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Election cash redirected

House money: re-prioritising funds earmarked for municipal elections (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

More than $75,000 set aside for municipal elections will probably be used elsewhere because the Corporations of Hamilton and St George’s are to be turned into unelected quangos, the House of Assembly has heard.

Walton Brown, the Cabinet Office minister, told MPs on Monday that $76,000 was earmarked for elections scheduled to be held in May.

He said that after the House approved an Act of Parliament to abolish the two local authorities, it was likely that the cash would be redirected.

Legislation to turn Bermuda’s two municipalities into quangos was passed by MPs last week. Walter Roban, the Minister of Home Affairs, tabled the controversial Bill, which sparked opposition in the two affected areas and a national debate.

Elected members of the municipalities will hold office until May 13, unless they resign.

A mayor and eight councillors for each corporation will be appointed to serve from May 14.

The mayor and four councillors will be people the minister is satisfied have the skills and experience to carry out the role.

The other four councillors will be appointed by the minister on the recommendation of a selection committee. The selection committee will also be appointed by the minister.