VIP candidate Vincent Wheatley said he resigned as Sister Islands Programme Coordinator because he believes he can do more for the islands independently than he could ever do while working under the directive of NDP government.
Wheatley served as the programme coordinator for the last 11 years and officially resigned on September 14.
Speaking to BVI News on Sunday, Wheatley dismissed claims of being pressured to vacate the post.
He said being a government employee under the Smith administration was more of a hindrance to him serving the sister islands.
“My job was a hectic job and I wasn’t getting the chance to focus on really getting things done. And, as a government employee, I could put no pressure on the government. But now I can actually do that,” he said.
Wheatley noted that he has been a public servant for 24 years overall and that experience has made him ready and qualified to be the next representative of the Ninth Electoral District — a post currently held by his NDP rival, Dr Hubert O’Neal.
He said not only is he a well-known figure across the sister islands, but he is also quite aware of the issues plaguing the residents of the Ninth.
He said he plans to use this leverage to ‘get to work’ right away.
“Virgin Gorda is in a very bad situation right now – it is in a recession and it will take a lot of planning to bring Virgin Gorda back and time is against us,” he said.
I plan to tackle sister islands unemployment and energy woes
Wheatley pointed to many issues that he intends to tackle such as the high unemployment rate, the banking woes, and even alternative energy.
He said North Sound, Virgin Gorda and Anegada should not be fully dependent on power from fossil fuels but rather on renewable energy such as wind and solar.
He made those remarks about energy on the heels of a generator failure which caused an islandwide power outage on Anegada which lasted for several hours.
“Things I want to see happen for the Ninth District I am going to start doing those things now. I’m not waiting until elections to start to work. I am starting to work from now,” he said.
The political-hopeful said he will now be pounding on government’s proverbial door to make the lives of the people better.
Wheatley has served as a teacher and assistant principal at the Bregado Flax Educational Centre in Virgin Gorda and currently holds the post of president of the Rotary Club of Road Town.
He has a Bachelor of Math and Computer Science from the Freed Hardeman University in the United States and a Masters in Math Education from the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom.