Aged and tired!

Sandiford-Garner sees need for a major Govt spruce up

A Government Senator has described the Government Headquarters building on Bay Street, which houses the office of Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, as “aged and tired”.

Speaking during debate in the Upper House on a $17.625 million loan from First Citizens Bank (Barbados) Ltd, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism Irene Sandiford-Garner explained that arrangements for the ten-year financial package would be made through the Barbados Conference Services Limited (BCSL). The loan is to assist with the retrofitting of the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre (LESC), so that it can accommodate the Bay Street offices temporarily.

“Many of you with a political history know that Bay Street has looked that way from the day it was built. And when you work in those offices you realize that the internal facilities and the internal infrastructure are just as aged and tired as the external façade,” Sandiford-Garner said.

She explained that the LESC lease agreement includes rent, service charge and outfitting costs, all of which will contribute to the repayment of the loan.

“That means that LESC will not receive any subventions from Government to repay any of the money it has borrowed. When we start to rent those floors, we will be paying the interest and the principle from the rent that we will be receiving,” she said.

Sandiford-Garner, whose comments came against the backdrop of recent concerns raised by the Opposition Barbados Labour Party about the financial viability of the LESC, pointed out that its annual subvention had been reduced from $2 million to $1.7 million last year.

And while acknowledging that it was still not a major revenue-generating entity, she said BCSL recognized a $4.2 million increase in revenue as at March 31, 2016, over the previous year’s figure of $3.9 million.

“And I’m told that at March 28, which was yesterday, we were running at seven per cent ahead of what we were making at the same period last year. So that tells me that despite the fact that we are not a major revenue generating facility as yet, we are making our way out of our debt and these things take time,” she said.

Sandiford-Garner also reported that the LESC had realized significant savings over the past few years due to investment in energy saving initiatives.

“One of the first things we [the current Democratic Labour Party administration] did was to establish a relationship with the Government Smart Energy Project and we outfitted the whole building with LEDs between 2011 and 2013. And from that time to now, where we would have seen an electricity bill during that period electricity bill fell from $1 million, our last electricity bill was $745,000,” the Government Senator said.

She also spoke of plans to install LEDs along the walkways and photovoltaic panels on the roof of the building, saying the intention was to have the entire facility powered by solar energy.

“This is an initiative that I think every single business person should be examining in Barbados going forward. Our reliance on fossil fuel has cost this country greatly and . . .
I don’t even think we should restrict it to just business people, but any person going forward in building their own home, or any facility that will use a considerable amount of electricity should sit down and put pen to paper and examine the common sense and the dollars and cents in looking to see how you can institute a green energy home, a home that relies on the sun that we have setting and rising in this country every day,” Sandiford-Garner said.

She also disclosed that the BCSL had entered into an agreement with the Barbados Light & Power Company, which is expected to realize savings of $3,000 per month. Under that agreement, when the BL&P service is interrupted, the BCSL will use its own generators and will be reimbursed by the power company.

20 Responses to Aged and tired!

  1. Anne Ince
    Anne Ince March 29, 2017 at 11:57 pm

    Ok, priority….smh…

  2. Arthur Collymore
    Arthur Collymore March 30, 2017 at 12:34 am

    As aged & as tired as the administration that inhabits it walls. Not only the building in need of a spruce up, it present occupants also need to be pruned out.

  3. hcalndre March 30, 2017 at 1:32 am

    How come that government buildings in barbados get into a state of disrepair after a few years. Is it that you get what you pay for and not what the cost should be.

  4. Tony Webster March 30, 2017 at 6:29 am

    My home was built in 1971, which makes it 46 years old. Apart from adding solar-water heating, changing the wife, fridge, washing machine, T.V., and putiing in a cordless phone…it works fine. I tend the garden, and the lawns etc, and I’ve changed the roof. This magnificent discovery is not of my own, however. Some utuh brainy guy invented “maintenance”. even on changing also works on on’e wife.

    Good “maintenance” works on EVAT’ING like property, car, etc But when one meets with Old, Tired GOVERNMENTS, I hasten to ageree wid you: mash-up …and build-back.…
    BTW, how cum all this this jest pop-up…jes’ so? Something bubbling-away in the “Bay Street Pot”?

    • Peter March 30, 2017 at 8:29 am

      Perhaps we’ll hear that DEM government will get the Chinese to refurbish the Government Headquarters. The Prime Minister’s office will move to LES Conference Center. Will he – (I think it will be Richard) walk across from PM’s residence via a well appointed UNDERGROUND TUNNEL to his new office? There are tunnels in Washington, London, Paris, Madrid, Beijing< Moscow, as a matter of fact all the major countries have tunnel links to PM's and Presidents offices albeit some by special roads. These are built in case there is a cop or political uprising. Figure it ot Barbados.

