OBA: ‘Sad That A Few Managed To Stop Plan’

August 10, 2018

A BTA proposal to “allow local vendors to use Shelly Bay would have supported small, black businesses and it is sad that it appears a few PLP supporters, disgruntled at the idea, managed to stop this plan in its tracks,” Senator Justin Mathias said, adding that “the amount spent on the event organized by the Authority last night is, essentially, a waste of taxpayer’s money.”

Last night the BTA hosted a vendor demonstration at Shelly Bay, which saw the various potential vendors showcase their offerings to attendees. The concept to add concessions at the Hamilton parish beach attracted some controversy, and the group opposed to the plan met with two Ministers, who plan to make recommendations to Cabinet.

Following comments made about the cost of the event, Bernews asked for clarification, and BTA Director of Strategy & Corporate Communications Glenn Jones said, “Based on the 445 adults who visited our check-in and feedback area, we expect the final cost of last night’s event to come in at $13,500.

“It was clearly a worthwhile investment in support of small Bermudian businesses who would have difficulty putting on an event of this scope on their own. We commend the entrepreneurs who stepped up magnificently last night, especially since the crowds were far larger than expected.”

Senator Mathias speaking with Bernews during our live stream last night:

Senator Mathias said, “A Bermuda Tourism Authority proposal to allow local vendors to use Shelly Bay would have supported small, black businesses and it is sad that it appears a few PLP supporters, disgruntled at the idea, managed to stop this plan in its tracks.

“Through increasing the loan facilities of the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation, Government is allowing small businesses to get access to more money but given the about-turn at Shelly Bay, they must make it clear how they are actually going to help entrepreneurs take advantage of opportunities when they arise.

“The BTA is fully funded from Government coffers and up until yesterday the Minister of Tourism was supporting the BTA, so the amount spent on the event organized by the Authority last night is, essentially, a waste of taxpayer’s money.

“Today we were told that Government revenues for the first quarter of this financial year were up, but if Government continues to waste money like this, that situation will be quickly reversed.”

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Comments (63)

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  1. BTA is a brilliant stratagized off shoot of OBA, so now you have an interest in small Black businesses, yet while during ya 4 years of terror you didnt give a F!@# about them.

    • Double S says:

      Of course you would want to scrap a successful organization and go back to the failed department of tourism of the past. Your love of the PLP has and always wi outstrip your love of Bermuda. Idiot.

      • frank says:

        the BTA is spending far to much money and is way over staffed

        • The CEO makes $1000 a day for srarters and get a $40,000 bonusfor non-performance.
          What a F!@#ing joke.
          Well it aint funny.

        • Question says:

          If you’re concerned about overstaffing when are we going to downsize the civil service, with their 70 sick days a year?

        • redrose says:

          It is funded by Government – you know that?

    • Yeah yea says:

      Perfectly worded, could not have said it any better….this guy Mathias is a joke

  2. Imjustsaying says:

    This is a good example of how the OBA are so out of touch with the people. Mr.Mathias those few were supported by the many and it was those few who were the voice for the many. Something that you and your party fail at. And not being in touch with the people is the reason why your party lost the election. So please wake up and smell the Roses.

    • Double S says:

      Where is your proof of being supported by the many? If the OBA did this you would jump up and down whilst screaming racism and the like for blocking small black businesses from such opportunities. Rank hypocrites you lot are.

      • Imjustsaying says:

        Oh come on you know exactly who the many are. The people who live in the area. Come on now stop playing games and wake up.

    • Redrose says:

      The many being how many exactly? At least the oba is supporting small black owned business – unlike the plp

      • Imjustsaying says:

        Oh really in what fantasy world?

        • Redrose says:

          The oba did not impose new taxes that negatively affect small businesses such as the tax on dividends and the insurance tax plus the increase in standard hospital benefit!

    • Frank says:

      The cruise boats come in at dock yard there is a beach in Somerset called long Bay it to has a park maybe the bta can put some vendors up there and ease up horseshoe bay

    • Frank says:

      Maybe the bta can put vendors at long Bay in somerset

      • Triangle Drifter says:

        Stop by Long Bay any summer day when the wind is from the south & take a deep sniff. Ever wonder why so few use that beach ?

    • RealityCheck says:

      I generally support the OBA , but I agree with you 100% that Senator Mathias is out of touch with the majority on that issue .

  3. Paul says:

    The P.L.P will cave in and flip flop everytime a few of their die hard members object to something….and they are our leaders !!!!! GOD HELP US.

