Ministers Receive Proposal For Shelly Bay Beach

August 26, 2018

[Updated with copy of proposal] The Minister of Public Works Lt/Col David Burch and Minister of Economic Development and Tourism Jamahl Simmons “received a proposal for potential development” at Shelly Bay Beach from Laverne Furbert, Esme Williams, Cheryl-Ann Griffith and Allan Smith.

The Bermuda Government tweeted the photo below, saying: “The Minister of Public Works, David Burch and the Minister of Economic Development and Tourism Jamahl Simmons today received a proposal for potential development at Shelly Bay Beach from Laverne Furbert, Esme Williams, Cheryl-Ann Griffith and Allan Smith.”

Bermuda Government August 2018

The concept to add concessions at the Hamilton parish beach attracted some controversy, and the group opposed to the plan, which included the three people mentioned above, met with two Ministers, who said they plan to make recommendations to Cabinet.

Speaking at a press conference earlier this month, 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.”

Video of the group’s press conference held earlier this month on the matter

Update 1.15pm: We have updated with a copy of the proposal which said, “The area can be easily improved and beautified with palms or small hedgings as well as accessible seating 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.”

The proposal also mentioned the installation of additional toilet facilities, outdoor foot showers, a handicapped accessible personal changing room, plus a storage area for floating wheelchairs, rails and slings; and that the children’s playground could include installation of a wheelchair accessible swing and a wheelchair accessible merry-go-round.

It also mentions having a food and beverage concessionaire in an “appropriate area; situated in a worn grassy area on the north eastern end of the parking lot,” and that in high season “preference might be given to a student-run enterprise for a second concession to sell light refreshments e.g. snowballs, water, snacks.”

The proposal further mentions the “reinstallation and proper maintenance of the exercise and fitness course” and mentions the “potential of the employment of a contracted fitness instructor that could lease the area to hold morning, evening or weekend fitness classes at the site.”

The organisers of the proposal also noted that the Ministers “received the plan and copies of the petition with over 1,500 signatures.”

A copy of the proposal is below [PDF here]

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Comments (62)

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  1. Just Say No says:

    Keepin it all in da family… Horseshoe (for the big money) next? Maybe the Snorkel Park too? Somehow I sense just another scheme for these jokers to mess up and then blame it on you know who – pity the tax payers (who should be striking if this goes ahead).

  2. Wahoo says:

    I hope the proposal includes maintenance and cleaning of public washrooms by anyone who wishes to be a vendor here.

    • Real Deal says:

      yes agree with the fast that i hope maintenance plans are on the table as well.

  3. Question says:

    What’s the betting this “proposal” gets accepted.
    They don’t even try to disguise it do they.

    • Anne says:

      It’s a done deal – very unfortunately. I hope the planners help to keep the beach tidy and CLEAN as most times it ISN’T!

      • PANGAEA says:

        Stop Dreaning !

        Recently we cleaned up Elys Harbour Public dock including many beer bottles it took 6 trash bags .

        Other locations needing T.L.C.are Mangrove bay and Rriddles Bay public dock .

  4. Stormy daniels says:

    Put a casino there, oh wait.

  5. Honestly says:

    My question remains…where are all of the residents they are speaking on behalf of? I want to see the numbers that represent this proposal and vision presented by 4 members of Hamilton Parish.

    • JohnBoy says:

      Good point!

    • Darkstar says:

      They must all see themselves soon in wheel chairs

    • PBanks says:

      They claim the 1500 signatures on the petition, so while the title “RESIDENTS OF HAMILTON PARISH” etc may be over the top, this group clearly has major public backing. It is what it is.

  6. Ok says:

    A complete waste of time and money! The beach is already accessible! Bunch of morons at work here!

  7. Rocky5 says:

    Ministers micro managing – friends & family plans are clearly back in vogue!!

  8. mb says:

    not every beach needs hamburgers sodas toilets and concrete, and more plastic!
    what this group is doing benefits locals as much as tourists
    if tourists want a resort style beach they have florida or fairmont or deck of their ship
    i know i am happy with our beaches the way they WERE
    even horseshoe went too far, now it’s always stacks of plastic chairs all over
    many resorts with vision and environment in mind actually stack old fashioned quality wood and canvas deck chairs…but given the complaining about the weight of chairs and heat a while back of one of the beach hands hired there i doubt they could handle them…much heavier.
    the bar and restaurant is nice but horseshoe always had one
    Tourism should not be focused on small business and local development anyway. they should focus on brand, numbers, experience NOT restaurants n pushing ‘healthy
    poke bowls n salads’ and lemonade shacks at beaches like john smiths and shelly b. that is for other govt authorities and Parks
    on that note, so pleased old fashioned bermy snowballs returned to john smiths.
    hope Tourism stays away from it now and our other beaches
    if someone has a beach proposal then let them submit like all other planning and dev applications

    • Cow Polly says:

      How many beaches has hamburgers and sodas? Horseshoe and ……… Tobacco Bay ………………. may be Clearwater and then Dockyard.

      And think about when you go on holiday – do you want to spend the day at the beach with no facilities. Do you pee in the sea? Nice!

      And your selfish response is, let the tourists visit Florida, Fairmont or the deck of their ship! WOW, just WOW. Clearly you are in a good, safe job with plenty of money coming in to support your family because obviously you don’t need to tourist dollar.

      And now the BTA is under siege from Government because they don’t like an independent authority bringing tourists to the island. Lets think about that for a moment. You claim the Government cares about the environment, tell that to the folks in Somerset who are going to have to deal with noisy air polluting ATVs shortly driving along the railway trail. You state that the BTA should focus on experience – what on earth do you think the plan at Shelly Bay was?????

      Seriously, you need to think what you are standing for because right now you are contradicting yourself.

  9. Rocky5 says:

    This is just problematic

  10. Warwick Beaches says:

    Huge blow to democracy. Surprised they didn’t have a golden platter for that proposal.

  11. Redrose says:

    Er …. transparency? What are the proposals?

    • Concerned Young person says:

      Why is everyone in this picture is so close to retirement age? Anyone under the age of 40 involved I this proposal?? Really need to consider what the future wants when you plan for the future.

  12. Cow Polly says:

    Are these four going to invest their own money into providing amenities at Shelly Bay beach like the other small businesses were or are they providing the Government with a shopping list to spend my and everyone elses tax dollars?

    • C.Griffin says:

      We dont have pockets like Mr. Steinhoff When he spoke with the last government with his million dollar plan to take over Shelly Bay and turn it into something akin to Snorkel Park.You saw nothing wrong with that. You see nothing wrong with setting up repurposed containers, lounges, umbrellas, massage tables, paddleboars, motorized sea toys on a small popular public beach…known to be safe, especially for our children.
      You might also be reminded that the extravagent BTA setup would have been funded from your taxpayer dollar…including startup finances for the businesses….
      but a mere proposal that promises to cost measurably less plus promises to protect our environment, cater to tourists and residents who appreciate the natural setting, makes accommodation for the disabled and appreciates unique beaching culture…you have a problem with.

      • Correct says:

        You are correct! I have no problems with Me Steinhoffs significant investment in our Island and making Shelly Bay a tourist worthy destination especially once the Flatts foot bridge is in place – makes an awesome combination

        But I guess we won’t see it because Ne Steinhoff was not the right ‘type’ to get it through. Hope you have money to fund this alternate plan as I will march against it!

      • Micro says:

        I saw that plan, and it was nothing akin to Snorkel Park. The plan included renovating the existing building and a parking that was scrapped. A restaurant, entertainment within the existing footprint of the building and beach concessions.

        Mr Steinhoff was investing his own money with a plan that added to the beach.

      • Cow Polly says:

        The difference is, C. Griffin, that the BTA’s investment would have seen some return in the form of rental from Mr Steinoff and the small business owners plus an increased tourist presence which would have turned into $$$ for Bermuda.

        And no, I don’t see anything wrong in setting up loungers, umbrellas, massage tables, paddleboard, motorized sea toys or repurposed containers at the beach. I went past there over Cup Match and there was loungers, umbrellas, paddleboards, motorized sea toys, boats, and kite surfers all there, with children!!!!!! The only thing missing was the massage tables and the repurposed containers which I saw at Cross Island during the Americas Cup and were very tasteful, I doubt either of those are a threat to children’s safety.

        So again, what I have a problem with is that your proposal is how the Government should spend my money catering to YOUR needs without any thought to return on investment.

    • drew says:

      My guess it will be the latter not the former.

    • LaVerne Furbert says:

      We are already paying taxes. The BTA would have provided start-up funds using tax payers dollars.

      • What?? says:

        A complete and utter lie! Do you have any shame at all?

      • Question says:

        I thought you liked open RFP’s Laverne. Not cozy meetings where collegues hand over an already-accepted propoosal. It’s a sham

      • Onion Breath says:

        Prove it, laverne, or be quiet

      • Onion Puke says:

        So are we- to keep your moronic Ministers employed cause we all know they could hold a legitimate job.

  13. Adrianne says:


  14. Trump depporter says:

    And to think the plp preached transparency..

    • steve says:

      oh this is about as transparent as it gets! lol

    • Hey says:

      PLP speak out of both sides of their mouth. Can’t trust them.

  15. Concerned Young person says:

    Am I missing something? The parking above the field has a ramp access that can be modified or widened. Access to the beach by handicap etc should be standard at all beaches. If there is an isolated handicap etc beach we are limiting those that live in the West. Approve the proposal for all beaches to be improved and let another proposal come forward. Don’t dig up that plot for a roadway and wheelchair pathways that can exist at the existing parking lot. Let’s be efficient with the money people. Spread the love horseshoe, tobacco bay, Clearwater Warwick long bay or Jobsons cove, etc etc

  16. Mark says:

    From the outset the Shelly Bay objectors have been propagating the false claim that the BTA’s proposal would deny Bermudians access the beach. They continue to enforce this false claim with their latest comment: “it is our view that Bermuda would benefit from a beach that is accessible to all Bermudians…”. This implies that Bermuda would not have benefited from the BTA’s proposal and that somehow their plan would have rendered the beach less accessible for disabled Bermudians and visitors.

