A royal mess!
This is how Minister of Finance Chris Sinckle last night described the lease arrangement left behind by the previous Owen Arthur administration for the Mecca of cricket in the region – the Kensington Oval.
“Kensington cost about $150-somebody million to pay with no plan for servicing it. We have to service that . . . not only pay for it, in relation to the actual physical structure, but we also have the pay the [Barbados Cricket Association] BCA, a lease payment of at least $1 million a year in order to occupy that space down there,” he told a Democratic Labour Party St. James North constituency branch meeting at the St. Alban’s Primary School.
“. . . Do all the maintenance ourselves, pay all the staff down there to see after it, pay the insurance, pay the all the upkeep for it including all the electricity bill and all that for the lights that are down there.”
Sinckler disclosed that based on analysis he had seen, if the current arrangement ran for the course of the lease – for the next 60 to 70-plus years – it could cost Government close to $800 million.
But he was quick to point that this [arrangement] could soon come to an end, as Government had already started the process of talks with the Board of the Kensington Oval Management Inc., the Barbados Cricket Association and the West Indies Cricket Board to find a solution to this problem, which he suggested was a drain on the public purse.