CABINET NOTES: July 10, 2024

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Lionel-Max-Hurst

HURST REPORTS ON CABINET of Wednesday 10 July 2024

The Cabinet began its meeting with a prayer, delivered by a Minister of religion.

1. The Cabinet invited a three-person team of officials to discuss the future role of the Barbuda landing strip in Codrington, the new airport and runway in Barbuda, and the methodologies that have been put in place to realize the Privy Council’s decision concerning land in Barbuda. The female Senator from Barbuda, Honourable Knacyntar Nedd; Mr. Chad Alexander, a Town and Country Planner and Architect; and, the Deputy Head of the Development Control Authority, Senator Clement Antonio, comprised the three-person team.

i. When the new airport on the southern side of Barbuda receives its final approval to allow it to receive and dispatch flights, the old runway and terminal in Codrington will no longer be required. A plan to turn the acreage into a business hub with shops and restaurants and other kinds of commercial activities, is being planned; the Architect will present a formal plan to the Cabinet in due course.

ii. The Cabinet was assured that the new Barbuda Airport will receive the final approval within weeks that will allow it to receive flights, originating from outside of Antigua and from Antigua. The air terminal and other systems required have all been installed. The movement of Immigration and Customs Officials to permanent places in Barbuda is also being arranged. A full shift of officials will be required at the newest international airport in our Eastern Caribbean, in order to service the visitors who will begin arriving shortly.

iii. The Cabinet agreed that the village of Codrington will be deemed a single Block and that it will not be parcelised, such that those who reside there and would wish to continue to live as “tenants in common of the Crown” can continue to remain in that status. Those who wish to have a land certificate and to be registered in the Land Registry/Barbuda, shall receive those certificates attesting to ownership of the land on which their houses sit.

iv. The Cabinet agreed that a larger presence of the Central Government will be required on Barbuda when the new airport becomes operational. An additional firetruck, required to address the expanding needs of the new development planned for Louie Hill, has been ordered. A large administrative complex of Government offices will also be required to house Customs and Immigration, the Development Control Authority, the Department of the Environment, the Ministry of Barbuda Affairs, the Antigua and Barbuda Transport Authority, and other agencies that are part of the governance machinery. The incomplete Justice Complex, housing the Magistrates Court and the Police will be funded, in order to achieve completion.

2. The Cabinet invited the head of one of the Taxi Associations and an entrepreneur to acquaint Members with the driver-services which the new company is offering. Much unlike Uber and other driver-services provided by way of appointments and computer apps, the new operators will only employ licensed taxi drivers and licensed taxicabs to fulfil the requests for driver-services. A database of those drivers and cars has been compiled, and single females especially, who travel to Antigua and wish to achieve higher levels of security, will be the primary market which the new service intends to capture. The taxi-drivers will receive the full amount of the costed service; the company will exact a small surcharge which it will add to the pre-determined price. The firm is registered with the Intellectual Property Office as a limited liability company (L.L.C.). The Cabinet was given the assurance that the new service will not diminish the taxi-drivers’ incomes, but rather supplement the same.

3. The Cabinet welcomed two young students who were very high achievers on the Grade Six National Assessment. Elyze Henry of Pares Village was the highest overall performing student. Oskeya Toney of Yorks Village was the top public school Grade Six National Assessment student. The top 100 students are allowed to choose the Secondary School which they would prefer. The two students received each a gift from the Prime Minister and the Parliamentary Representative of St. John’s Rural North. They were encouraged to continue to study hard.

4. i. The Cabinet received a report from the Attorney General regarding the break-ins, the gun-point robberies, and other criminal behaviours that have harmed families, businesses and the social fabric. The Attorney General gave the Cabinet the assurance that the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda (RPFAB) is making arrests, detaining suspects, and intensely seeking to prevent the crimes before they are perpetrated. He applauded the Police for their vigilance and noted that he has asked the top brass to step up their physical presence, especially since Carnival 2024 is soon to get started.

ii. As is the custom, both the Antigua and Barbuda Defense Force (ABDF) and the RPFAB are collaborating to bring greater security and safety to the citizens, residents and visitors who will descend upon St. John’s during the weeks of Carnival. The Police encourage car owners, especially, not to leave any valuables on display in their parked vehicles since criminals will break their windows and otherwise destroy their property merely to get to the valuables.

5. The Minister of Education reported that the Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) Conference held at the UWI Five Islands Campus was a tremendous success. Research papers, lectures and interactive sessions proved to be extremely useful to those attending. Since the UWI-Five Islands intends to specialize in this subject, such a Conference may be an annual event to be decided upon by the University—not the government. The Cabinet was very pleased with the report of the Conference’s success.

6. The Parliament of Antigua and Barbuda is scheduled to hold a sitting on Thursday, July 18, 2024. 

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4 COMMENTS

  1. THERE WILL JE NO PARLIAMENT ON THE 18TH OF JULY.

    THIS IS A LIE.
    AGAIN DO NOT ACCEPT THIS LIE. THEY ALREADY KNOW THAT NO PARLIAMENT WILL BE HELD ON 18TH JULY 2024.

  2. What land grab? Can Barbudans own land and property in Antigua? Yes and they do. So isn’t this one country – Antigua and Barbuda? The previous situation clearly discriminates against born Antiguans and this CANNOT be right and just.

  3. The previous situation which they sought to remedy continue to subsist. Therefore the discrimination continues.
    Smoke and mirrors the over arching intent was to sell land in Barbuda since there are no more prime residential lands available in Antigua.

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