LoGB outlines national plan

| 02/07/2009

(CNS): Despite the challenges that he expects to face, the leader of government business has announced his intention to create a national development plan. McKeeva Bush said that various administrations had attempted to address the speed of the islands’ development over the last four decades but despite the production of some good sector plans there had been a notable absence of real national planning. He said that the country’s current plans were both outdated and a hindrance to inward investment.

Bush added that there were a number of major issues that were in dire need of addressing, such as a comprehensive sewerage system for George Town among many others, and he intended to produce a national plan that would guide the islands over the next twenty years.

“This plan will provide strategies, policies, programmes and it will include area plans and it will reflect the wishes and aspirations of the Caymanian public,” Bush said, adding that it would be a collaborative effort through his ministry and be headed by Kenneth Ebanks and Chief Officer Carson Ebanks.

In the first instance he announced that the planning law and regulations were in need of a serious review and that a review committee was being appointed. Bush explained that although planning is suppose to be reviewed every five years, the current review had been ongoing for the last nine years without any changes to the law.

“The current planning laws and regulations are based on planning and design principles from the 1900s and are out of date,” he said, noting that modern principles of urban design and planning were difficult to achieve in Cayman due to the existing laws. “It’s a headache, it’s a mess for this country,” Bush lamented. “While the department planning director gets the stick for it, the laws are really to blame.”

He explained some of the red tape problems, which he described as nonsense, and said as a practical person he was going to change it. Bush said real changes were required and those who used the laws on a regular basis would be involved in the review. He said he hoped to generate a new modern planning vision, which would be incorporated in the new national development plan.

The goal, the LoGB explained, was to immediately impact inward investment positively and promote new development under modern principles, as well as creating a new planning and zoning map. He said Burns Connolly would chair the committee and representatives from various relevant professions and areas would be involved.

“All of us know that over the years, once a government starts on this it could be the death knell of a government because the country always wants better planning but no one is willing to give an inch,” Bush warned. “But there are far too many things that are not right, that are inhibiting development and we are losing revenue on all sides. Some of the reasons why the country is suffering are because bureaucracy is so high and so tight and people just shy away. This administration has a mandate to change that.”

He also confirmed that his government supported the National Conservation Bill, albeit with some amendments, but he committed to ensuring thatsomeone with environmental expertise would be involved in the committee. Bush also announced that in future planning meetings would be held in a public forum.

Speaking about the plans for the port, he confirmed that while there was some opposition he felt Cayman needed cruise berthing facilities in George Town and his government would be examining how that could best be done. However, he said he wanted to see cargo facilities eventually move to the eastern end of the island where facilities for mega yachts and other marine commercial activities could be developed.

Bush also said that the George Town landfill was a priority and the Minister, Juliana O’Connor- Connolly was wrapping her hands around that problem.

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Comments (13)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Regarding Medium Mac’s ideasSubmitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 07/03/2009 – 16:05.

    Well said….Mac is a loose cannon….simple as that…
  2. Anonymous says:

    Then get off your butt and participate in the economy.  If you want a piece of the business, DO SOMETHING.  Waiting for the silver platter to arrive is a lazy man’s way.  Chirping about other people who are trying to get ahead makes you a crab in a bucket, not a useful contributing member of society.  Don’t try to slow me down as well please.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Regarding Medium Mac’s ideas for the event formally known as Pirates Week, as reported by the Caymanian Compass – "Although he said a final name had not been decided, he envisioned either Heritage Week or Cultural Week. Instead of a pirates landing, Mr. Bush said there could be something like a mock landing of turtling schooners, which he said used to be a big thing culturally."

    So let me get this straight. Rather than having a well-established publicity event associated with the fantasy-image of pirates as further made popular by the widely successful trilogy of Pirates of the Caribbean films by the Disney Corporation, the current LOGB thinks it would be a better idea to associate Caymanian culture with the historical hunting of sea turtles to the point of their endagerment as a species?

    Yes, there are pirates in Somalia (and other countries in Africa as well as areas in Southeast Asia). However, there are very few intelligent people out there who associate such modern day pirates with the actors clad in stereotypical costumes who adopt an equally ridiculous diction to entertain people on holiday. It would be like equating dressing up like the character of Robin Hood with supporting the principles of bank robbers and thieves.

    That being said, a certainty here is that celebrating the historical hunting of turtles will upset a great number of very vocal animal rights/environmentalist groups, amongst others. There are a huge number of documentaries detailing the modern hunting of endangered (or soon to be) marine animals.  Tell me again whyit’s a good idea to make this switch?

    Furthermore, one would think that by announcing a name change to Pirates Week shortly after elections, Medium Mac would have an actual solid plan right now, which has been vetted for viability, rather than throwing out random ideas when asked for more details in a press conference.

    Here’s a solution. Finish up the two new schools and send Mr. Bush there to learn a little bit about the basics of public relations and running a government before he shoots his mouth off again to create yet another disaster.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hope Kennth and Carson don’t forget to carve a part of the island out for the care and education of our children prior to Primary School!!! Don’t leave our little ones to the wolves (market forces) as has been done in the past!

    A concerned Caymanian parent.

  5. Just Overworked Overstress Me says:

    Caymanians are alrady only about 40% of the workforce. 

    So any new "INWARD INVESTMENT" will only man additional work permit holders and continuing to put strain on our Islands’ infrastructure.

    The Cayman Islands Government must stop with this buzzzzzzzzzzzz word leadership jargon.

    As the old timers would tell Mr. Bush – learn to live within your means to stop the ruination of the Cayman Islands for the Caymanians.

  6. Caymanians against crazy postings says:

    Dear Crowns nest lookout,

    You should do some research before you speak/blog.
    1. heritage Week was first suggested back in the early 1970s. Nothing new here.

    2. Our country only works from Inward Investment–we really do not have a ‘local’ economy. All government’s need to do this. This was one of the failings of the last Gov.

    3.Moving the Cargo port has nothing to do with cruise industry. the cruise piers would stay in town…not sure what your point is here??? The cost of goods do not increase as the cost of moving the full container is negligible–the cost is less than $200 per container difference. On $50,000 or more worth of products in container there is no added costs to you. Just the construction alone will but millions into the economy and the increased land value for East End and North Side would benefit lots of Caymanians.

    4. National development plans–you have all the definitions mixed up….our “development plan” is the name for our Planning law and components–has nothing to do with vision 2008 or a National Development Plan–this is the first time that a sitting government(other than the 1972-76 gov) has suggested a “national development Plan”–if you are worried about Caymanians you would support his idea.

    5.Turtle Farm Board–your only valid point.

    • fuzzy says:

      To;Caymanians against crazy postings  ,guess what ?our people cannot afford to buy land at todays prices so who do you think will gain from higher land prices in East End and/or North Side;the wealthy expat thats who. Who will suffer from higher prices ?Caymanians ,thats who .                                                                                          

  7. Anonymous says:

    It baffles me how there is so much outcry at the renaming of the Pirate’s week event within the country. What is this outcry about, you would think that Pirate’s week is the entire tourism product for the country. I think there is a segment of the country that just enjoys bashing change and bashing other Caymanians with their self serving opinions.

    Crow’s nest is a perfect example of such banter. I completely agree with Mac in moving the cargo port out of George Town. Who could even pretend to think that the cargo port for the next 100 years could remain in the center of George Town? It is easier to pick and complain than to think for the future good of the country.

    No I am not a party member so don’t try to discount my agreement with that brush.

  8. anonymous says:

    Crow’s Nest Lookout…..you got it all together! Too bad more can’t see through this mess…..I was told recently by a prominent Caymanian businessman whose name is referred to in the news story reported above that we need ‘inward investment’ (UDP’s campaign buzzword) to further bring in developments such as Camana Bay to provide jobs for our Caymanian people…I invited him to take me through the entire Camana Bay project and point out to me the Caymanians employed there….but no need for that….it’s pretty obvious for everyone to see what that ratio is! These people are not interested in providing jobs for Caymanians…they are interested in the almighty dollar and that is it….in order to get their hands on the almighty dollar they must suck up and cater to the foreign big shot investor who has those dollars….and they will do that at all costs to the Country and the Caymanian people! No matter how they try to hide it, paint it, present it, flower it…..they are simply in this for their own personal benefit. But one lil thing I keep forgetting is that all those current expats working here will soon be Caymanians so I guess we will have to say that all this ‘inward investment’ will in fact create jobs for ‘Caymanians’! Hold on tight….it going be a wild ride!

