Sen. Woolridge: Cash Back For Communities

November 20, 2014

[Opinion column written by Senator Lynne Woolridge, One Bermuda Alliance Chairman]

November so far seems to have been a busy month for the news media, so one story that I hoped would be given prominence threatens to fade into relative obscurity. I’m therefore using this medium to draw people’s attention to it once again.

I am talking of the Cash Back for Communities programme, under whose auspices early this month the Premier Michael Dunkley presented cheques for fairly substantial amounts to five local organisations – the first fruit from a legislative tree that has taken many months to nurture.

The recipients were:

  • North Village Community Club — $24,000
  • Pembroke Hamilton Club – $24,000
  • Team StreetSafe – $33,000
  • Focus – $33,000
  • Family Centre – $100,000

Cash Back For Bermudians

I’ve heard some comments querying how we could have “found” this money when we said there were no available funds in the budget. The money has been made available for this purpose from the Confiscated Assets Fund, where money that is seized from criminal activity is kept.

The enabling legislation was passed through both houses of the legislature in the summer of 2013, and allows payments to further the programmes of a community-based organisation or sports club that are related to youth development, sport, area improvement, community improvement or infrastructure improvement. So, as you can see, the funds did not come from the government’s coffers.

I’m just as pleased as I can be to see this legislation on the books and in action – it seems to me to be an appropriate and positive use of money generated by the negativity of crime.

Until now, this Fund was available to law enforcement, to cover the costs of treating and rehabilitating drug addicts, for prevention and public education efforts on drug abuse and for the expenses of the Department for National Drug Control.

Sharing it with community-based organisations was a promise the One Bermuda Alliance made that was contained in the Government’s Throne Speech of 2013, and we’re thrilled to have been able to deliver.

When he shepherded the bill through the House of Assembly, Premier Dunkley said “This Government wants iconic sports and community based organisations to thrive and to play their part in making Bermuda safer and combating the gang lifestyle in this community.”

Organisations that want to receive grants from the fund have to be registered charities in good standing, or a sports club dedicated to a sporting activity and regulated by a governing body.

This is a little piece of solid, good news for the community, folks!

- Lynne Woolridge

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Category: All, News, Politics

Comments (23)

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  1. smh says:

    The Proceeds of Crime Act was passed under the PLP…milking a stolen horse are we?

    • Black Soil says:

      The OBA passed this piece of legislation in 2013 to enable the program to come into being. Sorry “smh”….but the PLP were not the genesis of this (or much!!!!…besides debt). I guess you’ll be praising the PLP for getting the America’s Cup!!!

    • Tolerate says:

      Question; do we NOT want the Government to work with the Opposition, Unions, Chamber of Commerce and other entities to ensure ALL possible options are being explored to better Bermuda?
      So what you want? A written thank-you because MAYBE the Opposition mentioned such an idea years ago, but did NOT act on it?
      To me a Government who is not scared to explore ALL options to better their country is a sound Government; at least better than an Opposition who claim to have ALL the answers but will not share even if it means a country will fail.

  2. Sparky says:

    Now this is real “Standing Strong for Bermudians”

  3. Sat Whaaat???? says:

    Awesome OBA!! Now let’s see the plp’ers throw some cold water on this.

  4. Robert says:

    I feel an election coming on !!

  5. Robert says:

    Lynn Wooldridge my up bringing prevents my from calling you names.

    • hmmm says:

      Why would you feel you need to call her names. she and the OBA are working hard for the People of Bermuda.

    • David says:

      Your upbringing also seems to prevent you from typing coherent sentences.

    • enough says:

      why do you want to call her names, interested.

  6. sebring says:

    I do not know anything about what any of these clubs really do !how ever it is my opinion that these monies could have gone to better use such as pay for the incarseration of the people fom which it was collected from !like the previous administration it is easy to be generous with other peoples money in this case the tax payer ! as a deterent to crime why not continue to collect as they are and have done but with the purpose to pay for the prison etc. tax monies presently spent on prison can be redirected to lowering the island debt! just a thought!

  7. For the children says:

    This is great! At least the money will help to do some good and correct some wrongs. Excellent idea and very nice to know that this is continuing! Great news senator Woolridge. Lots and lots of respect.

  8. Rhonda says:

    The Oba is privatizating Bermuda by one thousand cuts. Proceeds of Crime funds were once added to government coffers, so the Oba law simply reduces the revenue government receives. A 20 million concession here and a 24 million concessions there, now the airport revenues going to the Canadian government and workers, all results in less revenue, and jobs for Bermudian and Bermuda.

    • Believe says:

      How can this be considered “privatizing”. Do you honestly consider proceeds of crime as “revenue” for the government ?

      This would seem to be a far better use of the funds than have them being absorbed into servicing debt. These charities have now been given a very welcome boost by the very money that has caused a lot of grief in the community. Seems appropriate !

  9. optimism says:

    Very generous effort from the Government!

  10. abracadabra says:

    Are you that politically naive girl?
    We got the story and you are now using the plight of the disadvantaged to your political advantage by making these people poster children for your party. That was not your money any way. There is that Wayne Scott again trying to get more recognition.
    YOU Ms Wannabe white need to rethink your actions before you speak…You seem naive and like ******************

    • hmmm says:

      your view is that a racist holds. You are a racist.

    • Raymond Ray says:

      Why can’t them that make such accusation such as this abracadabra person, be bold enough to print their given name and not some off the wall B/S? ( YOU Ms Wannabe white need to rethink your actions before you speak…You seem naive and like ******************)Statements such as them should be accompanied by a birth given name…

    • Tolerate says:

      Not sure exactly what you are saying here; but out of curiosity, I will take a shot.
      Are you accusing the OBA of trying to score political points by finding grants for worthy Community Program Groups? Remembering the government was left with a HUGE debit and are scrapping. You are correct; NO, it was not their money; it was OUR money and I have no problem when it goes to GOOD use.
      Talk about scoring Political Points, hows that free meal taste. Great timing on that one.
      Ms. Wannabe white? Sorry, but THAT is just nasty!!!!
      Go lay down…..

  11. But get this says:

    basically the OBA is Laundering Money in a dignified way… proceeds of crime getting cleaned up and put in cycle.

  12. Rhonda says:

    smdh, if you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything… less funds in the consolidated funds, to give to charities… 6 of one half dozen of the other…

    • hmmm says:


      Before the PLP spent all the money and foolishly borrowed and spent like crazy chasing a ficticious ans unsuportable growth level, we had money to spend on both.

      If you want to attack someone in the media, point your keyboard in the right direction and attack the PLP.

  13. sage says: