Kellman shocked by reaction of White Hill residents

Minister of Housing and Lands Denis Kellman today dismissed a suggestion made by residents of White Hill, St Andrew that an announcement made by Government this week on the future of the ill-fated community was nothing more than “an election gimmick”.

“First thing, I don’t deal with election gimmicks when it comes to people’s lives,” said Kellman in response to the charge made yesterday in response to Wednesday’s announcement by the Freundel Stuart administration that it was planning to end all housing settlement in White Hill, three years after the main road leading to the rural district was officially condemned and the community virtually cut off from the rest of the island.

The announcement came in a press release issued by the Barbados Government Information Service in which the housing ministry said the next phase of the relocations, which began in 1999, would involve transfer of 22 houses to Farmers, St Thomas, with five new houses due to be constructed this financial year and another seven in 2018.

However, with the next general election constitutionally due within the next seven months, residents yesterday questioned the sudden urge by Government to come to their rescue.

“We might be abandoned, but we aren’t stupid. Why all of this time pass? It took them about three years to tell us about relocation. These are bare promises for election [and] we all know that,” said community spokeswoman Carlitha Andrews, while calling on Kellman to put his money where his mouth is.

In response, the Minister of Housing assured Barbados TODAY this afternoon that work had already started on the resettlement project, adding that “by next year, we should be finished that phase that we put out the press release on”.

Kellman however expressed surprise over the reaction of some residents, while assuring that the Freundel Stuart administration was doing all in its power to address their plight.

“I find it rather shocking that something so easy to understand, somebody would call it a gimmick. We are actually dealing with the issue, so . . .  I’m surprised at a comment like that. We are working on the project and soon will complete it,” he said, while taking issue with comments made by the residents to the media.

“You cannot be on air complaining that you want to move, and as soon as we put something into action, you are saying, ‘it’s a gimmick, and you don’t want to move’,” contended Kellman, while further assuring that he had been to area twice, after residents questioned reports that he had actually visited White Hill.

“I went to that area twice, about a year ago. We went to the area. That is how we identified and planned [so] when they said I didn’t go to the area, that is not true,” he told Barbados TODAY.

However, Opposition Member of Parliament for St Andrew George Payne has accused the ruling Democratic Labour Party of playing “Russian roulette” with the lives of his constituents.

“I think it is sheer hypocrisy on the Government’s part to expect that the people of White Hill will be fooled into believing that what they did not do in three years, they will be able to do three months before the general election,” Payne said, in support of the position taken by the residents.

“They have done nothing, and coming at this last minute, recognizing that there is an election, White Hill people are not going to be easy to fool,” Payne warned.

He also repeated an earlier suggestion that if Government was really interested in coming to the rescue of the community, it would not have allowed lands at Lancaster, which were originally earmarked for the residents of White Hill, to go to Chefette Restaurants.

“If the Government is serious, they had land at Lancaster, St James, but they were not interested in allocating that land to the residents of White Hill.

“It was land that was acquired for poor people. They have taken that land and sold it to commercial interests,” he complained, while insisting that “my constituents are being victimized, and it is not a question of relocation.

“You have to look at the cost of moving so many people. You are talking about millions of dollars and they [Government] have not put anything in place.

“What they have done is neglect and ignore the sufferation of those people. It is hurtful to see how Government is treating people in the area of White Hill,” he told Barbados TODAY.

17 Responses to Kellman shocked by reaction of White Hill residents

  1. Desmond Edwards
    Desmond Edwards November 3, 2017 at 10:53 pm

    Why are u shocked Mr Minister….they are shocked too at the Timing..

    Reply
  2. Pauline Lowe
    Pauline Lowe November 3, 2017 at 10:56 pm

    Ken R. Smith this de same man on de phone tell me he in know where white hill is

    Reply
  3. Leroy November 4, 2017 at 12:08 am

    Mr kellman..dont be shocked you fool, the people are fed up of you politicians and your games, shut up and fix the problem or go back down moon town.

    Reply
  4. Sunshine Sunny Shine November 4, 2017 at 12:36 am

    You would never be shocked Mr Moon town Grotto High Rise. You are so much into pretending that you think Barbadians are still foolish because you have been able to fool the people of St. Lucy for many years with your corn beef and biscuit politics. Gosh, I hope Barbadians kick the hell out of this administration with a clean sweep.

