- The following statement was issued this morning, Saturday, February 16, 2019 by the Ministry of Home Affairs
The Minister of Home Affairs acknowledges the comments made by the St. George’s Mayor regarding Municipality Reform.
Following productive meetings with the St George’s Mayor and Councillors, the Minister wishes to underscore sentiments expressed during that meeting which confirm that the Ministry is seeking feedback from the respective councils on the proposed options for reform.
The Ministry also wishes to remind the public that we are still engaged in public consultation and that no final decision has been made regarding the options presented:
1. Change both corporations to Quangos, leaving each organisation intact as a corporate body but increasing the Government’s oversight over key initiatives.
2. Dissolving the corporations, repealing the Municipalities Act and integrating the corporations’ various functions into the Government’s administrative structure.
Both Hamilton and St. George’s must be rejuvenated into becoming vibrant entities in order to attract more visitors and greater investment opportunities for our island and its people. At present, both entities have crumbling infrastructure and empty buildings that do not reflect a thriving city and town that is attractive to both visitors and investors.
The Government’s vision for St. George’s is consistent with the Mayor’s wishes and includes:
I a mega-yacht port and marina with enhanced infrastructure, amenities and activities.
ii. A sustainable management plan for the world heritage site with the appropriate legislation and funding that will give the municipality the ability to effectively implement any recommendations that are identified;
iii. A sustainable year-round (non-seasonal) industry;
iv. Infrastructure and amenities to address the needs of the community including its businesses, for example the St. Regis development and any future developments large or small
v. General necessary infrastructure upgrades
It is the Government’s commitment to provide the town of St George with the resources to effectively promote and develop all that makes them and their over 400 years of history, culture and people unique and special to all Bermuda.
The goal of this reform is for the betterment of Bermuda and, as such, it is important that both the Hamilton and St George’s municipalities work together to execute a unified vision of empowerment.