UK cannot exempt Dart from the FFR, say activists

| 04/12/2012

yard-sign-1 (240x300).jpg(CNS): The former tourism minister, Charles Clifford, has said it would be scandalous for the UK authorities to make the proposed ForCayman Investment Alliance an exception to the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility. Clifford, who is one of the leaders of the  a campaign to stop the proposed relocation of the Grand Cayman landfill to Bodden Town, said it would be an “inexcusable precedent which would effectively ensure that the FFR is ignored”. The group believes the deal is not compatible with the new Public Management and Finance Law, and Clifford said if the Dart deal passes, it will mean the framework is nothing more than “meaningless window-dressing”.

“The Dart deal is incompatible with all the principles used to motivate the adoption of the FFR,” Clifford stated in a release from the coalition this week, following the news on CNS that the UK views the proposed Dart mega deal differently from usual procurements and the attempt by government to give the port project to a Chines firm without following a proper procurement process.

This raised concerns among coalition members and Clifford said that exempting the FCIA deal would make a mockery of the need for competitive tendering, the test of ‘best value for money’ and the idea of public procurement complying with international best practice and of the rule of law — the main driving forces behind the adoption of the FFR into the PMFL.

Clifford and other members of the Coalition to keep Bodden Town Dump Free said that the present government was never elected or mandated by the people to sign the FCIA agreement and that it suffers from “an almost total absence of credibility”.

A former representative for Bodden Town, Clifford said the people of the district must be treated fairly.

“At minimum this involves allowing the Environmental Advisory Board (EAB) to carry out the necessary studies to determine the most suitable site for managing the landfill on Grand Cayman. The conclusion could very well be the current site in George Town.”

Clifford pointed to the EAB’s advice to government to identify “the optimal waste management solution for the country through an assessment of alternatives”, in compliance with international best practice and including the site selection process, as opposed to the current limitations to only examine the proposed Dart site in Midland Acres.

With a number of straw polls and widespread public dissatisfaction with the current administration, Clifford said that the UK cannot allow a deal of this magnitude to go through five months before the next general elections in the face of the FFR and with widespread opposition.

“This administration considers the principle of good governance nothing more than a nasty nuisance, with Premier Bush accusing the governor of frequently using it ‘as an excuse to derail us',” Clifford added.

Other members of the group, including Coalition Chairman Alain Beiner, called on the FCO and the governor to stand up for the UK’s proclaimed ideals of good governance and the rule of law, otherwise the coalition may be forced to turn to the courts. “We’re counting on the UK to do its duty, but if it’s negligent in ensuring respect for our environment and our laws, the Coalition will certainly consider legal action,” Beiner said.

Gregg Anderson, another coalition leader, noted that whether crown land is ‘swapped’, sold or given away, it is still a significant public asset and the true value can only be determined by open tender.

Members say the deal includes major public projects, which all local firms should be able to compete for, openly and transparently, with all proposals considered. The Coalition has insisted that concerns raised by the Central Tenders Committee over the Dart proposal for a landfill in Bodden Town during the RFP process in December 2010 remain today.

“The CTC rated it the worst of all tenders considered, and its technical team expressed ‘grave concern’ about the impact of a dump in ‘an environmentally sensitive area’. How can the same proposal now be acceptable; how can it be compliant with the FFR?” asked Anderson.

The coalition also pointed to recent comments by the new president of the Chamber of Commerce, who warned that the business body would not support projects which did not follow proper procurement practices.

Category: Politics

Comments (11)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Will the UK allow big money to win over justice and the environment?  Exempting the Dart deal from the FFR and due process would be so flagrant, it's hard to believe that they'd be able to get away with it!  Why have bothered inposing the FFR at all?

  2. Coalition For A Dump Free G.T. says:

    Any credibility any of this gang of Bodden Towners once had has long since dissipated.
    Forget Waste To Energy, more like Waste Of Energy at his point.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well the BT coalition still has enough credibility for you to keep wasting your time posting nonsensical babbling.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Moving the dump out of rich people's sight and into a working class neighborhood is a terrible idea. But Chuckie is a political opportunist and should not be the spokesman for the very worthy protest movement. It's great that he is helping with the fight, but please don't give him the credit for the research, groundwork and organization done by the real grassroots small businesses and residents of Bodden Town. Being against this crony deal is non-partisan and affects us all. Whether you do or don't want Charles Clifford in political power again is completely beside the point of the protest. He has every right to be part of the work, but he should not be allowed to hijack the momentum. The focus must stay on the many health, social, economic, infrastructural, environmental, logistical and procedural issues.

    • furious-btowner says:

      You're absolutely right!  Whether Clifford decides to run in the elections, whether he's an opportunist or not, has nothing to do with the fight against the proposed BT dump and this just cause.  The Coalition to Keep BT Dump Free was launched over a year ago, before any talk of elections, and it was then, as it is now, a single-issue, non-political community group opposed to moving the dump to our district (or anywhere else), open toanyone regardless of their political affiliation or opinion on any other question.  It supports no political party or candidate, and condemns all previous governments for not assuming their responsibility of properly managing the GT landfill and fixing the problem where it is.  In the coming elections, the Coalition will not support any party or candidate, whether they have supported the Coalition or have been one of its spokepeople.  However, it will challenge all candidates as to their position on the BT dump issue, and will advise voters to not support any candidate who is not clearly opposed and not clearly committed to vote against this component of the FCIA deal in the new LA.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Other than a hole in the ground, what else will Dart build for the facility in BT? Once the hole is dug, he will want to close the GT dump immediately, therefore all of the garbage will go to BT to be "dumped" into the new hole. In case you ask, the answer is no, the government does not have any money to build the necessary infrastructure for a waste management facility, and the current management will remain in place to manage the new BT dump.

     

    The Minister, Mr. Scotland, said that, once the hole is dug, the government will look to enter into private partnerships to build the waste management facility – this sounds to me that they (the UDP) are intending to give away even more of what we have, in the form of concessions, to these new hoped-for investors that the Minister and his UDP colleagues are hoping will build the new BT facility for us.

     

    THE GOVT IS BROKE!! So what is the UDP answer to that: Give away what little assets you have to get less than what you started with.

     

    When asked at the BT public meeting why is the UDP Govt not looking at any other possible sites on Grand Cayman, Minister Scotland used an old school-yard tactic and said that because the previous PPM govt had only looked at one site when it came to the Atlantic Star port proposal, that the "precedent" had been set (for only looking at one site), so because they did it now we doing it.

     

    I sat in awe at the such a childish level of a response from what should be an educated man. I guess he never learned that two wrongs dont make a right like the rest of us did when we were 5 yrs old.

  5. Green Hornet says:

    Chuckie your the Duke of Cayman. Keep pressing on and looking over our beautiful islands. We need more men like you that don’t stand for corruption! Man if you run next year, you have my vote and my whole family including the nanny that got status by Mac. Ride on!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Thanks to the Coalition for making a stand! It is so disgusting that the mega rich can just wine and dine some public officials and a deal is made. We won’t stand for these types of negotiations, then on top of that not even get “value for money”. Westbay should have two roads into town. The new road will benefit Dart as well the residents since it is going access his Property. The length of road proposed to be closed could be 4,000 ft or 1,000 ft it is part of Seven Mile Beach, what the Cayman Islands is known for. It is not only a road it is part of our heritage and there is no price tag for that.
    Then on top of that, the rich developer Dart, wants to move the dump, when it can be fixed at the current site. To somehow convince the Government to go with the worst plan proposed a couple of years ago! Well guess what, if Dart and the Government officials pushing for this, think we are just going to let this happen then they will be sadly mistaken! I am sure in addition to phase one Government is going to have to pay for the rest of this proposed master plan and I can tell you it just may end up costing $100,000 anyway. But with no proper recycling or waste-energy facility right from the start, (not 5-10 years from now) it will just be another dump. Just this time it is in a middle class community instead of near the rich! Dart decided to build near the dump so he should help fix it where it is, now that would truly be a win-win situation. This Dart deal should be a dead deal! And the people will not stand for such a government to go against our wishes!!

  7. Tsinick says:

    It must be the run up to an election – Chuckie is back.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you were paying attention you would realise that the Chuckster and the Coalition have been fighting this fight for well over a year now ! This fight started long ago Bobo…..pay attention.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I am confident that this ForCayman Investment Alliance deal with Dart will not materalize, not with Mr. Clifford in opposition of the deal.  In my opinion Charles Clifford is one of a few Native Caymanians that is unafraid and is willing to take it to the streets, press or united nations.  My greatest respect to this man, because of him the new government admin building was not sold.