Browne vows to strip Barbuda Council of sand-mining and subleasing powers

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Prime Minister Gaston Browne has put the Barbuda Council on notice that he will be going to Parliament next week to strip it of at least two of its responsibilities.

Browne told local radio that his government will be making amendments to the Barbuda Local Government Act in order to take away the Council’s authority to mine sand and sublease land. 

“We will be going to Parliament in about two weeks and we’re going to change the law and give that authority to central government. I believe, too, they have the authority for subleases. We’re going to change it and give it to the central government,” Browne said.

A little more than a year ago, the Barbuda People’s Movement (BPM) regained majority control of the Council and since then it has butted heads with the Antigua Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) government over the economic and social direction the sister isle should take.

The recent challenge to the PM’s development plan was the Council’s request for a stop order to halt the Peace, Love and Happiness (PLH) Ocean Club project.

The twin island’s budget statement for 2020 earmarked $325 million to be spent on the PLH Ocean Club on Barbuda, and Browne is none too pleased with the latest efforts by the Council to halt the project.

“If everything that we do, they seek to create these obstacles, are we to sit back and allow them to be obstructive or do we push forward to ensure the continued advancement of Barbuda for the benefit of the Barbuda people primarily, and for all Antiguans and Barbudans?” Browne queried.

He vowed to continue to monitor the Council’s actions regarding further attempts to circumvent the wishes of the central government – and possibly effect more legal changes if necessary.

“It means that, from time to time, when [the Council] creates these legal impediments, we’ll have to make legislative changes to ensure that we advance the island,” he stated.

This year alone, PLH stated that it has sold 24 one-acre plots for development, each costing US$6 million per plot yielding a total of US$144 million.

“These people are taking some level [of] risk, of course. Even to build on Barbuda is a risk because Barbuda is a low-lying island,” Prime Minister Browne said of developers. 

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  1. Wow! Really!?
    Mr. Prime Minister, Mr. Prime Minister, remember the word : history. In my view, it will not be kind to you or yours if you continue in this manner.
    Aren’t you hearing how others before you are being scorned!?
    Will you listen to wisdom and not finance?

  2. Gaston Browne, you are known to have called Antiguans and Barbudans all sort of names for vocalizing their disagreement, while you acclaim to be well educated so you should know that like Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis and Anguilla gained statehood in association during 1967 and that by 1980, thirteen years later became a dependent of Briton, and today flourishes.

  3. Gaston Browne, you need to understand that by voting majority only, ABLP constitutionally was given the mandator to govern the nation in their interest not yours. You have given unlimited franchise to YIDA, PLH, Global Ports, Paradise Found and several others presumably because ABLP is on the take so much so that limitless times you have intervene to pull some back whenever they extend their leach but disenfranchise national whether Antiguans or Barbudans because we have rejected your leadership. It is wrong since it is our inalienable right to refuse or disagree, but don’t you forget nothing last forever and one day you will fine yourself on the sh*ty end of the stick.

  4. I’m appalled at the disrespect that Gaston Brown shows towards my brothers and sisters of Barbuda. Were were you and your followers when our mother’s and father’s and all Barbudans were burning coal and hunting in the woods to feed their families. We are the peaceful self respectable little island before you and your cronies try to take over.
    Please give account for all the monies that was donated to the people of Barbuda and stop digging and exporting our precious pink sand. Barbuda is sixty two square miles and flat as a penny. If you all continues to dig and cart away the little sand that keeps the island protcted then Barbuda and the inhabitants will be washed away. If that ever happens I pray to God that we don’t ever end up in Antigua but some other island that will show love and appreciation. Gaston Brown you should be ashamed of yourself. Stop turning Barbudans against each other. I have previous memories of growing up on that one of a kind paradise island.
    Please leave us alone!!!

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