  4. Çharlly X says:

    Smh so we should allow a tourist trap at the beach. Flood more vendors who just might make a return on investment . While the cruise ship industry scalps the most off the site . We all know you get less bang for Yuh buck with portable restaurants . Smh oba playing with people’s emotions throwing in the race card . Which really has nothing to do with this , because it seems as if it’s Who You Know sometimes . Both parties have friends n family so what’s the point in pointing fingers.

  5. T says:

    Shelly Bay Beach is the family beach within the public park area. Guests should be afforded working toilet facilities and designated easy access/facilities for those requiring ramps

    • Redrose says:

      As well as the right to be able to have more things on offer to do!

      • C.Griffin says:

        The right to have more things on offer to do….really?

        • Question says:

          Nah. Leave it the way it is, the way you ladies like it.

  6. Cicada says:

    It was the right choice. Shelly Bay is too small for a Tobacco Bay overhaul.

    • Hey says:

      No, Tobacco bay is smaller than Shelly Bay. The set up at Shelly Bay would not have interfered with the beach, Would have been great for parents to be able to get some food, snacks and drinks for kids whilst visit the playground or beach. Would have been great for tourists and locals alike, I use Shelly Bay and am hugely disappointed in the PLP looking after LaVerne Furbert and her cabal to the detriment of the rest of us.

      This will be a point that works against the PLP. Self serving, selfish and friends and family at work again.

      • C.Griffin says:

        You will be able to buy refreshments for your children at a concession close to the parking lot.Since the field is also well used, this concession will serve both the beach and field patrons. You will also have renovated toilet facilities in case your children may need such. If you have a disabled or elderly relative who has not been able to get to the sea, full access is coming soon. None of these were included in The BTA Beach Vision.

        • sage says:

          Has anyone considered the need for life guards, who have experience/training to deal with ‘disabled’ people in the water that need special attention and consideration, need to be present?

    • redrose says:

      Have you looked at the plans? Have you compared that to Tobacco Bay? Have you looked at either beach recently?

  7. cantbelieveit says:

    How did LaVerne Furbert get such a platform to speak on this subject? She just protested because she wanted to support the PLP and be against the BTA. The gov immediately agreed with her and blocked the project. Yet Colonel Burch gets thousands of people saying they don’t want an ATV on the railway and he doesn’t even listen to them. Sounds fishy to me.

    • Hey says:

      That’s because Col. Burch doesn’t like to be told what to do, or dictated to.

    • Obvious says:

      Can’t you see we basically live under a PLP dictatorship disguised as a democracy. The only people that get a say with the PLP are their die hard supporters. Anyone elses opinion on any subject matter can F off in their eyes

  8. Need Peace says:

    The few fighting for the many who signed the petition, which is well over 1,000. The BTA should not have ventured into the waters (pun intended) unsure of its depth. Clearly the BTA do not have a clue and should put our money into making the cruise ship passengers happy to ensure that they return by air instead of having them stranded at bus stops.

    • Stephanie says:

      Nah the event proved the initiative could be a great initiative. BTA caved on too soon.

      Was wonderful gathering. SIDS Smoking Barrel and the healthy option were fantastic. The lemonades people were disorganized trying to custom serve one DRI kat a time. With could be bothered to wait.

      Wish there was an alternative for beverages.

      • Clarity says:

        It just proved that people want free food paid for by the BTA :P

  9. mixitup says:

    WOW!!! So when Belcario Thomas proposed a set up at Warwick long bay, the “few” area residents protested, with the support of BEST and others to quash these plans, the then Government was accused of ignoring the peoples wishes NOT to have a vendor at that beach, now that the Gov’t listened to the people they are accused of getting in the way of progress? These are the reasons why that OBA Party will never see the light of Gov’t Offices again, not to mention their hypocritical supporters. (I’m tempted to use another word to describe them but Bernews won’t post this)

    • Hey says:

      Tha5 was on the beach, the Shelly Bay proposal was not on the beach. Apples and oranges.

  10. Redrose says:

    Stranded at bus stops? Get the government to pull its finger out then – they run the buses not the bta

  11. Rocky5 says:

    Just put the big sign at the Airport “FOREIGNERS NOT WELCOMED”

    • mixitup says:

      Maybe that sign should have went up at Windsor Beach in Tuckers Town, Or Mid Ocean Beach, or Pink Beach, or Both Fairmont’s Beaches or Elbow or the other numerous beaches syphoned off from local access … Let the people of Hamilton Parish have their Beach as they want it, is that too much to give them?

      • Toodle-oo says:

        You have full access to all of those beaches you mentioned by water between high tide and low tide marks .
        Would you want everyone traipsing through your private property that you legally paid for ? I doubt it .
        Now you’re going to get into a false argument that the property was ‘stolen’ .

        • Clarity says:

          A cruise ship is demanding is own beach. Stay tuned

          • Toodle-oo says:

            Could get interesting as the beach in question is public.

