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Vieux Fort Mayor Lashes Critics Of Investment Project

VIEUX FORT Mayor Winall Joshua

By Kingsley Emmanuel

Image of VIEUX FORT Mayor Winall Joshua
VIEUX FORT Mayor Winall Joshua

VIEUX FORT Mayor Winall Joshua has lashed out at critics of a major investment planned for Pointe de Sables, a recreational area on the outskirts of the town.

His advice to Vieux Fortians is: “Trust the Vieux Fort South Constituency Council. We have your interest at heart”.

THE VOICE understands that there is a proposal to build a modern commercial and entertainment facility in the area , but some of the towns people are against the proposal, citing the fact that Pointe de Sables is an important recreation spot in the south, in addition to its historical value.

At the moment, the area is being used for a variety of cultural and social activities which attract residents from around the island.

Joshua said he found it strange that certain individuals in Vieux Fort would oppose such a project which will bring immense benefits to Vieux Fortians, especially employment which was a major concern in the town.

According to the mayor, some of the objectors were more concerned about themselves than the plight of ordinary Vieux Fortians.

He said: “Some of the folks who criticize and condemn the proposed project can jump in their vehicles along with their families and travel all the way to the Caribbean Cinemas at Choc and indulge themselves…When they want to enjoy a special occasion or just to enjoy a meal in a different atmosphere, they can get into their SUVs and drive to a three or four star restaurant at Rodney Bay and enjoy themselves.”

According to Joshua, most of the people who reside in areas such as Bruceville, Cantonement and Derriere Morne cannot afford such a luxury and will welcome the project.

“I support the project because it will provide the facilities that would improve and enhance our standard of living in Vieux Fort. I support this project because I sincerely believe it is exactly what the town needs to wake up from its decade of economic inactivity and social malaise,” the Mayor explained.

He drew reference to the work of the Soufriere Development Foundation, and the role it has played in the development of that town. Joshua said that the Foundation has played a meaningful role in attracting foreigners in Soufriere, stating that Vieux Fortians can do the same.

‘All the foreigners are going to Soufriere. None are coming to Vieux Fort,” he lamented.

The Pointe de Sables area in Vieux Fort
The Pointe de Sables area in Vieux Fort

Joshua said the rest of the island was moving forward, while Vieux Fort was left behind.

According to the mayor, the argument put forward by some of the critics that such a project would destroy the historical value of the area, and endanger the national patrimony was unconvincing, stating that addressing these concerns would not put money in the pockets of the unemployed in Vieux Fort.

“The real danger to our patrimony comes from the foreigners who come here on the pretext of investing and to create jobs, but simply use and abuse our goodwill to enrich themselves, and in the process erect structures on our beaches that block our access to these areas,” Joshua argued.

He added that these foreigners also endangered St Lucia’s patrimony by having access to our lending institutions and using their money to compete with the locals, by buying large portions of prime property in the country.

“When all is said and done, at the end of the day Vieux Fort has everything to gain from such an investment and hardly anything to lose,” the mayor said.

8 Comments

  1. ARE YOU THE ONE WHO SHOULD BE MOUTHING ABOUT SUCH A POLICY? HAVE THE
    ST lUCIA GOVERNMENT ISSUED YOU THE DIPLOMATIC RIGHT TO ACT ON BEHALF OF
    THE CITIZENS OF THIS COUNTRY? OR ARE YOU TAKING IT ON YOUR OWN TO SHOW
    HOW SMART YOU YOU ARE? WELL LET US SEE; IT’S MY IDEA, THAT THERE SHOULD BE A REFERENDUM ON THIS MATTER SO AS TO GET A NATIONAL CONSENSUS TO ACCEPT
    OR TO REJECT THE WHOLE MATTER. ELECTED PERSONS, SHOULD NOT BELIEVE THAT
    BECA– USE THEY WERE ELECTED TO OFFICE, TAKE THE CITIZENS FOR GRANTED, BY GOING
    ABOUT SIGNING PAPERS WITHOUT FIRST AIRING THE WHOLE MATTER PUBLICLY.
    SUCH ARROGANCE, IRRESPECTIVE OF POLITICAL PARTY, SHOULD NOT BE TOLERATED.
    THIS IS NOT A DICTATORSHIP, IT IS OR SHOULD STILL BE A DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED
    GOVERNMENT; DO NOT INSULT US, WE DEMAND FULL AND OPEN DISCUSSION ON THIS MATTER. JOSHUA, YOU ARE JUMPING TOO HIGH, CLIMB DOWN BACK TO YOUR LEVEL.

  2. There is an old internet joke about those who SCREAM in ALL CAPS:
    The man stated facts in support of the needs of his constituency but you did not take the time to refute not one:
    -I am a knowledgeable conservationist/ecologist and would have appreciated your detailed challenge to his statements -better still the actual blue print of the plan.
    We live in a world where balance -using sound sustainable ecological management is most desirable.
    We would like to read fair arguments-in details to weigh the planed development.
    Please let us have a little more respect for the role /office of folks as we enter the St Lucia renaissance.
    WE MUST AGREE to disagree RESPECTFULLY, nest pas?
    You are sounding like Peter Judas Josie 🙁
    God bless the far reaching vista of the Moule a Chegue region-amen.