    Reply
  5. real vexx November 4, 2017 at 3:53 am

    Building a new road where it existed will be too costly… So wait..,.. They making noise to move and now saying them ain’t moving when offered a solution….that road is finished… Is Ms. Andrews spokesperson for White Hill residents or for George Payne?… Smh….only BAJANS boy!!….politicians sleeping good at night yuh.

    Reply
  6. Kathie Daniel November 4, 2017 at 7:28 am

    Really? I would challenge Mr. Kellman to live in White Hill for two weeks to see how it feels.

    Reply
    • Ras wain November 4, 2017 at 10:37 am

      Why would anyone want to live in a place where the land is subjected to landslides

      Reply
  7. DE November 4, 2017 at 8:38 am

    Why should you be shock at the reaction. Nine plus years those people was crying out and your party is the one ruling for those nine plus year and would or could not get the problem fix then, but now you could fix the problem in less than six month.
    Mr. Kellman wake up and catch the other train the fools are on the first one.

    Reply
    • Mr.St Andrew November 4, 2017 at 9:25 pm

      Both parties were in power with this problem in White Hill and those ppl were given the option of relocating ,some of them leave and some of them refused to relocate,George Payne know that he is from Orange Hill just next door.If you want the history of that district just interview one or two ppl from next door in Hillary or Mose Bottom .Those ppl bluntly refused to move out although they see the land moving away.Stop crying

      Reply
    • lester November 6, 2017 at 2:37 pm

      no DE 15 +9=24 years they were waiting…….

      Reply
  8. Ras November 4, 2017 at 8:50 am

    With the law now stating if you on land for ten years or more and not paying any rent you can claim the land, Squatters will soon be taking over Barbados

    Then with Mia saying illegal vending will be a thing of the past once BLP win election
    Rockers Alley will be coming back to Broad Street
    Vendors will be all over the place
    Sodom and Gomorrah may also be coming back

    Reply
  9. Greengiant November 4, 2017 at 8:51 am

    Mr. Payne, why did you have to open your mouth? The buck should stop at you. You were minister of housing, you created the Al Barack fiasco that has cost the tax payers so much money. You took the N H C’s money and built a commercial complex at Warrens instead of using that money to relocate, or create housing for these people in your constituency. Now you want to blame this government’s sale of lands to Cheffette.

    Both parties policies are quite the same, the lone difference is that they serve two different masters. They both bring suffering on the poor though. None of these two parties have made any effort in 51 years of governance between them to level the playing field between small, medium, and large businesses. The Education system even with large numbers of places created for poor children, still has the us and them concept. So really what has been their record, what’s the claim to fame of these two parties?

    Two parties, two housing ministers, one constituency, one people experiencing difficulty within the Scotland district since the seventies, or probably further. Some of the White Hill, and Mount All residents were relocated back in the 80’s to Farmers. This is 2017 and no legislation was passed to forcefully acquire the land based on safety. Both parties have seen their Housing ministers get involved in Commercial agreements, outside of the scope of the N H C. So you are both fully responsible as when there was enough money to move those people Mr. Payne you failed to move your own constituents to a location within the said constituency. Now this government though selling housing land to a commercial entity, has no money, but are relocating the people are being treated with suspicion and there’s allot of political talk.

    It’s always political, never about the people. If you doubt me ask Kellman, and Payne.

    Reply
  10. luther thorne November 4, 2017 at 11:34 am

    Nobody should pay attention to the sentiments expressed by Greemgiant. Stop this Fake thing about saying when them had a time they could have done it. So much folly coming from people in Barbados. This is the latest fad to compliment the blame thing and focus away from the GOVT. What is the GOVT doing NOW ?

    Reply
  11. Milli Watt November 4, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    this situation is typical of a hungry politician and a mendicant electorate both looking to take advantage of the situation and taxpayers holding the bag. this crowd will never learn

    Reply
  12. Belfast November 4, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    Debushing, pothole repairs, new jobs at MTW and BWA. Ya still shocked Mr. Kelly?

    Reply
  13. Saundra November 4, 2017 at 10:01 pm

    politricks

    Reply
  14. BaJan boy November 5, 2017 at 1:46 am

    He so I grunt when he open he mout he would mek a pig puke.

    Reply

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