BVI News

Each sister island should have a separate District Representative — Fraser

Third District Representative, Julian Fraser.

Opposition Legislator Julian Fraser has said he believes the sister islands of Anegada, Jost Van Dyke and Virgin Gorda should each have their own District Representative.

He made that comment during a special sitting in the House of Assembly which was organised to pay tribute to the late Ralph T O’Neal.

Fraser who is also the Third District Representative said he backs the idea which is one that was advocated by the late O’Neal during his 40 years of service as a political representative.

Fraser further said he believes this approach will result in each sister island being treated equally and fairly.

“Both Anegada and Jost Van Dyke needs its own representative. Until I hear my leader who is the Premier speaking that language, I’m not following. That’s forward-thinking and it’s progressive. 

Those are the kinds of things that we need to move this country forward,” he stated.

Each sister islands have similar needs

Fraser further argued that each of territory’s sister islands requires the same kinds of infrastructure and services that are delivered on the main island of Tortola. He said some of these include police stations, a hospital on Virgin Gorda and Anegada and the need for an airport for the Ninth District.

He said: “In my view, every Virgin Islander is a citizen of the BVI and no one should have an advantage over the other. I would say to you that a pallet of blocks in Anegada should cost the same as a pallet of blocks in Tortola. Until that happens the guy in Anegada is at a disadvantage.”

“If we have a man in this House pounding the table sitting at the table looking for his slice of the pie equally as everyone else from those particular islands Anegada and Jost Van Dyke,” Fraser added.

Constitution supports the move

The Third District Representative further said the options are available within the Constitution to turn the idea into a reality.

He stated: “The Virgin Islands Constitution Order 2007 makes provision for the expansion of the House of Assembly. Some people were arguing for a sixth minister, and the compromise reached in order to get this sixth minister was that you would have to expand the House of Assembly proportionately.”

“There would have to be a proportionate number of members who are not ministers to the ministers (junior ministers), and one of the compromises is that in order to get a sixth minister, you must expand the House by two,” the Senior Legislator added.

Fraser said he was reminding Premier Andrew Fahie of the matter since he had not heard the Premier’s view on the subject since taking office.

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23 Comments

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  1. Mmmm says:

    You might actually be onto something here. Not a bad idea at all.

    Like 3
    Dislike 3
  2. Substance over form says:

    How about people who are elected to represent us actually do their work? It’s not soo much about having a rep for each sister island. You have districts on Tortola that hardly ever see their representative. There were ministers of government over the years who only paid attention to their districts with their ministries like you Hon. Fraser for example. Those elected just need to perform at the levels they promised the people when they were trying to get in and it will be fine.

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
    • hog city says:

      Stop telling lies on the man because he made cellphones affordable, made water cheaper and available island wide and also installed all stop lights on tortola SO STOP SPOUTING HOGWASH!!!

    • SMH says:

      Sixth District ( To include outter Communties) or is Baugher’s Bay and Purcell Areas are only considered as the Sixth.

  3. Eagle eye says:

    Fraser bringing other people ideas to the house,good.

  4. hog city says:

    Stop telling lies on the man because he made cellphones affordable, made water cheaper and available island wide and also installed all stop lights on tortola SO STOP SPOUTING HOGWASH!!!

  5. free advice says:

    GET RID OF THE ATLARGES AND GIVE THESE ISLANDS THEIR TRUE REPRESENTATION

  6. Free Soul says:

    Yes, do away with 2 at-large seats and replace with a rep for Anegada and a rep for Jost Van Dyke. The cost is nothing additional as you are removing two and adding two; even swap!

    • @Free says:

      Then what? All you are doing is adding extra people to beg the other Ministers for attention. How does that make sense? Okay, let’s give VG and Anegada their own rep, then what? How does that drastically change anything for them? How will it be any different to the current district system we have in place? How about Ministers work on behalf of all of the BVI and get things done instead of playing stupid games.

      • Free Soul says:

        Clearly you cannot read and comprehend! Take away two at-large and add one rep to Anegada and one to JVD. No added cost and nothing “EXTRA to beg the other Ministers for attention” as you call it.

        People of Anegada and JVD will have a voice in the HOA that actually lives on the island and closely in touch with their particular issues! Enough of using the smaller islands to pad up numbers during election time.

        • Hmmmm says:

          It still makes no sense, we have a group of islands with around 30K people living on it and 13 elected officials. They need to do their jobs that’s all, we don’t need to change anything.

  7. Rept says:

    We need less reps as some of these districts ha no one in them, the reps need some real work to do.

  8. Political Observer (PO) says:

    Undoubtedly, the Hon Julian “ Liberator” Fraser, RA, D-3, is a skilled, knowledgeable, talented and long serving politician, serving as MCW and MNRL and as an opposition member. If there is a knock on the Liberator, it is that he is arr….t and highly confident about his views. Nuff respect for his contribution to the political discussion. Nonetheless, I have a different view on the sister islands of Anegada, Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke having their own Rep. Currently, Jost Van Dyke is part of District 2 and Anegada and Virgin Gorda form District 9.

