Opposition did nothing about the Glebe Hill situation – PM
November 8, 2013
Opposition did nothing about the Glebe Hill situation – PM

The Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines paid for the lands that are being sold to Barrouallie residents.{{more}}

During a ceremony at the Barrouallie Learning Resource Centre Monday, Prime MInister Dr Ralph Gonsalves emphasized that the Government bought the lands from the Christian Council.

“The reason why the Government had to get involved is because neither the Anglican Church nor the Christian Council…had the money, the resources to have the lands surveyed,” the Prime Minister declared. “And to get your deed, you must have the boundaries clearly demarcated”.

Gonsalves told the audience that the Government was offered the land by the Christian Council at 50 cents per square foot, which the Government in turn decided to sell to the people of Glebe Hill for a fraction of that price.

“We told the Christian Council that we will pay what they ask for the land. They were quite generous. They say 50 cents. That’s fair enough. The land cost much more than that. We say we’d do the survey free. We’d pay the 50 cents a square foot and we would sell it to the people who live on the land for so long at 10 cents per square foot,” he said.

“I hear some people say, which is quite true, that the Anglican church had conveyed the land free and voluntarily…to the Christian Council. But notice, though the Anglican Church gave it freely and voluntarily to the Christian Council, it was never said that the Christian Council would give it for nothing.

Additionally, Gonsalves revealed that the deed, which was given to the Christian Council by the Anglican Church, stipulates that whatever money is collected in relation to the land, must be used to develop the community.

In his address, Gonsalves stated that while the Opposition has expressed that the lands should be given to the people for free, they failed to do anything about the situation while they had the chance.

“I hear on the radio that the people shouldn’t pay 10 cents, they should pay nothing. I hear that kind of talk you know. But those who are talking were in power for 17 years and did nothing to give the people of Glebe Hill…nobody in that Government mobilized people to go and survey that place much less to give the people their land at 10 cents per square foot,” the Prime Minister declared.

Gonsalves noted that a total of 612,460 square feet of land was bought from the Christian Council. At 50 cents per square foot, the government paid a total of $306,230 and will receive approximately $61,246 after selling it at 10 cents per square foot; nearly $250,000 less than the initial cost.

During the New Times radio programme Monday, Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace said he was of the opinion that the church had given the land to the persons who had built their houses on it, for free.

“I was of the opinion that the church had given that land free before. The land which he says he is going to sell. My recollection is…my mother was a warden at the Anglican church in Kingstown and my recollection, speaking to her years ago…was that the church had taken the decision that they were going to give that land to the persons who build their houses on it for free, so when I heard the prime minister talking about, he going to charge the people, I began to wonder whether I had made a mistake,” Eustace said.

The Opposition Leader stated that from his research, the church did not receive any money for the land.