    As a resident of Hamilton Parish, I had no objection to the BTA’s temporary proposal to stimulate some economic activity on the beach. But I also agree that Shelly Bay beach and all of Bermuda’s beaches, should be more user friendly to people with disabilities. But the two ideas are not mutually exclusive. There was no need for the objectors to distort the facts to get their way.

    I find it interesting that in the beginning the Tourism Minister was on board with the BTA’s plan but then all of a sudden he makes a u-turn. I just hope that this move by the government is not part of a hidden agenda to do away with the BTA altogether. It’s no secret that the PLP was initially not in favor of the creation of the BTA.

    It will be very interesting to see what finally comes of empty lot that once occupied a restaurant and restroom facilities for beach goers.

    • PBanks says:

      Clearly something happened that Thursday that got Mr Simmons to switch up things. Was it the involvement of Mr Burch, who knows.

      What’s a bit concerning is Mr Burt laying down the lines that the BTA answers to the Ministry. He chose this time to lash the BTA when the BTA were under the assumption that their Beach Vision was approved and cleared.

  17. Peggy Burns says:

    I agree with the group’s proposals–which aren’t many and certainly not unreasonable, plus all beach users stand to benefit. An attractive lunch wagon would do just fine and will only be on site at the commencement and culmination of our summer season.

  18. Peggy Burns says:

    The group are opposed to three containers on site. I support them in this regard as well. Just picture those unattractive, cumbersome and oblong shaped metal vaults obscuring the natural picturesque views of the horizon, sea and sand.

    • Onion Breath says:

      Peggy, aren’t you that sign lady?
      Your opinion is garbage.

    • Happy says:

      You should take a look at “The Gulf” restaurant in Orange Beach, Alabama. Re-purposed shipping containers can look very attractive.

      • ROTFL says:

        I love this thread.

        There is nothing progressive about this.

        What a bunch of backward looking hogwash.

        Do we or don’t we want to be an international tourism destination?

  19. Jeremy says:

    Old one foot in the grave and the other almost in! No progress for Bermuda because of people like YOU!

  20. puzzled says:

    I am going to sell banana’s there from my boat.

    Anchored 20 ‘ from shore.

    MV Republic.

  21. Bermy Greens says:

    Dinosaurs with dinosaur ideas…..

  22. Free Thinker says:

    This is one of the reasons why progress is so slow on this Island. Too may old conservative people who hate change, calling the shots for the next generation.

  23. Onion Puke says:

    Did they budget for the big sign keep tourists and non-Koolaid drinkers out?

  24. Mark says:


    bet the taxpayers paid for the coffee and snacks you inevitably had during your staged presentation. Surprised the Major General Cornel stayed awake.

  25. Yummy says:

    Looking at these folks pictured, I just cant fathom any of them as beach goer’s! This beach desperately needs a make over, which would go a long way to creating a new life there…

  26. Karen says:

    Well Laverne has put it forward so don’t dare let government turn it down, the whole island will shut down. Have a nice day!!!!

  27. PBanks says:

    The traffic modification may be the most difficult part of this. Not much room to do much more than a basic lay-by.

  28. Y-Gurl says:

    At the very least we should have had transparency on this friends and family deal, nothing changes

  29. PANGAEA says:


    Why is every body involved with other domestic fancy projects which can wait, we have managed so far with out.

    Where are and what are the national priorities.

    You can learn alot from birds, who build the nest first.

    The number one prority is the national debt, money is leaving this island by the truck load.

    But first we need to improve our social well being , you know what I mean ! Make nice !

    Who wants to come the to an island in turmoil.

    We have to make money with money it is called currency exchage.

    We all live off the skin of the rice pudding ,the Bermuda income of cash is a revolving door it comes in and goes out all in the same day.

    Bermuda the country does not have a living wage much less trying to help others.


    In order for Bermuda to pay our national debt we need foreign exchange and lots of it, our creditors don’t want our cash.

    The Bermuda Government Monatary Authoity controls the cash flow and revenue.

    Why can’t we sell our visitors a Bermuda Dollars Credit cards or straight up CASH at the arivals air port to pay ALL their bills during their stay.

    Go any where else you have to convert to their currency.

  30. PANGAEA says:

    The people who want to run this island need to stop holding this counrty to ranson.

  31. Peggy Burns says:

    I don’t care what you all think I will support my people regardless of your silly facts and numbers. We Bermudians want what is best for our Bermuda not yours

    • Mark says:

      Go for it Peggy. With these lot we’ll be eating from a tin can and making shoes from used tires soon enough. And we all know “your Bermuda” does not include all Bermudians.

    • Hey says:

      Selfish Peggy Burns, always me myself and I

  32. PANGAEA says:

    How do plan to achieve that ?