Video: Shelly Bay Proposal Press Conference

August 7, 2018

[Updated] A group of people concerned about the Shelly Bay Beach proposal is holding a press conference this afternoon [Aug 7] where they plan to provide details on an alternate plan. We will have additional coverage later on and in the meantime the live video is below and you can view all our coverage of the Shelly Bay Beach proposal here.

Update: The live broadcast has concluded and the 17-minute replay is below

Update 5.00pm: Speaking on behalf of the group today, Cheryl-Ann Griffin said, “We, the residents of Hamilton Parish and frequenters of Shelly Bay Beach present a plan for Shelly Bay Beach that we feel would be suitable for the entire Shelly Bay Beach and Park areas.

“We believe that this plan would be more appropriate for Shelly Bay Beach as it functions in the community for residents and visitors and would enhance the experience of residents and visitors as they use Shelly Bay Beach and Park throughout the year.

“It is our view that Bermuda would benefit from a beach that is accessible to all Bermudians and visitors and to this end we are proposing that the recovered free area once occupied by the demolished building at Shelly Bay Beach is the ideal area to be used to enhance the beach experience for residents and visitors who are physically and visually challenged; including the infirm elderly population; along with accompanying family and/or caretakers. We are therefore requesting that the Government give serious consideration to this alternative vision and plan for Shelly Bay Beach.

“We base this request on the following:

  • Bermuda does not have an intentional handicapped accessible beach.
  • Physically and Visually challenged residents from Hamilton Parish and beyond have expressed the desire to have a beach accessible for reach the water and swimming. Some have not been able to touch the sea for up to 12 years.
  • The shallow and safe waters of Shelly Bay are also ideal for access and swimming for the elderly, physically challenged and visually impaired.
  • The area can be easily improved and beautified with palms or small hedgings and presented to the public as a handicapped accessible small park overlooking and adjoining the rest of Shelly Bay Beach. This area can also be used throughout the year as a ‘Sanctuary by the Sea’, for relaxation by the general population.
  • Ease of access – the area has an ideal driveway, right off North Shore Road, that with minimum construction can be made safely level to the new park for the delivery and pickup of the physically and visually impaired and the infirm elderly.
  • Ease of modification- the surface of the area can be easily modified from its present state to accommodate wheelchairs, walkers and canes.
  • Ease of assistance -Identified appropriate fittings can be easily installed, leading from this area, in order to assist the infirm elderly, physically and visually challenged to, into and from the water; some examples of fittings are [copyright] Blue Mobi-Mat for physically as well as visually impaired. Other copyrighted examples are Recpath, AccessMat. These are easily positioned, leading from the new park to the sea, and just as easily removed when necessary. Other examples of easily placed and removed fittings are sensory rails for the visually impaired and the Mobi-Chair Floating Beach Wheelchair.
  • Additionally, in order to, again, accommodate ALL of our beaching locals and visitors, we are requesting that the Ministry of Works & Engineering install proper and suitable toilet facilities at Shelly Bay Beach and Park. These would include at least one handicapped accessible stall. This is something that has not been mentioned, at all, in the “Bermuda Beach Economy Vision for Shelly Bay Park”.

“There are beaches around the world where such areas are made available with appropriate fittings that will accommodate those who love to swim but are unable to get to the sea without assistance. A few examples of this growing number are Wasaga Beach in Ontario, Manley Beach in Australia and those in several U.S. States including Virginia, California, Florida, South Carolina and Georgia.

“It would be a first and commendable move by Bermuda and the Shelly Bay Beach Community would welcome the implementation of this plan, rather than the unfavourable one put forward by the Bermuda Tourism Authority.

“We, the residents of Hamilton Parish and frequenters of Shelly Bay Beach present this plan for Shelly Bay Beach publicly as we have not, to date, been given the opportunity to have our ideas for the enhancement of Shelly Bay Beach and park heard or considered.”

Update 7.13pm: BTA Director of Strategy & Corporate Communications Glenn Jones said, “Since the beginning of this beach economy process more than two years ago, we have consulted with the public exhaustively because we believe having their input makes our plan better. That’s one of the reasons we’re having a demo night on Thursday. We want the public to experience what’s proposed and then give us their feedback. And, as has been the case from the beginning, the feedback will help determine next steps.”

“Access for persons in a wheelchair has always been part of the plan for the temporary concessions area at Shelly Bay. As a result of our consultation with the public at the June 12thcommunity meeting, we further enhanced the accessibility to the concessions area based on what we heard from residents. Two thirds of Bermuda’s beach picnickers tell us they’d like to be able buy food at the beach, so we want all beach users to be able to access the concessions regardless of their physical abilities.”

“While we don’t have jurisdiction over how the public accesses public beaches or the ocean, we support any plan that improves accessibility for all persons. Our architect tells us that today’s proposal for a Mobi-Mat Beach Access Mat can easily be incorporated into the existing plan. We’ll work with our colleagues at the Ministry of Public Works to see if we can get it done.”

“Our Beach Economy Vision, unveiled in 2016, was guided by which public beaches are already approved for concessions. Since Shelly Bay has been approved for concessions for decades and has a brownfield site, it is a natural fit to have improved amenities that are aligned to how visitors and locals already use and enjoy the beach.”

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Comments (9)

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  1. Brilliance of Burt says:

    Huh, I thought the Brilliance of Burt would have easily placated Ms Furbert and these protestors?

    Surely the Brilliance of Burt could have easily dealt with this huurrr?

  2. Boring says:

    I say we all march on parliament

    • aceboy says:

      Absolutely! The government is disrespecting the residents and should build them a nice toilet with a Bermuda roof! It would only take two years and untold hundreds of thousands to build! Stand strong for Bermudiana and MARCH!

  3. Mark says:

    Why are they having a press conference to voice their opposition and give an alternative and not marching? Oh yeah, i know…

  4. Barbara D Cooper says:

    Thank you so much to these innovative thinkers – they are champions for accessibility for ALL, and are to be highly commended! Hopefully, the ‘powers that be’ will implement their suggestions.

    • Do it says:

      Accessibility? You are a joker! They are using handicapped people as a heart string pull tactic! You don’t honestly think they give a crap about disabled people do you?

      Grow up and wake up!

      They are trying to depict SB in a manner that it is not and at the end of the day it’s my beach too but I want it used to maximize opportunities to help employ and pay tax that is then used up benefit ALL Bermudians and not these “Christians” who get religion when someone else wants an opportunity to get ahead!

      Hypocrites and haters!

  5. Do it says:

    Bunch of whiners who are retired and have nothing to do but keep the rest of Bermuda down as they want their own beach!

    To hell with that as it’s my beach too and I want it to be used to maximize business income, jobs and tax so we can give our Black entrepreneurs and workers a leg up and help pay down our country debt!

    So shut up and sit back while the rest of us move Bermuda forward!

  6. Do Right says:

    The two local MPs and their followers abide by the dictates of you-know-who. He who shall not be named must be getting tired of the current leadership, even though he has been provided ANOTHER payment from the taxpayer. Being that October is near, expect even more actions challenging the current administration. Chaos is on the horizon. harvest time is near, and ALL seeds of planted by the rivers of babylon will soon be reaped!!!!