Government could save millions of dollars in rent if it prioritizes its spending on new versus old buildings, Independent Senator Sir Henry Fraser has said.
Pointing to the $65 million spent on the annual rental of a variety of office spaces in and around Bridgetown, Sir Henry charged that one of the tragedies of Barbados, like other Caribbean countries, was the failure to maintain buildings.
“That has been an illness of governance in Barbados for the last 40 something years,” he said.
“The $65 million that we spend in annual rent by the Government of Barbados would restore all the dirty, derelict buildings in Bridgetown and have some money left over,” Sir Henry added.
He was speaking during Senate debate yesterday on a resolution to lease Crown lands at Two Mile Hill, St Michael.
Sir Henry also debunked what he said was a myth in Barbados that restoration was excessively costly, saying such a venture cost approximately two thirds of erecting a new building in the country in recent times.
Sir Henry, who chairs the Government’s Preservation Task Force, also revealed that work was continuing on the restoration of the Carnegie Library on Coleridge Street. He said $4 million was still needed to upgrade it to a state of the art library.
He also reiterated his belief that the old Supreme Court building should be made a part of the national library complex.