from a piece of paper.

    Premier Dunkley should be ashamed of himself, its a damn joke? The East End community is very concerned with the recent hard core crimes being committed in the community, where some folks were attached ant the ATM robbery and we hear nothing from Ms. Davis. far from her remit, probably doesn’t know how to address it, perhaps she is waiting on her photo-up partner, Minister Baron.

  6. Natural says:

    Not voting for you Mandi!!

  7. Natural says:

    No disrespect to your name,it should be Nandi.

  8. Town Piper says:

    As a resident of St.George’s, i have yet to see Nandi in or around St.George’s. She doesn’t appear to any events in St.George’s or even come socialize in town. How can you be so much apart of St.George’s and you don’t even live in St.George’s? Everything written in this article is everything we already know. Tell us something new, show your face to the town more often and maybe you will be shown more respect from the community.

    • Hmmm whatever says:

      Very little has been done for St. George’s … St. George’s is used as a PR stunt from time to time, grandiose announcements are made and then is LITTLE or NO action. More action in a cemetery!

  9. Oh its Real... says:

    Well this is funny, the real question is. Nandi what will you do with your political life after you lose your seat? The writing is on the wall, hurt people voted you in! Not dumb people, its a wrap you have proven to be a drone for the oba/ubp. Happy career hunting, they will drop you like a hot rock. You will go down in history as being an accessory to Capital injustices to Bermuda and its people…..