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Ming laments state of St George’s

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Government hit back at criticism over the state of St George’s yesterday, saying its predecessors were to blame for its rundown condition.

Opposition Senator Renee Ming lamented what she said was the “deplorable” state of the old St George’s Golf Course, rundown infrastructure in the Island’s first capital and questioned whether the police station was really operational.

Her salvo came during yesterday’s Senate motion to adjourn.

“The golf course is overrun with twigs, weeds, there’s chucked down trees that have just been pushed to the side of the road. This is an area that our tourists frequent,” said Sen Ming. “We need to get this addressed.”

She said a maintenance team took care of the area last year and “it looked a lot better than what we see there today.”

Sen Ming also raised concerns about the police station and infrastructure in the town of St George.

She noted that the police station is supposed to be operational, but it remained unclear how it operates.

“What exactly is the functionality of the police station? Can you actually house a prisoner? Can someone just pop in? What’s the use?” Sen Ming asked.

And on the town’s infrastructure Sen Ming said a plan to upgrade the public bathrooms should be implemented.

“No more lip service, we need the action down in the town.”

Government Senate Leader Michael Fahy agreed that St George’s is “not in the best state at all” but, he said, the area had been neglected for more than 20 years.

“It didn’t happen in the last five or six months,” he said. “This has been a very long time coming.”

Sen Fahy said his Ministry had to provide additional funding to the Corporation of St George’s to help it through to the end of the last fiscal year.

“That meant the previous Government hadn’t given them enough in the first place to do the most basic things in St George’s. I scrambled and found $200,000 in the Ministry of Home Affairs’ budget to help them get through to the end of the fiscal year,” he said.

“That is an indication of long term neglect that has to be laid at the feet of the previous Government. We are in clean-up mode.”

Sen Fahy added: “I was shocked when I came into Government and saw what I saw. So I’m on it. I will do the best that I can to turn around the town.”

On the golf course, he said: “We all know what happened there. The course was closed down, the buildings were destroyed by a previous Government which didn’t have the foresight to keep the thing open until development was in place.”

He continued: “Where was the noise over the last 15 years when St George’s was falling to pieces around us?”

Government Sen Lynne Woolridge said Sen Ming’s observations reflected the “state of Bermuda as a whole”.

“We treat our Island as one giant trash dump,” she said. “This is a change that needs to be made in the mindset of people throughout this entire Island. Not just in St George’s.”

Demolished and abandoned: The site of the former Club Med in St George’s
Demolished and abandoned: The site of the former Club Med in St George’s
Demolished and abandoned: The site of the former Club Med in St George’s
Demolished and abandoned: The site of the former Club Med in St George’s
Demolished and abandoned: The site of the former Club Med in St George’s

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Published June 13, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated June 12, 2013 at 11:47 pm)

Ming laments state of St George’s

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