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BEQUIA BATTLE

BEQUIA  BATTLE

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The Mitchell and Gonsalves’ rivalry has resurfaced, this time Pat Mitchell ex-wife of former Prime Minister Sir James is at the forefront.

On Monday, July 31, Mitchell accompanied eight members of the People’s Action Alliance (PAA) of Bequia, at a meeting with Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves and other government representatives to discuss the sale of Crown Lands on the Grenadine island.{{more}} The sale is part of the government’s effort to raise revenue for the purchase of property on mainland St. Vincent for the construction of the international airport at Argyle.

At times the meeting was heated but all parties remained respectful of each other.

Dr. Gonsalves addressing issues at the table pertaining to the international airport was told by Mitchell, “Could we just make it clear that we are not discussing the airport, we are concerned about the lands in Bequia”.

The Prime Minister shrewdly responded: “I have to discuss the airport, because as a Christian if you come to me to discuss heaven I have to discuss what is connected to it… hell.”

Dr. Gonsalves made it clear that his government is interested in seeing Bequia develop as a model community.

He used the opportunity to express a concern that he has had for a while now.

“You know one of the interesting things, I have never heard many voices in Bequia in all the years, …there is a quarry which I believe is unauthorized up there and nobody talks about it because to talk about it is to step on the toes of friends. I am saying that when we are being honest in our discussions about lands let us lay it out all on the table,” said Dr. Gonsalves.

One of the key decisions taken at the meeting related to Dr. Gonsalves informing the delegation that he will have Herman Belmar, the Ministry of Grenadines Affairs and the Ministry of Planning work with the People’s Action Alliance to collaborate further on the developmental plans for Bequia.

Currently on Bequia are 69 lots of lands with structures on several, for which no payments were made by the allottees.

“I want to have them regularised. I have all the deeds here. A set of them from Gellizeau, Paget Farm, Camel, …I want the persons who have gotten these lands to come and pay for the lands. I want them to get title. I want to help them further with any additional infrastructure,” said Dr. Gonsalves.

He said he will be going to the Alba Caribe Fund to get between US $2-3 million to help with further low-income housing, including low-income housing at Bequia.

Before the meeting ended Dr. Gonsalves explained to the committee which lands will be sold and gave specific details pertaining to the sale and size of plots.

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