By Orville Williams
It appears that the frosty relationship between the Barbuda Council and the Peace, Love and Happiness (PLH) project could be on the mend, following a recent meeting between the two parties that has been described by the council as amicable.
Over the past few years, news coming out of the sister isle has been largely dominated by the two groups, with the council opposing what it perceives as several environmental breaches in areas where PLH operates.
Those claims have resulted in an almost constant back-and-forth which has divided opinions in the country, but the two took a step in the right direction with reports of a positive meeting last week.
Speaking on Observer AM yesterday, Barbuda Council Secretary Paul Nedd explained that the meeting had been long overdue. He also talked up the engagement with a member of the PLH top brass as being rather positive.
“As the Barbuda Council, we have been trying to engage with the Peace, Love and Happiness (PLH) [and the] Barbuda Ocean Club (BOC) for many months, maybe years. Finally, we have been able to make contact … to meet and have a discussion on some pertinent matters that are of concern to the Barbuda Council and the people of Barbuda.
“The president of operations at PLH was able to join us; he sat with us and we had a very amicable discussion. He sat throughout the discussion and he took questions from the council quite politely,” Nedd explained.
The president, Nedd added, will bring the details of that discussion to his colleagues at PLH, before deciding how they move forward.
Now, moving forward could mean more than just pleasant future interactions, as the discussion also included the possibility of PLH purchasing some raw material – presumably toward their construction efforts – from the Barbuda Council.
“We had discussions on many different [topics]…some raw material – aggregate – and I think, for PLH, they were more [heading] down that route, as to how they could buy some raw material from us.
“It’s not like we don’t have it, the Barbuda local government and the people of Barbuda do have access to raw material, in the form of marl. It’s just a matter for us to do our costing and then realising [whether] the Barbuda Council is prepared to allow PLH or any subsidiary to begin the process of marl mining, to be used on Barbuda,” Nedd explained further.
The council secretary noted that their final decision to engage with PLH in the sale of the marl, will depend on some outstanding issues that need to be “ironed out”.
“Where the council is concerned, it is important that we arrive at a conclusion that is in the best interest of the people of Barbuda,” he said.
Nedd also confirmed that the discussion with PLH included environmental issues, but he insisted that these had only been touched on briefly, as some of the matters remain before the court.