  5. Alex Alleyne March 30, 2017 at 7:01 am

    May be this a move to get the hotel from Bay Street to this location. Only problem is that the EMPIRE won’t get fix-up……Oh well.

    • Peter March 30, 2017 at 8:56 am

      Alex Alleyne, I’m glad yo mentioned the Empire. It is my opinion that that facility can best be converted into Barbados’ Wax Museum. It will be a highly visited and not to mention profitable facility. With the Hyatt Hotel dev elopement, among other avenes of visitor attractions, The old BNB building on Fairchild Street/River Road, opposite the Bus terminal, can be renovated and refitted to become a business class City hotel. Food for investors. Let s make it happen. Not wonder nor hope it cold happen.

    • Peter March 30, 2017 at 11:00 am

      Hi Alex Alleyne… BT has removed my response in agreement with yor comments. They do that at times. Perhaps a chat with Mr. Harris may help

  6. Elaine Van Huis March 30, 2017 at 9:49 am

    Not a priority, Barbados has too many financial problems to make this a priority.

  7. Peter March 30, 2017 at 11:18 am

    Let me repeat my response as I already had over 20 e/mails and 5 telephone calls from overseas telling me they did NOT see my response. Well it clearly states that perhaps Richard is preparing for when he takes over the leadership of the DEMs. Renovations at LES Conference Center will include an underground state of the art tunnel to link the new Govt. Headquarters with his Illaro Court residence. That is done in most countries including K, USA, Moscow, China et al. It’s a precautionary move in case there is a political coup or disturbance. The hq will be removed. No doubt there. The GIS will be at the old Letchworth Press Building in Wildey a stone’s throw away from the new HQ. and right alongside the CDB office.

  8. Peter March 30, 2017 at 11:35 am

    With regards to the Empire theatre become cinema, I think that building can be renovated to house The Barbados Wax Museum. It will no doubt become a popular landmark place to visit, Thus becoming an enterprising profit center. Investors, make your move. The former BNB building at the Fairchild Street/River Road corner opposite the bus terminal can also be converted into a 100 room executive class city business hotel. Come on Mr. Bernie Weatherhead, join forces with Gordon Seale, Foster Ince Travel and Tours, and all other interested parties, Go ahead and MAKE it happen. Don’t sit back and wonder what COULD HAVE happen. Buisness in Bridgetown is begging to be awaken.

  9. Peter March 30, 2017 at 11:39 am

    That should be business in Bridgetown is begging to be awaken. More employment, more taxes to be collected by BRA and lessunemployment.

  10. Peter March 30, 2017 at 11:40 am

    Less unemployment. Damn…,,

  11. Sheron Inniss March 30, 2017 at 11:46 am

    Mash up and buy back has been the name of the game for both parties. That is what maintenance means to both of them. However,this administration does not need pruning. IT NEEDS UPROOTING FOR GOOD.

    • jennifer March 30, 2017 at 12:43 pm

      @TONY WEBSTER – “changing wife”the wife” u make hrr well said. Funny. Well said. Mind you there are many run down schools, clinics etc worst than th PM offices.

      • jennifer March 30, 2017 at 12:47 pm

        Tony – Got in a mangle there. Meant to say funny after wife.

  12. Shawn Phillips March 30, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    The building is just as aged and tired as the current DLP administrations that needs to be voted out for the hardships and pain Barbadians are feeling .The only place the current administration needs to be house is out to sea with the Captain that has sunk the ship.

  13. gsmiley March 30, 2017 at 7:07 pm

    Peter you’re late. That building at Fairchild Street the former NIS building was given or sold to UWI so no hotel there bud.

    In any case who would want to stay there?

    Have you been by the terminal recently?

    Executive class business hotel?


  14. Peter March 30, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    gsmiley, thanks for your comment. I have seen many old buildings around the world converted into hotels, casinos, department stores and even hospitals. UWI is famous for producing lawyers and doctors as if on a conveyor belt. No researchers. Not in science of any kind medicine nor engineering. The buck stops there. I’ll bet you that a hotel will earn more money than any faculty of UWI who puts out more qualified idiots who evolve into politicians like we have here now, and conceited individuals who cock up their noses and builds the biggest house with the “I have arrived” attitude. Just picture it my friend, Nelson Street becoming a busy shopping center with duty free stores, bistro bars and not that drug hole and crime center. Thanks again

  15. Cecil brooks April 16, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    I am still trying to understand, why a building that just spend millions of dollars would now have to be spending more money with installation of led fittings and now talk of solar. Where was the planning.


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