Govt was prepared to offer high rise housing without basic amenities, claims Symmonds

Controversial businessman Mark Maloney is being praised by an unlikely source for what has been described as “saving” ordinary people from Prime Minister Freundel Stuart.

St James Central Member of Parliament Kerrie Symmonds issued the praise while charging that  Government was prepared to put scores of low-income tenants into the Valery apartments at Brittons HiIl, St Michael without basic finishes such as floor tiles, kitchen units and bathroom cabinets.

However, Symmonds said fortunately for the tenants, Maloney, who awarded millions of dollars in Government building contracts and who has been the target of ferocious Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) attacks, stepped in.

Mark Maloney and Kerrie Symmonds

Symmonds said Maloney saved the Valery high-rise project by ensuring quality finishes, though they ended up adding more than half a million dollars to the cost of the buildings.

Addressing a BLP St Michael South branch meeting at Graydon Sealy Secondary School, Symmonds produced supporting documents dating back to 2012 when the apartments were built.

He commended Maloney, the principal official of Preconco, for insisting that Government not open the apartments to occupants unless the floor tiles, kitchen units and other finishes were included.

According to one of the documents, which was seen by Barbados TODAY, a letter to the National Housing Corporation (NHC) Chairman Anthony Wiltshire on a Preconco letterhead stated in part: “Valery: The tiling of the floors and the kitchen units were taken out of the original proposal when the NHC was funding the construction of the buildings . . . . We feel strongly that the units should be completed and handed over as a finished product and feel that if these units are handed over without them, that it will have a negative impact on the product and the NHC.”

Symmonds told party supporters on Sunday night: “Tonight the Labour Party is not [cursing] Mark Maloney. Tonight, the Labour Party is saying, ‘thank you Mark Maloney for saving the people of Barbados from Freundel Stuart’.

“I thank him because he put into writing a humane concern that the National Housing Corporation was prepared to build the Valery without doing kitchen tiles, and bathroom cabinets and kitchen cupboards.”

The Opposition Member of Parliament contended that based on the documents in his possession which “fell off a truck” Government’s intention was to rent the apartments minus kitchen tiles, bathroom cabinets and kitchen cupboards.

“I ask you if you have ever come across a tenant who has gone to a potential landlord, and the landlord tells you, ‘I will rent this but make sure you bring your kitchen tiles, put in the bathroom facilities, put in the cupboards in the kitchen, otherwise you have to keep your cutlery on the ground?

“That is when Mark Maloney intervened in writing on 26th of April, 2012, to rescue the people of these districts from,” Symmonds said, as he expressed regret at not having the documents prior to the 2013 general elections which the BLP lost to the Stuart team.

“Barbadian people were being exposed by Freundel Stuart and his administration to a situation where they were going to be asked to go into Valery and not have kitchen tiles, bathroom facilities in a modern high-rise multi-storey complex,” he said.

Also among the documents was a letter reportedly signed by one Alex Bishop for the Permanent Secretary, Finance, and addressed to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Lands stating: “I have been instructed to inform you that the Ministry of Finance has approved the proposal. However, the enhancement of the amenities provided at the Valery High Rise Project carries additional cost in the amount of $630, 000 or $8, 296. 05 per unit . . . the selling\rental price should be adjusted accordingly to absorb the increase in the cost of construction of each unit.”

“That’s the additional cost that they were trying to save,” Symmonds said.

“To save $8, 000 on a unit Freundel Stuart was prepared to have ordinary people in Barbados rent units that the floor look like this here,” the St James Central MP said gesturing to the bare concrete of the school’s assembly hall.

“National Housing did not intend to put in these amenities. The Cabinet of Barbados presided over a process in which they instructed National Housing to ‘lef it back dey’ to save $8 000 on a unit,” he charged.

Speaking of what he said was poor treatment of taxpayers by the current Government, Symmonds said to his party faithful, “You understand how the Government that is elected to represent you and to lift you up is in fact a Government that is prepared to cut you off at the knees and drag you down?”

When contacted this evening, Minister of Housing Denis Kellman said the building of the high rise housing complex was before his time, and since he was appointed in 2013 he was not aware of the situation.

