As authorities progress with the BVI’s enVision 2040 project, Chief Planner of the Town and Country Planning Department Greg Adams has said he is open to the idea of decentralising certain government services in the territory.
Effectively, decentralisation has to do with the branching off an organisation from one central location to other locations.
“If you look, for example, at the ability to generate power supply across the territory right now, we have the main [power] plant on Tortola that feeds Jost Van Dyke and Virgin Gorda. Anegada has a stand-alone grid so maybe decentralisation has a more applicable role in the territory’s electricity distribution area. If we could decentralise to have a [power] plant on Virgin Gorda, and a plant on Jost Van Dyke, that may be applied in that sort infrastructural scenario,” Adams told BVI News in an invited comment.
While noting that decentralisation isn’t at the top of the focus areas in the enVision 2040 project, Adams listed a number of other areas where he believes the concept could be applicable.
“If you look at the way government delivers services — maybe instead of having all the services concentrated in Road Town, having satellite services in East and West where the population centres are would be a decentralisation theme that could work there,” Adams said.
He further told BVI News decentralisation could also become applicable in the education sector.
“You look at education — it is pretty decentralised right now save for high school. So, we may look at decentralising secondary school, for example.”
“Decentralisation as a theme can be applied to a lot of different areas in the vision as we go forward and that’s one of the things we’re going to explore to see which areas would make sense to decentralise, and if it does make sense in some areas, those suggestions will be a part of the plan,” he told BVI News.
enVision 2040 focus areas
Ten other focus areas have been listed for exploration has part of enVision 2040 which, effectively, is a roadmap to where the territory will be in the next two decades.
The other areas to be explored are tourism focus, poverty reduction/social sustainability focus, industrial/manufacturing focus, environmental protection focus, climate change risk reduction focus, historic/heritage focus, resettlement focus, infrastructure focus, and population growth focus.
A series of public consultations are being held to get public input on what the priority focus areas should be.
Meanwhile, Town and Country Planning is leading the project with partners such as the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour and with technical support from Environmental Systems Limited, Dillon Consulting, and Acacia Consulting and Research.
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