  9. Albert Jackson says:

    Mr. Bush must explain exactly what he means by "Inward Investment". I’m with him if it’s a tool to provide jobs for our people.


    • Anonymous says:

      To Mr. Bush must explain exactly- Inward investment means exactly that high net worth companies coming to the Isand to invest and bring their high networth employees with them. Look at the Ritz Carlton and tell me how many Caymanians you see working there. Mr. Bush says these inward investments will bring revenue to the Island, how may I ask, "By waiving Customs Duty? By waiving Stamp Duty on lands purchased? all these things he did in the past to bring inward investments. So can someone please show me where is the benefit for the Caymanians. Oh and don’t forget granting status’s to these Investors. Look around my friend at the Inward Investment that he brought in before and see how many Caymanians are working there.

    • Wonder Woman says:

      Ms. Juliana’s hands/arms need to be very, very big if she has to wrap them around our landfill! I truly hope that she will seek the assistance of the private sector to get this dealt with speedily.  It is so unfortunate that this is on the route that most visitors use to get to/from airport.

  10. Crow's Nest Lookout says:



    Capt. Medium Mac’s yesteryear thought process when he was in charge before is back, it’s the same as when he was The Big Mac!


    PIRATES WEEK  Change of name to NATIONAL CULTURAL HOLIDAY or HERITAGE WEEK or TURTLE LANDING DAY or ..or….  Capt. Medium Mac gave the helmsman the order to “change course…..”, but the poor helmsman knows that he will soon be shot and thrown overboard because Capt. Medium Mac never instructed the new heading so the helmsman is following the last order constantly “changing course” by going in circles around Pirates Week!!  Come on Capt. Medium Mac stop our ship Cayman going in circles there are reefs on all sides and tourism enemies wanting to steal our tourists – give the course compass heading so that the helmsman can set the course.

    …and you call yourself a Captain? 

    Who whispered mutiny?

    INWARD INVESTMENT POLICY – opening the door wide to companies that Caymanians WILL NOT WANT here but too bad they will bring in $$$MONEY$$$ all $$$MONEY$$$ is good $$$MONEY$$$ regardless of how much blood is dripping from it or damage it causes because Capt. Medium Mac wants it. 

    TAKE THE DOORS OFF THEIR HINGES – COME ONE AND ALL Capt Medium Mac is here to welcome you. 

    Now we will probably see the large halls at the Ritz converted into Casino Gambling Halls, got to make $$$money$$$ you know and all $$$ are good $$$.  When that happens will overseas trips by some politicians reduce?

    CAYMAN TURTLE FARM BOARD – Capt. Medium Mac is putting in charge the person whose ideas along with him set up CTF to go from making $1 Million per year to losing $10 million per year!  Good move for more disaster Capt. Medium Mac, put him in charge and you will also soon have no turtle meat to eat and CTF will lose $20 Million per year.

    PORT – Move the cargo port to East End to benefit the cruise industry and the people directly benefiting from the cruise industry, good idea?   Who will pay to construct the new port in East End and who will pay the additional trucking costs for all cargo from East End to George Town – we will every time we go to the supermarket!

    Who will make the profit – who owns the most cruise tourist stores, who owns the cruise ships?  It is definitely not Caymanians!

    NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLANS – circular course again – Capt. Medium Mac first voted for Vision 2008 The Peoples Plan in 1997.  The Capt. then made fun of Vision 2008 and when the Capt. was in ExCo blocked the implementation of Vision 2008.  The Capt. and his other ExCo cohorts killed the last Development Plan in 2002, Tourism Development Plans and all other plans, why because if you have a plan then Government’s performance can be measured against the plan, but horrors of horrors measure the performance of a politician?  Now that is taking democratic governance too far. 

    Would you trust the murderer of children with your children, NO, how then can we trust the murderer of “national plans” with a murderer of plans?  Now we will get “plans” – in reality ever changing government decrees blessed by weak order following boards. 

    Watch out Caymanians Capt. Medium Mac is preparing to sell out your remaining heritage – y’all wanted Capt. Medium Mac well y’all got him, hang on for the rough ride.