Post Cabinet Briefing for February 05, 2018

Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 09, 2018 (SKNIS): The formal meeting of the Cabinet took place on Monday, February 05, 2018. The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris. Here are the salient matters that were discussed at that meeting:

The South Friars Bay Matter from Meeting of February 04, 2018

Cabinet was updated on the outcome of a meeting by a subset of the Cabinet with the representatives of the seller and buyer of the South Friars lands involving local bar operators. Cabinet was advised that the meeting was a constructive one and all parties agreed to work collectively to a resolution.

Cabinet noted that the government had no lands at the Peninsula. The lands belonged to private parties. The operators had signed up to lease contracts that obliged them to give up possession of the demised properties with one month prior notice. It was that provision which the legal representatives of the seller, Gonsalves Parry had used to serve notice on the bar operators. Cabinet recalls that operators know of their lease commitments and are disposed to honour them except that they wished for additional time to vacate the leases. The chair reported that Attorney Gonsalves QC presented some encouraging views on how the seller may be willing to assist, however the buyer wanted the deal closed with vacant possession within the stipulated time.

Cabinet regretted that when around 2006 the Douglas Administration acquired private lands on the Peninsula it then vested the said private lands into foreign private interests to the disadvantaged locals including Dr. Wycliffe Baird. Cabinet noted that the Frigate Bay Development Corporation was advised to identify any vacant lots under its control and ownership that can be used to assist any of the operators who will need to be relocated.

The Cabinet delegation was led by Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris—Prime Minister; Hon. Lindsay Grant—Minister of Tourism; Hon. Ian Liburd—Minister of Public Infrastructure; Hon. Vincent Byron Jr—Attorney General and Mrs. Josephine Huggins—Cabinet Secretary.

The seller’s delegation comprised Messrs. Anthony Gonsalves Q.C. and Jack Connor.

The buyer’s delegation comprised Messrs. Charles Wilkin Q.C. and William Anderson.

Access to Sandy Bank Bay

Cabinet learnt that the Honourable Prime Minister engaged Buddy Darby at Christophe Harbour Development regarding the public concerns over the impediment to access to the Sandy Bank Beach. Such impediments continued throughout the life of the Douglas Administration.

Cabinet was pleased to learn that Buddy Darby agreed to remove the bollards that impeded access on Monday. Cabinet expressed that such a move was consistent with the wish of the public that customary access to the beach ought not to be appropriated or hindered by private individuals.

Cabinet look forward to private developers being respectful of and compliant with the laws of the Country as they relate to public access to our beaches.

Cabinet will continue to monitor this matter.

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