          • PBanks says:

            Seriously? Good lord I hope that gets squashed in a hurry.

        • PBanks says:

          It’s possible but unlikely that a Govt could legislate having a public right of way to all beaches at some point in the future. However, besides complaints from residents, it would open up the major question of maintenance of those beaches. Do Parks Dept currently have responsibility to maintain say Grape Bay or Marley Beach or the former Police Beach?

  12. Rocky5 says:

    PLP supporters would NOT allow BTA to do ANYTHING at Somerset Long Bay either. Their plan is to get rid of Kevin Dallas. In their eyes he’s OBA all de way. And Kevin knows his days are numbered!!

    • mixitup says:

      And rightfully so, just like the “OBA’ Supporters did with Warwick Long Bay… Sounds a bit silly right?

  13. Helle P says:

    The OBA is very wrong to think that the protests against the commercialism of Shelly Bay beach involve party politics. I’ve luved in Bermuda for 53 years, and I know that Shelly Bay was always a family-and-friends beach. Our children paddled safely in its shallow waters, collected tiny seashells, and learned to snorkel among the corals on the sunken road. No one has ever needed to buy anything on the beach. The crowds on Thursday ate heartily because the BTA offered them free meals. No one will want to pay for food and deal with the consequent masses of trash littering the area. Stop trying to naje political hay and oreserve Shelly Bay beach as the treasure it is. Please.

    • question says:

      fine. leave it the way it is then, with the broken bottles and diapers.

      • Hey says:

        And chicken bones and waste in the grass from weekend BBQ and frys.

    • PBanks says:

      While I agree with how Shelly Bay has functioned, it also for several years did have a concession where one could purchase food… or not. Concessions shouldn’t have become the breaking point in the debate over what to do with the beach area. The demolishing of the building and the deal to build something new falling through led us to this point.

      With the concessions beach-side falling through, it remains to be seen what will be done with the area. Looks like the hope is for a restroom facility and something to enable better access for the disabled from roadside to beach. Maybe get another tree or two planted, if we’re lucky?

  14. MM says:

    Our young people need this opportunity, give it to them. Those vendors at Shelly Bay are already established, if need be combine the two.

    • C.Griffin says:

      There will be a local vendor at Shelly Bay on the parking lot area that will cater to both the beach and field patrons…tourists and locals. There will be renovated toilets at Shelly Bay that will include toilets, foot showers and a handicapped stall for tourists and locals. There will be access to the beach and sea for the disabled tourist and local at Shelly Bay Beach. Thank Laverne Furbert and company for all of these because non was included in The BTA Beach Vision Plan.

      • Question says:

        That’s a lot of taxpayer money you’re spending on yourself there. How much exactly? I assume you have costed all of this.

  15. Rhonnda Oliver says:

    Dear Mr Mathias, I am afraid that in this instance you are out of touch with things.

    I am rarely in agreement with Ms Furbert, but in this matter she had my 100 per cent support.

    Perhaps it is simply from an emotional standpoint that I feel as I do about Shelly Bay but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong to want some beaches not to be overly commercialised. This doesn’t mean non-support of small businesses, black owned/run or otherwise, it just means that not everywhere needs all that can be offered. A beach can be enjoyed without rentals and food for sale, and I suspect that it’s not just locals who feel this way.

  16. Dready says:

    The PLP putting people out of business. They didn’t care about mr Bascome the farmer. It was only the backlash from the community which made Burch stop the eviction.

  17. Boring says:

    And the brilliance of burtcoin silent while the rabble squabbles with each other it will not end well in the long term they will run out of OBA excuses to blame

  18. MM says:

    The people want a little space for the average person, not concrete every patch of grass. Horseshoe Bay and Fort St.Catherine Beach are swamped with capitalism, the days of seeing a kiskadee, a rabbit, a rooster, are becoming more and more distant. We need nature for the repair of the worn senses.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      A rabbit ? ? There’s only one place I’ve ever seen wild rabbits around here and it isn’t on the mainland .
      And there’s more than enough roosters (and chickens ) already that are NOT a part of our ecosystem , so they can all go .

    • PBanks says:

      You lost me at kiskadees and roosters. There are more than enough all over the island. If you talked about skinks then you may have been on to something.

      I’m assuming you meant Tobacco and not Ft. St. Catherine beach? Do you live here?

  19. bermewjan says:

    No options left. Tw*ts on both sides of the House.

  20. Think about it says:

    If we are building a bridge for walkers across from Flatts to the railway trail towards Shelly Bay then shouldn’t we have a concession stand on the Shelly Bay end (we have options on the Flatts side)

    Make sense anyone?