Repeated efforts to reach his predecessor Michael Lashley were unsuccessful.

18 Responses to Exposed!

  1. Lisa Moore
    Lisa Moore October 10, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    Paling cock

  2. Sophia Branch
    Sophia Branch October 10, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    What wanna going tell God

  3. Carson C Cadogan October 10, 2017 at 10:01 pm

    You hear lie, that is lie!!!!

  4. Kevin Gibson
    Kevin Gibson October 10, 2017 at 10:05 pm

    Bajan politicians will sell out the masses to line there pockets.

  5. Mags October 10, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    What de hell am I reading. Kerrie you can’t be for real. Smh. Ole thieving mark that want to take run things he way in Barbados wow

  6. hcalndre October 11, 2017 at 2:22 am

    People all!!! you hear lie. Kellman, apartments are rented with a stove and a `fridge also, the people should have move in and don`t pay any rent until the apartment is completed. What a caring set of DLP politicians.

  7. Harry October 11, 2017 at 7:05 am

    @ccc -yu hear crap, yu hear crap

  8. Greengiant October 11, 2017 at 7:07 am

    This situation with tenants getting unfinished houses was done by a private sector contractor during the ruling of the B L P in their projects island wide.

    The B L P have to talk about the fiascoes at Bulkeley Meadows, and Coverley during their time in office. So Kerry don’t try to pacify Mark Maloney now because you realize that should you be returned to office you will have no option but to work with the said Maloney.

    The B L P and D L P have engaged themselves in housing scandals during their time in office, and I hope they’ve both learned. Failing that the people will continue to suffer.

  9. Alex Alleyne October 11, 2017 at 7:48 am

    @Greengiant, well said , but that’s POLITICS for ya.

  10. Carlise norville October 11, 2017 at 8:00 am

    I heard that the prime minister said that he is confident, his party will win the election again .I waiting to see if you bagans with a short memory, after all this suffering, shame,& disgrace, still going to vote frundel, & Sinclair back into power again, to turn you all into nothing but cattle, people without dignity ( how much more suffering must Barbadians go through, before they realize that the D.L.P. according to Owen Arthur, a former prime minister( are nothing more than a bunch of boys, that don’t know what they are doing. Arthur said that, & i have come to realize that he is Right.

  11. lester October 11, 2017 at 9:27 am

    he should also speak about the asbestos fiasco in kensington lodge where Minister Mcdowald husband was given the contract to remove the asbestos and replace with permaclad sheeting, that left many a resident homes compromised and also their health and the health of those who work with the asbestos, btw the NHC had to finish that project……….

  12. Concern for Barbados October 11, 2017 at 9:29 am

    There is a serious problem in Barbados when a politician pews dirt and then have no solutions. Barbarians are not living in the days of plantocracy and out houses. Where is Town and Country Planning , the prevailing laws that govern building codes? The inspectors who stand up and do their jobs. Why is it that builders are speaking out? Throw the politics out and make sure the laws are followed.

  13. Tony Wiggins October 11, 2017 at 9:58 am

    The former NHC Chairman would have briefed the new Chairman of the situation at Valery H Estate but Mr Kellman must know what went on before he took over as minister .

  14. Helicopter(8P) October 11, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    Uncivic mindes do uncivic things! If what Mr Simmonds has expounded is valididly true then our level of civics and ethics on our soverign soil Barbados has dropped far below normal standard. It may very well be understood that comparissons Sir Hilary Beckles has indicated of Haiti being a good analisys as to getting away from the past standards and stepping fowhard to a new era of nationalism; forgetting past colonial standards may be the new light at the end of the tunnel!

  15. Jolene Fast October 11, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    How much did that cost to buy?

  16. Greengiant October 11, 2017 at 5:23 pm

    @ Carlise Norville: You have stated clearly what Bajans shouldn’t do, but you haven’t suggested what they should do.

    Do you recommend too that they return to the B L P?

    • hewers of wood October 11, 2017 at 7:44 pm

      Yes. He stated that in another post.

  17. Octavia Corbin October 11, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    Two things

    1. If someone does badly when you come home you should do better!

    2. If I had my way, all of the politicians would have to give account of the taxpayers monay.


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