There are calls for the Virgin Islands Constitution to be amended to include at least two additional legislators in the House of Assembly.
Sister Islands Coordinator Vincent Wheatley is suggesting that Virgin Gorda, Anegada, and Jost Van Dyke should each be given a political representative that is exclusive to each of those islands.
He said having one political representative per sister island could be the best solution to the neglect sister islands residents continue to feel.
Government is often accused of focusing solely on the main island of Tortola.
Self-governance for sister islands
Some sister island residents now feel it would serve their best interest if they were self-governed.
Anegada businessman Jerry Vanterpool is one resident who holds that belief.
“Anegada has always been neglected since the devil was a boy. And if we don’t speak out and make a difference, we are not going to get any place. We are not going to do anything,” he said.
“These guys (government) are not nice. I don’t mind showing my passport when I go to Tortola, because really and truly when I go to Tortola all I do is spend money.”
He said government continues to promise greater assistance but never follows through on those promises.
“When election coming, these guys like ducks without a head saying that we have Anegada to the heart,” he said.
The businessman noted that Anegada is the second largest island in the BVI, so it could survive on its own.
“We are not getting anything. We are paying money to these guys. The couple dollars we are getting; we can use it to fix our infrastructure and we can move from there.”
More representation, self-governance not the answer
However, Wheatley said there are other ways to remedy neglect than self-governance.
“Forming your own government [for the sister islands] is an extreme solution … There are much cheaper, easier, and faster ways of achieving what they want, which is more involvement, a greater representation — whatever they feel they are missing,” Wheatley told BVI News on Tuesday.
“I think it is important that they get their own representatives. Because of the geography of the islands, it is hard to properly represent them.”
“So, it’s either they need their own representation or a different system of representation,” Wheatley reasoned.
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