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‘We desperately need equipment’-PWD Director Skelton

- Inmates from Her Majesty’s Prison to work at Public Works Department assisting in bush cutting & debris removal
Director of the Public Works Department (PWD) Jeffrey M. Skelton, right, told the elected Members during the House of Assembly’s Standing Finance Committee (SFC) on the 2017 Budget that he desperately needed equipment. Photo: VINO/File
Ninth District Representative Dr The Honourable Hubert O’Neal (inset) told the SFC ‘there was a serious deficiency in equipment for the men to work with on Virgin Gorda.’ Photo: VINO/File
Ninth District Representative Dr The Honourable Hubert O’Neal (inset) told the SFC ‘there was a serious deficiency in equipment for the men to work with on Virgin Gorda.’ Photo: VINO/File
Director of the Public Works Department (PWD) Jeffrey M. Skelton told the Standing Finance Committee that both concrete companies in the VI have been overloading the concrete trucks and climbing steep hills, often resulting in debris falling on to the roads. Photo: Internet Source
Director of the Public Works Department (PWD) Jeffrey M. Skelton told the Standing Finance Committee that both concrete companies in the VI have been overloading the concrete trucks and climbing steep hills, often resulting in debris falling on to the roads. Photo: Internet Source
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Yet another government Department is in trouble and cannot carry out its mandate due to financial hardship, while Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) continues to claim that “the economy is robust.”

While testifying before the House of Assembly’s Standing Finance Committee (SFC) on the 2017 Budget, Director of the Public Works Department (PWD) Jeffrey M. Skelton told the elected Members that he desperately needed equipment.  

Sister Islands ignored, no staff, no tools

This was also confirmed, especially for the sister islands, by Ninth District Representative Dr The Honourable Hubert O’Neal who told the SFC “there was a serious deficiency in equipment for the men to work with on Virgin Gorda.”

Further, the Director told the SFC that he had placed in the 2017 Budget requests for 4 backhoes; 1 for Anegada, Jost van Dyke, Virgin Gorda and Tortola.

Dr O’Neal spoke to the suffering of the PWD on the sister islands and stated that there was also “need for trucks, transport vehicles, picks and shovels, ordinary things that they use on a daily basis to fix roads.”

In addition, Hon O’Neal- the first term Ninth District Representative- asked if Virgin Gorda was at their full complement of staff. To this, Mr Skelton responded in the negative.

Prison labour?

The Junior Minister for Tourism and At Large Member Honourable Archibald C. Christian made an appeal to the PWD Director for his department personnel to “remove all equipment and debris from the roads after repairs are completed.”

Mr Skelton, while before the Committee, stated that he was in “discussions” with the Superintendent of Prisons who had “agreed to loan the PWD five prison inmates to work with him in the first instance on a three week trial.”

The PWD Director further said thereafter, he would be loaned an “additional five inmates, and if this happened the Department would be able to do a lot more with the resource.”

Concrete trucks making a mess

In another related matter, the Director stated that the concrete companies also contribute to the debris on the road.

He told the Committee, both companies have been overloading the concrete trucks and climbing steep hills. “Once they carry more than eight yards and start to climb the hill the concrete would spill.”  Mr Skelton said he has written to both companies on the matter.

Hon Christian asked the Director if when he wrote the concrete companies he suggested imposing fines. To this, Mr Skelton stated there were fines relative to excavators travelling on the public roads; however, he did not think there was legislation that empowered him to enforce fines on the concrete companies.

To this, the former Leader of the Opposition Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3) stated in the SFC that legislation had been enacted a few years ago to implement the Road Warden Act. He noted that they might want to look at that and bring back the Road Warden Programme which would give Mr Skelton some control over these types of matters, according to Hon Fraser.

24 Responses to “‘We desperately need equipment’-PWD Director Skelton”

  • too dangerous (08/03/2017, 12:22) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    white head need to clean up that excess concrete going up elevator hill
  • right (08/03/2017, 12:23) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    The 9th district representative is right on this concerning VG and Anegada, and when the new equipments are ordered,sure bet the old ones will send we know where>
    • @right (09/03/2017, 09:39) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      So true, because it look like only SECOND HAND thing is for VG and Anegada. Two islands that have a lot more to offer visitors in terms top of the line resorts and first class hospitality, not the concrete jungle that is you know where..
  • culprits (08/03/2017, 12:27) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    WSD and PWD are both famous for leaving debris on the road side after tackling the various jobs
  • one eye (08/03/2017, 12:32) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
    there are three concrete companies on Tola Jeffrey is always out of touch
  • John (08/03/2017, 12:35) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    I hope it is those prisoners who are up there for child suppory, so they can feed their children.
  • qc (08/03/2017, 12:35) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply
    Total abolition of debris from all roads are not feasible and probably never was.
  • YOLO (08/03/2017, 12:42) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    The nightmare of this gang is about to end...not long!
  • Deloros (08/03/2017, 12:45) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
    No wonder Orlando's lies don't shock as much as they should; we've been hearing whoppers from him for years about a robust economy.. Thank god for Hon Christopher
  • Deloros (08/03/2017, 12:45) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    No wonder Orlando's lies don't shock as much as they should; we've been hearing whoppers from him for years about a robust economy.. Thank god for Hon Christopher
  • Abuse or No Abuse? (08/03/2017, 13:27) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Will the prisoners be paid?
    • TOTAL (08/03/2017, 22:32) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      The current ones are not. They finish building the first floor of the new building wonderful job, helped with another office and still not paid.

      One even was taking to court upon release, for child support for the same monies owed to him. To this date these guys working for the last 2 to 3 years and no pat just labor. What message are we sending?

      It needs to stop. They are trying to change and the system is not helping them.
  • wize up (08/03/2017, 13:49) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
    Let me say this without any prejudice: this administration don't give a dam about the residents or the citizens of this territory....the main focus is to impress the "visitor"
  • street reporter. (08/03/2017, 13:52) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
    How any backhoes public works presesetly has? I'm thinking send one to VG. When needed. For 2 or 3 days, The same for Anegada and JVD. Things Tuff we have to flex wisely and manage resources effectively..
  • lil man (08/03/2017, 15:18) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    What about the trucks carrying gravel and other debris why not penalize them for not using a tarp over their load
  • ............ (08/03/2017, 15:57) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    PWD and WSD are two of the sloppiest, unprofessional departments I've ever seen in my life.
    • sha (09/03/2017, 09:12) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
      That is soo true them need to get rid of the so call HR manager and the big head one at PWD and he would get all the Machine he needs for the department as a director waste of time.
  • bomma (08/03/2017, 19:37) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    this man Jeffrey for get he buy some old china machine that don't work we don't need him to get machine for our country
    • wize up (08/03/2017, 22:03) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      @ Bonnard: Jeff is also a Chinese Ambassador here in BVI....communication & health are affiliates of the one china policy (done deal)
  • psss (08/03/2017, 20:52) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
    He always crying for help and he have money
  • SMH (09/03/2017, 08:43) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    no more chinese equipment please
  • Dr. Smith (09/03/2017, 09:05) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Surprise surprise!!
  • WTF (09/03/2017, 16:53) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    If you all did not waste money on those Chinese equipments, and had spent the money on quality equipment, you won't be needing equipment now.


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