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Premier states there have been no secret meetings with corporation

Premier Paula Cox on Friday stressed she has held no “secret hideaway” meetings with the Corporation of Hamilton to talk about reform of Bermuda's municipalities.

Mayor Charles Gosling said earlier this week that Government had granted the city the power to continue levying wharfage fees in 2011 meaning it should avoid the “death by financial strangulation” he'd feared the Municipalities Act would bring.

Mr Gosling who repeatedly clashed with former Premier Ewart Brown over the legislation said his dealings with Ms Cox had been much more amicable, indicating it was a “completely new administration”.

However, in a statement to the House of Assembly on Friday, Ms Cox said her only discussions with Mr Gosling had taken place before she became Premier.

She insisted she had merely assured the mayor that assurances over wharfage fee collection initially made in the House this summer would be adhered to.

“Since I have been sworn in as Premier of the Country, there have been no meetings held by myself with the Corporation of Hamilton,” Ms Cox told the House.

“There's also been no indication given by me, the former financial secretary or the current cabinet secretary that there would be rescinding of the Municipalities Reform Act.

“There was a meeting prior to me being elected as party leader, where the corporation wanted a sense of the way forward.

“I said that comments made on the floor of the House by the Government team that Government would move in a sensible, realistic way were accurate.”

Photo by Mark Tatem ¬ ALARYS Conference

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Published December 06, 2010 at 1:00 am (Updated December 10, 2010 at 3:30 am)

Premier states there have been no secret meetings with corporation

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