Wilson's war on derelict lots
Lloyd’s court resident up in arms over neglected neighbouring properties
“I would rather die standing than to live my life on my knees, and I am fighting this,” says Darrell Wilson.
He was one of the residents of Lloyd’s Court in Christ Church who are forced to deal with mosquitoes, rodents and sometimes thieves hiding in overgrown bushes on vacant lots in the development.
A visit to the area this afternoon by the Barbados TODAY team found a visibly frustrated Wilson. The father of two young children, three and six years old, said he was frustrated and fed up with the lack of attention paid to the situation by the owners of the property, the parliamentary representative, and health officials.
He lived at the residence since 2005 and, from that date to present, spent more than $5,000 to clear the lots, # 52 and #53 which were in front of his home and #23 on the land directly behind his property. Though he does not own the lots he cleared them because of the health implications they posed for his children.
“The last time when it got too expensive, four neighbours put together to help me because they realised that I have been doing it for all the years but normally I have spent my own personal money, over $5,000, I have all of the dates.
“Look at this”, he said pointing to the flattened rat in the road. “On Sunday nights when I go to put out my garbage there are what I describe as ‘cat rats’. Rats that are so big that at first appearance you would mistake for a cat. Have you seen anything like that? Rats big, big like a cat crawling on my fence and on my gate… It is not only me, but the thing is it is only me with young children so nobody else don’t care. I tell you, sometimes the neighbours ask me ‘when you clearing the land?’ would you believe that. The thing is my children can be affected by leptosprosis. I can’t leave the children outside to play because I don’t know if they would be affected. I had a lovely lawn and the rodents took over and I had to bring somebody in to deal with that. I have to be spraying the area and all kinds of things.
“The health authorities are bureaucrats; do you know what I had to do to get them here? I had to call them and call them, I had to call and beg them, scream into their ears on the phone for them to meet and they toured the area and they said they would get something done. The one time that the health authorities got the land cleared was on the date of David Thompson’s funeral,” he stated.
Wilson further said that he also contacted his MP, Ronald Jones, and on more than 20 occasions left messages at the constituency office but never received a call back.
He also said he emailed him in June 2011 stating: “Dear Mr. Jones, I am Darrell Wilson you met prior to the last general election and promised to assist with the problem of over growth but sadly we have not seen any evidence of your involvement in this community and none of my 21, not 18, 21 calls to your constituency office were returned. Attached please see an email that [was] sent to the owner of the land in this development.
“Look at what he [Jones] wrote: ‘You have reached me, you could have also called the Ministry of Education’. I never vote for a minister,” he lamented. “Mr. Jones came to this house, sat down in that chair and asked us to give him a chance because he said when you are in opposition the government don’t give you no money so he was asking us if we give him a chance he would be in government and he would be able to do something- he never did anything.
“This is not about Ronald Jones this is about the people who own the land in here. They are selling the lots between $35 and $40 per square foot and they say they have no money in the estate. There are 56 lots in here and more for sale, you spend all this money to live in an area like this and you living like this?- it is not fair. You invite people to your house and then, when you entertaining them, there are cat rats running on fence,” he said.
The banker said he became interested in the area after he saw a monument erected to honour Lloyd Wilson, in whose name the development was named.
Being a “sentimental person” and one very interested in Barbadian history he communicated with the owners of the land to learn more about the individual. He said he called the daughter of the late Lloyd Wilson who was very willing to share information on her father, however he was baffled that now his efforts to get her to clear the overgrown lots proved unsuccessful.
“She said it was too expensive for them to clear the land so I told her I have been clearing them and I am willing to put her onto somebody but the only place they take care of is the monument and they wait until that is in a horrible state. They have not done anything about it. When I spoke to her she said she would get back to me but she never did, but she emailed me details of her father because she was so proud.
“This is not now, I keep writing them and then her brother James Wilson – he told me straight out that they don’t have any money in the estate. I have been writing to them, calling them – this is from long time,” he said.
When this newspaper contacted one of the executors of the estate she declined to comment on the record. (KC)