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Donald de Castro asks UK to stop pier project

- Says tender process was disrespectful; project will be a burden on generations to come
Donald E. de Castro described the tender process for the Tortola pier project as disrespectful. Photo:supplied
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Public activist Donald E. de Castro has dispatched a letter to the House of Commons calling the Tortola Pier Park Development project tender ‘a scam and sham as it did not give time for anyone to submit an alternative proposal to one that was already approved.’

de Castro claims that all the tender did was to allow the original group to bid on something that was more or less awarded to them already. He added, even though Government did say they received three tenders for the project, one of which included the original group; the behaviour exhibited by “our political leaders” was one of complete “disrespect” towards the people of the Virgin Islands (VI).

Integral to his appeal, was de Castro’s claim that the end result for VIslanders will be a “financial obligation to be paid for by our children that are now in primary school”.

The letter, which was also copied to Governor William B. McCleary noted that the project should have been laid out in a manner that would have allowed ample time and opportunity for interested persons to submit alternative proposals.

According to de Castro, the letter which was addressed to Minister for Overseas Territories, Mark Simmonds MP, was on behalf of many Virgin Islanders and other residents that are still opposed to this project.

Claiming that “the majority of people are against it”, he described it as unfortunate that very few people will speak out for fear of victimisation by Government.

He further called on the UK Government to “take the necessary action” to stop the project as a result of the potential ‘adverse effect’ that it will have on the future of the Territory and generations to come. “…your Office and the UK Government have a legal and moral obligation to protect the people of this Territory from this disastrous situation,” de Castro noted as he encouraged the UK to take a serious look into what he called a “fiasco”.

The concerned citizen felt that the UK government should intervene to stop the project while Virgin Islanders still have a major say in how their country is managed.

He noted the UK Government’s intervention into the affairs of the Turks and Caicos Islands “when they were behaving [irresponsibly]” several years ago and said their intervention in the VI is now the only hope of saving VIslanders from their government.

de Castro also stated that the Port Development is a forty eight year lease to foreign investors and added, “if we are not able to buy back our own property on or before the expiration of the lease, the developers will have full and complete ownership of our land”.

“This is a portion of land the UK Government had to buy back from Bates Hill more than fifty years ago. So why should we have to buy it back a second time?” he asked.

When contacted, Mr de Castro said the total objective of his missive was to have the UK stop the project.

22 Responses to “Donald de Castro asks UK to stop pier project ”

  • ooooo (03/01/2013, 09:40) Like (15) Dislike (10) Reply
    keep the heat on them decastro...good job!
  • Movements (03/01/2013, 09:44) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Well mey boy
  • wet well (03/01/2013, 09:54) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    • facts man (03/01/2013, 11:55) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      It shows how the NDP government can be aggressive to the point of bordering on offensive when they want to pursue a matter.
  • mother hen (03/01/2013, 09:59) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    i agree with you decastro it doesn't add up!!!
  • Tola Girl (03/01/2013, 10:49) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    good points donald but i still thing you need
  • love boat (03/01/2013, 12:00) Like (0) Dislike (3) Reply
    This one should be stored in the comic Book achieves. STEEEEUUPPSSSS.
  • Shara Parlin (03/01/2013, 21:02) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    That is the legacy of the NDP
  • bigger picture (04/01/2013, 00:18) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    here is one citizen not afraid to speak out. We need more like him to help frame the debate on some of these projects that don't make sense and will change the character of BVI forever. Thank goodness he has the courage of his convictions.
    Tender and public meetings are just formalities to both parties. Neither listen to concerns, solutions, even compromises. But very few like what is being proposed for Pier Park and how it was handled and who got the job. No one of substance can put a plan together in 2-3 weeks. Not all social and environmental impact surveys were done and there wasn't enough study at how to ingegrate the dock with main street for a historical district. This company has not been successful in Jamaica and the cruiseship-dominated economy bypassing the local vendors. Why would we want to have it happen here?? Of course the disembarking area needs to be cleaned up but not for a fake homogenous generic shopping mall which could be anywhere- full of international generic shops- for tourists who don't go any farther than the dock. this will not help the overall economy, but chanel it back to the developers' pockets. And who locally gets a cut of the action?
  • WIMEN (04/01/2013, 10:10) Like (0) Dislike (3) Reply
    Oh go home..........and STAY home! You day is DONE DECASTRO
  • open wide (04/01/2013, 23:26) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    the NDP is going end up right in the month of the UK watch
  • ... (06/01/2013, 20:58) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    i support your letter Donald them out of order

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