    This current structure is workable; it just needs more effective representation. The District 2 rep must remember that he/she also represents JVD as well as the geographical area on Tortola; and so too must District 9 rep remember that the district includes Anegada. Both JVD and Anegada cannot be viewed as 5th wheels.

    Moreover, the VI is 59 mi2 consisting of 36 islands, islets, rocks and cays; 15 are 36 inhabited. The four largest islands are Tortola (21.2 mi2; population 23, 908), Anegada 15.2 mi2, population ~300), Virgin Gorda (8.5 mi2, pop 3970) and JVD(3.2 mi2, pop ~300). The estimated population is ~32,000 with 9 political rep districts and 4 at large districts.

    On the District level, each member represents approx 3556 resident; at the At Large level, each rep represents approx 8000 residents ( well the argument can be made that each At Large Rep represents 32000 residents). In my view, based on improved telecommunications and transportation, the ratio of 1:3556 is not a heavy lift.

    I’m going to go rogue and proclaim that the VI, an OT and a tiny dot in Caribbean Sea, has too many reps. Further, if Anegada, JVD and VG each gets its own rep, the ratio would be 1:300, 1:300 and 1:3970, respectively. Hon Wheatley, Turnbull, Smith, Malone, DeCastro, Fahie, and Flax-Charles, dedicate equal focus and time to Anegada and JVD. By the way, there are other sister islands. Stop treating them as step children or a 5th wheel, except at election time. Furthermore, the cost of running government is too high. The territory must cut cost (cut waste, fraud, duplication……etc of operating government while improving service delivery. It must adopt the new normal of doing more with fewer resources.

    Like 10
  9. Nonsense says:

    If Government officials would GROW UP, sit around the table like adults we thought we elected, put together proper plans for the entire Territory, we won’t be here having these DUMB conversations. All we need is a proper 20-30yr plan that includes all outer islands, put it in place so that no matter who is elected, they have to stick to the plan and get it done. All this nonsense about having their own rep, how does that make a difference? The only difference is that you will now have to find a few more chairs for standing finance committee. We need a National Plan that is well planned/thought out and then carried out, politics aside. Anything else is just pissing in the wind.

    • this is a great idea says:

      if this government actually produces a national physical or sustainable development plan it should become a separate statute – and then any subsequent government would have to go back to the house to change it. So any government trying to change the plan or abandon it would have to do so on the floor of the house of assembly.

  10. Anonymous says:

    What I want as a member of the 3rd is for the grass and roadside bushes be cut or trimmed. It’s not too much to ask. The bushes forcing pedestrians and joggers off of the sidewalk and into traffic. Other areas it’s forcing drivers to drive off their side of the road.

  11. In addition... says:

    I agree that Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke should each have a representative. The smaller islands and cays can be a collective and either have a representative or liaison officer to the ministry of NR. In addition to those, Tortola should have only four districts – east, west, north central and south central, assisted by the City Manager. Consolidate and have more money for districts.

    The Ministries need to be creatively renamed and restructured:
    Finance, Business Dev. & National Protective Services
    Youth Development, Education, Athletics & Culture
    Physical, Mental & Social Health Wellness
    Tourism, Festivals, Parks & Recreation
    Natural Resources Development & Conservation
    Licensure, Registration, Labour, Immigration & Records
    Telecommunications, Utilities & Infrastructural Works

    Instead of junior ministers, just publish the list of responsibilities and job description under each portfolio because if the junior ministers aren’t re-elected the knowledge and experience goes out the door still…

  12. E. Leonard says:

    Agree with Nonsense, and This is a Great Idea in regards to the territory needing a National Development Plan (NDP) to guide its growth and development farther into the 21st Century. The NDP should have a 10-year lifecycle and undergo a major review every 10 years or more frequently if needed. The developed NDP should be taken to the voters (perhaps by a referendum) for approval and then codified into law. It should be the governing blue print for every government coming to power. Government will have authority to do minor tweaks; major changes will have to be made by HOA, perhaps voters.

    The current practice of every new government coming to the table with a new agenda as frequent as every 4 years is counterproductive to good governance and smart growth and development.

    • Disinterested says:

      @E. Leonard, ahi saw! NDP, people trying to put that acronym in the rear view mirror, given all the muck, ie., $7.2M give away to BVI Airways( a bruk airline that had previous problems staying airborne), severe $30M+ underestimation on TPP project, EE/LL sewage project debacle……etc the previous government did. Given life to this acronym so soon may be poor judgment. Lol. Well, at least its rebirth is for the greater good. Nevertheless, on the national development plan, I endorse the notion. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Plan the work and work the plan. Operating from the seat of the pants or skirt spells disaster, driving up the cost of doing business, increasing unnecessarily taxes and fees on taxpayers, depriving customers of essential service deliveries….etc. Let’s get ah done.

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