  3. Kingsley, how come you never report anything positive about Vieux Fort, all your reporting is either about murders, controversies, etc. Is that the beginning and ending of your creativity, or are you just against Vieux Fort?

  4. To put a shopping centre in that area is just backward, there are many other areas in Vieux Fort that would be enhanced and are better suited for such a commercial development. This is how you destroy tourism potential, by turning a special pristine and unique habitat into a concrete jungle. Just idiotic.

  5. With all due respect monsieur Daniel, we should exhaust extensive planning, studies, comparisons etc., before laying any concrete edifice near any coastline.
    That said, I am of the opinion that those of us in the know ought to help the VFort autorities and local interest groups with research and development ideas that seek to address how best to align their economic development needs to the best scientific appraisal of impact to or level of coexistence with the affected environment.
    VFort has endured a too long history of being ostracized/castigated /orphaned-treated like chop liver – by central government HQ in Castries central. This sacrilege nay travesty of stunting the huge potential of VFort was placed into sleepy latency even during the representation of the stoic Hon.H . Giraudy. His greatness was harnessed for the glory of Castries HQ and fueling the “national” flame of Flambeau.
    The current fervor of local representation for VFort has a right to be chivalrous in their angst. They know the bitter disregard of centralized gov. since the last British administrator exited to the Isle of Man. Their economic needs are on par with that of the national situation.
    There are many mix use developmental blue prints e.g. a mall could also anchor an extreme sports facility: windsurfing, para-sail-gliding- certified dive center with artificial reef challenge, among others. Another anchor could be an ultra modern cultural center and museum. Premium restaurants and live entertainment will come to roost.
    Honestly, a local, national and international competition with vacation prizes to winners of the best Computer assisted or clay model design of the desirable development showing integration with the immediate environment is one way to involve VFortians and .across the globe.
    Like the Mayor alluded: If not local control of VFort’s best interests, then Central HQ will sooner sell the access of similar development to the foreigner paying the Castries cartel -the highest BRIBE , n’est pas?
    Think of the many passengers in transit at Hewanorra who may be tempted to grab a premium meal and some serious DUTY FREE PREMIUM SHOPPING before heading to Dominica, St Vincent, London, Canada or New York.

    1. I have been in the shopping mall business for over 20 years in North America, and let me just say that retail shopping is moving towards online service, This location will become an eye sore just like the sexy Bois d’Orange swamp mall with the same results of dead business. You must also understand that attaching a shopping complex to a revamped airport would make a hell of a lot more sense. Consider that reduced travel luggage is now a big problem. You seem to think that nature is a resource which can be destroyed for short sighted commercial gain. Now you do have a point that Vieux Fort and the rest of the country has been wrongly ignored while the North of St. Lucia gets all the economic attention, but that is another issue, this one is about leadership impotency of St. Lucia. If the Minister representing Vieux Fort is unable to improve his riding, perhaps the Mayor needs to discuss this with him instead of making brainless and desperate projects.

      The post below by CARIBJAMES is dead on, I could not have put it any better.

  6. It is doubtful that any right person begrudges sustainable development in Vieux Fort. Development that can deliver improved services and experiences for both residents of, and visitors to, Vieux Fort should be welcomed. However, any such development MUST consider environmental, cultural and historical impacts, in addition to economic impacts.

    St Lucia sadly has too many examples of large developments that have been initiated and often not completed – Daher Mall, Bous D’Orange and Le Paradis, Praslin to cite two such examples leading to environmental degradation to the detriment of all leaving only a blot on the landscape for all to lament.

    St Lucia also has examples of projects whose visual/aeasthetic impact have immeasurably damaged the appeal and beauty of an area with dubious economic benefit but for those who brokered the deal and delivered the contract to construct. The Downtown Mall in central Soufriere being a prime example. How that monstrous carbuncle that blocks the skyline and looms over the town square quite out of keeping with this historic town’s architecture ever got planning permission defies belief… The risk of the same happening on this site in VF must be mitigated against.
    The issue with this proposed development in Vieux Fort seems to be that its being proposed in an area of natural beauty and cultural utility. With so much vacant land in VF WHY DEVELOP ON AN ALREADY WELL — USED AND NATURAL AREA? Surely there are so many other areas very close by that would be more appropriate? Former industrial lots?
    Where is the strategic plan for VF’s intelligent design for the coming century, that includes provision for climate change induced sealevel rise? Where is the Environmental Impact Assessment? Has there been a thorough community consultation? What other sites have been considered? And why were they ruled out in favour of this site? Where is the justification for that decision? So many questions… who will supply all the answers to the people of VF so they can make their own, well informed decision?

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